Last Thursday I had major surgery. To lend a hand with WarnerWords, Maria Jordan (marcoujor of marcoujor’s musings) provided a guest post for last Friday here, on a topic that she knew would galvanize me into quick recovery! She wasn't alone in her effort. Another friend, Angelia Phillips (femmeflashpoint of flashpress), was placed the post here for me then published it and notified my readers. They're both amazing pals.
This week is a repeat performance for all of us. It's a healing topic, my very favorite! And yes, I'm using lavender on my surgical wound! Plus one use that I bet Ange hadn't thought of--a tiny dab on the soles of my feet at night. It helps keep me comfortable, and love that perfume as I still sit in my recliner all night, since I'm still unable to get in and out of bed.
Many thanks to my these fellow journalists and friends for their help with keeping WarnerWords moving along, and to you, my readers, for your appreciated comments and encouragement while I recuperate.
I knew that our pal, Vicki Warner, was not quite feeling 100% from her recent surgery. I also knew that our (other) pal, Angelia Phillips had recently published her first book on a subject that both Vicki and I mutually love, herblore. Specifically, lavender.
When Ange agreed to an interview, I knew the perfect spot to publish it. Right here on WarnerWords. So, here we go!
The love of herblore came about through interaction with a close friend, Jen, in Fort Worth, Texas, and my sister, Alicia (Nee of On Story Street), in Southern Indiana. Both Jen and Alicia had health issues and both were steadily gravitating to natural medicine for therapy when modern medicine was either failing to correct the problem, or producing side effects that neither of them wanted.
The more they researched for natural options, and shared their information with me, the more interested I became. Then the fascination bug bit me and I took off on my own, gathering as much data as I could about what herbs could do for us health-wise, how to grow them and process them into medicines.
The more I learned the more amazed and excited I got. I began sharing many of my findings in one of my blogs and they were well received. It was my hope to catch readers’ interest. To get them curious enough to try my suggestions themselves and even pass the information along to others they thought it might benefit.
Lavender won first place in the Farmacopeia series because of Alicia.
She began incorporating herblore far earlier than I did, personally and professionally. She’s a reflexology therapist and regularly incorporates essential oils and natural herb blends into therapy sessions with her clients.
Alicia often says that if she was told she could only have one herb in her natural medicine arsenal, it would be lavender. She loves it because of its versatility and incredible healing capabilities. It kills germs. It kills pain. It’s a broad-spectrum anti-microbial, lethal as both an anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It's also easy to grow, or buy from organic growers and grocers.
Lavender's also an anti-stressor and calming agent that produces no negative side-effects as long as the user doesn’t have an allergy to it. This is a wonderful option to try for folks who suffer from anxiety, depression and even hyperactivity disorder. For me, this is important because I spent years taking anxiety meds that kept me in a dose-to-dose stupor for nigh on two decades.
Now, I use lavender (and a few other herbal oils) as a superior and effective alternative. It doesn't require a prescription. It also doesn't require me to go for those periodic blood tests that are needed to check for toxicity when taking the meds I used to.
Although I’d planned to do a Farmacopeia series in Ebooks for a while now, the time frame became real and the book-writing got started because I needed it for a learning project in how to use Google Docs more effectively as a book-writing platform, as well as learning how to design internal and external content for Kindle and Nook Ebook platforms.
It worked and I gained a bunch of new tech-know-how during the compilation of Lavender. Although this is the third book I’ve developed using Google Drive, it’s the first one I’ve done the formatting on myself, with exception to images. That aspect was done by Rita Hicks Davis, a local graphic artist and occasional blogger.
Organizing the was the biggest challenge so I’m thankful for the tools I had to tackle it with. All of them were easy to use and especially helpful with collaborative efforts, where multiple people need access to the same information within the same document(s).
I used Evernote to house nearly all of my notes as well as developing the outline and much of the interior content. Evernote is boss for that sort of project and it was a huge help.
For smaller notes I used Google Keep. It’s a tool that I’ve not been using for long, but I’m impressed with it, and another one that's especially helpful when collaborating with others. I have it on all of my devices (because I'm often working away from my desk) and find myself using it more and more often for small note-taking needs. I can share the notes with anyone I want to allow access to them, with just a click. I’ve not yet written a flashPress post for Google Keep, but it’s on my to-do list.
Skype was another primary tool used in this project. I use it every day, for personal and professional needs, which often include conference calls, video-conferencing and easy screen sharing, so others can see what’s happening on my own screen. I’ve used both, but for me, Skype provides a superior experience to Google Hangouts. I’ve used both but Skype has remained my preference for years.
The tool that I produced the first-phase of the manuscript draft on was Google Drive and within that, Google Docs and Google Photos. This was Rita’s first time using Google Drive and Google Drive tools.
This was Rita’s first time to work with the GDrive tools and it was a fun introducing them to her. You, Vicki and Alicia were already familiar them since this is our third book to collaborate on using Google Drive. It worked great. Even better than before.
The final, yet equally essential, tool I used was OpenOffice. It’s what I downloaded the final draft into, and with it, saved the draft as a Microsoft Word doc. That was the format in which I uploaded the book to Amazon, where it was converted to be available in the Kindle reading app. I’ll do the same later, using OpenOffice to convert and save the book into best format for Barnes & Noble’s Nook reader.
Past the technical-tools, I’m huge-whopping thankful to all of you for your work as editors as well as your invaluable assistance with the textual content and photography inclusions. The end result was beautiful internal and external graphics as well as quality content that’s easy to read and reference later.
The one thing I missed during this project was Vicki’s sunroom, overlooking stunning Davis Bay. Good friends working together in a place like that is something I hope all writers get to experience at least once in their career. But, in the meantime, although Vicki’s sunroom and the beautiful waters of the Sunshine Coast aren’t easily accessible for everyone, the tools I’ve listed above are, and they’re all free.
Hmm, next one is most likely to be the second book in the FarmaCopeia series. My sister's already given me her preference for what should win second place in the lineup.
Thanks, Angelia. I know I may come off as biased but I’m hoping everyone who reads this interview will purchase your book, for themselves and other loved ones.
I maintain this is one of the best gifts of self care we can give ourselves.
Mar, my thanks to you as well, not only for your work on the book and for this interview but further, for your consistent support of the pro-writers in the indie-biz community. You’re one of those awesome community members who is consistent in raising awareness and drawing attention to not only our work but in how we earn a living at it. Your efforts are noticed and immensely appreciated!
Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend,