If Stars Dropped Out of Heaven

With the launch of my most recent novel, Without the Veil Between, Anne Brontë: A Fine and Subtle Spirit, this blog has gained some new followers. I thank you for choosing to connect with me and my muse, and I offer a heartfelt welcome.

Perhaps you don’t know of my other publications – two novels set in 17th century Genoa and England, and three kindle short stories set in the late 19th century, and 1920s and 1930s Chicago. You can find all on my amazon author page and on my Goodreads profile. And, of course, this blog has more information on them, as does my website: dmdenton-author-artist.com.

Because it’s officially summer, the time when one of the most precious, playful, graceful, healing, and resilient gifts this earth gives us is in abundance, this post highlights the illustrated journal I published in 2014 that was originally created by hand while I was living in Oxfordshire, England in the 1980s.

A young Christina Rossetti, by her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

If stars dropped out of heaven,
And if flowers took their place,
The sky would still look very fair,
And fair earth’s face.
Winged angels might fly down to us
To pluck the stars …

~ Christina Rossetti
(subject of my next novel in progress)

 

 

 

I thought of doing this post when I fell in love all over again with one of my favorite flowers, currently in full fairy-ish bloom in my garden.

 

Foxglove, genus Digitalis

The name “foxglove” was first recorded in the year 1542 by Leonhard Fuchs, whose family name, Fuchs, is a Germanic word meaning “fox” (the plant genus Fuchsia is also named for him). The genus digitalis is from the Latin digitus (finger), perhaps referencing the shape of the flowers, which accommodate a finger when fully formed.

Thus the name is recorded in Old English as foxes glofe/glofa or fox’s glove. Over time, folk myths obscured the literal origins of the name, insinuating that foxes wore the flowers on their paws to silence their movements as they stealthily hunted their prey. The woody hillsides where the foxes made their dens were often covered with the toxic flowers. Some of the more menacing names, such as “witch’s glove,” reference the toxicity of the plant.

Henry Fox Talbot (1847) proposed folks’ glove, where folk means fairy. Similarly, R. C. A. Prior (1863) suggested an etymology of foxes-glew, meaning ‘fairy music’. However, neither of these suggestions account for the Old English form foxes glofa.
~ Wikipedia

The foxglove is featured in A Friendship with Flowers, each page dedicated—illustrated with poetry—to a specific flower following a sequence from the beginning to the end of the year.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton, A Friendship with Flowers

 

A Friendship with Flowers is available in print and for kindle devices and app.

It would make a lovely gift for a gardener or wild flower lover, including yourself.

 

This gorgeous book contains the author’s own exquisite illustrations of a variety of flowers from hedgerow and garden, all accompanied by mellow poetic verses in her own inimitable style.
~ Deborah Bennison, Bennison Books

A Friendship with Flowers (Book Trailer) from Diane M Denton on Vimeo.

Hope your summer has gotten off to a happy and blessed start!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Earthly Gratefulness

My little way of honoring Earth Day, with gratefulness for the flowers that have graced and healed me with their beauty, wisdom, and playfulness.

 

 

I continue to be inspired by nature, am blessed to be surrounded by it, always aware of how it deserves my utmost care and attention, which often means inattention as it knows best how to care for itself.

Except as it has been sorely injured and needs our help in healing.

So, leave those dandelions! Be nature’s best friend: have the ‘worst’ lawn in your neighborhood.

 

Dandelion

Illustration© by DM Denton

 

“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.” ~ Pavan Sukhdev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

 

Summer Solstice resized

Illustration© by DM Denton

 

Earth Day is Every Day

Earth, Teach Me

Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.

~ An Ute Prayer (Utes are indigenous people of the Great Basin, now living primarily in Utah and Colorado, USA)

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

For Your Viewing

Book Trailer for A House Near Luccoli
(with teaser for upcoming sequel, To A Strange Somewhere Fled)

Book Trailer for A Friendship with Flowers

Views at You Tube on a video help its rating and, therefore, search ranking. To make sure your view is counted (I saw differing opinions on whether a view on an embedded video was), I greatly appreciate you taking a few moments to click the You Tube icon at the right-hand bottom of each video and watch it there. 

Thank you to those who have visited here in 2014 and shown me friendship and support in my efforts to be true to my creative, human and spiritual self.

Wishing you all blessings for 2015 and far far beyond!

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

New! Kindle Edition of A Friendship with Flowers

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
~ Georgia O’Keeffe, American Artist (1887 – 1986)
Cover Front Only ImageIn February 2013 my Illustrated flower journal, A Friendship with Flowers, became available in print. The 58 color images made the selling price of it in paperback rather high. I must thank those who purchased it in print and hope that others will do so, especially as the holiday season is coming up. It could be a perfect gift for the flower lovers and gardeners on your giving list.

Now it is more affordable at $5.99

 in its

 Kindle edition

 

On Kindle Fire devices or using the downloadable app for your tablet, smartphone, or computer, the images are in color.

On basic and Paperwhite Kindle devices, the images are as beautifully detailed in black and white.

 A Friendship with Flowers Kindle Cover

Click here for a preview of it.

 

Reviews:

In A Friendship with Flowers, the gifted American author and artist Diane Denton invites us to share a healing journey she took when the flowers that surrounded her in a very English part of England gave her solace, hope and inspiration.

This beautifully produced book will not be left on a bookshelf for long; and as if the exquisite paintings (you’ll never look at a dandelion in the same way again) are not more than enough in themselves, the author also includes her unique commentary on the natural world as she studies and interacts with it while coming to terms with an unspecified experience in her life.

This combination of artwork and poetic observation, that is both personal and universal, creates a unique alchemy that calms and comforts while still leaving open the essential mystery of the natural world and our place in it. Sometimes, the author seems to suggest, it’s OK for there to be no answers; there may be no pat solutions, but there are insights and realisations, looking back to move forward (This holy rose/is another reminder/of the summer past/and yet/to come…), and new ways of seeing things (I found the snow didn’t drop/from above/but sprung from below/to cover the ground…).

The illustrations and the accompanying poetry, which is controlled, understated and pared back, combine to create a companion book that will reveal a little more each time you dip into it; you will feel (to borrow the author’s words): here’s a friend/I just got to know — /suddenly,/by the roadside,/as I was going/nowhere.

This book also includes a detailed glossary listing all the flowers shown in the beautiful illustrations throughout the book. This glossary includes the everyday and Latin name of each flower plus brief information about its habitat and the time of year that you’ll be able to spot it (easily recognisable in real life from the painstaking accuracy of the artist’s depiction). ~ Deborah Bennison, Bennison Books

 

In A Friendship with Flowers by D M Denton, very talented author, poet and artist, we are taken on a gentle meander through the Oxford countryside where she not only lived for several years but breathed, absorbed and became part of her beautiful surroundings. This gorgeous book contains the author’s own exquisite illustrations of a variety of flowers from hedgerow and garden, all accompanied by mellow poetic verses in her own inimitable style. Here is an example – of The Honeysuckle, the author writes: By the back door/the night comes in as sweet/as honey is to eat, like nectar/to the moths and bees/who suckle all they please;/while I can never get enough/of the scent/that can climb trees.
This is a book to treat yourself to or give to a loved one as a very special gift. It uplifts and delights at the turn of every page and is, without doubt, one to treasure. ~ Christine Moran, Journey into Poetry

 

A playful collection of thoughts about the names of flowers found in England, paired beautifully with the author’s delightful illustrations. My favorite, floxglove: “I am inclined to believe fairies hang up their thimbles when a sunny day is as right for dreams as a day-lit night makes idle hands.” ~ Barbara Rogers, By the Sea

May all your friends grace and heal you with

their beauty, wisdom, and playfulness!

 

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Simply Speaking…It’s May! It’s Daisy May!

Another re-post, but hope you enjoy again or for the first time!

 
Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

In forgotten places
  there are daisies
  to love
  whether I am
  or not
  call them dogged or
  ox-eyed or
  Marguerite
  by any name
  they are still
  a treat.

 

Cover Image Front Only ResizedThis illustration and poem is from my publication, A Friendship with Flowers, available at amazon.com and now 10% off.

Here’s a new review by Christine Moran of journeyintopoetry and perfectimperfection:

A delightful exploration of the Oxfordshire countryside in a book of exquisite flower illustrations and delicate verse

In A Friendship with Flowers by D M Denton, a very talented author, poet and artist, we are taken on a gentle meander through the Oxford countryside where she not only lived for several years but breathed, absorbed and became part of her beautiful surroundings. This gorgeous book contains the author’s own exquisite illustrations of a variety of flowers from hedgerow and garden, all accompanied by mellow poetic verses in her own inimitable style.

Here is an example – of The Honeysuckle the author writes:-
By the back door/the night comes in as sweet/as honey is to eat, like nectar/to the moths and bees/who suckle all they please;/while I can never get enough/of the scent/that can climb trees.

This is a book to treat yourself to or give to a loved one as a very special gift. It uplifts and delights at the turn of every page and is, without doubt, one to treasure.

Happy May Everyone!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

A House Near Luccoli – One Year Anniversary

My historical fiction, A House Near Luccoli, imagining an intimacy with the Italian Baroque composer, Alessandro Stradella, has been out for a year!

It is available in Paperback, Kindle and NOOK BOOK  editions, and also as an Audio Book.

A House Near Luccoli Front View color adjusted cropped resized

I still pinch myself, feeling so blessed to have caught the attention of the award-winning novelist, Marina Julia Neary, who introduced me to my wonderful publishers, Deb and Phil, at All Things That Matter Press. They consistently offer sincere support, encouragement, respect and friendship to their authors who are also very supportive of each other.  I hope to have a long and productive relationship with ATTMP!

At this (just over) one year anniversary of the publication of A House Near Luccoli, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has purchased, read, is reading or planning on reading the novel, and to those who have taken the time to write and post a review. You can see many of them here on my website.

Reviews, ratings and recommendations are very important to a book’s exposure, to expanding its readership and giving it more chance for success. If you enjoyed the novel, please spread the word!

So, a gentle reminder and entreaty: if you did read A House Near Luccoli, are in the process of doing so or planning to, a review (of any length) would be welcome and can be easily posted to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads (if you are a member).  Whenever and wherever I share a review, I am happy to link back to the reviewer. I also am open to review exchanges.

If you don’t feel comfortable writing a review, I would still welcome your feedback, even in the comments on this blog or somewhere else like Facebook. If you wish to do so privately, there is a contact form on my website. If you have not yet considered ‘visiting’ A House Near Luccoli, I invite you to go to my website  to read about it, including excerpts and an audio sample.

Thank you all for your friendship and encouragement as I pursue my passion!

I wish you all much happiness and fulfillment in whatever yours may be.

Finally, I’m offering this excerpt from my other publication, A Friendship with Flowers, with the understanding that taste in reading like anything else is a very personal thing.

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Pinky-white the blossom,
black the berry;

otherwise the only query between
the flower and the fruit
is which kind of taste
they better suit.



donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Yellow Flags

A winding road
had brought me back
to yellow flags
that grew the sun
out of the rain.
Forgetfulness
had left them there
to multiply
like bread and fish
for proof of faith.
Again I paused
and passed them by
golden moments
waving me on
without farewell.
Page 34 from A Friendship with Flowers ©

Page 34 from A Friendship with Flowers ©

The image is a page from my illustrated flower journal
A Friendship with Flowers
available on amazon.com with free shipping.
Also at amazon.co.uk.
And on Amazon in Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Cover Front Only Image

Video courtesy of wvoutdoorman’s channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaBN8JR-LWQ

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of  Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

A Friendship with Forsythia

Forsythia Flower Page 14 with border

The forsythia flower

whatever

the weather,

slowly forms

to come forth

all-0f-a-sudden;



as well seen

faraway

as near.

 

The above image is a sample page from
my recently released
A Friendship with Flowers.

Cover Front Only ImageIn the US, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th. This book of my reflections and illustrations on flowers could be an everlasting bouquet to give to your mother, wife, sister, daughter, girl friend, or any woman who is special in your life.

It would make a perfect gift for any occasion for anyone who appreciates the beauty, wisdom and playfulness of flowers!

It is now available at amazon.com with free shipping.  You can also preview more pages there. It can also be purchased and previewed at lulu.com.

Five Star Review by D. Bennison of Bennison Books:

A beautiful book April 22, 2013
In A Friendship with Flowers, the gifted American author and artist Diane Denton invites us to share a healing journey she took when the flowers that surrounded her in a very English part of England gave her solace, hope and inspiration.

This beautifully produced book will not be left on a bookshelf for long; and as if the exquisite paintings (you’ll never look at a dandelion in the same way again) are not more than enough in themselves, the author also includes her unique commentary on the natural world as she studies and interacts with it while coming to terms with an unspecified experience in her life.

This combination of artwork and poetic observation, that is both personal and universal, creates a unique alchemy that calms and comforts while still leaving open the essential mystery of the natural world and our place in it. Sometimes, the author seems to suggest, it’s OK for there to be no answers; there may be no pat solutions, but there are insights and realisations, looking back to move forward (This holy rose/is another reminder/of the summer past/and yet/to come…), and new ways of seeing things (I found the snow didn’t drop/from above/but sprung from below/to cover the ground…).

The illustrations and the accompanying poetry, which is controlled, understated and pared back, combine to create a companion book that will reveal a little more each time you dip into it; you will feel (to borrow the author’s words): here’s a friend/I just got to know — /suddenly,/by the roadside,/as I was going/nowhere.

This book also includes a detailed glossary listing all the flowers shown in the beautiful illustrations throughout the book. This glossary includes the everyday and Latin name of each flower plus brief information about its habitat and the time of year that you’ll be able to spot it (easily recognisable in real life from the painstaking accuracy of the artist’s depiction).

Here is a photo of one of the forsythia bushes in my yard, taken just this morning, a glorious spring day!

??????????

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

A Friendship with Flowers (New Publication)

I have a new publication

incorporating poetic musings

and flower illustrations.

Cover Front Only Image

This journal was originally created by hand while I was living in Oxfordshire, England in the 1980’s, during the year or so after my father suddenly passed away. I spent a month in the States with my mom, and came back to a time that proved more difficult than I expected.

One of the things that helped was the TV series “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” (also an exquisite book) that was airing on the BBC . I unashamedly admit that it inspired my undertaking of this work.

The book was done with gratefulness for the flowers that graced and healed me with their beauty, wisdom, and playfulness.

At this time, it is available through lulu.com,
where you can also see a preview.

The Original Journal

The Original Journal

I hope that it will bring a few others the soothing joy it offered me while making it once … and then again.

A special thank you to my mom and D. Bennison for continuing to encourage me to get this done!

Blessings to you all. 

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.