Research for Fiction

Umm…. excuse me.  (poke-poke) you do realize I said FICTION right.  That means it’s not true.  It’s not even HISTORICAL fiction.  It’s just, made-it-up-out-of-my-brain fiction.  I can’t research what isn’t true.

At least that’s what I use to think.

Check out my post on Kathy Temean’s blog Writing and Illustrating for Children where I talk about how I learned that research is an important part of ANY written work.

Jersey Farm Scribe here…. on Researching Fiction

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Hate Your Job??? Hang in There Baby

My weekly article for Honesty for Breakfast (a great magazine for girls in their 20s) is called

Hate Your Job??? Hang in There Baby!

It’s about my personal experience with the job from hell, how (and WHY) I suffered through it and why I’m so glad that I did.

With a sex-crazed boss, the co-workers who hated that I actually DID my job, horrid hours and pay that was a joke…. what in the WORLD was I doing walking in that door everyday?  Find out how I did it and why I’m SO glad I did.

And I’d love to hear about your worst job experiences.  

Misery loves company…. and makes for great stories!

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Jersey Farm Scribe – Now an Honesty for Breakfast contributor!

Hi everyone!

I am excited to report I recently got accepted as a new contributor for Honesty for Breakfast, an online magazine for 20-something girls.  It’s a great site, they have articles on dating, relationships, career, life, beauty, the works.  They touch on some great topic too, I really suggest you check it out, or pass the link on to any 20-something girl in your life.

My first article went up today!  It’s on the light side, but it can be a very serious decision for anyone in the moment.

It’s called:  Peeking out of the Friend-Zone:  Would Your Best Guy Friend make the Perfect Boyfriend?

I’d love any comments you have, feel free to post them here, or shoot them to me on Twitter! @NJFarmScribe 

Keep your eyes peeled for my weekly articles that will be posted there!  And check out the other amazing contributors too!

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When Do Writers Stop Writing?

Check out my new post on Writing and Illustrating for Children:

When Do Writers Stop Writing?.

ACK — is it really DONE???  When to pull the trigger on your manuscript……


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What’s all This Buzz-ness about Bees?

I had a great time writing this article!

Check it out on Darlene’s website:

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Working Out the Details

My post on Kathy’s Temean’s site:  Working Out the Details.

PATIENCE:  Working out the Details

When revisions lead to more revisions, I call them REVISION DOMINOS!


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The Childhood Edit

The Childhood Edit.


Check out my post on Kathy Temean’s site today.  My post in honor of father’s day!

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Greenhouse IN Progress

So the husband and I went out the other day to start building our greenhouse (it’s going to be about 40 x 25.  We’re calling it “Erika’s winter home” lol)

Every step of the way I was making us stop and take pictures.  “I want to show people what we’re doing!” I kept saying.  He would roll his eyes, but oblige by helping me hold things in certain ways so I could get pictures of whatever I was going to talk about.  He’s a trooper.

And man… I got GREAT ones.

And then, a few days later, my phone died.  It was a sad death.  It froze up and just refused to do absolutely ANYTHING.  And of course I couldn’t upload the pictures.

(Brief side note:  This was the THIRD “new” iPhone I’d gone through in about 4 months.  I never EVER recommend getting a refurbished iPhone, as they I had massive issues with all of mine.  Not worth it, even though they were free to me!  But now I’ve gone and purchased an actually NEW phone, so hopefully here ends the great phone debacle of 2014!)

So sadly I have no in-progress pictures of the greenhouse to show you.  But here is what it looks like so far:


I can give you a few tips though if you’re putting together your own:

1)  Do NOT think you and your husband can do it in two weekends.  (As you can see we’re STILL only about halfway through.)

2)  DO pick a good spot that drains well so you don’t have to bring up too much dirt and rock.

3)  Do NOT leave the hoops laying in your driveway so that your neighbor drives over one when he pulls in to see what the heck you crazy people are doing now.

4)  DO use as many scrap pieces of pipe laying around the property as you can.  Old fence posts from a chain link fence work WONDERFULLY.  We pounded them into the ground to drop the hoops into (note: when pounding in ground, be careful not to distort the top or the round hoop won’t slip inside.  Try putting a piece of wood on top and hitting that with sledge hammer instead of the pipe itself):


5)  Do NOT put the hoops up and then realize you haven’t measured for any cross braces yet:


  (Lol.  This may lead to you operating the skidloader, with your husband precariously in the bucket trying to measure along a rounded hoop.  And oh yeah, it was raining!)

6)  ….In reference to not thinking you can do it in a week or so…. DO go to Tractor Supply, and spend $100 on a little 4×7 greenhouse where you can store at least some plants, while you’re waiting to find the time to finish the greenhouse.  Seriously, this thing is pretty cool.

IMG_1343                 IMG_1344

There’s about 550 tomato plants in there.  And once I figured out the balance of when to have it open, versus closed and when to pull them all out, it works quite well.

What’s coming up in the next few weeks you ask?  Well, really, we never know.  Fact is, you have to be flexible around here.  We make plans and then other things just come up.  But “next on the agenda” (for whatever that’s worth) is this:

Finish Greenhouse

Plant small area in field

Till and plant garden

Till front yard (which looks ridiculous) and plant grass! (for anyone who has been here, that is a BIG deal)

Can’t wait to tell you about it all!

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Researching Agents – Erika Wassall

Hey guys! Check out today’s guest post on Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustration blog.

So you’ve got the polished manuscript and you’re ready to submit. But to who? It’s worth it to research your agents beforehand! Here’s how.

Writing and Illustrating


Jersey Farm Scribe here on…

Researching Agents

A completed, polished and ready to be submitted manuscript is a beautiful thing. Now it just has to find a home! But not just ANY home. It has to be just right.

You want the world to see this manuscript! See it’s creativity, it’s uniqueness and the joy it will bring others!

You’ve written your query letter and you’re ready to track your submissions.

But who should you submit to?

If you’re like me, the first thing you think to yourself is…


Then I have sit back… rein in my crazy… and remind myself… absolutelynothingis for everyone.

Plus, agents want to know that I’m submitting to them for a reason specific to my manuscript and not feel like I’m just going down a list sending to everyone who popped up when I Googled “Picture Book Agent”.


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Putting Words on Paper

Putting Words on Paper.

We’re writers, so that’s what we do!

Easy… right?

Accept we all know it’s not always quite so simple.  Here’s a few things I do to get past those spots where I’m stuck… and frustrated!

What do YOU do?

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