Rainbows and Seascapes

I took a mini-vacation last week (three whole days, woohoo!), so you’re getting photos instead of my usual essay.  Here’s a happy beach scene to set the mood:

This paradise is only 15 minutes away from our house.

 

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we experienced the lowest tide we’re likely to see for a while, with water levels actually below the mean sea level.  Hubby and I went exploring and discovered tidal pools teeming with fascinating critters.

This pool was only four or five feet across, but the longer we looked, the more we saw.  The big purple starfishes clinging to the rock were almost invisible in the shadows (gotta love light-adjusting cameras).  There were two larger crabs (below and left of the starfish) and dozens of tiny ones; and there’s actually a brown starfish in there, too.  The barnacles are farther left again, and we got to see one of them extend and retract a spindly spider-like leg from its white shell glued to the rock.

Tidal pool with purple starfish, crabs, barnacles, baby sculpins, and host of other unidentified marine life zipping around.

 

It’s been hot (36C/97F) for the past few days, and I know you tropical folks are chuckling because that would just be a pleasant little cool spell where you live.  But earlier in the week we had some lovely rain, and our house was at the end of a double rainbow:

Time to start digging in the basement – there’s gotta be a pot of gold in there somewhere!

 

And in other news, I finally managed to complete a watercolour painting that didn’t make me want to hurl and/or creep away in shame.  Hooray!  I’ve got a long way to go yet, but at least I feel as though I’m making progress.

It’s no masterpiece, but at least it’s identifiable…

 

And, one more thing:

I’m thinking about making changes to my blogging schedule and/or the length and content of my posts.  The usual 500-word posts take me 4 – 6 hours each week to write and edit.  (I usually edit each one about 25 times.  Yes, I admit I may have slight issues with perfectionism.)  I love interacting with everybody regularly; and I’d like to free up more time to work on Book 14.

So… hmm.  What to do?  Please help me decide by voting in the poll below, and if you have any other suggestions, please drop them in the comments.

Thanks for weighing in!

35 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

35 responses to “Rainbows and Seascapes

  1. Pingback: Pitch Fail | Diane Henders

  2. Love the pics….your painting is good…don’t short yourself!! Did your survey…I say post when you can and of course you will always keep your humor a major piece of the post…you couldn’t stop it if you tried and that’s a really good thing! Love your posts and will find them whenever they occur!!

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  3. Do what you need to do. I like blogging but sometimes it does take away from other things. I voted for shorter posts because I think forcing yourself to tighten up your writing is good practice and helps keep the longer works from being longer than needed. Personally I’ve been thinking of not writing any more blog posts and just focusing on writing comments on other people’s blogs…

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  4. Diann

    Frankly, I’m good with however much you blog or don’t blog. I enjoy every one of them and I’m grateful you even take the time to do any. So, I’ll take what I can get… And, I absolutely love your books!

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    • Thank you, Diann – that makes me feel so much better! I love interacting with everybody but I was stressing myself out over the schedule and word count. It’s nice to know that I can let go of that without disappointing anybody! 🙂

      Like

  5. Is there nothing you can’t do? The painting is fantastic! I’m going to have to hate you now knowing you are good at everything. 🙂
    As to blogging I did vote and chose the one closest to do what you want to do. The day the blog becomes work is a red flag day. Happy to find your posts any time but no expectations here.

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    • Thanks, Sue! I promise, if you’d seen my earlier watercolour attempts you wouldn’t hate me; you’d be giggling uncontrollably. 😉

      And you’re right about “the day the blog becomes work”. It hasn’t been feeling like “work”, exactly; but I’ve been giving myself stress and spending a lot of time on it because of my own expectations. Now that I know I’m the only one who obsesses about word count, I’ll be able to just relax and enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Roxi

    Love your posts, it’s like having coffee with a good friend. Maybe alternate on the weeks you don’t post here, share something short on Facebook. If you have something that isn’t FB friendly, share here? Monthly is good here, because it gives you more time to write Aydan’s adventures. 🙂
    Writing advice is always great too.

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    • Thanks, Roxi! Your comment about “coffee with a good friend” makes my day! I’m so glad you feel that way, because that’s how I feel about blogging, too – it’s so nice to connect with real human beings after spending most of the week inside my own head. (‘Cause we all know that “inside my head” can be a very disturbing place…) 😉

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  7. rebelflairsnowbird

    Thanks so much for your continued efforts to keep in touch with us and come up with interesting subject matter! I enjoy reading your blog and the feedback you get as well. Keep writing, but only if it works for you. You are multi talented and have much to do other than write, and that’s a good thing! Fresh strawberries sound wonderful!

    I know there are only so many hours in the day, and at my age I’m fighting the battle to not be defeated by aging joints! I’m currently building a garden from river bottom soil, so I won’t need to buy gravel for walkways or rocks for raised beds. Also, hiking up one of the endless canyons (each with maximum water in their streams) is high up on my list. Golf not so good anymore so I could give that up, since I now have a kayak and am ready to ply the waters, as it were. Lakes only for the time being. In my quiet moments I like to spin yarn, currently working on Yak fiber. Next in line is Buffalo fiber fresh off the beast, found laying around in the pasture of a friend who rescued about a half dozen of them.

    Your watercolor is great, I especially liked the clouds in the distance near the water, great execution. I know watercolor is unforgiving so mistakes have to be creative choices!

    Looking forward to reading your latest release as I’m sure it will be as much fun to read as your previous ones. I read so fast that I’m sad when it’s done. Maybe I’ll do as someone else did and start over to glean info that I missed on the first go round.

    Happy gardening and beach combing to you,
    Peggi

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    • Thanks, Peggi! Wow, you’ve got so much on the go! I definitely feel for you in your attempt to create a garden out of gravel – we have the same problem. We dropped in to visit our neighbours on the other side of the creek (the side that has soil instead of gravel), and I was green with envy over their lush beautiful garden. But I guess our little paradise has to have some small thing that keeps it from absolute perfection.

      Your kayak sounds very cool – I’ve been wanting one ever since we moved here! I’ve got too much other stuff on the go at the moment, but it’s definitely on the to-do list for me. And spinning – how fascinating! Do you knit/crochet, too? I’m a yarn addict (without a spare moment to do anything with it, unfortunately), so I always have a couple of boxes of yarn waiting for me to revisit them.

      I hope you enjoy Book 13! 🙂

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  8. WendyH

    Diane, you are multi talented! I am not patient enough for water color; my attempts were all just brown blobs. I give you lots of kudos for your beautiful picture!
    As you have heard from others, blog when you want. I do enjoy your sense of humor and voraciously read your books! I just retired and have a new attitude that keeps me happy—no worries ( isn’t that a song?!), take a nap, leave the partly finished project on the kitchen table until tomorrow. I wish all my friends ( and you) could let go of stress. It’s fun to read the others’ posts, too! Thanks for sharing your brilliance!

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Wendy! Your new attitude sounds wonderful – I’ll do my best to emulate it as much as possible. But when I think about how retirement might look for me, it’s remarkably similar to what I’m already doing – I love writing and blogging and can’t imagine giving it up. But I’d love to have somebody else do all the daily drudgery of publishing and marketing and running the business.

      Most of my attempts at watercolour were brown blobs, too – it’s taken me nearly a year to produce something I don’t hate. I wouldn’t have had the patience to persevere, either; but I was lucky enough to be able to join an art group. We meet every Friday afternoon to paint together, and it’s been a huge source of encouragement and inspiration. Maybe you just need some painting buddies…? 😉

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  9. Drae

    Still progressing with re-reading books 1 – 12 and am currently on book 8. So many of the smaller details are being re-introduced that it is almost like reading them for the first time. It makes me feel like you went back and re-wrote some of them. Of course, I realise that didn’t happen. As for the blog, it should be an enjoyable process for all involved — your writing it and our reading it. When it becomes too much of a “have too” then a lot of the enjoyment leaves. As long as you are enjoying it (no matter the length or regularity) then we will enjoy sharing it with you. Life is too short. Make time for fun and the things you enjoy.

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    • Thank you, drae! I’m finally finding balance in my life again – it’s hard to believe that the upheaval of moving and house-building took two whole years. After spending so long triaging only the most urgent priorities, it’s nice to be able to step back and figure out how I want my “new life” to look.

      It’s cool to hear that you’re rediscovering lots of little details in the series! As I continue the storyline I often dip back into earlier books, too, to make sure I’m staying consistent and pulling in all those sneaky little Easter eggs I scattered ‘way back when. It definitely keeps me on my toes! 🙂

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  10. Shirley T

    I love the blogs,pictures and now painting. I find your writing very interesting, and funny…. however …… book 14, cannot come soon enough for me. I do wish I could read your series slowly, but have yet to succeed at that. Could not put book 13 down until finished, at 2:00 in the morning!!! on a work day!!
    I would be happy with a quick” hello, I am still here, haven’t found the pot of got and have not succumbed to things that go bump in the night”. Besides it is summer ( somewhere in Canada) and you should enjoy your new place.

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    • Thanks, Shirley! We’re definitely getting summer now, and our new strawberry plants have just started producing – yum! That’s a well-spent half hour picking and eating fresh berries every few days.

      And I’d say I feel guilty about your lack of sleep, but to be honest I’m pumped that you got so involved in Book 13. That makes my day! 🙂

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  11. And you’re a painter, too? I didn’t know that! You paint beautifully!
    I often miss the smell of the sea and had a craving the other day that would have had me fly out east to my old haunts and favorite boardwalk pizza place. It would have been tough to explain my unexcused and immediate absence.

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    • But an impulse trip like that would have been SO worth it! (At least until the consequences kicked in.) 🙂 I’m so lucky to be able to pop by the beach anytime I want! I don’t spend hours there, but even a ten-minute stop on the way home from picking up groceries is a sweet little mini-vacation.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Blogging takes time, no doubt about it. Even for those of us who rarely post anymore. And like you, I’m a perfectionist with my posts. Backing away from it has certainly freed up more time for my writing. Good luck with whatever route you decide to take.

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  13. jenny_o

    You’re making me want to visit our beach with that photo of yours. What a beautiful spot!

    Awesome picture of the double rainbow. Yes, dig for that pot of gold; it’s gotta be around there somewhere and you needed more gardens turned over, didn’t you? 🙂

    Last, but far from least, your watercolour is amazing, Diane. It doesn’t hurt that the colours are some of my very favourites, but you are very skilled. I feel like I could reach out and touch the plants in the left foreground. I hope you show us more as you go.

    I’ve voted! I enjoy your posts but YOU should enjoy posting even more, so basically my thinking is that I will appreciate whatever and whenever you write 🙂

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    • Thank you, jenny_o! I enjoy blogging, and I especially love “talking” to everyone who comments; but it recently occurred to me that I was trying too hard to post the same number of words at the same time every week. I’m eager to hear what everybody else thinks!

      And thanks for your kind words about the watercolour, too. Maybe now that I’ve gotten over the “first decent painting” hump, I’ll be able to share a few more. 😉

      Like

  14. Dawn C.

    Love the photos and the picture you painted is gorgeous! You do much better than I do at painting. 🙂

    Like

  15. Love the photos, and the watercolour is fantastic and you claimed to have no talent for art.
    I’m almost half way through book 13, I’m making it last, I love the feeling of curling up with old friends for a catch up. I want to race to the end but I’m enjoying reading it. And I know book 14 hasn’t really been started and you shouldn’t be rushed, being on antidepressants gives you a little bit of a new insight into the world. I see things a lil different than before.

    The purple starfish is cool, but I’m a sucker for purple and unicorns 🦄 not that you get many unicorns in nature.

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    • That’s true – and I’d be suspicious if I did see a unicorn. I’d figure either somebody was messing with me, or else I’d ingested some substance I really shouldn’t have. 😉

      I’m glad you’re chilling out and enjoying Book 13!

      Like

  16. Knott Kneeded

    Love what you’re doing. One of the highlights of the week reading your blog!

    Like

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