Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day, Hello from the Trenches - Still Celebrating the Small Things

Chrysanthemum in a pot
A nice message (below) for Earth Day from Jane Goodall! We have quail on our property. Did you know that the males and females mate for life? About 90 percent of bird species in general are monogamous. Hubby and I enjoy watching the mamas and papas, their head plumes bobbing away in rhythm as they scurry about with their tiny chicks  in tow. So-so cute. One of these days I hope to catch a photo. They move fast when they see me.

I love nature, don't you? I love watching all it has to offer, the honeybees enjoying my crab tree blooms, the robins listening for worms in the ground, the occasional crow (did you know they are as smart as a seven-year-old?), and on and on. I write a garden column for our small newspaper and found myself thinking the other day that aphids have a right to eat too. Ha-ha-ha. I know, I know, but this is how my mind works. 

So I made a batch of homemade insecticide, with Dawn soap, vegetable oil and water. It repels aphids and other insects, but I doubt if it kills them. I'll need to spray the infestation at least a couple more times. My poor snow ball bush was covered. 

But on to the real purpose of this blog....recording my writing journey. You already know about my novel The Shells of Mersing and the long, long road to publishing it. If you haven't had to chance to read, you can find it at Evernight Teen for 25% off this weekend. I urge you to take a look. I am so grateful to this publisher for taking a chance on me. There are many other books there too in different genres. Mine is an adventure mystery, a sailing journey, a sweet romance. 

Our small sailboat, Duet. Friday Harbor, WA

You've seen me in the A-Z April Challenge. I do hope that is going well for everyone. I noticed a huge number didn't participate last year. That said, I will always be grateful for this wonderful blog hop. It got me thinking about topics I had always wanted to explore. People still come to my blog to the read the A-Z posts. 

Learn something new

Dare to be yourself

I've been gardening and thinking about working on a sequel to my novel as I work. Gardening is normally great inspiration for me, as there is time to think, but my novel has been on hold since December when my mother moved into a retirement home. My focus has been on her needs, but I'm trying hard to get back to a more productive writing schedule.  
In this together
How has your writing journey been going? 
Let me know in your comments. 


Yep, still Celebrating!

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing


  1. A natural insecticide that just makes them go away! Wonderful! What is Dawn soap? I don’t think we have that brand here. Maybe there is another brand that will do it?

    A schoolfriend of mine built herself an aviary in which she kept all her birds, including quails. They were so sweet, I could never even consider eating quail afterwards.

    The A to Z is running as usual. I’m doing Australian children’s writers this year, but not as successful as last year. There is a new system of posting your daily links on to a spreadsheet, which I have not liked much, maybe I just don’t understand how it works, but as a result I have visited fewer blogs and fewer people have visited mine. Maybe next year I’ll skip it or do it unofficially.

    1. Hi Sue! Dawn is a powerful dish soap that people use to clean other things, but guessing other liquid soaps might work. 2.5 TBS. Dawn, 2.5 TBS. vegetable oil mixed with 1 gal soft (or distilled) water. Be sure to hose off aphids first though. I've eaten quail once and didn't like. Now, NEVER. Too bad A-Z is more confusing. Was getting that way last year too, but I do miss it. Your topic sounds interesting. I'll take a look :)

  2. Aw, love quails! That's awesome how you're able to see 'em regularly. (Think it's been years since I last saw one.) Had no idea that they mate for life!

    And sorry to hear your novel has been on hold for so long, although it's completely understandable why it was. Best of luck getting back into the swing of writing!

    1. Hi Heather! I love bird watching in general. Without pets, birds are a great substitute....and the rabbits...and the lizards Sigh. I'll get back to writing eventually. Blogging bloggers are great encouragers. Hope the comic art is coming along well and everyone in your crew is behaving (or not--LOL) 'talented lady' :)

  3. Quails are cute to look at and watch them walk must be so cute to see..I only saw this on tv. The lady bug was named during the Middle Ages...apparently aphids came down and started eating the farmers’ crops. They prayed to Our Lady since Mary was, actually, more popular than Jesus at that time, I had read. After they prayed, they saw these pretty little bugs come and eat the aphids savings their crops. They called the bug Marienkafer ( German and I know I spelled that wrong) which means Lady Bug. This is why one sees ladybug chocolate and Christmas ornaments in Germany and Austria because it is considered good luck. I totally understand needing to take time to see your mom whom you needed to have go to long term care. It’s something we hate but we know must be done. You will get to writing in time.

    1. Oh, my gosh, the lady bug history is fascinating. Never heard this before. I once had a lady bug nest in backyard of previous home. Had never seen one before, but boy was it was huge...the size of a baseball. Lady bugs all swarming in a ball and biting too. Until, then I'd thought they were pretty docile creatures. As a kid I let them crawl up my arms. Now, I see them as a little orange helmeted army. Makes me want to purchase some for my yard here but I hear it's a waste of money. They eventually fly off to the neighbors. LOL. Anyway, thanks for the history lesson and for understanding my absence :) Nice to hear from you!

  4. My godmother had quails in her back yard. They are charming. And once we got to glimpse the little baby chicks running across the yard. They were utterly adorable. Good news about your book. I'll go check it out. And best wishes on getting moving on your sequel.

    1. I just wish I had a camera in hand when I see them. By the time I run back to the house to find, the quail are gone. One of these days, one of these days... Thanks for the congrats on my book. If you get a chance to read, I'd love to hear what you think :)

  5. Hey Sharon! Thanks for finding me on FB! "Aphids have a right to eat, too"—that made me laugh, because that's exactly how my mind works, too :) So glad that you're getting back to writing... After my first book came out, I noticed a big dip in my writing mojo. I just couldn't muster the energy. Three years later, I'm still having issues with that, and my blogging has suffered horribly, but I've managed to keep it going. Participating in collective anthologies, for instance, was one thing that got me going; somehow deadlines seem to work best on me :) And then there was the dog book, my first non-fiction, which just came out; getting that one done took two years, when it should've taken maybe a couple of months at most. Now that it's out, though, I feel 'free' to get back to fiction.

    So happy to reconnect with you!
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    1. I saw your book. That's really great, and I really hope it does well! Expect dog lovers with eat it right up like dog biscuits (a little bit of dog humor there :). Looks like it's from your A-Z experience too. Cool. I have thought to do something similar with my A-Z's, but that's on the back burner for now. Really need to get cracking on the sequel to my novel. I know what you mean by losing your mojo though. I think when you finally accomplish your getting published, you just want to soak in the glory of it all for awhile. Part of me resists cluttering up my desk again with an unfinished manuscript. It really felt good to finish!
      Well, I see I'm not so crazy after all about the aphids. Boy were they ever doing a toll on my snow ball bush. Where are lady bugs when you need them? Was fun connecting with you on FB. Hope to see you back!

  6. I don't know much about birds at all, but I saw a pretty one with interesting head plumage and red feathers under its tail and around its face while I was in the back yard. It was nice to take a moment to enjoy nature like that in a big, busy city.

    You made me laugh about the aphids! I used to put aphid powder on the roses when I was a kid.

    I wonder if your insecticide works on wasps and yellow jackets. We have a nest growing on the side of our house.

    Interesting fact about the crow! I do like crows.

    1. Hey planet Kimberly. Thanks for stopping by. I occasionally know the names of bird visitors, but most I haven't a clue. Just enjoy watching "nature's pets." Their families are adorable when you can glimpse them.☺

  7. Replies
    1. Well, thank you! Nice to meet you :) I'm still online, but barely active to be honest. I'm buried with the good things of life and landscaping/gardening our .6 acres. Happy with all the outdoor activity... Feeling only slightly guilty for not writing as much. Basically going where my heart leads at the moment.


"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary
(A.B. Alcott). Stay and visit awhile. Your comments mean a lot to me.

About Me

My photo
You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.