NO MORE TORONTO STAR COLUMNS
No, folks, I haven’t retired. I’m sorry to report that my long-standing weekly column, The Real Dirt, has been axed by the Star in budget cuts. The last one appeared Friday, Feb. 23. I didn’t want to go, but newspapers are in a bad way everywhere, and it seems there was no choice.
I loved writing this column. Many thanks to all of you who enjoyed my personal (and opinionated) take on the gardening world. I will miss it.
PAINTING COMPETITION TAKES ME TO BERMUDA
Envy-making department: here I am on the balmy mid-Atlantic island, taking part in Bermuda’s recent En Plein Air Painting Festival. The weather was great and the whole week proved to be exhausting, but huge fun.
I sold three paintings. Also got introduced to the delights of a Bermudian cocktail called Dark and Stormy, made with Goslings black rum (sold, I’m happy to discover, at the LCBO in Ontario), ginger beer and a generous squeeze of lime. Try one -now that I’m home again, t’s perfect solace for a dark and stormy night during this very cold winter.
My next painting foray is to the third annual En Plein Air Painting Festival in Elora. This event is always held over the Victoria Day weekend (May 20 through 23 in 2018). I’ll be among some 30 artists frantically painting all day out of doors around scenic Elora and Fergus. The final exhibition of our work – on the Sunday, at Elora Centre for the Arts – is a great opportunity to buy art at low prices. More details here soon.
MY FIRST NOVEL WINS BIG
The 2015 IP program (which I entered) received 6000 entries from 50 U.S. states, 8 Canadian provinces and 34 countries. So being singled out for accolades is pretty special. I travelled to the Big Apple to pick up the medal.
Will I write another novel? Not sure. Right now, I’m having fun painting. But you never know what the future holds.
READ THE FIRST 31 PAGES ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Click on this link. If you want more, the paperback version is available from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com for about $17.99 or less. The E-book is $7 or less. The plot concerns a botanical painter and the deer hunter she meets – and there’s lots of stuff about plants to interest gardeners. (Sorry, the book is not available from public libraries. I have to earn a living too, folks.)
At the Amazon website, click on my name or the title of the book. Sometimes — don’t ask me why – one of those doesn’t pop up when it should.
SOME READER COMMENTS ABOUT DEER EYES
“Probably one of the best novels I have ever read. The plotting is very clever. Script writers should do half as well.” – Harrison Ellenshaw, Los Angeles
“I couldn’t put it down. Absolutely loved it.”
– Lis Eyles-Foley. Mississauga, Ontario
“What a smasheroo of an ending! Positively Shakespearean.”
– Julie Henderson, New York City
“When a book grabs you right from the first line and you keep reading…. that’s a very good sign. Read this book.” — K.J. Lieber, Montreal
LET’S BE FRIENDS
I’m now, belatedly, on Facebook. Check for updates about my books and activities at facebook.com/soniadaywriter
THE UNTAMED GARDEN NOW IN PAPERBACK
The paperback edition sports a lusty brand new cover and would make a neat gift for anyone interested in the sexy world of plants.
It costs only $14.40 if you order it through Amazon. Here is the link>>
It’s also available for less than $20 through any independent bookstore. Please support them if you can.
This book won the top Gold Award at the Garden Writers’ Association annual convention. It beat out competition from books all over the U.S. and Canada and has received rave reviews. More about the book below.
Read more in these two news stories, published in the Toronto Star:
MY REDCURRANT CAKE FINDS FAME IN FRANCE
You never know where a book will take you. Heather Killan of Limehouse, Ontario, bought my memoir Middle-Aged Spread, Moving To the Country At 50 a few years ago and loved a recipe in the book that I devised myself. It’s called Ravishing Redcurrant Cake. She took the book with her during a visit to her daughter’s villa in Cavan, Provence, left it there– and subsequently, many other visitors (and locals) have read the book and fallen in love with the recipe too.
Now, it seems my humble cake has become a popular item in Cavan, which perhaps isn’t that surprising. The French are fond of redcurrants, and this concoction of mine is a great way to use up a bumper crop.
The cake is not too sweet, it’s loaded with redcurrants and also contains a bit of grated orange peel. And the recipe? Sorry, folks, you’ll have to read Middle-Aged Spread to find out. It’s unfortunately out of print due to the bankruptcy of Key Porter Books, but you should be able to find a copy in your local library. And I’m thinking of updating this memoir and republishing it as an E-book. Let me know if you’re interested.
INCREDIBLE EDIBLES GOES TURKISH
My colourful little book on growing food in the city (which won Silver at the Canadian Cookbook Awards in late 2011) is now on sale in Turkey under the name Sehirdeki Bahce. The largest and oldest publisher in Turkey, called Inkilap, bought rights to the book from Firefly, the North American publisher. There are apparently legions of rooftop gardeners in Turkey’s sophisticated capital city, Istanbul, so here’s hoping for big sales!