Book Club and Berry Picking


Last Thursday, I was invited to a CT book club to discuss TGWIG. It’s really cool to sit down with readers and talk about the characters and the story.

The hostess had every make a “ghost” or “supernatural” themed food item. We had ghost white pizza with olive slices for eyes, mystery meatballs, shrimp cocktail, antipasto bread, risotto balls, and a magic cheese ball.

She even made a delicious blood orange cocktail for the event too. I should have taken pictures but I totally forgot in the moment.

One member read it in two days which was awesome to hear. Another mentioned how she planned to share it with her granddaughter and it gave them something to talk about. It was an incredibly fun night!


I finished proofing the ebook ARC for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan. Which meant I got a full day off.  I only checked email and Facebook that day.

Mom and I headed to Lyman Orchards for an afternoon of berry picking. We arrived at the end of strawberry season and the beginning of raspberry season.

We managed to scavenge a couple pounds of strawberries and easily picked 4 pounds of raspberries.

At the strawberry patch, Mom and I discover we have completely different approaches to picking. She moves quickly up and down the row, scanning the plants. I crouch down and slowly and methodically search through the leaves for hidden gems. So while I move 20 feet, she cover a mile in twenty minutes.

At one point, I look up and she’s in the same row as me, but on the other side of the field.

Then I notice this brother and sister picking together, sharing a basket and talking as they meander around searching for strawberries. Evidently, their berry picking methods were a match.

Ma and I are completely incompatible. Her methods seem haphazard to me and she finds my method extremely frustrating.

I had to laugh that berry picking together for us was picking berries in the same field.


Ma picking strawberries


Lyman Orchards strawberry field


My strawberries and my canteen


A very hot and sunny selfie


My raspberries


Raspberry field


Ma and I picking raspberries “together”


the view


raspberry bush

When I was a little girl, we used to have blackberry bushes growing in our yard. Every summer, Ma and I would spend time out there picking them. And catching fireflies. That’s what summer always meant to me.

Picking the berries reminded me of how much I loved it back then.  I found it incredibly relaxing to search for berries and pull them gently off the branch. Sometimes they fell right  into my bucket.

I was in a long sleeve shirt and pants because I hate sunlight. This was super helpful because raspberry bushes have tons of thorns. I only got cut once. I heard a guy a few rows over yelp a few times about the thorns. Ma was in shorts and a T-shirt. She got scratched up way more than I did. Then again it might be our differing methods.

We spent almost two hours in the fields in the early afternoon. It was in the eighties and the sun beat down on us. There was a slight breeze that came far too infrequently. I was drenched in sweat. I considered that my work out for the day.

We stopped at Guida’s on the way home for a bacon cheeseburger and vanilla milk shake to replenish my depleted energy. There are no photos because I inhaled it.

What did you do this weekend? Anything relaxing?



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