Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): I'm current to where I should be for this week. I'm working hard to stay on pace. 

Quote of the Week:  “Your best is good enough. Believe it.” ~ A Personal Family Member. 

What I'm Reading:  I started Into The Night by Cynthia Eden last night. It's part of her Killer Instinct series. I'm a big fan of Ms. Eden and read all of her books.

Random Thoughts:  Because I have so much free time (sarcasm here), I've decided to start crocheting a new blanket. It's made of individual granny squares with a daisy pattern in the center of each square. I'll post a photo of some of the squares next week.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                        Somebody's new favorite place to sleep.

What I'm Reading:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Synopsis, Oh How I Hate Thou

In addition to finishing up the revisions/edits for my current manuscript, I'm going to start working on writing the synopsis I'll need to submit to editors and/or agents. (A synopsis is a brief summary of the story agents and publishers use as part of the decision process on whether to make an offer of publication or representation.)

I am not a good synopsis writer. The average length is approximately 5 pages. The first one I ever wrote was 20 pages long. Thankfully my critique partner who had more experience than I did at the time, went through it with me and helped me pare it down to 7 pages which I then went through again on my own and managed to get it down to 5 pages, barely.

I came across a Jane Friedman's website a couple of years ago that has the best breakdown/explanation of a synopsis and how to write one that I've found. I'm including the link here in case you're like me and hate writing the dreaded synopsis and need all the help you can get. :o)

How to Write a Novel Synopsis 

Friday, February 23, 2018

This I know for sure...

I can't believe this is the last Friday in the month of February. The month has gone by so quickly. I'm not complaining though. The sooner we get to April, the sooner spring will be here.

I hope March passes as quickly as this month has. For some reason, I have a hard time getting through the month of March. It seems to last forever. It could be because we're so close to the spring weather or the fact that in my area March seems to be the worst weather month in terms of huge amounts of snowfall in single events.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): Last week was pretty productive. I'm almost caught up to where I should be. I'm only about 15 pages behind. I should be able to get them done along with this week's pages so by the end of the week, I'll be back on track to complete revisions of the entire manuscript by the end of March.

Quote of the Week: “Anyone who is looking for something to complain about will find it.” ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading:  I just started Such a Pretty Girl by Tess Diamond. I'm only about 2 chapters in and I hate having to put it down. It drew me in right away. This is the first book I've read by Ms. Diamond, I'm pretty sure it won't be the last.

Random Thoughts: I'm not enjoying the Olympics as much as I usually do. I think it might be because South Korea is 14 hours ahead of the US. The broadcast coverage seems to be only showing the athletes who come in 5th place or better. Some of the events get only a few minutes of air time to show and announce the medal winners. I like to watch the athletes who are there to compete including those who may not have a chance to win or even place in the top 10.

Random Photo of the Week:

         I spent most of last Sunday stamping and cutting out tiny bees for a card I'm making.

Friday, February 16, 2018

This I know for sure...

It's been one month since I started using the habit tracker/bullet journal/motivation book I made to help keep me on track with my eating healthier and writing goals. I feel like it's helping by keeping me accountable on a daily basis.

I'm eating more nuts, seeds, and greens (not a favorite thing for me) in the form of salads. I am already a pretty big fruit and Greek yogurt eater so no need to improve there. I'm doing better at not eating after 7:00pm and cutting out unhealthy snacks such as cookies and Cheez-Its.

My writing is going really well. I'm just slightly off the pace I set for myself to have the final set of revisions/edits completed by the end of March. If I don't get enough pages revised to get back on track by the end of this week, I will definitely be caught up by the end of next week.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): While I did get the required number of pages revised/edited that I would need to do to keep on track if I hadn't missed a week two weeks ago, I didn't get any extra pages done so I'm still about 50 pages behind where I should be. I'm hoping to get them done along with this week's pages so I'll be back on schedule to finish the revision process.
Quote of the Week: "Genius, that power which dazzles mortal eyes, is oft but perseverance in disguise." ~ Henry Willard Austin

What I'm Reading: I'm reading Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding  by Diane Kelly. This is the last book in the Death, Taxes series. I really enjoyed the series. I'm sorry to see it come to an end.

Random Thoughts:  February is usually the coldest month of the winter season in my area. This week the meteorologists are forecasting 50 to 52 degrees for both today and tomorrow. The temperature is supposed to drop back into the 20's for Friday and the weekend, but the two days of warmer weather are a nice break in a cold, bleak winter season

Random Photo of the Week:

                                          The birthday card I made for my brother.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no post this Monday, 2/12/18. My apologies.

Friday, February 9, 2018

This I know for sure...

I don't watch sports on a regular basis. I watch the Super Bowl (the commercials, more than the game itself) and the Olympics. I like to watch both the summer and winter Olympic games.

Tonight the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics will be broadcast and I'll be sitting in front of the TV watching it. I like to see how each host country celebrates the opening of the games. I don't usually stay up to watch the parade of nations at the end of the ceremony because I have to be up early on Saturdays.

For the next two weeks, I'll be trying to watch as much of the games as I can. I always try not to miss the bobsled, luge, downhill skiing, figure skating, and speed skating competitions.

Do you watch the Olympics? What is your favorite sport competition to watch?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  Last week was a bust. I didn't get a single page revised. I had an appointment after work on Monday and my mom had one one Tuesday. I was sure I could make up the pages the remaining 3 days of the week. No such luck. My sister stopped by for a visit almost right after I got home on Wednesday and stayed until 6:00pm and I still had to make dinner and do all those other household chores we have to do when we get home from work everyday. Thursday I had to go the local cable company office to exchange a digital box that wasn't working. They were so busy they had security people directing traffic into and out of the parking lot. I spent an hour and a half in line just to get a new cable box so I could watch Scandal. Friday, my nephew and his fiancee came up from Ithaca to visit and arrived just before I got home from work and stayed for dinner. This week I'm planning on making up some of last week's pages along with doing this week's pages to try and get back on track. 

Quote of the Week: "Know your intention, put in the focused time, and you will receive your due.” ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I'm still reading Beyond Reason by Kat Martin. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of the week.

Random Thoughts:  I'm sure I've mentioned in the past how much I dislike the winter weather. While I am not a fan of the cold, especially those minus degree windchill and below zero days, I do prefer those bitter cold days over snowy days. I don't mind having to brush the snow off the car or having to shovel the front and back sidewalks. I do hate having to drive to work on those snowy mornings. There may be icy roads, poor visibility, and accidents everywhere, but there are still people who drive well above the speed limit like it's a clear, dry, sunny day who then cause more accidents which slows the traffic to even more of a crawl. 

Random Photo of the Week:
                        A birthday card I made for my nephew. He's a big Batman fan.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl Recovery

The Super Bowl is over for another year and most of us are regretting overindulging in all the great food that was served during the game. I know I am. There's something about bread dip that I can't resist. Maybe because it contains one of my favorite foods - bread.

To help get myself back on track and not feel like I'm punishing myself for eating whatever I wanted during the game, I got up earlier than normal this morning and made something healthy to have for breakfast during the week.

Here's the recipe in case you want to use your morning meal to ease your way back into your healthy eating routine.

Healthy Banana Bread

2 cups mashed bananas
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat flour.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts if desired. (My friend uses mini chocolate chips instead of the nuts.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together the bananas, applesauce, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well mixed. In a separate bowl, combine the two types of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture to the banana mixture. Stir well to combine. Fold in the walnuts (or chocolate chips or both if you prefer).

Lightly grease a 9" x 5" bread pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a bread knife or cake tester comes out clean when you insert it into the banana bread. (I check it in a couple of different places just to be sure the center is completely cooked through.) It may take a bit longer than an hour to cook depending on your oven and the type of pan you use.

When the bread is done baking, set it pan and all on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let it cool completely on the rack. (Unless you're like me and like it still warm with a cup of tea.)

Makes 1 banana bread loaf.

Friday, February 2, 2018

This I know for sure...

The Super Bowl is this weekend. We are having a small gathering to watch the game.  I don't usually watch the game itself, but I do like to watch the commercials. Most of the time I'm doing something else while the game is playing and only pay attention to the TV when the commercials air.

I also like to watch the half-time show depending on who the artist or group is. I like to partake in some of the snack foods that seem to be part of the Super Bowl experience. This year we are keeping our snack list to cheese and crackers, bread dip, potato chips, and for people who want a sweet treat, cinnamon rolls.

Do you watch the Super Bowl? If so, what snacks do you serve?