A Year of Picnics















  • Happy 6th birthday to this little peanut sauce Life ashellip
  • Turns out Im way more of a fall and springhellip
  • Nothing could be finer  Our little hill house duringhellip
  • The long and winding road that leads to my door
  • Aftermath from the Green Goblin Pumpkin Bomb station yesterday athellip
  • Blinded by the light
  • The hills are alive! From up on the blueridgenps
  • Thank you October You are always just what I needhellip
  • Autumn mountain mornings are so breathtaking! View from the tophellip
  • Storm clouds rolling in Massive change of weather in thehellip
  • If you want to sing out sing out If youhellip
  • This old house Missing October and its not even overhellip
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Setting the Stage

This week marked a huge milestone in the first two books in my series. In short, I finished. All of the text is complete. That feels absolutely enormous to write. This time last year, I was working in a doctor’s office. Now, I’ve written two books as part of a series, with more to come, I get to work at home, in my jammies, with my furry brood (husband notwithstanding), and write about adventures in small-scale homesteading. No complaints.

We shot two photo shoots this week for the recipes in the “Raising Chickens” book. Above is creative director at Lark Books (my publisher), Chris Bryant, at whose home we took the photos. Here he can be seen in his natural environment,  tenderly working stylistic magic on zucchini and basil. 
My own lovey dove, chef extraordinaire, Glenn, doing his thing with eggs. 
The assistance of Ned, Chris’s cat, was utterly indispensable. 
The best editor a gal could ever hope for, Nicole McConville. She edits, she makes exquisite art, she plays the accordion somethin’ fierce, AND she washes prop dishes. Presenting the original renaissance woman. I call her “Freddy”, my fusion of friend and editor (and it sounds much more benign than “Freditor,” right?)
Going in for the shot. 

*Small Measure: Buy local. As much as possible, I’m placing emphasis in the book series on supporting local farmers and growers. Freshness really counts, in terms of quality and taste, not to mention supporting livelihoods and community viability in wherever it is that you call home. The eggs for this shot were as local as you can get, seeing as how they came from The Ladies. 

6 Responses to Setting the Stage

  • Anonymous says:

    Great information. Good to know how it all works.
    Can’t wait for the books!

  • P. says:

    Congratulations on finishing the writing! You totally inspire me.

  • Emily says:

    Congratulations! I bet you are glad to be done for now. Can’t wait to see the finished books. Sounds like you are working with a great crew!
    Oh, and yes, Freditor sounds too scary… Freddy is much better!

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Ashley! Looking forward to your books. We miss you at the doctor’s office, but I envy you very much as well.

  • Walker says:

    could also call her edend. But then again I’ve never had a way with words.

  • Anonymous says:

    Way to go, I know it is a great feeling to have them completed! Now let them SELL,SELL,SELL!!!! MOM