Spring is my favourite time of year! Over the next week or so, around my own posts, I’d like to showcase a few bloggers who are also celebrating the season! (This may also introduce you to some new blogs that you might enjoy as much as I do). Have fun!
Flowery Prose has sort of been languishing on the backburner for the better part of a year now as I’ve been tackling a zillion other projects…and while this has been going on, I’ve completely broken all the rules of good blogging. Blogs that are worth their salt are built on the interactions between writer and reader. Although you’ve all been utterly fabulous and continued to read and comment whenever I’ve managed to squeak out a post (which has been less and less often as the months have gone by), I have, sadly, completely failed with regard to responding to all the fantastic comments I’ve received, as well as reciprocating by reading your blogs. I not only need to issue a huge apology, but I need to take action. So…effective immediately, you’re going to see a re-energized Flowery Prose. I am also going to make a far greater effort to spend time finding out about what is going on in your part of the world, via your blog posts. Please don’t expect huge strides, as I’m still swamped with projects. But I am going to make a change. Baby steps. Thank you so much to all of you for sticking around this entire time, even when there was a whole lot of silence on my end – I am deeply grateful for your kindness!
It looks as if I will have to fire my research assistant…this is the fourth time today I have caught her sleeping on the job…. 😉
The Central Library here in Calgary and the local writer’s group Loft 112 have a cool little thing going on…they’ve set up a Short Story Dispenser, conveniently located near Luke’s Café on Level 1M. While you’re sipping your tea or coffee, you can indulge in a randomly-selected one-minute, three-minute, or five-minute short story that is released from the dispenser at the touch of a button. The stories have been written by both international and Calgary-based writers – and I’m absolutely delighted to say that two of my five-minute stories are currently stuffed somewhere in the dispenser, waiting for someone to read them. If you live in Calgary and area, Loft 112 is still looking for more stories to fill the machine, so take a look at the call for submissions and have fun with it!
I recently found a little gem of a book by a southern Alberta-based writer, Joyce Moore: A Guide to Alberta Outdoors – Rides, Hikes, Birds, and Beasts (Bayeux Arts, Inc., Calgary, 2009). It’s a brief but lively collection of nature/outdoors columns that were syndicated for several rural newspapers in the 1990’s. She writes about ranching in the Highwood River area, the undertaking of several challenging and stunningly beautiful mountain treks, and observations of birds and other wildlife found in the Rockies and the foothills. A one-lunch-break read, and a fascinating look at our beautiful province by a woman who clearly loves and respects the environment.
These huge, furry, pollen-laden willow catkins stopped me in my tracks (pun intended) while walking near a crowded train station here in Calgary last week. I sort of wanted to hug them, but made do with a photograph instead.
What signs of spring (or autumn!) are you celebrating in your part of the world?
I’m super late with Flowery Friday (actually, I’m even late for Saturday; in some places it’s close to Sunday by now), but we’ll roll with it because it’s really all about the flowers, anyway. Or, at least that’s what I’ll claim so that no one notices just how disorganized I am….
This darling little heap of Hepaticas* isn’t late. These plants are right on time, as one of the earliest spring blooms you’re going to see in my neck of the woods. (See what I did there?). Sadly, these beauties are not from my garden – I visited them at the William Reader Rock Garden here in Calgary early last week. (Three days later, we received 15 centimetres of snow. Ah, Spring! Your vagaries delight!).
*Hmmmm…what would be the collective noun for Hepaticas? “Herd of Hepaticas“? Nah, that makes me think of a marauding band of them blanketing the countryside (which, on second thought, might not be such a bad thing). What about “hillock of Hepaticas“? You know…because I found them in a tumulose, rangy rock garden. Ba dum tsss! Okay, I’ll go now.
If you’ve been following Flowery Prose for a while, you’ll know that I LOOOOOVE all forms of short stories. I publish flash fiction by many amazing authors over at Paper Butterfly Flash Fiction, and I occasionally write short stories myself. (If there were more than 24 hours in a day, I’d write quite a few more!). But I have an especially soft spot for reading short stories…and I particularly adore science fiction, fantasy, and horror. The more eclectic and inventive, the better!
If you love short stories as much as I do (especially speculative fiction), give these sites a try! I am a first reader for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, a longtime print subscriber to On Spec (which is based out of Edmonton, in my home province of Alberta), and I’ve had my work published in Polar Borealis and 365 Tomorrows. Sites such as Daily Science Fiction are fun because you can have them send you one story each day – a treat to go with your morning coffee! (Every Day Fiction is another source of daily stories, as their publishing schedule permits – and they publish all genres, not just speculative fiction).
On Spec (Canadian; print and digital editions available for a subscription fee)
Polar Borealis (Canadian; online only, free to read but donations welcomed)
Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores (must pay to subscribe, but they always have a free sample story up on the website to enjoy; a new feature are the podcasts, which you can listen to for free!)
365 Tomorrows (free to read!)
The Martian Magazine (free to read; The Martian publishes drabbles (fiction of 100 words or less) so you can gobble down several of these in one sitting)
Daily Science Fiction (free; if you give them your email address, they’ll gift you with a new story five days a week!)
Every Day Fiction (free; subscribe by email. New stories are published frequently)
Do you read short stories? Do you subscribe to any short story magazines, or do you prefer book-form anthologies or collections (one author or multiple)? Please share any recommendations you may have – it doesn’t matter where in the world you live!
In November of last year, the doors opened to an absolutely gorgeous new library in Calgary. Central Library’s Snøhetta-designed new home is a striking, light-filled mix of glass, wood, concrete, and steel. The graceful curves and oh! that skylight! captivated me when my hubby and I visited on opening weekend.
Check out 100 Reasons to Love the New Central Library, a compendium of fun facts about this spectacular space!
P.S. If you look down into the lower part of the photo, you’ll see a life-sized statue of a bison. Created by Cree artist Lionel Peyachew, it is made out of pieces of stamped metal representing words in various Indigenous languages.
One of my favourite times of the year is when the new issue of The Prairie Garden arrives in my mailbox! This themed, annual digest has been in publication for a whopping 63 years and I am delighted to have been a contributing writer since 2011 (although I missed 2015 and 2017). This year, the theme is Growing Food and it includes my article “Integrated Pest Management.” Check out The Prairie Garden‘s website for more information about the book and the other featured writers, as well as for details on how to order both the new book and available back issues. (The book is also available for purchase in select bookstores, garden centres, and nurseries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta).