The Third Plate – A Review

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It staggers me to consider how much I learned from this book, not the least of which is the wheat I know has an ancestor that was native to the prairie, and perennial with roots up to 22 feet deep. Consider that for a moment — roots were commonly 22 feet deep. That’s like…tree depth but on wheat! Now ponder the fact that in the rush to settle that same prairie, the native wheat was ripped up, cast aside, the land ploughed up and a different, annual breed of wheat was planted. Only this wheat had very short roots that did not grasp the soil sufficiently and was not drought resistant. When the drought of the1930’s came along, the prairies were screwed. And we did it to ourselves!
See, you don’t expect to learn this sort of thing in a book touted as being for “foodies”.

I also learned why everyone that even grows a single tomato plant in a pot should turn their back on chemical additives in their potting soil. And why we should support the smaller farmer who is running a CSA on a handful of acres. I learned how old-school thinking can produce ham that is in demand the world over, how the lack of micronutrients in the soil can affect a child living in the city, and so on, and so on. Honestly, there isn’t enough room to discuss all the great things I learned from this book. And I thought I was pretty well schooled in soil, food and organic farming.

On some level, I knew but had apparently forgotten, that the lack in nutrition in our vegetables is linked to a lack of nutrients in the soil. A lack of nutrients in our meat, milk and eggs is connected to the lack of nutrients in the grass/fodder/feed we provide the animals we consume. If you think about it, it is basic science. Even computers are only as good as what we put into them, so why do we ignore this when it comes to animals? And how does all this relate to a growing trend of obesity?

“Starved of micronutrients, we will keep eating in the hope of attaining them” William Albrecht

If you are a foodie, read this book.
If you are a concerned parent who has never touched a food plant, you should read this book.
Heck, if you eat — at all — you should read this book.
Ignore the naysayers and make up your own mind. You’ll be glad you did. In the meantime, tell me…are you a vegetarian, or omnivore?

Cover Reveal – Horror story collection

For those who enjoy a good psychological bit of horror…

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The Passages of Melton Hall and other stories

Another step in the publication process has been ticked off my to-do list. After many iterations, the time has come. The full cover design for The Passages of Melton Hall and other stories is done.

Thanks must go to my family and friends (both in person and through my Facebook page) who gave me feedback. Thanks also to the Fiction Writing group and Writers Helping Writers group on Facebook for the invaluable critiques. The cover was improved greatly because of everyone’s feedback. Who knew fonts could be so polarising?

So without further ado…

passages front and back 5.9.18I believe it is important for self-published authors to share their trials and tribulations with other writers, particularly those who may be self-publishing for the first time (like me). This does two things:

  1. It shows new authors they are not alone. Nothing is spat out onto the page fully…

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Infinite Worlds – An Excerpt

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Today I wanted to share with you an exclusive sneak peek at a bit of ‘Infinite Worlds’.  In this bit, Coriander and Devi are having a conversation with the Chancellor of New Olympus. No sooner had they adjusted to finding an entire population and culture that they didn’t know existed, that planet’s ruler lays this on them…

“Among our Archives are documents that direct us to prepare our world for visitors from Earth,” Reatha said as she filled their cups with wine from her personal stock. “When I was declared Chancellor, I was shown these documents. Our ancestors have left instructions to encourage friendships with those from Earth, but also clear the way for people from your world to settle here on New Olympus if they choose to do so.” She settled on her lounge and regarded her guests seriously. “Dr. Baffin tells me that in your written history on Earth, there is a tradition of sharing a place with others through the written word?”
Coriander nodded. “Many years ago, when travel was more challenging, explorers would travel to different parts of the world and write about their adventures. The literature, what we call books, would describe far-off places and the people that lived there, as well as their culture. This encouraged others to travel and explore.”
“Exactly what our endeavor will require!” The Chancellor smiled.
“Which endeavor would that be, exactly?” Coriander asked with a furrow between her eyes.
“You will write such a book describing New Olympus and our customs for the people of Earth who might wish to know more about us. Then we will not be strangers to them, and when a way between our worlds is found, perhaps some of those Earthers will wish to come here.” Reatha said, matter-of-factly.
“Why do you want people from Earth to come here?” Devi asked.
“Dr. Baffin has told you that our Archive explains how New Olympus came to be populated, and named, correct?”
Devi and Coriander nodded silently.
“Then if our world was first inhabited by Earthers, it is reasonable to encourage such a thing once again. But consider this, when I was a child, I was taught that the beasts of New Olympus do not mate for life, but take many partners in order to increase the diversity of the species. I imagine this may be what the First Ones had in mind when they encouraged us to welcome Earthers to New Olympus.”
“So you want to increase the diversity of your people?” Coriander asked slowly.
“Indeed,” Reatha agreed, nodding. “I believe it would bring about growth, a widening of perspective and broaden our horizons in ways we cannot yet imagine! Think of the things we could all learn from one another, the possibilities are endless.”

 

Exciting stuff! Can you imagine the possibilities of finding another culture on a planet other than our own? How alien do you think they would be, or do you think they would be like us? Let me know in the comments section!

News From Words & Worlds!

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Did you get your copy of my End Of Summer edition of our newsletter?

No?

You can find the sign-up link at the top of the main page, just under my logo.

While this edition is not bursting to the seams, there is news to be had. Go sign up, get caught up and watch for another edition in a couple of weeks!

See you then!

The Knitters Dictionary – So Much More

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I found the PDF version of this book far more helpful than the Kindle version. The Kindle version was six ways of messed up, but the PDF was glorious by comparison! This book is part knitters dictionary and part knitting encyclopedia. I learned so much! I found the section on reading charts extremely helpful as well as the section on Magic Loop (It’s always been a mystery to me). There is a great section on gauge that every knitter should know, whether they choose to ignore it or not. Also useful is the section that explains the differences between English knitting and Continental, and so on and so on.
As I said, this book is jampacked with knowledge, and written by one of the smartest and most engaging knitters this side of Elizabeth Zimmerman herself. Buy this book for yourself if you’re a knitter, or for a knitter you care about.

I plan on getting a dead-tree version of this book as soon as I can. I just know it will end up being the most consulted knitting book on my shelves!
I am honored to have been trusted with an ARC copy in exchange for a review.


 

Teachings From The Muskrat

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Excerpt:

In the Anishinabe Re-Creation story re-told by Anishnabe storyteller Basil Johnston in his work Ojibway Heritage, there has been a great flood and most life on Earth has perished, with the exception of birds and water creatures. Sky-Woman survives and comes to rest on the back of a great turtle. She asks the water creatures to bring her soil from the bottom of the waters so that she may use it to make new land. The water animals (the beaver, the marten, the loon) all try to help her and fail. Finally, Muskrat volunteers, much to the scorn of the others. Though ridiculed, Muskrat, the most humble of the water creatures, is determined to help. So he dives down while the animals and sky-woman wait.

“They waited for the muskrat to emerge as empty-handed as they had done. Time passed. Smiles turned to worried frowns. The small hope that each had nurtured for the success of the muskrat turned into despair. When the waiting creatures had given up, the muskrat floated to the surface more dead than alive, but he clutched in his paws a small morsel of soil.” Basil Johnston

The muskrat has a great deal to teach us about ourselves. As I read the piece that you can find here (Muskrat Magazine), I could see myself writing a modern short story, with Muskrat as the main character, teaching us all how we should strive to embody the sacred teachings. Read the article, and let me know what you think in the comments below.