Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Writing résumé

Back in July, I had the opportunity to meet my literary agent, Bob Hostetler, in person. (It was for this reason, and no other, that Older Daughter and I braved the insanity of Las Vegas.) We had only communicated by email before that, and it was delightful to meet him and his wife.

During our two-hour chat, Bob mentioned some additional fiction projects he thought might interest me; but he also mentioned in passing some possible rural-themed nonfiction projects.

It was these nonfiction projects that kept nagging at me. What kind of projects did he have in mind? Finally I requested a phone consultation to discuss the issue at greater length. I put Bob on speaker phone so Don could listen in as well, since we often collaborate on nonfiction projects.

To my surprise, during this phone call it became clear Bob had no idea of the extent of my nonfiction writing. Since he's always focused on my fiction work, I guess he thought I merely dabbled in nonfiction, rather than having the extensive résumé that I do. On my end, it never occurred to me to inform him otherwise, since I didn't need an agent for any nonfiction stuff. He requested I send him a few magazine clips as well as a copy of "The Simplicity Primer."

So I did. I gathered a few clips, tucked a copy of the book into an envelope, and mailed it off. But I also did something I never thought to do before: I compiled a brief list of my magazine articles and other nonfiction writing. And holy cow, that résumé was a lot more hefty than I imagined.

Here's what I came up with:

Backwoods Home Magazine/Self-Reliance Magazine
107 articles

Backyard Beekeeping
36 articles

Backyard Poultry
5 articles

53 articles

Goat Journal
30 articles

Lehman’s (corporate blog)
53 articles

Mother Earth News
7 articles

Grit Magazine
2 articles

• Crafts Report Magazine (now called Handmade Business)
80 articles

Molly Green Magazine
13 articles

• E-books: 51 self-published e-books

• "Bear Poop and Applesauce: An Urban Migration to the Country"
(e-published, no ISBN)

For magazine articles alone, that's 386 articles, and I'm certain I've undercounted and missed a few. And of course, I have 4000+ posts on this blog.

In short, I've written more than I realized in the last 15+ years.

On a separate-but-related note, I've been organizing the loft in the barn above Don's shop. In this loft are three and a half totes absolutely stuffed with magazines (Backwoods Home, Self-Reliance, Countryside, etc), many of which have our (Don's and my) articles in them.

We actually winnowed out a lot of magazines and stored only the ones pertinent to our writing career. It's a lot of magazines to store, but every time I think it's time to get rid of them, something crops up that makes me glad I kept them. Needing clips for editors is one of those reasons.


  1. What about your WND articles?

    1. You're right. Add another 920+ columns to the list!

      - Patrice

    2. I agree! I think I found my way to this blog thru WND. Some of those articles are awesome. Especially liked the recent article on Thanksgiving !

  2. I've been reading you for years and quote you often....my husband knows you as beer mug lady!

    Reading this makes me very proud.

  3. I am so very excited for you. I can't wait to see where this leads. Prayers, from a long time reader.

  4. What Is it about well written words that brings out the pack rat in us? You've just given me another reason to go through my totes of old magazines. I have a lot of old magazines, and probably half are self reliance types of things like gardening. I was probably reading your older articles before finding this blog.
    A year or so I was going through some old totes and found some with clothing had become had become homes for mice.
    Now, I zip tie totes and especially like those you've pictured because they are zip tie ready. Even that kind has been invaded without the ties, but so far none with them. Living so rurally, I can't seem to defeat their ever-living hoards completely, but have at least have found relief by using multiple methods simultaneously.
    The cat method isn't currently working because my big orange kitty boy is just wanting live squeaky toys to play with, so if they don't have a heart attack to die, they get away. Sigh. Wishing some of the dearly departed felines could return!
    Peppermint sprays haven't worked either.
    The jiffy mix/baking soda mix shown on YouTube does keep getting eaten, so it probably does work. Thankfully, if so, they are dragging off outside somewhere to die because to my knowledge, they haven't died inside. It seems there are fewer evidences around. They also hate pine sol, so it is now my cleaner of choice.
    Good old fashioned traps still work too. And trying to always stay on top of new entryways. For example, this just reminded me of the newest unfixed entryway they've created. A mouse hole next to the back door, almost obscured by a cabinet! They chewed up through the wall and then through the wood paneling and voila! Their own back door next to mine! I'll probably pour down a bunch of the jiffy mixture down first, then gap filler after buying more.
    Anyway, before farm animals go into that upstairs area, I'd raise those totes off the floor and leave small piles of the jiffy mixture where you can easily monitor them underneath. Small, clear plastic containers with snap on lids can keep it neat. Cut a mouse hole in the side, half fill, and rest it on it's flat side where the lid is.
    If I weren't such a paper/cloth/anything usable hoarder there wouldn't be as much of a problem either.

  5. Did you include all of the wonderful canning pamphlets that you have e published?

    1. Yep! And I included copies of all the e-books on the thumb drive I mailed to my agent.

      - Patrice

  6. Patrice, what is the best way to buy printed copies of your Amish romance books, so that you personally get as much money in your pocket as possible? Direct from you? Amazon? Looking at some for Christmas gifts...

    1. I think purchasing them directly from Harlequin (www.harlequin.com) might be best. Thank you!

      - Patrice

    2. Well not a lot of printed copies were available there unfortunately. Held my nose and shopped amazon instead. If you ever sell direct let us all know. Thanks!

  7. That is quite a list of writing. Even a PhD might not be able to boast that many.
    Practical Parsimony

  8. It is amazing what we figure out and can relate when something suddenly makes us connect the dots.

    A former coworker of mine recently passed away. In his obituary it mentioned that he had published articles in BWH magazine. I had no idea! I actually remember reading one article but did not put two and two together and figure out I knew the author. I used to supply the water for a class he was teaching each semester, from our two wells. One is a 30 ft open pit (the barn well) and the other is a 300 ft well for the house. They are located about 80 feet from each other. The house well has so much sodium in it they had to dilute it to get a reading. (Very high in TDS, but also very soft. No, we don't drink it.) The difference in the mineral concentrations is striking.

    You are an excellent writer Patrice, and your hard work and persistence has paid off. Most people don't make a living doing something they love, which also educates and benefits millions of people. :-) Thank you.