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Category Archives: Coping with the farm

The Sunflower House

Today’s post has nothing to do with the History of the Ancient World, publishing, travelling, or education. Today’s post is about the Sunflower House, which has become too cool to ignore. Late in the spring, my mother (source of all creative kid-entertainment in this house, my two standbyes for boredom being “Read another book” and […]

Spring toads, books, baby chicks, and Her Majesty

Well, folks, I still haven’t seen much in the way of reviews, but look at the front table of the Barnes & Noble on Merchant’s Square in Williamsburg! I tend to get a little behind with blogging in the spring, because while I’m still writing away on my regular projects (just now, I’ve got two […]

Meanwhile, back on the farm…

Writing is a weird job. You find yourself looking foward to each publication milestone–the book’s appearance in the publisher’s catalog, the arrival of the first galleys, the first industry review, the first finished author’s copy, publication date–and each one proves to be less than satisfying. The truth is that the real satisfaction of the work […]

Absolutely. Nothing. Going. On.

Nothing exciting, that is. No word on the upcoming book. No reviews. Nothing to do that would hurry it along. Lots of tedious research on the Byzantine-Persian-Arab wars of the seventh century. Lots of sorting through lists of caliphs, emperors, shahs, kings, and Visigoth warrior chiefs. But for three whole hours last week, we had […]

Signs of the season

There’s nothing going on with the History of the Ancient World from my end. Zip. It’s off being printed (I think), and I’m just waiting to get a glimpse of it. Or get another review. Or something. In the meantime, we’ve been having a warm January with lots of rain, followed by sharp frost and […]

A week in which (almost) no writing got done

It’s Saturday night, around 10 PM, and my sorely missed husband is due back at 2 AM. After we all do church on Sunday and then crash on Monday, it’s back to a normal work week, and those page proofs for the History of the Ancient World, which looked like this two weeks ago: and […]

The Next Morning’s Addendum

#1 movie NOT to watch right before bed, if you’re the only adult with three children, late at night, in an old farmhouse surrounded by corn, and have to get up early to write the next morning: SIGNS. Yes, okay, common sense should have told me that. Update on the first pass proofing coming soon…

(Not) doing it all

So now it’s Thursday. My husband and oldest son left Monday evening for Alaska, where they’re fishing for two weeks along with my father, brother, neighbor, and first cousin. (It’s a real male-bonding trip. No one, apparently, is going to shave for the entire fourteen days.) Meanwhile I am sitting down here in my office, […]

Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit…

I have Done It. Working late in my Chicken Shed Office, after nightfall, while the rest of the family lolls around inside eating popcorn and playing Settlers of Catan, I have finished the dreadful Author Questionnaire. And I have not only finished it (all 48 pages), but have now filed it, so that when I’m […]

The proper temperature at which to scald a chicken (and other matters).

My photo-chronicle of the Great Chicken Plucking seems to have raised a burning question in dozens of minds: what is the proper temperature at which to scald a chicken? The answer, according to my mother (seen scalding a chicken below, with the help of our neighbor from across the road), is 140-145 degrees (F). Less […]