Several years ago, I interviewed a coffee roaster for a magazine article on how to roast your coffee at home. The roaster, Monty, kept me at his shop for over three hours roasting, tasting, and talking coffee. I had a great time spending that afternoon with Monty, but it seriously cut into the hourly rate I wanted to make on the story.
Author Archive: cjalex
Long Distant Grandparenting–Best of Times, March 2017
In the classic children’s story, Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes the parting of the Charles Ingalls family from the rest of the clan. “Grandma and all the aunts hugged and kissed them and hugged and kissed them again, saying good-bye.” Such was the scene when our family left a major metropolis 13 years ago and headed for the rural countryside—leaving Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins, 1,000 miles behind.
Six Ways to Make Your Editor Happy–Funds for Writers, Jan 2017
Frequently writing coaches teach how to break into the magazine market, but not how to build a relationship with an editor well enough to become a regular contributor.
After freelancing for eight years (including regular columns for several publications), I accepted the position of editor for a regional lifestyle magazine. Since joining the magazine staff, I’ve come to wish every freelancer could spend enough time in an editor’s shoes to learn both sides of the business.
Guide to Grain Mills–Grit Magazine, Jan/Feb 2017
Who can resist a loaf of bread, warm from the oven with a slab of cheddar on top? Or whole-wheat pancakes slathered in butter and maple syrup? What about tortillas fresh off the griddle, filled with beans, rice, salsa, and sour cream? These mouthwatering temptations can be staple foods at your home, made with flour milled right in your kitchen.
Bird Haven: Home of Shenandoah Community Workers–Shenandoah Living Magazine, Mar/Apr 2015
My journey to Bird Haven began with a game of Scrabble and a scramble of siblings over which way to face the board. No one wants to play Scrabble looking at everything upside down. To keep the peace, my mother removed the usual items from the lazy Susan she kept in the middle of the table and put the game on top of it.
Tips for Winter Survival–Suburban Family Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015
Winter weather includes its own set of circumstances for which most parts of the world must
prepare. Nothing spells disaster like frozen water pipes, getting your vehicle stuck in the snow,
or losing power. For a simple checklist of winter preparedness tips, continue reading.
Learn How to Make Money Blogging–Grit Magazine, July/Aug 2014
Bob Lotich is a homesteader wannabe. He longs for the day when he owns 25 acres and does all the things he reads about from his suburban home in St. Louis. He’s also a professional blogger who believes small farms and homesteads are missing out on the money they could make online.
Build a Treehouse, Make a Memory–Montana Parent, June/July 2014
Remember the lazy days of summer when you were a kid? Where did you spend your time? I went to an old, hollowed out tree in the woods behind our place with my book and my lunch almost every single day. But most families do not own acres of woods—including us; so my boys have a tree house.
How to Grow Truffles in the US–Grit Magazine, May/June 2014
A little while back, I attended a tea outing with several appetizing morsels to tempt the taste buds. Everything was beautifully arranged and looked delightful, but when my eyes landed on a plate of what looked like a simple chocolate candy, I couldn’t resist taking a bite — one cautious bite that in mere moments had me positively beaming with joy.
Grinding Grain Makes the Best Bread–Grit Magazine, Mar/Apr 2014
In a quest for healthier, tastier eating, many folks have returned to the art of baking bread. What they don’t realize is that they go to all that trouble to get good flavor with flour that may be a bit short on nutrients when compared with the wheat it’s been milled from. That’s right —