Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere


Autumn Teasing

Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay

We went from the mid-80s one day to low 50s the next this week. And next week we’ll get a shot at 80 again. Nothing like the ol’ switcheroo!

Anyway, finished my first revision of book 2, and learned this week that my beloved writing program, including the Writers’ Institute and Write-By-The-Lake at UW-Madison has fallen victim to the pandemic and associated funding cuts.

Shock. Grief. That’s where I met my Writing Sisters and sooo many other wonderful writers. It’s where I found my agent. A major blow to the writing community.

I’ll be able to finish my class and my certificate; they aren’t shuttering things for good until next summer, but still.

To those in fire zones, stay safe! To those in record-breaking heat, stay cool. To everyone in pandemic land, stay healthy!

Have a wonderful writing weekend to everyone!


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Book Launch Tour: Liars and Thieves #amreading #fantasy

Please give a big round of applause to D. Wallace Peach on the launch of her new book, Liars and Thieves! *applause*

I’ve know Diana for years now as a blogging buddy and awesome author who sometimes shares her writing room with bats and bees, and has a front-row seat to lots of trees and maybe a gnome or two. She is a force when it comes to lyrical prose and fantasy world-building. I’m happy to host her on tour for her latest fantasy gem.

The Blurb:

Behind the Veil, the hordes gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—

When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—

Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—

Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

Q&A

How did you come up with the titles of your books for this series?

I usually don’t have too much trouble picking out book titles, but it’s a lot harder for me when the books are in a series and the series tells one connected story. My sense of order wants the titles to mirror to each other. I decided to go with Liars and Thieves and Allies and Spies because those words describe my main characters. “Allies” is a little shift because in the second book their alliance takes off. Lords of Chaos is a little different but still three words (lol) and it does describe the general population at the end. So… to sum it up, the titles are all about the characters.

Author Bio:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Liars and Thieves Global Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B08FGQ2W3Q

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: @dwallacepeach


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Winding down the jungle #amgardening #mngardening

Green beans in front with past-their-prime cilantro volunteers.

I was going to do a “have a great holiday weekend” post, short and sweet, but when I went out to the garden this week, I figured I had a limited time to get halfway-decent pics before things went even further downhill.

It’s September, and here in MN it means the garden is on its way out. The green beans are almost done, I pulled the pickling cukes out, but the remaining cukes have started to succumb to cool nights. The pumpkin is dying back. So I figured I’d share the journey.

Peppers in back, green beans in front, onions in the middle
The marigolds are rockin’!
Cucumbers still holding on
Sad tomatoes

The tomatoes have almost completely succumbed to blight. I had a couple plants that were more resistant, but they, too, are dying. The worst part is that so many of the fruit hasn’t ripened completely, so even though I can pick them and let them ripen in the house, they don’t taste as good as when they are completely ripe when picked.

Peppers going strong!

The peppers, on the other hand, are doing well. So is the kohlrabi. I picked a kohlrabi almost the size of a softball. I planted them as a bait crop for the cabbage worms, but this year those suckers decided they liked the brussels sprouts better. Sigh.

It’s been fun, though, to see some less-hated caterpillars.

Swallowtail caterpillar on dill

Just like monarch butterfly caterpillars are always on milkweed, swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are always on dill. I had quite a few caterpillars on the dill this year, but oddly I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than one butterfly a year. They must sneak in when I’m not looking 🙂

The pumpkin is dying back, and I have some nice ones. Not sure what I’ll do with all of them, but at least I’ll be able to make pumpkin bread this year.

There ya go. We’ll be pulling onions and digging potatoes this weekend. Both those crops need to “cure”: sit someplace for a few weeks to develop their thicker skins before we store them. It’s supposed to be warmer for the onions, though. Next week we’ll get a preview of fall with high temps all the way into the 60s. And me without my commute to see the leaves change. Bummer.

Stop by on the 8th for a special post! I’m a blog tour stop for Diana Peach’s new release, Liars and Thieves!

Enjoy your holiday weekend! Stay safe and keep writing!


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Time for cuteness

I was going to write a post about writing this week, but I’m not feeling it, so I’ll give y’all a break from gardens and writing to bring you some smiles.

I know some of you like cats. You know who you are. And anyone who likes cats loves kittens, right?

My son, who graduated from college this spring, now has a full-time job and just moved into a one-bedroom apartment, because after having roommates for the past four years, he decided no more roommates.

Of my two kids, he’s the cat person. My daughter is the dog person. From the time he left for college, he has always said he wanted a cat of his own. The kids grew up with cats (and dogs), so he knows everything that goes into taking care of a cat.

Mr. “I have a really good first job out of college despite the pandemic” adopted two kittens from the animal shelter this month. He graciously brought them home for us to adore 😀

(And yes, B, I was thinking about you when I decided what to put in this post 😀 )

Ready?

My son got one female kitten, Nixie, who is a-dor-a-ble and still tiny even though she is 8 or 9 weeks old. All black, and loves to climb on your shoulders.

Nixie

His other kitten is male, about two weeks older than Nixie, and looks like he has some Maine Coon in him judging by the size of his paws and the fuzzy tail. His name is Tibbers.

Tibbers. Check out that tail!

Tibbers is a little bigger, but still seems small for his age. He’s cuddly. The two of them seem to get along well.

Zoey, however, was NOT impressed. She hissed at them and made herself scarce while they were here. Hence the reason we never got another cat after Socks disappeared.

Socks. We miss you!

Anyway, thought I’d give you a dose of cuteness for the day.

Happy Writing!


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Do not disturb the disturbed #amwriting #amrevising

Do not disturb sign

My writer has a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to her writing office.

Cute. I enter the office. It’s too quiet. Even with the hum of the air conditioner, it still feels quiet.

She’s sitting in one of the corner recliners with her laptop, a glass of ice water on the end table, and a notebook beside her. She doesn’t even look up when I close the door.

“Well, look at you, love, all industrious and writerly.”

She sighs and flips me a pained expression. “Didn’t you read the sign?”

“I’m your Muse, love. ‘Do not disturb’ means you are all mine.” I grab a brew from the mini-fridge and settle into the other recliner.

“And here I thought you came to write my blog post for me.” She narrows her eyes. “Speaking of, why don’t you make yourself useful and do that.”

Oh. Hand to my heart. “That hurts, love. You know I’d much rather help you with the scene.”

She sighs and bounces her head against the headrest. “After you write the post. Please?” She bats her eyelashes at me like a swooning teenager. Come to think of it, she did that once when she was a teenager. That’s how I got my writer.

“You don’t do puppy-dog eyes very well.”

“It worked back in the day.”

“No.” Well, yes, but that’s not the point. “I was already working with you by then.”

Her eyes grow wide. “No, you weren’t.”

“Yes, I was. You just didn’t know it yet. We’re sneaky like that. That’s part of the capital ‘M’ in my title. I gave you a test, and you passed with flying colors.”

Her mouth gapes like a fish before she manages to speak. “Test? What test?” She shakes her head. “Never mind. Are you going to write my post or what? I’ve finally finished pickling, and turned in my assignment, so I’m going to work on my revision.”

“Fine, love. I am glad to see you working.” She’s been slacking the past couple weeks, with all the garden stuff.

“Har, har. You know I’ve been doing garden stuff. By the way, you saw the feedback I got on my last assignment, right? The one with objective third person and close third person.”

“Yes.” She got great feedback. “No more imposter syndrome self-talk, love.”

She frowns. “I should have had this book done and submitted by now.”

“What did I just say? I’ll write your post, you work.”

“Thanks! You’re the best Muse ever!” Her grin makes me wonder if she planned this.

Of course I planned it. By accident. Oh well. I finished my last batch of pickles this week, not because I ran out of cucumbers, but because I’m tired of it. And we’re running out of canning lids. Seems there’s a major shortage of canning lids now that everyone is staying close to home and people probably planted gardens for the first time. Ugh. I hacked the cucumber vines back, and any cukes that do grow I’ll let get nice and big for the chickens.

Happy Writing!