Those of you who’ve been following EverWriting for a while may remember my blogs about growing and nurturing a pomegranate plant which I related to the process of writing Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls.
I’m back at it.
I actually had not eaten a pomegranate for years and years! When I was a girl, my first taste of this wonderful fruit (some believe to be the original ‘forbidden fruit’ of the Garden of Eden variety) gave me hives! As the ruby fruit was the only oddity in our daily composition at the time, pomegranate got the blame. I stayed away until I was well into adulthood.
My next encounter was after I had three children with no untoward results at all. Since I had already had good luck with growing apple trees from seeds germinated from the Braeburn variety and oaks from acorns my children had gathered at school, I threw some pomegranate seeds in potting soil and behold, I was the proud horticulturalist of a plant usually only grown in mediterranean climes.
This year, I bought and ate my first pomegranate after another long long dry spell and, though I have only a balcony and a few potted plants, I attempted to repeat my previous effort. As far as I know my first pomegranate is still growing in my daughter-in-law’s care but having one of my own again felt right. I have a number of lemon bushes from seed and a pomegranate was a natural step.
Of the twenty or so seeds I planted, three sprouted and one survived and the secondary leaves have sprouted.
In many ways, at least in my quirky mind, there are similarities between storycraft and horticulture/gardening. If we think of an idea for a story, we often think of it as a seed. We nurture the idea/seed with effort in the way of research in the process of germinating the story, as the seedling has germinated from its pod and thrown out roots below and first leaves above. Those first leaves and roots provide the nourishment to grow in the same way our stories grow from experience (roots) and imagine (leaves).
This tiny plant coincides with my first American history novel, Pavane for Miss Marcher, which examines the aftereffects of the American Civil War on those who fought, those left behind and process of healing the divisive wounds.
Posted in American History, Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls, Women, Writing | Tagged ACW, American Civil War, Commemoration Day, gardening, horticulture, Memorial Day, nuturing, Pavane for Miss Marcher, storycraft, war, Writing | Leave a Comment »
Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly
This book was among seven nominated for the RWA’s Rita Award in 2012. I’m including Borrowed Light in my featured books because I so often recall characters and scenes from the book. For instance, Paul Otto, the hero of the story, is the son of a settler’s orphaned daughter and a warrior of the tribe that rescues her. Julia Darling, the heroine, is a graduate of Fannie Farmer’s Cooking School. Mr. Otto, as he is known throughout the book, is a Wyoming rancher in need of a good cook for his cowboys.
Another character in the book is inanimate and, though I am not a cook, fascinated me as much as the four ranch hands: the Queen Atlantic stove which attracts Julia to the isolated ranch in the first place. Drawing Mr. Otto and Julia together is their shared faith. Kelly does justice to her own faith, the Church of Latter Day Saints, with clarity and simplicity for non-LDS readers.
Borrowed Light is published by Bonneville Books (cedarfort.com).
Posted in Guest Writer, Publishing, Romance, Writing | Tagged Carla Kelly, Featured Book, historical fiction, inspirational romance, Inspirational Western, LDS, Leigh Verrill-Rhys, Wyoming | Leave a Comment »
JUSTICE: Book 1, Pendyffryn: The Inheritors
To prepare his daughter, Tanglwys, for a future without his protection, Meinor Hedydd contracts with Gwennan Pendyffryn to take her as an apprentice in the Invader’s Gaer household to learn skills that will be of use to others and a source of income for her. The presence of another dependent fostered child affects Gwennan’s stepson, Marshal deFreveille, in a way that is not entirely unwelcome as he begins his own training to become a soldier in his father’s army.
After the death of her father, Tanglwys is forced to leave the Gaer to help her mother but continues her work with the apothecary to cultivate medicinal herbs that will save other soldiers’ lives.
From the beginning of their acquaintance, Tanglwys and Marshal face hatred and intolerance. A fateful encounter at the river sparks more than his protective inclination toward her, but when Marshal disciplines her brother and his friends for tormenting Tanglwys, their budding friendship falters. Punishes
Her brother’s resentment and loathing for the Invader’s son are fierce. His violence toward his sister for causing the incident leads to his demotion to the lowest ranks of soldiery. In fear of her brother and her mother’s continuing hatred for the Invader, Tanglwys denies her growing admiration for Marshal but he has another future in mind for them.
Posted in Guest Writer, Publishing, Romance, Wales & Welsh, Writing | Tagged justice, Leigh Verrill-Rhys, Lily Dewaruile, medieval history, Pendyffryn, warrior romance, Welsh Romance | Leave a Comment »
A boy alone in an ancient forest always forbidden for him to enter or even go near. Now there is no choice as all that lies behind him are the broken dreams and shattered bodies of his people set ablaze in the night all because they refused to bow to tyranny. His nation gone, it’s up to him to survive or perish in the night as the case may be easily enough. Nothing is for sure in a forest where even the trees go to war.
The Way – is a story of High Christian Fantasy that reveals truth. Evil is evil and all that is good is under a never ending assault to be polluted by that which is diametrically opposed to the ways of Eloah, the Most High, the Creator of everything. Expect to be led on a journey that reveals what it’s like to be a warrior cast into the epic struggle of Good vs Evil.
I posted this review about Linton Robinson’s book, Sweet Spot, several years ago, but with all the political upheaval recently, this particular book keeps coming to mind. I loved it then and love it still.
Mazatlan Confidential Sweet Spot, Linton Robinson
Linton Robinson’s novel of corrupt politicians, Mazatlan Carnival and baseball has all the credentials for a block-busting read: gritty, graphic and gripping. This is a fortuitous find among the many thousands of titles that are published every year and well-worth the effort. Fans of Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler and Tennessee Williams will discover resonances with Robinson’s main character, Raymundo Carrasco – retired, short-haul, major league star turned investigative journalist and local government flunky.
The depth of this novel is astonishing and the skill with which Robinson interweaves his dramatic motifs is a lesson in craft for any writer. Robinson’s command of his metaphors is masterful. The background information needed to create the depth of this story is fed through Carrasco’s columns and his insights about his native city and fellow citizens. If you thought you knew something about Mexico, this book will set you straight.
Carrasco has returned to his native Mazatlan after a few seasons over the border where he held his batting average steady – good enough for the Majors. Despite his success, he hasn’t found that “sweet spot” in his life. Although it seems a foolish choice, with the murders and mayhem of all the vultures surrounding him, he seeks that moment working for the mayor’s office press team. Just when his life can’t get worse, it does, spiraling into gruesome hilarity and poetic decadence.
Despite the relentless brutality, this novel is a glorious celebration of humanity in all its joyful exuberance and soul-destroying routine.
Sweet Spot is a novel I can recommend. It is thoughtful, intense and violent. It is also hilarious and beautiful in its compassion for all we poor/pure souls seeking that moment of absolute perfection.
While I read this, word for unrelenting word, I realized that the United States’ most intimate foreign relationship is mutually dependent and as destructive as Mundo’s love affair with Mijares.
It’s 384 A.D., the dawn of the monotheistic state. City of Cats follows the tumultuous events of one decisive year in the life of Lupicinus, powerful advisor to the Pope, who lives a duplicitous life as a clandestine non-believer, and Saturnine, wife of a Christian senator who secretly writes against the Church. Lupicinus and Saturnine are brought together and their lives changed forever by Kharapan, a Stoic from a remote land outside the Empire.
City of Cats, by Max Diksztejn