Thoughts On Being A Gemini

Supporting Writers

TWO for ONE

by Emma Lane

The Digital Artist Pixabay.com

I confess I am a Gemini. That means I do not apologize for having two personalities, two serious interests and two distinct pen names. As Emma Lane (Historicals) or Janis Lane (Cozy Mysteries) I spin tales at my computer happily imagining characters and plots. I enjoy the interaction of readers and writers on-line forming firm friendships that endure. It’s a perfect way to spend short winter days and early evenings.

Ah! But in the mellow bath of the Spring sun, I emerge much like a daffodil and bloom with my favorite plants and gardens. March finds me in the greenhouses coaxing tiny plants to their full potential while the maple trees give up their sap for delicate syrup. May finds me happily breathing the fragrance of perky pansies.

June, ah, June. Who doesn’t love June with a surfeit of…

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Friday Feature bouquets for the season

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Christmas Bouquets

by

Emma Lane

I love to create festive bouquets for any season, but my personal favorite is Christmas. The holiday colors are vibrant and a joy to bring together in stunning arrangements. So let’s talk a little about how you can create masterpieces for your home and as hostess gifts. The work isn’t hard. It simply takes a little patience.

It looks easy, but the greenery for bouquets is more complicated than you might think. I’m fortunate because there is a veritable forest in my front and back yards. I deliberately refrain from trimming the evergreen shrubs out front until the holidays. That gives me a very fresh start to my bouquet which is difficult to match with store bought greenery. If you have any type shrub in your yard it will work. If not then you are forced to purchase them. I…

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Catherine’s Comments–Cute, Easy Turkey Table Decoration from Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

Pear-Turkey table decoration/place card

Thanksgiving is on its way, and although you might not have the large family gathering of past, thanks to recent COVD spikes, there is no reason to neglect your table for two or just for your immediate family. I love the holidays, and I love to set a pretty table filled with special touches. I guess I’m a Martha Stewart wanna be at heart.

I also love to make things from greeting cards I’ve saved. So, I came up with this darling turkey to grace the Thanksgiving table. You can use several as centerpieces, set in a length of silk leaves, or add an extra feather to the turkey’s fan and make a place card holder. Either way, it’s an easy craft to enjoy with the kiddos, or by yourself, that will make your Thanksgiving table a little special.

MATERIALS:

  • Greeting cards with a buy print…

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Catherine’s Comments–Age Doesn’t Matter by Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

I got a text from my daughter the other day. It read, “You’re kind of like Laura Ingalls Wilder. She didn’t get published until 65.”

I took a bit of umbrage to that statement, and pulled a bit of pride from it as well. I’d love to be an internationally well-known writer like Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was one of my favorite authors –as well as my daughter’s favorite author, now and when she was young. I wasn’t so crazy about the 65 bit, however. I was under 65 when my first book was published, and well under 65 in how-young-you-feel-and-look years. (And isn’t that what really counts?)

However, my daughter’s statement got me to thinking about how our accomplishments aren’t limited to age. I was actually in my early 40s when I began writing professionally as a stringer for our local town newspaper. I’d always loved to write and…

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A Writer’s Garden–Garden Surprises of the Insect and Flower Variety by Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

Today’s post closes this year’s season of A Writer’s Garden blog series. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your visits and mini garden parties as you’ve virtually strolled through the gardens of 27 wonderful writers and gardeners. I know I’ve enjoyed the writers’ visits and we’ve all enjoyed sharing our garden joys, trials and surprises with our readers this year.

And speaking of surprises I thought I’d end the season with a few of the garden surprises I got this year—of the creature kind as well as plants.

To get the icky factor over for those gardeners who don’t like insects, I’ll start with them.

I should have known this would be an unusual garden year when I pulled my garden…

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A Writer’s Garden–Bringing in Fall by Emma Lane

Catherine Castle

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.
Today’s writer/gardener guest is Emma Lane. Since summer is almost gone and fall is upon us, Emma will be showing us how to extend our flower season using autumn’s bounty. Welcome, Emma.

But don’t be disgruntled. Bring the outside in with a Fall bouquet. Not sure how, then let me help you. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.

Native and ornamental grasses: What fun to gather them on one of those perfect Fall days when the skies are vivid blue, a soft breeze tumbles your hair, and tick seed clings to your jeans. Best to do your hunt and gathering just before the leaves are all off the trees. Anything interesting is fair game, but do…

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Tasty Tuesdays–It’s Apple Time from Emma Lane

Catherine Castle

from Emma Lane

Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Such a gorgeous fruit. Fruit bowl on the dining room table lends a nice fragrance to the room; apple bobbing and caramel apples are for Halloween. Did your mom ever make fresh apple sauce? Nothing like the stuff they sell in the grocery store, is it? At my little Herbtique Shoppe here in Western NY, we sell Gourmet Chunky Rum Apple Sauce. The recipe is a state secret, but here are some hints to make the most of this delicious fruit.

Select both soft and firm apples, ie Courtland is soft, Greenings are firm. One will cook down first leaving the other ‘chunky’. Stir frequently. Burned apples are not delicious and the soft ones cook rapidly.

To peel or not to peel: We leave the peel on at home. Commercially we don’t. Both are good. Taste before you add sugar…

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A Writer’s Garden–A Rose Garden Tour by Catherine Castle

Catherine Castle

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

Today’s writer/gardener guest is, me–Catherine Castle.

 

A ROSE GARDEN TOUR

I found myself with an empty slot on this week’s garden blog, so I thought I’d fill in.

Readers often want to know if authors insert themselves into their books. I’ve noticed that there are a few things that always seem to slip themselves into my books. Flowers tend to be one of those things. That’s probably happens because I’m a gardener and I love flowers.

My sweet romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, is no exception. At one point in the story, Allison, Jack, and Mama visit a rose garden. So I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures of the rose gardens I’ve…

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Wednesday Writers–Koush Hollow by Leigh Goff

Catherine Castle

Today’s Wednesday Writers guest is Leigh Goff. Leigh will be sharing an excerpt from her newest YA release Koush Hollow, a southern Gothic set in New Orleans with a mystery and an environmental twist. Welcome, Leigh!

Koush Hollow:
Where bayou magic abounds and all that glitters…is deadly.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother.

As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow.

How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?

As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism…

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Tasty Tuesdays–Orzo Lemon Salad from Eris Field

Catherine Castle

from Eris Field

My husband was Turkish. As a young bride I learned to make many of his favorite dishes to both our delight. This is one that is perfect for a hot summer day. If you like Augolemono Soupa (Greek lemon chicken soup. Get the recipe here.) you will enjoy this salad. Make it a complete meal by adding chopped, cooked chicken breast and a bottle of crisp white wine.

Orzo Lemon Salad

1 cup orzo
½ cup onion, red, Vidalia, or scallions, chopped fine
⅓ cup green olives with pimento, sliced
½ cup roasted red peppers, sliced
4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
½ lemon, juiced
3 tbsp. mayonnaise, or to taste
Lemon zest
Small mixture of lettuce leaves, torn into bitesize pieces

Bring eggs to boil in a covered pan and then turn off the heat when water boils. Let stand in pan with cover on for…

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