Friday, September 28, 2018

This I know for sure...

Every year during the fall season I usually eat an apple two or three times a week if not more. The strange thing about it is that the rest of the year, I'm lucky if I eat an apple once a month. I think it's because apples are in season during the fall and taste better than apples I buy at any other time of the year. It may also be because I tend to eat fruit that's in season. I practically live on strawberries and raspberries during the summer.

Do you find you eat more of one type of fruit than usual when it's in season?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): Only about 15 pages of new material written last week. I'll be continuing to work on fleshing out certain scenes this week as well.

Quote of the Week: "Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don't want to do it.: ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I'm rereading Writing Naked by Jennifer Probst. There is a lot of good material that's always worth refreshing yourself on.

Random Thoughts: I bought a new scratching post for my two cats because they've pretty much scratched the twine on their old one completely off the post. They haven't decided if they like the new one or not. I will see them use the new one now and then, but they're still trying to use the old one more often. I don't want to get rid of the old one because I want to re-twine it, but I'm thinking I might have to move it into the closet until I can get it done so they'll have to use the new one.

Random Photo of the Week:

                               Mrs. Green keeping a close eye on her paper ball.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Distracted by Bright and Shiny Things

I'm so close to finishing the revisions on Honor Bound that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that I'm nearly done, I've pulled out the first draft and notes for the second book in the series, tentatively titled Spell Bound. I'd written both Honor Bound and Spell Bound one right after the other without doing any revisions. I haven't looked at anything, just complied the notes by chapter and printed out the manuscript. Both are sitting on the corner of the credenza waiting patiently for their turn.

The problem is I keep having ideas for scenes and dialogue pop in my head for a book further in in the series. A book I don't even have fully formed yet in terms of the hero and heroine's goals, motivation, and conflict(s). This story wasn't planned to be written until at least the third or fourth book was completed. (I haven't decided if it would fit better into the overall arc as the fourth or fifth and most likely final book in the series.)

The picture below describes where my brain is right now:

Friday, September 21, 2018

This I know for sure...

I like the sights and smells of fall season - the bright oranges and reds of the leaves, the smell of apple cider simmering on the stove, the crisp crunch of an apple. The one thing I'm starting to dread about autumn is the overabundance of pumpkin flavored everything.

Don't get me wrong, I like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or muffins and I even buy a jar of pumpkin butter every year but it seems like no matter what the food item is manufacturers are making a pumpkin flavor version of it.

I don't personally like pumpkin flavored coffee, tea, or creamer, but I do have family members who drink the coffee and use the creamer. I don't mind those items so much as other things being made with pumpkin flavoring. There's pumpkin yogurt, which my mom tried and said wasn't bad, pumpkin brownies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin flavored cereal (such as Cheerios or Special K, or Frosted Mini Wheats) and more.

Do we really need all these pumpkin flavored items to celebrate fall?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I've realized I need to flesh out a few chapters that are a little bare. I'm hoping to get at least 25 pages of new material written this week.

Quote of the Week: "You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.” ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I'll be starting Buried Truth by Jannine Gallant this evening. It's the first book in the romantic suspense Siren Cove series.

Random Thoughts: I have a page-a-day calendar that has a different quote for each day. Once in a while, it will have a proverb from various countries. I almost always keep them because they touch me in some way. I'd like to find a page-a-day calendar that consists of just proverbs from around the world.

Random Photo of the Week:

                  Somebody is enjoying the empty box more than the toys that came in it.               

Monday, September 17, 2018

To Promote or Not

The two historical romance novels and novella I've written have been published and available for five years or so. My quandary is whether I should continue to promote them or not. Admittedly, I haven't done a lot of promotion for them in the last year or so. I let the promotion aspect slide while I was getting acclimated with a new, less stressful job and then while I've been working on the revisions/edits of Honor Bound.

Part of me feels like I shouldn't promote them because they've been out for quite awhile and because they're historical romance novels. Honor Bound and the subsequent books in the series I'm working on are set in the present and are contemporary romance novels.

Another part of me feels like I should keep promoting them because I do plan on writing more historical romance novels so I want to keep interest in the books already released. However I'm thinking it will be at least this time next year before I'll have time to start writing a historically set novel.

 Decisions. Decisions.

Friday, September 14, 2018

This I know for sure...

I love to try new recipes (especially cookie and bread recipes). When I find or am given a new dinner type recipe I will make it, we'll decide if we like the recipe as is or if it'd be better with a few minor changes or if we don't like it at all. If we don't like it, I put recipe sheet in the paper recycle bin right after dinner.

The problem with collecting recipes is I put the recipe in a sheet protector and file it in one of three 3 inch binders and then we rarely make the recipe again with the exception of a select few that I keep in a smaller binder. The smaller binder holds recipes we make at least once or twice a month. (Cookie and bread recipes are kept in separate folders. I'm usually pretty good at keeping those under control.)

This weekend I hope to have time to go through those three binders and decide if we really will make a recipe again or not. I'm sure there are quite a few we've only made that first time and probably won't end up making again for one reason or another.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): Completed the final draft of the synopsis for this manuscript and edited/revised about 25 pages. Moving forward, slowly but there is forward momentum. 

Quote of the Week: "Make it happen. Shock everyone." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading:  I started reading Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander last weekend. This is the first book in the Bakeshop Mystery series.

Random Thoughts:  I've had really busy weekends lately with family related events. This coming weekend is the first weekend in about 6 weeks that I don't have a birthday party, wedding, baby shower, or the like that I have to attend. I'm looking forward to having a quiet weekend at home. I hope to be able to spend some time on the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                   The last summer flower in my garden this year.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Cookie Weather

It was in the low 60's yesterday so I decided it was the perfect day to make cookies. One of my favorite cookies is a good sugar cookie. Unfortunately, I haven't found a recipe that equals the chewy goodness of the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix that comes in a pouch. I rarely make cookies from a packaged mix or that are the "Break and Bake" refrigerated type. If I'm going to have a cookie, I want one that's homemade.

My friend passed the following recipe on to me stating it's one of the best sugar cookie recipes she's come across so I decided to give it a try. I'm sharing it with her permission below. Let me know what you think.

Sugar Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus a bit more to be used later
2 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set it aside.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cream cheese. Add the warm, melted butter and oil until well mixed. Stir in the milk, egg, and vanilla until the batter is smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

Pinch off a bit of dough (about the size of 2 tablespoons) and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into the granulated sugar that you set aside earlier and place on a baking sheet. Repeat the process until there are 12 balls on the baking sheet. Using the bottom of a greased glass, press each ball until each one is about 3 inches in diameter. Sprinkle a bit more of the loose sugar over each cookie.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are beginning to brown. Let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 cookies.

Friday, September 7, 2018

This I know for sure...

I am a Netflix member so usually watch a movie every weekend. While we've watched some good movies lately, I haven't seen one that has really touched me in a while. For some reason I love movies that make me cry. I don't know why those types of movies are my favorite. I'm told I'm too empathetic so maybe that's the reason.

The movies don't have to have a romantic theme, they just have to have characters I can identify with in some way. Two of movies I absolutely love have no romance in them per se. One is The Secret Life of Bees with Dakota Fanning. The other movie is I am Sam which also coincidentally stars Dakota Fanning. Sean Penn is amazing in this movie.

I have one friend who won't watch or go see any movie that looks like it may make her cry. (I tell her she's missing out on some really great movies.) She says life is hard enough without watching movies about other people's problems that make her sad.

What is your favorite type of movie? Those that touch you emotionally, comedies with outlandish plots, horror/slasher type movies, or action/adventure?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): No progress last week. My nephew and his wife had their baby so some writing time was used to ooh and aah over the new addition. I also had a wicked migraine for nearly two day so time was lost there as well.

Quote of the Week: "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

What I'm Reading:  I started reading If The Duke Demands by Anna Harrington this past weekend. The last few books I've read had contemporary settings so I felt like diving into a historical set novel.

Random Thoughts: We had a quiet weekend at home last weekend despite it being the Labor Day holiday. We decided against having our usual cook out gathering on Labor Day this year. It was nice to have a couple of days just to sit and be without having errands to run, things to do, or hosting family and friends.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                             The cats' version of bunk beds.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Happy Labor Day

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Labor Day holiday. Schools are back in session on Wednesday in my area so it really does seem like this weekend is the end of summer.