The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Can you do better than "The Early Years"?


I promised you all something entirely different for my next ebook, but the truth is that I got sidetracked into first finishing a project I'd started this spring.  With the working title Walden Effect: The Early Years, this is a fluffy little book about falling in love with the land and with a man at the same time.  I've excerpted a bit of the beginning below, but before I lose my hardcore readers, I hope you'll stick around long enough to suggest a better title.  Title suggestions from our readers turned Trailersteading into a bestseller, and I suspect you can come up with a much better title for this ebook as well.  Ideas?

I was perched atop a hundred-year-old "crackerbox" house, ripping the structure apart from the tin down, when I met two of my new neighbors for the first time.  They had been out exploring the boundary between our properties on their four-wheeler when they found the tracks of my bare feet in the swamp.  "We thought it might have been a bear!" the wife exclaimed.  "But then we heard you hammering and figured the tracks were human," added her husband.

Tearing down an
old houseMy new neighbors were perhaps ten years older than me --- in their mid thirties --- and were clearly bamboozled by this young woman who planned to move into a southwest-Virginia tract of remote countryside by herself.  Even getting to my old house required a half-mile trek through swamp and across a creek that sometimes flooded over my head.  And now I didn't seem willing to come down off the roof to greet them properly.  In part, my hesitance was due to being tied to a tree on the other side of the house by a rope around my waist, but mostly I was just embarrassed because I'd caught the seat of my pants on a nail about an hour ago and had heard a loud rrriiiip.  No way was my introduction to the neighbors going to involve exposed underwear.

Since the nearest town is home to only 300 people, I'm sure word of my eccentricities got around quickly.  But it didn't matter because I nearly gave up on my homesteading dream six months later, only to rekindle the spark when my husband-to-be, Mark, walked into my life.  Fast forward ahead five years and Mark was being invited to sit down on the coveted stool in the locally-owned hardware store and chat for a while --- a sure sign of being accepted by the community.  At long last, I knew my craziness had been overlooked in favor of my husband's quiet persistence.

That summer day in 2004, though, I was still alight with the joy of owning a farm the way I'd dreamed about since childhood.  And now, as I write this nearly a decade after purchasing that farm, I'm once again in love, this time with both the farm and with the husband who made my dream possible.  So this is a love story in three parts about how I ended up with much more than I bargained for, and grew beyond the person I thought I'd be.

(Stay tuned for more of this unnamed book in a week or two....  In the meantime, you might enjoy this profile Everett recently wrote about us on his blog.)

Our new-and-improved chicken waterer makes poop-free water even easier.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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"loving them both equally" "growing beyond me"

These title ideas surfaced when I read your blog word by word. It's the best kind of writing for me to read. It makes me want to read the full bit and encourage more extensive writing (a full length memoir in the exact same style.) This really is Literary.

Comment by Maggie Hess Thu Oct 17 08:01:04 2013

I love romance novels and you already have me tearing up with raw emotion as I live this dream vicariously!!! I also really like Maggie's suggestion of Growing Beyond Me!

Comment by Jayne Thu Oct 17 09:21:52 2013
Comment by Errol Hess Thu Oct 17 10:34:42 2013
Hurry up and finish this because I'm dying to read the rest! That was very well written and enjoyable to read.
Comment by Everett Thu Oct 17 11:31:26 2013

I feel like it should be called "55 Acres" (or however much land you have). Does your creek have a name? "Strawberries and Cinderblocks" "Building a Good Life" "2 Cats, 1 Dog, 30 Chickens and 2 Monkeys"

Hmm... Discovering, Finding..... Don't mind me, just brain storming over here.

Ooh! Just call name it after your blog! "The Walden Effect" or "Life at Wetknee"

Comment by Emily from Bristol Thu Oct 17 12:12:14 2013
Maybe "55 acres and 2 monkeys"? Maggie from Bristol
Comment by Maggie Thu Oct 17 12:58:34 2013
Sinking Feelings
Comment by Maggie Thu Oct 17 13:02:49 2013
Some of my favorite reads have been on homesteading... Most titles were simple and straightforward. Personally, I like "The Walden Effect". For those of you itching for a good read, try "The Dirty Life, On Farming, Food and Love" by Kristin Kimball.
Comment by Karen R Thu Oct 17 13:38:41 2013

Keep those ideas coming! I'm not sure that the perfect one has bubbled to the top yet, but we're getting closer....

Everett --- It's actually nearly done, should be out in about a week and a half. Meanwhile, I just realized that I should have plugged your excellent profile of us in this post. I'm going to edit it and share now....

Comment by anna Thu Oct 17 14:06:43 2013
I really like The Early Years, also, Home to the Mountain, Foxfire Dreaming, In the Beginning, Apalachain Homecoming, Finding My Heart on the Mountain, Hearts in the Wildwood. That was fun. Looking forward to reading it. T
Comment by Teresa Lee (T) Thu Oct 17 15:25:33 2013

ok, here's an idea:

New Growth: Our Love and Land


New Growth: Love and Land

whatcha think?

Comment by James L. Wed Nov 6 21:22:06 2013

profile counter myspace

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