Peonies represent good fortune and happy marriages.

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Peonies are the traditional floral symbol of China along with the Plum Blossom.

What meaning best defines the word “guard?”

a). protect

b). custodian

c). preserve

d). safegaurd

e). chaperon

f). quarterback

g). guide

h). usher

i). defend

Words often derive meaning from context but a person’s background can also influence their interpretation. If you are an athlete, for example, you might have selected “quarterback” but if you work in protective services “custodian” may have been your choice. I chose “protect” because of my motherly instincts.


Peonies have a complex petal arrangement and deeply lobed leaves.

Why do books take so long to write?

Words make books come alive and a writer must choose words that will tell their story in a way, which engages readers. Words must be selected with intent and, as a result, the writing process requires ongoing revision. Books are usually the result of multiple drafts and, like most, The Inheritance took a long time to complete.

Match these symbols with their meaning.

While traveling the past few years, I’ve noted some of the reasons why people have taken trips. Here’s a selection of them.

  1. Heart
  2. Shamrock
  3. Maple Leaf

a). Ireland/Irish
b). Canada/Canadian
c). Love

These are universal symbols, objects or images that convey a common understanding, and a writer could use a maple leaf, for example, to make a Canadian reference.

Would a red rose offend you?

Flowers have their own language and most would welcome a red rose because of its association with love. A red rose is a universal symbol and writers might use it in a particular manner to explore this subject.

What do flowers mean to you?

Flowers convey different meanings and though a red rose is associated with love, a black rose conjures images of death. Like word choice, a writer must select the flowers she uses in her stories with intent.

Do you know the language of flowers?

Match the flower with their meaning:

  1. White Lily
  2. Daisy
  3. Poppy
  4. Mistletoe
  5. Orchid

a). kiss me

b). rare beauty

c). innocence

d). cheer

e). remembrance

I have included an answer key at the end of this blog.

My Inherited Love of Peonies

I inherited my love of peonies from my Calabrian family. I first saw them in my Nana Caterina Perri’s garden when I was a little girl. Peonies are important to our family dynamic as they represent “happy marriages.” My parents had peonies in their flowerbed and my father gave my mother a set of china dishes embellished with pink peonies for their first wedding anniversary. My father and I planted a peony shrub in my flowerbed after my husband and I moved into our home and just before my father passed away, he and my mother gave me her china dishes. Peonies are among my most cherished flowers and every Father’s Day, I place a bouquet of peonies on my father’s grave.

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What flowers are special to you? I’d welcome your comments.

Answer Key: 1-c; 2-d; 3-e; 4-a; 5-b.

I hope you enjoy my peony photographs.

Peonie bud

A bud bursts to life as a blossom fades denoting the end of its late spring and early summer cycle.

Single peonie and bud

Peonies were named after Paeon. Asclepius, the Greek God of medicine, was jealous of him so Zeus made him a flower.

Peonies in garden

My beautiful pink peony shrub in full summer bloom.