I hope this finds you happy and well and that you have spent at least some time with a plant, in the garden and maybe even getting your hands dirty.
I honestly haven't had the time to fit blogging in for so long as obligations and a bit of craziness has consumed so much of my time.
Living in the Greater Sydney region has meant 4 long months of lockdown but luckily I have been an essential worker (journalist) and so have had some measure of freedom to do my work.
I was able to go to the radio station to produce and present my weekly live program and to interview people over the phone from there. Lucky as well to live in a very large LGA (Local Government Area), The Central Coast, and be able to go to the beach, the park and the forest for recreation. Not so lucky that I had another nasty fall and completely torn my medial meniscus. With no elective surgery due to restrictions it has meant terrible pain and immobility but I'll be getting it fixed soon.
Other than that? I'm busy completing a large gardening book and putting the finishing touches on a new series that will appeal to the arty gardeners out there. It's always plants from me so it won't take too much to guess. The large book will appear early 2023 and the series, (yes it is one for my Flora Flowers friends!) will kick off in March 2022. Exciting times and busy ones at that.
My Flora friends? Thanks for hanging in there with me. I am happy with where she is headed and the additional few years of development have really helped me to craft a strong backstory and foundation. It's a very good lesson for other authors and illustrators to not be so quick to rush to market with concepts before they are ripe. There is no way Flora would be as well developed or be able to hold up to the breath of plans I have created. There is lots of room for organic growth but it will always make sense to the reader as the roots are strong.
If you want to keep up with Flora, she has her own website now: The Flora Journals
The garden is looking as wonderful as it always does this time of year here, Down Under. It's late Spring and the vegetables are sweet, the flowers plentiful and the bees are doing their thing. The thing that has been sad is not being able to go to my community garden with friends and fellow community gardeners because of lockdown. We have managed to keep SWAMP (Sustainable Wetlands Agricultural Makers Project) alive and steady with rotating rosters ensuring only one of us (or family group) was there at a time. Right now our core team is back on deck and we are looking forward to opening to the public again early next year (maybe December!)
If you had of told me a few years ago, or even last year, that I would be a trained radio producer, presenter, panel operator in 2022 and would also be efficient with the 'Zetta' operating system and learning audio editing I would of told you to stop drinking the hard stuff! Here I am though doing all this at COASTFM. This is mostly due to necessity as it is a Community Radio Station and we all pitch in to help out where we can. I've loved the training and with my keen interest in IT, I've found it rather exciting. The thing about this station is that it is situated on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia and this is a place where a to of Sydney people retire to. So we have a stunning amount of talented, (and very well known) entertainment industry legends on hand. No true creative ever really retires and so our station is stacked with mentors almost on tap, as long as you are willing to do the work! If you are not hearing stories of 'The Golden Age of Radio and Advertising' then you are picking up tiny tips and helpful insights all day every day. The best thing though is really connecting with the community and making a real difference by sharing what you are passionate about directly. I'm able to craft a program that speaks straight to local gardeners and plant people that is for them, about them and including them.
My Coast News Gardening page is now syndicated to another weekly newspaper and found online. After a one week absence a couple of weeks ago due to a miscommunication, we all know how popular it is! It's delightful to hear how much people like my column which follows that gardening show I write. I also now get to review gardening books so if you have suggestions for gardening/plant related books that I could give my 'leaf rating' to, let me know! Oh and let's not forget the gardening questions!! I answer way more than appear in the article each week with about 20 coming in every seven days. Again, it's lovely to see and feel that I'm helping out.
I think that's enough things to catch up on to get me back behind the blogging wheelbarrow!
bunches of love,