Monday, July 30, 2012


Just a brief post to say I'm back blogging, after spending a week on Cwrs Cymraeg Cymdeithas Madog. The course has its own eisteddfod at the end of the week, and I won the top division with a long poem in Welsh which I'll publish presently. The winner gets to keep the Cymdeithas Madog eisteddfod chair for a year. This is the second time I've won; more about that here. I'll take a new picture soon, but in the meantime, here's one from the last time I had the chair:

And that's it for the moment...


Thursday, July 26, 2012


Haven't been blogging this week because I've been studying Welsh. More about that soon...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Still here, still writing. And glad going to midnight premieres of movies is not my thing.

But I'm planning to be doing storytelling with the Colorado Welsh Society at the Elizabeth Celtic Festival tomorrow - stop by and see us.

update 7/21: I've had to cancel being at Elizabeth today, but the CWS society will still be there.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Hot dry weather continues, but the garden is doing fine - as long as I keep it watered. I picked my first eggplant yesterday - one of the long Japanese kind I like. About eight inches long, nice and tender. I had to move one of the potted tomato plants, because one of the squirrels was picking the tomatoes - bad enough that he ate the ripe one, but picking green ones and then throwing them away is too much. We've had a minor plague of Japanese rose beetles, so I've been patrolling the garden looking for them two or three times a day. In the absence of roses, they seem to like Virginia creeper, so I've been pursuing them there to thin out the population. No spraying - eco-friendly methods only (except to the beetles).

A couple of the bean vines have reached the top of the trellis and are reaching for the sky (fortunately the phone line is out of reach):

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Not much writing over the weekend due to one thing and another, but I'm hoping to make up for it today. Over 68,000 words and 178 pages now. Onward!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Weather continues warmer than average, but not as bad as it was in June. Squirrels ate half the flowers off my zinnias yesterday and stole my first decent sized ripe tomato. There are a lot more of them around lately (squirrels, not tomatoes) - probably this spring's youngsters being turfed out by mom and looking for handouts. There have also been continued signs of raccoons, although they currently seem to be waiting for the honey crisp apples to get a little riper... Squirrels, however, don't put corn in the birdbath.

Raspberries are about finished, but were wonderful while they lasted.One bean stalk has reached the top of the netting - over six feet up - and I expect to start harvesting green beans in two to three weeks. There's also a female flower on one of the yellow zucchinis. Summer gardens make up for the hot weather!

Honey crisp apples on Monday morning after rain:

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Not much writing yesterday, because I was playing with maps, partly because of story matters and partly to start preparing the illustrations for the book. One of the ones I need almost overlaps the North Wales from The Ash Spear - almost, but not quite. Sigh. So I'm drawing a new one... Just to make things clear, in case they weren't, the book I'm currently working on is the prequel set in 60-80 CE, called The Druid's Son. The next Storyteller book (#4), which I hope to have out late next year, will be called The Fallen Stones.

Today more writing and less drawing, I hope. Onward!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Good day's worth of writing yesterday. This morning I designed and ordered some promotional postcards for the new book:

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Now back to work...


Monday, July 9, 2012


Four days now of thunderstorms and showers, with close to an inch of rain on Saturday alone! I am definitely going to have to mow the grass when it all dries out (as it will in a few days), but the garden loves it:

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I saw the first bean blossom this morning, and several of the tomatoes are showing color. Won't be long now...

With the cool weather I had a good writing day yesterday. Currently 167 pages and 63,900 words. I need to get a lot more done in the next couple of days before the weather warms up again - writing about winter in North Wales is easier if the temperature isn't 97 F outside! I continue to make new discoveries about the direction and focus of the overall story. I also have two plot challenges at the moment, one of which my hero has to solve...


Friday, July 6, 2012


Rain at last - thank the Gods! Not a lot of accumulation so far, but oh! the blessed coolness.

First cucumber:

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Finished chapter 12 yesterday and have started 13. Almost 63,000 words. And a clear road before me...


Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Well, the re-writes are over, at least for now, and I can go forward. The last patch is still a bit rough, but I can deal with that in the second draft if necessary. It feels quite liberating to be looking at what amounts to a clean page before me, and only a general idea of what I'm going to write to fill it.

We had some better weather yesterday afternoon - clouds and a few light sprinkles, which cooled things down nicely. Hot again today, but tomorrow is supposed to be better. We'll see - they've been wrong so many times lately that my expectations are not high.

Not much new in the garden, although I planted some marigolds yesterday in spots where the peas had been. Too warm to go out and take a picture, so here's a different one from last week instead. There's now a three inch long cucumber under the leaves at the left end of the picture.

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And that's it for today.


Monday, July 2, 2012


Another hot weekend, especially yesterday when we didn't get any afternoon clouds. The next few days are supposed to be a bit better - we'll see. What we need most is our usual early July "monsoon" - tropical moisture coming up from Mexico to give us regular afternoon thunderstorms.

However, the garden's doing well. I'm still having red (and a few yellow) raspberries for breakfast as I do the early morning watering, which is pleasant, and the mosquito population seems to be dropping off a bit (no rain...). The robins, black caps, and squirrels are finishing off the pie cherries - I don't try to pick anything above my reach, which leaves plenty for them. I've also seen house finches in the evening. The birdbaths remain very popular. Some of the largest sunflowers have started to bloom, which will eventually be popular with all of the above.

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I've been researching more than writing the last couple of days, mostly about the 1st century CE Roman army. This is going to lead to some rewriting of the last bit of the manuscript, as I am now of the opinion that our hero couldn't have survived the action as written! Modification definitely required...