Soon to be renowned!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Smallber Giving Smuesday

Can't ... take ... anymore ... branding ... 

Yes, the shameless beating of our holiday shopping season's dismembered corpse is getting out of hand. With the recent arms race to claim exclusive marketing rights for days of the week it would be tempting to wax cynical and just boycott the whole thing. (Screw it, I'm going to shop small on Wednesday, just you try and stop me.) But, being a self-published author who works at a small independent garden center, sells his book online, and believes strongly in charitable giving, like it or not, I do have a bit of a stake in the madness. 

So to make amends for my participation in this yuletide vivisection, I have undertaken the following grafting of weekday shopping directives: all proceeds from Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday sales of my book will be donated to Hopelink, a local food bank/social services organization.

If, for some reason, you don't find snarky gardening literature on your shopping list this year, please do consider making a donation to a charity you believe in anyway. I won't even tell if you if you do it on Wednesday.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Full Disclosure

Free Kindle Version This Weekend. Yay.
I don't have it in me to play clever and coy with marketing this year as the holidays approach. The world is two-faced and deceptive enough at the moment, thank you. The fact remains, though, that I wrote this book a while ago and I've been working hard to finish my next one. It was, and continues to be my hope that people will read what I've put down and smile, laugh, or feel that piquant, nameless something that can only be transmitted by the written word.

To that end, and whatever meager "profit" follows thereof, I occasionally engage in nefarious schemes to make people aware of my book's existence. This is one of those. It's called "advertising" and it makes me cringe. But, since I've never come close to generating any substantial income, I've historically just returned all revenue from book sales straight into my advertising budget and suppressed the "yuk" factor by telling myself that at least, if more people are reading, than maybe more people are laughing. Maybe a few days get fractionally brighter. 

Do the ends justify the means?

Well, you tell me. Here's the latest pitch:

The Kindle version of Twenty Reasons Not To Garden (And Why I Ignore Them All) will be free this entire weekend (Nov. 9-12). As a gardener myself, this is the kind of book that I would love to receive as a gift and I think it would make a good gift for the gardener in your life. But then I'm biased; I wrote the thing (please don't give me this book as a gift). So why not download it for free and see for yourself?

Then I can get back to writing, which is the part of this that I actually enjoy.

Thank you.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Leaf Season

The Rising Tide

We've entered peak leaf season here at Fencebroke Promontory. It's that magical time of year when we celebrate the many delights of having three gigantic deciduous trees in our front yard. A time when blizzard-thick drifts of leaves pile against the door and a rich humusy mulch begins to accumulate on the living room rug. A time when kids disappear into leaf-piles for so long that Dad considers filing a missing persons report and then jump out screaming in an emergency test of Dad's cardiac function. A time for getting slapped in the face by earthbound, dinner-plate-sized maple leaves and to always beware the treacherous world of abandoned toy trucks and scooters now hidden underfoot. Above all, though, November is a time for raking.

And raking.

And raking some more.

To be a gardener, during the Festival of Foliar Inundation, is a repetitive labor of patience, diligence, and, when those inevitably fail, despair. Any hope of tackling one of the many, many projects typically found on a gardener's Autumn docket is quickly smothered under a wet heap of leaves. Oh, I've tried, trust me, to carry on as though I could still see the ground, like the garden was something other than a sea of red and yellow into which our house was slowly sinking, but always failed. One cannot easily transplant, for example, though the Fall is said to be a great time to do so, when one cannot discern where the garden ends and the rest of the world begins. I once spent half an hour trying to plant a Fuchsia into some exceptionally compacted soil that turned out, once the leaves were cleared, to be the sidewalk. Back to the rake, then.

Fellow horticulturists occasionally chide me for bemoaning too much of what they consider a good thing:

"Just let the leaves stay in your garden beds; they're great mulch."

"Run over them with the lawn mower."

"Put them in the compost bin, they're good as gold!"

Well, I did all of these things three weeks ago. Now I can't even find the beds, the lawn mower, or the compost bin because they've all been devoured by the autumnal avalanche that so rudely didn't stop just because the bin was full. I cannot simply redirect or quarantine the fall to favorable or beneficial areas of the property any more than you could restrict a household flood to the waterproof rooms of your house. The leaves are the property now. I'm raking just to stay afloat

But, you know, by all means, any of you leaf-hoarders out there, if you're so fond of them, please come help yourselves. Take them all. And if you find my kids, please tell them to come inside.