Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I won't be posting this week due to the holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Friday, November 21, 2014

This I know for sure...

As I'm sure many of you know, I hate the winter season especially the snow. I don't mind it if I don't have to go out in it. Unfortunately, I have to go out in it to get to work every day.

This past week, upstate NY where I live was hit with a massive snow storm that came off Lake Erie. One town received over 51 inches of snow in about a 12 hour period with the snow coming down at the rate of 3 to 5 inches an hour. Thankfully I live east of that particular area, so while we did get some snow, it was nothing like that.

If we had received that much snow, I'd be packing and moving south faster than anyone could imagine. Do you live in a snowy area or are you lucky enough to live in the south?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Not much new. Still working on the revisions.

News from the publishing world:  Amazon and Hachette have ended their dispute. Link: Amazon & Hachette end dispute

Quote of the week: "Stop wishing. Start doing." ~ Unknown.  Sometimes I find that I say, "I wish..." a lot more than I should be.

Health news: Approximately 83% of Americans drink coffee. Here are some of the benefits - Caffeine intake can help combat the effects of protein deposits in the brain so it may help defend against Alzheimer's. The chlorogenic acids (which are antioxidants) found in coffee beans encourage your body to burn fat and may rev up your metabolism.

Random things:  We received our first snow fall last Friday. It wasn't a lot, just a bit to stick to the ground. Now the forecasters are calling for 6 inches of snow tomorrow morning. I'm so not ready for that much snow all at once already.

Random photo of the week:

      Here's a photo of our first snowfall so to speak.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Holiday Treat

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming, I thought I'd depart from my normal writing related Monday post and share a dessert recipe we've had in our family for years.

Pumpkin Pudding Pie

1 Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crust (I usually use Keebler.)
1 package Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/2 cup Milk
1 15oz can of Pumpkin
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 cups Cool Whip

Mix the pumpkin, milk, vanilla pudding, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium sized bowl for about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 (one) cup of the Cool Whip. Pour the mixture in the graham cracker crust. Top with the remaining cup of Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set (firm).

Makes about 6 servings depending on how big you cut the slices.

Friday, November 14, 2014

This I know for sure...

Considering the topic, I'm a little late with this post since Veteran's Day was this past Tuesday. Even though the official day of recognition of our veterans has passed, please take a moment to send a silent word of thanks to the men and women who protect our way of life by risking theirs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Finished the first round of revisions for the first half of the book. Hurray!

News from the publishing world: For anyone looking for an agent or considering getting an agent, I thought this quiz was interesting. Link: Test Your Literary Agent IQ

Quote of the week:  "Do it now. Sometimes 'later' becomes 'never'." ~ Unknown. This happened to me a couple of times last week. I had a hectic schedule and planned on working on revisions later in the evening and then never got to it.

Health news:  Carvacrol is a substance found in oregano that gives it it's smell and flavor. Researchers have found that Carvacrol may also help protect against the norovirus, a nasty gastrointestinal bug. Unfortunately, there's no way a person can eat enough oregano to avoid contracting the virus. Researchers are looking into developing non-edible ways to use the carvacrol compound to help fight contracting the norovirus.

Random things:  We had our first snow fall this past weekend. It wasn't anything measurable and didn't really stick, but it reminded me winter is coming as much as I might wish it wouldn't.

Random photo of the week:

I tend to read more in the winter than I do in the summer. I think it's because in the cold weather, I'd rather be inside where it's warm and dry.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sourdough Bread and Writing

I've mentioned here before how much I like making homemade bread. I've always wanted to try and make sourdough bread, but have always been put off by how long the process is. The shortest recipe time I've found is letting the sourdough starter sit a minimum of 12 hours before actually making the bread.

One day last week, I mentioned to a friend how much I want to try making this type of bread, but it seems like such a long process just to make a couple of loaves of bread. My friend gave me a strange look and said, "but you don't think anything about the fact that it takes you months to write a book."

Suddenly the proverbial light bulb went off over my head. She's right. I don't think twice about spending so much time thinking about plots, dialogues, characterization before I even start the actual process of writing. I started seeing the parallels between waiting those 12 hours for the sourdough starter and my pre-writing process.

Letting the starter sit so the yeast and other ingredients can ferment is a great deal like my need to do character sketches, try out various plot lines, make sure my hero and heroine both have believable goals and motivation before I start writing. Letting the starter sit the required hours gives the bread the foundation it needs to rise and bake properly much like my pre-writing ensures my completed novel will have a sturdy structure as its base.

I think I'll be making sourdough bread this weekend. :o)

Friday, November 7, 2014

This I know for sure...

I'm that person that hates Christmas shopping. Don't get me wrong, I love the Christmas season. I love the music, the cartoons, the baking, and pretty much everything else associated with the holiday except for the shopping.

I hate having to fight the crowds, to try and find a parking spot in over crowded lots, and I'm not a big fan of waiting in long lines while the cashier works in slowest manner possible because he/she doesn't want to be there.

Last year I vowed to do less shopping in stores so earlier this week, I started my shopping by ordering online. I hope to do the majority of it that way with only a few stops in actual physical stores.

Which form of shopping do you prefer?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Still working on revisions. It seems to be a slow process lately. I'm still jotting down scenes and dialogue snippets as they pop in my head for the next book.

News from the publishing world: For those of us who mourned the loss of locally owned bookstores, this article is great news. Link: Indie Bookstores Aren't Dead

Quote of the week: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." ~ Mark Twain. This is for those rough days when the last thing I want to do is sit down at the laptop and write.

Health news: According to researchers from the University of British Columbia, strength training helps boost associative memory (such as putting names to faces). Cardio exercise helps boost episodic memory (such as remembering what's on your shopping list). Working out helps increase the blood flow to the brain, most importantly to the hippocampus where memories are stored. Exercise also increased growth factors in the brain which promotes cell health.

Random things: Now that the weather has grown colder with highs in the low 50's and the nights even colder, I've started crocheting in the evening. I'm currently finishing up a blanket. The really nice part is that it's big enough to cover my legs while I'm working on it.

Random photo of the week:

Here's my cat helping me keep track of my yarn while I'm crocheting.