The Signs of Spring – Reno style

To say that learning the ways of a new place is an adventure is an enormous understatement. From the San Francisco Bay Area to Reno is a major adjustment. And at no time is that more clear than the beginning of spring.

 

 

Signs that Spring is coming…someday.

  1. The trees are getting buds and little red-breasted birds are appearing in the bare branches. The birds may think it is spring, but the weatherman forcasting snow this weekend is of a different mind.
  2. The weather is getting warmer. If I had ever, in a million years, thought 40° was going to be warmer I would have fallen over laughing. I was a teenaged summer girl, slathered in tanning lotion with Sun-In in my hair.
  3. I am happiest on my computer or reading a book or just about anything indoors. So when I start feeling that urge to go outside and feel the breeze and smell the great outdoors, spring must be coming after all.

Hope you can feel spring coming, or your next season on the other side of the world, wherever you are.


Jill James, romance writer

Seasons

Being originally from Baltimore, Maryland I was used to four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Moving to California–not so much. LOL I’ve always joked that Cali has two seasons: wet and cold and hot and dry. Nowadays, it seems like it is landslide and fire.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I did not realize when I moved to Reno, Nevada last year that we would again have four seasons. It has been glorious. It is already becoming autumn here. Today’s high was 74, with it being barely 50 this morning. The leaves are turning colors, the wind is cool and crisp, and the skies are a bright blue with a million stars at night.

 

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

The natives said summer was hot. After the years in California’s Central Valley, not so much to me. We had most days in the low 90s with a few days during the whole summer hitting 100. It was awesome.

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Spring was amazing. In the winter, everything is dormant and dead-looking, so each new bud, every little flower is a celebration of the earth waking up after a long-winter’s nap. If it wasn’t for allergies, spring would be the best season of all.

 

 

 

 

Photo by pparnxoxo on Unsplash

For the first time since I was a very little girl, we live where it snows for the winter. Looking out over a blanket of white covering everything is magical, no matter how old or young you are. Where we live, the snow is a few inches overnight and in the morning. By afternoon the sun hits it and it melts away.

 

 

It has been an experience to write for the boxed sets with the Authors of Main Street. Trying to feel the heat of summer when I’m sitting in my slippers, sipping hot tea and trying to envision the chill of a snowy mountain day as I swelter with the fan on full blast. A writer’s imagination is her greatest gift, but mine is still tasked sometimes to bring to life the opposite season it is. 🙂

Coming Soon! In My Dreams by Jill James in the Christmas Wishes on Main Street boxed set.

What is your favorite season? And why?

Jill James, romance author

Is This Supposed to be Spring?

I hardly slept last night. Wind howling outside and ice pellets pounding my bedroom window kept me awake. Not to mention the ice-laden hedges beside the house scraping against the siding. The racket at the front of the house, outside the kids’ rooms, had me half-convinced a tornado was tearing off the shutters (although they appear intact). I don’t know how they slept through it.

By morning, a thick layer of ice coveIMG_4362red everything—the lawn, the trees, our van, and even some of the windows that had been pelted with freezing rain. The deck chairs were dripping with icicles. By mid-morning, the freezing rain turned to regular rain as the temperature rose. As I write, we can hear sheets of ice slipping from rooftops and cashing to the ground—a sound unnervingly like an explosion.

Up here in Ottawa, there’s no sign of spring at the moment. Last week’s melt was only a tease. I feel lucky, though, to be spared yesterday’s mega ice storm that swept through Southern Ontario, leaving thousands without power and causing hundreds of vehicle collisions.

I live in hope that within a couple of weeks, a real spring will finally arrive!

Bird-song, Joy and the Growing Light

Mourning-Dove_5637This morning I heard our resident mourning doves greet the sun with their smile-inducing coo. They greet the day with joy. They say goodnight to it with the same lyrical celebration.

In this I want to be like a dove.

spring-equinoxYesterday was OSTRA – the Spring Equinox – the day when Spring officially begins and the moments of light and dark are equal.

I love this day. Tomorrow the Light grows, by almost two minutes per day, until the longest period of Light and the shortest night.

Spring is the time of Hope. It brings eggs, seeds, sprouts, chicks and bunnies. How can we hear bird-song reveling in the longer days and not be warmed inside? Impossible.

Now is the time to plant our seeds and nurture them into future abundance. Literally and figuratively.thGOTSE2J6

I’ve used today to plan my next two months, and sketched out the broad strokes for my next novel.

Today I’ve also sketched the goals for our business for the short-term and the next few steps I can take immediately to help that business grow and flourish.

We cannot plant literal  seeds for our vegetable or flower gardens yet, it’s far too cold here for that. Still, the planning has begun. Hint, there will be a plethora of impatiens and a variety of heirloom tomatoes.

May the many blessings of Spring be yours. Happy Easter. Happy OSTRA. May we all grow in Love, in Health and in Abundance.

Leigh

 

It’s March!

I hope everyone had as much fun with our romantic excerpts in February as we did. We loved sharing our friends books with all of you.

We’ve also added two new authors to Main Street. Lizzi Tremayne and Magdalena Scott. Please welcome them and be sure to read their posts. We have been an international group with Susan in Canada. But with Lizzi living in New Zealand,  we’re now worldwide and not just North American. 🙂 Main Street is everywhere!

As we transition into spring here, Lizzi is headed into fall.  Either way, it’s a lovely time of year between the extremes. I snapped this pic yesterday evening outside the library where local authors gather twice a month. Yes, those are trees in bloom and daffodils were img_20170228_175222blooming along with several irises. Has it been a bit warm here in the SE corner of Virginia? Yes! Unseasonably! But I won’t complain, as it keeps the heater off and the AC isn’t needed. Yet parts of the North America are still feeling winter’s cold blast.  There’s still plenty of time for this area to feel the cold of winter for we aren’t even close to the last frost date. But for now I’m happy!

We have lots of fun things coming this year. Our Christmas boxed set will be boxed-set-v3bkavailable for a little while longer before it vanishes, but we’re already talking about Christmas 2017. Remember our box is 99c and it’s FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited! It’s our gift to our readers! And it’s available in print!

So March is roaring in with a light breeze here. I’m in edits for an upcoming western historical, and my next contemporary is already dancing in my mind. I’m trying to keep those characters quiet until I finish with my western manuscript. I promise that characters have no manners whatsoever! They’re never quiet when you need them to be. 😦

My backyard began to fill with late winter color when the Lenten Roses began to bloom followed by the February Gold daffodils and the leaves of other spring bulbs have already begun to poke their heads out of the ground. The area that should be grass is blooming in almost solid purple with wild Lamium. That’s what happens when you don’t kill off the broad-leafed weeds in the grass. 🙂  What’s happening outside your window?

Signs of Spring

Up here in Ontario, we are finally seeing spriscillang. The snow has melted away to reveal matted brown lawns. But that’s okay. Among the blades of dead grass, the first flowers are beginning to emerge. See that blue bloom my daughter Sophie is admiring? Look reaaaally closely. It’s a perfect little scilla. Just one tiny flower, but such a joyous sight after four and a half months of snow and record-breaking cold.

What better way to celebrate spring than with a brand-new boxed set bursting with romance and passion? Love Blooms on Main Street is now available for pre-order for only 99 cents.

Valentine coverEach story is inspired by a different flower. My contribution, Forever Your Valentine, has a pivotal scene involving daisies, which symbolize loyal love. At the end of a day trip to Pelee Island, while Faith and Cole take a stroll at sunset, she makes the decision to let go of her inhibitions and spend the night with him. Though neither of them is prepared to commit to anything deeper than friendship, the attraction between them is too strong to resist. Could they be falling in love despite their best efforts?

Blessings for Spring

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about blessings lately and how to write them. Blessings should come as naturally as swearing in traffic or gesturing like a mad woman at the computer when the words don’t flow and I feel like my brain has morphed into cotton candy. Yet they don’t. Not for me.

flowers-hd-wallpapers

I think the reason I’ve been working on reading and writing blessings is that life has been challenging over the last year or so for me and many of my friends and acquaintances. Challenges that are more than inconvenient. In many cases, these challenges have been life altering. Even potentially good alterations in life can truly stink at the moment. When these challenges come and it’s time to take a deep breath and say, Well hell, that didn’t go as planned…time for a new plan, many of us fall back on our work to keep us whole.

spring-flowers

Work is something we all do. It is something each and every one of us wants to take pride in and do our utmost to see done well no matter what it iswith the possible exceptions of answering e-mails and maintaining a clean house. Spring is a time when, for most of us who write, we start to panic at all that we need to see done before the year’s end. If you don’t have this quasi-paniced drive and worry kicking in now, skip immediately to the blessing, you are already well adjusted.

spring-flowers-flowers-31493903-1024-753

I love the energy of spring. The new growth. The feeling that, yes!, this is going to be the best work year for me yet. I will see better work accomplished. I will improve in craft, content and volume of what I do. These are things I can control. These are doable things. To achieve that there must be balance and an appreciation that not everything is going to go according to plan. That can be a good thing too.

flowers

So, as spring progresses and life begins to bloom again in the world around us, I am hopeful it will bloom in our spirits with renewed energy. We are looking forward to our new box set here on Main Street and it has the same theme: LOVE BLOOMS. Indeed, it does. Always.

spring-flowers-pictures

Here’s a blessing I love from John O’ Donohue in his book on Celtic spirituality, Anam Cara:

May the light of your soul guide you. May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart. May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul. May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work. May your work never weary you. May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement. May you be present in what you do. May you never become lost in the bland absences. May the day never burden. May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises. May evening find you gracious and fulfilled. May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected. May your soul calm, console, and renew you.

May you always find something sacred in every day. I hope spring brings a feeling of renewal to you all. May each of us strive for perfection and find excellence at least once every day in whatever we do. Happy Spring!

 

Leigh