Tag Archives: ebook

Inside the leaves…not the green ones #Fragments

 

I rather cherish the memories of standing in Mum’s kitchen holding my own books in my hands. Each time, there has been a smile as to having worked hard and crafting something that I am very proud of and ultimately would like to share with others. I am not writing anything at the moment; my pens have temporarily fallen silent and are reflecting on new possible stories.

I am also involved in a project called the Peace Series That link will take you to the Facebook page. There is even an event that will hopefully plant Peace firmly on the map. My contribution is scheduled for release early in 2018, and is currently being polished.

There were plans to write a cookbook! Plans being plans, this is on pause; I will get around to that eventually.

For now, I have three books in circulation that I am genuinely proud to have written and developed. Two, are primarily to do with gardening and cooking; with this year being a poor year on the allotment plot, they are a reminder of good times, of fruitful times.

Then there is ‘Fragments’, which is my first foray in to writing fiction. This does not mean I have abandoned my green plot. Simply that I have decided to add an additional string and broadened my horizons a little more.

Bit of a heads up. This is not a fluffy book with hearts, rainbows and butterflies. It’s not a textbook either!

 

Above are a selection of passages from Fragments, these touch on the six different stories that are interwoven to paint a picture of how loss and bereavement may effect us. The people and their experiences are varied and diverse; I wanted to write stories that could be seen to reflect and represent the world around me and to some extent how I see it.

I like my book; I am however, very biased. It is seeing and hearing that other people have picked it up, read it and invested in it that truly makes me feel less biased.

You can find the ebook here . For paperback, click here.  If you happen to be in the USA, you can even walk into Pipe and Thimble in Lomita, California to buy a copy! The store is the only place on the globe that actually holds any of my books right now. That in itself is  a tad mind blowing.

If you do invest in a copy, of either version, then please share and leave the review. As a non-traditional, self published author, I am a cog in the Indie publishing world. Reviews help that universe expand, allowing books that we wouldn’t ordinarily come across become more visible. This expansion then allows myself and other Indie authors to be stumbled upon with our works being shared.

 

From ink to ebook

There are now three ebooks out there with my name on them.

You can find the links for them on the side bar and they are available for sale across the globe.

All three are also available in paperback, with ‘Fragments’ going live and properly in the next few days.

Fragments is fiction, with the two others being non-fiction.

 

#Fragments is now out there!

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Over the last eighteen months, I have been working on this.

‘Fragments’.

So far, all of my writing projects have drawn upon the allotment and have been non-fiction. Writing about the allotment, was wonderful. I enjoyed it immensely; like the allotment, it was organic, gave me a huge sense of pleasure and fulfilment whilst teaching me some very valuable lessons. I am proud of the two gardening books, I would not have written them or unleashed them-yes, like The Kraken-if I didn’t think of them as having value or a be part of me, for that matter. There may still be further gardening books; I will never say never. I have plot cook book scheduled for later this year, so allotmenteering is still very much part of my world and the contributions that I want to make to the universe. (Thanks Humanistic approaches to counselling, I have been listening, yes.)

Fragments is a bit-well, very different. This is fiction, and my first foray into this corner of Indie publishing. The process has been an interesting journey; there were good days, bad days; the notebooks got hauled to Brighton, to Italy and to Lanzarote.

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There are strawberries in that pic somewhere

I wrote whilst sunburned in the Canaries, whilst my feet were swollen having trekked to the  Vatican. I wrote, in between lessons at work and tutted loudly when told that my handwriting looked like Sanskrit. (I did actually laugh at that one, I was definitely writing in English!). I wrote, when the daydreams were so intense that I picked up my pen and let it have a mind of it’s own; I was not going to argue. (It’s a Parker Sonnet, and I love it. There are two, and Gods forbid anything happens to them.)

The book is currently available in ebook, and in the course of the next few days will be available in paperback. It is the paperback cover that you see above and with the blurb. You can click on the image in the side bar to get your copy. I won’t give you chapter and verse about what ‘Fragments’ is about-see above!

I even got arty and created the cover. A spot of pastels did the trick, and the image is called ‘Fabric’ of the Universe. The two gardening books, have creatures on them rather than human beings.  I am still thinking about having humans on covers, and I’m exploring this with upcoming works.

What’s next? As mentioned before, there is cookbook on the agenda. There is also the romance novella-Retreating to Peace-which is part of the Peace series and is another step in a different direction.

 

 

Kindle promo: #plantpottales #sowgroweat

 

Tomorrow the kindle promo kicks off with Playing with plant pot tales being at reduced price. This will subsequently be followed by sow grow and eat.

Alongside this, there is an event on the Facebook page. So if you picked up a copy, why not join the event and share your experiences; may be even like, share and comment on the page to help others hear about allotment adventures.

You can find links to both books and their paperback equivalents, right here on the blog. (Right hand side —–>)

Kindle Promotion: #Plantpottales #Sowgroweat

 

From the 3oth of April until the 7th May there will be a kindle promotion for both of the books. So be sure to get your copies whilst the prices have been dropped! Promotion does only apply to the UK sites.

Prices correct at time of publishing and will be changing back when promotion ends. Promotions end at GMT. Details will be public as soon as promotions start.

Playing with Plant pots: Promotional price £1.99  30th April-7th May 2016

Sow, Grow and Eat: Promotional price £0.99 5th May-12th May 2016

Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

 

2015; Bollywood Gardener and beyond

As a year of two halves, 2015 has been somewhat interesting but different. The first half of the year involved having the best of intentions. Seeds were sown, I had half a plan as to what I wanted to achieve. No different to what I might have done in previous years, I was going to use all my knowledge and experience to make  things better, bigger and more efficient. Then came July, 2015 became incredibly busy and in the tail end; I am only just recovering from a very hectic six months.

Let’s take the first six months, where by the growing season is starting. Plans are afoot, the world is full of promise. We are hoping to have a good year.

Tomatoes, chillies and aubergine were the focus of the first three months. Makings sure that the seeds were sown, that these germinated and the plants pampered. Pampered, as so many valuable lessons had been learned as to how they might be successful. It was touch and go for a while in the early stages. Half baked chillies and tomatoes can be a very scaring and intimidating experience, when you let them be in a hot room or poly tunnel. There were even aphids and bugs that needed to be dealt with.

In July, I hosted a workshop during the annual conference of the Association of teachers of Psychology. I spoke about horticulture and mental health, the benefits that teachers might gain for both themselves and their students. I had asked my Psychology colleagues to sow sunflowers in the Spring and also encouraged conference delegates to do the same in giving them seeds that were kindly donated by the information point. It was also at this point, that I finished the Level 3 Certificate in Counselling studies.

Then came the summer, with lots and lots of growing!

No one year will be the same as the preceding or following. Yet this year felt different. There was just something palpably different that made growing more of a challenge ad something beyond me being busy with work and studies. Last year, I remember being ankle deep in tomatoes, green ones; but there were lots of them. This year,I had a foliage, and not a lot of fruits. Positioned in the poly tunnel, the crop was meant to do well. Even the chillies appeared to have struggled this year. Whilst the poly tunnel seemed to have been filled with triffids, there was a muted level of success. Aubergines did themselves no favours once again. I must say every year that I will not sow them. I finally have proof that I might be better off without them. Lovely plants, the occasional flower; but diddly squat fruit even if the poly tunnel was a bit damp and sweaty.

And note the gadget! The apple one. Having acquired all of those apples from a plot neighbour (they were not scrumped, I had consent!) that was an investment and a half. Saved me hours. The home brew kit is still waiting in the wings. untested this year, maybe it will be used in the growing seasons to come. There were a number of pickles and preserves. The preserving pan was rather busy this year, even though the produce was a bit hit and miss.

With the plot ticking along, and the blog growing. Something else also happened. I had been lucky enough to write guest blog posts for WRG, via the fabulous Michael Perry. This was and still is one of the most valuable writing experiences that I have ever had. This actually triggered something more complex and more challenging than I first realised. Over the summer, the winner of the Big Allotment Challenge Rob Smith had written a short book.  One of my fellow counselling students, L.A.Cotton, had also burst onto the young adult contemporary genre (She’s epic, tell her I sent you) with phenomenal success.

These three things combined spurred me to be courageous and write something myself. June and July were turning points, and I remembered sending a message to both my sisters; saying that I wanted to write an ebook, and I would try and get it out by Christmas. That was it, I was going to do it.

Having written as mentioned previously, the guest blogs for WRG , one of them was about the Indian Inspiration on the plot. I think Michael Perry used the words ‘Bollywood Gardener’ or something similar, and I adopted the hashtag! This inadvertently became the start of the book. I wrote in a way I can only describe as feverish. I have the same frame of mind when writing the blogs, to be honest; and it’s part of the blog life. The book however was different in that this was thousands of words and trying to bring the assorted elements of the blog together. There was a lot of things that I wanted to include in my budget of 25, 000 words. I had a notebook-my blog book actually, the one that I take to the plot-and a pen. Scribbling ensued, and it’s hard to read my writing anyway. So when it’s all in very hurried, that doesn’t help with typing.

What I ended up with was ‘Playing with Plant Pots: Tales from the allotment’. Plus it was well before Christmas!

 

With a bright yellow front cover, you cannot miss it!

I am going to be naturally very biased, and say that I like my book. However, that is genuine. I like to share it, because I do honestly believe in my book. You might, for example, have writers out there, who will promote their books; but not necessarily believe in their own work. You know if you don’t blow your own trumpet, it’s difficult to get others to do the same.

Standing in the kitchen, leafing through my own book was rather surreal. My name was on a book, that I had crafted. Then there was the few hours that it was at number one. A fellow independent writer informed me of that happening, and that made my day, I tell you! I am determined to get back to the slot.

Then there was the swag. The merchandise. Again, this sounds likes trumpeting! Petal, the horticultural Obbit, has always been the online avatar of the blog. A registered trademark, she’s face (other than mine!) of the blog and social media presence.

 

As you will have read, this year may have been different to others; but it has not been quiet. So much has gone one, it’s no wonder that the tail end of the year is slower and more reflective. If it had all been plain sailing, there would have been very little learned, very little documented in the blog, and very little left to reflect upon.

For now, my only plan is try and sow chillies at some point, and plant my fruit trees when they arrive. I haven’t really thought about anyhing beyond that.

I thank you, for having accompanied me on the 2015 journey; and look forward to the one starting in the new year.

Happy new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#NABLOPOMO: That book, abroad #plantpottales

Playing a bit of catch up with NaBloPoMo, it’s hard being a couple of days out of sync. This time last year, I wrote about how I might write a book. Frequent readers will know that I did, and it is available in both ebook and print.

The book, like me, is born in Britain. It’s subject matter is an allotment in the middle of England. Not Middle earth, middle of England. Britain has a thriving gardening community, that is incredibly diverse. From the amateur allotmenteers like me, to the more seasoned and professional Gods of Horticulture.

So when it goes to the US, that is something beyond my original aspirations.  Serendipity books and more have agreed to stock a handful of copies, and that is pretty damned amazing.

Then there are the reviews:

Not bad are they? It was incredibly scary writing and then publishing. There was certainly a sensation of having sliced off a bit of your soul and sent it out into the universe. So it is very, very, very encouraging when people buy the book and review it. Tells me what they have got out of something that I am very proud of having created.

 

If you read it, even the sample, then please share it. Review it, put it onto your Goodreads thingy.

Most of all, enjoy it.

 

 

 

Autumn: A review

The plot has been busy.  Very busy. With autumn, we have the opportunity to take stock of what has happened. It’s not necessarily an end of year review, that is reserved for New’s Eve. No, this is a case of reflecting on the journey that has taken place over the last ten months,

A journey, that started two days after Boxing day-i think-with the sowing of chilli seeds. That for me,  was the start.

As I come to pay my rent for the next year, I really must do that soon, I have a wealth of learning experiences going into what is my fourth year on the plot. It is with this milestone that I can see just how far I have come. Particularly with the grapevines. These take on average between three to five years to become established, and here we have our first ever harvest this year. The thin wiry twigs that were planted years ago, have become strong and fruitful. They do need extra support now, what was a temporary frame back then, now requires significant bolstering.

Another more concrete example, was the spuds. I have stopped counting now as to how many pounds or kilos, for that matter,  that have been harvested. I feel as though I have broken something of duck. Learned a technique if you like, how to best plant,  picked out appropriate varieties to gain a healthy and abundant crop. I am sure that I will be seeing Pink Fir Apple in my sleep.  They have most likely been put into every dish imaginable by Mum. Yesterday, I found one in Punjabi Khadi.

For the inside the poly tunnel, I am a little perplexed. There were tomato plants galore in there, with chillies and aubergines. The chillies, did okay; lessons were implemented. All were planted into pots, we had a none too bad crop of chillies. Aubergines, have reiterated their point as being a pointless exercise for me. I need to consider whether growing a seed, is equitable with rescuing plants from the garden center.

Eighteen tomato plants were sunk into the ground of the poly. They grew, they grew into six foot tall triffids that were defoliated from time to time. All they grew, was leaves. Maybe the occasional tomato. At a point where I might ordinarily be drowning in green tomatoes; there were none to be had. I was in a different time zone, when Mum found a single, solitary red one. She sent me a picture, to contain her surprise.  The questions that arise here, are two fold. Was it the selected varieties, or was the weather just generally a bit unaccommodating? I am going to say it was a reflection of both. Some of the varieties were the slower maturing ones, and I do think that the poorer weather-in comparison to last year-simply never gave them a fighting chance. Even the roses, suffered; but the gladioli kept going.

 

Soft fruit was a bit hit and miss. Strawberries, took flight, and we had enough to watch Wimbledon by. The runners are now running amok. Raspberries, well, the pink ones did precious little. With the autumn raspberries a bit confused and cropping quite well. Blueberries were a revelation, and for their first year did well.  Didn’t scrump as many plums this year-I do actually scrump with consent-so there was a lot less plum jam and jelly made. But lots of courgettes and marrows  lead to a relatively less busy preserving pan. For the first time ever, we had ice cream made using plot produce.  Something that I highly recommend, even I don’t really like strawberries.

With October starting, I have my seed garlic ordered; and will be trying to shoe horn time in between now and late November to get it sunk. I don’t tend to sow over wintering broad beans anymore. Beyond that, the major autumn winter task is to remove the dead plants and start clearing away. All the dead plants will most likely be composted where they are are, and covered with leaves and other organic material. Creates compost, helps improve the soil, and I am filling the raised beds til they are needed again in Spring.

Whilst everything on the plot is an achievement. There was something else. I wrote this.

‘Playing with plant pots: Tales from the allotment’

http://amzn.to/1OB7PqH : E-book
http://amzn.to/1VsJckt : Paperback

To find out more about it, you’re just gonna have to get it.

This can feel like a very depressing, dark and dank time of year. Especially when you have see the bright, blooming and bountiful delights of colour, crop and your own creativity. It then become difficult to see the light, more positive side of things.  Autumn and winter can be time of reflection, taking stock and making decisions as to how you would like to proceed. That is certainly the route that I will be taking. Tackling the plot bit by bit, setting lists to work through. It has taken six years to get to this point, so there is little point in hurrying.

I really need to go check the inside of my seedboxes.

 

 

 

That other creative project…it’s live

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Playing with plant pots: tales from the allotment

I once read that if you were going to write, you should write about what you love. I took this as inspiration to put pen to pen, finger to keyboard and write. As much as I like Star Trek, Shakespeare and the Whedon-verse, I am not about to write any of those on huge worldwide scale. Also they have all, strangely enough, been done.

Writing this blog is incredibly enjoyable, and I will continue to do so for as long as I can. What I had in mind, was to write a book. Or more specifically, an ebook. So I set myself a challenge. To write one by Christmas. And about my experiences on the allotment, of growing my own, and to build on what I have learned and documented through this blog. This blog seemed a good starting place as any,

In earnest, I tried to think about what I wanted to write. A case of writing down in ink on paper a list of all I could think of from the top of my head. The list kept growing, and I ended reminiscing to an extent about everything that I have learned about in the last six years. Turns out that there was a lot the plot had taught me.

The deadline had been Christmas, and I didn’t want it to be a huge great big tome. Even if it was an ebook. Ebooks are meant to be a lengthy great big treatise.

See that link at the top; that’s the ebook.