Angie’s Diary 2019

Angie’s Diary

Angie’s Diary is a great online magazine.  I was relatively highly involved with it for months a few years ago and am considering trying to contribute to it again.

If any of you ever interact with Angie’s online presence: she’s great!  It was like coming across a friendly person of the same gender rather than being snubbed or getting the proverbial cold shoulder.

Book reviews and timely articles covering so many topics, and even some advertising are all available.

I recommend her site.

Miriam

Adventures in Perimenopause

Season-of-Life Messages

Who Cares?!

A lot of you don’t care about this and have no reason to.  There is an off chance that despite being under 40 years old you have a mild interest in biology whereas if you are over 60 this falls under “been there; done that” material along with “what to do when you have your first baby” let alone, “how to not panic because you’re sprouting pubic hair”.

Perimenopause is to menopause as adolescence is to adulthood

Women in this stage of life, are really heading in the direction of menopause.  From my brief survey’s of real women about this: it can be a brief period or can go on for some months or even years.  It ends when a woman’s body achieves the “done with reproduction” state of being.  This transition means neither more nor less than that.  “No more baby-making forthcoming”.

The effect of this truth is not necessarily less than the onset of menstruation and all the hormonal and size and shape changes that mean entirely and only, “Baby making is now a real possibility”.

Struggling with Change?

There are women, perhaps especially fit, married women, who may suffer from kinds of shock or dismay that this change-in-life actually changes what they are and are not interested in, including sex.

Studies have indicated that while adults past the menopause stage of life do often retain some interest in sexual activity but at least half the time, its more a matter of habituation to the pleasure of it than the same intense mating instinct “make babies” biological advice their hormones were screaming for 20 to 40 years.

Case Studies: My own Case

Every woman is different and the range of normal is fairly large.  It may well be a good idea to check in with a physician but my advice is to try to find ones who accept change-of-life rather than trying to treat you as if something is wrong with you when nothing is.

Recently, I chatted with 2 women about this.  One reported having only had a few months of perimenopause and then she was done.  I likened this to the girls who really turned physically into grown women over Summer Vacation one year between grades of school whereas some of the other girls took years to make the same transformation.

There are women who have hot flashes, and others who don’t.  I spoke with one woman who stopped menstruating but still has hot flashes which have slowly been diminishing over the years following her menopause.

In my own case, my sexual desires dropped by about 50% for way longer than the 2 months, twice a year that they had before and stayed much less for longer periods of time.  I can neither confirm nor deny that one element of this has been that over age 40 years more of the men my age are much less attractive than they were 10 and 20 years younger.  Men may suffer from feeling the same way about the women in the same group but also about the reality of themselves by comparison.

Along with that type of ‘barometric’ perception, my menstrual periods lightened up a great deal of the time, but not consistently.  Two years into it, I just didn’t menstruate for a few months in a row and then right after I thought, “My God I’m reaching menopause 9 years early but at least I know I’m not pregnant,” my periods resumed, but again, 8 or 9 months of the year they were only half as intense as they had been 10 years earlier.

How long does this goes on?

In truth, in my own experience, I have just entered Year 6 of perimenopause.  The general ambiance is nice, regular cycles in terms of the ebb and flow of hormones but totally unpredictable in that one month I menstruate nearly as much as I did when I was 40 but some other month I don’t even bother to menstruate….and there is no obvious rhyme or reason regarding what determines whether or not I only menstruate a tea spoon of blood across 7 days, or what feels and looks more like a cup every 2 hours for 3 days.  Often, during the past 3 years, the amount of m. blood is really the same amount in 7 days as what happened in 2 or 3 days 10 years earlier.

But then, just to keep the air of unpredictability, when I went so far as to expect that I might not have any periods during 3 months of the year after that happened 2 years in a row, I just did even though it was Year 3 of Perimenopause.

The bottom line:  Because of that, I’m not sure.

I do carry around menstrual products much of the time but know they might go unused.  Just to add to the subjective sense of the whole thing, I was always the kind of person who felt, within 5 days after my period ended that: It was like it never happened.  Like, if someone brought it up, I almost had no idea what they were even talking about.  I’m not totally insane, so I did remember, but it was like remembering rainy weather on a sunny day or vice versa.

Purpose of this?

Aside from going on about myself, I mainly just want to write enough about it so that if other ladies find this happening to them, they don’t worry.

I do also think if male entities are curious about women, they could learn about this without being disgusting just to find out…but if they don’t want to know, I don’t want to make them know about weird nasty women stuff.

Truths about Work 2019

Work

There are multiple meanings to what work is.  It can be defined as effort, pure and simple.  In other cases, it doesn’t count unless one is paid wages for doing it.  In the vernacular, people may decide whether or not to call something work based on how well it pays, by how difficult it is, and whether or not one likes it.

Some say that whenever one loves one’s job; it isn’t work.  However, I would counter by saying that: try telling that to anyone who knows the difference between being broke and being paid for working and they’ll tell you the pay makes a difference whether one likes the work or not.

Pay

Women and men still tend to have somewhat different experiences about this.  History is sometimes painful as well.  So, we have learned that working for only overhead especially minimalistic overhead, is essentially slavery.  For the lucky ones, its life in a gilded cage.  For others, its really just misery.

Women still deal with ‘women’s work’ in more than one way.  Sometimes women’s work means that she worked without pay for a family of which she was supposedly a member in good standing and she was not considered to be working.  She may have tried to do something to get money.  If she got it from her family often it was still not considered to have been work, but if the pay came from anywhere else it was.

People are unique and so someone may read this and find that it just isn’t true.  They may have been repeatedly hired by their own relatives and grew into running the family business along with other members of the family.  Anyone who married in, may have done so to get a job.

I have a vague but accurate memory from 20 to 30 years ago when a typical wife level of contribution to ‘domestic labor’ if calculated according to reasonable rates of pay is often the value of at least a middle class income job worth of labor.  This only adds to the sense of pained injustice for all “broke housewives” who’s husbands don’t share the money well.  Meanwhile, young women and “men’s rights activists” may protest that this is unfair: after all, he never gets paid for doing such things as it takes to run a household so why should she?  Round and round we go with this; some couples and families sharing money wonderfully and others don’t.

Just last year in 2018 I read in Womankind magazine about some events in Turkey within the past 5 years.  Included were women who got paid and were shunned.  In many cases, the rest of the community came around to seeing her point of view after a while….but other women would do the same kind of work but insist they were not working and not trying to get paid for doing it, but were just doing a spot of volunteer work to help out in the community.

Men & Women

Many years ago now, I attended a conference called Men & Women Working Together for a Change.  It does help when we cooperate with each other for good.  There are ways of interpreting some situations.

Work

My personal belief continues to be that both men and women humans are humans with different twists.  If it were journalism, it would be that genders are like different slants on the same story.

What we do for work, and how we deal with it may have some variation.  Each gender has both assets and limitations for helping make the work place better: effective, getting great results and yet also being environments in which people have a chance of actually liking the experience without sacrificing the qualities related to pure effectiveness and getting the needed results.  That said, keep in mind that for some a work environment is also best when highly moral and does need to be whereas there are also people out there who feel that morality is as much as impediment to getting the job done as ‘women might be in a male oriented work atmosphere’.

Simple Conclusion

My hope for each of us, is that we get the right job fit.  In religious language this is ‘to fulfill our life’s calling; and our personal divinely dictated destinies’.  In educational psychological language, I hope for each of us to get work that fulfills all levels of our legitimate human needs as in “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”.

 

 

 

Another Day Another Blog Post

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

First I pondered

The fact is, there has been a long gap since the last time that I blogged.  I had a burst of blogging that lasted for a few weeks and then it petered out and for a while I didn’t feel that I had as much to say so I just stopped.

Over time, I watched the stats to see what happened and pondered this whole matter.

Why do I do it?

The reality is that my blogging is “holistic” which is another way of saying ‘hodge podge’ and off-base.  My blogging often fails to perform like the purely professional blog of an author.  It also fails to be purely personal.  In some respects this is healthier but for professional purposes it doesn’t seem to help.

Let’s face it, some days I just want people to buy my novels or short fiction stories instead of not.  I am so sick of people not spending to buy and read my fiction and non-fiction.  I don’t have a gigantic advertising budget and am not harsh enough to make you all buy.  My purse and bank accounts would appreciate it if I or personal henchmen of mine would make you all buy my published fiction and non-fiction that is for sale so I can get *&^% paid for working!

Other days, I blog because I just want to connect with other real people.  I’d rather do so in person, but either due to spending issues or laziness or loving being at home, I try blogging to do it.  This is also OK but is an entirely different motive.

There are also many times when I have blogged hoping that it would actually help others, with a secondary motive that someone might hear of me and some day it might lead to landing a job or selling copies of my novels, or making friends or all of the above.

 

 

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Photo by Drew Rae on Pexels.com

Blog History

I think it’s true that someone hired me to ghostwrite at their real estate blog as a pro. prior to my ever writing a blog of my own.  That was way back in the previous decade…and here are near the end of the next one.

Aside from that, I mainly remember that just as I started to get into structured blogging and advanced zhan Zhuang qi gong, I somehow suffered from a setback which made it so that I haven’t made any definite progress in those directions since.

I blogged for years; then began to get more professional and more structured about it; then had a setback; then did less, and then resumed some kind of undisciplined, wild blogging.

Today

Today, I suppose I picked ‘interactive’ motivation in that I didn’t know what to blog.  So, I read a couple of other peoples’ posts.  After that I just wrote this.

Value / Lesson

Maybe this will reach someone.  I guess the best result for any readers would be that whole “motive awareness” aspect of it….but I can’t guarantee that it won’t be the amazing photo of the solar eclipse.

Uranian Fiction

What is it?

In truth, Uranian Fiction is what I first imagined as the brand name for my professional fiction.  It crossed my mind that it might end up being the name of my first publishing company…now and then I wondered whether I would have to create a publishing company to release my works.

Other Ideas

I went and did some kind of web search, and found out that it might be possible to misconstrue Uranian Fiction as meaning LBGT, or lesbian oriented fiction, a subset of women’s literature.

Updated Version

Here is a link to the blog post Uranian Fiction

Hypergrid Business

Tech Magazines

One of the many types of magazines around nowadays are tech magazines.  Some of these are off line and on, some only on.  To my pleasant astonishment, a few years ago now, I discovered that a woman from my math class our Senior year of high school was managing editor of an online tech magazine called Hypergrid Business.  As I was seeking more professional writing work, I reached out to her.

She let me try a few articles.  As some of you know “writing” is a very general category.  This was tech article journalism rather than creating website content for small businesses, or ghostwriting parts of or entire drafts of nonfiction books, or novel writing, all of which I have tried my hand at.

Despite our limited success working together, I am posting links to some of these.  I learned more about Second Life and other online methods for having group meetings and exploring visual environments ….by writing for Hypergrid Business.

Startled Cat: Story Immersion

Virtual Avatars & Real Life

Was that you or the editor?

For those of you who are not professional writers, I want to disclose to you that although I am the real author of both of these articles, Maria Korolov was the editor of them both.  The changes that she made, did cause me to have a strong reaction.  My first emotion was “Wow, this is so changed I feel confused about whether or not I am even the author of this article.”  That emotion is commonplace amongst inexperienced professional journalists, novelists, and all kinds of writers.

Much ghostwriting creates emotions more like what editors sometimes experience: I wrote so much of this, and yet, my name is not likely to be mentioned in association with it.  Sometimes I would be hired by a business start up to write them website content.  They would give me the word #, the topic of the article, the theme and all of that.  Then I would do all of the writing of the piece.  In some cases, the business would then have an editor make whatever other changes…I have seen works I wrote that were barely changed by the editor and other pieces that left me feeling like….Well, if it were making a pie here’s the story:

I put together the crust and the filling and baked it and my friend checked it and gouged out most of the filling and re-baked the thing.  Somehow she managed to not burn my crust….In the end all that I felt was “my work” was the pie crust, but my friend told me not to worry and still gave me the full credit for the pie.

Ghostwriting: using the same analogy.  I was hired by someone who told me what type of pie they wanted and when.  I agreed to take care of it by a deadline for a preset fee.  They left me alone and I made the pie and they checked it over.  They paid me.  The rest was out of my hands.

Author

I told me what to write and I did.  Then I went and edited the thing a lot, quite possibly more than once.  Then I went around trying to sell it.

To this day in 2019 I still get weirded out about how different it is to make a work, and go around trying to sell it compared to being hired to write something and told what to write…then doing that and not having all kinds of weirdness about being paid for my work.

Pleading forgiveness

I ask that you, random readers, forgive me if you need to, for how I have casually rambled on about the over arching picture for professional authors, writers, copywriting, journalism instead of just neatly posting the tech articles and not writing anything else.

Time Since Then

In truth, my main published items since back then have been review articles and entire novels of my own, which I am still trying to earn money for having written.

During the past few months as well as blogging, I have bid on some contracts to do freelance and applied for some staff writing jobs; some from home and others that would involve going to an office and including work colleagues.

Strange is the world of professional writers.

Free Video Reading by Novelist

Novelist gives free reading

There you go, it’s that simple.  Drop me a line to let me know what you think, or read and review the book.

In the event that you got miffed over the use of the word ‘mulatto’ please read my blog post about why I did not choose the word ‘biracial’ to describe the lead male character in the novel The Children of Loki.

perf6.000x9.000.indd

About Blogging

Today

Today’s inspiration is a Christian Mihai post.  He’s turned up in my stream of awareness in part due to his frequent blogging and having also authored some books as have I.

I just read one of his blog posts about blogging.  It gave a brief synopsis of his own history with this.

Blogging and I

Me and blogging

The first time I wrote a blog post was back in 2012 or even earlier.  Because of how old I am, that does not seem like that long ago, but really it was.

The first time I became aware of professional blogging might have been 2013.  It is so vague to me at the moment that I feel it could have been as long ago as 2004 …because I landed a gig doing real estate blog posts that once included researching Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia which later became the surname of the villain in my novel The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.

It wasn’t until years after I dealt with that, that I tried blogging my own blog.  The first time I tried this very location for blogging was in 2013 if not 2012.

There was a time, for some reason I recall it more clearly, in 2014 when I was just about to create more structure for the weekly cycle of posting at my blog when I somehow experienced some kind of setback….I don’t recall what exactly the actual cause was, but only that…rather than successfully moving forward with setting up and maintaining a more highly structured weekly posting schedule nothing happened for a long time and then eventually I resumed trying to just sort of post on whatever.

Awkward Truths

I think it had something to do with how I have had a good 30 to 40 fellow authors in my Fb friends list, and news feed but then, when I started to ask them about doing guest posts or being guests on my blog, everything fell apart and doubts developed about the quality of my relationships with fellow authors.

General Background Realities

2003 through 2011 I steadily earned more money each year writing professionally, but as a painfully low paid freelancer most of the time.

The first time I was paid for publication was in 1994 when I was still an undergraduate due to being on & off with respect to working full time and working only part time as a work-study or going without working for pay while studying.

In 1999 I moved from England back to the USA but for the first time to Indianapolis and my son was fortunately brought over to me with his father (who is a German I met in intimate association with attending graduate school at Middlesex University in London, England).  That was already 4 years after having started a correspondence ‘trade school’ type of professional creative writing course with the Writer’s Bureau which is also English rather than American.

My son turned 4 years old that year.

In 2010 we moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to a village South of the city of Bremen, in Northwestern Germany.  This had to do with what I studied in graduate school and why and to do with how that had enabled a German man my age to market himself to me (romantically speaking).

My son turned 18 years old in 2013.

If you check the archives for this blog, you can find posts going back at least that far.

Some years I have put more into the blog than other years.  I’m not sure how to describe the results aside from ‘other than as expected’.

 

Blog Blog Bling 2019

Connecting Online Again

Once again, I have experienced online connections that are entirely real, and mutual.  This has happened within the past 48 hours.

During that same time period I have also watched videos online that made me feel connected but really just cause me to participate in the freebie portion of a complicated advertisement.

Today, I have looked at my WordPress “Stats” and have found that most likely, the underlying causes for the downward change are the following: 1) a few days went by without my blogging new posts.  2) I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes reading other bloggers posts at WordPress.

In-system versus Domains

Wealthy Affiliate

Many of you know what is going on, but some may not have yet noticed.  What we get depends a lot on who we know, how much we can afford to spend and what kinds of things we spend on.  Thanks to this, millions of us have access to free or extremely low cost websites and blogging technologies, but there is a caveat: the freebie versions are normally limited to ‘in system’.

I most noticed this in-system versus domain name difference when I belonged to Wealthy Affiliate.  I joined there to get a free website and to market my own products (books and ghostwriting services).  There was an opportunity to learn about affiliate marketing.  I was not honestly interested in that, but as that was most likely the real motivation behind the organization, I went ahead and learned about it.  In truth, I tried it at my website.

All the business for my own interests that I found when using Wealthy Affiliate, was other members of Wealthy Affiliate hiring me to help them improve their websites by paying me to ghostwrite web content or to edit their website content or writing papers related to their business websites.

So far, I have tried Wealthy Affiliate twice.  The first time, I did earn significantly more than the membership cost me, but nothing like what a real, supportive full time job or good husband (yes, I have female bias due to being female) but the second time I lost money.  In one case, I earned about $0.70 from the “affiliate marketing”.  In the other case, I didn’t make money any better from that than I did from selling my own products and services via the same website.

The people who were members came across as very pleasantly friendly.  It was fairly easy to connect with them online and sharing information was smooth.

There was a large contingent of us who were dealing with websites that were low-cost but were only even functioning within the realm of the Wealthy Affiliate zone.

It was possible to free ourselves of that situation, but it required spending a lot more money.  Given that our need was to earn money, a lot of us got sort of locked in or ‘locked down’ at that stage of the process.

SBPRA

SBPRA is the publishing company of both of the novels that I have released so far.  They have provided author websites that can be accessed from the outside but both have their name on them still.  I have had to both spend more money and have had to learn in an effort to even get the website to function beyond ‘in system’.

I have mixed feelings about SBPRA.  I am very happy that they did or claimed to have accepted my manuscripts entirely because they are good enough and not because they are self-publishers who don’t care whether or not it is good as long as I will spend.  I am very grateful and happy that they have helped me to get respectable quality bound novels with good covers.  I am grateful that they provided me with a literary agent for one year for my first novel.

I am aware that really don’t have a good reputation, so much so, that they can be found on Writer Beware.  I realize that it is both true that innovation which threatens the status quo can get a ‘bad rap’ and it is also true that often a bad reputation develops as a direct consequence of bad practices.  SBPRA tried to charge me fees for services which a traditional publisher would provide me with at no fee.  Instead of paying me, the author, for the privilege of publishing my book, they did not.  However, they did grant me a nonexclusive publishing contract; they have produced respectable copies of the novels.  They have provided websites.  They have offered other services to support the work.  In my view this is much worse than the kind of publishing deal that I would like and vastly superior to what the situation would be like had I been limited to self-publishing.  It is that another publishing company did pick up one of my novels in another variation of deals that are horrible compared to excellent publishing deals and great compared to “shark tank victimization” deals.  The other publishing company offered to publish at both no fee and no pay out to me of an advance….in an exclusive contract but then didn’t release the book within the year and a half that they had the book.  They did get the cover together during that time.

The websites had an ‘in system’ look about them, but I have spent on a domain name so they hopefully won’t have this kind of problem.

WordPress

Here we are at WordPress, having our blogs.  We can spend enough to make it so that our blogs won’t be limited to having an ‘in system’ type of circulation.  It could be argued that WordPress has tacitly told us that as long as we promote WordPress using their logo on our blogs they will let us blog without spending a lot more money but society has also told us that we may be frowned upon as being insufficiently professional in approach and online appearance, unless we operate without these other organization’s labels.

You (plural) i.e. You all

I’d love to read responses or comments from any of you about this.  Is this a great topic or does it seem too elementary: intro to use of the Internet for business?

Have you (plural) had the same kinds of experiences?  How have you overcome these challenges?

Connected or Not Re-hash 2019

Welcome to the 21st Century

Here we are, now, in the 21st Century.  My son likes to remind me that we are living in the Information Age, although Generation X is still stunned or confused that this is what followed the Space Age.

Interaction through Media

Once in a while, here at the blog, you may have read about the question of how interactive is the public media?  I mean in the old days we had TV and Radio and newspapers and magazines go way further back in time to fulfill some of the same thing: long distance communication.  I should probably not overlook telegrams, but for some reason I don’t feel I really understand how that really worked in society.

Now, with the Internet, some of how we interact is more modern but similar to that level.  To some degree, blogs or posting at public forums, or semi-public forums is interactive but not in a private or personal way.

Meanwhile, most of us are also navigating interacting in ways that are much more personal and private online.

Some private stuff is both very personal and impersonal such as shopping and advertising.

Companies have grown so competitive for the attention that they are trying to cause potential customers to develop ‘addictive’ behavior patterns or abnormal attachments to checking mobile devices and streams of information.

Regarding information there are the two following important sayings:  “Garbage in / garbage out”  and “Knowledge is power”.   Misinformation, control of information, censorship, propaganda, free press, freedom of information act in the USA, ….the need to sort and to organize information….The need to not be shoved off of the right track when doing research or seeking high quality answers by “Distracticons” ….

Bleep bleep…The obvious

For many people born since 1980, it has become second nature to navigate reasonably well through thick streams of information at least as comfortably as people can handle medium density urban traffic.

Online is not all the same.  There are venues in which interactions are and can be personal.  It is possible to have privacy online, but in general, online activities are like meeting out in public places.   Like being ‘out in public’ there are lots of different ways to be online in not so private spaces.  Instead of this being or feeling bizarre, for many of us, it is almost so well understood that it is difficult to say anything about it.

Really Connected or just imaging things?

The reality is that personal connections that last normally require multiple modes of online communication or role clarity.  I have met real people who: in person, in public settings such as a group social club meal at a restaurant or group meeting over at my house: divulged that they had met their ‘significant other’ or actual spouse via dating sites on the Internet.

I know of friends who did manage to stay friends long-distance thanks to real-time live interactive communication online and engaging in online activities together.

I also know of people who carefully only have online connections with people they are also involved with in person, whether school or clubs.

There are people who don’t consider any relationship that occurs online to be ‘real’.

Millions of us have learned new knowledge or skills through online activity.

Me, personally

For years I used online communication groups intending to learn more about the writing and publishing field and to make contacts in the industry and to help my career progress.

In truth, I do still hope to test and learn that keeping in touch via the Internet with people I have spent time with in person but then spent some years or months far away can enable us to reunite in person and to live our relationship forward in time, with less time consumed by the need to catch up on what happened to either of us in the past….thanks in part to having found out about most of the major stuff online.

Possibly Typical

In my own case, I suspect that I am “just like everyone else” in how I react to online activities.  Like in personal life: context matters.

Some months, it seems like I am only sustained by my Facebook friends and other times I am terrible to them, barely read some of their posts and would not invite them over to my place were they in town.

Other times, I feel one or another of them succeeds in helping me do something important locally, despite the distance, and thanks to being friends who communicate using the Internet.  It is true that some of the same people also ‘harsh on me’ by totally blowing me off when they come to where I live and finally could get together in person.  Being treated that way really makes me doubt whether or not there is any real connection to our online connection.

I suspect, that a lot of other people also feel this way.  In truth, most of us can get like that also about “in person relationships” based in part on how we know others; how we treat each other; how we react to each other.

The 21st Century

In truth, we are still pretty early into this new century.  I think that by 2050 we, as humans, will have worked out ‘how it is going to be’ with these technologies.  What is a short term thing, and what is going to really last, for instance.

I admit that we may not know all of the new technologies that are going to stick around long term, but I think we are all agreed that the Internet and the PCs and laptops are sticking around long term.  Right now, I believe that 100 years from now, people will be as used to them as we have become to the train.

Be that as it may, I still love watching or reading about events in the 1800s when the trains, the telegraph and the rare automobile were really exciting new technologies.

Space & Information Ages

So far, here’s what’s happened that I am most aware of:

  •  It is possible to get YouTube videos and livestreaming from the International Space Station, but still seems bad that the space shuttle program isn’t still going on.
  •  I was able to get photographs sent back to Earth by a probe that landed on Mars within 24 hours of when the probe took the photos.  Pretty effing cool.
  •  SpaceX is one of the companies developing what in the Dragonball Z cartoon TV show was done in the imaginary realm as Capsule Corp.: Reusable rockets.
  •  Multiple agencies and organizations are working on getting us a real base on the planet Mars.
  •  There is considerable scientific research  going into how plants can and cannot grow in low gravity due to the legitimate need to produce ecosystems on any planets for long-term colonisation.

There’s more of course: I invite your comments on how this blog post is written or on the contents.