Summer Eating

I recently met a woman at the eating table of a potluck gathering who told me she didn’t like fruit.

Blueberries from Moore's Orchard in Pomfret, VT
Blueberries from Moore’s Orchard in Pomfret, VT

I went into shock.

Not like fruit? You might as well say you don’t like Peter Pan or puppies or crisp fall days when the foliage is at peak.

Well, she added (probably sensing my deep sense of shock) except watermelon.


Strawberries just picked with their glowing red hearts? Pennsylvania peaches from the Lebanon Coop? Blueberries straight from the bush at Moore’s Orchard?

But it seems there are such people in the world. Yesterday, I was at a meeting at a restaurant seated next to this really nice guy who ordered a hamburger “with no pink and no green.”

“No green? As in no lettuce?”

“Right. And no salad, no beans, no zucchini, no spinach.”

I nearly fainted.

So I ordered the biggest, greenest salad on the menu. And then when I got home, we headed up the hill to pick blueberries at Moore’s Orchard in Pomfret.

And then I felt much better.

I do believe in fairies. I do I do I do.

Big, Fat, Sloppy First Drafts

I drove up to Norwich last night to see author Louise Penny speak at the Congregational church. She was there as part of the Norwich Bookstore’s ongoing author events programming.
TRU-Edited for web
She was wonderful, and I found myself nodding in agreement as she talked about the challenges of writing.

At one point, one of the bookstore owners asked her if one of her books stood out either as particularly pleasurable or challenging.

And Penny said that her second book was the most difficult. At the same time, she described her first drafts as big, fat and sloppy because if you’re wise, you don’t edit (let the critic in) while you’re in that state. You throw in everything you want to.

Honing and shaping is what rewriting and editing are for.

So I now have a big, fat, sloppy first draft of Thieves of Fire just waiting to be sculpted.

Thank goodness for Post-Its.

A Finalized Cover

If you get into graphic design like I do, you can fool around with your cover image all day long.

Thieves of Fire will be out in the fall of 2014
Thieves of Fire will be out in the fall of 2014

But as Taj Mahal once said as he was tuning up for a concert, sooner or later, you gotta commit.

So I’m really happy with this version of the cover for the second Carding novel, Thieves of Fire.

And while was doing it, I figured out how to put type on a curved path (you can see the results in the moon). That’s something I don’t do very often so I always have to look it up in my InDesign reference books.

In other Carding novel news, I finally settled on a title for the third book in the series, A Face to Take into the Dark. It’s based on a line I heard a character use in the final Endeavour episode in the second season of the show.

The third novel takes place during Hurricane Irene and I’m very close to the end of the first draft. More as it emerges from my pen.

The Yellow Fellow

Hard to believe because we’re still, technically, in July.

Goldenrod-July 2014 for web
But the first wave of goldenrod are starting to bloom.

There are over 50 separate varieties of this wonderful plant (yep, I love ’em) and there is one called August goldenrod. But these guys are pushing the boundaries here.

And nope, they are not the cause of sneezing. That’s ragweed which is so innocuous, we never notice it. But it blooms the same time as its showier yellow friend here so goldenrod gets the blame for this annual spike in the ah-choo season.

Piecing for Parkinson’s

In addition to writing books, author Sonja Hakala is also the founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project.

And a quilter and designer, etc. etc.

Red button bag made for the Parkinson's Comfort Project
Red button bag made for the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

The Parkinson’s Comfort Project is growing and Sonja has decided to combine outreach with fundraising by choosing to vend at two quilt shows in 2015.

There will also be objects that folks can own in exchange for donations, handmade items plus books and patterns.

This bag, number one in a series of 19 (each a little different) is designed to wear across-the-body and has an adjustable strap. These are great for shopping, roomy enough for a wallet and other smallish items that leave your hands free.

The outside is sturdy canvas, the inside is fully lined, and it’s just so darned cute!!!

Don’t you want one?

Would Any Garden Smell as Sweet?


Every summer, Paula Boutin (Carding’s erstwhile town manager) makes a point of walking all of the town maintained trails.

Joe Pye weed and bindweed
Not only does she consider it a part of her job (she’s the one who signs the checks for the trail crew), it also gives her the world’s best excuse for getting out of the office on a nice day.

Ted Owens (do we hear wedding bells in their future?) often accompanies her, especially now that the USPS, in its finite wisdom, has cut Carding’s post office hours even more.

In winter, Ted’s usually got a pair of skis in his hands. This time of year, it’s a camera.

Ever since Hurricane Irene, the Joe Pye weed has spread along the Corvus River, making a great climbing pole for the bindweed that’s just coming into bloom.

As Paula, who’s not much into gardening, likes to point out: “A walk in the woods equals beautiful flowers, no weeding, no mowing.”

—posted by Little Crow

Author of the Carding, Vermont novels, quilt books, and book publishing guides.