Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No More Waiting


The sun is cresting up over the mountain ridge behind my house. The chickens are pecking merrily in their yard. The cats have had their breakfast and are grooming themselves to spotless perfection. The dogs are wrestling, working out their pent-up energy from a long night's rest. The bees are abuzz, gathering nectar and pollen from any and every available source. I'm eating yogurt, enjoying the freshness permitted by a house whose almost every window is now open (admittedly, a bit chilly at this hour, but I'll gladly suffer in silence).

It's a good day, friends. It's made even better by the fact that today marks the official launch date of the first two books in my Homemade Living series. While those who pre-ordered will have already received their copies and Barnes & Noble stores, too, have had the books up on their shelves for several weeks (B&N is my publisher's over-arching parent company), today is the official launch date. From local, independently owned mom and pop shops to public libraries and beyond, the Homemade Living series is now bona fide. Certified. Fully legitimate. Yours for the purchasing.

How bizarre to think that this whole endeavor began with a suggestion from a trusted friend (who would go on to become my editor) almost two years ago. I was leaving a reliable job, ready to take a leap of faith into the unknown. I left behind a steady paycheck, an office full of beloved co-workers, and any semblance of a regular schedule. When I was younger, I aspired to be a stay-at-home writer. Having no idea how that's achieved, however, kept me from pursuing such a career path. Little did I know that the seed had already been planted. It just needed time to germinate and come to fruition.

It's been a wild ride, full of surprises. And there's more to come, with two books ("Home Dairy" and "Keeping Bees") slated for next spring. If the first two books prove successful, fingers crossed, future books might be in the works, as well.

A big, mushy, sincerely heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who has contributed to the realization of this series. A similar high-five and robust digital hug to all of you who stop by small measure regularly. This process has made the world seem a lot smaller than it sometimes appears to be. And, for a now stay-at-home writer tucked down a dusty lane in a forested cove, that means the world.

*If you enjoy the books, I invite you to share your literary love with the world! Seriously. Any reviews you feel compelled to offer, whether on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, or Good Reads, are more than welcome!

30 comments:

Kate Gatski said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful moment, thank you for sharing with us. That is fantastic. I look forward to getting a copy of your books. I am inspired by your story and your work.

Sense of Home said...

Congratulations! I have the Canning and Preserving book and love it. I reviewed it over on my blog just over a week ago.

Best wishes on your future books!

Liane said...

That's just awesome! Congratulations to you. You are getting such good information out there. I'll look for your books.

alexis said...

congratulations! what an amazing achievement!

please sir said...

Congrats on the new book - looks wonderful! I'm so glad to see a fellow NC blogger - best of luck!

Melanie J. said...

Congratulations! You're accomplishing several things that a lot of us are still dreaming about, which makes you a source of motivation. I look forward to owning these first two!

annie said...

That's so funny- my copy of the canning book is supposed to arrive today but I somehow totally missed out on the fact that it wasn't officially out yet when I ordered it! Congratulations on the books- I'm so looking forward to reading them.

Courtney said...

Congratulations Ashley!! I'm heading to the bookstore tomorrow so I'll be sure to seek them out. Thank you for your continued words of wisdom for living a healthy, happy, natural life.

Samantha said...

Heart felt congratulations! I am looking forward to digging into Canning and Preserving, my mother taught me the basics: tomatoes & strawberry jam. Now you can bring me to the next level!

Best wishes for the future!

hip hip gin gin said...

Congratulations Ashley!!! So exciting, for you and for all of us who can't wait to thumb through it! This really is an amazing achievement, I hope you enjoy it.

brandi said...

congratulations! That's so exciting.

Do you have a post/more details of how you got started on the books and writing for a living?

Kim said...

Congratulations! I will be making a trip to the bookstore today, can't wait!

ashley english said...

yeah! thanks for all the literary love, friends!

brandi-it was truly a matter of right place, right time, right friend that prompted my career. i'd decided to leave my job, uncertain of the future. my closest friend, senior editor at a local publishing company, pitched the book series idea to me, as she'd been tossing it around for several years and she knew i was planning on pursuing some sort of homesteading adventure. the timing was immensely serendipitous, for us both.

as for my column on design sponge, i wrote grace bonney, the blog's founder, telling her about my small measure can-do giveaway of canned goods back in july. about a week later, she wrote me directly, telling me she was a fan of the blog and asking if i'd like to step in to fill a recent vacancy left by another editor's departure. so, thus far, things have sort of fallen into my lap. i take it as signs that i'm on the right path!

for aspiring writers, though, i say begin rubbing shoulders with people who are doing what you want to do. nothing beats connecting personally with folks who inspire you. and, as for me, if i come across an individual or product that i fully endorse, i pass it on. networking on a one-on-one basis is where it's at!

ALFIE said...

received my books a few weeks ago and LOVE them! such beautiful work! i am completely inspired and motivated! can't wait for the next 2! best of luck!!

Mel - The Organic Mamas said...

Cheers to you, Ashley!

Anonymous said...

It has been an amazing ride. Enjoy!

EcoGrrl said...

hey there, i was at B&N and they had an entire 'urban homesteading' table and there was another book called 'keeping chickens' by someone else. an anonymous stranger grabbed two more copies of your book and they somehow found their place on that table on top of that OTHER person's book. :)))))

ashley english said...

aimee-listen all ya'll, it's a SABOTAGE! i love it!

tigress said...

congrats ashley! it must be so very exciting for you. it's exciting to witness. you're an inspiration!

...i want your book on raising chickens too even though i won't be getting any little chickies soon. some day!

:)

Cindy said...

Congratulations! Your success is inspiring.

Joanna Goddard said...

SO exciting! the books look amazing. congratulations!!

Lindsay Road said...

Perfect, I just went to your blog to order the chicken book for my fiance! I didn't know that it would be released today:) He's going to love it - thanks so much!

Loulou said...

Felicitations!
Just recently found your site and am really enjoying reading through it.
You are truly inspiring.

Kim said...

Just wanted to leave you a comment and tell you that I bought both of your books this week, and absolutely LOVE THEM! Great writing, wonderful photography and I can't wait to try all the recipes! I know this sounds weird, but I love the feel of the cover with the embossing...really neat. Thanks for these and I can't wait for your next release!

ashley english said...

kim-thank you so very much. that means more than you could possibly imagine. and let me know what you think once you get around to the recipes. i think you'll be pleased!

mg said...

What a sweet day, Ashley! Enjoy it. I've always thought that if we all paid closer attention to the the whims of our "younger" selves, we'd always end up in the right profession. So glad your childhood aspirations came true!

Patty said...

Oh my gosh congratulations on your books!

Kerry said...

I loved your book!! My mom sent me a preview copy she picked up at a publishers event, and it is a great resource for tending our first flock of chicks!

Melissa said...

Congratulations! I love the blog, cant wait to read the books and am inspired by your story. Well done.

Ilona said...

Ashley - I wanted to comment somewhere about how great your book on canning is. Despite objections from many people ("oh you can just get that at the grocery store", "why waste the time and money" and on) I took the plunge and invested in the book and equipment. Nowhere have I found information about canning that is so comprehensive, easy to understand, nicely written, and wonderfully presented. I now have the confidence I need to pursue my interest in canning summer's bounty for those dreary winter evenings. Plus, this will help me continue my hand-made Christmas gift tradition :) Thank you for such a great resource!"