Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Friday, January 16, 2015

"She Done What She Could"

I am thrilled and honored that the International Reading Association chose my new Running Out of Night as one of their "2014 Best Chapter Books."

Dear Friends,

I am overwhelmed by your many kindnesses. You're the best (as is my husband). I couldn't keep limping along without your support.

Are you wondering about the bad English in my title? I love to visit old graveyards and read the tombstones. I conjure up images of families of olden times, lives lived on the sea, or in the case of my title, a mother's life raising nine children.

Jeff and I were traveling through Maine and stopped at a graveyard on Deer Isle, Maine. One tombstone spoke to me; it was as if I were reading my own headstone. I remember that her last name was Eaton and that she'd somehow managed to birth and raise nine kids. The tombstone had her name and then those words, "She Done What She Could." Isn't that all that most of us can aspire to, doing what we can do in the best way we know how? That's what I do. I know that there are always so many more talented people, but I keep going.

For my birthday the year we stumbled on Mrs. Eaton's telling tombstone, Jeff ordered a headstone cake from Linn's in Cambria, California. They were flummoxed, but they made the cake in the shape of the stone and inscribed it with the words I so loved. "She done what she could." I am still working and still trying to approach life half as steadfastly as Mrs. Eaton and all the other unnamed and forgotten women before me. Salute!
My First Book Club

This is a trial run of what is an upcoming SKYPE book club interview. If you have a book club in my area I will be happy to participate, but if you're far away, SKYPE works beautifully.

January has been a month of scheduling and work. Jeff is accepting requests for talks, for Skype hook-ups with book clubs, with school visits, and so much more. I will let you know all that is going on as soon as I have an updated schedule. I am looking forward to an upcoming Skype interview with a book club for children in Washington, D.C. that chose Running Out of Night as their book for January.

The girls and their mothers will speak to me via Skype and ask pertinent questions about the book and about writing books. They'll be serving food too that goes along with my book. Beef Jerky, apple slices, just the foods I mention. It will be so much fun.

The Dave Congalton Show on KVEC 920 AM

Dave Congalton welcomed me to his lively local radio show last Friday. (Link is to the podcast. Sharon's segment starts at 36:33) He did an incredible job of making me feel welcome and at ease. We talked for an hour on live radio (daunting), answered two calls that came in, and had a great time. Thank you, Dave, for what you do for our central coast.

Into the Garden AGAIN!

Can you believe that my dwarf peach is already blooming?

Then again, can you believe that this dwarf 'Pink Lady' apple is still on the tree?

Join Me on a Garden Walk

Hurrah! I can walk, bend, and work again and I am loving every second on my feet. 

Join me for a quick walk through the garden and glean a bit of wisdom about gardening in your nightgown!

Who Won the Double Give-Away?

This is a short, short posting, but I did want to catch up with you and also let you know that having a separate e-mail address for our give-aways is working well, especially for people who are not bloggers and can't leave a comment, or don't want to sign up with Google, etc..We had over 100 entries in the give away of my old book A Blessing of Toads, which was purchased by Down East Books and was just released. FYI, they updated the cover, but now the interior illustrations are in black and white. Still the same words though.

We also offered this wonderful, solid copper rain chain from Rain Chains Direct (valued at $129.95). The LUCKY winner is one of my Facebook friends, Kris Lech in Nebraska. Maybe this should be an ice chain? 

Congratulations, Kris, lucky girl!

Signing off now, but hoping to hear from you on Facebook, my new Sharon Lovejoy Home, Gardens, Books Facebook page, by e-mail, or on this blog posting.

This month I am offering another copy of A Blessing of Toads and the fabulous Beach: A Book of Treasures by Josie Iselin.

This is a magnificent book. Good luck! Please leave a comment on this posting (I love them), but to enter the drawing, send an email to (

Sending love across the miles,



Pondside said...

I have a grandson who is now reading chapter books. I will be looking for this one. Congratulations to you,Sharon! No matter how many books you write, no matter how well they are received, the book that you've just written must always be a little like a child sent out into the big wide world!

Julie Marie said...

Hello dear cousin, and congratulations on all of the wonderful things happening with Running Out Of Night!... (I still miss Zenobia and Lark and have read it twice now!)... loved your winter garden video, you have so many beautiful things already blooming and growing!... sorry a bee went up your nightgown!... I must tell you though, that several years ago, a hornet went up my pantleg of my jeans when I was in my garden, (the legs were flared somewhat), and stung me 7 times on my thigh!... as you know, they can just keep on stinging unlike a bee... I started to swat through my jeans to kill it, and each time I just made it mad and he kept stinging me... tried to run in our front door, it was locked so ran around back and I hurt so bad as I was running up our back stairs, I finally pulled my jeans down around my ankles (hello neighbors!)... when I got inside he was still there and now resides in hornet heaven (if there is such a place!)... congratulations to your giveaway winner!... sooo happy you are up and walking again!... I took a nasty spill last Saturday when a dog attacked me, and thought of you and your terrible fall... so glad you are able to be in your beautiful gardens again... sending much love, xoxo... Cousin Julie Marie

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Honora,

You are SO RIGHT. I know it will not be the cup of tea to satisfy everyone, but I worry and fret that it won't do its job. I want it to be about love and friendship, no matter the color of skin.

Sending love,

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Oh my gosh Julie Marie, I am so sorry that you fell and that you were attacked. Is Tessy ok?

Write to me!


Nellie said...

I am thrilled about your book's success! Also happy to hear of your recovery! That tombstone inscription seems to be a common one as I've seen it before while visiting old cemeteries. Skype is a marvelous idea for being "in person." We are able to FaceTime with our grandchildren - great fun! Take care of yourself! Hugs, Nellie

Anonymous said...

hello: I just found your blog today, so hope I have beginner's luck. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos, would love to read your books. Noelle

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Congratulations on the honor for your book. So well deserved!

I will never grow tired of looking at the photographs from your garden/yard, no matter which house you're posting from.

Blondie's Journal said...

Your new book sounds fantastic and looks like it's well received. I'm so happy for you, I will be looking for my own copy. And I'm so glad to hear you are on your feet and moving around was a long journey, wasn't it? I'm getting better with my hands with each day but it's not worth writing about. Just moving on...someday if I give up they can say, "She done what she could." Love that!

Take care, my dear.

Jane x

Rustic Pumpkin said...

My heart sings for you that you will be returning to the garden. I know, all too well, how being indisposed inhibits gardening and oh! my! how it runs away with itself. I know how high your spirit will soar and the need to pull just one more weed begins to take over, but the need to go easy is more important {as I know all too well}
Enjoy your return to your garden! ~~~Deb in Wales

grand pam said...

Congratulations, everything is so well deserved. Please enjoy every moment and we are all so glad you are now on your feet. I hope they are not swelling. The new book will be a birthday book for Lorelei for her March birthday. I shall read it first so that lively discussions can follow. Love to you and yours.

Kay G. said...

I am so happy about the honor for your chapter book!
And I love the "She Done What She Could"...that sounds like every woman I have ever known.

Blessings to you, dear Sharon!

La Table De Nana said...

Congratulations on your honor..and of being able to WALK.A blessing.

Jenny said...

Congratulations on the honor given to your new book! How exciting. :)

I'd love to try again to win a copy of A Blessing of Toads & the beach book looks really fun too.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hey dear Jane,

You always done what you could!


torchy said...

I love seeing the inside of your darling house almost as much as the snippets of your garden. Perhaps you'll give us a video tour, room-to-room, someday? Thanks!

Terri said...

She done what she could! Love your story! It's magical, your writing, and in case you didn't know, you've been told now. Thanks for sharing books with us! Grateful!

Rebecca said...

I agree with torchy above - ♥ seeing the inside as well as the OUTside! I'm quite jealous of your winter garden....To walk again is SUCH a blessing - and I'm eager for spring after being laid up for almost a ear with hip replacement first; then knee.

Congratulations on the success of our new book!

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back on your feet and able to tend to your lovely garden. I really enjoy your blog, your books, and your gardening inspiration.

Pom Pom said...

I'm so happy for you, good Sharon! (I like that review because I went to Washington State University!)
Your book shall be a blessing! I hope you are getting stronger and stronger (your ankle) and thank you for sharing your joy here. (BIG HUG!)

Mim said...

New England was cold and rainy yesterday, the perfect day to curl up in front of the fire and read your book. You had me hooked at the opening line! It's a terrific book, I just loved it. What research you did!!! This book is a classic. Congratulations on it's success, very well deserved.

Vee said...

Thrilled to know that you are vertical and happy to be doing things again. Not that you didn't stay busy no matter what as you are one of the busiest gals I know! Congratulations on all your success with the new book...not one bit surprised. The epitaph reminds me of the one on my five times great-grandmother's in Yarmouth: "she endur'd all she could." I rather like the one you found better.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Vee dear,

I LOVE your great-grandmother's epitaph, but how sad.

Sending lots of love,


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Mim,

I tried to write to you directly, but it doesn't share your e-mail address on blogger.

Your words mean the world to me. THANK YOU. The opening line, though I changed to Mama give and I took, were words from my Nonie Clarke. Her mama died the moment she was born and it was her heartbreak.

Thanks for you words. They made my day/week/year.


Luxury Serviced Apartments Lady said...

I think it's wonderful that the garden has a house style front door, it looks so marvellous and unique!

Sandy Vaillancourt said...

Dear Sharon,

Your words inspire me. Glad to see and hear you are on your feet again. Take good care.


kj said...

oh the book.
oh the garden.
oh the possibility a certain person or two may be having coffee with you this spring….

the book is mine to read in the next couple of weeks.

ms. kj

Stephanie Faris said...

Skype school visits are the best. You don't even have to leave home! Congratulations on all your successes.

Judy Goddard said...

Hello Sharon.
I found your blog through "2 Bags Full" I enjoyed your post very much, especially the part about the tombstone in Maine. My sister lives in Western Maine and has a family grave plot on her property. (Not her family) I also love old grave yards and am beginning to think about writing historical fiction (my favorite kind!)

God bless your day!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Thanks so much Stephanie.

Today is the day and I am so looking forward to the girls and their moms.

Happy day,


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Judy,

WELCOME. Vicki is one of my favorite people.

You must join the Society for Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators. SCBWI and attend workshops, conferences, etc.

Thanks for the visit.


Kaisievic said...

I love that tombstone saying - it is all any of us can do, really, isn't it?

Susan Zarzycki said...

Hi Sharon, just found your blog and was very surprised when I read that you had visited Deer Isle, Maine. I live in Pennsylvania now but was born and raised on the Island, my parent's live on Little Deer Isle, and my maiden name is Eaton. I have returned every summer for many years to visit and get my ocean "fix". Will have to visit the cemeteries when I next return. It's a small world after all, lol. Enjoyed your blog!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Susan Zarzycki,

So glad you stopped by. I live in Maine part of every year. It is the place that gives me the most joy.

Maybe the Eaton tombstone belongs to one of YOUR family members. Wow, what a teensy world. This is exciting.

Happy day to you,


Createology said...

I am visiting from Vicki of 2 Bags Full and am smitten with your books and garden. I shall be visiting again and again and...

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Createology,

And I'll visit you. I hope you do stop by again and again.

Vicki is a good friend and does so much to help so many.

Happy day!

Audrey said...

Hi Sharon! Congrats on the success of Running Out Of Night ~ I can't wait to read it! So glad to hear you're up and walking ~ that top photo of your garden is divine. And how exciting that A Blessing of Toads is in print again ~ I just know I'm going to love that book!

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

"She done what she could". Love it - I will mention it to Head Office this evening. I was directed to your fine blog from Vicki at 2 Bags full. Huge congratulations on your success - and may it continue. Best wishes.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Mike,


I will zip on over to your newest blog posting now.

Thanks for the visit. Isn't it a small and amazing world?


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Dear Sharon, it's so lovely to hear your voice. I love your skype book club. You are an inspiration to me, but you already know that. I am so proud of you on this new adventure. Of course, you're great at it! "She done what she could" is all any of us could ask for on our tombstones. To be kind and useful, what else is there?~~Dee

Marcie said...

Thinking of you. Hope that all is well.

Burlap Luxe said...

I am so inspired being here visiting you, I had written a few children's picture books but nothing came of it. Bad timing no agent and defiantly not prepared. I see all that hose into a book and admire your fabulous accomplishments.

Will return for more inspiration