An Accomplishment


I can’t tell you how hard it was to lay this egg. I’ve been working on it ever since yesterday.

I’m just kidding. (Maybe.) But I’m actually pretty excited about it because it’s the FIRST fresh egg I’ve seen since I moved to Sassafras Farm. I don’t know if the chickens were distressed over the move or what. I know it’s winter, but I’ve never had all my chickens stop laying at once, even in the winter. I have a lot of chickens. Somebody’s always laying. Maybe they’ve been laying and they’ve been hiding them. But I’ve LOOKED. This one was laid on the porch this morning, so maybe they’ve finally gotten back to work.

The egg isn’t the accomplishment this post is about, though. Today, I finished my book. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book for some time, and started working on the book last fall. Then I moved and I stopped working on the book for awhile. I got back to it recently, made some major revisions on what I’d written so far, realizing I hadn’t been digging deep enough, and I wrote the book I really wanted to write. I became completely obsessed with it as it fell into place, turning into a runaway train that has barely let me sleep or eat for the past week. Morgan was lucky she was allowed to have a birthday as I worked on my book every second I wasn’t taking her out to lunch and shopping and making her a giant cookie. It probably explains my mental lapse in forgetting her candles.

Trash has been overflowing all over the house. Other than the giant cookie, I haven’t cooked in days. I’ve bought several store-bought frozen pizzas (!) because I can’t cook when I’m writing like that.

I can’t do anything when I’m writing like that.

The book had hold of me and wouldn’t let go until I’d reached the end.

What is the book about? It’s a true story, a memoir of my life at Stringtown Rising, from the slanted little house to Sassafras Farm. It’s the real story of Stringtown Rising. The whole story. The story I’ve never shared on my website. I’ve always kept a curtain at a certain point with my personal life here, but this book is straight from my heart to you, my readers, who have been here for me, encouraging me, supporting me, and inspiring me. It will answer questions you wouldn’t have asked me, but have probably held in your mind. It’s funny and sweet and sad and triumphant, and more of an adventure than I have ever told–or that I ever imagined I’d live in my life. And it’s all true.

I’ve been working with an agent for awhile, and it will be a while longer before the book is placed with a publisher, much less on the shelves, but I’ll keep you updated.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This book is for you.

P.S. I’ll try to resume normal programming now. As soon as I pick up the trash.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 24, 2012  

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  1. 1-24

    I am so excited and can’t wait to read your book!!!

  2. 1-24

    That’s awesome! Do you think it will be in print by the time we come to the retreat so we can bring them for autographs? :D

  3. 1-24

    JerseyMom, no, it will take a lot longer than that, I’m sorry!

  4. 1-24

    I’m looking forward to reading your book! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and really enjoy your style of writing.

  5. 1-24

    Hooray, hooray, hooray!! I can’t wait! Keep us posted. I knew you were doing something BIG, I could feel it. I can’t describe “it”, but I felt it – something like someone pausing, or holding their breath. And, Suzanne, my gift books I won in your drawing arrived yesterday. I am so excited! Thank you.

  6. 1-24

    Oh how exciting! I can’t wait to read it!!! :snoopy:

  7. 1-24

    Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your book! :shimmy:

  8. 1-24

    Wonderful, I’ve been hoping you’d write a book. Of course, I’ll have to buy it. So, I’m curious, is it a novel, a picture book, a how to book or ????????

  9. 1-24

    thistlewoodmanor, it’s a memoir, a true story. (see post!)

  10. 1-24

    Congratulations! With everything else you’ve been doing lately, that’s an amazing accomplishment. I love the way you describe the fire that’s possessed you the past week. I hope it gets published quickly, I can’t wait to read it.

    Hmm, I wonder how Clover will like going on a book tour?

  11. 1-24

    How exciting!!!! :snoopy: I wish publishers moved faster! Does it have a title yet? Let us know ASAP Suzanne so we can preorder! I don’t buy hard back books much anymore because of space issues, I only buy e-books or audios, but for this one I plan on it! I’m figuring it into my budget.

    Whaledancer has a very good point! I hope you’ve polished Clover’s tiara!!!

    Now pick up that trash and gather the egg! (P.S. I’m very impressed that you’ve gotten your hens to deliver right to the door! They must know you’ve been very busy! Mine are not nearly so helpful.)

  12. 1-24

    Looking forward to the read.

  13. 1-24

    I can’t wait to read it!

  14. 1-24

    I am so excited! Reading your blogs everyday is always so much fun and now I can look forward to a book?!?!? It’s almost too good to be true. Thanks for being willing to share with us! :woof:

  15. 1-24

    I DEFINITELY want to buy your book! Please let us know as soon as it’s available. I’ve been your fan for so long, I just know this book will be a treat for me. Hope it includes a LOT of photos.

  16. 1-24

    Congratulations, Suzanne! I really admire your spirit and ability to focus. Count me as a reader of your book!

  17. 1-24

    It’s going to be so hard waiting for this book. I never preorder but this one I just have to!!

  18. 1-24

    Congratulations on a wonderful accomplishment. I can’t wait to read it Suzanne.

  19. 1-24

    So happy for you. Its all a good thing to put things in order, I am glad I will get to read it. I am more glad you are happy.

  20. 1-24

    Welcome Back to the real world- sure missed you. Believe me I am geared up for the retreat. I have a box of goodies… Just have to get them to you. Oh well I will think about that tomorrow!!!!!

  21. 1-24

    I’ll be looking forward to reading your book-happy writing!!!
    Oh,congrats on the egg =))

  22. 1-24

    :woof: That is a fantastic accomplishment! Congratulations. And thank you.
    Congratulations on that egg, too.

  23. 1-24

    Wow! I was so excited I was encouraged to finally try and log back in (I have trouble with it sometimes) and was successful – luckily – as I am SO HAPPY to hear this news!! This is one book that I can safely say, I want to read. Congratulations! I can hardly wait!!

  24. 1-24

    … and don’t get me wrong, I DO read books (lots of ’em;), but I can’t think of many blogs I read that I would also want to buy the ‘book’. Yours is the exception.

  25. 1-24

    I also am looking forward to reading your book. This is exciting. I love this forum and everything about it and I just KNOW that your book will be a delight to read.

  26. 1-24

    Hooray for you!!! and a big HELLO to MMHoney. I wish I had your energy, or gumption…I’d have my house painted by now. Anyway, Suzanne, you’ll probably be on the million sellers list just from your chicken sisters purchasing your book! Looks like we’re all going to have to start book clubs the week it is available for purchase.

  27. 1-24

    You have been a busy girl! Congratulations! Hens get excited over anything and its just an excuse not to lay eggs. Looks like they feel right at home. :happyflower:

  28. 1-24

    WOW! I cant wait!!! & totally understand the writing thing getting hold of you and not letting go… I get in those kind of “zones” at times (not necessarily with writing, but there have been times where I’ve had to pull the car over because I know I just have to write down some crazy thought floating thru my head!) and you just have to go with it. I know you said not in time for the retreat, but any chance for by Christmas so I can ask “Santa”??

  29. 1-24

    How utterly and completely WONDERFUL, Suzanne…I have always wanted to meet the real you. Not that the you of CITR isn’t real, but I reckon you, and everyone else, knows what I mean. I am dancing for joy! :snoopy: :heart:

  30. 1-24

    Whoo Hoo !!!

    CAN’T WAIT FOR THE BOOK. Will definitely preorder.

    I started reading your blog about 3 months ago and have read every post I can find. I can’t remember the last time I was so entertained.

    Suzanne, just wondering if writers get a royalty from their books that
    are sold on Amazon. I ordered my first list of yours from Amazon last week and then was curious.

    Congrats on the egg…Maybe the rest of the girls will get BUSY.

  31. 1-24

    I’m new to this blog (about 2 months maybe) and adore it. I find myself checking back in a few times during the day–not to see what’s newly printed but because it just feels like home and family here ! I will be standing in line with the others to get a first edition of your book. Truthfully, I can’t ever remember looking forward to a book the way I am anticipating yours, and I read a LOT !!
    I always feel a twinge of jealousy when the retreat is mentioned. I have MS and life has become rather challenging and limiting. But I will continue to live vicariously through everyone here…and sit on the edge of my chair for further news about the book !!! :)

  32. 1-24

    Dottie, yes, it doesn’t matter if you buy a book on Amazon or a “real” bookstore or wherever–writers get royalties UNLESS you buy used. Writers get nothing from sales of used books.

  33. 1-24

    I got goose-bumps reading this post. I’m so excited to read the book. I call dibs on hosting you if you do a Hampton Roads visit on the book tour. There are many in my homesteading group who love CITR. (will you do a tour? I hope so!)

  34. 1-24

    That is WONDERFUL! I can’t wait until they hit the shelves! :snoopy:

  35. 1-24

    Oooh! I can’t wait! I’ve been reading your blog for a while (since long before you got BP)and I *have* been curious about some things but I would never be so rude as to ask you about your personal life. It was so nice of you to write a book for me! (Oh, it wasn’t specifically for me?)

  36. 1-24

    That’s wonderful – Congratulations! I love the blog and can’t wait to read the book. I’ve learned so much from you all.

  37. 1-24

    How exciting! I hope it’s both in hardback and as an e-reader!

  38. 1-24

    Oh!. Suzanne, that is great! Books are so onerous between the brain and the keyboard. Do you have an idea If you want paper or paper + ebook? What does your agent think of e-book only? Hope you and your agent negotiate a contract far better than your romance contracts. . .
    Here’s how we chicken sisters can help: Be Patient, Real Patient. Even IF the book Suzanne turned in TODAY was purchased, designed, illustrated and all other pre-press work completed TODAY, it would likely take several MONTHS before a bound book appeared. Even an e-book would take months. A bound book is one of those events that has a very long lead time–more time to celebrate, I say!

  39. 1-24

    bonita, I want a “real” (traditional) book, as in paper. It would also be available re kindle etc.

  40. 1-24

    I can’t wait to read it. Can’t you send us a rough copy? That’s ok I will wait like everybody else.

  41. 1-24

    Suzanne, this is great news!!! Can’t wait to buy and read your book.

  42. 1-24

    Great news, Suzanne! :snoopy:

    I too can’t wait to read it. About the only thing I read is this blog and the newspaper (which is where I learned about this site a few years ago).

    I wish we didn’t have to wait so long! :hissyfit:

  43. 1-24

    Wow…. congratulations! I’ve started one, but am no way near finishing it…. Am anxious to read yours!

  44. 1-24

    :woof: I am THRILLED to hear your book is done! Congratulations! You can count on my purchasing at least one copy if not more, because I love your blog and your personal story! You are such a good writer. I always come back to your site, every morning, to see what’s going on at the Farm. Can’t wait to read the “rest of the story!” :snoopy:

  45. 1-24

    I am wondering about making the book available on kindle now. I have the impression that kindle books can later go on to paper publication. Plus, I assume kindle sales would not have a publisher’s cut taken out of them.

    Just a note to other folks that some of Suzanne’s romance books are available in amazon’s kindle store and can be read even if you don’t have a kindle by using the free kindle for pc application which is easy to download from amazon’s web site.

  46. 1-24

    WooHoo! So happy for you! So proud of you! Congratulations and I can’t wait to read it. Keep us posted.

  47. 1-24

    That is wonderful news! I can’t wait to read it. Hopefully it will be out by next February, my favorite reading month! Way to go Suzanne!

  48. 1-24

    I am wishing you the best in all your endeavours. Perhaps you can fill us all in from your published author point of view. What is the advantage to going with an agent and publisher versus self publishing through Amazon Kindle and then Amazon’s or

    I would think you have a great opportunity to sell a lot books now and in the future or do you think the returns would be greater with a publisher.

  49. 1-24

    Congratulations!! I can’t wait for the book to come out. :snoopy:

  50. 1-24

    Book tour!!!! Would love to meet you, since I have not been able to get out to WV to a farm party. Powell’s Books, Portland OR. I am excited to read the whole story…the part you have shared have been an inspiration and huge resource for me on my own journey. Thanks for sharing all you do.

  51. 1-24

    How. Darn. Exciting!
    And cathartic for you when it was all said and done I’m sure.
    I cannot wait to read it when it is available. :)

  52. 1-24

    I’ll buy it!

  53. 1-24

    Well I am excited! I will be one of the first inline to get a copy. There are questions I have asked in my head, but it’s all been “none of my business” questions. When you read something good, and things aren’t said, it does make one wonder. Just saying!

    I’ve been reading your blog since… I don’t know when. After the slanted little house sometime. This is my favorite blog, if my computer broke, this would be the only place online I would be jonesing for a fix. haha. I’m not trying to kiss your you-know-what, BTW. Just want to say thank you and I hope you keep it up for a long time to come.

    Around our house, you are: “that woman with the farm blog I read” That’s all my husband knows about you… and that you are the bad influence (as he jokingly calls it!) in my canning, farm, recipe, chicken and goat wanting mindset (among other things.) :D

  54. 1-24

    So happy that you wrote down your life. That being said I don’t always like biographies…usually too much sadness. This one I will read, because I know you came out on top of the heap

  55. 1-25

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it, Suzanne. :snoopy:

  56. 1-25

    Suzanne.. your blog rocks.. YOU ROCK.. how exciting for you.. I can’t wait to get my hands on your new book!! I am so thrilled for you, and for all of us! :)

  57. 1-25

    Congratulations, Suzanne! I love the paper and the smell of an actual book, but I must say that Mr. Kindle now has me captivated. :-) I will be ready to hit that purchase button as soon as it is available.
    Thank you for letting us into your life, and for sharing and opening up your world from the best to the worst, and the courage for putting it all down into words for us to read and share with you.

    Thank you!

  58. 1-25

    I will be watching for the publishing date! You can count on me buying a copy.

    I think you should just let everything go when the urge to write hits you. You have a talent that should not be ignored.

  59. 1-25

    Congrats!!! :woof: Now that is an accomplishment. And how exciting.

  60. 1-25

    I’ll add my congratulations to all the others. What an accomplishment during a difficult time. I’ll be on the pre-order list too!

  61. 1-25

    I look forward to reading it!

  62. 1-25

    I remember advising you to write a children’s book, never dreaming that you’d actually bare your soul to the world. This should be even better, because people are voyeurs at heart, and want to identify in some way with largely successful people whom they KNOW, have the same struggles and issues as they do. I cant wait to read it! :snoopy:

  63. 1-25

    Congratulations Suzanne! I’m so thrilled for you. It must be like giving birth . . . so you have a new baby! It really does sound a lot like that egg in your pic :heart: . I will be honored to read it. Can’t wait!

  64. 1-25

    Congradulations!!!! Love to buy your book. If you do a book tour PLEASE PLEASE come to Fort Worth. I have never been to a book signing, your would be the first. If can’t come I would still buy your book.

  65. 1-25

    Yay!!! I cannot wait to read! :snoopy: <– jumping for joy.

  66. 1-25

    I am so excited! I will definitely be looking forward to your book! Congrats on finishing it :)

  67. 1-25

    I am so excited, I knew it!!Do you remember that fan of the blog in Julie/Julia, (the Julia Child year long experiment book that was a movie) that freaked Julie out because she loved her too much and would type too personal things and tell her how much she needed Julie to write the blog everyday? I am totally that person here, I love your blog Suzanne! I can’t wait to buy it!!

  68. 1-25

    How exciting? Have you chosen a title as yet. I also read you column in the Charlston paper. I enjoy it as well.

  69. 1-25

    Should have read how exciting! I am not a very good typist :no:

  70. 1-25

    Cant wait to buy it.

  71. 1-25


    As a bookseller, or going to be ex-bookseller soon, thanks for going with a “real” book. It’s a lot of work and I bet you’re glad it’s done or the draft is complete, or …

    Blessed be!


  72. 1-26

    I do not know how I missed this post yesterday!!!!
    Congratulations on finishing the book! I can’t wait to read it.

  73. 1-26

    I will buy a book as well. I have something to look forward to reading now (besides your blog). You are a captivating writer.

  74. 1-26

    :snoopy: Wow! Exciting news on the egg! I know personally how hard it is to have chickens all over the place and NO FRESH eggs!! The trend is changing!! Oh and the book– :snoopy: :snoopy: :heart: :snoopy: :snoopy: now that’s super incredible! You are such a great writer-you have a true gift! I Enjoy all your blog posts and writings. Even though I now love my Nook-there’s something special about a “real” book-the feel the smell-having a few select books on the bookshelf-and yours will be one of them! Congrats-now on to the children’s book with pics of the goats!! and all the animals!! Can never have too many books!
    :happyfeet: Fondly, Rain

  75. 1-26

    I am so happy for you! (And us! lol.) I look forward to pre-ordering!

  76. 1-26

    Wow! Congratulations Suzanne :happyflower:
    I can assure you that there will be one copy on it’s way to the UK when it becomes available.

  77. 1-26

    :snoopy: I can’t wait. Praying it all goes well and smoothly!

  78. 1-26

    OMG..I can’t wait!! I am VERY nosy and yes, have had many questions :). Please attempt to put it on Kindle too.

  79. 1-26

    I know there are 78 comments ahead of me, and I am sure they all want a copy. I want the 79th copy. Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  80. 1-27

    I’ve got just one more question…are the chickens all laying again?


  81. 1-27

    I don’t know. I’m just getting an egg a day from one of them–that I can find!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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