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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

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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Jelly and Time Travel

Ellipsis Pineapple Mango Pepper Jelly with cream cheese on homemade sour dough bread my sister-in-law made, Yogi tea in a TARDIS mug. What a way to start the day! Getting up before the baby sure has is advantages. Peace and quiet, hello I do believe we’ve met before.

Today we planted the rest of our mints. The first is an orange mint which we plan on using in place of bergamot orange in Earl Grey tea. Growing up mom used to put it in iced tea and it was delicious. The smell takes me back. The second is peppermint. You can see below that it was just roots. We never ordered a barefoot plant before and couldn’t find any useful information on how exactly to plant it so we assumed the best strategy would be to put in the the ground and water it. We put some of them in laying on their sides and some of them sticking up in the soil, not sure which would work best. Watch for updates!

Everything is doing wonderful in the garden. The herbs are getting bigger and most of the root vegetables have sprouted. The radishes have gone crazy. We planted a mix of them as well as a row of watermelon radishes. Can’t wait to make radish relish!
Radish Seedlings

And the lettuces are huge. We need to find something to do with spinach mustard as it is ready to be harvested already. The corn also is popping up and the eggplant is getting loads of blossoms. Even the watermelons we transplanted from a friends yard are doing swimmingly.

Hopefully in a month or so the herbs will be big enough to start drying them for herbal teas. The greenhouse to is coming along. This is the finished base built with treated lumber and galvanized screws. We will begin putting together the frame soon.

Greenhouse Base

And of course as always we are working on our business plan for the brick and mortar Ellipsis. Today we hashed out the Break Even Analysis and our projected profits more than equal our projected costs! That is a good sign for the future.

On that note lets end with a lovely little bay tree:

Bay Tree

It’s true. Remember those little lettuces from last week? Well look at them now.


Look how they've grown!

All the rain we’ve been getting however dreary it is, really helps out our little plants. We’re going to have to thin them out so they have room to become nice big heads of lettuce, but it’s going to be so sad to pull them up!

Also the broccoli and cauliflower are doing wonderful. Little tiny broccolis are already starting to form.


Baby broccoli

We also have beans and peas coming up faster than expected. The trellis for them needs to go up later today if it’s not raining too hard.

Bean Plant

These just popped right up!

In other news, the wood for the greenhouse base has been delivered, and we’ve managed to borrow a saw. So pending the purchase of galvanized deck screws we should have the greenhouse up within a week or so. Then the camilia sinensis will be started as well as some dwarf citrus, bergamot, and hibiscus.

The raspberry bushes on the property may bloom and fruit as well. I discovered these blossoms in the raspberry bush that is growing inside one of our flowering shrubs.

Raspberry Blossoms

Very soon we will be planting the root vegetables and corn. The corn bed will have to be de-rocked as it needs a lot of open soil for its roots. The root vegetable bed is less rocky so it shouldn’t be too much of a chore to do. And also we will be repotting the tomato and pepper seedlings as they are not ready to go outside but outgrowing their little peat moss pellets. We will post pics!

The business timeline for Ellipsis is as follows. Soon we will be growing tea plants and blending loose teas. We also plan to package little cotton muslin reusable bags with each tin of tea. Perhaps we will sell vintage book and tea packages on Etsy and also we hope to sell tea with some of the shops in downtown Galena. First however we must learn to dry and make different types of tea for the best taste and health benefits. And of course we are continually working on our business plan and scouting out local resources.

Have a wonderful day! It looks as though the sun is coming out in Galena. I hope you see the sun today as well!

Everything is going wonderfully. The broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuces are all getting big, the squashes and melons have sprouted, as well as the beans and peas. And yesterday we planted most of our herb garden. Mints, borage, parsley, sage, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, and dill. Next we’ll do the root vegetables and corn. Then the peppers and tomatoes should be big enough to transplant. We also have calendula sprouting which adds lovely color to tea.The stevia is also doing great, but we’re not sure whether or not it should be planted in the ground. Same with the thai basil. It does get a little chilly here in Galena at night.

Also we’ve added a few books to our Alibris site!

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