A New Year!

Cherry Blossoms are a year-round thing at the Smithsonian's American History Museum, I'm delighted to report.  I saw this display in December 2014.

Cherry Blossoms are a year-round thing at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, I’m delighted to report. I saw this display in December 2014.  Looking forward to giving talks and book signings beginning in March!

Cherry Blossoms All Year Long

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As you can see, cherry blossoms turn up in my world all year long!  The image on the left is from the Delta in-flight magazine I enjoyed on my return from France last month — more on that soon.  Then, in today’s Washington Post, I was amazed to see this photo of the distinctive cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin.  The caption notes that their astonishing blooming is still several months away.  Can’t wait!

The Invention of Wings

Invention of WingsYes, I do have a life beyond cherry blossoms!  My first novel is at the editing stage.  It is set in Renaissance France in the court of Francis the First, focused on his last official mistress and the challenges she faced.  To inspire me, I read high quality historic novels set in other time periods.  I just finished Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings, set in early 19th century America and recommended by Sharon Kay Penman among others.  I found it transformative and commend it to you.

Cherry Blossoms are a year-round thing for me

20140714_162858You might be surprised, but cherry blossoms are a year-round thing for me.  For example, one of my nieces sent me this photo of my National Geographic book that she saw in the Newseum gift shop when she visited in July this year.  I always find that thrilling.

For me, it’s not just about the books, it’s really about the trees.  I love spotting them in gardens and in parks any time of year.  Each variety has a lovely, distinctive shape, and I am grateful for the shade they provide in the capital city’s sweltering summers.

Their bark intrigues me too, though that is more of a winter pleasure for me to look for.  Speaking of looking, I remember a National Park Service Ranger mentioning that these trees have a primitive form of sight.  They can sense what angle the sun is in the sky, which will trigger the production of proteins that lead to their flowering.  That’s one reason the trees don’t bloom earlier even when the winter is warm.

I like to think the cherry blossom trees “see” me, that they know I visit them all year round, not only in the spring when their ethereal blossoms draw millions to Washington, D.C.