Monday, July 14, 2008

I was busy doing a happy dance

Have you missed me? Wanna know what I was up to?

Yeah. I was selling my first book. As in a story that I wrote. That will be published. By a publisher who read it and liked it (after extensive rewrites.) With my name on it.

I sold a freakin' book, ya'll!

It's a novella called Keeper and I sold it to Pink Petal Books. It'll be available in October as a stand alone eBook, and then sometime later as part of a print anthology.

Here's the blurb I wrote about it:

When Jude Felini, a cat-shifter, learns that the woman he’s loved all his life, a bird-shifter named Avery Dove, carries a hormone that has addicted a non-shifter to her, he has only one chance to save her from being quarantined in an isolated sanitarium. He must resurrect a long-dead shifter ritual, the Triad Sacrament, in order to bind Avery’s pheromones to his and convince the Coalition of Shape Shifters that she can’t addict anyone else.

I'm headed to the Romance Writers of America national conference in two weeks. It's in San Francisco which is close enough to me to make it feasible. And I get to wear a little "I sold my first book" ribbon! And you know I will. Probably after I get home, too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Garden Friends

Ruby found a lady bug in the garden today. I love lady bugs. They're so kick ass, eating all those nasty aphids up.

In other news, my lettuce, cantaloupe, and watermelon have sprouted. I planted some garlic and nasturtiums. My zucchini and broccoli are hanging in there, but look a little worse for the wear. I put the birdhouse gourds that Ruby and I planted outside yesterday and they're doing fine. The transplanted eggplant and peppers are doing fine. The tomatoes, not so much. Two of them are looking okay, but the rest are worse for the wear for sure. My strawberries are still iffy. I did notice some new growth on a couple of them today, so that's encouraging. I have a feeling that they're going come back next year and not do too much for me this year.

I finished the short story I've been working on. I'd love to have a couple of beta readers if anyone is interested. Just comment, or send me a note to shauntagrimes at gmail dot com. It's a little on the spicy side, so be forewarned.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Um...Holy Crap!

This was in my email today:

Dear Ms. Alburger

Thank you so much for submitting DEVIL YOU DON'T. Both I, and another editor, have read it, and we would love to read the full manuscript. Please send it by email at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for thinking of Pink Petal Books!


Can you hear me squeeing? Can you?

Radish babies AND a request for my full manuscript, all within 24 hours? How much can one heart take?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Independance Days Update

1. Plant something: I planted out my inside-started seedlings today (well, most of them.) I planted tomatoes where I had some peas that never germinated. Also some Walla Walla onions, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, and watermelon (where the pumpkins died.) I planted some sprouted Kentucky Wonder green beans in the other pumpkin hole. Ruby and I started them last week in little paper cups. I also did some container planting of peas, radishes, spinach, lavender, and Valerian.

My radishes have sprouted! Woo :)

2. Harvest something: Not yet.

3. Preserve something: Not yet.

4. Prep something: I bought two good, heavy Pyrex casseroles with lids at the thrift store. When I get a solar oven going, they'll be good for that.

5. Cook something: I made two meals worth of pulled pork in the crock pot. I want to start doubling up on one meal a week, to start building up a store of pre-made meals.

6. Manage your reserves: Nothing really here.

7. Work on local food systems: I continued to talk to my neighbors about gardening.

8. Health: Nothing much here. Sadly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Hoo-Hoo Bird Lives Outside My Window

A couple of weeks ago, I was going out to my car and was nearly dive-bombed by a hummingbird. The little flash of green dashed back and forth from the elm tree in our front yard to a corner of my house three times in thirty seconds.

So I went to see what she was up to. And low and behold, I found this nest:

It's hard to tell in the picture, but that little thing is about the size of half a chicken egg shell. The white stuff is, I kid you not, spider webs. What better use could there possibly be for a the wire going to our satellite dish? That smart little bird built her nest around the wire. Amazing.

So at first she was hardly ever there. Ruby was obsessed with checking. She's stand in the window and watch, and watch, until the little flash of green bird flew by. She's scream at me that the hoo-hoo bird was in it's nest. Man the stations! Anyway. Ruby loves this little hoo-hoo bird.

So yesterday, my husband braved the step-ladder to see if the reason why our hoo-hoo bird was hanging around more was because she had some eggs in her nest:

For the first time, I cursed the large size of my camera. I couldn't get a picture of the inside of the nest and neither of us is tall enough to see inside from the ladder. So Kevin whipped out his Cherry Chocolate and snapped a picture of the two most perfect miniature eggs you've ever seen.

This is the best I could do with my big ol' Nikon. If you look carefully you can see one of the eggs.

So, how cool is that?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Independance Days Update

Late again. Sorry!

1. Plant something: Kevin built me a raised beds, and I filled five discarded tires with soil. I've planted cabbage, carrots, brussels sprouts, jalapenos, broccoli, two kids of radishes, beets, two kids of lettuce, and a bunch of culinary and medicinal herbs. Also cantaloupe and watermelon in the tires. My next door neighbor has offered me a dozen strawberry plants which will go in the other three tires. Woo!

2. Harvest something: Not yet.

3. Preserve something: Not yet.

4. Prep something: I bought a huge box of plant pots from the local thrift store for a dollar. I cleaned out the winter clothes from the closets and dressers. I'm determined that summer is here, no matter what the weather does!

5. Cook something: We didn't eat out this week at all. Big deal around here. I've started a list of the baked goods I want to make for the farmer's market in August.

6. Manage your reserves: Nothing really here. I thought about starting a compost pile, does that count? That's my goal for this week.

7. Work on local food systems: I talked to two neighbors about my garden, and offered left over seeds to one.

8. Health: I bought a new scale this week, as the old one went wonky. Lost two pounds. Got all of the kids out helping me in the garden, and Kevin, too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I am coming out of my skin with excitement. For real. Yes, it doesn't take much to excite me. But--

Kevin went and bought the supplies to build me a raised bed. See? Exciting!

The bed is made of cinder block and filled with good, rich soil. I filled in all the holes of the cinder blocks, as well as five tires I've collected to use as planters.

The pumpkins I planted out last week are completely dead. That made me want to cry. But all the other seedlings I've started finally have a home. That's several tomato plants, four sweet peppers, four eggplants, three green beans (I'm not convinced these will transplant. We'll see!), four zucchini, four broccoli, four watermelon, and eight cabbage.

I have a bunch of seeds to plant out as well. A lot of medicinal herbs, radishes, carrots, beets, cantaloupe, brussels sprouts, green onions, lettuces, winter squash, and peas.

I want to build another raised bed if we can get the money together, so that I can have a three sisters garden. I have the corn, bean, and squash seeds, just need the space to put them.

I would love to have a salsa garden as well.

Last week, at the thrift store, I picked up a big box of pots for a buck. I got six big pots at a thrift in Las Vegas last time I was there for a quarter each. I'm going to plant those as well. I know I want to put the cherry tomatoes in pots. And herbs.

Right this minute, I have an empty canvas out there--just waiting for my green thumb. Oh, yeah. And the sun. It's supposed to be 29 degrees overnight on Wednesday. *sigh*

I'm going to get the cold weather seeds in anyway. Hold off on transplanting until after I come home from Las Vegas at the end of the month. The seedlings will hold two more weeks.