25 August 2008

The Down to Earth book

The Down to Earth book is going ahead. My agent thinks there is a lot of potential so we are preparing a proposal for the publishers. We'll try the North American market first, then Australia and maybe Europe. It's so exciting! I'll tell you more about it as I get further into the process of preparing the manuscript.

I have to thank a good friend, Linda Nichols, who helped me along the path towards publication when she recommended my blog to her agent. She has been supportive and generous along the way and I thank her sincerely for that. Linda is an author and has written several books, another is to be published soon. You can read a little about Linda at her website here.

I will continue writing my blog because it's become an important part of my life. It helps me reflect on what I'm doing and provides a valuable record of plantings and projects. It also helps my family stay in touch with what Hanno and I are doing. My sons, sisters and friends are reading the blog now so they can see what we're doing here when they aren't here themselves.

We had a fairly hectic weekend and I didn't do everything I wanted to do. Thankfully I planted up some luffa seeds as well as the lemon cucumber and giant sunflower seeds sent to me by Tracy in the swap. Hanno will be panting the dragon carrot seeds this week too. Thanks Tracy!

I started tidying up my sewing room a few days ago and it's gone from this (above) to this (below). I don't know how I manage to get my sewing in such a mess. There is still some work to be done in there but that can wait for another day. I took the opportunity to mend one of my cardigans while I was in there. The edging had come away so it was just a matter of quickly stitching along the edge to reattach it. It's as good as new again.

I also finished off my pincushion and needlebook for my swap partner, Danielle. I'll post it off this week. Remember, the deadline for the swap is September 6, all swaps need to be posted by that date. If you're running late or have a problem with the swap, please let Sharon know on cdetroyes at yahoo dot com

The rest of the weekend was spent reading the blog from the beginning, I got up to this April and will continue on when I have the chance. It was like a walk along memory lane. I'm taking notes as I go and working out how I will structure the book. If you have any thoughts you want to share with me about what to include, I'm interested in reading them.

I'm back at work today and looking forward to a productive and interesting week. Winter is coming to a close and soon the days will begin to warm up. I noticed the wisteria has stared to grow new leaves, the flowers won't be far behind and with them, Spring. The year is flying by.

I hope you had the kind of weekend you hoped for and that this week will be a good one for all of us.



  1. Great news, Rhonda! We'll gobble your book up over here. Really nice to see what a mess you made of your sewing room - how do they get that way? :)

  2. Congratulations on your idea of a knitting mentor. I just finished a small knitting piece, for practice. It's not very pretty but just knowing that I had someone with whom I could ask questions and give a bit of encouragement is what I needed.

    The hubby is going to the midnight shift tonight so I will have something productive that I can do while sitting down.

    Thank you again.

    P.S.-To my mentors, I still need help so I will be in contact again.

  3. I forgot to add that what I find so appealing about your writing is the personal element - and I think Lisa-Michigan mentioned this too when she said that your blog was like having a kind, wise neighbor to help us along. It speaks to the separateness we all feel in this "modern" world perhaps.

  4. Congratulations, Rhonda,

    That's great news about your book.

    I tried your yogurt recipe last night. And it was in the oven all night, and been in the refrigerator about 10 hours today. It smells like yogurt, but the consistency is like uncooked egg whites. Do you know what I might not have done right? This is my first time making yogurt, btw!

    Thanks so much,

  5. What wonderful news! It will be an interesting journey to follow. I hope that you will share the experience through the blog.

    Since finding your blog last year on the day that Jewels closed hers, I have been inspired to make such positive changes in our home....

    I will be buying three books when they hit the shelves. One for me and one for each of the children to give them as a housewarming gift when they begin their new lives in their own homes. By then it will surely be a classic!

  6. It's so amazing and mind boggling to me to think that it is winter somewhere else in the world. Here in the southern U.S. May, July, July, & Aug. are SUMMER! Watermelons, berries, roadside stands for fresh produce and the farmer's market. Sept. transitions into fall weather which really sets in here in mid. Oct. and brings, pumpkins, crysanthymums and all the fall colors when the leaves turn & the air is crisp. I guess I knew on some level that the seasons were different on the "other side of the world", but we are so egocentric, that we think that life is the same everywhere else that it is here! So, I've enjoyed "watching winter" in Australia through your blog as I've enjoyed the hot humid heat of summer in my part of the woods!

  7. Rhonda,

    I'm so glad I live in the States because this will mean that I will be able to buy lots of your book for myself and others!!!!!

    I too will be sending off my swap items this week. This was so much fun! I just finished knitting a dishcloth too and pssst Sharon. Maybe with all the new knitters we could do a dishcloth swap??? Just a thought.

    Again Rhonda I'm excited and a-twitter about your upcoming book not only for you but for all of us too! :-D


  8. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I am so excited for you! What a neat new adventure.

    I don't know exactly what you have in mind, but I do have an idea for you. How about for your dividers between chapters - an "a day at home" piece? I love the how to's and the informational pieces, the recipes, and everything - but there is something very special to me about the posts in which you simply share your day and your heart.

    Love you! Q

  9. Congratulations on the book, Rhonda; I know it will be great!


  10. Can't wait to read your book, I'm sure it will be a great success. Keep up the excellent blog

  11. Congratulations on the book. You'll be living the dream!

  12. I would LOVE to have a Down to Earth book! How great! :)

  13. Really pleased about the book. I shall be buying more than one copy even though I don't buy books regularly any more.

    So glad to hear from Rhonda and Vicki that other parts of the world are still having seasons. Here in the West Midlands,UK, we have had glimpses of sun but the temperature has only reached around 22-24 max. It has been the coldest August I can remember, raining almost every day. This is the second year in a row that we haven't really had a summer worth the name.


  14. Congratulations Rhonda Jean!
    Can't wait for your book to be published!
    I am sure that it will be a huge success...

    I think that all creative spaces get a little messy from time to time...
    I think it is sometimes just part of the creating process...
    I always love cleaning up though!
    I love the look of a tidy room! Ü

  15. Hi Rhonda, I have never been onto a blog site before & found yours through the Warm Earth magazine. What a great magazine. I will be buying it from now on. I have started reading your entries from the archives. You have so much wonderful information & I can't wait for your book to be for sale in Australia. I have a 2 year old daughter & would like her to go to a Rudolpf Steiner school in the future, so it's philosophy has started me on this adventure & ALL your wonderful information have helped me SOOOO much. You & your husband must be indeed very happy. I am starting to look at life from a different perspective (Thanks to you)!! I've realised you don't need to keep up with the Jones's & that you can't buy happiness, just to be happy with what you have already got. Thankyou so much. I look forward to reading more from you!
    Hunter Valley, NSW

  16. How exciting, Rhonda! Congratulations!!!

  17. Well done Rhonda. Good luck with it all.

  18. Well done RJ! I think you will write a wonderful book :)
    I llok forward to its release in Australia :)

  19. Fantastic news on you book Rhonda. Look forward to hearing how it is going and being able to purchase a copy in the near future.

  20. How exciting!!!!!
    Oh that is great news.
    I will be looking forward to more news! :)


  21. Congratulations! I enjoy visiting here.

  22. Absolutely ditto to what Lisa-Michigan, Suzan and Quinnie said!

    I know what you mean about the year flying by. And isn't it a wonderful feeling when you can look about a tidy room like your (fabulous, I must say) sewing room. We've finally got a day this month here where it looks set to reach 12C, maybe even 13C if we're lucky! So I'm off to try to do in my weedy vegie garden what you've done with your sewing room, just after morning tea that you reminded me how to enjoy, with some crackers (home made) and quark cheese that you taught me how to make!

    Can't wait until your book is published in Australia. I loved Quinnie's idea about the "day at home" piece.

    Regards, Marilyn

  23. Rhonda,
    This is wonderful news about your book. I can't wait to buy it. You are such a blessing to so many.
    Love to you,

  24. Congratulations on moving a step closer to your book Rhonda! I do appreciate the humility in the way you write; the way that you can explain how to find what works for each of us in our own lives - that is something rare and empowering for others. Thankyou for all the work and generousity in your blog :)

  25. No doubt the book will be a must have... and read over and over. We in the states are lucky to have first dibs on owning your wisdom in print!

    Cathy C

  26. I am just so excited for you (and us) about the book being published. I told my daugther that we would have to save up so when it does come out we can buy it right away!

  27. Hello and I just wanted to say thank you for you wonderfully informative and entertaining blog! I have been reading it for a couple of weeks and felt I should introduce myself as I am hooked. :-) I am a Canadian apartment dweller who is trying to simplify and pare down my lifestyle. So I will continue to read and learn from you.

    Thank you again! I especially like the cooking tips (the vinegar one was excellent!) and look forward to hearing about your next swap.

    Janet in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  28. That's wonderful news. I hope it goes on sale in the UK too!

    BTW, I have much to thank you for as I no longer feel the least bit guilty if I do any sewing/crochet etc during the hours of daylight! I have even bought dishcloth cotton, so that I can try out some new-to-me crochet patterns for the dishcloths : )

  29. Charis - I'm in Wesst Wales and can 2nd your comments about the weather and lack of summer - even my courgettes didn't want to grow!

  30. Great news about your book. Congratulations!

  31. Hi Rhonda
    Really good news about the progress with your book and so glad you wont be giving up your blog. It has become part of my bedtime reading and if I couldn't catch up with you it would be like I'd lost a friend.

    My are having some building work done soon and then I will be moving my workroom. Can't wait for the BIG sort out. I find allsorts of things I have forgotten about.

    The autumn seems to have kicked in already here in our part of the UK and as Charis said summer didn't really get started. I am not too unhappy as I will have another crack at summer when I visit my daughter in Australia in January.

    Pippa x

  32. Great news Rhonda and well deserved!

  33. Congratulations on the progress of the book. Your blog is so helpful. I can't wait for the book! :) Karen USA

  34. Oh Rhonda, I'm so excited about the book. Can't wait for more updates.

  35. What fantastic news about the book. I can't wait. Will we be able to order the book from somewhere like Amazon even if its not released in the UK yet? See I am bursting for it before you have even written it hahaha.

    It will be a great birthday / Christmas present for my family & friends. Alot of them are in financial troubles but not acknowledging it yet and my mum & her friends do not have access to a computer to read your blog. I have explained you to them, and printed off the odd bits, but it would be great to get them your book.

    Congratulations again xxxx
    Lv StephB

  36. Wonderful news about the book!

    Can I back up Charis and Jennies remarks about the weather over here? I'm in the west of Ireland and the temperature today is 16`C. A 'nice day' is when it's not raining. We've had floods in Carlow and 2 kilometre long mudslides in Kerry. Towns are empty at weekends as so many people take last minute holidays somewhere sunny.

    But, our veg is doing very well - we got a polytunnel this year and despite everything going in late and the cold we have a bumper crop of peas, runner beans, gherkins the size of cucumbers, hundreds of tomatoes (green - I hope they ripen!)onions and leeks. Without it we would have nothing.

    A suggestion (and I am NOT volunteering!) Now that you have so many readers, perhaps a forum would be a nice way for everyone to chat and swap tips and advice? What do the other ladies think?

    Sorry for the length of the post


  37. Congrats on the book - will be looking to buy a copy myself.

    Just one thought - of the various blogs that have so far been "book-ified" I notice that its no longer possible to access most (maybe all) of the info. on the blog. Presumably one of those things that some people do - the "I want to sell my book - so I'll shut down my blog" syndrome. Can I put in a plea for you to leave all your blog as accessible as it is now? It would rather negate the whole point of a simple living blog if people could only get the information in future by paying for a book. The point of a book is to have a ready reference thing to hand - complete with index - so that one can look things up easily, theres just the basic information in (not daily comments and responses to) and it can be lent to friends.

  38. Congratulations with the book plans! I wish you every success. I am sure it will do really well as I love your blog and always recommend it to friends and family. I'm not sure I'll be able to wait for your book to reach Europe. I may need to purchase from abroad :) Well done. I am glad to hear you will continue with your blog. I look forward to my future visits.

  39. What fabulous news Rhonda Jean. I'm sure many will be inspired by your lifestyle and the gift you have for communicating. :-)

    Thanks for allowing a full feed on your blog again too. I miss reading what you have to say when I get too busy and reading in a feed reader really helps me to keep up.

  40. I'm so pleased that you're making progress with publication of your book at last! got my fingers crossed for a quick release in uk! :)

  41. What fantastic news about your book, cannot wait for it to be published in the UK, will get my friend in the US to get it for me when it comes out!!!!!

    Its a bank holiday here in the UK and guess what, its a cold gret day more like late Novemebr that the end of August!!!

    I am just about to send my swap off to its new home......

  42. Rhonda, can I put in an order for a book now, please?? And hopefully I will be able to get it signed, too ;)

    Seriously, congratulations on the chance to do this, and I will definitely be standing in line to buy it.


  43. I am SO excited about your book prospects. I can't wait to hear more and I hope for only good news for you!

  44. Congratulations and best wishes with the book! I'd like to know, step by step, how you changed from Shopaholic Rhonda to the calm, giving person you have become. And I hope you can fit in a plug for indigenous plants somewhere :-)

  45. Wonderful news Rhonda. Can't wait to get my hands on the book here in Canada. It will be fun going through the process with you and then owning a copy.

  46. Fantastic!! Congratulations, I am looking forward to reading it!!

    You Go Girl!!

  47. I absolutely love lemon cucumbers. I only got a couple off of my vines this year before the borers got into the stems (yuck!). I let it go too long before I realized what was going on and intervened so now the vines are shot. If you see a vine that's vigorous and then wilted at the tip, start looking for a grub in the hollow part of the stem and get rid of it. ENJOY!

  48. Rhonda, sincere congratulations! I will buy at least three copies, one for me and one for each of my daughters. I hope the book will have the lovely personal touch that the blog does......I began reading yours about the time my husband died, last year, and it was a real comfort though I already hold most of these ideas, everyone puts them into action in an individual way.

  49. Woo hoo! Congratulations, how exciting to be putting a book together!

  50. Hi, I didn't ask for a knitting mentor but you did convince me to try my hand at knitting some dishcloths...and I've done 2 so far! They are turning out nicely and I'm going to use them as part of some Christmas gifts as well as for my own kitchen...thanks for the nudge!

  51. Yippee! I am looking forward to seeing the finished book, Rhonda.

    My best

    AM of the Bread

  52. Congratulations on the book! That is wonderful news.

    I, too, wonder if your archives will be accessible in the future, or if you'll have to close them because they are going into book form? I've seen that done with other blogs that have gone to books. I surely hope they remain accessible, as I have not read all of them yet.

    I WILL be in line to purchase your book when it comes out. Thank you for wanting to share your experience with the world.

  53. Wow, great news. Many, many congratulations. I do hope the book does get published in Europe so we can get hold of a copy here in the UK.

  54. Don't worry, the blog will remain as it is now. I won't change just because I'm writing a book. One of the aims of this blog is to share and encourage, that will not change.

    I hope to be able to sell books from my blog. I'll be able to sign them then for anyone who wants that.

  55. Hi Rhonda,
    I haven't posted for a while, but I read your posts regularly. It's wonderful that your blog has gotten so popular. I just wanted to congratulate you for your plans on a book and I'm so glad that you will not change your blog. You've been a tremendous inspiration for me and I find so much encouragement in your words for living a simpler life. You've brought me down to earth and I am grateful.
    Thank you and Keep it Simple.

  56. Congratulations of your book! Wondrful news it is ready. It is so nice to see that another sister out there has a sewing room that sometimies resembles mine;} What a great clean up! I am new to your blog but feel as if I came home to a good friend. Look forward to visiting more often.
    Hugs and best wishes,

  57. Lemon cucumbers? My favourite. When I was a kid our neighbour used to grow this strictly as a novelty for us kids and their grand kids. The seeds can be hard to find and unfortunately the rodents love to pick them from my garden when they're young. I hope you enjoy yours and next year I'll try fortifying the garden a little more. I'm enjoying reading your blog and all you have to share.

  58. Please consider offering your book as an "e-book" for those of us who live outside of Australia - anyhow- e-books are better for the environment! I buy most of my books in e-book (pdf) format to read on my Kindle !


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