Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day

Turkey in the woods 

It's Earth Day!!

How did you celebrate?
I have dozens of new trees coming next week, that's going to be my big celebration even if it's a bit late.
To be honest, I try to make every day earth day! We compost and have an organic garden. I walk when I can, and if I can't, I combine my errands and make them one giant circle. I have a rain barrel and a dual flush toilet. (Yeah, I had a sweet scene between a hero and heroine as she installed a dual flush toilet. I thought my editor would make me change it, but she let it stay!)
So Thursday is my big celebration.
Today we went out to camp today, took a long hike (saw turkeys out and about) and I started to get my stuff out of storage and put on the walls now that the cottage is finished. It was like Christmas! I forgot I bought cool canisters at a house sale last year. And my tinware looks great on the shelves!
Tinware (black & red)
Tinware (a green set from Sweden)

We have a lot of Erie antiques here at home and I started collecting Crawford County stuff for the cottage. I love this sign over the sink.

Finally, we moved the antique sewing machine upstairs. I'm going to use it as a desk at camp. It's hard to see my view through the screen, but it's going to be beautiful!

I put one of my antique, cast iron presses on the little nook over the stairs. The area still needs something, but I think this will stay there. I like the look.

Tomorrow I'm heading to school and then writing...I'm always writing. LOL I can't wait to tell you all about this WIP (work-in-progress). It's another cozy mystery. Have you checked out Maid in LA? The first four are out now, and the 5th is out in June! If you're in a mood for another cozy mystery, I also have Can't Find NoBODY. I do love this title!
Hope you had a lovely Earth Day and that next week is a great one!
PS My daughter got me this platter...more chickens. I don't collect chickens, no matter what she thinks! LOL

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Another Novel Freshman Experience Lesson...from the mouth of babes.

Sometimes kids just melt me.

My little minions active.  But sometimes they stop and are so sweet I forget that I just timed them out.

I brought home all my ceramics from class (pics here if you missed them) and was critiquing them.  Sort of mumbling to myself as I got them out of the box. I UGHed one of them. One of the minions corrected me, "They're all beautiful," as he picked them all up gently and checked them all out.

I've been thinking about that moment ever since.

Sometimes we're our own worst critic. And while some of my pieces weren't quite as successful as I hoped,  I smiled and whispered "They're all beautiful," to myself as I finish taking notes on them.  

Yes, I've mulling the minions words and I've realized that he was right.  Every piece I produced this year in class was beautiful, even if they weren't what I envisioned, if only because they all left me with something.

Each taught me what to do...or what not to do.  Either way, I will build off both the successes and the less than successful pieces.

As a writer, I've faced those kind of moments.  Some of my earlier books have been rereleased. And while I still feel their a good story, I know that if I wrote that same story today, I'd have crafted it very differently.  Because I've grown as a writer.  And that's a good thing.  If I'd stayed stationary all these years, I'd be doing something wrong.  So if  (when) you pick up an earlier book, I hope you enjoy the story.  But afterwards, I hope you pick up a more recent story and that you think, yeah, that's better.  LOL


I mention picking up books because I do hope you all give them a try.  I hope you mention them to a friend (or a bunch of friends) and I hope you'll go leave a review on your favorite online site because those reviews are how other people find my books.   I occasionally give a workshop called,  My Writing May Be Art...but My Kids Need Braces.  That about sums it up.  I hope you'll pick up a book because that's how I make my living.  My grandmother would be aghast that I mention it.  She was aghast that I talked about hairy legs in I Waxed My Legs for This? too.  But it's the truth.  (It's also true that I won't ever wax my legs...ouch!)

There's a sales-palooza right now...
Just One Thing
Everything But series
Pickup Lines
(That's right...a newer tearjerker Romance+,
an older Hungarian grandmother who curses her family to bad weddings and HEA's series,
and the oldest of the bunch...rom com that's set in the front seat of a truck!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

CHRISTMAS in April!!! My 2nd term projects

It was seriously like Christmas today!!  Seriously!  Professor H. pulled all my pieces out of the gas kiln.  I posted a few earlier.  They were from the electric kiln. And while it does leave the colors more vivid, I prefer the smokey deep colors in the gas kiln, so that's where most of mine were fired.

Birds.  These first ones were chicks.  I used a yellow glaze that ended up not being yellow in a gas kiln. 

The second batch are my song birds.  

And my seagull.  He's my favorite of the birds. Frankly, seagulls are my favorite birds.

I did Book Bookends.  It's hard to see, but the book on the left is The Hobbit, with a hobbit hole.  The middle one is Charlotte's Web...Charlotte's there, but hard to see.  And the last one is Anne of Green Gable...her braid and the house.

I did two sets of four mugs.  The bottom looks like tree bark.  I'm really thrilled with how they turned out!

And oh, how I love my face jugs.  I have family requests for more.  I'm thrilled with how their eyes turned out.  I want to work on their ears next time.

I wanted to try making a hand...the kids are referring to it as my Dementor Hand.  Hmm.  You think JK Rowling would like it?

My wooden spoons (I used them in that short story, Spoons) turned out great and Im' happy with my acorn scoops. I think the one in the back on the right is probably the most practical.

And here's my mocha diffusion tray.  I'm so happy with how it turned out!!  It's another one of my favorites of the year!  Underneath is my mocha diffusion bowl.  Love that one, too!

I worked on faces too this term.  This is one of my best girl ones.  I love that she's reading her book in the woods with her buddy!

These were my first faces...uh, yeah, they weren't great.  I mean, you can tell their faces, but they're no really people looking. So I made them goddesses.  LOL

I went to an art show where they had a beautiful leaf painting.  I tried to emulate it.  I did two experimental pieces and I'm happy with the final product!  I'm going to hang it out at camp!

SANTA PALOOSA!!  I wrote about my father-in-law's years of making folk art Santas out of wood.  Here are my ceramic homages.

The kids love these
"Butt Santas."

A bunch of Santa faces close-ups!

I'm so happy with how these tree mugs turned out!!

Last but not least, here are my quilt pieces.  I'll be mounting them in the next few weeks.  I'll post the finished "quilt."  I did two of each color and fired one in the gas kiln, one in the electric kiln.  I wanted to get a feel for how much they'd change.

Seriously, I can't tell you the amount of glee I had today.  You know how you felt on Christmas morning when you were ten?  Yeah, that describes my feeling today!

Thanks for everyone who followed my adventures in school this year!