Just Another Saturday? Maybe Not!

You might call this a “Here’s What’s Been Happening” post. Even though I am only working four days a week as a part-time employee now, it still seems as if there is never enough time to do everything I need to do and want to do!

While I have been waiting for Barnes & Noble Press to resolved their system issues and working to figure out why Kindle Direct Publishing will not accept my files, I’ve been working on a few book cover projects as gifts for other writer friends here on WordPress.

These projects include an adult non-fiction book cover for my friend Dave and a children’s fiction book cover for my friend Cathy. (After all, the main theme of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” is the importance of giving! It seemed only natural to give away some artwork.)

Honestly, I’ve learned and grown more as an artist by giving towards their projects rather than becoming a “drawing board hermit“ and only focusing on my own projects. Neither project looks like anything that you would find here or in my own books. 

I am looking at taking on one more book cover gift project before the end of the year, and I am leaning towards it being a book of poetry. Not sure why. Just seems to be “what’s next.” If your are a poet and need some help with a cover for a soon-to-be-published book, let me know. It would be my gift to you to help you share your gift with the world.

One of the most surprising things I learned has been that I felt much more creative freedom when working on projects for someone else! While I don’t totally understand why that was so, this awareness opened up some new possibilities for my own projects, and I’m very grateful for that.

So now I have been very eager to try out some new things for my own projects, like the simple line and ink wash you see in today’s illustration. Though I’m unsure how any of this will evolve, I am reminded that it is all about the journey.

Oh, and by the way, I almost forgot to mention this…Our latest paperback book, “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” is finally now available through Amazon around the world! With its 64 pages, 6 inches x 9 inches trim size, 10 chapters, and full-color illustrations, it will be sharing the story of Blanche and Pearl with readers around the world. It’s definitely time for a happy dance!

My Life With Gracie…Sunday Surprises!

This weekend, my chickens and I have been enjoying the strong beautiful fragrance of the sweet osmanthus (tea olive) tree which is now taller than me even though I planted it only a few years ago. We have also be enjoying the beautiful color of the beauty berry bush’s fruit.

Most of these berries will be eaten by the songbirds, but a few will sprout and expand their territory just a bit farther out into the shady parts of the yard. You can probably see where an insect has already been eating the beauty berry’s leaves here and there, but that’s just part of life in the garden.

A soft rain overnight gives everything a wet shine, and I think the raindrops hitting the osmanthus blossoms release even more of its sweet indescribably perfume into the garden. At times I can even smell it from inside the house!

I hope you will find your own Sunday Surprises to delight your senses and give your heart a bit of rest.

A huge amount of appreciation goes out to my volunteer test readers! This option is now closed while I prepare the files.

My Life With Gracie…Sunday Surprises!

Thank you everyone for your comments on yesterday’s post of a chapter titled “The Terrifying Chicken Freak Show.”  You gave me a great deal to think about, and I seriously appreciate that so much. 

This morning, when I went out to let my chickens come down from their coop for breakfast, I saw the first morning glory blossom of the season. They have always sprouted in my garden, and are a signal that the summer season is coming to an end and autumn is just around the corner. They are such a cheerful shade of blue and seem to want to take over the tomato patch as soon as the last tomatoes are picked.

The chive blossoms are still looking fine and will soon be making seeds for expanding their space in the garden. They make perfect little stars, don’t they? While we examined them, Gracie reminded me about how in the Paris Opera Ballet, the highest honor is to be une danseuse étoile, a star dancer. While Pearl is more suited for dancing the exuberant can-can at The Moulin Rouge in Paris, they are both my stars, mes étoiles, in their own different way.