I have organized these workshops to take place at he Galena Public Library! I am teaching the screenwriting one myself!

Erin Keyser Horn


This is a really cool opportunity for teens, ages 14 to 18, to take part in creative writing clinics throughout the summer. Each class will take place on a Monday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Galena Public Library. Here’s the schedule of classes:

June 10—Where do I Begin: Putting it to Paper with Catriona Terry

June 24—Prose to Script: Screenwriting Formatwith Larissa Distler

July 8—Poetry with Catriona Terry, from Northern Illinois University

July 22—Who Dunnit? Writing the Mystery with Tania Jonjack

August 5—Creating Fantasy Worlds with Nick Ludescher

August 12—Self-Publishingwith Erin Keyser Horn

The workshops are free! You can register at Galena Library or Elizabeth Library, but all workshops will take place in Galena. Let me know if you have questions, and hope to see you there!

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Rev up your lawnmowers! I am officially not expecting any more frost this year! My tomatoes Redbud Blossomsand peppers are going to go in the ground, the lettuce and peas are getting big, and flowers are blooming!

I am hoping to make violet jelly again, but I’ve also be informed of something new and exiting, Redbud blossoms are edible. Really! They are in the pea family! So I am going to attempt to make a jelly with them. I am promised by recipes on line that they jelly will not taste like peas. I am apprehensive, though, because the infusion sure smells like peas . . .

Life in the land of Ellipsis is suddenly quite different. I’ve found myself in a job I really, really love. I was promoted to Adult Services Librarian after just 5 months as a Page and I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m actually in a position to run programs concerning a variety of relevant topics and to order fiction materials and documentaries.

I am still running Ellipsis from home, adding new books all the time and trying to make jellies when I can. It’s very difficult because the commercial kitchen I use doesn’t line up with my new schedule. I am making it work, however.

So much for this very short update, Doctor Who is on!

So what has been going on the business world of Ellipsis? Well to be honest, lots of catching up mostly. 

Life has been more than hectic. There was a little bit there where I had three part time jobs, this was not conducive to running a business from home. I’ve acquired and sold quite a lot of books, but I am very behind on adding books to the various sites where I sell them. I have about 7 more boxes to add and I am currently hovering at just under 1,000 books for sale on Alibris. 

Many of the books I have yet to list online are vintage or antiquarian and need to photographed and listed on Ebay or Etsy or both! 

Yes I am now on Ebay! I am not consistently listing, but it is much easier than it was a few years ago when I tried it. It also seems to be less expensive, but maybe it’s that I have more money to throw around. Ebay is great for books/DVDs that I cannot list on Alibris. I am also selling non-media items that I am taking a commission on selling for clients. 

As far as jams and jellies go, I have been experimenting as time allows. I made a GingerGinger Peach White Tea Jam Peach White Tea Jam that is the bomb and I also made a classic Concord Grape that turned out quite nicely. In a week, I will be setting up a craft show. My aim is to sell out of the Winter Jams before Spring jumps into full bloom and I am drowning in violet blossoms. 

I am so excited about the garden this year! I dug the smaller bed into a larger bed about 8 feet longer. I bought fencing supplies to keep the rabbits (and my very rabbit like pug) out of the garden and I also bought tomato cages! I know it’s probably silly, but now that I have tomato cages I feel like a real gardener. Staking them up last year just did not work. They just kept falling down. Some of my cherry tomatoes were so full of tomatoes that the bamboo stakes they were tied to actually cracked and broke! Now this year they will be all caged and professional looking.

My compost also turned out gorgeous and a second bin is coming along nicely. I have seedlings all ready to go out and I’m planning a trip to the nursery soon. 

All in all, the business is doing great. I have 300 wedding favors (herbal teas) to package and ship out very soon (pictures will be coming). I am making money instead of loosing it, always a good sign. 


Recently, I visited Fairfield, IA for the second time in a year. The first time we stayed at the Maharishi University of Management and mostly remained on campus. We also visited the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment (MSAE), which is a K – 12 school featuring what they call “consciousness based education.” On this second visit we spent an entire day at MSAE and so did our daughter. She just turned three a month ago, so she stayed with the preschool throughout the day, playing in the Nature Explore Classroom and in the indoor classrooms.

Meanwhile, we were getting a tour of the main part of the school, including the library, the sports facilities, the cafeteria/auditorium, the orchard, the 4,100 sq.ft. greenhouse, and the kitchen where the students cook and preserve what they grow.

We had lunch in the vegetarian cafeteria (where you may bring a lunch with meat if you wish.) The food was delicious and included fresh greens picked on campus. After lunch other parents arrived for the Open House and we had a talk with the director of the school, Dr. Richard Beall. Then had a second shorter tour into the greenhouse and we talked with a sustainable living teacher. He told us about the cob oven he is planning to build with the kids so they can cook pizza with toppings from their pizza garden!

There is more to it that the Sustainable living program, they have all the courses normal students do like Math, Sciences, English, Literature, Art. But it seems like they take everything one better. They are a college prep school so the curriculum is quite heavy. But when we talked with students, they were not at all frazzled and every one of them knew what they wanted to do after school. The seniors had all their plans sorted, they applied to and were accepted to several schools each and they all knew which ones they were attending and for what with such assurance.

So what is this place? How do they do it? And what is “consciousness based education” ?  While I was speaking with Dr. Beall, I was given a book to read written by Dr. Ashley Deans, the previous director of MSAE, now a pioneer of spreading consciousness based education throughout the world, through Transcendental Meditation.

Yes, these kids practice meditation twice a day in order to allow they brains to make connections and relax. They also learn Sanskrit (the oldest known human language and the basis for all modern language) and they have a course called “The Science of Creative Intelligence.” This course is taught in some way from Preschool to Senior year. It is made up of simple principles like “Life is made of Layers,” “Order is Everywhere,” and “The Purpose of Life is to Grow.” They are taught through these principles that all the subjects they learn in school are connected to each other and also to themselves.

Of course it’s also helpful that these students live in Fairfileld, home to one of the greenest mayors in the country, an entrepreneurial center of Iowa, and also home to huge arts and technology scenes.

When driving around Fairfiled you see solar panels and Maharishi Vastu Architecture and loads of small business. it’s really a very inspiring place. Every time we go, I feel so inspired.

The book I was given “A Record of Excellence” is fantastic in describing how this lifestyle drastically increases well being. The tagline of MSAE is “Inner Development and Outer Success.” Dr. Ashley Deans talks about developing the “knower” in order to develop the known. How different is this from “information based education” that is typical of educational institutions? I believe in consciousness based education. This is not a hippy dippy thing that was invented in the sixties. It’s based in science and thousands of years of experience. It truly gives people peace of mind and it allows children to find their direction in a non-stressful way.

The website can be found at www.maharishischooliowa.com

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harld Fry

I was attracted to this book, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce automatically. I have a thing for long titles.  When I read the flap and found it was about an old man trying to save a woman from his past from cancer by walking all the way to Northern England from Southern England, I knew it was something I had to read.

I waited until it was available through interlibrary loan because I have a book buying problem (well, not problem, money deficit disorder perhaps) and within a month or so it was in my hands.

Joyce introduced me to Harold, a lovely retired British man that lost control of his life at some point rather sedentary and boring. We also meet his wife Maureen, who clearly detests Harold and spends all her time cleaning. She used to cook and garden and love her husband she wanted to make him happy and fill the gaps in his life.

The story switches between Harold and Maureen, as Harold walks to Queenie to “save” her and Maureen deliberates about her life. They both go through life transformations that were both painful and joyful to watch.

This is Rachel Joyce’s first book and it is lovely. It flows beautifully and I felt like I knew Harold and Maureen very early on. I won’t spoil the end, but it is satisfying and complete. This book will stick with me.

This is a great article! Thank you!

GMO Awareness

When you take a moment to reflect on the history of product development at Monsanto, what do you find? Here are twelve products that Monsanto has brought to market. See if you can spot the pattern…

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It's Time for Another End of Season Sale

Recently my three year old wanted a Doctor Who/Princess birthday party. She is being raised by nerds! So we planned a menu surrounding these themes. We had fish fingers and “custard” (garlic aioli), bowtie pasta salad, chips, hor d’ouerves, wibbly wobbly timey wimey jello jigglers, princess tea party jello and puddings, and . . .Dalek cupcakes.


I sort of ran out of time and they aren’t the most perfect dalek cupcakes ever made, but I will share my recipe with you! What I did was turn a cupcake upside down, top it with a mini cupcake, pour chocolate ganache all over it, then used pretzels and chocolate chips to make them look like Daleks. I used a very old-fashionedy recipe for cupcakes that uses vinegar and olive oil as the leavening agent, so they are vegan without the ganache.

The recipe for the cake came from here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/super_easy_super_moist_chocolate_cupcakes/. Thank you!

The rest of the recipe is a bit less exact.I heated an 8 oz carton of heavy cream in a small saucepan, just before the boiling point. Then I poured half a bag each of milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips into a heat proof bowl and poured the hot cream on top of them. I blended the chocolate into the cream until it resembled chocolate syrup and then left it in the fridge for a while to harden up, about 30 minutes. You don’t want the resulting ganache to be too solid or to runny, find a balance.

Once the ganache is ready get out your cupcakes and take off the wrappers. Take a large one, turn it upside down, apply a bit of ganache to attach the small cupcake to the top, then as neatly as you can, pour the genache all over both cupcakes, smoothing as you go. Do this to all the cupcakes, and then let them sit in the fridge a few minutes to harden just enough so you can put on the chocolate chips and pretzels without them sliding all over the place. Voila!

Now go and CE-LE-BRATE!


When i read “Growing your Handmade Business” by Kari Chapman and wrote this blog post, I was all ready for jump in and write a business plan, look at rental properties, launch a new marketing technique, etc, etc.  . . Then I went a little crazy at the local library and took out about six books on inter-library loan also on business planning for small creative businesses.

One of these books is “Etsy-Preneurship” by Jason Malinak. Now this book is an eye-opener. Where Chapin’s books are very inspirational and definitely geared towards the creative person, this book reminded me of the things I have really been putting off, like taxes, EINs, and other procedural paperwork kind of things.

So I’m back to the drawing board for a while getting my ducks in a row with the state. In Illinois fortunately they have something called the Illinois Business Gateway. I love the name. I’m picturing a magical gateway leading into a realm of possibility and dreams coming true . . .

Once I register with the great state of Illinois, I will be much more legitimized and all confident again. I am registered with the county, but to be fully realized, I must register with the Illinois Department of Revenue. Thank you Jason Malinak for prioritizing for me. Once I get through all this boring stuff, I can get back to marketing and business plans and endless hours of research into my dream store location.

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