Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Heading to Utah

Tomorrow I am going to be flying home for a couple of weeks and I won't have access to internet while I'm there, most likely, so I'm just letting you all know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth -- I'll be in touch when I get back. Heading out to see family and do a couple of book signings and go to BYU-Rexburg Education Week. Woohoo!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Feeling Better

I was reading Susanna Kearsley's author website this morning, and she mentions that you can't please everyone, so ultimately you have to be true to your characters and what you're trying to do and write for yourself. Which tells me she has had not-so-great reviews too, in the past. It makes me feel much better, because if an utterly fantastic writer like Susanna Kearsley can get a bad review, then I can certainly expect them too.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Book Reviews

Well, the first reviews are starting to come in for The Song of Copper Creek, and once again there's a range of opinions that takes me from euphoria to despair to giddy heights again. You never can take them too seriously, because I always find that what one person loves the next person hates. The very element that delights one reviewer makes the other roll her eyes. One says she was drawn in instantly and couldn't put the book down, and another says it was slow-moving and she walked away from it for a few days before returning to it. One liked that it wasn't a romance and one was disappointed it wasn't. One loved the descriptions of day-to-day life and one didn't. And one whined that this book wasn't like another of mine that she'd enjoyed. But I make a point of never writing the same thing twice. I don't read all the same type of book, so why would I write them all the same? So a wide range of opinions. What do you do?

You write whatever you want to, I guess. You sure can't please everyone, so you may as well please yourself.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Butter Tart Day

I take it back. Today is the best day... This is how I spent my morning...

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Update on the Garden

I communicate with a group of homesteaders and farmers on Facebook, most of whom are in Great Britain or France, and we share photos and stories about our gardens from time to time. They seem to be a month ahead over there in their season. They're harvesting zucchini already, which mine here are barely starting to flower. We've had a cool, wet spring without much sun.

The rabbits got my beans and peas, going down the rows carefully nipping the heads off each plant, but the kale is doing fine. They seem to leave that alone. The tomatoes are forming fruit but the greenery is spindly this year. One cucumber has germinated (or survived the rabbits, anyway). The yellow summer squash didn't come up at all. The spaghetti squash that went crazy last year is struggling this year. The spinach didn't germinate. The peppers haven't budged sicne I planted them out (I think the soil is too acidic for them). The blackberries and raspberries are doing great but the blueberry bushes both died. The asparagus has gone to fern. And the beets and onions are still mere wisps. I'm not sure what's going on this year, but it's not going to be a great harvest.

At the end of this season, I'll churn everything under and leave it in situ to decompose instead of putting it in the composter. Then I'll get some bales of straw and cover it over for the winter and hope for a better result next year. Seems weird to even be thinking yet of the end of the season. It seems like summer just barely got under way.

Friday, 7 July 2017

In Which Maple Nearly Loses his Head

I came home from work early yesterday, and my husband had Maple out in the yard so he didn't hear me come in. I opened the back door and came outside, and Maple came scampering to me, wriggling with joy. I bent down and he practically leaped into my arms and turned his face toward mine. And I thought "Wow, I'm about to be licked for the first time by this dog!" But then Maple caught himself, pulled back, and regained his customary composure. I set him down and off he went without a backward glance. But for a moment there, he let his feelings slip through.

He's always been an undemonstrative dog. I don't know if all shih tzus are like that or only Maple. He's always been aloof and disliked petting and fussing over him. That's part of the reason I got Brio, to give me those cuddles and affection Maple lacked. (And Brio gives it out in spades.) Maple turns his face away from you and pretends you aren't there, refuses to come when called---for a while I wondered if he was deaf, but he seems to have no trouble hearing the plastic wrap coming off the cheese two rooms away---and in general acts more like a cat. Or a squirrel, all skittish if you try to pick him up. He's always been treated gently and kindly, but I guess it's just his nature.

But for one brief moment yesterday, he forgot himself. And it was lovely.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Book Giveaway on Goodreads.com

I'm giving away five free copies of my newest novel, The Song of Copper Creek. Go to Goodreads.com to enter. Open only to the U.S. and Canada right now.  Thanks!  K

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Take Me With You, Peter Mansbridge

Yesterday was the big birthday bash for Canada, and also the final hosting of The National with Peter Mansbridge. After a long and successful career, he is retiring, and we got to see him yesterday without a tie, relaxed and happy on Parliament Hill. His familiar voice means news to me, and it will be weird hearing someone else's voice instead.

People at work are beginning to retire too, and when I think of the 15 years lying ahead of me until I can retire, it seems unbearable. A day at a time it's fine and I'm content and I like the people I work with. It's an interesting topic. I might go stir-crazy if I were home all day every day, since I'm so used to bustling about. But fifteen years when taken all in a lump seems like eternity. I will be too feeble to do anything or go anywhere by then. I won't have the eyesight or memory left to read a novel. I won't be able to bend over to weed a vegetable patch, or have the manual dexterity to thread my loom. By then my dogs will be dead and I won't be able to walk around the block anyway. I won't even be able to content myself with baking biscotti all day, because I'll have lost my teeth by then...

Oh, I know I'm being overly dramatic. Sixty-five is the new fifty and all of that. I've seen people well into their 80s still dancing and doing tai chi, and if I'm good about diet and exercise, there's no reason why I can't be one of them. But it seems like such a distance away. By the time I retire I will have been in a cubicle the size of my dining table for 44 years.

Where's that spoon? I'm tunneling out.