Saturday, April 7, 2012

A New Work in Progress

I found a new term for all my money saving, penny pinching self while I was off watching television instead of writing for the past couple months.

Yep I'm too old to be a preppy, but I am a prepper. I have always been one for 99% of my adult life...that's almost half a century. I always thought I was just being frugal and preparing for any hardships my family might face. I have already divulged that I'm a couponer. Another new term for the new millennium.Back when I started it was called saving money and having a full pantry. If you've been reading my blog you know I've built a store/craft room onto my house and know I'm converting to solar power for energy.

For years I have been the Grocery Fairy. The person my kids came to when they didn't have enough money to make ends meet and buy groceries. Or if a family got burned out and was in need, or if someone was homeless and hungry, I had stores that I could pull from. In fact, I've always been able to maintain a minimum of a ten-week supply on almost anything- be it paper goods or food stuff. I had figured that ten weeks was enough to carry me through until the next garden could be harvested. Because my family has grown to now eight grandchildren, I expanded the stores to one year's worth. I've always baked breads so I've kept a minimum of fifty pounds of flour available at any given time...around the holidays it's more. Paper goods I catch on sale and buy multiples, a year's worth in stores. I mean really there are worse things than running out of toilet paper, but the alternatives aren't a pleasant thought. I'm older and less adventurous these days.We also live on the East coast right next to the Atlantic Ocean so hurricanes are a real threat, is that so wrong or crazy?

During my break I saw a show called "Doomsday Preppers." In fact there was a marathon going on showing all episodes. While so many of the reasons given for prepping seem a bit far fetched for me, they are a possibility. The reasoning was sound. While some were really informative others just seemed crazy to me, but haven't I prepping also? You know that old Scout motto of be prepared? Yep you got it, but I was a Girl Guide (U.K. equivalent). This show was an extreme, just like the "Extreme Couponing" one.

If any of y'all have read my books, you know I've been through some rough situations because all my books, even fiction, are based on actual experiences in one way or other...except for maybe the zombie books, but then there are events within even that one that ring true. I rarely step beyond what I know or have experienced when I write.

I'm a survivor and have enough real knowledge and experience to be a survivalist. Has this knowledge ever been put to the test? On several occasions in my life, yes. Is there a difference? You betcha. There's another show on the Discovery Channel about this. Yes, television is not necessarily a good thing and I spent way too much time watching the boob tube over the last couple months.The one good thing about being laid up and watching television, a book started forming in my head.

I've got all this knowledge and experience rattling around in my brain and it's useless unless it is shared with others. I believe in the "see, learn, do" philosophy. See I believe that if the Stuff Hits the Fan (SHTF) you will need both sets of skills of being a prepper and survivalist. While it is touched on in both the mentioned shows. I know both.

I started writing a common sense approach to both as an overview type thing with real solutions, real experiences, and odds and ends on Tuesday when the cast came off. The work in progress is now at 18,000 words. I'm shooting for 20,000 words or about 100 pages in paperback 5x8 format. It contains how-to's I've learned or garnered, how to get started, what are basic human needs and how to get from point "A" to point "B." It is not an in depth survival guide nor a prepper's only type book. While a cooking from stores cookbook and butchering techniques is rumbling around in my head for a follow-up, right now I'm focusing on basics.

Most of it is, like I said, common sense and down to earth. It just may contain some some items you haven't thought about. The book contains all the above mentioned skills of couponing, prepping, and being a survivalist. It is heavy on the Maslow's Hierarchy of Need-water, food, shelter, warmth, and security. Why it is important to be in a group rather than a lone wolf. It is not about fear or paranoia. So far that's the main gist of the book.

It is another nonfiction. I had considered sending it to my agent or publishers for traditional publishing, but decided against it. It will be too short for one. This would be an overview with not a huge amount of in depth substance for two. Could I make it a 50,000 word book, probably. But then it would be more fluff than substance at this point. Now, if I had my acreage finished that would be another story, but right now it's undeveloped and just woods. My family decided to get everyone on board with equal skills set first. Although each of us has their own specialties, there are some basics that need addressing before we go the off-grid. We are experimenting in our own homes first with the availability of resources. Again another smart step to being prepared.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

1 comment:

Zan Marie said...

Jo,
I'm more of a prepper, too. Though I don't have the massive pantry you do, I have funds saved to take care of basically any and all needs. Living below your means means you will never go without.

Happy Easter, Jo! The Lord is good.