Saturday, June 04, 2016

Happy Book Day to Me!

Well, not today. In the flurry of publishing and sending out the announcement to my newsletter subscribers (you are on my newsletter list, aren't you?), and posting to Facebook, I somehow missed making an announcement here that "True Blue Murder" has been released.

This is such a fun series to write, I plunged right into revisions for the second book, "Blood Red Murder." And I've already got ideas for the fourth book in the series and can't wait to get started on that one. But first I'll have to release Red (coming on or about June 15th) and "Royal Purple Murder" (coming in July).

As a reward to myself for releasing the book, I ordered more African violets from the Violet Barn. Unlike Lilliana, I am not an expert grower of African violets. I'm not entirely sure what I do wrong. Part of it is watering, to be sure. I find it hard to know exactly how often and how much to water. Supposedly you're not supposed to let them get too dry. And following that up with a soaking is supposed to be bad, too. But, strangely enough, I've had success with that kind of treatment--totally by accident--in the past.

Then there's light and fertilizer (how much? how often?) and grooming and repotting (again, how often?). The desert of Arizona presents another problem with its extremely dry air, especially this time of year. It's been so dry and my nose has been giving me such problems, I bought a second humidifier and put it in my office. But I haven't yet bought a humidifier for my plants. (Yes, Lilliana is smarter than I am about that.)

Anyway, over time I lost a lot of my plants. It seemed as if one day they were thriving, and the next they were dried up shells of their former selves. So, while I've also had some success starting new plants from leaves, I had fewer African violets than when I started. I decided I was entitled to buy some new ones, in new colors, to inspire new books.

When they arrived, it was like Christmas! One even had two pink blooms on it. I've got them in quarantine while I make sure they didn't arrived with any passengers. I've never received plants from the Violet Barn that were infested with pests, but better safe than sorry. I'm already looking at another lighted plant stand and trying to figure out if I can fit that purchase in my budget.

Although it will take months for my baby plants to adapt to Arizona and their new environment, I'm already imagining them covered with blossoms. It makes me smile every time I look at them. Which is why I grow African violets. Because everyone needs more smiles in their life.
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