Musings from the basement...

Dirt on Your Hands aka something important I forgot about life

Somewhere along the line, we changed our minds about getting dirt on our hands. When you’re a kid, dirt is just something that happens on your way to dinner. It gets on your hands the way aches get in your bones as an adult. You don’t plan for it or think about it. It doesn’t stop your day unless fate is working against you, like your mom telling you to wash up or your back flaring up so bad you can’t get the recycling bin all the way down the driveway. Dirt happened. Your knees would get covered, too, jeans worn to white threads threatening to hole and sneakers equal parts rubber and mud. But it was the hands that did it. Caked dirt, dirt…
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How I first got published, part 2 – Ideas and Execution

The following is an encore from 2009, presented here in the hopes that the info will be helpful for aspiring authors. I’ve authored or coauthored five books since, and self-published another four, and most of this still applies. So enjoy. Hope it helps! So as I mentioned in the first part of this series, ideas are, in the grand scheme of things, relatively worthless. In some ways they are the least significant piece of the puzzle. After all, creative people – and I assume that if you’re reading this you’re probably a creative person – usually have far more ideas than they know what to do with. Had I 48 hours to each day and no need to sleep I still wouldn’t have time to do and…
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How I first got published, part 1 – Introduction

The following is an encore from 2009, presented here in the hopes that the info will be helpful for aspiring authors. I’ve authored or coauthored five books since, and self-published another four, and most of this still applies. So enjoy. Hope it helps! Chances are, if you like to write you’d also like to be read. While you can throw things onto the Internet and be read instantly, it’s not quite the same thing as a publisher saying, “I like your work. I’d like to invest our time and money into it. I’d like to publish your book.” Because let’s be honest with ourselves: Blogging is nice, self-publishing is interesting, but the majority of aspiring writers know being picked up by a legitimate publisher is key to…
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SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Beers You Can’t Believe Will Flatten You

Every Sunday I take a look at five beers worth checking off your list. This week, it’s five beers that taste so good and drink so easily you can get yourself in a world of hurt if you’re not careful, because they are also heavy hitters in the alcohol department. Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra Beer has a rep as being a booze that isn’t “booze” because it’s low enough in alcohol that you can drink it all day. Thing is, that’s not always true. Sometimes a beer will taste as approachable as any other beer but will knock you flatter than a tortilla shell. Take Dogfish Head’s Raison D’Extra, for example. It’s a Belgian-style dark ale based on their Raison D’Etre, which itself is a…
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Turn Your Garden Into A Wildlife Haven

Contributed Post If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, one of your first priorities will probably be getting it to look great. But if you’re a nature lover, you may well be looking to attract different types of wildlife into your garden. If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do to encourage different species into your outdoor space. Photo Credit Colourful Planting Just because your garden is biodiverse, it doesn’t mean that it has to be untidy. Your regular lawn care services don’t have to go undone so you are left with a rugged garden wilderness. Instead, try introducing some colourful planting for pollinators so you can attract bees and butterflies. Choose some plants that flower between early spring and…
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