Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Opportunity knocks - some answer

Here’s a peek at what readers will get

The One Minute Coach: change your life one minute at a time

By Masha Malka

Foreword (by Cary Johnston)

Part 1: Freedom To Be Who You Are
Whose Life Are You Living?
The “Impossible” Is Often the Untried
If They Can Do It, So Can You!
Are You Starving Your Soul?
What Fulfills You?
The Gift of Personal Freedom
It All Comes Down to Faith

Part 2: The Secrets of People Who Are Successful
What Successful People Know
What Is Success?
One Word to Define Success
What Determines Success?
How to Get What You Want
Can You Really Change Your Life in One Minute?
Do Not Underestimate Your Skills
The Most Important Ingredient for Your Success

Part 3: Why Do We Suffer?
Are You Looking For Problems?
How to Get What You Want
An Opportunity for Guaranteed Enlightenment
Success Is Not Forever, and Failure Is Not Fatal
How Successful People Deal with Failure
Are You Guilty?
Eliminating Worry
Why Do We Argue?
How to Eliminate Self-sabotaging Beliefs
Everything Is Relative

Part 4: The Secret to a Great Life
Who Are You Not to Be?
Life Is About Creating Yourself
What Does It Take to Be Attractive?
How Much Do You Love Yourself?
Have a Great Day!

Part 5: Are You a Natural Leader?
Leadership Begins With You
The Power of a Team and Cooperation
Using Words with Good Purpose
Personal Satisfaction at Work
Helping Is Not Always Good
What Is Your Greatness?
Are You Busy Being Busy?

Part 6: Time Management and Decision Making
Effective Decision Making
How Much Do You Rely on Logic?
Are There Bad Decisions?
The Currency of Today
Creating a Balanced Life
The Value of an Hour
The Slower You Go, the Faster You Will Get There
Are You Living for the Future?

Part 7: The Best Source of Wealth
Produce the Results You Are Looking For
What Did You Miss Out On Today?
The Power of Questions
Ask and You Will Receive
Excellence Is Not an Act, but a Habit
You Have The Power – Mind Power!

Part 8: It Is Never Too Late
You Make a Difference!
Can One Person Change the World?
NOW is the Right Time

The Most Important Job You Do
Thank You!

References and Recommended Reading
About the Author
About the artist

To order the book got to

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MEET MASHA MALKA,- A Woman of Substance!

Masha Malka is a former Soviet refugee who knows first hand what it is like to be living below poverty level; to have low self-esteem; to start out without the language, money, or contacts and to make a great life for herself!

Masha went from living a life with little clarity and focus to becoming a successful entrepreneur, author, Clarity and Focus guru, international speaker and trainer as well as the mother of 3 children.

Understanding what it takes to successfully balance the demands of a growing career as an author, international speaker and a life coach with 3 children, husband, family, friends, and personal needs - she is passionate to show others how they can do it too!

Masha has delivered workshops, seminars, written articles and books, and provided personal training and coaching in the field of success and the skill of learning since 1998.

She graduated with Highest Honors from Florida Atlantic University majoring in Elementary Education. She then continued her graduate studies at Capella University completing a graduate certificate in Teaching and Training Online as well as Instructional Design for Online Learning. A life-long student, Masha is currently taking courses for an MBA. She is also a certified trainer in Accelerated Learning Techniques as well as Transformational Thinking.

Come back tomorrow to be part of an exciting opportunity to learn more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

IS YOUR CHOCOLATE SAFE? How about Your Toys?

I know we don't grow chocolate or toys in our gardens, but this is important enough to give everyone you know a heads up.

Barcodes aren't just for books you know.

Something we all need to know - a note in Cynthia Sterling's excellent newsletter today.

The whole world is scared of Chinese made goods. Let me tell you how you can differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China...the first 3 digits of barcode690, 691, and 692 are MADE IN CHINA. - 471 is Made in Taiwan .

This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.
Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products "made in china", so they don't show in which country it is made.
However, you may now refer to the barcode, remember if the first 3 digits is 690-692 then it is made in China .
00 ~ 09 USA & CANADA
30 ~ 37 FRANCE
40 ~ 44 GERMANY
49 - JAPAN
50 - UK

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't Wait For Your Ship to Come in Swim out to it!

While you know you need to get out there and clean up that garden, protect those tender bulbs if not bring them in for the winter - we all procrastinate - beautiful fall days tell us nothing of winter -- yet we know better. Canna bulbs need to come in after the first hard frost as do Dahlia - yet we procrastinate.

In my morning reading today I came across this quote by Jonathan Winters: "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it."
There was another a day or too earlier that said something, "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." Abraham Lincoln.

In other words, the only thing that will create success, or create that book you've been waiting to write, or create some other printed words you dream to have written, is ACTION. There is no way around it if you don't put your butt in a chair and write - you will never publish a word. You need to banish all fear of failing, of making a mistake -- mistakes are the lessons of life.

This Frank and Ernest cartoon strip says it all. Frank is at the counter at an employment office he has a long long sheet of paper he is apparently reading from to the guy who is taking his application. The caption says--"I don't have any formal education so I brought you a list of the mistakes I've learned from."

Feel the fear and do it anyway is almost a buzz word nowadays, but it's absolute truth. Do not be afraid of mistakes, no one is perfect. Perfectionism will stall you in your tracks. Not that you should adopt a careless, reckless, not-give-a-darn attitude. You should do the best that you can do with what you have at this very moment and let the rest happen.

"You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know so much is because I have made so many mistakes," says Buckminster Fuller (a mathematician and philosopher who never graduated from college but received 46 honorary doctorates.

Write Like The Wind - Garden like the ever vigilant chipmunk.
Would you like to win a copy of my mystery suspense Ancient Secrets? will give you all the information you need.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If What you grow in your garden is books

I mean authors find their garden's are a source of inspiration and relaxation where the muse often visits. To that end -- here is a contest for you writing side.

Good Luck
Time Sensitive material:

Of interest to authors who are published electronically. Please distribute to your membership


EPPIE Contest in Full Swing to Highlight Excellence in ePublishing

Worldwide–September 16, 2008—EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, proudly announces the annual EPPIE contest. This is the premier contest in the book industry that celebrates the outstanding achievements of electronic books by authors and publishers. The EPPIE Awards have been given annually since the first EPIC conference to recognize outstanding achievement in ePublishing. The contest deadline for entries is October 4, 2008 at Midnight CST.

Categories are judged by volunteers, the largest percentage of which are members of EPIC, an organization consisting of electronically published authors and industry professionals. Guest judges, all of whom are either published authors or publishing professionals, are used only as deemed necessary by the EPPIE Chair/Committee.

The First Round Judging delivers our EPPIE Finalists, whose works are forwarded to a second panel of judges before the winners of our thirty categories are selected. Winners from each judged category are announced at the EPIC conference's gala award ceremony, taking place at the annual EPICon Convention, taking place March 5-8, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

EPIC is also the proud sponsor of the QUASAR/ARIANA Awards for excellence in graphic cover art for eBooks.

For contest guidelines, please visit

Electronically Published Internet Connection
Contact: Karen L. Syed, EPIC Publicity Coordinator
9735 Country Meadows Lane 1D, Laurel, MD 20723
410-878-7113 (v) 410-988-2864 (f)

Monday, July 7, 2008

B is For Bare Root Planting

Bare root or potted plants--what's your pleasure? Both have benefits. Let's examine the bare root. Checking at your local nursery you can expect to pay between forty and seventy percent less for your plants - and nearly the same benefits with a catalog nursery.

Saving money may be the reason you took up gardening in the first place. Bare root purchases will be in line with that. Other than cost what else would stimulate you to purchase this type of plant?

The plants usually have a more extensive root system which will give them a good start once in the ground. You can see how root to top growth is balanced and you can trim back the roots before planing to encourage new vigorous growth, in most cases.

You can sometimes find rare and unusual varieties that are not available in the potted variety.

Last but not least, the bare roots may actually take root and grow better as they more easily adapt to your soil.

If you buy bare root plants, they require immediate care of the delicate hold they have on life. Bare root plants are like infants, very vulnerable. What you do immediately when they arrive at your home whether from local nursery, or mail order catalog, is important for their survival and productive growth.

If you are unable to plant them right away you can use one of the three methods to make their wait safer and more comfortable.

1. Leave them in the original packing material and keep them in a cool dry place. Check them to be sure the roots are not dry - if they are, sprinkle with a small amount of water as necessary until you can plant them, hopefully in a few days.

2. Use any large pot saved from another year to pot them up. Use good soil, compost and peat moss mixed to keep them alive and let them begin to grow.

3. Dig a shallow trench in a partly shaded area of your garden/yard/area where you intend to set them out. Do this where you can conveniently water them as necessary. Lay the plants on their sides with the roots in the trench and cover them with the same type of mixture of good soil, compost and peat moss. They will be good for a while there.

Make sure you label your plants held over in these ways. It's so easy to forget what is where and planting instructions may vary for those held in waiting.

You may discover that bare root is better.

Friday, July 4, 2008



Asparagus beds can be productive for 35-40 years if you keep the soil fertile and the weeds under control and the asparagus beetle at bay. So how do you go about this and why am I talking asparagus when you can only harvest them until the peas begin to bear sometime in June?

Preparing your bed is the start and if it is prepared properly you will have many years of superior eating. To start with, asparagus grows best with liberal applications of fertilizer. That fertilizer can be well-rotted manure or compost applied at a rate of one bushel to 30 square feet. Once a year you should spread a good 10-10-10 fertilizer, 1 ½ to 2 cups over every ten feet of a row. You can apply this late fall or very early in the spring – or even just after you finish harvesting your asparagus.

Another hint, allow asparagus tops to stand over the winter to catch and hold snow. This helps prevent deep freezing and sudden changes in soil temperature. Moisture added by melting snow is important to the shoots that produce the following spring. Once spring comes you can lop off the dead tops.

You can begin cutting your asparagus about mid-May, every other day if temperatures and moisture are favorable. Allow your bed to keep its foliage until it dies down naturally in the fall.

How soon can you harvest asparagus after you’ve started your bed? If it was started well, a few spears may be cut by the second year. It may be cut for several weeks the third year, but you shouldn’t harvest a full crop until the fourth year.

Some of the best growers now advise breaking, rather than cutting asparagus, according to Jerry Baker in his book 1001 Old Time Garden Tips. There is no danger of injuring the crown with this method the shoot will not break in the tough stringy part, resulting in perfectly crisp, delicious asparagus.

Now what about that pesky asparagus beetle? You should go through the patch daily with a pan of hot water, and shake the young asparagus heads that have the insects on them into the pan of water to destroy them.



1 lb asparagus juice of 2 whole lemons

1 head romaine lettuce ½ cup of cream

1 lb mushrooms ¼ tsp of paprika

Salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Clean and steam asparagus until tender-crisp, cool quickly in ice water
  2. Arrange lettuce around a large platter
  3. Clean and thickly slice the mushrooms
  4. Make dressing with lemon juice, cream, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir mushrooms into the dressing, remove with a slotted spoon.
  5. Put mushroom in middle of lettuce, surround with asparagus spears—tips pointing outward. Garnish with carrot curls, cherry tomatoes, and/or English walnut halves.

Serve cold with dressing on the side.


About the Author

Billie A Williams is an award-winning, multi-published author her

Accidental sleuths solve crimes with wit, wisdom and chutzpah

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Quote to accompany you in the garden

Quote: "Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits; Take care of your garden, And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine, Kind words and kind deeds."
Henry W. Longfellow

And may your harvests be full and plenty. Happy Growing!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Trash it or Compost it? Bag it or ReBag it?

Trash it or Compost it? Bag it or Rebag it?

by Billie A Williams

Compost improves soil drainage and water retention — we all know that as organic gardeners. But it makes a difference what you put into that compost heap. So what is the idea recipe?

Three parts carbon-rich brown matter like wood chips, shredded newspapers the dead leaves from your fall raking and plants you’ve culled from your thinning process in your garden.

You need to mix that with one part nitrogen-rich green matter, which can be grass clippings – that is one good reason to have a mower with a grass catcher. Green leaves and fruit and vegetable waste such as peels, cores, bruised or damaged spots from your cooking. You may also add coffee and tea grounds/leaves, egg shells just about any kitchen scraps except meat and meat by products.

Your compost pile should be at least three cubic feet – that’s three wide, three high and three deep – think a cube of soda and you will be able to visualize that cube. If you are using a barrel composter, you mound isn’t’ in direct contact with the earth so you will need to inoculate your mound with garden soil, finished compost or fresh manure. The smaller your ingredients the faster they become compost. You could use a leaf shredder, or your lawn mower or even run your tiller through your compost heap to make it break down quicker. You should turn the pile no more then once a week and keep it moist but not soggy. A useful analogy is to think of a sponge that is wrung-out, it is still wet, but it doesn’t drip when you pick it up.

Compost takes nine to twelve months to fully mature; if you add to your heap regularly, use a screen to sift out finished compost. It’s ready when it looks and feels like moist chocolate cake crumbs and smells like fresh-turned earth.

Contrary to popular belief in some areas, your compost heap when done properly will not have an offensive odor.

Which brings us to what to use when you go grocery shopping, when they inevitably ask you paper or plastic? Give this some thought.

Paper bags are made from a renewable resource, obviously trees. They are recyclable and biodegradable. On the negative side, chemicals used to manufacture paper bags pollute air and water.

Plastic bags require less energy to manufacture, equaling less air pollution and industrial waste, but they are made from nonrenewable petroleum or natural gas, and are non-biodegradable—toxic chemicals are also used during manufacture.

The best solution – recycle by bringing your plastic bags back to the store for more groceries when you shop – or — and this is the best, bring your own cloth bags to fill when you shop. This may be a little inconvenient for a major shopping trip, but if you could recycle or reuse, bring your own cloth you are saving at least some of the environment we will be leaving to the next generation.


Billie A Williams is an award winning, multi-published author who's accidental sleuths solve crime with wit, wisdom and chutzpah. visit her website for more information at

email: billie at billiewilliams dot com

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sometimes Words are planted in a Garden of Prose

And what grows may be an amazing new career. Check out what you can do if you follow your dream - and bloom where you are planted. One Woman's Garden - not necessarily mine, but it could be.

We’ve certainly had some great comments during each stop
of the Virtual Book Tourfor Jordan Dane.
Why was she chosen to be our first vic … I mean featured author?
Because she has a very professional website.
Because she has a very professional blog.
Because she has a presence on MySpace and other networking sites around the ‘Net.
Because she attends every writer’s conference she can possibly get to
to network with successful writers, editors, agents.
Because she promotes herself as a professional writer.
She isn’t resting on her laurels after having sold SIX books
to Avon HarperCollins before the first one hit print.
If you’re like me and wannabe like Jordan, take a look
at how you’re promoting yourself. Does your website look
like a novice put it together Do you remember to blog
more than once a month Do you network with other writers?
Or do you do like too many very good should-be-published writers
… and hunker down in the corner pretending that you’ve done
everything you can and the publishing world and all
its agents are against you?
Think about that as you visit the next stops on
The Writer’s Chatroom’ “Show—Not Tell” virtual
book tour featuring debut author Jordan Dane.
Jordan and Avon HarperCollins are offering
opportunities to win great prizes all along the tour.
Next up:

March 19 Cricket Sawyer


March 22 Diana Castilleja


Give yourself every advantage to learn from this marketing dynamo—

who just happens to also be a very good writer—

and read the interviews and comments at previous stops:

Billie Williams at

Linda J. Hutchinson at

Kim Richards at

Lisa Haselton at

And don’t forget to come to the “Launch P-A-R-T-Y!” on March 30th! There are prizes galore!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why Herbs Herb?

What Do Herbs Have To Do With It?

When you think gardening do you think medicine? How about when you think herbs? Here’s a little pop quiz with some interesting answers for you.

Basil, Calendula, Parsley, Fennel, Chamomile, Lemon Balm just to name a few are herbs that could find a place in your medicine cabinet.

Okay, let’s say it’s spring and water puddles are standing everywhere. With the onset of warmer weather those puddles can produce mosquito habitat that will fill your yard with potential serious consequences. When you go outside to enjoy the beauty of the spring, I hope you will make good use of the herbal garden you’ve been nurturing all winter. How? Rub some of that basil plant on your skin. It will repel insects. Perhaps you want to stick a sprig of it in your hair its subtle aroma will lift your mood as you watch those pesky insects seek more appetizing bodies.

Calendula cures cuts and scrapes which seem to happen all too frequently in the spring yard clean up and getting the gardens ready for planting.

If the mold, mildew and pollen of spring are a bother think fennel – it can even ease asthma symptoms.

We are all familiar with the benefits of parsley to tame a tummy after meals, but it is also good for your breath. If you chew a little Parsley after a meal or after having a cup of coffee, it will freshen your breath. Peppermint will settle or tame that tummy if indigestion gets there before the parsley.

Lemon balm can ease and cure a cold sore. Chamomile battles gum disease as well as steeping you in a relaxing mood to help you get a good nights sleep.

The old timers knew of these uses and more for the herb patch. I think no garden should be allowed to grow without one—unless of course you grow several pots or containers in your home.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How To Plant an Effective Wind Break

by Billie A Williams

Today the wind whips the landscape in wintery gust of 65 miles per hour at times. The few inches of snowfall in the last couple days piles up in great drifts where little or no resistance is met. I’m glad we have an effective wind break on the north-northwest side of our home. It happens to be the L shaped protection afforded by the house and garage next door. It saves us on our heating fuel bill. What saves the neighbor’s heating bill? Another wind break in the form of evergreen trees planted in the L shape recommended by those who know how to develop an effective wind break.
Which brings me to today’s question. What creates an effective, efficient, energy saving natural wind break? According to the Department of Environmental Protection research up to 40 percent of your heating fuel costs could be cut by having a barrier such as evergreen trees against the wind velocity of those north-northwest winter winds. In dollar amounts, considering the US average heating costs, that could easily be as much as $400 per winter.
Here are a few important considerations when planning your evergreen wind break:
1. Most Important: Evergreens need to be planted north and northwest of your home. The direction that the strongest and coldest winter winds come from.
2. Planting in a “U” or “L” shape is most effective against blocking the undesirable winds.
3. The best zone of wind protection is from 2 – 7 times the height of the trees when they mature. Example: Mature tree height 20 feet = 40 to 140 feet downwind protection. Plan your planting accordingly
4. If you want a quick wind barrier plant your trees closer together. If you are willing to wait, you can plant them farther apart and wait for them to grow into a dense barrier. This could save you money on the cost of the trees.
5. Keep in mind evergreens prefer full to partial sun. Most soil conditions are adequate for them.
6. Order your trees from a reputable tree nursery.

Care for your evergreen trees with plenty of water until they are well established and they will take care of you. Not only with energy/heating fuel costs, but with a variety of birds and other wild life that will be attracted to your property.

Billie A Williams
Award-winning, multi-published
mystery suspense author

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do Animals Think - or - Reason?

Do Animals Think?

I would have to say yes. I mean I put up a squirrel baffle to keep the critters off my bird feeder. It was a tube feeder that had a tray on it — to save the dropped seeds. Smart move put a baffle over it. That is until the gray squirrel decided he was too hungry to ignore the source of his delight – black sunflower seeds. He had already ruined two tube feeders. We finally hung it by a cloth covered wire so he couldn’t chew through and drop it to the ground. This is one determined squirrel.

Okay, Baffle in place. Are you ready for this. As I watched his efforts he shinnied down the wire onto the baffle —zip, slip, smash he was on the ground. Back up the tree he scoots, out on the limb, down the wire, onto the baffle. He did this three times, now he adds a little flip at the end of the slide – a near miss he lands on all four feet on the ground. The next time he timed it perfect, as he flipped he grabbed the tray under the bird feeder and crawled back up to the feeder.

I chased him away, but he had it figured out now. Turn my back and he was back at that black sunflower seed tube feeder with a vengeance. I won, I changed feeders and moved the feeder under the eaves of the house – He has not figured out how to get to that yet – oh, did I mention I got rid of the tube feeder with the tray – this one is a straight tube feeder, no tray for him to fall to – so far so good.
I have resorted to Cheyenne pepper on the other feeders – it only works briefly the reasoning behind that is that birds do not have olfactory glands (Butch if you are listening, that is used on more then the scratch off lottery tickets that don’t win) Those are the glands that allow us to smell – birds don’t have them – but apparently after a couple hours the squirrels can also by pass the pungent odor of Cheyenne pepper. So I have added a lower tray feeder especially for the squirrels where I keep a reasonable supply of sunflower seeds just for them and what the birds can steal while they are gone. They leave the upper feeder alone unless theirs is empty. Perhaps I should try moth balls in the feeder—hmmm but I am worried about contaminating the seeds for the birds. So I’ll feed the squirrels – we have a limited truce I guess.

Yes, I do believe animals have a brain and that they think with it, some more then humans = )
Billie A Williams
Mystery/Suspense Author
Accidental sleuths solve crimes
With wit, wisdom, and chutzpah

Friday, January 18, 2008

Growing in the Dank Darkness-Healthy Eating

When it comes to surprises mushrooms are one of the big ones. There are classes at various community colleges and County Extension offices to help you be an alive and well mushroom gatherer…I’ve wondered why people would do that and not leave it to the experts. Well, where do those experts come from, people who learn how to go out and gather their own mushrooms. Duh! I still think I would feel safer buying one of those kits that you can use to grow mushrooms in your basement or something.

So your question is probably why bother? You could buy them from the supermarket of course, but as gardeners we know that satisfaction of doing it ourselves, being in control of the soil, the vitamins we feed them and the pesticide/insecticide deterrents we use if any.

Why would we care if mushrooms are part of our culinary choices? How about major health benefits.

Mushrooms, make that edible – mushrooms--the safe ones, are a right up there with other super-foods in the forefront right now such as green tea and broccoli. Did you know that the first antibiotics were extracted from fungi. Let's examine their benefits.

Mushrooms are 80-90% water, and therefore are low in calories high in fiber. We all know the health benefits of enough moisture and fiber in our diets. Now add on the fact that they are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium (especially good for those on a hypertensive diet). If that isn’t enough for you here are some other reasons to get more mushrooms into your cooking:

• Phytonutrients found in mushrooms have been at the center of anti-cancer research for decades. In many countries, medicinal mushrooms are used as an adjunct to other cancer treatments.
• Recent studies have shown that white mushrooms (the little button mushrooms usually sold in the supermarket)can reduce the risk of breast and prostrate cancer
• Mushrooms are considered probiotic, meaning that they help the body to strengthen itself and ward off illness. The nutrient riboflavin is part of mushrooms' probiotic ability. Mushrooms have a high percentage of that nutrient.
• A great source of potassium, a mineral which helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke is another benefit of the lowly mushroom. A medium portabella mushroom has more potassium than a glass of orange juice or a banana.
What do you say? Shall we grow ourselves some delicious mushrooms. If you fry them in butter with some onions just until the onions are transparent they taste like steak. Imagine steak with a bunch of healthy side benefits. Have you ever had stuffed mushrooms? You are in for a culinary treat. This woman's garden will include mushrooms and since it's winter out, 8 inches of snow overnight proves that, I can feed my gardening urge by growing some mushrooms. A win win situation wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's More Than Just Printed Words

It’s More Than Just News Print
by Billie A Williams

There is another use for the printed word besides wrapping fish, or lining the bird cage, with that newspaper that is. And only after you’ve read it of course and if you aren’t using it for fire starter for your wood stove or fireplace as you curl up with a good book. [Plug here: Small Town Secrets, ISBN 978-1-59705-766-0 released January 1, 2008 available anywhere books are sold. Wings ePress, Inc.]

How about saving a stack of newspaper to use as mulch in your garden this spring. No matter what it looks like out your window today, at least in North America, spring is right around the corner. We’re dreaming about it as we leaf through seed catalogs our order blanks filling up with all the nutrition and beauty our budgets can handle. Or as we begin cleaning and arranging, preparing to begin those seedlings that will later be transplanted to the garden.

Three alternating layers of single sheets of newspaper are adequate to aid in saving the moisture your plants will need in the hot dry July’s of your summer garden. Covering the sheets of newspapers with up to three inches of grass clippings will keep those shallow rooted plants from cooking in the sun and moisture loving plants thirst quenched. The Zink in the ink (I sound like a poet) will deter weeds while helping to maintain soil moisture and texture. You can shred the newspaper if you prefer and add it to your compost heap. As it breaks down it will add bulk and Zink to your compost.

Here is another helpful winter tip that will show spring benefits: Ease up on the use of ice melt or salt to keep your walks and driveway skid proof. Instead, use sawdust, sand, or fireplace and woodstove ashes. They provide the traction without the salt that can be harmful to lawn grass and flower beds.
Feel free to use this article as long as you leave this resource box in place.
Billie A Williams
Pens In Motion

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winter's Garden of Verse

Because it is well below zero today in our frozen Wisconsin North Country--I turn to the garden of my books to read, and dream and muse and celebrate. January 1st was the release of my 12th mystery suspense novel with Wings ePress, Inc since 2007. As I look at the framed covers decorating my wall, I think how like a garden of printed words they are. Each cover a flower of its own ilk, yet they are all similar because they are written by me. I think I should get a rose or some other very notable flower to represent each book in my garden.

Each book is linked to a local organization or charity that I donate a percentage of my profits to, so why not also link it to a flower. Small Town Secrets could easily be linked to the daisy - the petals of which often tell the secret - he loves me, he loves me not... so it does seem perfect for my new release. The non fiction book I just published Spice Up Your Writing! Write to Entice, could be a small herb garden, or the white rose that graces this book's cover.

I do not believe that gardening is that different from writing. You plant a seed, you watch it grow. When it is full grown, you harvest it and consume the proceeds. So it is with writing a novel. You plant an idea seed, you nurture it and write it everyday until it is fully grown. You then harvest it by sending it off to a publisher at just the right moment in its development. Hopefully, it will receive and acceptance letter and I will be ready to plant the next seed.

So when the winds howl around you, grab a good book (preferably one of mine) stoke up the fire in the fireplace and read until you can plant your own seed either through the printed word or your own one woman's garden.

check out the blog tour for my new release by going to my website at and clicking on the blog tour link - when you get the date from the calendar, scroll down and click on the link to the persons blog (or click on their name) and read an interview with me. Each one as different as a wild flower garden--and you could get a cook book or some other great prize if you comment on their blog.