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With Every Season New Growth Emerges

It’s the cycle of life, the way things were meant to be. Like I tell my children, embrace change: it is the only constant in life. And change is upon us here at Women Unplugged. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you and will continue to do so, only elsewhere… BloominThyme for you gardeners. My author website for the romance lover in you. New this year, I’ve begun a children’s series using the pen name DS Venetta called Wild Tales & Garden Thrills — fun fiction for ages 7 – 10 centered around an organic garden. Book #1 Show Me The Green! has been released with book #2 about school gardens on the way this spring.

Venetta, Dianne- Show Me the Green! (RGB)

Also new this spring is book #4 in my popular Silver Creek series. Only With You takes readers on an adventure in the sky as helicopter pilots Roan Phillips and Kelly Jones struggle to save their friends from an avalanche. It’s a mountain adventure you won’t soon forget.

Not Without You_XL_1200 px @ 300 dpi high res

For the gardening enthusiasts, don’t miss my annual “Authors in Bloom” where your favorite authors share their gardening tips and favorite recipes, plus offer prizes and SWAG! It’s 10 days of nonstop giveaways beginning April 7th.

AIB Logo

Sign up for my quarterly newsletter and be the first to know what’s new and exciting. But wherever that might be, let’s keep in touch. Here’s to a fantastic 2016!

A Bittersweet Ending

They say all good things must come to an end, and that is true of most things in life. This blog was home to a variety of women who, at one point or another, came together to share their views on life, love, and a myriad of other topics that struck their fancy.

Every woman who posted articles here–Dianne Venetta, Tracy Solheim, Shelia Seabrook, Andrea Wenger, Janna Donn, Kimberly S. Belle, Patricia Yager Delagrange, Sharla Lovelace, Kim Boykin, and yours truly–left a mark on the blog and in the hearts and minds of readers.

Dianne instructed on the finer points of gardening. Tracy catalogued her journey to publication. Sheila brought Canada’s frozen countryside to life. Andrea dove deep into complex issues. Janna shared her emotions with breathtaking honesty. Kimberly gave insight into the wonders of living abroad. Patty showed what it was like to live with a menagerie of animals. Sharla rolled out the welcome mat to the great state of Texas. And Kim brought her roses to life.

Although we part ways and forge new paths, the bond that was created here cannot be broken. It’s been a true blessing to work beside the ladies of Women Unplugged. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you. I’ll be cheering from my little corner of the south.

As for me, I’m around in the usual haunts. Facebook, Twitter, my website, and my shiny new personal blog. I’d be honored if some of you who’ve spent time with WU these past few years visit me on any of the venues above. Until then…

Outside of Romance

What do romance authors do when not writing romance? You mean, other than living the dream with their real life hero? (**he, he**) They chase children to and from school, soccer practice, tennis–they cook, clean, garden and write children’s books. Children’s books?

Venetta, Dianne- Show Me the Green! (RGB)

Yep. This romance author does, anyway! And what a wild ride it’s been to publication. Completely different from writing romance where I create everything until the editing process (whereby I then change everything according to my editor’s sage advice), writing a children’s book involves artists and illustrations, a proposition that is more involved than first glance. I never realized how much work it would be to transfer my vision to someone else–scene by scene, image by image–the process can be overwhelming!

And time-consuming. But like carrying a baby for nine months, once you finally deliver, it’s a great feeling. Wonderfully exhilarating! You have no idea what the future holds, yet you’re excited by the mere anticipation of come what may. Your dream has finally come to fruition. Now, you wait patiently while others receive your baby and you look forward to their thoughts. Will they love it? Hate it? Ignore it?

That part is similar to romance writing. You work long and hard on your stories, and when you push your little masterpieces out into the world, you wait with bated breath for the outcome. Will they love them? Hate them? Ignore them?

But once all is said and done, all you can do is sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and (hopefully) say, “I love them.” And I do. Much like my romance novels, I love my new children’s series. Even if no one else ever reads it, I enjoyed the process of imagination and creation, the painstaking process of editing and formatting, and finally–the delivery. I loved it all. It’s what I do. I’m a writer. And because there are many facets to my personality, I now write children’s books. **sigh** Now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, I’m off to the races and back to the drawing board to craft that next novel… 🙂

Shopping in January?

You won’t find me in the clearance racks this month. No way. I’m relaxing on my sofa, perusing the pages of a plethora of seed catalogs arriving in my mail box. Yep, it’s time to buy your seeds. If you haven’t been seed saving, that is. Gardening might be a new adventure for you. A resolution of sorts, that coincides nicely with your resolution to lose weight, get healthy and stay active.

seed shopping

However, my resolution this year runs more along the lines of increased productivity. Looking back, I realized I only produced two novels in 2014. Two–after a gangbuster year in 2013 when I turned out five. But writing a series can do that to you. It’s sort of like writing one really long saga which makes it much easier on the thought process.

But this year I’m getting back to the keyboard with an ambitious plan. Not only will I publish three novels — a continuation of my new series, Sliver Creek — but I also intend to introduce a children’s garden book. Part fiction, part how-to, it’s a project I’ve been working on for quite a while but am finally ready to release. Woohoo — chalk up another tally in that productivity column!

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Hm. This resolution thing is working out already! And I get to ogle the ruby red tomatoes and luscious green leaves of basil. Definitely an uplifting experience for any bleak January day. Even in Central Florida we get those cloudy skies…today, case in point.

Gotta love a fresh start. How about you? Is your agenda moving green this year?

Blueberries

I don’t know about you, but I love blueberries. On my yogurt, in my cereal, plucked straight off the bush. They’re delicious and healthy and only have one downside. They stain your teeth. Ugh. Bring a toothbrush out to the garden, right? A little staining isn’t going to stop me from enjoying this delectable fruit!

delectable blueberries

And now I have my very own blueberry orchard. Sort of. A dozen or so bushes might not qualify for orchard status, but it does around my house. Now that the birds and I are on good terms–they don’t eat my blueberries and I don’t let my son scare them with his arsenal of boy tricks and tactics–we have complete harmony. Every morning on my way to the garden, I stop by the blueberry patch and pluck a handful of sweet blues.

plump blueberry

Really beautiful… And fairly easy to grow. You need a mix of varieties to ensure good pollination and the proper mix of fertilizer, say a 12-4-8. Blueberries prefer a slightly acidic soil (4.0 – 5.0pH), which is why I use pine bark mulch. Prune during the summer months after harvest for a more vigorous growth, and come winter, they’ll be ready to “chill.” Did you know that blueberry bushes need a certain number of hours at cold temps in order to set blossoms? They do! Hours generally range from 200 – 500 in temperatures around 32 – 45 degrees F. Interesting.

bluberries yet to blue.

Anyhoo. If you like, blueberries, these plants are worth a try.

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