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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Heading to Alaska to be the speaker on an Alaska Cruise!
I am just about to head to Seattle where I will be the Alaska speaker on a Royal Carribbean cruise going to the Inside Passage of Alaska, including Juneau, Skagway, Sawyer Glacier, and a host of some of the world's most stunning coastline views. I'm looking forward to spotting as much wildlife as possible. Binoculars at the ready!
7:53 am gmt 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PLANTS THAT RESTORE -- Restorative Horticulture

PLANTS THAT RESTORE is a project that our botanical group the NORTH DOWNS BOTANICAL ARTISTS took on in conjunction with KEW GARDENS to create a colleciton of botanical artworks showcasing plants that have successfully been used to restore landscapes after mining activities have ceased. We chose plants from a selection that have been used to restore landscapes at the Richard's Bay Titanium Mine in South Africa, operated by Richard's Bay Mining, as well as the Argyle Diamond Mine and Weipa Bauxite Mine, both in Australia and operated by Rio Tinto Mining.

While this is a small and modest collection of artworks (six pieces along with an oversized explanation sheet) we think it may be the world's first collection of botanical artworks focusing on PLANTS THAT RESTORE, specifically, those used to restore mine sites. We feel the field of "restorative horticulture" is a positive one that will continue to grow as more and more mining companies come to embrace the value of replanting landscapes.

Contributing artists to the collection include: Gill Cann, Elizabeth Farrar, Lorraine Hawkins, Joan Howell-Jones, Debbie Cradock, and me, Mary Albanese. The original artworks will be permanently housed at KEW GARDENS. We are working with KEW now on scheduling a display/exhibition of the works, coming soon.  The collection is so new that few people have seen it yet. In fact, I am off to the frame shop today hopefully to pick up the works as even I have not yet seen the finished collection all properly framed. However, thanks to the magic of the web, you can see the collection on this web site (see the PLANTS THAT RESTORE menu link). We are very excited about this opportunity to push the boundaries of restorative horticulture by creating this collection in the hopes of bringing this important field to the public's attention. We feel these amazing plants are not only very useful but also beautiful, which is what we have tried to convey.

Special thanks to Amy Propsting, formerly with Kew Gardens. Without her help and enthusiasm for the project, it probably would have never happened. Also thanks to Edward Dines who came up with the phrase RESTORATIVE HORTICULTURE to describe the collection.
8:02 am gmt 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I have been invited by the amazing and outrageously funny Irish writer Adrienne Dines (www.AdrienneDines.com) to join in THE NEXT BIG THING. This is an event where writers discuss their current work in progress through a series of ten questions, then tag five of their favorite writers so people can pop over and see what they are up to, as well. Here goes: Edit Text

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had an idea to write a thriller about a woman who is chased by unknown killers because her ancestor wrote an ancient alchemy text with a missing chapter and the cult who protects the secret thinks she might be onto it. Imagine my surprise when I started researching and found out there really was an ancient alchemy text with a missing final chapter. Even stranger, it turns out to have been written by an ancestor with my family name!

What genre does your book fall under?
Historical fiction with a twist of thriller/adventure/conspiracy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Scarlette Johnson and Matt Damon? YES, please!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
To save her life, a woman on the run must solve the secret of creating gold hidden in her ancestor's ancient text before it's too late.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
An agency. But which one? Hmmmm...

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About 10 months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I would like to compare it to Davinci Code, although it is not exactly the same type of thing. Still, it is a conspiracy with enough truth to be rather shocking and I hope, spine-tingling.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I had the idea in mind, but when I found the actual ancient mining text with the missing last chapter, I KNEW this was my story to write.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There were so many strange coincidences I discovered as I wrote it. Whenever I would get stuck, the ancient text provided clues to keep going, offering a way forward. At times I felt like I was following a trail of bread crumbs that had been left in my path that only I could see. The story of how I wrote the book and the unbelievable truths I found along the way, just when I needed them, is a story in itself.

Edit Text

For THE NEXT BIG THING, I am tagging Laurie Lico Albanese: Edit Text

Laurie Lico Albanese is an award-winning writer whose novels and memoir have all been IndieNext selections in the USA. She likes to write travel pieces that fit with the places she visits for research, and you can find her by-line on the New York Times. Find out more about her at www.mybigwalk.wordpress.com

Her next BIG THING is a novel set in Vienna and featuring the artist Gustav Klimt, his model Adele Bloch-Bauer and her Jewish descendants who are disenfranchised by the Nazis. Edit Text

4:07 pm gmt 

Friday, October 5, 2012

SEVEN HORSES AND A COW gets picked up by Necessary Fiction for their daily dose of fiction to transport you to another world. Check it out at:

6:32 am gmt 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Botanical Art show at Westminster Hall, London
Today is the grand opening of the Botanical Art Society's annual internation show at Westminster Hall in London. One of my paintings got into the show, which is very exciting. I am heading off to London to see it displayed in the gallery. If you get to the art show, look for catalogue item number 4. I was pretty thrilled to see it was assigned such a high number until I realized it was probably an alphabetical listing. Hmmm. Still, pretty cool.
12:46 pm gmt 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blog and website established
DECEMBER 5th, 2010
After several re-writes, done at the suggestion of Lael Morgan (editor extraordinaire), Epicenter Press has picked up CRADLE OF THE NORTH, which is expected to be published in SPring of 2012. I received my official contract in November of 2010, stating that my final text was due at the publishers by December 1st, 2012. I sent it off in time, then dealt with the next phase -- coordinating the photos that would accompany the text. While writing the text was a cathartic experience, digging up even more memories through the boxes and folders of old slides an photographs from up to 30 years ago was another landmark event. Kieth Richards highly recommends the experience of writing one's autobiography, and I have to agree that it is an amazing experience to re-visit your earlier life with the wisdom of age on your side.
I submitted the final copy of the text on time, and have had my photos digitized and sent off to the publisher. WHile looking through the envelopes of old slides, I even found some that I had not seen before. Or perhaps I just don't remember them in the rush of getitng other things done back then. It is good to have time to savor those moments, frozen in time on the tiny squares of celulose film.
My next task is preparing a map for the book. I am getting help on this from Gray Mouse Graphics in Washington State. I used to draft maps with mylar and India ink and repidograph pens that constantly clogged up. Drafting is now a very different beast, done on computers that give the work a highly poslished look.
I will be doing a press tour when the book coumes out in 2012, starting in Seattle and continuing up the various towns and communities of Alaska. After that, I plan to take the book around with me and speak to various groups and organizations in England, where I currently live.
And so begins the journey of this book, from preparation to press. I find that writing, like exploring, is a real adventure that despite whatever plans I have made, once I take off, I don't entirely know where I will end up. I hope the journey of being this book's author will be as meaningful and thought-provoking as the experiences that created it.

--Mary Albanese 5th Dec, 2010
8:37 pm gmt 

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