Life as I know It

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Do What You Love!

Happy 11th birthday dear little book. Thank you readers!

Welcome to the world, Running Out of Night (Yearling) in paperback! 

Dear Friends,

No excuses except one. Somebody needs to invent a 36 hour day! Period. Never enough time to do all the things you need to do and all the things you want to do!


What a wonderful month. I was one of the luckiest people in the world. I got a chance to work with fine authors, Sara Louis Kras, Sherri L. Smith, and James Burks at the annual Author Go Round for Santa Barbara County Department of Education. 

James Burks-Fabulous illustrator, cartoonist and graphic novelist. 

Sara Louis Kras. She is an explorer extraordinaire with lots of courage. Face offs with monitor lizards (behind her) and polar bears are just some of the things she writes about.

Award winning author Sherri L. Smith. Her fantasy and fiction books are gripping.

One of the happy audiences. Let's face it, every kid loves a day off from school and a chance to do something different in a new place. They're loving this experience.

I visited with hundreds of students, teachers, librarians and parents from 75 schools. Every day of the week was crammed with adventures and new beginnings.

Each author had a large booth with an area to set up books, art work etc. Groups of 25 to 30 kids, parents and teachers would cram into the booth and ask questions about book writing, reading and jobs. So inspirational for me and I hope I inspired a few of the kids too.


A month to work, work, work on my new book and a month to give a couple of small talks to groups and to do some more wonderful book club SKYPE interactions. The questions thrown at me by the kids were great. Here I am with a group of students and the little hummingbird (right window pane) is watching the goings on.

SKYPE Book Club 

...and Kiddie Writers met at my home for a "class" with Newbery Honor author Kathi Appelt. We did that via SKYPE too. Amazing! Left to right-Sherry Shahan-Ice Island, Frozen Stiff, Skin and Bones and more), Me, Elizabeth Spurr-At the Beach, Farm Life, Wind, Snow, Perrier the Pig and more, Cindy Rankin, her new book, Under the Ashes will be released in October by Whitman Publishing. Helen K. Davie-Penguin Chicks, Animals in Winter and more. Cynthia Bates many books to come and Lori Peelen, one soon to be released. 

Spring really started popping in February and I tried to bring it indoors every day. Here are the 7 days and 7 bouquets for a week. Even accomplishing such a little thing as cutting a bouquet made me feel good.


What a month. So fortunate to give two seminars at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. My first talk was about California Gardens: Glorious Despite the Drought. Sharing photos of gardens I love touched many hearts. I also wrote a two page hand-out for the attendees. If anyone wants a copy of the hand out, please write. In it I list some of my favorite native plants and the critters they attract to a garden.

A little watercolor I did for the title of the talk.

My second talk was "Vest Pocket Gardens." You get it, small gardens to fit into today's hectic life. What I love about the small gardens is that even with our fast paced existence we can tend them and become intimate with the plants in our care. Containers have always meant so much to me and I know they can enrich your life too. I call them the quick change artists of the garden. Just a few well cared for containers can enliven even the darkest corner of a garden. And, they attract myriad critters too. You don't need a huge garden to create a wildlife sanctuary. (Just think smaller).


Our March rains were a much needed miracle. Here are a few shots of the astounding rainbow of colors that our California land is producing.

Mariposa lilies galore.

A hillside blanketed in purple bush lupine and poppies.

From 12 miles away the peaks look like they're on fire!

The back side of Figueroa Mountain.

During this month I'll be visiting Cal Poly to give a guest lecture on writing for children, both fiction and non-fiction. I'll talk about all the ups and downs of a writing career and help guide students onto their own paths of creativity. Wish me luck!

Speaking of creativity, the winners of the book give-away are: teejay and Emily Darling. I will need your mailing addresses and my dear Workman Publishing will mail the books directly to you. Congratulations!

Ok, this posting IS like a crazy quilt of thoughts and experiences, but that is really how life hits us.  I'll just end with this photo. Please read the words on the bag I am carrying. It is a mantra we all need to chant. Whether it is by reading lovely books, making bouquets, teaching, creating a garden, cooking a meal, please DO WHAT YOU LOVE!

Love across the miles, the seas, the mountains,



Pat said...

Anytime I see a new post pop up from you it will always be a bright spot in the even more so as the snow continues to fall outside and everything is coated in white...the warmth of your California garden comes through to lift the spirits of this northwoods reader. I want to curl up with a book while savoring a juicy orange! Thank you for sharing all your days of activities with us.

Julie Marie said...

Hello dear cousins Sharon!... so nice to see a post today!... I have kept up with you daily on instagram of course, but a blog post is always a treat!... happy birthday to your books!... you are such an incredibly talented lady!... I love seeing the kids with you and being able to ask questions and chat with you... so fun for them!... and for you!... you certainly have been a busy lady and I agree... there just are not enough hours in the day to do all of the things I want to do, let alone all the things I need to do!... but, love your mantra... "do what you love" and that is how I plan my days... your flowers all are just gorgeous and please please send me a copy of your handout!... you have my address... would love one!... love that photo of the meyer lemons in your kitchen, my favorite room in your home... or is your studio my favorite???... love them all!... Happy Spring, love you, xoxo... Julie Marie

Pondside said...

My goodness but you HAVE been busy - and that seems just a little like an understatement. I will have to look for your newest for my grandchildren. I thought of you and wondered what you'd been up to when I had guests from SLO last month. Now I know! I wish you more of the luscious spring you've shown us.

Blondie's Journal said...

I know you are one busy lady and doing what you love---totally priceless. When you make others happy with what you create, that's just the icing on the cake.

Love that you are on IG, Sharon. I love keeping up with you much more often that way.

Happy Times, dear!


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh dear Sharon ~ What a delight your latest post is. You have been very busy and I enjoyed reading it all and seeing the lovely bouquets from your gardens and those glorious mountains filled with color.

"Do What You Love" inspires me. Thank you.

I would love to receive your 2-page handout about your native plants and the critters they attract.

Thank you for taking the time to write up this post. I've been a follower for a long time, and also enjoyed your writings in magazine print before blogging. You've inspired me for years.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Emily Darling said...

Oh my, Sharon, what a welcome and unexpected surprise! I am so excited to be a winner (along with my daughter, Anna Rose) of The Crossroads of Should and Must! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our address is 151 Towle Road, Chester NH 03036. Couldn't have come at a better time as we are just recovering from the last gasp of winter in the form of two days of snow. I'm loving all the flower pictures you shared in your post....keeps my mind on coming attractions and the garden I am so anxious to plant. At first I thought the clumps of lupines were sheep! :) Anna Rose is too busy creating to pay attention to such mundane things as the weather. I love hearing her say, "I have an idea!" Can't wait to read the book with her. Here's to a future of endless ideas and intentions that become works of art! By the way, I thought you would enjoy this article that a friend of mine shared on Facebook. It describes my daughter to a capital T!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Friends,

Jeff will help me send along the two page hand out. Now, for someone in Utah, Idaho, Florida, our humidity and heat index is radically different. These California native may not thrive where you live, but then again, they might!



Unknown said...

I would love a copy of the handout, so glad that you got to spend so much time with young people.

Susy said...

I love that you got to spend the time with children, they are sponges and soak up all that we have to teach! I would love a copy of the handout, please!

Susy said...

Love that you got to spend time with so many children, they are like sponges just waiting to absorb! I would love a copy of the handout, please.

Lydia said...

Dear Sharon- I remember celebrating becoming a grandmother the first time by purchasing a pile of your books. This month, I get a second grandchild- purchasing a book of yours is going to be a celebration ritual. So keep writing.

I would LOVE a copy of your handout.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Unknown,

I need an e-mail address in order to forward on the hand outs.

Same with you Susy. I had your e-mail address, but heaven knows where it is.

Please send to my


lilykim said...

Thank you dear Ms.Sharon. Reading the post here is like receiving a long happy letter from you. Wish you all the best��Love across the sea...

Susan said...

I know you're so busy, so it's nice to catch up with you today. I ordered your book for my granddaughter, who comes for a visit next week. I can't wait to read it with her, XOXO

Ruth said...

I just found your blog! How lovely it is! I would like copies of the two handouts you mentioned, as my sister is still living in Calif. and I would like to send her the one on California gardens and drought. We grew up on the Mojave. I want to read the vest pocket gardens - I have a small yard on the east coast and would like more flowers and critters to cover the fence.
I see that is the way to contact you.
Thank you. I am ruthwheelatgmaildotcom.

Vee said...

Ever busy! And I do hope that means that you are doing what you love. I enjoyed seeing your booth and it made me smile to think that I could set up a booth of your books myself culminating with Running Out of Night. I donated that one to the children's library for Christmas and now I am going to have to check it out so I can read it! So glad that the rains came and blessed you. Your garden and the hills beyond look beautiful. Happy sharing, Sharon!

kj said...

how how how did i miss this post?! all those luscious flowers, the view from your desk, your friends, your fans, your colleagues. i love it all. go forth will all your loving reverent energy: the earth thanks you.

your pal