Seahorses: Spotlight on Vega

Last week’s Tuesday Tank post focused on Kirin, my largest and most dominant female. Today, I’m introducing Vega–Kirin’s sister and broodmate. When the seahorses arrived from the breeder last December, Vega was the only one who stood out instantly; she was black, while the others had snakeskin patterning.   According to the breeder, Vega was the largest and strongest of the more than two hundred baby seahorses in the birth group. She was also one of the few who took on solid coloring early in life, which also distinguished her from her mottled siblings. She was the first of the babies to leave

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Into the Shogun’s Palace (Part 2): The Honmaru Garden

Last Monday, we traveled (virtually) across the moat and onto the island that housed the Honmaru Palace, which served as the Tokugawa Shoguns’ personal residence in Kyoto. (Here’s the link to that post, if you want to catch up.) This morning, we continue that journey, starting from the courtyard just beyond the bridge: From the courtyard, visitors climb a set of stairs (constructed during the early 17th century, along with the rest of Nijo Castle’s grounds) to reach the elevated level of the Honmaru Palace and the lovely gardens that surround it. The palace and gardens were elevated primarily for defensive purposes, though their height also ensures good drainage–and

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Make a Plan, and Do it Now.

Do not wait for life to offer you the time to do that thing you’ve always wanted. Do it now. Otherwise, you will never do it. You’ll spend your life explaining all the reasons why you didn’t, instead of doing it and discovering whether or not it’s what you wanted. I’m not counseling throwing caution to the wind, pursuing your dream “at any cost” or incurring a mountain of debt in the process. I’m saying identify the real dream you’re dreaming, make a plan, and execute. All my life, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I’ve loved books since before I can

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Easy Apple-Raspberry Cobbler…and Oatmeal.

My friends know that I’m an avid cook, as well as an author, and quite a few of them have started asking me about the recipes I love, especially at holiday time. I spent a lot of time at the keys, so recently I’ve been experimenting with recipes that taste like they involved a lot more work (and time) than they actually do. When I find a good one, I’ll try to share it here. To kick things off, I’m starting with an apple-raspberry dessert I cobbled together (pun intended) for last-week’s Thanksgiving feast. (That’s a picture below, with ice cream–because cobbler and

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Writing a Business Plan for Your Book: The Summary/Synopsis

The first section of the business plan for a book contains the “Overview”–we talked about that last week. (Click here to go there…) Today, we continue the process of writing a business plan for your book with a look at the second section: the Summary (or the Synopsis). Some authors write the synopsis before the manuscript. Others work from an outline, while others prefer to write the synopsis once the manuscript is complete. (This is more common in fiction, though not a universal rule.) Authors who write the synopsis first may want to revisit it once the book is finished to ensure conformity, though that’s not absolutely

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Spotlight on Kirin

I’m returning to the old blogging schedule, which means that Tuesday is…tank day. And I’m kicking it off with a spotlight post about each of the seahorses. First up…Kirin. Ironically, Kirin arrived as one of the weakest of my current seahorse crew. She had with a wonky tail (most likely pinched in shipping from the breeder) and had to be hospitalized (in a separate hospital tank I keep for this purpose) almost immediately upon arrival. She was also the seahorse with the most cirri–the little projections that rise from the seahorse’s spine and crest–and the only one of the group to keep them into adulthood. In the

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