It’s particularly complicated when you’ve been a self-employed writer for thirty years.

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I won’t even pretend to think consistently about retiring. There are now days when I look at the keyboard — take a deep breath and wonder what in hell I’m doing sitting here. And then there are days when the words run hot and flow effortlessly.

But those effortless days are becoming further and further apart. And that is a problem I’m dealing with right now

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I Usually Start My Day With Affirmations

I did some research on affirmations and whether they worked (or not) and the bottom line was that if they helped you focus on small, measurable goals, they worked. …

Are we having fun yet?

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Good morning. It’s mid-May and the weather is more like early April than May.

The bad news is it makes us all grumpy. (What me? Grumpy?)

The good news is I’ve been like a little beaver behind the scenes.

The entire website got a makeover.

  • Lots of graphics.
  • The Brain was installed and is now a working part of the adventure. Over the next while, I’ll be putting all posts up on this system.
  • Some things (videos) work better on the Brain rather than in a post. (Check the Fred stories)
  • This is all by way of saying this is a grand adventure in online writing and storytelling. …

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Nothing concentrates your mind like a possible demise

Dear Friends

It’s been “interesting” around the world lately hasn’t it?

My better half and I were in Florida when the COVID news began to roll across my feeds. And to be honest, I wasn’t as concerned as I might have been reading the European and U.S. news. But when our Canadian news feed lit up with the utter seriousness of this, we started paying attention.

Our Prime Minister began talking about the border and how serious this problem was. The word came that Canada was thinking of tightening the US/Canada border.

We looked at each other and began packing. Twenty four hours later we were on the road home to Canada.

I am not a medical doctor nor do I pretend to know more than one.

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Let’s start at the beginning. I am not a medical doctor nor do I pretend to know more than one. I don’t even play one on television. The data here is gleaned from sources across the Net (all are linked so you can read the original)

Let’s assume somebody with coronavirus had been in the garden center. Let’s look at some of the variables.

Other Gardeners Shopping

It goes without saying that avoiding other shoppers is a key factor here. This is particularly a problem in the narrow shopping aisles of most garden centres. The 6-foot rule is critical to follow.

Shop at strange hours — very early — very late — to avoid people in the garden centre…

It’s important to take a few minutes amidst the chaos of today’s news

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Photo by Marc A. Sporys on Unsplash

Well now, have you looked outside — really taken a good look — and noticed the important things in life are still standing amidst the carnage of this virus.

The sky is still blue and the air is getting cleaner and less polluted. Sunsets off our island don’t have a yellow tinge to them. Birds are flocking back to our island from down South (as are we).

But, I’m missing some of the important things in life — chatting with friends in person and hugging my grand-babies. …

Start your editing with these three searches to make major improvements

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

I use three simple searches to begin the editing phase of my writing and they save me a great deal of time and effort.

#1 Do a search on the entire document for the letter combination “ing”. This highlights most of the passive verbs.

#2 Do a document search for “ly”. This highlight the adverbs.

#3 A third search is on the word “and”. Investigate all sentences where you use this to see whether you can eliminate or restructure the sentence.

I use Scrivener and a “project search” allows me to get a first draft edit done quickly and easily with these three steps. It will work the same way if you’re using any of the major word processors.

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Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash

I’ve been reading a lot of “How To Succeed At Being A Writer” type of posts as I work to understand what is popular on Medium.

To be frank, I’m struggling with this kind of post because what I see as being popular in the writing genre here is — imho — so much pablum.

“Feel good” posts abound and spending my time reading these marks me as either a newbie writer or someone new to Medium.

Is The Advice Here Wrong?

Well, let me say some advice I’ve read isn’t “wrong” but it sure isn’t complete. Much of what I’m reading seems compiled from a few sources. …

While I flooded your timeline with 100 posts in the past week.

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Photo by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic on Unsplash

The Flood Is Over

With approximately 100 posts moved in, it is time to stop, take a deep breath, open a bottle of scotch, and both celebrate your patience and the future.

My Publications are Laid Out and Organized

Both publications are set up and laid out — both the Gardening and the Writer’s Syncretic Mind. So I’m set to keep on going here.

Moving Forward

  • I’ll likely add a few gardening posts every week. (After nearly 40 years of garden writing, I have a fairly deep file of posts.)
  • The writer’s posts and research will resume.

My Other Writing

I have several other pen names and I’ve ignored those over the last few weeks. It’s time to put those alter-egos to work again.


My thanks for sticking around.

It surprised me but in retrospect it shouldn’t have.

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Image courtesy and Pixabay

I assumed this was something specific to the wider Net but that’s what you get for assuming (and yeah, I know about the ass of you and me in assume.) :-)

For the uninitiated, comment spam is when a reader comments on your post but also includes links to their posts or websites. Their objective is to pull readers to their own site — not to have a dialogue.

This looks something like

  • Nice article — I learned a lot.
  • New line: Link,
  • New line: Link,
  • New line: Link,

So what did I do with this comment spam?

I blocked them. Life is too damned short for spammers!

Seriously, you want that much?

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Photo by Lara Far on Unsplash

Okay, so my old iPad screen had a large crack, and it was spreading in an interesting pattern across the entire length and width of the screen in a gorgeous spider web pattern. The only thing holding the glass together was the thick screen protector.

It was half the price of a new iPad to replace the screen on the 2012 version.

I bought the basic iPad model. I don’t need the bells and whistles; I don’t need the cellular conductivity; I really need nothing having to do with anything other than reading and doing some typing. I store files on …


Douglas Green

Former nurseryman, now award-winning garden writer focussed on helping others with their organic gardening challenges. A syncretic reader and writer...

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