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by germinatrix | September 7th, 2010

my flourishing hellstrip edible beds

Yes. The book is DONE!

Amazing – I can’t believe I actually DID it – wrote a book in 4 months, 1 month to edit, and here I am, spent!

little 'Sungold' tomatoes playing peek-a-boo among the leaves of ruby chard

Garden writing is a tough business. Lots of people do it, but frankly, there aren’t many venues for us to ply our trade anymore – magazines have folded left and right, publishers are wary, and the internet has made traditional publishing seem completely outdated. Things HAVE to be different now. The paradigm has shifted, and it is up to writers, editors, and publishers find new relationships to each other and move forward in this WWW. (Check out how clever I am – WWW can be either World Wide Web OR Wild Wild West! See why I write? How can I keep this all to myself?)

Laura Livengood Schaub of Garden Writers Today asked me what a garden writer needs these days. I almost fell over. I need ALOT. Jewelry. A Cabana Boy. A 1978 black Mercedes and a driver. But the Garden Writers Today site is concerned with helping support us, so I thought I’d be serious for once and give some real answers. So here are the three things that I, as a Garden Writer, would love.

#1 – Access to new, fresh garden photos. Maybe a new free image bank can be created!

#2 – Proofreaders – ones that know something about gardening.

#3 – A non-competitive environment, not about promoting one’s work, but about advising and aiding each other WITH work and with GETTING work. Am I dreaming?

lovely fennel seeds drying in the sun

These last few months has been a journey, an ENORMOUS learning experience. I haven’t been able to blog as much as I wanted, I haven’t been able to garden as much as I wanted, I haven’t been able to design much either. My time was frantically devoted to “THE BOOK”, and now that it is finished I feel like I have been picked up by a cyclone and set down somewhere else. I don’t know what this other place is (even though it looks suspiciously just like my life, it feels different), but I know that this, too, will be a journey. One thing I DO know is that I am thrilled to be able to think about other aspects of gardening than just the little area I’ve been focusing on, and excited to get back to regular blog posts!

Thanks for hanging in there with me, I remain your devoted


20 Responses to “DONE!”

  1. Hi Ivette, keep me posted on when your book is available. I’d like to get it

  2. Ooooh! yes, yes, yes – a photo bank. How much would THAT have helped us this summer, Ivette??!! Oh, how I wish you were going to Dallas!!

  3. Congratulations! I will be sure to order it when its published.

  4. Hey Ivette, I hear you. I sent my stuff in to CSP a month ago and I am STILL tired. Good work girl!

  5. Frederique Lavoipierre says:

    Congratulations – a book in a mere four months must be a tremendous task to complete. Can one earn money as a proofreader? I have excellent English skills, and have been gardening all my life. Finishing up a master’s in biology on ecological principles of sustainable landscaping tonight :)

  6. Well a big congrats to you! You’ve done it! Would you have thought it possible? Probably so…after all you are capable of anything!

    Now back to your regularly scheduled life. How about that crazy island garden…how is that coming along?

  7. Round of applause, dear Germi! Go out and get yourself a cabana boy, you deserve it. Btw, nice job of thinking metaphorically with the cyclone image…although it does sort of imply that you’re cackling and rubbing your hands together. Well, as you should, my pretty. Seriously, I can’t wait for the birth of your bouncing baby book. You rock, Sweetie!

  8. Congrats! I know what it feels like to finish a book–time for some garden fresh margaritas! Looking forward to seeing the book.

  9. Yippee! Congratulations, Germi. I knew you could do it. And not only that, you’ve been rocking out the vegetable gardening too. Yes, I see all your tweets about it. You must never sleep.

  10. Congratulations, Germi! Quite an accomplishment.

  11. I can’t imagine how much self discipline, time and talent it takes to write a book. Especially a garden book. I am in awe.

  12. Hey Erik! I will keep you posted and hand you a copy myself, old friend!

    Sweet One, I am already imagining all of the fun that is going to be happening without me. Snis snif. I insist that you have an empty chair wherever you go, and that you all pretend that I am there. Susan M. will do a good job of predicting exactly what I would say in any given situation… Have the BEST TIME, and give them SWEET!

    Yay Nicole! I am SO glad to hear that! One sale down … you have made my day!

    Hi Mary Ann! So nice to hear from you! Yes, you know VERY WELL what it is like – WHOOSH! It was SO HARD for me to consider it finished! They had to rip it out of my claws … I hope you are recovering well! We deserve a bit of fun now, right? GOOD WORK right back at you!

    Hi Frederique – you know, that is a VERY good question! I don’t know if “proofreading” is a real job, but it should be! And I think being a free lance proofreader would be an excellent part time job … hmmm – maybe that is something that really can happen! I’ll keep your link of course, and maybe GWT will put together a list of good, reliable proofreaders. And damn – you seem VERY qualified! COOL! Thanks for your sweet comment!

    Loree you DOLL! There were times when I felt I was barely capable of scrambling an egg, but that was just a moment in time… it passed. Funny you mention the Mexico project – I’m going there at the end of the month and will have LOTS to report and LOTS of pics – it is looking FAB!!! XOXO!

    Oh Debra – you don’t know HOW many times I’ve thought of you, especially in this last month, and thought “HOW does she DO it?” And you make it seem effortless. AND you do the INDEX! Wow … you were already my inspiration, but the reality of what you do makes you so much MORE! I am crossing my fingers that the rest of the process just makes my baby book better. Thank you SO much for your support through this process! YOU are the true ROCKER! XOXO!!!

    PAM!!! Are you staying dry? Torrents of rain, I hear … And yes, the vegetables had to happen! Thank goodness my succulents are so undemanding – they very gracefully took the back seat. But NOW, I can see little buds starting to swell on my aloes! Here comes Aloe bloom time!!! (I do sleep, but with one eye open…) Thank you for stopping by, DOll!!! XO!

    Thank you so much Helen! I am still superstitious -”What if it is terrible?” goes through my mind, and I have to beat that thought back with a broom. But all in all, I am excited to see it! Yikes (shiver of glee!)

    Susan my dear! Any self discipline was purchased online – I have very little of my own! Time was at a premium, and talent was a strange liquid thing that ebbed and flowed and eluded me when I tried to grab at it. I thank you so much for your awe – but truly, I am so undeserving. If it weren’t for the wonderful editors I worked with at Timber, Juree Skonder and Mollie Firestone, I would have crumpled! Swear! XOXO!!!

  13. Now that I know I have your permission to speak for you in absentia, I am TWICE as excited about GWA! Particularly as this means no one will look at me oddly when I order my drinks two at a time.

    Very good suggestions, and I like the emphasis on sharing and teamwork. I have found garden designers to be a very supportive and noncompetitive group and so far the same has been true of garden writers.

  14. Susan! You are my avatar – when you decide I need to weigh in on something, feel free to hold forth! GWA will be a BLAST, I can feel it – and I hate to be out of the loop of fun! So you MUST keep me in there – pretty please!
    I have found the online gardening community incredibly supportive, it is why I enjoy it so much. I have to admit to a little garden club I was a part of that became a bit intense due to some overly competitive members who took no prisoners. It is rare, I think, to find the kind of community we have here in our corner of the WWW (yes, I HAD to bring that up again!) – people who are genuinely interested in furthering the interests of gardening and the gardening world. LOVE THAT! And you are one of the reasons I do! XOXOXO!!!

  15. Pop, Pop…Fizzzzz :-)

    Congratulations G! And in 4 months?…I am very impressed! (Picks up the pipes and strikes up a victory march).

    Can’t wait for the future read.


  16. Congratulations on your book! 4 months to write it? Thats quite an accomplishment. It must feel so nice to be done! I look forward to seeing what your up to next!

  17. I’m really enjoying your blog that I’ve just discovered, and congratulations on your book. I’ve got a folder that’s been in my computer for 5 years called “book,” so I can certainly appreciate your effort. Love the hellstrip edible bed, by the way. I’m jealous as I don’t have much sun to grow many vegetables. I’ll be looking out for your book!

  18. ESP – I’ll use my book finishing as a way to get you to play the bagpipes for me again! I’m shameless that way! It was WAY too short a time to write a book, but I love a good challenge and hey – if not me, then it would be someone else. And at least I got to figure out how to sneak the word “phallus” into a book about edible gardening.
    XOThe Big G

    Thank you, Laura! Next I will be up to my ears in getting my garden back into shape – not as glamorous as writing a book (if that can be considered glamorous), but necessary! I have ivy that has literally started eating the house!

    Kinked Hose – Hi! Welcome to our little blog – where gardening and dirty talk collide. Believe me, I’d been contemplating a book for a loooong time, but when the opportunity came it was about a surprise and then a flurry of “getting it done”. And now, getting back on the track I was on before! Hey – try growing lettuces in the shade, and other greens. If you live in a hot enough zone, they’ll flourish!

  19. A huge round of applause here… I’m so looking forward to reading and reviewing!!!

  20. Congratulations, can’t wait to see it. Just having front yard foods in my consciousness has changed the way I think about gardening. I’ve never grown edibles even in the back yard, but I experimented with an edible garden in my neighbor’s front yard this year. It was a miracle – food from outside all summer long.
    Free image bank. Hell yes. This may not news to you, but just in case it comes in handy: I’ve been looking for images to use and relying heavily on advanced searches on google images: You can specify that you are looking for images that are licensed for commercial reuse. The more unusual stuff is harder to come by, but sometimes you get lucky. For a more focused search with a higher percentage of well composed photos, I also rely on the flickr commons: – you see this stuff in Google search but google is all over the map on image quality. I think many people don’t necessarily think about their photo copyright much, but the wealth of photos from people using Creative Commons licenses for online content has been really wonderful. Still, I always need more, especially in the case of rare plants, so I’m on the lookout for another source.

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