Monday, August 9, 2010


It was sorta clunky, but I really did have my dog pick a winner. I printed out all the blog commentors and wrapped the slips of paper around a chunk of dry dog food. Vange in Colorado won! Perhaps she is dog-lover. I will send her a bottle of Fresh Grass scented lotion, one of my calendars and an ecopy of Green Grass. Thanks to all who commented! More contests to come!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

They are making by book into a movie!

Not really. But that was fun to type....
So, as writers we like to indulge in that fantasy. We sit around and ponder who would play our characters. I saw this model in a newspaper ad -- don't even remember what store -- it was Kevin Shepherd, right down to the dark curls and sculpted cheekbones. I cut it out and taped it to my computer. Now there is this character on the TV show Old Christine. He plays Christine's brother. His name is Hamish Linklater. He reminds me of Kevin. Maybe not quite as cute as Kevin.

Adrian Culpepper...holy smokes. Who would play her? A petite blonde. A cute blonde. Is Dakota Fanning old enough? Kate Hudson? Oh, oh -- Hayden Panettiere!

Oh this is so exciting. Any movie execs out there reading this? (yeah, right...) Let's put these two lovely people togehter in my movie, Green Grass. Starring Hayden Panettiere and Hamish Linklater. You provide the set, the camera thingy, some donuts. I'll bring the script. Meet me in Maine.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Essentially, oils are difficult to get at

I like to dabble in aromatherapy, herbal medicine -- even crystal healing. I really believe there are hidden energies in plants and rocks and trees and everything else, all around us. But alas, my senses are just too 21st century to lock into anything but radio waves. I took a fairly down-to-earth herbal medicine course once -- lengthy and thorough and I started using some of the teas and tinctures for healing. I tackled only the simplest of ailments. Stomach aches, menstrual cramps, head colds. My daughter had cradle cap and I concocted a salve to "heal" her. She had a green scalp for months. (I like to think she is more clever now because of it :)

The one thing I have tried with some success is distilling essential oils from plants material. That's what Adrian Culpepper is up to in my latest release, Green Grass. She's a self-taught chemist. She brews huge batches of flowers and mixes up massage oils. OK, so here's my experience. I've done the easy stuff -- orange peels. I boiled down a pile of peels and collected the condensate. I got a tiny thimbleful of limonene. Smelled great. Then I tried a large flask full of lavender flowers and -- well I burned them and it stunk for days. I tried a flask full of simple green grass and got nothing more than a smear of oil. But that one did smell fresh.

Bottom line of this blog post? Distilling essential oils from plant material is tough. You need huge amounts of plant material to get a little bit of anything even remotely resembling an oil, and even then it's probably full of impurities.

I created Adrian to learn the art at her mother's knee, and a lot of trial and error. Read the book and see what her future holds! Essentially, it's a happy ending!

later - Gem