A sure sign of fall here in the Hill Country: the eryngo (Erygium leavenworthii) is in bloom across the meadows and pastures. This stiff, sturdy plant looks like a thistle--feels thistly, too, if you are so foolish as to take hold of that spiky flowerhead. But it belongs to the parsley family. One of its Eastern relatives, Eryngium aquaticum, is called rattlesnake master, for its long use by Native Americans as a remedy for snakebite.
Doesn't feel much like fall, though. The afternoon temperatures are nudging 100 and rarely fall below 70 at night. So while I'm heartened by the eryngo's message, I'm not putting a lot of stock in it.
Book report. Busy days, with two books on the writing desk, in various stages of completion. I decided to get an early start on The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles #25, due in March 2016) because my second author-published novel, Loving Eleanor, is coming out in February 2016, and that will be distracting. Better to get China's mystery finished early, if I can. Learning lots about the Texas olive industry and olives in general, and making good progress: working on Chapter 5 this week.
I'm also working on Loving Eleanor. which should come back from the copy editor today. I've been compiling a Pinterest board for that book. As I work through the copyedited manuscript (the story of the 30-year intimate friendship of Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt), I'll be reorganizing the board materials into chapter-related segments, aiming to illustrate each chapter of the book via photos/clips on Pinterest. I'm also beginning to compile lists of potential reviewers: if you're a book blogger and might be interested in reviewing the book, let me know (susanalbert01 at gmail dot com). The website is currently under construction: you can see a draft here.
Story Circle Network report. For its upcoming 20th anniversary, I agreed to return to the presidency of this unique international women's writing community, the nonprofit organization I founded in 1997. One of my favorite SCN activities: StoryCircleBookReviews. We feature books by/for/about women, mostly indie publishers and self-publishing authors. Our review team is quite remarkable. If you'd like to join us as a reviewer (published reviews are a good addition to your writing portfolio), click on the link on the top of the page for information, or email me.
There's a long Labor Day weekend coming up. I hope you're planning something you really want to do. I am: writing, reading, and being astonished by this wonderful world...
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
--from "Messenger," by Mary Oliver