Attack of the Maple Tree’s

Get a Maple tree, they said. They grow to 50′ tall, they said. They’re pretty in the autumn, they said. And they give you cute parachute seeds, they said.

Yeah, like everywhere you look !

What are some benefits that indie publishing can offer authors?

You’ve decided to submit your manuscript to an independent publisher. Now what? The staff of four indie presses answer WD’s questions about small publishers.

Indie Publishing Truth

Meet the Staff

A MacDowell Colony and Hawthornden Castle fellow, Leland Cheuk is the author of three books, most recently, No Good Very Bad Asian. His work has appeared in Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Catapult, Joyland Magazine, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. He is the founder of 7.13 Books and lives in Brooklyn.

Adam Z. Levy is the founder and co-publisher of Transit Books.

Kate Gale is co-founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press, editor of The Los Angeles Review, and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction and in the University of Ashland MFA Program. She is author of seven books of poetry, including The Goldilocks Zone (University of New Mexico Press, 2014) and Echo Light (Red Mountain Press, 2014) and six librettos, including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis, which had its world premiere October 2010 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee.

Jisu Kim is the senior marketing and sales manager at the Feminist Press. 

What are some benefits that indie publishing can offer authors?

Cheuk: Due to profit motive and the insistence on scale, the big houses do a poor job on a majority of their titles. Junior publicists are working on dozens of books at a time. It’s very possible that if you publish with a big house, your book will get lost. We all know authors who have had bad experiences with big houses. With indies, you’ll likely get more personalized editorial attention, and an increasing number of indies are doing great marketing and publicity and going toe-to-toe with the overwhelmed big houses. Every year, the prestigious book awards seem to have a few, unexpected indie titles.

Levy: With a carefully curated list, we’re able to devote our time and energy to all of our titles. (No books get lost in the midlist!) We also work closely with our authors and translators at every stage of the publishing process, from the first round of edits to publicity and promotion.

Gale: Independent publishers and their staff are able to dedicate more time and attention to the authors than an author would get from the Big Five. Relationships are fostered, and it’s more of a partnership between author and publisher.

Kim: Indie publishers tend to have smaller lists than the corporate houses; for writers, this often means more individual attention. We like to tell our incoming authors that we’re a small, dedicated team—everyone on staff will have read their book, know them by name, and be familiar with how we’re going to get it out into the world.

What types of manuscripts are ideal for indie publishers? Is there a certain type of book you look for?

Cheuk: It depends on the publisher. I’d advise writers to really read submission guidelines carefully. For 7.13 Books, we publish debut contemporary book-length literary fiction for adults. So if you’re writing a YA book, novella, historical novel, or if this is your second or third book, you’re going to be at a disadvantage because we’re focused on finding books that fit our mission. For many indies, they’re publishing just a few titles a year, so the odds are long to begin with. Why submit outside the guidelines and make your odds even longer?

Levy: We look for singular voices—works that excite and challenge us and deepen our literary and political imagination. We’re open to publishing established and emerging writers. In the end, it always comes back to voice and the quality of the language on the page.

Gale: It depends on the publisher. Red Hen looks for dark, strange, wild books with stories underneath the stories, and novels that are under 300 pages so we can market them to our audience. We’re also interested in looking into more novellas, and we love poetry.

Kim: Every indie publisher is different—that’s what makes them independent—but I would say a strong, unique voice is something everyone is looking for. That can be a debut author or someone with a long publishing history. We work with both across a variety of formats and genres, looking for stories that are different from what’s already been told.

To continue reading this Writer’s Digest article written By Cassandra Lipp click on the link.

Yucca; architectural, drought tolerant and tough desert plant

Yucca aloifolia 'Variegata'

An Old Favorite, New Again

Luckily, Yucca has once again found favor among landscapers and homeowners alike, especially those that are interested only in growing plants that thrive on drought.

Although the long sword like leaves of these plants are not really succulent, it does fit neatly into the category of ‘succulent plant’ because of the fleshy roots, designed to store water for times when the lack of rainfall extends into years.

Some species and varieties of Yucca, also known as Spanish Bayonet and Adams Needle, are armed.  The ends of each leaf have a strong barb – you can see why these plants got such interesting common names.

The roots are like white plump tubers, growing in a clump under the crown of the plant. 

These can be divided easily to form new plants.  They take a few years to grow big enough to plant in their allotted space, so a nursery area is a good idea.

Once the plant has gained its full size, about 60 cm across (2′) it will start to bloom, fairly reliably every year. 

The flowers are borne on a tall stalk, and are waxy white or pink depending on the variety.

These are great landscape plants where they are given enough room – don’t put them right up against a building, or along a pathway. 

They need space around them to look good. 

Combine them in a bed of well drained soil with cactus, Aloe, Agave and other succulents for a great desert landscape.

High Coffee Consumption Linked To Lower Total Body Fat


Women who drink two to four cups of coffee a day may have lower total body fat. That is according to a new study that found regular consumption of the beverage could help both young and adult women manage their fat percentage. 

The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, come from the analysis of data on body fat percentage and coffee consumption from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The program involves nearly 5,000 people in the U.S.

Researchers found that drinking two or three cups of coffee daily helped women, aged 20 to 44, cut body fat 3.4 percent lower than those who drank fewer cups or none at all. Those who were aged 45 to 69 and regularly consumed four or more cups had 4.1 percent lower body fat percentage. 

However, the team noted they did not determine how the effects of coffee directly helped reduce body fat. But some bioactive compounds commonly found in the drink previously showed positive effects on fat.

In earlier studies, polyphenols appeared preventing weight gain and increasing metabolism in mice. Coffee drinking has also been associated with changes in fat accumulation and increased metabolic rate, Chao Cao, co-author of the latest study from Washington University’s School of Medicine, told Bicycling Magazine.

But he noted men may not get the same benefits of coffee that women experienced in their study. The bioactive compounds in the drink stimulated hormone production in men and women differently, which affect fat metabolism and utilization of fat for energy.

“This is a potential mechanism to explain this gender difference,” Cao said. “In addition, our results did find higher coffee consumption was linked to lower body fat percentage among some male groups, but it wasn’t as prominent as it was in women.”

However, the researcher noted it is too early to consider coffee as a weight loss aid or as a meal replacement. More studies are required to fully understand how the higher consumption of the beverage causes changes in the body, especially in fats. 

“We don’t want someone to drink tons of coffee in one day as a way to lose body fat,” Cao said. “This should be part of a healthy lifestyle—including physical activity, less sitting and more healthy foods.”

Note: That fat loss from consuming so much coffee could be the result of women climbing the walls, cleaning the house repeadly, weeding and reweeding the garden, etc. j/k

Article by Darwin Malicdem for Medical Daily

Here’s What It Means If You Have Ridges on Your Nails

Image result for Vertical Ridges On Nails
Photo by Medical News

Fingernails seem like a pretty uneventful body part. They grow. You cut them. Maybe paint them. And that’s about it. But in reality, your nails can give you a glimpse into your overall health. If something is going on in your body, your nails could start to change, sometimes developing ridges. Depending on what the ridges in fingernails look like, you might want to schedule a visit to the doctor.

What do vertical nail ridges mean?

Lines running from the bottom of the nail to the tip are the most common form of ridges in fingernails, affecting about 20 percent of adults. In the vast majority of cases, it’s just a sign of aging, says Ivy Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Pasadena, California. Fingernails are made mostly of keratin, a protein also found in the hair and outer layer of skin. In the same ways that the skin gets drier and the hair feels rougher, the nails also change with age because the body has a harder time retaining moisture.

Other nail changes

But if you see other changes in the nails, like splitting or a color change, you might want to consult a doctor, says Dr. Lee. In rare cases, ridges in fingernails could be a sign of anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, or cardiovascular problems, according to research in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal. A single ridge in the middle of the nail, for instance, could be a sign of a nutrient deficiency like protein or folic acid. Keep an eye out for these other 11 health secrets your hands are trying to tell you.

What do horizontal nail ridges mean?

Ridges in fingernails that run side to side are less common and might give you more pause. Also known as Beau’s lines, they could signal disease or just be a remnant of an old injury, says Dr. Lee. “They arise because there is a temporary stop in nail growth in the proximal nail matrix, where the fingernail is made,” she says. “They are most often benign and due to mechanical trauma: manicures, jamming your finger in the door, etc.”

Sometimes, though, they point to a skin disease like eczema, psoriasis, or chronic paronychia (an infection of the nail folds that makes the skin swollen and red), so inspect your skin and fingertips for signs of redness and rash. Your dermatologist might be able to offer a treatment option. While you’re at it, look into these things your nails can reveal about your health.

A symptom of bigger health issues

Ridges in nails aren’t all about the skin—they can also be a sign of other systemic problems. For instance, an over or underactive thyroid can affect the hormones in charge of nail, skin, and hair growth, resulting in ridged nails in some cases. If all 20 finger- and toenails develop Beau’s lines at the same time, it could even be an infection like pneumonia, mumps, or syphilis, or even a problem with the heart, liver, or kidneys, per the research in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal. Particularly if your ridged nails have also become thinner, split, discolored, or misshapen, schedule a visit with your dermatologist pronto to get to the bottom of the problem, says Dr.

Article written by Marissa Laliberte for The Healthy

A restaurant is testing plastic ‘shield pods’ to keep diners safe

a person sitting at a table in a room: A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a restaurant of Paris. As restaurants in food-loving France prepare to reopen, some are investing in lampshade-like plastic shields to protect diners from the virus. The strange-looking contraptions are among experiments restaurants are trying around the world as they try to lure back clientele while keeping them virus-free. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Associated Press
© Associated Press A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a restaurant of Paris. As restaurants in food-loving France prepare to reopen, some are investing in lampshade-like plastic shields to protect diners from the virus. The strange-looking contraptions are among experiments restaurants are trying around the world as they try to lure back clientele while keeping them virus-free. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Associated Press

  • Plastic cones suspended over the faces of patrons might be the new trend for restaurants reopening their doors during the pandemic. 
  • The Plex’Eat is a plastic shield created by French designer Christophe Gernigon to block germs from passing from one restaurant patron to the next. 
  • Gernigon told the Associated Press he already has over 200 inquiries from restaurants for Plex’Eats in five countries. 
  • Bars and restaurants face unique complications in reopening because customers can’t eat without removing their masks.

Clear plastic cones hang suspended above customers at Parisian restaurant H.A.N.D. this week in a creative attempt to keep patrons safe as eateries across Europe, and across the world, reopen their doors. 

The plastic shields are a prototype called Plex’Eat created by French designer Christophe Gernigon. They are made of plexiglass and resemble lampshades.

Gernigon told the Associated Press he was inspired after visiting a store in Bangkok “with three individual domes with chairs where people would sit and listen to music.”

Article by (Canela López) for Insider ©

(I just hope their kidding !)

How to Tie a Head Scarf

Article by Scarves dotnet

Do you guys have scarves that are just sitting in your closet waiting to be worn again?! Have no fear but we are here to show you how to wear them in the summer time! One of our favorite ways is a head wrap! We have so many ideas on our Knot Library! Go check it out. 🙂 has lots of fun, lightweight, summer scarves this year that you won’t want to miss! Complete your summer style with a stylish scarf. Wear it as a head wrap, wear it as a wrap or cover up, you can even wear it around your floppy sun hat and tie it in a bow. We have SO MANY fun ideas!

Check this head scarf out:


How To Tie A Head Scarf 1 2

How To Tie A Head Scarf 3 4

How To Tie A Head Scarf 5


How to Tie a Scarf: Double Wrap French Knot

Double-wrap French scarf

How to Tie a Scarf: Double Scarf Boho Tie

Double scarf Boho tie

Here’s a link to this web page:


Strategies to Improve English Listening Skills

Woman listening to music outside by smart phone

Michael H/ Digital Vision/Getty Images


As a new English speaker, your language skills are progressing well — grammar is now familiar, your reading comprehension is no problem, and you are communicating quite fluently — but listening is still posing a problem.

First of all, remember that you are not alone. Listening comprehension is probably the most difficult task for almost all learners of English as a foreign language. The most important thing is to listen, and that means as often as possible. The next step is to find listening resources. This is where the Internet really comes in handy (idiom = to be useful) as a tool for English students. A few suggestions for interesting listening selections are CBC Podcasts,  All Things Considered (on NPR), and the BBC.

Listening Strategies

Once you have begun to listen on a regular basis, you might still be frustrated by your limited understanding. Here are a few courses of action you can take:

  • Accept the fact that you are not going to understand everything.
  • Stay relaxed when you do not understand — even if you continue to have trouble understanding for a while.
  • Do not translate into your native language.
  • Listen for the gist (or general idea) of the conversation. Don’t concentrate on detail until you have understood the main idea(s).

First, translating creates a barrier between the listener and the speaker. Second, most people repeat themselves constantly. By remaining calm, you can usually understand what the speaker had said.

Translating Creates a Barrier Between Yourself and the Person Who Is Speaking

While you are listening to another person speaking a foreign language (English in this case), the temptation is to immediately translate into your native language. This temptation becomes much stronger when you hear a word you don’t understand. This is only natural as we want to understand everything that is said. However, when you translate into your native language, you are taking the focus of your attention away from the speaker and concentrating on the translation process taking place in your brain. This would be fine if you could put the speaker on hold. In real life, however, the person continues talking while you translate. This situation obviously leads to less — not more — understanding. Translation leads to a mental block in your brain, which sometimes doesn’t allow you to understand anything at all.

Most People Repeat Themselves

Think for a moment about your friends, family, and colleagues. When they speak in your native tongue, do they repeat themselves? If they are like most people, they probably do. That means that whenever you listen to someone speaking, it is very likely that they will repeat the information, giving you a second, third or even fourth chance to understand what has been said.

By remaining calm, allowing yourself to not understand, and not translating while listening, your brain is free to concentrate on the most important thing: understanding English in English.

Probably the greatest advantage of using the Internet to improve your listening skills is that you can choose what you would like to listen to and how many and times you would like to listen to it. By listening to something you enjoy, you are also likely to know a lot more of the vocabulary required.

Use Key Words

Use keywords or key phrases to help you understand the general ideas. If you understand “New York”, “business trip”, “last year” you can assume that the person is speaking about a business trip to New York last year. This may seem obvious to you, but remember that understanding the main idea will help you to understand the detail as the person continues to speak.

Listen for Context

Let’s imagine that your English speaking friend says, “I bought this great tuner at JR’s. It was really cheap and now I can finally listen to National Public Radio broadcasts.” You don’t understand what a tuner is, and if you focus on the word tuner you might become frustrated.

If you think in context, you probably will begin to understand. For example; bought is the past of buy, listen is no problem and radio is obvious. Now you understand: He bought something — the tuner — to listen to the radio. A tuner must be a kind of radio. This is a simple example but it demonstrates what you need to focus on: Not the word that you don’t understand, but the words you do understand.

Listening often is the most important way to improve your listening skills. Enjoy the listening possibilities offered by the Internet and remember to relax.

Article by Kenneth Beare  for

The 16 Best Bike Shorts to Wear All Summer Long

Once upon a time (aka summer 2019), you’d wear them to the gym or brunch, but bike shorts have proven ideal for all sorts of at-home activities, from watching the entire season of Big Flower Fight in one sitting to creating your very own tie-dye masterpiece. No longer made of 100% uncomfortable spandex, they’re a closet workhorse that can look just as good with an oversized hoodie as a blazer and cute sandals.

As we begin to reenter society, the versatile basic is one of the few quarantine mainstays we plan to wear well into the future. So whether you want a pair to chill in at home, or have plans to go roller skating every Summer Friday, we combed the Internet to bring you all the best bike shorts you can buy right now. Check them out below.

Tried-and-true black

Black bike shorts will stand the test of time—and you can get a pair for cheap (hi, Amazon). If you want something you can dress up, à la Gigi Hadid, try experimenting with materials like a superfine ribbed knit or lustrous black.a woman wearing a pink shirt

 & Other Stories Cycling Short

$49.00, & Other StoriesBUY NOW

a woman wearing a black shirt
Universa Standard Knockout Bike Shorts$65.00, Universal Standard

a woman posing for a picture

The Range Rib Knit Bike Short

$118.00, Carbon38 BUY NOW

a woman wearing a black dress

 Koral Densonic High Rise Infinity Biker Short

$65.00, KoralBUY NOW

Bright colors

Arguably the most “throwback” style of the bunch, the season’s rainbow hues come in everything from soft sky blue to zesty yellow. Pair yours with a contrasting bikini top when it’s hot, then throw on an oversized crewneck when things get breezy.

a woman wearing a dress

Alo Yoga High-Waist Biker Short

$56.00, Alo YogaBUY NOW

a woman in a yellow dress

Year of Ours Ribbed Biker Short

$70.00, VerishopBUY NOW


a woman posing for a picture

 Staud x New Balance Bike Short

$60.00, New BalanceBUY NOW

a person standing posing for the camera

Billie the Label Peggy Biker Short

$88.00, VerishopBUY NOW

Sustainable materials

Whether it’s using recycled plastic bottles for fabrics or empowering the people producing the clothing, a ton of brands are working hard to improve fashion’s carbon footprint. Here are four bike shorts worth checking out if you’re shopping more  consciously.


a woman posing for a picture

 Outdoor Voices Warmup Shorts

$45.00, Outdoor VoicesBUY NOW

a woman wearing a dress

Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Bike Short

$48.00, Girlfriend CollectiveBUY NOW

a woman wearing a dress

Athleta Ultimate 5″ Short

$49.00, AthletaBUY NOW

a woman wearing a dress

Cotton Citizen x Revolve Milan Biker Short

$90.00, RevolveBUY NOW

Shorts to actually work out in

Your summer may consist of solo walks, responsibly distant picnics in the park, or getting back to your bike-ride commute. Whatever’s in store, grab a pair of bike shorts you can exercise or lie horizontal in. The four options below are made from breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics—so no need to worry about dark spots ruining your ’fit.

a woman posing for a picture

Lululemon Fast and Free Short 10″

$68.00, LululemonBUY NOW

a person wearing a white dress

Gymshark Flex Cycling Shorts

$40.00, GymsharkBUY NOW


a woman wearing a black dress

Adidas Originals Bike Shorts

$35.00, NordstromBUY NOW

a woman posing for a picture

 Nike Air Women’s Bike Shorts (Plus Size)

$45.00, Nike

All photo’s © Provided by Glamour

Article by Talia Abbas

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