Friday, May 18, 2018

This I know for sure...

I'm finally on a roll with the revisions/edits for my novel Honor Bound so I don't want to give up my designated writing time, but my twin nieces' birthday is coming and I need to make their birthday cards. Factoring in mailing time to ensure they receive the cards on their birthday, I need to get them started asap.

I'm going to try and carve some time out of this weekend even though it's already going to be a busy one to get the cards at least started. I usually meet with my critique partner on Mondays, but she's out of town this coming Monday, so I'm going to use the time to hopefully get both cards completed.

I don't want this post to seem like a complaint. I love making cards and find the creating part a lot of fun and it can be relaxing so it's a great way to get rid of stress too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  I revised/edited the last 60 pages before the big transitional scene I have to write that will tie the middle end of the book to the end of the story for Honor Bound. I feel like I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Quote of the Week: "Success will depend on creating smaller goals. That big aim happens in thousands of little moves." ~ Unknown.

What I'm Reading:  I finally finished Silent in the Grave. It was a good book, but at 509 pages, a bit too long. I felt there were a lot of scenes that weren't necessary to the story, but added to the page count. I've picked The Enforcer by HelenKay Dimon back up and hope to finish it by the end of this week.

Random Thoughts: I've decided to do a bit of container gardening after all. I'm going to plant some sunflower seeds I received. I'm planning on going to our local farmer's market next weekend to buy some flowers to put into my garden. The farmer's market holds "Flower Days" specials on plants and such the last two weekends in May.

Random Photo of the Week:

Here's a picture of a sunflower I grew a couple of years ago. It was one of two that survived the squirrel attacks.

Monday, May 14, 2018

To Join or Not to Join, That is the Question

In the past I belonged to a local writers' group for a number of years. At first it was fun getting together with other people who had characters in their head who spoke to them and kept them awake at night. The group was supportive and helpful to anyone from the newest of beginning writers to the two authors who had hit the best seller list.

And then it wasn't. Some of the authors who ran the group moved on to other things/groups and new people took over the group. The new people in charge made changes that left new writers feeling not quite so welcome. Cliques formed as people began to want changes that not everyone agreed with. Soon the group imploded due to infighting regarding how the group should be run, who would be "allowed" to be a member or continue to be one, if being published should be a requirement and so on.

Since that time I've stayed away from any local writing groups. I do belong to Romance Writers of America. This is nonprofit organization that works to advance the professional and business interests of career focused romance writers. They do a great deal of advocacy and work hard to increase the public's awareness of the romance genre. Here's a link to their website if you want to check them out.

In March I was invited to join a small group of writers who meet once a month. They don't discuss the business of writing, how to get published, or anything else. Each month, a writing prompt is emailed out and you write 2 to 4 pages or so based on the writing prompt and bring it with you to the meeting. Each person reads their work aloud. There's no critiquing per se. People just say if they liked it and why. After everyone reads their pages, the meeting wraps up and we leave. I've only gone to the March meeting. (I had a previous engagement the same day as the meeting in April.) I'm looking forward to the meeting this month. I like meeting with other writers and seeing how everyone comes up with such completely different pieces based on the same writing prompt.

I guess I'll see how things go before I decide to formally join or not. I definitely don't miss the drama the first group seemed to thrive on.

Friday, May 11, 2018

This I know for sure...

The fall season of television shows are wrapping up for the summer. While I don't watch a lot of television, there are a few shows I do make sure I don't miss. I have started watching a new program that started a few weeks ago, Instinct, based on a book by James Patterson. I'm not sure if it will stay on through the summer or if it will end soon.

I don't usually watch any series type shows during the summer. I did watch Six last summer on the History Channel, but that's it. It was a short series consisting of about 8 episodes. I've heard there will be a second season this summer. If that happens, I'll definitely watch it.

One thing I am looking forward to once the few shows I watch go off for the summer is having more time to read in the evening. My To Be Read list is growing by leaps and bounds. At the current rate, I'll never make even a slight dent in it. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  I did 60 more pages of edits/revisions on Honor Bound last week. I also worked on different versions of my two paragraph summary of the story. 

Quote of the Week:  “Getting things done leads to confidence. Confidence leads to decisiveness. Decisiveness leads to action. Action leads to momentum. Momentum leads to success so start getting things done." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I started Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn last weekend. This is the first in the Lady Julia Grey historical mystery series. I set aside The Enforcer by HelenKay Dimon because the Deanna Raybourn novel is a library book and since it has over 500 pages, I want to make sure I have it read before it has to be returned. 

Random Thoughts:  Spring has finally come to my area. The tree in my front yard has tiny leaf buds and my daffodils are starting to blossom. Monday we had a high of 60 degrees and it's gotten warmer each day so far.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                              Mrs. Green enjoying a patch of sun.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Summer Treat

Starting today I'm back to following the 80/20 rule in terms of healthy eating. (Eat healthy 80% of the time and have not so healthy stuff 20% of the time.) Since the Easter holiday I've been eating the opposite - 20% healthy, 80% great tasting but not so healthy. As one last hurrah before getting back on the good eating wagon, I made lemon-raspberry cupcakes this past weekend. I've shared the recipe below. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Although I don't think I've ever met a cupcake I didn't love. 😉

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
1 box (15oz size) yellow cake mix. If you can find a lemon flavored one, all the better.
1 3.4 oz box Jello lemon flavored instant pudding
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup hot water
24 fresh raspberries
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
12 oz cream cheese softened enough to be able to stir
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (otherwise known as powdered sugar)
Lemon zest
24 fresh raspberries - optional

To make the cupcakes - Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine the cake mix and dry lemon pudding mix. Add in the eggs, oil, and water and mix well. Carefully add the sour cream and stir just until combined. In a separate bowl add the raspberries and flour and toss until the raspberries are well coated. Coat two cupcake pans with butter flavored cooking spray such as Pam or use cupcake liners. (I prefer the cupcake liners for easier clean up.) Pour the cake mix evenly among the 24 liners. Place one raspberry in the center of each cupcake. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the cupcake. - Be careful not to insert it into the raspberry. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make the frosting - Place the cream cheese, butter, and lemon juice in a bowl. Combine using a hand mixer on medium speed until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixing speed to low and add the confectioners sugar in increments, adding more sugar as each addition becomes blended in.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost each one and add a bit of lemon zest on top for decoration and if you'd like, add a single raspberry on top of each cupcake.

Makes 24 cupcakes.  Refrigerate any remaining cupcakes due to the cream cheese and butter in the frosting. If you don't think you'd like the cupcake chilled, just take them out a bit before serving to bring them to room temperature.