A fresh start


I remember when I was a very little girl there was a fairy story my mother read to me. It told of how the fairies painted the sticky buds on the trees to protect the baby leaves from the frost. I thought of that tale when the dog and I were out for our pre-dawn wander. The buds are swelling, and reaching up, sure enough the tight little buds are sticky with sap.

There were celandines in the wood this morning, a sheltered little patch that seems to have stolen a march on spring. Their tiny, glossy petals were barely beginning to unfold their fragility to the dawn, but the brilliant yellow that showed against the green offered a promise.

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There is promise in the sunshine today too. Not much warmth yet, but the skies are blue and bright, with a possibility, a mere hint, of warmer days to come. As the frost recedes and the green shows more vividly across the landscape, there is a little vernal vibrancy tingling in the air.

The birds are busy collecting stray fluff and feathers, early lambs and the odd calf gambol in the fields or snuggle close to Mum for warmth. It is a typical moment of the turning of the tides. In spite of iced ponds and bitter winds, you can almost feel the sap rising.

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I love these moments where you can see the turning of the wheel, the cycle of life in motion. Spring may slide into summer with barely a noise, but the change from winter to spring comes with a fanfare, a riot of colour. For now Spring is waiting in the wings. We, the audience, hear the occasional rustle, catch an odd whisper of the glimpse of a golden skirt as she prepares for the raising of the curtain. It is all poised, hushed and eager to begin.

It is a season of births and beginnings and we ourselves feel and respond to the changing seasons. It is a rather nice feeling to be aligned with the forces of Nature in this way, waiting for the sun to come in and light everything, painting it gold and filling it with warmth and life. It feels right that this should be the moment where tomorrow begins.

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Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer with a camera. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Find her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent.

#NotesFromTheRiver – When Is a Little Blue Heron NOT a Little Blue Heron?

(Photo by Doug Little)

When he’s a calico heron, of course! 🙂 This week’s #NotesFromTheRiver post is up, for those who’ve been following along on this trek into the wild places of Florida, to explore the birds, reptiles, and other critters we share our state with. Hope some of you will enjoy checking it out.

#NotesFromTheRiver – Calico Herons

Guest author: Marcia Meara – Attitude really IS everything!

I am thrilled to let you guys know that I’m a guest blogger today on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Please stop by and check it out. Hope you’ll enjoy the post, and share far and wide. Thanks so much!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

You can’t!
I can.
Why not?
It’s all wrong!
It’s all right.
You shouldn’t!
I should.
You won’t!
I will.
It could be bad!
It could be good.
It’s too late!
There’s time.
You’re too old!
I’m still here.
You did it!
I did.

~Marcia Meara


Hi, Everybody! I’m Marcia, and I’d like to thank Sue for having me here today. She’s such a wonderful supporter of artists of all kinds, and I’m very pleased to be part of her guest post feature.

The little poem above is one I wrote three years ago, right after I published my first book, at age 69. As you might imagine, it was inspired by a lot of comments I received from folks who thought I was crazy to be attempting something as daunting as writing and self-publishing a novel at my age. I heard every single reason why I…

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Writing: Business or Hobby?

Mae Clair has some excellent advice concerning *shudder* tax season! New writers will want to take note, to avoid headaches down the road.

Story Empire

Hey, SE gang, Mae here with a reminder that tax time is looming. Ugh!

A battle struggling writers often face is whether or not the IRS considers their efforts a business or hobby. Very few of us make bucketfuls of money as writers. For most, expenses outweigh profits during the first few years. That sad reality aside, you need to report those expenses if you’re trying to establish a business. I’m by no means an expert, but here are a few things you can do to keep Uncle Sam from viewing your enterprise as a hobby:

Detailed Record Keeping
This may seem obvious, but the more detailed records you can produce (in the event of a dreaded audit) the more favorable the outcome is likely to be. Keep receipts and make notations on each. In addition, use a spreadsheet to track and itemize by category. I use headings such as

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10 Unusual Things I Know About Bookworms

Lovely post from Jenny Hansen’s blog. Do you recognize yourself in here? 🙂

Jenny Hansen's Blog

Photo credit: Hunter Emkay ~ WANA Commons

It’s National Reading Month, which is my favorite time of year, since I am a bookworm. We’re a club with specific characteristics and one thing is certain: bookworms find other bookworms. They simply must, so they can find out about more cool books.

Bookworms have been devouring books for as long as they can remember – for story, for new worlds and new ideas. Their To Be Read piles are taller than a small child. Their favorite authors and characters become friends.

If you are a bookworm, there are things that I know about you that I don’t know about the other readers I meet:

1. I know you read odd things in odd places.
If you are stuck somewhere without a book, you will begin reading any words available – shampoo bottles, food labels, billboard signs. Whatever. Books and magazines are preferred, but in a pinch, any words will smooth your soul.

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#WhyWriteWrong – New Meme, Perhaps?


Been thinking for some time about starting a new writing meme, and after searching around on Twitter for a phrase not currently in use, I think #WhyWriteWrong might work. Basically, it’s just my way of introducing the occasional post on mistakes I spot while reading. Especially the ones that really jump out at me, pulling me out of the story long enough to think (or sometimes yell) “Noooo! That’s just wrong!” I’m hoping this idea might be helpful and/or fun.

My first post is the one freshest in my memory. (Gotta grab those stray thoughts, while I can!) I recently read a very good book by an author MUCH more renowned that I’ll ever hope to be, and it was an entertaining story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Except for the fact that the author persisted in “wrecking havoc,” not once, but several times. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase, one does not “wreck” havoc. One “wreaks” havoc. Not spelled the same, not pronounced the same. (First one, of course, is pronounced, “reck,” and the second “reek.”)

I’m pretty sure this mistake isn’t rare, though I didn’t expect to see it made by this author. So, I figured I’d share it here, as a reminder that creating mayhem and tearing things apart, willy-nilly, is “wreaking havoc.” Of course, one can leave behind a wreck if one wreaks enough havoc. That’s a given. But “wreak” and “wreck” are not interchangeable. Honest.

And there you have today’s #WhyWriteWrong post.  We all have words and expressions we misuse, so I’m thinking this could be of help. Yes? No?  Maybe?

What do you think?

DISCLAIMER:   I am not a grammarian or English professor, but I promise not to post something under this meme that I haven’t verified with those who are.


This Week’s #NotesFromTheRiver – Tricolored Herons – What’s In a Name?


For those who have been following my Wednesday nature posts on the St. Johns River Eco Tour blog, here’s the link to today’s, which compares the tricolored heron to the little blue heron, and shows you an easy way to  identify which one is which. (Thanks for the idea, Kass.)

#NotesFromTheRiver Tricolored Herons