Road Trips and Roses

Good Morning, Everyone

I am back from a road trip to upstate New York. It’s good to be home on the damp south shore of Long Island. Pour your brew. Let’s catch up. 

If we were having coffee together, I would report that this past week was busy with author events. I was at the Hampton Bays Elementary School Author-Illustrator Night. These are wonderful fairs where authors and illustrators can meet children, teachers, and parents, sign books, and make those all important connections. It was a lovely breezy evening outdoors. Families, fresh from the ball fields and dance studios, arrived very excited for books. 

I also drove five hours upstate to the New York Librarian Association Conference. I hoped to meet and share business cards with the important book gatekeepers–librarians. The most challenging part of the trip was getting off Long Island. The Bronx was jam-packed early in the afternoon. I trusted my Google assistant to navigate me through the busy borough and finally onto the clear Thruway. The conference was well attended at the Turning Stone Resort Casino. My fellow children’s book writer graciously invited me to share his table.

If we were having coffee together, I would mention that I am preparing the description and logline for The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers. A logline is a one to two-sentence summary of the book. The description is the pitch that is found on the back cover of the book. A cover may attract a reader to a book, but the description seals the sale. I find these important pieces of metadata harder to write than the novel.   

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you about the roses. My mom is an amazing gardener and has an affinity for roses. She mastered bulb flowers, perennials and prized roses and timed their blooms so that space was never without color and awe. What made the yard so exception is that the Great South Bay sprayed salt water in the yard all year long. No one keeps a seaside garden like my mom. 

She approaches her wards like a strict schoolmarm. If the leaves waved, and the stems held strong, mom would complement their accomplishments. If flowers bloomed full and on time, she’d gush and exalt the praises. Woe to the plant that struggled to bloom. They were soundly scolded. 

Mom follows certain growers and has strong opinions about specific lines of roses. She recognizes their blooms and leaves and knows them by name. 

Nowadays, she tends to her charges on the deck and arranges large pots of her favorite roses. It makes it easier for her to fuss, trim, and water them. One particular rose, Excellence, disappointed her for several years. The leaves grew short, and it bloomed simple light yellow petals that easily blew away in the salty wind. Mom threatened to rip it out if it didn’t improve. The rose seemed to understand and tried its best to stand stronger and bloom more prolifically.

This year, Mom searched for the David Austin’s Charlotte, a stunning pale yellow rose with an uncommonly complicated bloom and a light rosy scent. We found a beautiful specimen at the Peconic Herb Farm and brought it home. Mom forfeited Excellence and replace it with the Charlotte

Let it be clear, I am not as skilled or attentive to my roses as my mother. I prefer the hardy variety that does not need my daily fussing and problem solving. To me, Excellence looked healthy enough for my simple collection and I had room. I took the little plant home, like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but it should not expect loving attention. I’ll just let it do its thing, like the rest of my roses and other plants in my yard. Fingers crossed. 

How was your week? What are you looking forward to this week? Make it Funtastic!

Great BIG Thanks and appreciation go out to Natalie the Explorer who keeps the Weekend Coffee Share percolating.

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 

Pray for peace. 


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Becoming America’s Food Stories


Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

10 thoughts

  1. Glad you were able to meet your readers, librarians and other writers at the book events. The yellow roses look beautiful with their layers of petals. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

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