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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!

Surprise Visitor

I began the day gardening, enjoying some of Florida’s first fall weather, and was surprised to come across this little guy while amending my beds with compost.

toad visitor

He popped out of the dirt as I was raking over my row. Not very cute, but friendly enough. And odd, because I didn’t realize toads lived in compost. And when I say “in” compost, I mean “in” as in beneath the leaves and dirt. He had to have been buried fairly deep for me not to have noticed him while transferring the stuff from compost pile to wagon. Huh. I always thought toads lived in dark, wet places–not dark, wet and dirty! Who knew?

But it was an interesting find. As I continued with my business of gardening, he happily hopped away, leaving me to wonder if he’d find his way back to the compost pile. Do toads have a sense of direction like, say, cats? I guess I could have followed him, or helped him along his way–except that I’m not THAT much of a nature girl. Sunny, outdoorsy, yes. Icky, yucky, no.

hornworm beast in action

Doesn’t make me a bad person, does it? I mean, I regularly squash bugs and fat, hungry hornworms (to save the lives of my plants, of course). This little fella should be happy I left him alone! Hopefully, he’ll warn his friends that the compost pile is NOT the place for toads eliminating future such dilemmas.

Oh, well. Just another life in the day of a gardener. How did you spend your morning? Everybody’s life looks a bit different, doesn’t it? 😉

 

 

 

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… 🙂

What Color is Your December ?

For many, the answer is probably white as in snow. Others might be red and green, glittery gold and silver, perhaps some shiny tinsel and colorful ornaments? Maybe blue for Hanukkah. Mine is green and lots of it.

sugar snap peas are thriving

Green grass, green trees and beautiful green leaves in my vegetable garden. One of the most wonderful things about living in Central Florida can be found in my garden. Not too hot, not too-too cold, December is a great time to be outside.

green harvest

Doesn’t matter if I’m harvesting or weeding, I love it. Right now I have kale, peppers, sugar snap peas, lettuce, onions, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and the last of my tomatoes and zucchini. Come January I’ll plant some red and white potatoes, but until then, I’m simply going to enjoy the green of the season. Find out how and what I’m doing with all this harvest on my blog over at BloominThyme.

December salad

How about you? Any garden to speak of this time of 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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