27 March 2011

While we wait for spring--more book reviews.

In the words of Bugs Bunny, spring obviously "took a left turn at Albuquerque," as it has gone walkabout from Nova Scotia for the time being. A freak snowsquall dumped five inches of snow on my place Friday night, and while it's slowly disappearing, gale-force winds are keeping most of us from wanting to go outside right now. So we take solace in planning our gardens, including doing some garden book reading.

23 March 2011

Interview with the Author: Christy Ann Conlin of 'Heave' and 'Dead Time'

One of the coolest things about the writing life is how so many of us make friends with other writers. They may be in other disciplines, fiction versus non-fiction; they may be starting out or experienced, neighbours nearby or friends never met face-to-face; they may be friends we’ve known for years or people we’ve gotten to know recently, through one circumstance or another.

Christy Ann Conlin is one of those fellow writers and friends. I’ve known ABOUT her for years, ever since she burst onto the scene with her brilliant and unique novel, Heave, which was a national bestseller. I didn’t actually get to KNOW her until last fall, when we found ourselves mutual friends of a friend through yes, the social chaos of Facebook. Ironically, we both live on the North Mountain, she closer to Berwick, (my mother’s hometown), and I, hanging off the hill overlooking Cape Split. So we’re neighbours, if busy ones! I’m not a fiction writer, but I am an ardent fan of reading fiction, especially good fiction, and Heave grips you, shakes you like a boat tossed out here on the wild Fundy waters, and leaves you trembling and spent when you finish its pages. It wasn’t surprising that it was in the top 40 finalists for the 2011 Canada Reads on CBC radio, and that ignited a whole new spray of attention for the book.

18 March 2011

Blooming Friday: False Starts

Although I wrote in my last post that we have flower buds in the garden and the snow is nearly gone, we aren't going to bask in complacency just yet. It's still Farch in Nova Scotia, and one thing our weather is known for is its treachery. When this photo was taken, it had been a lovely sunny day til mid-afternoon, and by near-suppertime it was snowing fiercely.

12 March 2011

The first buds are the sweetest...

After a couple of crazy days away doing book stuff, it was so good to get home last night, even driving in fog and rain. This morning we woke to more fog and more rain, but when I looked out the window as I drank my coffee, I spied something...

The first snowdrop.

Jubilation reigned.

08 March 2011

Winter begins to release us...and Amazing Reviews of my book

Pulmonaria is one of my favourite perennials for any number of reasons. The foliage is fantastic, the pink, blue, white or reddish flowers are cheery and beloved by bees. But most importantly to this colour starved gardener is the determination of pulmonaria. It is barely out of the ground before it is beginning to bloom, usually in mid April once the snow has gone and the soil has warmed up a little. Only hellebores and hepatica are ahead of it in my perennial plantings. However...
We are still more than a little ways from pulmonaria. Or snowdrops, or chionodoxa, or hellebores, or anything else. However, the snows have receded dramatically in the past couple of days, courtesy of some warm, wonderful weather that has brought spring into our step if not our actual calendars.

02 March 2011

Midweek Farch Miscellany: Ice, cold, and dreams of daffodils

Trying to be optimistic here, as we have had two outbursts of really bad weather in the past 5 days. This has resulted in more snow, but also bouts of rain and freezing rain, resulting in a glacier in most of the yard. The good news is, the snow isn't blowing around. The bad news is...the horse and donkey would need ice skates crossed with snowshoes to be able to cope with being outdoors. So they are barn-grumpy.

Still, there is plenty of beauty to behold, like these seedheads of inula against a wintery sky...

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