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May 27, 2015

catching up with the garden

We started the garden so early this spring that Rain Dragon was still bundled up when we planted the seeds:

So, for what seemed a long time, we seemed to have more of a windspinner garden than anything else:

But, finally, things began to sprout:

And now, they are starting to grow:

May 25, 2015

strawberry ducks

Hello all! Since I am awaiting revision comments, I have returned to the blog! Yay! Of course, I might have to disappear again once I start revising, but in the meantime...let me tell you about strawberry ducks:

I made these for Rain Dragon's pre-school birthday celebration. The school discourages excess sweets, so these seems like a good way to make the day special. They are super easy to make as well as super cute! All  you need are:

a melon ball spoon
a couple apples
lemon juice
tiny round sprinkles
heart shapes sprinkles (I couldn't find any so I used star shaped ones and had to make them triangular)

and this video:

They called them "Strawberry men" but Rain Dragon insisted that our were ducks. 

They used chocolate for the eyes, but I used sprinkles because I was too lazy to melt chocolate, etc. If I were to do it again, I'd use tweezers to put in the sprinkle eyes because my damp hands made some of the color of the sprinkles run. And I cut off the bottoms to make sure they all sat up, too. So the ones in the video are much cuter!

but mine are still cute, though, right?

But, they were eaten all up so I guess Rain Dragon and her friend didn't mind!

May 21, 2015

writing retreat

Hello! Remember me?

I am relieved to say that the first draft of my novel is now with my editor! Yes, the first step in the long publishing process has begun, but "Every journey must begin with a first step," is how the Chinese proverb goes, right?

But getting to that first step was pretty hard! After missing, um, three years of deadlines I was finally determined to make this last one. However, as I was nearing the end,  I needed huge, extended chunks of uninterrupted time and that is something I can't get at home, so I was starting to feel a bit desperate.

And that is where my good friend and fellow author Libby Koponen stepped in. Offering me her spare room in her place by the sea (very apropos for my book),  we created our own two-person writing retreat.

the view from my borrowed writing desk!

Libby was a fabulous hostess (as she always is):

Fresh tea every couple of hours and a pajama dress code!

And we both got a lot of writing done! I worked from the wee hours of the morning to the wee hours at night--I slept less than when Rain Dragon was a baby! But, (as you know, but I must repeat it because I am a bit disbelieving) I finished my first draft!

I watched the sun rise!
It went so well that we are talking about running real writing retreats, offering it to other authors besides ourselves. I think it would be great, don't you?

But in the meantime, I am just thankful that I had this one!

two writers in our work uniforms!