Burke and Wills Proof Ordered

Just to keep things in order, here are some morning photos coming back from the gym. The first is a sliver of the moon with Venus off to the right and down a bit. Beautiful mornings.

And the bales of hay all rolled up between here and the gym. They smell so good when freshly packed in rounds.

I went to the local wine tasting with the builder and two of his building buddies this past Monday evening. It was fun and I am getting used to a room full of people. The best part was seeing the realtor who sold Lee and me our first piece of property back in 1988. We had a good chat and catch up of all those years since.

The tables are set up with the seating arranged and then the delicious small portions of a meal are brought forth with each wine sampling. Wines from Spain this time.

I only had time to photograph the first appetizer.

As for the rest of this week, I have been trying to get Burke and Wills in a 5″ x 8″ page format. There are twenty color illustrations and the cover image here.

I wanted a certain font that fit the story and then the laying out with illustrations in different sizes was also a challenge. But now the cover and 48 page manuscript is sent off to KDP Publishing with Amazon. The book will be priced $12 here in the states and vary in other countries. But first I need to see the proof and make sure I did not screw anything up. After a while of making corrections on a laptop, you begin to wonder where you are in the muddle.

The vet came to the house and removed Sadie’s small tumor. Now Dilly won’t talk to her because she has a hot punk bandage on her leg. And Sadie won’t talk to me because I keep trying to pin her down to take the bandage off. I will call a neighbor to help me get the job done.

Today I cleaned the porch, did laundry, finished editing the book, and made Anzac cookies. I will take some to the bike shop owner with another jar of Vegemite on Monday. I have given several recipes to the woman now baking in the shop where we meet up for coffee. Every morning she has a nice assortment to tempt the boys, MJ and me. Her quiches are excellent! And then there is her Apple Cider French toast with brioche! Not to mention the pumpkin/cream cheese muffins and assorted turnovers and fruit breads.

I do live in a very nice community.

Tomorrow windows will get washed first thing. That and laying out The Stoat Story for an Amazon release.

Better go and call that neighbor.

Til later….

A Busy Week for Poetry

This was the sunrise a few days ago coming home from the gym. And below was the opposite direction. Lovely morning!

It was a busy week. The vet came to the house to check on Sadie’s foot and found a bleeding tumor. He will remove it here in his traveling clinic next week. I am so happy to be on his limited list of mobile animal care clinic customers. It is near impossible shoving the poor girls in crates and then hearing them cry all the way to the vet. And he is such a kind man.

And on Monday my wrench sign appeared on the dash board. I looked it up and it was a throttle problem…not getting gas. The manual said to take it to dealer quickly. So I did with one of the men coming to pick me up at the dealership to go back and have coffee. When I left it, I was told it might take a couple of days, but as soon as I got my coffee, they called to say they pushed it in early and I could pick it up after lunch because they had the part in stock. And my builder gave me a lift back to the dealership. I do live in a very considerate town. Such kindness.

I went to the poetry meeting here at the library and read another of my short but frank pieces that brought some laughter and very few, if any, suggestions on how to better write those thoughts down in poetry form. I did finally understand what a prose poem is and think that form will be good for a piece I am working on, titled, The Woods – a love story.

A children’s poet, Diana, from the poetry group followed me home to look at the finished story of Burke and Wills along with the placement of illustrations. We made very few adjustments to get the necessary “bounce” needed for children’s poetry and I consider the hard part finished! I also wanted Diana to read The Stoat Story to see if I should publish it. She found it a compelling page turner and loved the magic of it. She likened it to folktales. So next I pulled out The Fairy Book and the one with all the animals, bugs, and birds done in watercolor among the leaves in a book I bought from a contact printer in Australia. She thinks all of them should be published to reach a larger audience.

So went on Amazon and the KDP Publishing I used before. There is no way I can use the concertina form with them or other publishers. So that leaves turning separate pages. Plus KDP will only hardcover 75 pages or more. That forces me into soft cover children’s book formats that have to be 8″ square at the smallest since all the above mentioned books are much less than 75 pages. So now I know why so many children’s books look the same and are hard to distinguish from each other. I had wanted Burke and Wills in a 5 x 7 or 8 inch hardcover like the early children’s books from England…like Peter Rabbit.

I may have to resort to a Blurb print on demand that will be more expensive to buy but at least come close to what I have in my head. More eye numbing research is necessary.

All I need for Burke and Wills is a cover illustration…and that is the very best part of the project. They are so fun to draw!

And to finish off the week, I met a friend down in Georgia to look at an art exhibit and have lunch. The work was all collage work and I was pleasantly surprised how well thought out the images were. Of course my favorites had some actual drawing among the bits and pieces. So much “artwork” today has the appearance of an online course that results in such similar techniques and materials that it is hard to tell whose work is whose. But this was very diverse in the approach to collage imagery.

And then lunch. Right off the bat we were “carded” for requesting a chardonnay…seriously! Even my companion could not pass for 18 at just one glance. But asking me was a shock. I look every bit of my 79 years and should have been offered a free drink for just showing up at their restaurant. And I am facing this as I ask for that chardonnay!

Nice bar there. “You must be kidding!” was my response but soon found out that if I wanted that drink I needed to show my driver’s license. I asked the waitress to give an old lady time to find her wallet, locate the pocket that held the drivers license, and then fumble it out for her approval. She was not amused. The food seemed over-priced for what it was, but I was in a bit of different country down there, so maybe taxes are higher and staff is getting a decent wage for putting up with old ladies. To finish it off we had coffee with cream, no sugar. And here is how that arrived at the table.

Two tiny bowls with crossed large tablespoons. God only knows how the sugar would have shown up if we requested that. But I liked the atmosphere and especially the company. Brought leftovers home and didn’t have to fix dinner.

I think today is a good day for writing since now all washing and ironing is done. Now I will unload the dishwasher and fix something for lunch.

Til later…


Focusing on the Dye Pot

Today I decided to unwrap the shirts and scraps of fabric. The previously Eucalyptus-dyed shirt that was too creamy beige liked going back in with tight wraps and iron. now has nice string wrap lines to give it more interest.

But the all white but a bit too creamy linen shirt did not cooperate. Came out looking more like cooked shrimp.

My old leaves are probably exhausted and did not make the marks I wanted. So tossed them out. It hurt a bit to do that but the California lady can always send me more.

So next I tied off sections so as not to get too much salmon color and wrapped one larger grey scrap. The small bluish ones were simply tossed in.

It looked like an octopus cooking in the pot. And because I wasn’t trusting the old iron piece to do its job, I threw in a couple tea bags and what might have been tea or coffee I found in a small tin from Christmas. Simmered this for quite some time…maybe an hour. Did not see a big difference so pulled out the final remedy, a couple teaspoons of ferrous sulphate. Walked away. Which was not the best idea. Came back in time to lift the lid and rescue the shirt and scraps.

Now I had grey! And leaf patterns showed up better. A detail.

And the scraps.

What was bluish/lavender is now a dusty orchid and the grey scrap is perfect for adding pockets to the newest grey shirt. All of it went into the machine for a good rinse and spin before ironing. Quite the mess to clean up but worth it.

And I wouldn’t have got stuck into doing this if two ladies (who might not be seeing too well) complimented me on the older grey shirt that was too pale so I tied leaves into it and find that none of the salad dressing spills show now.

And finally, in the mood to get some sewing done this next week, I went to a couple of op shops and bought extra large men’s shirts to harvest cloth from to add some interest to some boring clothes. Thank you, Kate Fletcher for soldiering on in this type of recycling. You, Aujke and Suzi BJ are such an inspiration. I don’t think most people in my new area would ever wear these overdyed, reused bits in clothing which are so comfortable!

Nothing else new…except one thing…just when I decided not to return to the restaurant Lee had such good times with good company over the years, one of the fellows from the corner came in the following morning and asked if we could go together to that restaurant because he’d not been there. How nice is that? Company in the restaurant where I get a hug when I show up and get the best food around.  My dinner that I thought was my farewell one on Thursday night was sea scallops and the best pumpkin soup! He and I are waiting until the weather gets a bit cooler. A thoughtful fellow who I share favorite children’s stories with.

That reminds me that Burke and Wills is now all written and ready for the poetry lady to look over. this is such a nice area of thoughtful people.

My stitches are out and the face is looking more normal. The doctor told me to go have a scotch…so I think it is close to time for that.

Til later…