Blog Writer’s Process Tour

One of my favorite parts of blogging is meeting new people who are doing and making and writing things that pique my interest. The more bloggers I stumble across, though, the harder I find it to keep track of them, matching names with blogs, recipes, stories etc. But once in a while someone comments on a post or shares a story and in a few words and images they paint such a clear picture of who they are that it all gels and, miraculously, sticks in my brain. One of these elusive creatures is Stacey Bender, who writes a darling blog about her life with hubby Tom and two doggies Ginger and Buddy. She calls her blog 10 legs in the Kitchen, which anyone with dogs (who love to be underfoot while anyone is doing anything in the kitchen) can relate to.

Stacey’s blog is full of personal stories written from her own humorous viewpoint with occasional posts from Ginger and Buddy, who type surprisingly well for fur babies (though if I’m being honest their spelling is horrendous). We have a lot in common, from a love of design to an enthusiasm for home improvement projects as well as cooking and, especially, eating.

Stacey has invited me to participate in the Blog Writer’s Process Tour. The tour involves my answering a few questions about myself and why I blog, then passing the torch to a couple bloggers I like to follow. So, at the risk of boring you to tears* let’s get this party started!

1. What are you working on?

I mostly focus on my organic vegetable gardening experiences but I’m easily distracted so it depends what I’m enraptured with at any given time. I’m a voracious reader and I’ve been reading about things home gardeners can do to help save the planet. That’s a really big job so I try to do my part by saving smaller, more manageable things – bees, monarch butterflies, seeds – and sharing what I do so people can get ideas for small things they can do too.

I also like to post cooking successes and occasional failures, mainly so I’ll remember them. Oh also I LOVE grilling and think everyone should grill more and that all food tastes better off the grill. I like to grill unusual things like artichokes and kale and everything I can from the garden, like these gorgeous Zapotec heirloom tomatoes, and show how easy it is. Plus no dirty pans!

Heirloom Zapotec "pleated" tomatoes
Heirloom Zapotec “pleated” tomatoes are meaty and great for grilling

2. How does your work differ from others of the same genre?

Hmm… answering this would require me to know what genre I’m in. Not knowing that I’ll just say that I think, as an artist working from home, my lifestyle is unique. I never really know what the day holds for me, so as long as I’m writing about my personal experiences my blog will always be different from anyone else’s.

Monarch butterfly on my head
My day can be a little unusual but I’m rarely bored!

3. Why do I write what I do?

When we closed our art gallery in 2011 I was emotionally exhausted and kind of lost. After 10 years, my identity was so intertwined with Trios that I didn’t know who I was without it. I started blogging to give myself some sense of purpose, a goal to work toward, and somewhere to post all the photos I was taking. In my new unfettered state (did ya catch that?) I was spending lots of time spacing out watching birds, tending my garden, and taking photos of every cool thing I saw. I was also experimenting a lot in the kitchen. I thought maybe writing about it would help me focus and remember things I was learning.

I have discovered that I love sharing interesting tidbits as I go about becoming an organic gardener, butterfly wrangler and competent cooker and I can do that through my posts. Blogging is the best thing to happen to us friendly introverts!

Recently hatched Monarch butterfly on basil
Recently hatched Monarch butterfly on basil

4. How does your writing process work?

I guess as I go about my day I’m thinking about what might make a good story, what is “share-worthy,” and taking pictures to help me tell it. About twice a month I actually get around to writing and posting. I have a lot of unused photos and half-written posts in my head. I worry about boring people* (see above) or writing about things my followers aren’t interested in, but I try to remember that I’m really just blogging for me. No one has to read it… except my mom and dad. So I’m getting better about letting go and letting my blog be what it wants to be and just letting the story that wants to be told flow onto the page.

Spring harvest 2014
A reminder, now that half my plants are dead, that I actually did grow some food this season!

And that is me, Sheri the blogger, in a nutshell. If you’re curious about Sheri the welder/artist you can find out more here.

And now I’d like to pass the torch on to two bloggers I’ve really enjoyed meeting and who both teach me something interesting every time they post.

First is Robbie, who writes Palm Rae Urban Potager. Robbie doesn’t know this but she was one of the first three people ever to comment on my blog. Her message was so thoughtful and heartfelt, exactly the style of her blog posts. A cancer survivor, Robbie combines personal thoughts and experiences, scientific facts, permaculture concepts and pretty pictures with concrete ideas about living sustainably and healing oneself and one’s community using simple, natural methods. As she says: “This is  my new journey to create a place to support biodiversity, grow healthy food, create, and share with others the beauty around us each day that we take for granted.” Palm Rae Urban Potager

I’d also like to introduce you to Hilda at Along the Grapevine, a foraging fanatic whose posts almost make me want to eat weird stuff from the yard, like day lilies and dandelions (I’m working up to those). Her grape leaf post inspired me to make my own dolmas from our thriving but grape-free grape vine! Located on a 7+ acre plot way up in Ontario, Canada, our gardening experiences couldn’t be more different, but I love seeing photos of the beautiful woods where she lives and learning more about responsible wildcrafting and the fine art of eating weeds, flower buds, roots and more.

Thanks for joining me on this tour. I hope you’ll pop over and visit Hilda, Robbie and Stacey – I guarantee you’ll enjoy your visits!

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Hilda says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I was just admiring all your photos and in the rush that I am almost skipped the last part. Just what I needed to push me on to create some more weird recipes.
    And the fact that you have actually tried one of my recipes is the greatest compliment. I hope it turned out well for you.
    You must have milkweed in your garden judging by that friendly butterfly!

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    1. Sheri Fox says:

      I did try your recipe… well, I was inspired by your recipe but didn’t have a few things so they ended up Hilda/Tyler Florence/experimental dolmas. The flavor was great though I need to work on my rolling technique! And yes, I’ve been raising monarchs all summer so lots of milkweed and butterflies around these parts. I’m looking forward to more of your weird recipes!! ~ sheri 🙂

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      1. Hilda says:

        You are so lucky. With my hundreds of milkweeds, I think I may have seen two monarchs all summer – very sad. I am glad you devised your own recipe from mine – that is the idea. It’s always best to use whatever you have that works, especially if it’s from your own garden.

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        1. Sheri Fox says:

          I’m still hopeful the monarchs will make their way to you before long!

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          1. Hilda says:

            I’ll let you know if they do, but I fear it is too late in the season.

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  2. Ooooooh, I like being an elusive creature, it sounds so mysterious. I suspect we would be fast friends had we met in the “off-line world” too; I definitely like your style and the whimsy about you.

    These photographs, along with prose, capture the great flavor of what inspires your art, your gardening, your writing and your life; thank you so for sharing. And, thank you for the kind words about my (our) little blog space (the fur babies like their accolades).

    Why is it that so many of us creatives are (and in our case “friendly”) introverts, I wonder?

    Thank you again for sharing, it made my day to see this pop up in my inbox!

    Grilling food now; always the best!

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    1. Sheri Fox says:

      Thanks Stacey, so glad the post finally came together! I started it a while back but I think I was in a grumpy mood and when I went to edit it… let’s just say the tone wasn’t quite right. Writing is so weird like that.

      I suspect you’re right that we’d be fast friends, though as introverts we’d never see each other. Don’t know what it is about creatives and introversion but there have been a lot of interesting articles about it lately so I guess it’s not considered such a shameful trait anymore. Glad to know you anyway here in the blogosphere and happy my post made your day! High praise indeed 😉

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  3. On that note (regarding introverts), You should check out this (http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts) Ted talk with Susan Caine, author of “Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” (if you haven’t already). I found it to really hit home.

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    1. Sheri Fox says:

      ooh I’m going to watch this right now… thx!

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  4. Robbie says:

    Hi Sheri,
    I found a beautiful swallotail in my garden + he reminded me of you so I dedicated my post to you + I wanted you to know that your kind words meant so much to me since this has been a not too fun summer…it started with my rescue dog ( we have 3, so she was the middle one and youngest) passing from cancer one day without notice…well, not to sound depressing, it really was a bummer, since we loved her so dearly. Your kind words really lifted my spirit, and I love stopping by your blog to visit…you always are a fun person to visit!!!
    Our blogging community is one of the best…I need to come inside more this summer, but being in the garden is what makes me most happy, so shoot, no inside till the snow flys! lol

    http://palmraeurbanpotager.com/2014/08/01/whimsical-blogger-unfettered-fox-gave-me-the-best-compliment-in-the-world/

    You made my day!

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    1. Sheri Fox says:

      Hey Robbie! I’m honored that a swallowtail butterfly reminded you of me and so happy that my comments made your day a little better. It’s so hard losing our furbabies. No amount of planning is ever enough 😦 I really enjoyed reading your answers to the questions and appreciate you sharing my blog with your friends. Hopefully I can post more soon but I’m having the same trouble sitting down to write – it’s just too pretty outside! Have a wonderful day! sheri

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      1. Robbie says:

        🙂 I came in long enough to post a smile:-) You have fun,too!!!

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