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Archive for November, 2009

 

 The Wild Rose Press gathered recipes from its writers and put together a cookbook full of yummy goodness.

The best thing? The e-cookbook is free!

I’m all about cookbooks. I love pouring through the pages, trying new recipes, reminiscing about past attempts. I’m a good cook, in  general, but while the cookies with ice cream as an ingredient sounded good… it didn’t quite work out.

Now I’m off subject. I’ve read these recipes and they all look yummy. Best? They’re used by real women and men so you won’t have to be {insert favorite chef} to make them.

What are you waiting for?

 Check it out here!

Ps: You should try my good friend, Lynne’s Irish coffee. YUM!

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This year I’m not hosting Thanksgiving. I’m not even doing the bulk of the cooking. We may even celebrate on Friday, I’m not sure yet. But I thought I’d post 13 reasons why I’m thankful.

  1  My family. They may be crazy and testy but they’re mine.

2. The orange and tangerine trees in the backyard. Just yum. And they smell good too.

3. I don’t have to cook dinner this year.

4. I don’t have to clean up after dinner this year.

5. My friends, both on the internet and in ‘real’ life.

6. Fall colors. There is just something about the brilliant orange, deep wines and fiery reds that sets my soul at peace.

7. Warm blankets – nuff said. ; )

8. Good books.

9.  I’m published! Woo hoo!

10.  Winter flowers. There is something poetic about a rose in winter.

11. Coffee. I’m really thankful for coffee and if I ever figure out how to program the auto function of my coffee pot, I’ll be grateful for that too.

12.  All of you, who read this blog, though I sometimes wonder why. ; )

13. My kids. I have really great kids.

  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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I’m not a diamond

If you’ve been a writer for any amount of time, and you’d like a go at the professional aspect of it, you know writers sometimes write under pressure. You write when you don’t feel like it, when it seems like your characters have gone on strike or the ‘muse’ has abandoned you. You write after rejections or critiques. You write.

Once you obtain that holy grail of publishing: the contract. You learn to write under the pressure of a deadline. This means through sickness and unruly children, demanding family and neglected housework. You concentrate and you write.

Every once in a while, something happens that is so big, so life changing, you can’t compartmentalize it. It steals your breath and any creativity you may possess.

Recently, this happened to me.

For me, writing has always been an escape. I can slip into another world, a world in which—more or less— I have control.

But when I looked at the words, at a manuscript that needed to be revised and turned into an editor within a week in the typical wait, wait, run, method of publishing: nothing. The words might have well been Spanish. I could read them but re-crafting a sentence was beyond my ability. I asked for another week. My editor graciously gave it to me.

Pressure.

You know that saying, whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger? Yeah, I hate that saying, but it has some truth to it.

So I wrote. One. Word. At. A. Time. And sometimes it felt like I’d never get to the end of the manuscript. I focused on one comment, one suggestion and addressed it to the best of my ability before going on to the next. In a few days, I could address three or four.

When I sent the manuscript to my editor, one day early, for the first time in my career, I didn’t feel like someone who is trying to be writer. I felt like a writer. I am a writer.

A diamond? No. But it’s a pretty damn good feeling all the same.

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1. The sun rises in the morning despite the world changing

2. There is comfort in the familiar

3. I have a lot of grey shirts — I discovered this upon doing laundry. I’d worn grey or black, without thinking about it, every day for 2 weeks

4. I have good friends (You know who you are. Thank you for keeping my head above water.. oh and J, also for the kick in the pants.)

5. I am a writer

6. I’m stronger than I thought I was.

7. I’m weaker than I thought I was.

8. You won’t win the lottery just because now would be a really good time.

9. My family loves me just the way I am.

10. I have great kids… really great kids so I must be doing an ok job raising them.

11. You can laugh when you’re crying or cry when you’re laughing.

12. I can drive across Nevada on I80 by myself (with five kids–all of whom survived. Barely)  

13.  I will be okay.

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For the last few months, I’ve been reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. A friend of mine sent me the first and after I got over the character names, I was hooked… okay sometimes the names the author comes up with still make me groan but not enough to stop reading.

Back on track.

As I read this series, something which I’ve known but never really thought about came to mind. After you read a series for a while, the setting, the world, becomes almost like another character. You read not only to find out what happens to the people in the story, but because you like it there. The customs, people, creatures, it’s an interesting place and you like spending time there. (sometimes from the safety of your side of the book, but you know what I mean)

The world building the writer has done keeps you reading even if the writing takes a turn for the worst or you’re not quite interested in what happens to the featured character or even if the plot is a little lacking. It’s like spending time in a wonderful place with slightly boring people. You go to Paris not just to see the people (and sometimes in spite of them) but because it’s Paris!

World building! It really can make or break a story.

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The Birthday Girl!

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Kati and her friend, Madison… And Claire as a chocolate eclair

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Face painting

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Me and my little princesses

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Kati and the birthday cake.

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Presents!

And now mom is going to have a glass (or two) of icewine and relax.

 

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Today

is my grandma’s birthday. She would have been 86. On this day, when my grandpa was alive, I’d make sure to call him and thank him. He fought in the Pacific during WWII. He’d always get choked up and his you’re welcome was a little rough. Later, I would wish my grandma happy birthday. Whether in person or on the phone or both, I always thanked him first. So a big thank you to all the Veterans that have given me the privilege of living in a free country.

I don’t mean for this blog to be maudlin but let’s face it, it is a day in the life and if my days are a little darker then… they will brighten again and I will regale you with my witty comments and deep insights into the world of writing.

Until then I thought I’d share some memories with you. It’s all part of the healing process.

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This is my two youngest and my mother.

C didn’t quite understand what was happening and kept asking questions I couldn’t answer. She’d gone with me to the hospital almost daily all summer long. What she remembers most about the funeral is that we laughed. We told stories about my grandma and for those of you who’ve heard me talk about her, you know, she had quite the acerbic wit.

K ended up reading an obituary of sorts. I know, not usual for an almost 9 yo. But my aunt had been trying to write one at the kitchen table. We were all in shock and just looking at each other. What do you say about a woman who was everything to so many people? We all got up and left the room. When we came back, K had finished the obituary.

This is what she wrote:

She was a good person and friend. No one can replace her. She meant everything to every one. She was a bit plot of sunshine and a good mother to…. We will remember her in our hearts forever and never forget her. Forever remember her all her life. She will be missed by lots of people.

It was a beautiful day and if you’ve never seen Ogden, it’s surrounded by mountains–simply breathtaking. I took pictures of that too but I don’t want to offend anyone by showing a picture of her coffin. She is buried with Grandpa near a stand of American flags. He would have liked that and so would she.

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