Look at this beautiful bunny. So very mellow and timid-looking.
May 23, 2022
Wrong. This rabbit was sitting there when I came out with my camera to photograph my snow-downed poppies after last month’s big snowstorm. Not knowing it was there, I’d made zero attempt to walk softly. Despite me being practically close enough to tug on its ear by the time I spotted it, this bunny was not at all phased by my presence.
Time to face facts: brazen little bun-buns have taken over the neighborhood. Ah, well. Probably beats an alligator invasion.
In case you’re curious, this is what two feet of wet, heavy snow does to poppies:
Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up.
This photo was selected in honor of a manuscript I haven’t thought about in a few years — POPPY VALENTINE LUCKS OUT — because when I remembered it yesterday, my first thought was “that book was so much fun to write!” Poppy, her little sister Fiona, and some cremation ashes. Because I wholeheartedly loved that book and believed in it so fully, I drafted a companion novel (which was also a blast to write).
I’m proud that in addition to creating those characters and their hijinks, it was a joyful experience. And because I’m making a concerted effort to celebrate my creative achievements, I selected this photo to accompany today’s tribute to those literary efforts.
A garden bloom on May 16, 2020
Then I examined the image more closely and had a completely off-topic/bonus thought: this photo reminds me of Gladys Knight & the Pips! Look at the choreography of how those buds are leaning in and swaying behind the blooming Gladys. If I squint my eyes, I can practically see the three buds execute a synchronized spin as Gladys belts out “Midnight Train to Georgia.”
Just me, my quirky brain, and Poppy having a little more fun.
Twofer Tuesday is doing double-duty today. In addition to the two blooms in this photo,
Hayden Green Mountain Park. June 24, 2021
my online research tells me this plant (Argemone polyanthemos) is a member of the poppy family and that one of its common names is “Thistle Poppy.” (Woot! Two plant species in one!)
Also? Every bit of this plant, including the seeds, is poisonous. So, be sure not to lean in too close when admiring the photo. 🙂
June 10, 2021
Once upon a time
two poppies did bloom fiercely
dead ever after
My Writing Roosters critique group had our zoom meeting last night to discuss my work-in-progress. As mentioned here and here and here, I was paralyzed with indecision for several weeks because I’d become convinced my story was an irredeemable hot mess. Guess what? It’s not! As one member said on our call, “I think maybe you were getting inside your own head.”
Me? Inside my own head? How could that possibly be?! 🤣 🤣 🤣
I’ve got some plotting issues to sort out, but the two main characters got a thumbs-up from the group. Whew. Color me noodly with relief.
Poppy blooming in front garden. May 16, 2020.
I chose the poppy image for this post because (1) it’s a very cheery and vibrant color and (2) last night one of my critique partners caught a reference to a previous manuscript about a girl named Poppy Valentine.
May 16, 2020
Color from the past
warm refuge on this gray day
one poppy two bees
I had poppy-envy yesterday as I walked the neighborhood. One yard was filled with happy orange poppies, bouncing in the breeze. Why hadn’t mine bloomed yet?
This morning, I looked out the window and saw two bursts of orange! And when I got closer with my camera, I saw the bees were also celebrating those cheery blooms.
Front yard. May 16, 2020.
Such a nice way to begin my weekend. Wishing everyone a blooming-good day!
Many people welcome and celebrate autumn’s arrival, and I agree there’s much to be said for cooler temperatures. However, I’m not a fan of stuff dying off. I get that it has to happen, but what makes my heart soar is the new growth and bright colors after long, dark winters.
So today I take another look back at the poppies from my front yard. Look at all that glorious color and all that potential for many more blooms!
On this final day of September, I celebrate the exuberant poppy.
Neither snow nor rain nor nasty blowing winds can keep a good poppy down.
Battered, but still standing proud.
I love me a fierce Poppy.
The February sunshine steeps your boughs
and tints the buds
and swells the leaves within.
~ William Cullen Bryant
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
~ Joseph Campbell
Because every step in the process is its own milestone.
Here’s to completed manuscripts!
I’ve spent the last couple hours working on my revisions that are moving along, but are also causing me a bit of angst as I struggle to achieve the vision I have for this middle-grade project. I just decided to take a break to put up a blog post and went to my photo files for an image. I chose a picture from a couple days ago of a poppy in bloom along with a lovely not-yet-bloomed bud. As I cropped the image, I considered blog post titles and immediately landed on Poppy and Potential Poppy. I’m embarrassed to confess that it took a few moments for this extremely relevant factoid to hit me:
The protagonist in the manuscript I’m revising is named Poppy.
Oy. Here’s hoping we both achieve our potential today.
Poppy downed by May hailstorm before it had a chance to bloom.
If we were to lose the ability to be emotional,
if we were to lose the ability to be angry,
to be outraged,
we would be robots.
And I refuse that.
~ Arundhati Roy
A garden is to be a world unto itself,
it had better make room
for the darker shades of feeling as well as the sunny ones.
~ William Kent
I worked in my garden today and experienced conflicting feelings. Why was I born into this life and society while others were born into regions of the world that are under constant assault? I’m no more exceptional than any of those people facing horrific circumstances. Why is that I can quietly work in my garden while others know only mayhem and violence?
At times, I felt guilty for my easy day outside under the blue sky.
However, I also felt satisfaction knowing my work would help living things thrive and that my efforts were keeping materials from the landfill. I reminded myself that I was creating beauty in the world and that beauty is a legitimate pursuit.
Last spring’s poppy blooms reminding me of the beauty yet to come.
Today, my garden made room for all the feelings.
Good thing I’m not planning on getting sent to prison
because if it’s true that Orange Is the New Black,
I’m in serious fashion trouble;
I look great in black and pretty close to dead in orange.
(I appear equally deadish in tan/beige which is what the inmates on the
show wear after they’ve been fully processsed into the system.)
I’m several episodes into Season 4 and am enjoying it more than
Season 3 which I thought was awful in a lot of ways.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Piper is best as a seasoning,
rather than an entree.
Most every other character is more compelling.
In fact, I can’t think of one who isn’t.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s the point.
Either way, I’m going to watch the rest of the season
and be grateful I can choose what I wear each day.
Because not all of us wear our orange as well as these poppies.
Happy poppies one day in May.