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Archive for February, 2013

While photographing Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I saw some very interesting ice on the mill and the flume.  The flume is the man made water way through which diverted water flows toward the water wheel.  These are those photos.  I hope you find them as fascinating as I do.

 

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I took these photos today in my greenhouse.  I hope you enjoy them.

Cabbage plant getting bigger each day.

Cabbage plant getting bigger each day.

Flower on rosemary

Flower on rosemary

I was surprised to see a flower on the rosemary.  I wasn't expecting it this early in the year.

I was surprised to see a flower on the rosemary. I wasn’t expecting it this early in the year.

My rosemary plant has a flower.

My rosemary plant has a flower.

Parsnip plant.  I'm hoping to collect seeds from it later.

Parsnip plant. I’m hoping to collect seeds from it later.

The buds may not be easy to see.

The buds may not be easy to see.

I'm happy to see the green emerging on my willow.  Later this year, I'll transplant it outside.

I’m happy to see the green emerging on my willow. Later this year, I’ll transplant it outside.

See the green buds?  :-)

See the green buds? 🙂

My younger dog, Thor, beside the greenhouse.

My younger dog, Thor, beside the greenhouse.

 

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My backyard after the snow started

Write a story about the photo above.  Post your story as a reply, if you wish.

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Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket and a PR professional. Her bestselling novels Crossing Oceans and Dry as Rain were both Christy finalists and won various literary awards. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass, released February 2013 and has earned a starred review from Library Journal, a Romantic Times Top Pick and a Southern Indie Bookseller’s Okra Pick. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose. To learn more about her, visit www.ginaholmes.com.
 
 
Your 3rd
novel, Wings of Glass, has just released. Tell us a little about it.
I think this is my favorite book so far. Wings of Glass
tells the story of Penny Taylor, a young wife who feels trapped and alone in a
physically and emotionally abusive marriage. Besides her low self-esteem, she
feels her Christian faith doesn’t allow for divorce. It’s not until she meets
two women—one a southern socialite and the other a Sudanese cleaning woman—that
her eyes are opened to the truth of her situation and she begins her journey to
healing and redemption.
What made you take on
the tough subject of domestic abuse?
As a little girl, I watched my mother being physically
abused by her husband and then later, two of my sisters enter abusive
relationship after abusive relationship and I thought that would never be me. .
. until the day my boyfriend hit me for the first time and I began to make
excuses for him. I know the mindset of someone who gets into and stays in an
abusive relationship, because I’ve been there myself. It’s taken me years, and
a lot of reading, praying, and talking to get to the heart of what brought me
and kept me in toxic relationships and I want to pass on some of what I learned
that helped me find boundaries and recovery from a codependent mindset and most
of all healing.
What do you hope
readers take away from this book?
It’s my hope and prayer that those who are in abusive
relationships will begin to see that the problem lies with them as much as with
the abuser. That’s something I railed against when friends suggested it. I
wasn’t the one with the problem! I was no doormat who enabled abuse or
addiction… or was I?
I also hope that those who have never understood the mindset
of victims would better comprehend the intricacies of codependency and be
better able to minister to these women and men. And of course I’d love it if
young women would read this before they ever enter their first romantic
relationship to have their eyes open to how abuse almost always progresses and
be able to see the red flags early.
Which of the
characters in the novel is most like you and why?
Each of the characters has a little of me in them or vice
versa. I think years ago I was more like Penny, though tougher in many regards,
at least I thought so. I’d like to think now I’m a little more Callie Mae.
Because I’ve lived through what I have and have found healing, I can see in
others the path that will lead to healing and the one that will lead to
destruction. The difficult part once you’ve found healing is remembering that
you can’t do it for others. You can offer advice, but you can’t make anyone
take it. Each person has to learn in their own time, in their own way.
Who is your favorite
character?
I absolutely love Fatimah. She had such a great sense of
humor and didn’t care what anyone thought except those who really mattered. She
was really quite self-actualized. She was so much fun to write and I actually
find myself missing her presence.
What’s your favorite
and least favorite part about being a writer?
Favorite: making
my own schedule. I love when I’m feeling bad one day knowing that I don’t have
to punch a clock. I can just take the day off and then work harder the next. Of
course, there’s a lot of other things I love about writing, like allowing
others to consider another point of view that may be far different from their
own.
Least favorite: There’s a joke that when you work for
yourself you at least get to pick which eighteen hours of the day you want.
That’s true. Working from home means I’m always at work. I work from about 7:30
am until about eight at night most days. Under deadline, it’s worse. Truly
understanding how much the success of a book rides on the shoulders of the
author is a blessing and a curse. Because I get that no one is more invested in
the success of my books than me, I put in a LOT of time on the
publicity/marketing end of things. It’s tiring but an investment that I think
pays off in the long run.
You had written four
novels before your debut, Crossing Oceans was published. Do you think those
books will ever get dusted off and reworked?
Never say never, but I doubt it. I had considered reworking
some but having gone back and re-read them, I realized they weren’t published
for good reason. They just didn’t work. Now, there is one story I’m resurrecting
characters from for a story I should be writing next, but the plotline is
completely different. I started out writing suspensel but as my reading tastes
changed, so did my writing tastes. I don’t see myself doing suspense again any
time soon.
You’re known for your
quirky characters, what inspires you to write these types into each book?
Honestly, I’m a pretty quirky person. The older I get, the
more I embrace those quirks. I think everyone is quirky really. As a student of
human nature, I pick up on those and like to exaggerate them in my fiction. I
also like to surround myself with quirky people. My husband is quirky, my kids
are quirky and so are my friends. Often in life, especially when we’re young,
we hate about ourselves what makes us different, when really those are the
things we should be embracing. Different is interesting. Different is
beautiful.
If you could write
anything and genre, marketing and reader expectations didn’t matter, what would
you write?
Speaking of quirky… I read a book a few years back that was
so different that it made me want to try something like that. The book was a
big-time bestseller, Jonathan Strange and
Mr Norrell
. What turned me on about that book were the characters. They
were quirky to an extreme. In contemporary women’s fiction, I can get away with
a certain amount of quirk. but I’m always having to play it down because it’s
so over the top. In a fantasy, you can be as over the top as you dare. I’d love
to play around with something like that one day and just let my freak flag fly!
Will I? Probably not unless I use a penname. I realize readers have certain
expectations and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel mislead. We’ll see. There’s
lots in life I want to do but since I only get a hundred or so years (if I’m
lucky), time won’t allow for every rabbit hole.
What advice would you
have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
My advice would be not to follow too closely in anyone’s
footsteps. Yes, there is a certain path all writers find themselves on. There
are certain things that we must all do like learning to write well, figuring
out platform, going to writers conferences to meet the gatekeepers and figure
out the way things have to be formatted and submitted and all that sort of
thing. But it’s okay to veer off the path too and forge your own. There are
those who have self-published who have found great success.
There are those who have written about subjects that they
were told no one wanted to read about and found success. It’s smart to figure
out what others have done before you to make them successful, but alter the
formula to suit your needs and passions. It’s okay to be different, in fact, I
think great success and maybe even happiness depends upon it. And by all means,
read Novel Rocket.com and leave comments. It helps not only encourage those
authors who have taken the time out of their day to teach us, but it also
connects you to the writing community. Community is important.
From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.


When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.

 

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Ice Formation Photos

I took photos today on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  These were taken of an ice formation.  I hope you enjoy them.

Parkway Ice Formation

Ice Formation

Moss and Ice

Making Ice Columns

Icy Stagtites

Ice, Sky, and Trees

Ice and Water Drops

Ice Sickles, Ice Falls

Rhododendron and Ice

Ice on the Rocks

Where ice grows.

Where ice grows.

Ice Behind

Hidden Ice

Near and Far

Frozen Fall

Frozen

Formation

Column and Sickles

Blue Ice

White ice has air bubbles in it.  Clear ice does not.

White ice has air bubbles in it. Clear ice does not.

 

Water was flowing behind this ice.  It made me wish I had a video camera.

Water was flowing behind this ice. It made me wish I had a video camera.

Ice Sickles

Rhododendron and Ice

Recessed Ice

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Crocus are blooming

I took these photos yesterday.  Enjoy.

first sighting

crocuspineneedles

crocusandbuilding

manycrocus

crocusandlog

hard to see

closeupyellowcrocus

crocusandwoods

yellowcrocus2

yellow crocus

 

crocus

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I bought yellow onion sets from our local grocery store.  After thinking about it, I decided to start some in the greenhouse.  The rest I will grow in the garden.  I went out to the greenhouse today to water my plants.  The temperature in the greenhouse was a balmy eighty-five degrees with the fan running.  I watered my plants then planted a few onion sets.  Here’s some photos.

More onion sets

More onion sets

The onion sets are between lettuce and spinach

The onion sets are between lettuce and spinach

Onion sets are easy to grow.  The most important things to remember are to grow them in loose soil and don’t over water.  Loose soil allows the onions room to grow.  Too much water will cause them to rot in the ground.

I hope your garden does well this year.

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