Changes, Edits, and Keeping on

This photo reveals a sign of change. We all know what happens next…we wake up to hoards of brilliant leaves piling up on our lawns. And before we know it, yet another seasonal change lies just around the corner.

All of a sudden, it seems, vibrant summer green gives way to golden hues.

We begin to notice these leaves everywhere around our yard.

They get caught in cobwebs between flower boxes and porch floor, they cling to the edging against our house’s outer walls. This one’s a bit more interesting, with its pinkish tones.

The changing of the seasons reminds us of other alterations, some not so pleasant, some downright painful and ugly. As a friend who has battled fibromalgia’s confusing pain for over twenty years said recently, “I’ve had to learn to adapt…it’s the only way through.”

This summer, I’ve been busy editing a new set of short stories for our 2024 Hill Country Christmas Collection and also editing a manuscript that has hung around for a long, long time. The characters really want to come to life–how can I throw them out, even though my writing was pretty pathetic way back when I started?

Ah…that’s life, decisions upon decisions, and continuous change.

Nothing to do but keep plunging ahead, right? I’d love to hear about your own changes these past months, if you care to share.

Past the Middle of July …

You can tell by the flowers, especially the petunias– and this summer, by one petunia in particular. It’s a pink one, gigantic, beautiful.

But summer’s at its height, leaning toward the waning side. I pick off probably fifteen faded blossoms a day, but because of the intense afternoon heat, the plant shows signs of wear. It’s getting just plain tired.


So I water it more, knowing it can’t last forever. GATHER YE ROSEBUDS WHILE YE MAY, eh?

Last week, I finished the final edits on one of my World War II novels. Yes, it seemed ready, but the stories never stop. Thankfully, I’m now hard at work on its sequel.

How was it for women of that era when they watered their plants at night, with a loved one in Europe or the Pacific? My uncle was a Ranger in Japan. When my Grandma went out to tend her flowers, did she see him in every blossom? Actually, she had another son in the infantry, too. I can’t imagine.

My debut novel will soon have its release date – can’t wait! The heroine lost a son in WWII, making her a Gold Star mother. And she loves gardening.

IMG_3719For us, this year’s spectacular lily medley was all about glory – wouldn’t you say? Now, they’ve gone by summer’s wayside.

But while they were here, they help with our questions … they cheer us through the wallows of life. And they last, in pictures, through winter’s storms.

I’d like to take each of you for a walk through our courtyard, a simple square behind the house, bordered by a garage and a fence. But this will have to do.

May the rest of your summer be filled with beauty and great photos!


Showing and Telling

The other day I had a lesson in hatcheting. Well, using a hatchet to create kindling. I missed camping 101 in my youth, so here we are. 


My friend demonstrated, and tonight, the stove boasts fresh-shaved kindling waiting for a match. Sounds like success, eh?

I could describe the details, but most of you probably know how to make kindling. What struck me during this experience was the parallel to creative writing. Explain, demonstrate, describe. Isn’t that what authors do?

It’s one thing to explain, but action often shows better than telling. How much explanation would have been necessary without the actual hatchet in my friend’s hand, sunk into a chunk of wood?

And describing . . . that’s a level deeper, as if teaching a lesson on making kindling, now that I understand the process. I’ve mulled it over and now, it’s time to share with the waiting world.

This week my husband also took a picture of his culinary creation. He wrote, “It’s a four-egg omelette, whether it looks like one or not.”

What do you think? I can make out most of the ingredients I normally use, but the look, as my husband acknowledges, is a bit different. photo

Still, all the elements are here–eggs, mushrooms, sausage. What’s missing?

It’s the mulling, the organizing, the arranging, I suppose. And no matter how innovative our writing style, a little structure often does wonders.