The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Archive for May, 2009

Look What I Got!

P1000861 For some time now I’ve been begging for kittens. We have Good Dog Gwyneth, and we have Sophie, the cat that hates me, and I wanted some kittens that would like me. As I speak, the little boy is sitting on my shoulder, grooming me. I think he likes me. I know he likes Gwyneth. The girl is a bit more standoffish, and not quite so sure what to make of the dog, but she’s tucked under my desk close by. She pokes her head out to check on Gwyneth from time to time, but doesn’t seem inordinately upset by the dog. Gwyneth thinks the kittens are the best toys ever. Sophie, of course, has her nose out of joint and is ignoring the office party.

A friend and I were on our way to our silent writing group and Jenny called to tell me she had just passed a sign reading “Free Kittens.” Should she stop? YES! I came home to these two. So far they are unnamed. Jenny has suggested Adam and Eve, Samson and Delilah, Abelard and Heloise (I MIGHT go for Abeloise and Heloard), and something else equally biblical-ish. I’m thinking Frick and Frack. But nothing is decided. The boy is a lover. He’s the one on the right, with the darker, more pronounced markings. The little girl is still skittish but puts up nicely with being held….when you can find her.

I’m in kitty heaven. THANK YOU, JENNY! (and they are both grey, Lisa!)

Word Ho Ho Ho

I know there are some folks out there curious about how to make money writing business copy, etc. using online bidding sites. I’d like a show of hands and maybe an email address for those who are interested in an interactive blog or email list where we can talk about this, critique samples, write practice bids, you name it. I’m doing pretty well at this and would be glad to share what I’ve learned. And I’d love to have people to critique my samples and all….. Free, of course.

The Sand Filter Garden — Part 1

After you read this, some of you might be afraid to eat at our house. Have no fear. Our food is gonna be so organic it will eat itself.

Jenny and I spent part of the afternoon weeding our sand filter. For those of you who live in the city and are septically challenged, a sand filter is basically a big mound of gravel and varying degrees of sand, several feet deep, whose sole function is to process effluent in areas where the septic field can’t be too large. Or in our case, the whole thing is too near a body of water.  The effluent leaves the house, enters the septic tank, is pumped into the sand filter and then is processed before entering the septic field and ultimately the creek. This is high technology in the shit business, and it uses no chemicals. One hundred percent natural.

One of the amazing things about this big sandbox is this: you can plant on top of it. No root vegetables, because there are some pipes that you don’t want to mess with, but anything else is fine. Most folks opt for grass. We chose vegetables.  The sand filter is about three feet high with a concrete wall to sit on. Today we planted tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, strawberries, and chard. We only planted about two feet into the circle as we are not giants, have short arms,  and we do have to weed the dang thing. And we didn’t weed the whole perimeter or the center yet as the blackberries surround half of it right now. Anybody got a goat we can borrow?

After weeding (and there is NO SMELL) the delightfully loamy soil, we worked in some compost (cow, chicken, etc) and now, of course, it DOES SMELL.  I planted the cabbage in a place with no manure as part of the grand experiment. After a year of wind, rain, sun, leaves, organic debris, etc. the top layer of very fine sand is now pretty nice soil all by itself. The weeds are doing just fine, better than in our regular dirt which is quite full of clay. I can always fertilize if the cabbages look sad.

It’s getting ready to rain so we’re not going to water things in. Tomorrow there is more planting to do; if we need to water more tomorrow, the hose will still be there. Stay tuned. Photos and more information to follow.

Good Dog Gwyneth enjoyed being outside with her peeps for such a long time and also enjoyed sitting on onions, whacking the chard planted earlier with her tail, and otherwise amusing herself in the dirt.

Okay, I can take a nag, er, hint

Where have I been? Well, living out my alien princess fantasy, I’d like to say my people finally came for me. But you are my people, like it or not.

I’ve been busy. Indexing is down, freelance writing is up. Way up. I’m grateful for this as indexing is down. Not dead. But slow. However, I do have TWO books coming next week, one on autism, one on marriage and family relationships, both topics I find interesting, so things are looking up. And I’ve discovered the secret to making money online while working your freaking butt off.

I saw your ears prick upward. Writing? Money? Online? At home? Really? Yes, really. And I will soon post more details on the Chrysalis website over there to the right in the blogroll. Just let me say this: in the last six weeks, I’ve made well over a thousand dollars writing crap for folks who write worse than I do. That’s the trick. Write better than the people who want to hire you.

And be willing to write odd things. So far, 70 posts about gardening, a speech, a longer article about choosing a doctor, some web page content, a sales letter, a brochure, and some postcards. Some short how-to stuff about craftiness, my beef stew and deviled egg recipes. Easy peasy for the most part. And I will share my secrets for the low, low price of a click on a hyperlink. After I get done with today’s paid stuff. And water aerobics. And probably dinner.

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