Posts tagged ‘garden’

Star Light, Star Bright

Pleiades Star Cluster

Image via Wikipedia

Now that the days are growing shorter, I find myself leaving for work in the dark and returning home in the dark.   There is a bright side (excuse the pun) to the shorter days, however.  It gives me a chance to cast my eyes upward and gaze at the stars.

I am lucky enough to be far enough in the suburbs that I can actually see the stars from my garden without the interference of streetlights.  Not an astronomer in any sense of the word, I am still able to pick out a few of the major constellations – enough of the to make my junior high school science teachers proud.

Seeing the multitude of twinkling lights overhead never fails to fill me with awe.  How beautiful they are!  I look at them and wonder how many more worlds like our own or out there.  Will we ever get to see those worlds?  Are beings on those worlds looking up at the sky right now and thinking the exact same thing?

And what better place to sit and hold hands with the one you love than under a brilliant canopy of stars!  It is the perfect time to reminisce and to dream.

Fellow stargazers and dreamers, share your favorite place to look at the stars with us.


My Idea of Perfect Weather

I have always enjoyed the late spring into early summer time best. The trees and flowers are in full bloom, and the air is warm and sweet.

A lot of times, I use the seasons to mirror the mood of the characters in my books. If everything is bright and sunny in the plot, then so is the weather. When things are not going well for the main characters,  it is raining or snowing. I find this adds a little something extra to give the story depth. After all, who could be in a bad mood when the sun is shining and the air is filled with the scent of flowers! You can see this in action in my new novel Before the Applause, available now at Amazon and Barnes&Noble online.

I am not the only writer to use this ploy. Mary Shelley got the idea for her classic Frankenstein story from the unusually bad weather. I’m not sure that I could ever go so far as to write a horror story like that, but I will definitely keep using the weather as a (pardon the pun) barometer for my characters’ moods in the future.

Do you have a favorite season? Inquiring minds want to know!

My Summer To-do List

Every New Year’s Day I make resolutions (doesn’t everyone?) and over the years, I have kept quite a few. Most, however, are recycled into the next year, the following year, and so on. I guess you can say that I am not meticulous about New Year’s resolutions.

What I do make and keep, on the other hand, is my summer to-do list. The list is always short and filled with things I really, really want to accomplish. This year’s list is no exception:

  1. Biking.  I love biking. I feel free and calm, with the world rolling passed my eyes at a eisurely pace. I haven’t gotten to do it for quite some time due to health reasons, but this year I am treating myself to a brand new bicycle and touring the neighborhood.
  2. Read a good book. I love reading, and there is nothing better than lazing an afternoon away in the garden with a good book and a glass of iced tea.
  3.  Travel. I have not been able to travel like I used to (see #1 for reason), but that’s all behind me now. Long trip or short, I want to go to new places and do things I have always wanted to do with the one I love.

Do you have a summer to-do list?

Hurry Spring

I writing to you from snowy New Jersey, where we are still digging out from seventeen inches of snow. There is another round due to hit us this weekend; just two inches, they tell us, but it is snow jut the same. And yes, another major storm is coming on Wednesday. All I can say is Punxsutawney Phil better not see his shadow next week because I am definitely ready for spring.

Ah, spring! When the snow melts … if it ever melts … it will allow us to witness the soft greens of new grass, the hints of color as the first flowers come to life. I cannot wait for the cherry blossoms. Delicate pink, they are the lacy dressing to trees that have been barren for so many months. Carried on a breeze, they fill the sky with confetti that celebrates the end of winter and wakes the other plants from hibernation.

The forsythia quickly follow, bright yellow for a few weeks before turning green for the summer. Daffodils and tulips are joined by the azalea.  This glorious riot of color lasts for too short a time, teasing us, whetting our appetites for the colors of summer.

As an avid gardener, I look forward to spring. In past years, I have had too few hours to devote to my garden, but this year I will have more time to plant my little treasures. Nothing spectacular like my neighbor who has a Better Homes and Gardens yard that is the envy of the street, but enough for me to enjoy while sipping iced tea on warm summer afternoons.

Mother Nature, whatever temper tantrum you are having right now, please get over it so that spring can come on time and in all its glory. I, for one, have had enough of the cold!

What’s My Work-Life Balance?

Country Home – RELT

If I had been asked this questions a few years ago, I would have said, most emphatically, that what I do for a living was most important. I had a high-power, high-pressure job in the big city and spent fifteen hours a day doing that job because I was good at it. I wanted to make a name for myself and nothing was going to stand in my way as I accomplished that  goal. Where I lived was a small studio apartment that served as a place to change my clothes and have my mail delivered.

Fast forward to today, and my priorities have swung 180 degress due to unexpected personal events. I’ve moved to the ‘burbs and cut way down on my billable hours. I work for a steady paycheck, but my passion has now shifted to things like gardening and enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck in the quiet of the morning. I have also rekindled my love of writing and have had two novels published.

Looking back on things, I realize that living far away from the bustle of the city has done wonders for my health and my outlook on life, and I wonder why it took so long for me to move here.

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