On those frequent occasions when my brain takes a hike and I am looking around my office for inspiration, I often find myself studying the items on my desk.
One of these is an artificial bonsai tree, although you have to look carefully to realise this. It is a white pine, brought from a specialist company called Bloom. They make the most amazing silk flowers and the occasional artificial tree, and the minute I saw it, I knew I had to treat myself. It is stunningly life-like and beautifully made.
You wouldn’t think that a dyed in the wool bonsai enthusiast would give such a thing house room, but it appealed to me simply because it cannot die. It will always remain perfect no matter the weather, never lose it‘s leaves in the autumn, and I love it.
I cannot help but see the differences between this tree and the real ones just outside my window, and not just the obvious differences, like the time of the year. The makers have done their best, but the bark is just a little too smooth. There are no cracks or crevices in the bark for all the tiny spiders to live in, a necessary part of any healthy tree, for they control other nastier insects.
There is no living collection of mosses and lichen around the base of the trunk either, something all of my other trees have, and although this artificial tree keeps me company all through the year, when all the others are sleeping, their leaves just a memory, it cannot change my feelings for my babies.
The ones that are so old and have pride of place in my yard, and the ones that are still finding their way to maturity. Then there are the ones I grew from seed that may not ever amount to much in my lifetime, for it takes years to become an established bonsai. These are special to me, even if they don’t look quite right yet.
I think that growing anything, whether in a pot or in your garden, is a lot like writing. Until you know what you are doing, what you produce will be just a shadow of what it could be. And like a garden, your words need tender loving care too. Prune too hard, or badly, and there are a million ways to ruin what is fragile at best and the results will be disappointing…
How many times have you moaned about manufacturer’s insistence on changing and improving things?
It’s never for the better, is it?
It has recently dawned on me that I am guilty of the same behaviour, I am ashamed to say.
My problem is that I am never happy with anything I have created. At first, I am, but then the doubts start to creep in. What seemed brilliant in the beginning, starts to look shabby and inadequate, and nay I say it, inferior.
By this time, of course, I just know I can do better.
I do this with most things, but the ones that give me the worst trouble, are our book covers. They are so important to get right, aren’t they?
We have many books under our belts now, and I am not happy with quite a few of their covers. Some of you may have noticed, (and admitting this makes me cringe) just how often I change them.
I have just changed the title and cover for Anita’s book, Scarlet Ribbons, mainly because the story is about just the one ribbon. It was only when I realised what else I would have to change, I began to see the enormity of my dissatisfaction.
The cover had to be changed on:
New posters had to be made, and replaced on just about every site I ever visit.
All of this took two days, and so far, so good, but I just know there will be other places I haven’t thought of yet, but right now, after doing all of that, I never want to change another cover.
There is one that could be better…
Liss Forest in Hampshire…
Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!
Patricia Salamone was born in New York. Raised in the borough of Queens. She had five siblings including one brother that passed away in August of 2003.
The Italian Thing is her first published book although she has been writing since the age of 8 years old.
She married and has three children who are grown with families of their own now, and they have blessed her with grandchildren.
Patricia retired from AT&T in 2008 and was able to concentrate on her love for writing, hence “The Italian Thing.”
The Italian Thing is available on Amazon Kindle worldwide and also available in print (English only).
As Patricia puts it, “No awards yet, but there is always tomorrow.”
I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit.
Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country.
However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat.
“Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life.
I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Two people who were out of their depth and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!
I have been obsessed with Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ for most of my adult life. Reading it, I must admit is a bit of a stretch, seeing as it is a poem and antiquated to boot. But the premise is what drew me to it, as I have long been convinced that all this devil stuff is mostly propaganda.
It has to be, don’t you think? After all, the devil was supposed to be an angel once. A very special angel if you ask me, for I don’t suppose they give the title ‘Bringer of Light’ to just any old angel.
In ‘Paradise Lost’ Satan describes his exile from heaven and his regrets in such a way that you do end up feeling sorry for him. At least I did and might be what gave me the inspiration for my first book, The Ninth Life and the slightly sinister voice that plagues Kate Devereau. I invented (I think) an entity that is supposed to advise and control us humans, mostly in devious and sometimes cruel ways. But as you read along you get to wonder if that is what he is really doing, as it seems his primary mission is to torment us and make us lose our way. We have always called it the ‘Cosmic Joker’ in our house, something to blame for all those infuriatingly unexplainable and annoying incidents that drive us all batty!
I don’t feel as though I am in control of anything, even at my age. But are we ever really in control of our lives? With so many rules and influencers, I suspect we are just pawns in one fantastic board game. There is something else going on, of that I am convinced, for we are allowed too many glimpses of it at work.
Our world is a beautiful place, a veritable paradise, but unless you leave the bubble that you live in, you will never see just how beautiful it is…
Hope this find everyone well, and I will see you next week…