Ohio is cold in the winter, muggy and hot in midsummer. But our transitional seasons are beautiful.
Spring is just beginning here. Daffodils are blooming, as well as some early trees. But most things are just beginning: a touch of green dusting a field, buds just thinking about opening on the end of knobby tree branches. There’s a moisture and warmth in the air we haven’t felt here for a while.
I’m hoping this can be a season of new beginnings for the world as well.
We’re not out of this pandemic yet, but if I try I can just see some hope. People are being vaccinated. People are starting to look outward again, when for the last year we have been in a protective, inward-looking mode.
We’re still masking, still being cautious, and hopefully still following advice from health experts about how to keep Covid-19 from spreading. But I hope for everyone’s sake that there is hope just around the corner.
The webpage for this event says, “Come for the books, stay for the beer!” Which sounds great to me.
I’ll be one of several authors at the Springfield Book Fair on February 10 in Springfield, Ohio. The event is sponsored by Hen House Publishing, and it’s held at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company. I’ve never been there but I’m looking forward to both the books and the beer.
Once again I’m looking forward to a trip to Cleveland in March for Cleveland Concoction! This is a fan-run convention with some of everything — cosplay, gaming, art, a vendors room. It also has Authors’ Alley, which includes panels and workshops with quite a few authors (link to authors’ page here).
The convention runs from March 10-12 at the Cleveland Sheraton Airport hotel. My schedule so far:
Friday, March 10
1:00 pm Panel: Best Humor in Fantasy
4:00 pm Panel: Influencing Culture through Fantasy
Saturday, March 11
10:00 am Panel: Best Fantasy Worlds
2:00 pm Reading (with Johanna Gribble, Deborah Brown and S Andrew Swann)
The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is an outdoor event with gorgeous handcrafted silk lanterns on steel frames, brilliantly lit. We were lucky enough to go on a (relatively) warm evening in December, so we were happy to wander around and not feel too cold.
Some of the figures were cartoonish animals I’m assuming were designed to appeal to kids. I didn’t care much for those, but there was quite a bit of variety, and several designs I really liked.
The pièce de résistance was this beautiful dragon. (Everyone knows I’m a fan of dragons.) In this interview in Columbus Underground, the event manager said the dragon was built in the park, taking six artisans almost a week to complete.
There was also a display of traditional dragons made out of little glass bottles filled with colored water:
It’s sweet corn season! In honor of that, here’s my picture of a public art installation by sculptor Malcolm Cochran located in Dublin, Ohio. The exhibit with 109 concrete ears of corn was completed in 1994.
A friend told us about Schnormeier Gardens in central Ohio — privately-owned gardens open to the public for just one weekend a year. This year’s open-house fell on June 4-7, and the weather was great — so off we went.
There are actually nine separate gardens on the 75-acre grounds, along with water features including a lake, stream, and waterfall as well as a woodland creek. It’s a beautiful place, with a distinctive Asian influence to most of the gardens. You can read more about the grounds at this link to the Schnormeier Gardens website, but I’m going to focus on the sculpture, because that’s what I loved most.
There are many more sculptures scattered throughout the gardens, as well as a private residence inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. A beautiful place to visit — and almost hidden in the hills near Gambier and Mount Vernon. In fact we had a bit of an adventure finding our way out of the place without a GPS. But a lovely day regardless, and so glad the gardens are open once a year so the public can enjoy them!