Thursday, May 15, 2008

Marley and Me Winner

Thanks to everyone who visited the blog and tried for the book. The randomly drawn winning question comes from Babette! Babette, I need you to contact me:

Q: I was a big fan in your OG days--and now I cannot wait to sink into Marley and Me. I wonder, do you miss the garden writing?

A: No, I really don't. But I still love to read Organic Gardening magazine, where I was managing editor and then editor in chief from 1999-2002. Really, I love to read anything I can about gardening and nature; they are subjects close to my heart. And of course, I really love gardening organically. I love having my hands in the dirt, love turning vegetable scraps and yard waste into rich compost, love multiplying my favorite plants through cuttings and root divisions. I even love pulling weeds; there is something therapeutic about the work, kneeling in the cool grass and moving down a garden bed, loosening the soil with a trowel, grasping the weed low around the stem and pulling with a slight twist and sideways motion to get the entire plant out, root and all. The weeds then go into the compost bin where they eventually become more compost to return to the soil.

But the actual act of garden writing? No, I really don't miss it. I never found it particularly challenging or rewarding, and as an editor my job was less about writing and more about editing and polishing the work of others, which I found even less rewarding. Before coming to OG, I spent twenty years as a reporter and columnist at daily newspapers, and my magazine experience taught me a valuable lesson: It's not always smart to try to marry your career and your hobby. In my case, the career became less fulfilling and the hobby less fun and more like work. Once I left the world of gardening journalism, gardening became fun again. I enjoyed my years at OG and learned a lot from the experience, but when I returned to newspaper journalism -- and soon after book writing -- I knew that was where I really belonged.

John Grogan

Please visit on Tuesday. Lisbeth Levine, co-author of "The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day" will be answering questions. Lisbeth's book has already been featured in People Magazine, as well as Country Living.


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