Archive for June 10th, 2009

Books and Books

Sharon June 10th, 2009

A while back, I mentioned that I had a proposal in for a book on social issues – family, sex, marriage, population, etc…. and how they are likely to be affected by the coming shift in energy issues.  Well, that book did not sell, unfortunately, and just as I was about to begin the work of actually finding an agent, and hunting around for another potential publisher (I’m both lazy and ignorant of the process, since instead of laboring in the garrett and sending out manuscripts, I actually had an editor approach me in a sort of a fairy-tale thing).  But while I was getting around to that, my editor sorta asked “well, what else ya got?”  (Ok, Ingrid, Goddess of the Red Pen, doesn’t actually say “ya” ;-) )  And I mentioned that I’d been doing Adapting in Place classes, and in the back of my head, thinking that there was a book in there about how to make a future where you are.

 Well, apparently that one hit the jackpot, and while all is not settled, it looks like yours truly and Aaron are back in the book saddle again, putting together an Adapting in Place book.  The working title (which I am less fond of since my husband pointed out that it evokes a John Denver song…ooops) is “Back Home Again.”  And it will cover how to make a life that is as integrated as possible – that is, one that responds both to our energy and ecological decline, but also to our need for beauty, to save money, to make our lives better now.  Aaron is going to illustrate it, since I think that it is so important that we have a literal vision of what comes next.

I’ll probably call on y’all for many suggestions and critiques in the coming months (insanely enough, the due date for the manuscript is going to be March, so a crazy winter is anticipated), but one of the things that most needs doing is a good Bibliography.  I included one in _Depletion and Abundance_ but in the couple of years since I wrote it, many more books have been published or come to my attention, and of course, I missed plenty of wonderful resources. 

So I want your help with this – I’m going to pick a subject every week, and ask for recommendations of books I might not know on the subject.  I’m also going to publish some more book reviews, as I read for this large project of telling people how to make a sustainable home where they are. 

This week, I thought we’d start with one of my favorite subjects – cookbooks!  I have a list of cookbooks, of course, but I want to update and expand it.  So please, tell me what your favorite cookbooks are in helping you live a sustainable life, eat sustainably and enjoy your food.  Please tell me the author, title and why you think these are the two or three cookbooks I really should look at! 

Thanks so much,



Sharon June 10th, 2009

During the winter, I managed the not-very impressive feat of hand-taming some of the birds that come to our feeders.  The chickadees particularly are both greedy and fearless, these tiny, courageous things that don’t seem to realize just how small they are.  In the dead of cold winter, food is important, and after a few passes, coming to my hand was not all that hard.

The boys, of course, wanted birds to come to their hands.  Isaiah, who is naturally good with animals, managed it once or twice, but the others simply couldn’t stay still long enough to have a bird come to their hand – the wriggles of childhood were just too built in, and when one approached, they would get excited, and begin to jump about.  So we shrugged and went on to other things

This morning, however,  I came out to see all three of my younger boys carefully, silently, in perfect stillness, holding up nectar-rich flowers, and from hand to hand, there flitted a yellow butterfly, sipping from those flowers, which my sons – 3, 5 and 7, managed to keep perfectly still.

After a while, the butterfly wandered off to find new nectar, and I asked the boys how they had kept so very still for the butterfly.  Simon told me that they’d seen the butterfly approaching, and that they knew that it wanted to come to them.  So, as he said, “we decided we’d be flowers ourselves, and flowers don’t move when the wind isn’t blowing.”

I admit, I was a little astonished that my three bouncy children could be as still as plants, rooted to the ground, and I wondered how they knew so certainly that the butterfly wanted to come to them, so I asked.  Isaiah looked at me as if I was the silliest creature ever – “It looked like it wanted to be with us.”

If I were a good writer, I’d make that a metaphor for something, but in a way, I think it would spoil it.  But it is good to know that stillness comes when the moment calls, and that boys and butterflies have much to say to one another.