poetry and prose about place

herb growing in winter #3

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My AeroGarden guide says “don’t be afraid to prune.”  Me, I love to prune. I must be doing it correctly since I am getting a small harvest every day or two!


My plants are Basil, Tai Basil, Genovese Basil, unknown (labelled ‘Curly Parsley’ but definitely not), Thyme (hardly growing but trying) and Romaine Lettuce (planted last week).

I chop the leaves as I prune them and they are crisp enough to crumble in a couple of days.


Photos of my ‘harvest’ …


my garden after today’s pruning … gro-light makes a good photo difficult


my ‘harvest … lots of leaves make a small amount of dried herb …



Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 21, 2018 at 7:02 am

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

by Alexandra Tims

an illustrated long poem

first in the Meniscus Series

science fiction – romance – adventure



Follow the adventures of Odymn and the Slain!



On the alien planet Meniscus, Humans are slaves. Every twilight, Odymn runs through the forests outside the city, practicing the art of parkour. Her runs give her strength, flexibility and endurance, and a way to survive a life of servitude under the oppressive Dock-winders. When the silent Slain rescues her from a brutal encounter with a gang of Gel-heads, Odymn believes she has reached the end of her search for freedom. In their travels through the Prell’nan District of Meniscus, she and the Slain encounter dangerous woodlands, dramatic water-climbs and an impassable water churn. Odymn and the Slain work together to evade the Gel-heads and overcome the dangers of the landscape. But is Odymn really free or is she caught in a cycle of trying to escape the inevitable?


In the first of the Meniscus series, Crossing the Churn tells the story of the meeting of a young woman and a genetically-engineered Slain whose kindness may not be consistent with his purpose.


try …. fail … repeat …

sometimes no matter how hard you run, the past grabs at your heels …




The sky congeals,

coughs up churning darkness,

and the air moves.


Reminder of home, on Earth.

The creaking weathervane

above the hay barn door.


The wind tosses sparse droplets.

Plucks handfuls of dust.

Pebbles like sleet.


The broken hills kilometres away.

Obscured by a looming sandstorm.


The Slain walks faster.

Distance widens between them.

She stumbles, falls to her knees.


“Why should I follow?” she whispers.


His hand grips her arm, drags her to standing.

Forward in uneven strides.

Leaning into wind.


About the Author

Alexandra Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Her first four books in the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, Meniscus: South from Sintha and Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, were published with CreateSpace in 2017 and 2018. She has also published two books of poetry, within easy reach (2106) and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), under the name Jane Spavold Tims (both with Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock). In 2016 she won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition for her manuscript of poems about bird calls. She is a fan of science fiction – books, television and film, including Star Trek, Stargate and Firefly. Her websites feature her drawings, paintings and poetry.


Other books in the Meniscus Series


Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb



a new bird feeder #2

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I have given up manufacturing. In the last month I built two bird feeders: one from a two liter Coke bottle and one from coconut shells. The squirrels bounced on the bottle feeder and broke it, bad squirrels. And the snow filled up the coconut shells, bad snow. So we went to Co-op and bought a new feeder. Metal, very fancy, a simulated lantern. No anti-squirrel technology (our squirrels puzzle out every one).

The birds are delighted. A day after our big snow storm, they are here by the dozens: goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches, lots of blur-birds (my photography is not stellar).


chickadee at the new feeder (sunflower seeds)


chickadee and goldfinch at the new feeder


Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 16, 2018 at 7:01 am

Posted in bird song

Tagged with , , , ,

Guest Post – Liza O’Connor: when stories write themselves

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Welcome to author Liza O’Connor, a writer with some seriously wild adventures in her life!

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.


When stories write themselves…

By Liza O’Connor

I have two stories coming up soon that fall under the category of writing themselves.


In the first book, Lessons from Wabbaseka, coming Mar 8, the story comes from my personal life. As will happen during a career, I was let go when my company downsized. When my great aunt and uncle heard I was unemployed, they wrote me a letter inviting me to come to Wabbaseka Arkansas (population 300) and live with them. While I remained in NJ and located a new job, I couldn’t get the ‘what if I had gone to Wabbaseka’ out of my head.

I loved my great aunt, but I was pretty certain I’d go crazy in such a tiny town. Also, to get a job, I would have had to drive an hour to Pine Bluff to find a crappy underpaid job. (And I hate Pine Bluff, it was where I grew up.) So, I wrote them back, reminding them I had a house in NJ, and I would find another well-paying job, which I quickly did.

But I couldn’t get them out of my mind, I kept thinking about what if I had really gone to Wabbaseka. The only way I could stop wondering was to play the scenario out on paper. Not surprisingly, it starts out funny as I’m driven insane by the people so very different than me, but then it gets serious. Turns out there are a handful of single men in the town of 300, and I fall in love with one and then someone tries to kill me. (That has actually happened many times in my life. Fortunately, I don’t die easily.) In the story, I did change everyone’s names except the first names of my aunt and uncle. I changed their last name, but they are the reason the story exist, and they had to be Aunt Peck and Uncle Lee.


The second story that wrote itself is Arrival: Titan coming May 7th.

It came to be due to Cassini and NASA discoveries in the last year.

Seriously, the second book of this series was dead in the water until Cassini and NASA discovered some mind-boggling stuff in this last year. Stuff so astounding that the world isn’t ready for it. Nor have they gone out of their way to clearly state what they know. Even when they shared the information, it was done in an obscure way, so most people will never realize what their discoveries meant.

Fortunately, the truth is right there for anyone to see. That truth enabled a vibrant story to come alive all by itself. While I made up the sentients that my people have to learn to live with on Titan, the truly crazy stuff is all compliments from NASA and Cassini. With the revelations from Cassini and NASA, this book became the easiest book I’ve ever written. And while most will think I’m one imaginative author, and this is a crazy story, the astounding truth is that the impossible to believe stuff is almost certainly true, only NASA does not want to admit it. But the pictures from Cassini and NASA reveal the truth to anyone who wants to see the truth. And in this case, reality is stranger than most fiction.

But there is no need to turn your world upside down with uncomfortable probable realities. You can safely read the story as a highly imaginative Sci-Fi and be no worse for it. That’s how I’m dealing with it.

I have a blog on the main extraordinary events, with Cassini and NASA pics to help prove my points. I should warn you in advance: no one has declared me spot on. Although, I have gotten many compliments for my creative imagination.

Honestly, I don’t need anyone to actually see what I see. I just need you to have a grand time enjoying the book that NASA and Cassini made possible.

Arrival: Titan coming May 7


Thanks to Liza for her post. You can learn more about Liza’s books here:

Liza’s Multiverse Blog

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

All the Many Books Liza has written

Written by jane tims

March 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

creepy camera

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Today as I was making trips to the bird feeders, I set my camera down in the entry-way. I did fumble with it a bit as I left, trying to turn it off.



Later, as I went through my bird-feeder photos, I found this in with the rest of the files. The photo is one frame of a one minute video. Me, leaving to go outside.

Creepy camera.



Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 12, 2018 at 7:00 am

a new birdfeeder

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My coke bottle bird feeder finally succumbed to the weight of our colossal grey squirrel.


My next attempt at a home-made bird feeder – a feeder made from a string of coconut shells. I cut the shells in half and removed the coconut many years ago, in an attempt to make a wind chime. They have been hiding in a bag in the closet and are part of my latest de-cluttering effort. I drilled a hole in the bottom of each half and strung them on a nylon chord. Let’s see what the birds think of them.




Back to my writing. Enjoy your sunflower seeds, birds (and squirrels).


Copyright Jane Tims 2018  

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Kindle Countdown Deal – Meniscus: South from Sintha

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From March 8 to March 15, 2018, you can buy the Kindle version of Meniscus: South from Sintha at a reduced price. In the Kindle Countdown Deal, the price begins at $.99 and is increased by $1.00 increments during the deal promotion. Buy now and get a great read for a bargain!

Meniscus: South from Sintha is the second in the Meniscus Series. It is illustrated, written as a long poem. Science fiction, romance and adventure.

Just click here.


Follow the continuing adventures of Odymn and the Slain as they try to undo the past wrongs of the Slain.

Together, they will try to:

break an evil Gel-head out of jail and return him to his home

release a captive, wolf-like kotildi to his pack

rescue a cook from her bondage in Sintha

take an eight-year old Dock-winder child back to her family


You can try to mend the broken, to right the wrongs of the past, but sometimes you can`t go back.


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