Friday, July 27, 2012

Fun Fridays: My Organic Garden and a short Q&A!

Thought you might like to get a look at how much my organic garden grew in the past few months.  Sometime in April or maybe it was May, I posted this first picture.

Now here is the picture I took last week!

We've already harvested several summer squash, zucchini, 1 green pepper, carrots, beans, lettuce, garlic, and tomatoes. I didn't have much success with the onions or broccoli.  Now, this is all organic.. no pesticides anywhere! I planted lots of fragrant herbs and also marigolds (as you can see) which they say deter bugs, and I haven't had any problems whatsoever.   They also say to not put the same vegetable in a row but group it with different veggies across the garden.  

Anyway, finally someone took me up on asking me some questions!  You may remember that I said part of my Fun Fridays would be used for you all to ask me ANYTHING. It could be something personal (not too personal!) or it could be something about writing or one of my books, my political or religious views, what shampoo I use..etc..  think of the possibilities!!  Not that you all want to know that stuff about me, but it could really open up some great discussions. :-)  

Anyway, here's the questions Joleen Graumann sent me.

What does a typical week look like for you when you're in the midst of writing a novel?

I get up early! Usually by 7 at the latest, grab some coffee and start going through emails. Answering emails and going through Facebook posts takes about 40 minutes. Then I grab more coffee and spend time with God. I am reading through the Bible (again) so I usually read a couple of chapters, maybe 3, pray and just hang with my Father for awhile. Then I get dressed and it's back to the computer!!  When I'm under a tight deadline I will put anywhere from 6 to 8 hours just pounding on the keyboard.   I have to force myself to get up and eat something and go for a walk. (usually around noon)  I try to walk for about 40 minutes and use that time to pray and think about what I've written. Then back to work until 5 when I need to start dinner for hubby. :-)   Unless I'm going to miss my deadline, my evenings are my own to spend with hubby and crash in front of the TV. Bubble baths really help to unwind after a day of writing!
How do most of your novels start? (a theme, a scene that develops into a story, a character, a verse?)
 Funny thing but my novels have all started differently. The Redemption started with a scene that played out in my head and refused to leave.  (Charlisse on a ship in the Caribbean in the middle of a storm!)  My Charles Towne Belles series definitely started with a Scripture, the parable about the seed and the sower in Matthew 13. My Destiny series started with a Theme -- God has a special purpose for each one of us!  Veil or Pearls started with a theme- the fear of man. So, I guess it depends on the book and how God reveals it to me. 
How many ideas for stories do you have going? (Is it often one idea at a time or do you have lots of ideas running through your head?)  
Normally I have 2 or 3 different story ideas roaming about my head at once. Rarely am I complete dry.  In fact right now, I've had a mermaid tale swimming through my brain that refuses to leave!
When writing historical fictions, at what point do you research? (before writing, in the midst, after the gist of the story is written?) 
I do a majority of the research before I start writing. I try to anticipate things I will need to know without spending weeks and weeks on it. It's easy to get lost in research and never come out in time to write the story!   However, once I start writing, there are always things that pop up that I need to go look up. When that happens, I either mark it and come back or I just stop the writing and go look it up. 

If you have questions for next week, please send them to me at
Have a great weekend!!


  1. Friday, July 27th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Wow .. "Mary, Mary, how does your garden grow ?" I'd say: "Very well indeed !!!" " Super job, super growth, and super enjoyment for you and your family (eating the results) ! Good work !!!
    Thanks for sharing the questions and answers with us, re your 'typical day' when writing, and, how your ideas come up. I can't even begin to imagine just how busy/detailed/disciplined your life is ! (Love the 'hills' in the background of your picture.)
    Guess 'who' is another year older 'today' ??? Yupp ! And on top of that ... I'm going to a "9:00 A.M." appointment over at the Job Gym .... 'still' looking for suitable employment ! Oh, good grief !!! (Most job ads ask for -- fast-paced, tight deadlines, multi-tasking, and, significant use of memory ... four things that are 'not' on my can-do list !!!) Whatever !
    Thanks again for sharing with us today, MaryLu.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Thanks MaryLu for sharing a bit of your life with us! I'm glad that God continues to drop great story ideas into your head and heart! Isn't that fun?!
    I'm interested in the mermaid idea ... although I have to admit that after seeing the last Pirates of the Carribean movie, I looked at mermaids a little differently! They scared me! ;)
    But here's a fun little story of mine ... As kids, we went to the beach all the time (it was just down the road from us). I once told my younger sister that I was a mermaid. When we got home from the beach later I told her that I had to go back because mermaids could only be on land for so long. She believed me. (She claims to have no memory of this today.) I think it was a bit of wishful thinking on my part, as well as having the thrill of pulling one over on my sis! A mermaid in Lake Huron. Ha! So, if you're ever here and you see the flick of a tail in the reflection of the sunset on the water ...

    Brenda - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope and pray that you have a special day! :) Will pray for the job as well!

  3. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your life!

  4. Well HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Miss Brenda!!! How exciting! I wish I could be there to help you celebrate! Why are you looking for work on your birthday? You should be going out and having fun. I'm praying you find the right job. You're right most people want young people who can do 20 things at once and run around like frantic nuts. My sister, who is in her mid-fifties, has been looking for a job for over a year and can't get hired. :-(

    Hi Caroline!!! I laughed at your mermaid story! Sounds like something I would have tried to pull off on my baby brother! Your sister probably has "no memory" cause she's embarrassed she believed you. LOL If they ever do spot a mermaid in Lake Huron, I'll know who it is!! ;-)

    Thanks for coming by, Diane!!

  5. Fri July 27th,
    Hey "all",
    Thanks for the b-day wishes, Caroline and MaryLu, and, for praying that I/we find the "right job" fitted to me ! (This is so not easy, the older one gets !)
    Well, you see MaryLu ... I was actually only at an "appointment" this morning (which just happened to fall on the 27th), to get re-registered with the Job Gym (paper work, etc), and to tell them 'what' I am interested in doing. The good thing about being registered with them is: once you have a job lined up ... the Job Gym are able to pay "half your wages" ... to the perspective Employer, for a "training period" of time. Also, they will help me with "rebuilding" my self-confidence level back up ... and trust me, I truly need help in that area !!! Anyway, it was good. They will give/offer/encourage a lot of self-help, and they have various little courses like "Work Place Safety", which I need to take 'before' taking on any employment.
    Caroline ... your mermaid story is so cute !!! Okay, well, "if" I ever get to Lake Huron ... I'll keep my eyes on the lookout !

  6. Happy birthday, Brenda!
    Thanks for sharing, MaryLu! Our garden is doing horribly with the drought...
    It is interesting to see a bit of what your life is like! I am also hoping you write that mermaid story soon because it sounds AWESOME already! :D

  7. I was wondering about how your garden was doing! We are having trouble with rabbits eating ours. We really need to fence it in next year, methinks. But we still have stuff that the rabbit hasn’t eaten, so that is good. I also planted a bunch of flower seeds, and they are finally blooming. That made me very excited when I saw that I actually had flowers!

    I will have to think of a question to ask you! Have a great weekend!

  8. Brenda, this Job Gym sounds so cool.. it's perfect for people entering the workforce after so many years. I'm praying they can really help you gain that confidence and find a good job!

    Heather. yikes sorry about your drought. Are you on water rationing?

    Emma, I think there may be a raccoon or 2 eating my tomatoes.. I need to get my fence fixed. I keep asking hubby, but he's so busy. Good job on the flowers! It feels good to plant something and watch it grow!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  9. Great garden! Thanks for the Q&A! Loved it! :) I had worship practice last night but when I got there, apparently it had been cancelled and my email got derailed in cyberspace. Got to go to the library and write for an hour instead--woohoo! I worked up the Leads a little more than I had; SO much fun! Still working on refining my Cover Copy.

    Thanks for all the inside scoop on a writer's life!

    Hugs & love!


  10. Yea Joleen!! Glad you could drop by and see the answers to your questions! It is fun writing, isn't it? When I really get into the story, I'm in heaven. It's the rest of the stuff that drives me nuts! (deadlines, marketing, stress, bad reviews..etc) But God is good. He makes my path straight and smooth.
    Have a great night!

  11. Your garden looks great, MaryLu! This is a good idea, letting people ask you questions. Helps us all get to know you a little better. Now, maybe you neglected to put it down, but I don't see any breakfast in your daily routine. Jack and I always try to have a small bowl of cereal, juice and coffee each morning. With your writing habits, 6-8 hours long, you really should eat something with your morning coffee. Sorry, just care about you. Anyway, I believe that your Mermaid story will happen one day. ***Happy Birthday, Brenda!***

  12. Sat July 28th,
    Morning everyone.
    Just wanted to add -- a 'thank-you' to Heather and Debbie as well, for the b-day wishes (for yesterday). So much appreciated !
    My sister is down visiting for a few days ... so we're hanging out, and doing the fun/girly/sisterly things ... you know -- shopping, watching the Olympics on TV, and, we're going out tonight to see a live/musical performance of "Pop Goes the Sixties" ... (of which Barb and I were "both there for, from many years ago now") ... and sad but true, we "will" recognize all of the music !!!! It will be totally fun, I'm sure ... as we travel once again "down memory lane" !!!
    Anyway ... thank-you for the thoughtful birthday wishes. And yes, MaryLu ... I'm working toward "confidence building skills", and hopefully, 'landing the right job for me' ! I appreciate the prayers.
    Have a great weekend 'all'.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  13. Sounds like you and your sister will be having a great time!! I'm so happy for you, Brenda! Enjoy yourself!

    And Debbie, I sort of eat breakfast. I'm never hungry when I get up so I just drink coffee.. and then around 10:00 or so, when my tummy begins to rumble I grab something small.. a piece of fruit or I make a smoothie. Thanks for caring!! You're sweet!

  14. First of all, your garden looks great! I am really thinking about starting one of my own... I have no idea WHERE to start, though. Guess I'll have to do some research. If you have time to share any of your tips, that would be awesome :)
    Secondly, thanks for pointing out those hills, Brenda! They look gorgeous. I was just so focused on the garden lol.
    And happy belated birthday, Brenda! Glad you got to hang out with your sister :)
    Oh, and I am of course SO waiting for that mermaid story. I still laugh about when you mentioned making a mermaid SWAT team :D

  15. Mon July 30th,
    Thank-you, Sarah M, for the b-day wishes .... most appreciated !!!
    Yes, my sister and I are having fun, and she's here for a couple more days yet. Thanks again.
    In Him,
    Brenda Hurley

  16. Good looking Gardens. All it needs is a garden cross. sells wood and vinyl crosses. Thanks for the pictures and the information.

  17. That is indeed fun! Lovely garden indeed!