Why Garden Organically?

The reasons for being an organic gardener are many: concern for the environment, desire for self-sufficiency, and the joy of eating fresh food, to name a few. For me, gardening organically over the last twenty years has been both a cost issue and a nutritional choice. Organic, versus conventional, fruits and vegetables are less expensive to produce in the home garden, and they provide better nutrition.

1. First, let’s take a quick look at the price of using chemicals in a garden. With price, there are the obvious, monetary costs: $10 per gallon for all-purpose fertilizer, $156 per gallon for broad spectrum herbicide, $40 per half gallon of fungicide, $20 to $100 for a hand-held sprayer (prices are approximate and were obtained from a national retailer of garden and home products). Chemical costs can definitely add up over the years. Is the cost worth paying? I think not.

Organic Gardener’s Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West (Fulcrum, $24.95, ISBN: 978-1-55591-725-8) by Jane Shellenberger (publisher and editor of Colorado Gardener) makes this interesting point: “Two world wars, plus the Korean and Vietnam wars, provided not only many of the chemicals adapted and marketed for postwar agricultural use, but also the mindset necessary to convince farmers and the public that we needed to do battle to overcome nature and her ‘pests,’ at every turn employing a chemical arsenal.” I definitely do not want chemicals in my garden that were originally designed to kill people, no matter what the agricultural adaptation has been.

In addition to the monetary costs, chemicals exact a very high price from the soil and its myriad organisms. Each teaspoon of soil holds hundreds if not thousands of living creatures, including microscopic worms, protozoa, nematodes, and fungi, such as the water bear (below): “Water bears are named for their slow-faited walk. Also known as tardigrades, these microbial extremophiles can survive a range of temperatures from near absolute zero to 304 degrees, plus 1,000 times more radiation than other animals.” (Organic Gardener’s Companion, p. 30).

When a gardener uses chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or synthetic fertilizers, they may solve a garden problem, but the short-term solution destroys the biodiversity of plants and animals that make a self-sustaining garden possible. Soil and its creatures, weeds, and desirable plants create a biodynamic system in every garden. While occasionally the system can become unbalanced, resulting in a garden problem, an overabundance of dandelions is far better than a chemically burned yard full of “dead” soil.

2. Another reason to grow vegetables and fruits organically is that they’ll provide you with more nutrition than conventionally grown food. For years I didn’t have the scientific verification to prove the better nutritional value in organically grown versus conventionally grown vegetables. Then, on February 13, 2009, Science News published an article by Janet Raloff titled “AAAS: Stress Can Make Plants More Nutritious.” In the article, Alyson Mitchell of UC–Davis “compared identical cultivators grown on certified organic plots versus those where standard fertilizers and pesticides were being applied. And as a rule, organics far surpassed their conventionally grown kin for vitamins and beneficial micronutrients, such as antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol.” Mitchell found that the extra stress that organically grown plants experience causes their “defensive secondary metabolites” to kick into action in order to fight off pests. These secondary metabolites are also the mechanism that plants use to produce “phenolic acids, flavonoids, alkaloids, and terpenoids”—these natural plant pesticides and sunscreens function as important micronutrients and vitamins for humans. “And one potential bonus: Better taste. Some of the secondary plant metabolites break down into flavor compounds.”

So, next time you’re gardening and see a moth nibbling on your cabbage, forgo spraying pesticide and remember, those little holes indicate a higher vitamin content! For additional information on organic gardening, I suggest you visit your local library and look for a copy of Organic Gardener’s Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West by Jane Shellenberger. Copies are also available from the bookseller of your choice or at www.fulcrumbooks.com.

Posted by Ingrid Estell, veteran gardener and Special Sales Manager at Fulcrum

Fulcrum’s Friday Roundup

Happy Friday, and happy Friday the 13th at that! We are rounding out the week with a re-cap of the recent happenings worth mentioning in the Fulcrum world.

Awards season is upon us, and several of Fulcrum’s titles and authors were honored with awards this week. It’s always a nice feeling when hard work pays off, so congratulations to everyone that was involved in the creation of these books!

Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary (ISBN: 978-1-55591-719-7, $22.95) by Steve Friesen, was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Colorado Book Awards, in the Biography/History category. The winners will be announced on Friday, June 24th, during the 20th Annual Colorado Book Awards ceremony during the Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival in Aspen, Colorado. Tickets can be purchased for $10 online at the Colorado Humanities website.

Endangered: Biodiversity on the Brink (ISBN: 978-1-55591-721-0, $27.95) by Mitch Tobin tied for Gold in the Environment/Ecology/Nature category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (ISBN: 978-1-55591-717-3, $22.95) by Larry Schweiger was named the Winner in the Science/Nature/Environment category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Tattooed Lady: A History (ISBN: 978-1-93310-226-1, $27.00) by Amelia Klem Osterud also received recognition from the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, as it was named a Finalist in the Historical Non-Fiction category.

Our newly released Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create (ISBN: 978-1-55591-748-7, $26.95) by Renee Wilkinson has already won an award! Modern Homestead took First Place in the Gardening category of the San Francisco Green Book Festival.

And last but not least…

Buffalo Unbound: A Celebration (ISBN: 978-1-55591-735-7, $16.00) by Laura Pedersen received two awards this week. Buffalo Unbound was selected as a Finalist for the International Book Awards in the Humor category and was also a Winner in the Humor/Comedy category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Cheers to everyone on this great week of awards! Head over to the Fulcrum website or your favorite bookstore to pick up any of these award-winning books.

Cooking at home with The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

This week, the Marketing Department decided to take our work home with us and try our hand at cooking a few recipes from the beautiful Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN-13: 978-1-55591-747-0). You may have read marketing manager Katie O’Neill’s post yesterday describing her attempt at the Cranberry Crumble(d), found on page 149. I have no doubt that if cranberries were in season right now (really, where do cranberries go after Thanksgiving?), Katie’s crumble would have been fantastic. I’m going to file that recipe away for next Thanksgiving.

I chose a couple of recipes with ingredients that are in season year-round but especially good during the summer months, when fresh local produce is available. The first recipe I made was the Quinoa Salad, found on page 53. I love quinoa and am always looking for new recipes and new ways to eat it. It’s a great light meal, perfect for lunch or summer dinner, plus it’s packed with protein. The Quinoa Salad from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook is incredibly easy to make and very flavorful.

Quinoa in the pot from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

I served it with chicken breasts that I had in the fridge, and my husband and I devoured the meal. The honey and lemon vinaigrette that you pour over the quinoa was light and zesty and paired wonderfully with the cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions. I loved it and would make this simple yet flavorful salad again any day.

Quinoa Salad from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

The next night, I ramped up the technical difficulty a bit and went for the Chicken Mole Verde Tacos, found on page 78 (the mole verde is on page page 134). Wow. These were a far cry from the Martha Stewart, anyone-can-cook-them recipes I typically make, but the extra effort really paid off. I was so pleased with how this mole dish came out, and again, so was my husband (who went back for seconds AND thirds).

The whole meal took about 2.5 hours to cook, but with a little prep beforehand, most of that time is spent with chicken in the oven and mole simmering on the stove. This dish is loaded with flavor from tomatillos, a poblano pepper, an anaheim pepper, and tons of fresh squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice. We put the chicken mole on corn tortillas and topped it with queso fresco, salsa, and cilantro, and we ended up with tacos that were spicy, tangy, tender, and colorful. Yum.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook next time you are looking for a fresh, new recipe. After the success of this week’s meals, there are 87 more wonderful-looking dishes in the cookbook that I can’t wait to try. Especially the Cranberry Crumble (in about seven months)!

Designing Fulcrum’s Book Covers: An Inside Look at the ‘Trickster’ Cover Process

Book covers. The truth is, most people probably do not buy a book solely for its cover; but let’s face it, books do get judged by their covers. A book cover can impact a reader in many ways, and depending on the type of emotions a cover conveys, a reader may or may not pick up the book.

Last week, we gave our readers a behind the scenes glimpse at the discussions that helped shape the cover for the book Endangered. We had so much fun looking back on the cover process and divulging top-secret information, that we thought we would do it again this week. We caught up with the talented Matt Dembicki, author and editor of Trickster: Native American Tales. Matt and Fulcrum’s book designer Jack Lenzo had some very interesting things to say about what went into the Trickster cover process.

JACK LENZO, Designer: It was, well, tricky…

Okay, that’s a pretty terrible way to start. But this blog brings back much the same feeling I had when working on the cover. I didn’t know where to start. Matt Dembicki had brought us this amazing collection of stories, and with it he had this really interesting illustration that could be used for the cover. Easy peasy. Maybe not.

MATT DEMBICKI, Author/Editor: The initial cover was designed and illustrated by Peter Kuper (Spy v. Spy, World War III), who is well known for using stencils and spray paint to render his illustrations. I asked Peter if he would be interested in illustrating one of the stories for the book, but his schedule was full at the time. He did say he could do a cover, though. Getting the right image for the cover was going to be a challenge. I told Peter about the various trickster beings in the book—coyote, rabbit, crayfish, etc. I didn’t want just a coyote or rabbit on the cover; I wanted something that would convey that this is a collection of a range of trickster beings. Peter took that and crafted a wonderful image, combining all those animals in an ingenious way to create another image. Although the illustration was wonderful, it was a little tight in terms of adding title text and such, and there wasn’t much room for a bleed area.

JACK: Designing books for a living has changed the way I look at art. Rarely am I looking at what is in the piece as much as what is not in the piece. Where are the gaps, the pauses, the room for type. Fans of Exit Through the Gift Shop might appreciate this idea as it is much the same as when Banksy talks about going through museums looking at the spaces in between the paintings for places to put his paintings. Type is like art; it wants attention. And to get attention it needs proper spacing.

The illustration was great, but where could a title go? The image was just so incredibly dense with action. I know, I know. Just put a translucent bar across the middle and call it a day—my all-time favorite design solution. Check your bookshelf. Look familiar? Trying to avoid that trap, I attempted to give the type some space.

JACK: It just wasn’t making anyone, including me, happy. Could we simplify the image? Maybe. So we tried a few things like removing the background. Not terrible.

MATT: I asked my friend comic artist Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) to help with a design for the book, both the outside and inside. (The initial plan was to either self-publish Trickster or at least to present it as a full package to a potential publisher). On the cover, Rafer added a finely detailed image of actual fur from a red fox. (When I asked him where he got the fur, he said “Don’t ask.” I didn’t press it.) I really liked this detailing because it felt like a marriage of the cartoony mythical and real-world elements of the trickster.

MATT: The editors at Fulcrum weren’t as crazy about the fur part. I was willing to compromise on that, but I really wanted to retain Kuper’s image for the cover. Jack drafted a few sample covers, but the size of the image was again creating some issues. It was making it difficult to develop an outstanding presentation. That’s when Fulcrum asked if they could use another image, perhaps something from one of the stories. I agreed to it, but I was skeptical. I didn’t think there was one image in the book that could capture the essence of the book like the Kuper cover. I was wrong.

JACK: And then we wondered if anything from the interior might accomplish this same idea. The book was so full of amusing characters, but we kept coming back to the bunny. The interplay between the image and the title really adds a dynamic that the others lacked. I can’t help but feel for him and wonder what is in the works. Is he the trickster or the tricked?

MATT: When Jack presented a few more samples using images from the book, I think we all zeroed in on the one with the rabbit drawn by Jacob Warrenfeltz. It was truly a perfect combination of illustration and presentation, with a little mischief thrown in.

JACK: In the story, the art is predominantly black and white. In the end we gave it a bit of a twist for the cover by making it more of a midnight blue. It just adds a little ambiance.

MATT: I hated to let the Kuper cover go, but I agreed that this was the better image, given the circumstances. Any lingering doubts were quashed when I was at Book Expo America 2010, where the book debuted. Several folks stopped by the Fulcrum booth to thumb through the book simply because they were drawn in by the cover.

About Trickster: Native American Tales: The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics. More than twenty Native American tales are cleverly adapted into comic form. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller who worked closely with a selected illustrator, a combination that gives each tale a unique and powerful voice and look. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture in a very vivid form.

About Matt Dembicki: Along with compiling and editing the book, artist Matt Dembicki illustrated one of the featured trickster tales. Dembicki is the founder of DC Conspiracy, a comic creators’ collaborative in Washington, DC, and has won acclaim for his nature graphic novel, Mr. Big. He currently works as an editor for a higher-education association. Visit his author blog at http://matt-dembicki.blogspot.com.

Colorado’s Fourteeners Giveaway Contest

There is nothing quite like standing on top of a 14,000 foot peak, otherwise known as a “Colorado fourteener.” The awe-inspiring views and the feeling of being on top of the world among dozens of Colorado peaks will take your breath away, literally. And you can’t help but feel incredibly grateful.

Castle Peak

Top of Castle Peak in the fog

I started hiking fourteeners with my Dad when I was 14 years old, and I remember something about each and every experience. Over the years, I’ve collected many different memories in the Colorado Rockies. I’ve been surrounded by loose, scary boulders the size of school buses on Snowmass Peak, wondering how the heck we were going to get ourselves, and our dog, to the peak. I climbed Castle Peak in the spring with my snowboard strapped to my back and glided back down the mountain on my board.

Snowmass Peak

Among the boulders on Snowmass Peak

When we reached the top of Mount Massive a few years ago, there was so much fog that it was hard to know whether we were on top of a fourteener or at the beach in San Francisco. For a few minutes we were upset that couldn’t see the view you long for when you climb a fourteener—but a few moments later we watched as the fog slowly drifted down the mountainside and away from the peak. I’ve climbed two fourteeners in one day—Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford (and you can climb a third peak in the same day if you head over to Mt. Missouri). It’s a wonderful feeling when you reach the top —you revel in the silence, the solitude, and the high-altitude bliss.The list of adventures goes on and the stories are always fun to share…

Mount Massive

Mt. Massive

Right now it’s the dead of winter in Colorado, however, and most of us are not out checking-off 14,000 foot peaks (unless you’re Chris Davenport). But reading through the recently published Colorado’s Fourteeners, Third Edition: From Hikes to Climbs (Fulcrum Publishing, 978-1-55591-746-3, $22.95), has gotten me amped-up to start planning my summer and deciding which fourteeners I’ll tackle this year. Whether you’ve never climbed a fourteener or you are a seasoned climbing veteran, Colorado’s Fourteeners is a book every hiker should have in his or her backpack. In the newly revised edition of this best-selling guide, mountaineering legend Gerry Roach includes everything you could possibly need to plot out your hike, with detailed route descriptions, topographic maps, GPS coordinates, trailhead information, and much, much more. And there are dozens of color photographs of the peaks, which helps give some perspective on what you are getting yourself into.

As a way to help our readers get through the long Colorado winter, we are giving away a copy of Colorado’s Fourteeners, Third Edition: From Hikes to Climbs! To enter the contest, send us your best Colorado fourteener story—whether it’s a tidbit about your favorite fourteener, your scariest incident on a fourteener, a funny fourteener story, or any memory you may have. We will pick our favorite story from the bunch and one lucky reader will receive a free copy of Colorado’s Fourteeners. Send us your story by commenting on this post, or email brynn@fulcrumbooks.com by February 24!

Click here for more information on Colorado’s Fourteeners.

In the Bluff

a blog from Wisconsin’s west coast

Welcome to the newest addition to Fulcrum Publishing’s blogs. Each week, I’ll share thoughts on the world of ideas, books, and publishing from the perspective of a publisher. I’ve been at this gig for more than 15 years and have a wide array of experiences that I’ll be bringing to the table. I hope you find these musings provocative, entertaining, and (maybe, if I’m lucky) perhaps a tiny bit enlightening. Enjoy!

Right before Thanksgiving last year, I had the wonderful honor and pleasure of sharing four days on the road with Walter R. Echo-Hawk, author of In the Courts of the Conqueror. For those in the industry who consign these duties to freelancers or others, I would highly recommend doing something like this with an author at least once a year. It not only gives you a chance to spend time with someone smarter than you in many areas (learning is, after all, a good thing!), but also reconnects you with readers and store owners.

While the whole trip with Walter was wonderful, two events will remain with me for a long time. First, while driving along the Mississippi, we spotted an eagle flying over the river. Without hesitation, Walter launched into an honor song for the eagle in his native tongue. Needless to say, I got a bit misty and had to clear the lump in my throat. In his song, which he translated for me, Walter spoke of the eagle as his “brother” and how it is so good to see him soaring after such a hard life. I always knew Walter to be a man of intellect and, when necessary, great wit, but this experience showed me a side of this great man that I had never seen before. Little wonder that he’s working so hard to define a new land ethic for the twenty-first century. He recognizes the importance that Native peoples—who learned to live in harmony with the land long before the arrival of Europeans—have in defining this ethic. I think most of us forget the interconnectedness we have with the natural world around us. I am so blessed to be able to spend time with people like Walter, who constantly remind me that we are not only creatures on this planet, but of this planet as well, and we are intimately related to all of the other creatures and objects surrounding us.

Later that same day, Walter did an event at Birchbark Books in Minneapolis. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of visiting Birchbark, it is in my opinion one of the great indie bookstores operating today—right at the top of the list. Led by Louise Erdrich, Susan White, and the always pleasant and knowledgeable staff, the store is well stocked with both the most comprehensive selection of Native American writings available and an excellent selection of general adult and children’s titles. It is everything an independent bookstore should be—eclectic, full of surprises, filled with shelves of titles showing the well-read staff’s love of literature, cozy reading nooks, and a warm and welcoming vibe. In an age when bookstores look more and more cookie-cutter, Birchbark Books shines in its individuality.

Louise Erdrich came to the store prior to the event to meet with Walter (you can check out her thoughts about the book at http://birchbarkbooks.com/_blog/Birchbark_Blog/post/Unconquered), and I got a chance to sit in on their conversation. Talk about lucky! Here I was, sitting down with one of Indian Country’s great activists and legal thinkers, and one of our country’s most prominent and talented novelists. The two discussed Walter’s book, along with Native American literature (which appears to be undergoing a renaissance of sorts). Louise is a lovely person, and when she speaks, you hang on her every word. We in the publishing industry really do have the greatest jobs in the world; we get to learn something new every day, from some of the most insightful, intelligent, and kind-hearted people out there.

Richard Hetzler Discusses The Mitsitam Café Cookbook

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Fulcrum’s featured author, Richard Hetzler, Executive Chef of the Mitsitam Cafe and author of The Mitsitam Café Cookbook (Fulcrum Publishing, 9781555917470), recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Richard discussed with us how he came up with the dishes for the Mitsitam Café, the seasonality of using indigenous ingredients and what his favorites recipes are in the cookbook.

The Mitsitam Café, a Zagat-rated restaurant, has been delighting the palates of museum guests ever since opening its doors in 2004. Now food enthusiasts and home cooks alike can make these accessible recipes centered around locally-grown, seasonal ingredients from their very own kitchens.  Replete with beautiful photographs of the finished dishes, the cookbook showcases the Americas’ truly indigenous foods in ninety easy-to-follow, home-tested recipes. Pick up a copy of The Mitsitam Café Cookbook today and try a Cranberry Crisp with Cornmeal Topping for the holidays, the colorful Peruvian Potato Causa, or the fresh Juniper-Cured Salmon Sandwich.

You were on the team that researched and developed the groundbreaking concept for The Mitsitam Café: serving indigenous foods that are staples of five Native culture areas in North and South America. What sort of research on Native American cuisine did it take to develop the menu for The Misitam Café and to compose the recipes for The Mitsitam Café Cookbook?

 

We did a lot of research on the life ways of the different tribes represented in the café. We utilized both the internet as well as history books and speaking and learning from the indigenous peoples of the regions. We also held five focus group tastings on the five regions represented in the café, and invited Native Americans from those regions to taste the food and give us feedback on how true to the mission we were.

We also looked at how we could source native products from Native Americans. We started relationships with a couple of key Native American businesses that we still use today. The first is Quinault Pride Seafood in Washington  State — we currently source all of our wild salmon and other seafood products from them. The other is the Intertribal Bison Cooperative. We source all of our buffalo from them and currently purchase 250,000 pounds a year.

For the recipe development in the café, we wanted to use native ingredients that were indigenous to the regions we are representing in the café and put them together in a way that appealed to the everyday consumer. We quickly realized that with the seasons, we could change the menu and represent a larger amount of native foods.

How does The Mitsitam Café Cookbook differ from other Native American cookbooks?

I think the book differs in that it gives you a more contemporary look at native food and how the ingredients can be used today.

The seasonal menu at The Mitsitam Café changes on each equinox and solstice — can you explain the process or reasoning behind that, and is that concept carried out in The Mitsitam Café Cookbook?


We felt it made the most sense and gave us the opportunity to feature other native ingredients that are not available year round. Native Americans were experts at living off the land and what they had. They would not have eaten the same foods all year-long such as fiddlehead ferns that are only available in the spring every year.

Yes, the concept is carried out in the cookbook as well. The book features 92 recipes from about 3 of the 4 seasons in the café, from everything like fiddlehead ferns to rich and hearty soups and stews for the winter months.

Do you have a favorite recipe from The Mitsitam Café Cookbook, or one that you recommend readers try right away?

My favorite recipes are the moles — they seem very complex but truly are very simple, have so much flavor, and give you wonderful talking points when entertaining friends and family. You can discuss how chocolate is used in savory cooking and how it adds a wonderful complexity to the dish.

For more information on Richard Hetzler and The Mitsitam Café Cookbook, please visit www.fulcrum-books.com


Introducing Fulcrum’s Newest Bloggers

 

Allow us to introduce ourselves…  The three of us, Dani, Katie and Brynn, will be blogging weekly for Fulcrum Publishing, bringing you all kinds of juicy information on Fulcrum’s wonderful authors, upcoming releases and interesting thoughts regarding books and the constantly evolving publishing world.  We hope that you will join us on our blog each week, and please also feel free to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and at http://www.fulcrum-books.com.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Dani Perea

Hello blogverse, I’m Dani Perea, the new Sales and Marketing Associate here at Fulcrum. I just moved to Colorado from Boston (or as we say, Bawston), MA. I came to Fulcrum because I loved its History and Native American titles. When I am not blogging for the press, I enjoy crafting steampunk hats and goggles, and rigorously training for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Brynn Flaherty

Hi Fulcrum blog readers – I am Brynn Flaherty, Fulcrum’s new Marketing Assistant.  I just moved to Denver from Aspen, Colorado, where the beer really does flow like wine.  Although I am not a Colorado native, I have lived in this lovely state for 10 years and can think of no where I’d rather be.  Well, maybe a tropical island or two…but Colorado is home, and I love to get outside and enjoy the mountains as much as I can.  I am thrilled to be a part of the Fulcrum team, and I look forward to blogging and taking part in all things marketing.

Katie O’Neill

Hello! I’m Katie O’Neill, and I am the Marketing Manager at Fulcrum. I love my job and am thrilled to be joined by these two amazing women, and to embark on our exciting journey together. I’ve lived in Colorado for two years, but I am still not quite used to the snow, after living in Phoenix and San Francisco for many years.  When I’m not furiously answering emails and phone calls during the work week, I like taking long hikes with my very sweet and energetic Lab puppy, George. Or, sleeping.

Where do we go from here?

The book above got your attention, didn’t it?

Why?

Because it is bright red? Because the title caused you to take a second look? Or, because the cover had the word “sex” on it?

What can we do as book publishers to make our information, our blogs, our posts on Twitter and Facebook more interesting (like this cover)? What can we do to draw you in through social media or otherwise? What do you, as lifelong learners and readers, want to know about us, our books, our authors, the publishing process or current trends and concerns?

We know how to publish books, but we don’t how to predict the future. Tell us what you want from us. Please send us your questions, comments, concerns. We are listening.

Valentine’s Day

Author Amelia Klem Osterud, a tattooed academic librarian from Wisconsin and one cool lady.

Valentine’s Day is cheesy. I was given a large (I mean, LARGE) red bear by a Valentine’s Day date about 7 years ago. I was 20 at the time.  Unfortunately, I had given away all of my stuffed animals by junior high, so a red stuffed bear with a shiny heart on its tummy kind of made me sick in mine. Not only did the date insist I accept the bear when I tried to give it back to him with a “Oh, no, you shouldn’t have,” he also had a very small car, so the bear sat on my lap driving to and from dinner that night. I could barely see around the monstrosity of fluff as he sped down the freeway. I would have preferred to tie it to the roof of the car…

That was a bad Valentine’s Day.

Luckily, there are other options than large red stuffed bears to give your date. May I recommend one, as a scarred February 14 victim of 7 years ago?

Give her a book. Give her a book that she really wants to read. Give her a book she would buy for herself. Something she would LOVE. Give her this book:

We at Fulcrum LOVE this book. We would buy this book for ourselves. It is beautiful, informative, it will make you appreciate the birth of a counterculture and all your tattooed friends even more. And, it is about women. Wonderful, strong, gutsy, fun women of yore. Women love this stuff. And you will have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Trust me, don’t buy the bear : ).

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