Come See Me!

I’ll be speaking and demonstrating the Language of Flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden on Valentine’s Day again this year.  Get great ideas for how to boost your budding relationship.  🙂

Here’s the info and hope to see you there!

Van Gogh Fangirling

If you live within striking distance of Philly and love art, you shouldn’t miss the “Van Gogh Up Close” exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It’s splendid! The show focuses on Van Gogh’s intense images of the natural world. As usual, his observations are unique for all time, and this show has paintings from all over the world, including many private collections. I haven’t missed many Van Gogh shows in the U.S., but there were tons of paintings I’d never laid eyes on before.

Best of all, I got to go to this show, because my daughter and her friends are huge Dr. Who fans, and Dr. Who (with Matt Smith) had a travel-through-time to meet Van Gogh show, which featured a sunflower painting. I happened to mention that there was a large exhibit in Philly, and they were up for it.  Of course, they had to nearly drag me out of the galleries.  Here are a few of my very favorites:

They are amazingly more alive and vibrant than these images, but you get the gist. And, oh, the brushstrokes. It’s so very difficult not to touch them, and – alas! – the exhibit closes 5/6.

Spring? and Awesome Cover

Does anyone else think this is just weird? I love long, slow springs and watching different flowers and trees gradually unfolding their petals, so I’m a little disturbed that we seem to be fast-forwarding into summer. El Nino? Global warming? It’s never happened this early, this fast in my garden, and it freaks me out. How about you?

On another note, I’m thrilled to present the cover of a novel I can’t wait to read again: Transcendence.  Cynthia is a fellow Tenner, and one of my crit partners, so I read an earlier version of this and was totally sucked in. She’s an amazing writer and working on the sequel now. Congrats on an awesome cover! You can read more about her and her novels here.

Upcoming Appearances

It’s been an odd winter so far. My hellebores are out, and a few fruit trees were blooming around the D.C. area before the holidays. However, today is cold and feels like winter is finally here. I’ve been busy writing about cyberbullying, yoga, and lots of fun things for the new Arlington magazine, but I’m also getting serious about my new novel.

Winter — especially January — seems like the perfect time to hunker down with some hot Earl Grey and let your imagination spin. My novel ideas have been simmering on the back burner for while, but the characters keep jumping into my central vision and waving at me, like they don’t want to be forgotten. This time around, I’m trying Scrivener, and so far it’s a huge help with organization. Writing a novel is like putting together a giant puzzle, and it’s so helpful to have the pieces where you can find them!

I have a few fun floral events coming up.  The U.S. Botanic Garden has invited me back to do a special Valentine’s Day presentation on speaking the language of flowers on February 14th at 1 pm. It’s free, open to the public, and will, of course, focus on expressing love in the language. I’ll also be the guest speaker at the Silver Spring Garden Club’s April 23rd meeting held at Brookside Gardens in Maryland. It’s been far too long since I visited Brookside, so I can’t wait to visit in April.

Also, Melody of Dave’s Garden just let me know she’ll be reviewing Forget-Her-Nots tomorrow and that she loved it!  I’m very excited about that.  Happy reading and happy gardening!

Autumn Update

Whew!  I had to step away from blogging for a while to keep up with some other commitments, but I’m hoping to share my thoughts and experiences more in the coming days. I’ve just finished the most grueling two months of my life workwise, at least so far.  I seem to be collecting part-time jobs these days. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Arlington Magazine finally became a reality, so I’ve been very busy writing great articles and profiles for them. I learned sooo much researching my upcoming article on raising girls and bullying issues.  Next up:  yoga!!
  • I started teaching College Writing part time to sophomores at an amazing school, Don Bosco Cristo Rey,  in Takoma Park, Md.
  • I finished a major novel revision.
  • I’ve had five floral appearances, including the mid-Atlantic SCBWI conference, the U.S. Botanic Garden, Fall for the Book festival, and several garden clubs.
  • I procured donations for the Arlington Academy of Hope auction.  This is an amazingly successful school in a remote village in Uganda, which we support with all our hearts. The auction was a great success!

So I’ve been out and about in the world, and I’m thrilled about my new students. It’s very fun to be freelancing again, and I love my editor, Jenny. I’m not quite up for NANOWRIMO, but I do plan to start writing my new novel soon.  Very excited!!

And I finally bought a copy of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel The Language of Flowers, which I’m looking forward to reading. Hers sold about six months before Forget-Her-Nots came out, but it is an interesting coincidence that two writers should be writing novels about a topic that’s never been the focus of a novel before. Has anyone read it? Let me know what you think.

Sweet basil, Amy