The Pumpkin Patch

Okay, so there are more than just pumpkins in the patch, there are also squash and, if you look closely, you’ll even see something that has us a little puzzled–zucchini that seem to have crossed with pumpkins. Is that even possible? Yeah, hubby thought the plants growing in the compost this spring were unique. Turns out they were. We even ended up with a couple of gourds.

We haven’t done a head count of the pumpkins and  squash, and have already given some away. I remember how much my son loved squash as a baby. Maybe we can give a few dozen to Levi!

And zucchini…oh, we still have zucchini looking for good homes. I just didn’t add them to the picture.

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We’re near the end of September and that means harvest time. I absolutely love this time of year. I feel inspired in so many ways. Not only that, I have a character in my head who just doesn’t want to shut up. Most of the time it’s when I’m no where near my computer. Sheesh! Sometimes you’ve just have to let them rumble around your head and get all that ugly stuff off their chests.. How was I to know she had so much to say? But truthfully, I can’t imagine I was going to leave her out.

Funny, the things that come to us when we feel inspired. Speaking of inspiration, I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

With every deed you are sewing a seed, though the harvest you may not see. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catch Up!

I chose this title thinking of a writer from Ontario whose work appeared in some of the same publications as mine over the years. She was a retired schoolteacher when we became acquainted. She often sent out emails to the people on her contact list with the title “Catch up” and she’d tell us all the news from her corner of the world.

She once sent me a photo of the farmhouse she lived in. It was beautiful. Over the years she moved several times as she downsized. She sent me some of her books in the past and shared her poetry with me, although she wrote more fiction that poetry. She’d tell me about the trips she went on, which sounded so remarkable to me for she was over 8o at the time. I was impressed by her stamina and her ability to try new things, her sense of fun and spirit. I came to value our friendship.

Overtime the emails became less frequent and I couldn’t help but notice that she seemed a bit confused–sending the same thing several times. Eventually, the emails  and letters stopped. I have no idea if she’s still with us in mind or body, but I appreciated her encouragement over the years and all her little “catch up” emails.

So, here is the “catch up” at the Best household this time around. Hold fast to your britches this is exciting stuff!

Zucchini…zucchini…zucchini. But if you’re on my Facebook you already know that it’s a zucchini jungle here in East Dalhousie as an influx of the green beasts are arriving daily to my garden. I’ve been slowly finding homes for these wayward …Ummm…souls doesn’t sound appropriate here, but you know what I mean. Here’s the scoop when it comes to zucchini. You either love them or loathe them, and when you loathe them you REALLY loathe them to the point where you don’t even want to hear the word zucchini mentioned in your presence. I have shuddered in the past over people’s rendition of the “I hate zucchini and don’t even mention the word to me” ballad. These people need some serious help! On a positive note, I’ve been discovering some new recipes that incorporate zucchini.

 

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5 weeks to T-Day (That’s twin day for those of you out of the loop) although I won’t be surprised if they come a little ahead of schedule as they’re growing like zucchini …um make that weeds. Did I mention we’re having a girl and a boy? Exciting times. Speaking of twins, it seems there are twins everywhere I look. These twins were in the backyard yesterday nibbling away. No doubt a hint that the lawn could use mowing again.

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Miss Charlotte has her backpack ready and will heading off to school on the 8th of September. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. Wasn’t it just a year ago she started walking and talking and reading? Oh my!

Some sad news for us this month as well. One of my mum’s childhood friends, who went to the School for the Blind with her, isn’t doing so well. My mum and stepfather got down to visit her in the hospital yesterday to say their goodbyes. The last time I saw her was at Mum’s wedding last fall. She was anxious to know when my next book was coming out. Growing up, I heard so many stories about Mum’s friends from the school and many of them have stayed in contact with her over the years. It’s a strong bond they all share.

That’s what friends are for—I’m reminded of this in so many ways. A late night email from a friend, who sent along some words of encouragement, for no particular reason, not only gave me a much needed boost, but impressed upon me the importance in lifting one another up. We can all use encouragement, not just during our low times, but all those times in between—writers especially. So a big thank you to my friend who understands that the little things really do mean so much.

We were to a beautiful wedding at the end of July at Sainte- Famille Wines in Falmouth. So happy for these friends who go back all the way to elementary school if we’re being technical.

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I’ve a few book events coming up in September and will be part of the Arts and Life Tour again this year. I’ll be at the Parkdale/Maplewood Museum  the same as last year.  You’ll even see my name listed! Drop in and say hello if you’re taking in this tour. I’ll be there with my books and we can talk about writing or zucchini—you choose. I’m versatile that way! Seriously, sometimes people shy away from speaking to authors at these events, feeling that they’ll be expected to buy a book. That’s not true.  While authors love it when someone makes a purchase, we also love meeting people and having a good gab!

Also, before I go, I’d like to mention to any of the writers out there who would like to be a guest on blog during the month of September feel free to contact me through the “contact me” or my regular email if you have it. If you have a book you’d like to promote we’ll mention that too. I’ve declared September the “lifting up my fellow author month.” 

 

Now it’s your turn. What do you have to share as part of this “catch up” post?

 

Why You Gotta be so Mean?

Um—thanks for the title, Taylor.

Some how Taylor Swift’s song “Mean” came to mind as I was poking around Goodreads one evening a few months back. While I don’t check out a lot of reviews, from time to time my curiousity gets the best of me. I want to know what others had to say about a book I really loved. I won’t mention any book title because it’s irrelevant. It could be any book for that matter. What doesn’t feel irrelevant was the one star ratings this amazing book received. I was totally shocked. But I’m a grown-up now with a book of my own, and another one on the way, so I have to suck it up and accept the fact that not everyone appreciated this particular book I happen to love. Fair enough. It’s a free country and thank goodness for that. What disappointed me, though, were some of the nasty reviews. Yes nasty! Mean and down right negative to the fullest degree. Is it possible to have a negative review that isn’t nasty? Of course it is. We’re all adults. Saying we didn’t care for something doesn’t have to sound nasty at all.

I liken it to zucchini. We grow a lot of them, and if you know anything at all about zucchini you know they grow like crazy. Zucchini-growers usually have zucchini coming out their wazoos. You even ask perfect strangers if they’d like to take some home because you’re so happy to share.

Now you either like zucchini or you hate it. It’s understandable. What I’ve noticed through my years of growing them is this: if you ask someone who has a 101 different recipes for zucchini in their drawer if they’d like some they’re tickled pink, couldn’t be happier. But ask someone who hasn’t any idea what to do with them and they get a little huffy under the collar. They make nasty comments. It’s never a simple, “no thank you.” Poor, poor misunderstood zucchini. You remind me of that book I love that received the nasty comments.

This has me asking the question, WHY? Why would someone take the time to write such nastiness? I guess I’m a Pollyanna in many ways. I like to look on the bright side of things. It doesn’t mean that I talk myself into liking something if I honestly don’t. I mean if you don’t like zucchini, I can’t persuade you otherwise. We like what we like. Period. We don’t like what we don’t like. Period.

I couldn’t understand why a few of the reviewers were so upset. Okay there’s nasty and then there’s just NASTY.  This felt NASTY, personal to the point where I had to wonder what it was about this book that triggered such hostility.

But I’m not a therapist, nor do I want to be. And yes, I’m a Pollyanna, and will probably remain so all my days. Negative does not have to be nasty. You can decline my zucchini without hostility. It’s okay, it’s just zucchini.

Do you ever check out the reviews of some of your favourite books? Have you ever stumbled across a NASTY review? Most importantly, does the thought of zucchini make you happy or hostile?

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  • Publication date April 30, 2020. Available for pre-order NOW.

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