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Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Susan Miura who will be talking about one of  most gardeners’ least liked subjects: Bugs…with a twist. Welcome, Susan!

How did creepy, slimy garden creatures transform from “enemy” to “blessings” in my gardener’s heart? Years ago, as a little girl picking vegetables for dinner in our backyard, I dreaded the emergence of buggish things: the spider descending down a kohlrabi, a beetle skittering along an eggplant, bees hovering over cucumbers, and the worst of the worst…the big, fat, terrifying hornworm poking it’s head out of a tomato. It was truly the stuff of nightmares.

Fast forward a few decades and the little garden girl is a wife, mom, and author with a passion for nature photography. Over the years, those creepy crawlies have been the subjects of Creation lessons as I worked with my children among the flowers and veggie plants, talking about God’s amazing design of our world and all living things, and the science behind what they do and why. They’ve also been the focal point for many nature photos. But it was when I got a macro lens that everything, truly, came into focus. (See what I did there?)

Through the magic of my lens, I was able to observe what the naked eye could not, and even after years of using it, the images never fail to take my breath away. To see the tiny dot indentations on the beetle’s wings or the individual hairs of a pollen-dusted bee is nothing short of miraculous.

Even that scary tomato worm, artistically patterned with its dots, lines and a row of spots that resemble eyes, is both exquisite and whimsical when magnified 100 times.  And spiders? Their intricate designs are the stuff of art museums.

But it wasn’t only insects that emerged into things of beauty, it was the plants themselves. No one would be surprised to hear that flowers look downright otherworldly through a macro, but even simple vegetable plants transform into something mystically marvelous.

As a gardener and photographer, I eagerly anticipate the planting and photography that comes with spring. And as an author, I can’t resist infusing some of my characters with my passion for nature, in all its forms.  

About the Writer/Gardener:

Susan grew up in an Italian-American family where much of the backyard was used for growing vegetables, with one circular area dedicated to flowers. She worked side-by-side with her father planting onions, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and other Italian favorites. Her passion for nature, writing, and photography lead her to travel, write books, and create presentations using her nature and travel photos.

Susan worked as a Chicago-area newspaper reporter, then as a television reporter in Albuquerque before returning to her home state of Illinois. She currently works in public relations, teaches writing workshops, and gives travel presentations throughout the Chicago suburbs. She is president of the American Christian Fiction Writers Chicago chapter and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her young adult novels have won the Readers’ Favorite, Moonbeam, Illumination, StoryMonsters, and Best Book awards, and her new release, Surviving Carmelita, is her first inspirational women’s fiction.

Connect with Susan on her Website: susanmiura.com  Instagram: susanmiura1  Facebook: susanmiurawrites  Twitter: miura10

Surviving Carmelita

by Susan Miura (publisher: CrossRiver Media)

 Where do you run when your world implodes?

“Mom?” Ashley’s shakes can be heard in that single, whispery word. “Mom, what happened?”

I take a breath, unable to turn my head. Unable to move at all. “I don’t know, Ash.” But somehow I do know, beneath skin chilled by the breath of demons, that whatever just happened will change everything.

It was Josie’s hands on the wheel, her foot on the pedal. Her fault. Now, sweet, beautiful Carmelita will never see her fifth birthday. Where do you run when the world implodes and you can’t even function as a mom? Josie leaves her Chicago suburban home to stay with a cousin in Key West, unaware her journey is guided by an unseen hand. Unaware that a trailer park pastor, a battered horse, a pregnant teen, and a mysterious beachcomber might just set her on the path toward an inconceivable hope and redemption.

Includes a recipe by cookbook author Nancie McDermott.

You can find Surviving Carmelita at Amazon Barnes and Noble and CrossRiver Media