I hold several white papers close to my breast as I run, so the precious sheets don’t tear in my excitement. The awkward position puts my body off balance, causing me to wobble while racing to the garden . . . a little jump over the first dry creek bed, across the soft mulched orchard, and then another hop over the second bare sandy watercourse. I wonder, not for the first time, about why I put my planting bed in the back section of acreage. Continue reading 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards→
It’s Saturday, I’m standing at my vendor’s table at the Fall Festival and Plant Sale at Metro Tech High School.
“Are you familiar with heirloom vegetables?” I ask a female attendee?
“Yes, those plants are . . . old, right?”
Most people who stop by to chat with me understand that heirlooms are living antiques. Many also have heard that varieties are becoming extinct on a massive scale. However, few attendees have a clue that, not only are heirloom plants threatened, but also are the methods for growing, caring for, and harvesting the crops . . . along with rich cultural traditions, beliefs, and folklore associated with these endangered gems. Continue reading Heirloom seeds, garden knowledge, and folklore.→
Bonnie Wright scared me to death when I first met her.
I was employed for fifteen years with a local non-profit. Most of that time, Bonnie was the CEO of that organization. She never gave me any reason to be frightened. In fact, this lady was an awesome, intelligent, and caring CEO; I have fond memories of my employment. But I was just a little country girl employed at a lowly position, and she was—well, CEO. At the time, the gap between our social stations seemed overwhelming—to me, anyway. Over time, Bonnie’s warm personality melted my unwarranted fear, and we developed a lasting friendship.
So Bonnie and her friend, Mary, visited my homestead earlier this month. She brought along a professional-level camera (a nice change from my plastic point-and-shoot). Before they left, Bonnie said she would send me the pictures; I gave them an endangered Tohono O’odham I’itoi onion to take home.
Bonnie is now a professional photographer. Her work reflects the quality and excellence that she devotes to everything she does.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the photos she took at my little farm. Here is the first installment, entitled, “Our Home.”
My editor (and daughter), Tiffany, has donated two copies of my book to Metro Tech High School in Phoenix. We plan to distribute many more books to schools across the valley along with my offer to speak to young people about heirloom gardening, homesteading, or self-publishing.
I would be equally thrilled for anyone else to purchase a copy or two and make this same donation to their local school. My offer to speak is open to any school in Maricopa County.
I finished formatting the inside text and cover layout of my paperback book last month. Then I ordered a sample copy, called a ‘proof,’ which gave me a chance to view the product in physical form before approving it.
My feet paced the floor, waiting for that treasure to arrive in the mail. When the package finally came, it felt heavy in my hands. I was afraid to open it. This was the first time I had formatted a book. Continue reading Paperback Released!→
And I have a wonderful surprise! My book is a contestant for a local literary award called ONEBOOKAZ. Winners will be revealed in March.
Coordinated by the Arizona State Library, the goals of ONEBOOKAZ is to “celebrate literature, foster a sense of community, support Arizona authors, and enhance digital literacy skills.” They do this by selecting one book in each age category and encouraging readers across the state to read the same book at the same time. Baskets for Butterflies competes in the ‘adult’ category along with some other great literature. Please cross your fingers because winning this award could educate Arizonans about heirloom seeds—to help keep these treasures from slipping into the ‘Darkness’ that my little garden gnome and I both fear. (http://www.onebookaz.org)
I want to thank Ken Johnson (www.YourEbookBuilder.com) who did so much more than program electronic files. He worked like the dickens to meet a tight submission deadline for ONEBOOKAZ. He acted as mentor, educating me regarding self-publishing activities, including the marketing complexities of ‘keywords.’ (Thank you.)
I also want to thank the wonderful person who provided my first review. As an author, the most meaningful encouragement I can receive is to hear that someone ‘got what I was trying to say.’ As you folks read the book, please remember to leave a review. (Thank you.)