Tag Archives: humor

Martha Stewart Has Balls

Moonday Madness

a blog for writers (and everyone else who is interested)

I think by now you know about my obsession with balls.

Just in case you’ve missed it, you’ll want to start at the beginning. It all began with my quest for a way to make my laundry a more green experience, and it ended up feeling blue. Read the post on Why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls and you’ll understand.

For those of you in the know, here is the next installment in my tragic tale.

No, it’s not a laundry story, but it does have to do with my husband.

Chuck itOn the weekends we pack the car up with the dog, Jeff, and myself, and head off to the dog park. (Code name DP, since our dog speaks limited English.) The most important piece of equipment is, THE CHUCKER.

Actually the brand name is ChuckIt, but we call it…THE CHUCKER.

And it’s terrible if we leave it at home because between my lack of sporting ability and Jeff’s bad shoulders (One had surgery a few years ago and the other will need it before too long.) the dog can run much farther than either one of us can throw.

I can hear my husband protesting in the background. He can throw without THE CHUCKER it just hurts like hell after  ten or twenty throws. Me, on the other hand,  I suck.

Now sometimes we bring our own balls. (Not the blue laundry balls, of course). But most of the time we use the gnarly tennis balls that inhabit the mud at the DP (remember, we don’t say Dog Park. Shh.)

Molly is a lab and she loves to run after the balls. So we pick up four or five (since Jeff has her mostly trained to drop one while she’s running for the next) and walk around the DP tossing ball after ball. Most of the balls are a faded Oscar the Grouch green. Some look like they used to be yellow, and occaisionally we spot a real live Chuckit ball, of the orange and blue variety that we know someone paid big bucks for and lost in the weeds and mud at the DP.

WE love those balls. They are special. We look for them. Do they last longer? I don’t know. But they stand out compared to the faded tennis balls. We can spot them when Molly loses one in the brush.

martha stewart dog ballsBut one day we found a pink ball. Not just any pink ball. (Most of the tennis balls are hot pink, but this one was a very pretty pastel pink.)We loved the ball. It stood out against the mud and the drought ridden weeds. It bounced and flew and didn’t even break when Molly savaged it with her 85 pound jaws.

And guess what brand it was.

Martha Stewart.

Yes, Martha Stewart has balls.

Pale blue, pale pink, and a very rebellious red. Just in case the standard tennis balls aren’t good enough for your pooch, you can have a special balls. Just like Martha.

And only $5.99 each.

Considering how fragile balls are when you tear at them with your teeth, I think these are a little pricey, but it may be worth it to you to color co-ordinate with your leash and collar set. Me? Well, Jeff, Molly and I, we’ll be hoping for more people to lose theirs at the DP. And when we donate our balls they’ll be of the usual variety. Used.

Having fun in November? I’m still Nanoing it, check in HERE for my progress on my gorgeous word count progress meter. Want one for yourself? Click HERE to find out all about them. Need your own new set of balls? Click HERE, and you too can have balls just like Martha Stewart.

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Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania

Five Curious Things I’ve learned about blogging

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing (and maybe blogging)

After seeing my amazing stats on Saturday it occurred to me that It’s officially been a year of blogging and I’ve learned a ton. So today I am sharing some of my hard earned wisdom.

1. Get it done ahead of time

If I put off writing my blog (heck, if I put off doing anything) the universe bites me in the butt. If I think that I can squeeze writing my three to five hundred words into the morning of the day it’s due, that will be the day I will oversleep. With a migraine. And it will be snowing and I’ll have to drive someone to school. And they’ll forget something important. And I’ll run out of gas.

In other words, karma. I have been a procrastinator all my life and now that I am “reformed” if I slip off track, karma will be there like a seven headed snake.

2. Writers block is a myth.

Except when you have a deadline breathing down your neck and not one teeny tiny idea of what to say. Then it’s a huge monster lurking behind your chair, making fun of you. Better to write when the muse appears and do it a week, a month, heck it doesn’t matter how far ahead you are. If you have some extra blogs in the can, you will be a happy blogger.

3. Take care of your friends.

Your friends are the ones you can count on when you need help, and likewise- your friends need you. Right? Right. so drop by their place and leave a comment. Tweet, FB and whatever else you can do to help them along. At the very least remember to say “hi!” on twitter once in a while. You don’t keep good friends by leaving them alone, you need to stay in touch.

4. No matter what kind of thing you have just installed on your website you will want ten others by the end of the day. (But stay away!)

I love everyone’s sites. I love their widgets and plug-ins. I love the rotating book covers that link to Amazon (that they probably make money off of every day). I want them all. But my website capabilities, not to mention my website, do not extend to adding these things gracefully. Take putting a video into the posts. I can now do this. But it took me an hour to figure out how to do it. First I consulted WordPress for Dummies. Well, I need the remedial version. Maybe it’s because I did not sit down and study it from front to back but when I go to consult the book about something that should be simple, it isn’t.

So I look at all the different pages and try to figure it out. And then I go to YouTube and search for it. Inevitably there is some kind soul who has actually reduced the things I’m trying to do to baby steps. And I play and re-wind and take notes. And an hour later I can embed a video. Something that really takes less than thirty seconds and no ability to accomplish.

5. Blogging is easy, and it’s not.

When I first thought about blogging every week I got scared. What would I write? Would anyone care? Can I do this week in and week out?

The answer is yes. Yes I can do this. Yes people care (or at least they pretend to). And yes, it’s scary but then so is everything in life. You can stay home and do nothing or you can venture out into the blogging stream and get your feet wet. So here I am. And it turns out, as long as I don’t wait till the last minute, I can think of things to write. And people do care! (Or they fake it, either way I’m happy.)

Thanks for reading and thanks for the support over the last year. Especially thanks for the encouragement on Little Red Riding Wolf. And do go and enter the contest HERE. Otherwise I will be forced to eat all the chocolate myself and then I won’t fit into the t-shirts.

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Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Revenge of the Dryer Balls!

Sensational Saturdays

run for your lives!

If you missed the first dyer ball exposé click HERE for “Why Everyone Needs an Extra Set of Balls” then come on back and find out today’s scary installment.

It’s happened, my husband is down to one ball.

Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday, and since I had finally successfully finished shopping on Friday, (you can read about that HERE) I concentrated on the cooking. Hubby focused on what he usually does on Saturdays, the laundry. Everything was going along just fine, until he asked me to flip the laundry. (That means I get to come upstairs with the dry clothes and fold them. A tricky way for him to get out of that part of the job)

I went downstairs and pulled the clothes out and lo and behold there was only one lonely blue ball in the dryer. WHAT! I’ve purchased at least three sets of the things. Where do they go?

So I did the unthinkable. I got down on my knees and looked under the dryer, dug through the cobwebs and there, at the back of the dark crevice one was hiding.

Now for those of you with washers and dryers that sit on the floor, you might be wondering how I could look under the dryer. Well, my husband doesn’t like to bend over, (NOT even going there) and we have a front loading washer. So now you ask, why isn’t it up on those cute little stands? Because when we purchased said washer I, the short person, did all the laundry. And I like to be able to reach the controls on the older dryer that are at the back of the machine.

Are you still with me?

Now Jeff has taken over the laundry and he (NOT going there) doesn’t like to bend over. So instead of going out and purchasing said, cute, washer dryer stands, one day (when I was not home) he built his own. To his height specifications.

To his credit, he did ask someone female to see if she could reach the dryer controls. Somehow it didn’t occur to anyone that she’s three inches taller and has much longer legs and arms and can reach them easily. Now I cannot reach the dryer controls without standing on my tip-toes and squshing my, umm, chest on the dryer and stretching my fingers to reach the dial. We are not even talking about the two shelves of cleaning supplies above the dryer. Jeff says his next project is to build me a step.

So, now, under my washer and dryer, where everyone else has clean white pained steel. I have two by fours and a large spider calling empty space. One where the dryer balls think they can hide.

But I’m smarter than the average dryer ball (NOT going there either) and I found the sucker, despite it’s best efforts to look small and innocent. Back into the dryer it went only to disappear again. Now Jeff is getting frustrated and I can’t find it. The sucker did a good job of hiding this time.

Now, for some reason, we washed the bed linens on Christmas Eve. Everything, including the mattress pad, and as we were late getting out the door to my parents house one of the last things we did was throw the bed back together in two minutes flat. Then out the door and off to dinner where we stayed till almost 11:30. By the time we got home and finished the last of the wrapping and got everyone into bed, and played Santa, we were pooped. It was nearly one AM when I in my kerchief and Jeff in his cap climbed into bed. And what to my wondering ears should I hear but “What the @#%&!”

There, under the sheet, under the mattress pad, lying in wait was one of those spiky blue balls. Lucky Jeff. So now he has two balls again!

Drop by tomorrow for the unveiling of my new contest to promote Little Red Riding Wolf’s release from Passion in Print Press on February 18th, 2012.

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I’m stuck at the Mall!

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for ????

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I’ll keep it short and sweet as I’m actually writing this on Friday and yes, I still have Christmas shopping to do. It’s awful, but I’m not a good shopper. Every year I plan to be done early because I dislike crowds and leaving it late means I’m bogged down in the worst crowds of the year. (With the exception of the return lines in January)

What I should do is shop online, but that is just as bad. It takes too much time. This is why I like one stop shopping. I like to go to one store, with my list, and get it all done. Kohl’s is my hero! They have almost everything I need. Between Kohl’s and Michaels I can get ninety nine percent of my shopping done and not have to go to the mall. But then there is that pesky one percent left.

And that’s what I face today. I face the mall. I need something (and I can’t type it here because the person is sure to look) and I have looked at Kohl’s and been let down. They don’t have it. So I’m forced to make the trek to the mall and deal with the granite floors that hurt my joints (don’t say I’m getting old, my joints started to hurt at 20). I have to push my way through the crowds and figure out where I am by the map on the kiosk. If I can find a kiosk.

At least there are no tele-marketers at the mall. I remember a time when they would loiter in the hallways trying to get you to take surveys, or watch ads in a tiny room and give your opinion. No longer are we subjected to that. But there will be crowds. And the worst part about shopping. Making the decision.

That’s my real issue. Can I get this particular item in the store (that’s a half mile walk down the granite pathways) cheaper? Will it be nicer? Or if I walk all the way down there will they be out?

How much time will it really take to buy one item once I get into the trap that is the mall?

With any luck I’ll be finished by the end of today. Otherwise, I’ll be out shopping Christmas Eve with the crazed husbands. (shudder)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good write!

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Filed under About the Author, Sensational Saturday's

Christmas Meme??? I’ve been tagged!

Check out Gloria Richard's Holiday Blog Hop!

I’ve been tagged by the infamous Brinda Berry to answer some Holiday Questions. Since the snow is coming down on WordPress, and I’m checking out the Romance Countdown to 2012 every day I’m in a Holiday mood! So here goes! A Christmas Meme.

meme (play /ˈmm/[1]) is “an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”[2]  A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3] Source: Wikipedia

BTW: Wikipedia is running their annual donation campaign. If you love Wikipedia, donating a few dollars is a great way to show your support. As an author Wikipedia is a terrific first stop on my research train.

Please feel free to copy these questions and answer them on your blog. This is a Christmas meme.  If you do want to play along, leave a link in the comments section. We’d love to read your Christmas interview answers! TAG–> YOU’RE IT!

I’m going to continue Brinda’s start and personally tag some terrific writers: Hillary Seidl, MLGuida, Elaine Cougler, tag…. you’re it!

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Can’t I have both? I’m a both kind of gal. Egg Nog once a year with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a dash of rum (for good luck). Hot chocolate from fresh cocoa and soy milk heated up slowly and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. If anyone has a vegan Egg Nog recipe, I’m all ears!
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa wraps. In the same humongous floral Christmas wrap that hubby brought home ten years ago. I think we are (finally) at the end. It was on sale. I’ve been experimenting with not buying wrapping paper for the last few years, using up what we have. Re-using bags and decorated boxes. One of my favorite things to wrap in is fabric. You can use it just like paper and tie with a real ribbon, or you can sew it into a giant bag and use year after year.
Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
I love coloured lights on the tree. (Yeah, Gloria, I left the U!) And we usually do white outside. Actually last year the lights on the Charlie Brown tree died. All except for one blinking strand that only covered a portion of the middle. (More on the tree further down.)

Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but maybe I should. When you read Gloria’s expectations of the mistletoe in her house. (If you haven’t read Brinda’s blog that started this meme, click HERE to find out what Gloria is doing) I didn’t realize if I hung it up Gibbs and crew would show up! I’m going to be out tracking down the mistletoe ASAP!

When do you put your decorations up?
I used to manage to start the weekend of Thanksgiving, but last year I struggled to get the Charlie Brown tree up the few days before Christmas. That meant we had to leave it up way past Epiphany, of course. And as for outdoor lights? Last year, we had none. The year before we had bright white icicles the day after Turkey Day. This year? I still have my Thanksgiving wreath up, but that’s because I’m waiting for the local HS baseball team to start their wreath sales. The second they do, I’m buying and the wreath will be up. Hmm, that’s probably today. Guess I’d better get out there.

What is your favourite holiday dish?
This is a toughie. I guess I’d say the Yule Log. Every year someone in the family makes a Yule Log for Christmas Eve dinner. And each person puts their own twist on it. I make a chocolate cake with chocolate almond butter cream filling and dark chocolate butter cream frosting, decorated with little meringue mushrooms. But we’ve had everything from gingerbread, to ice cream cake, to donuts stuck together in a log shape with canned frosting. (Okay, that year we had two as the donut one was a joke. The other one was fantastic and made by my bearded carpenter brother-in-law!)

Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
I had the amazing experience of seeing Rudolph fly over the house in the middle of the night when I was five. That red light blinking in the sky must have been Rudolph, right? I woke everyone up and we unwrapped presents at 4am.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
A few years later I got up in the middle of the night (did I tell you I’m up a lot?) and I saw my dad putting presents under the tree. He told me he was just checking them out, but by then I’d heard the rumors.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We actually open the smallest gift under the tree on the Winter Solstice. I think my mom picked the smallest ones because she could control what we opened and that way it was never the giant special present and everyone got something equal. One thing is you have to hold back whatever is smallest if that is the special present. I’ve done it with my kids and it’s usually the Christmas pj’s or bathrobes, so we all look cute on Christmas Eve.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
OK, now is the tale of the Charlie Brown Tree. We used to have a live tree, but my allergies have gotten worse and no one wants a headache for the entire Christmas season. So a few years ago I decided to go with fake, but we were low on money. My sister told me she had two in her garage (she is an amazing resource) and gave me one. Well it turns out it’s actually shorter than me, and I’m a dazzling 5’2.5″. Add in our pathetic dying light strings and the fact that for the last few years we’ve either had young cats or a puppy and you might get the picture.

Last year we only put plastic decorations on the bottom half of the tree, so the puppy wouldn’t eat the glass ones. The lights died (except for the straggling blinking hold-out) and we topped it with our traditional towering Santa, who is over a foot tall. The poor thing sways under the weight.

Oh, and it’s starting to drop plastic needles, just like a live tree. I have to vacuum frequently to keep up with the balding so the cats won’t eat them. I don’t think plastic needles in cat barf would do much for the carpet.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I love it! I do complain about the cold, but the truth is I love to see it come down every year. We live in Colorado, so we get a fair amount. IN FACT it’s snowing right now. Don’t you see it coming down on the screen?

Can you ice skate?
HAHAHAHAHA! Um. No. Not well. (I’m just leaving Gloria’s comment. She and I can sit by the fire together and drink hot chocolate and take pictures with her Polaroid Camera of all you athletic types with strong ankles.)

Do you remember your favourite gift?
My first niece was born on Christmas Eve, that was pretty exciting!

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Socializing. I love the parties and seeing friends and family for an entire month. I can skip the presents (shh, don’t tell my husband or he might take me seriously) but I love the fact that people make the time to get out and have fun!

What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?
OOH! I think I already covered this one with the Yule Log. The gingerbread chocolate one was pretty good, as was the German traditional one my brother did, with a more vanilla type cake. Can’t wait to see what my nephew comes up with this year, he’s on a low-carb kick, so it might be black bean and sugar free.

What is your favourite holiday tradition?
We spend Christmas Eve with my family and have a white elephant gift exchange for the anyone over fifteen. We like it so much that everyone brings two gifts and we have two rounds. You have the choice to open a new gift or steal an already opened gift. If someone steals your gift, you can then open a new one, or steal another. The stealing can get pretty crazy. Especially if somone throws, say, Godiva chocolates or movie tickets into the mix. But watch out if you pick a new gift. It might be a Chia pet or a 2 foot baby doll decorated entirely in hard candies.

What tops your tree?
The towering Santa rules the tree.

Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I like both! Once again, I don’t want to make a choice. Are you seeing a pattern here?

What is your favourite Christmas Song?
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. We have to play that every year! That and I love my mom’s old Christmas recording of Go Tell it On the Mountain with the very low deep man singing. Wish I had a copy of that one!

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
Did I forget to tell you about the Charlie Brown Candy Canes. I recycle. They keep, don’t they? From year to year I just stick the same ones on. Hey, don’t eat the candy on the tree,  go for the bowl instead.

Favourite Christmas Show?
I love the Sant Clause. In fact I love all of them. They are hilarious!

Saddest Christmas Song
Oh, I don’t like the sad ones. I change the station. No depression during the Holiday season for me! Put that Grandma got run over song on again! I want to laugh.

Thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to copy the questions, or make your own and leave a comment with your blog address. I’ll try to get by if you do! And hop on over to Brinda’s blog where this all started. Gloria’s Holiday Interview is there. Any unusual Holiday traditions? Leave a comment and share.

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Getting Ready for NANORIMO 2012! (Because it’s now too late for 2011)

Sensational Saturdays

a crazy blog where you get to read whatever is going on in my head

Another year is setting and again I missed out on NaNoRiMo. I don’t know why I want to participate. Maybe it’s the camaraderie, maybe it’s the glory, maybe it’s the cool t-shirts. Whatever it is, I want it bad.

But apparently not bad enough. Every year I plan to participate. This year I planned on it from the beginning of January. I plotted and planned and didn’t make it. Another year where my life got in the way of my writing. Actually, this year I did get a tremendous amount of writing done.  I finished a 20+ novella and am finishing edits on a novel. And I even tried my own NaNo in August. (I did not make 50k and just ended up depressed.)

But, there is always next year! I am hoping to not be at the day job next November. (Okay, stop laughing.) I have it in my goals that next year is the year I can quit the day job and just focus on the writing, so obviously, it must happen. I wrote it down!

I’m nearly there. With Little Red Riding Wolf set to release in February I have a good start on quitting. The day job doesn’t actually pay me very much and it’s only for part of the year, so it’s not impossible!

And guess what? I have two YA novels plotting in my head, competing for that coveted NaNoRiMo spot. I’m not sharing the plots just yet (I’ll let you know if and when I actually get to writing), but I definitely want to write them for next November. (At least one of them.)

So, it’s not even 2012 and I’m getting ready for next year. How about you? Have you ever managed NaNo? Even a few thousand words? How did it go? Has anyone ever completed the fifty thousand? Whose with me for next year? (Don’t forget, I’ve bailed on this every year because of the actual need for cash in the drawer instead of a massive amount of words, but I’m game today!)

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Filed under Goal Setting, Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's

The Blog Tour Cometh

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever the bleep I feel like writing

It’s coming. I can feel it getting closer day by day.

The blog tour for Little Red Riding Wolf approaches.

I haven’t set up many stops yet, but even the thought of setting them up gets my mind spinning. Where should I go? Who should I contact? How do you do this? Little Red Riding Wolf is paranormal, so I need to do something on paranormal blogs, but should I do other kinds as well? Of course I’m going to start with my friends. Some of them have already kindly offered and been accepted with great relief. I have a place to go where I am welcome.

Who knew this almost anonymous action of blogging would feel so personal? I don’t have to pick up the phone and call anyone, listen to their hemming and hawing while they pretend to check their calendars. I don’t have to knock on doors, or face no-soliciting signs. But somehow even with the apparent facelessness of the internet, it feels intimate.

My internet friends are friends. Even if I’ve never met them. Despite the fact that I’ve never met them. They are my friends. This thought dawned on me as I watched Elaine Cougler interview Sharon Clare at her blog (On Becoming a Wordsmith). As they smiled and chatted and talked to the camera, I almost recognized their reactions, their tones, their quirks.

Why? Because we’ve been getting to know each other through the internet. And for centuries that’s how friendships have grown. No, I know the internet is new, but writing letters, revealing yourself through words, that is centuries old. Many people who considered themselves friends never met through anything other than letters. They would strike up a correspondence as strangers, but through common experiences or goals or interests they would become friends.

Meeting friends through the internet isn’t as deep as writing a personal letter. You know everyone is reading your correspondence, and it is composed of one or two liners. That’s why Twitter is so successful. It turns out that one or two lines can express your personality, outline your goals, or sink your ship as well as entire letters. Okay, maybe not as well. But think of taking the time to write a letter over a week, or even a month. Filling the pages with one or two lines at a time. Lines that might be full of deep thought, or lines that are quick in-between glimpses into your daily life. Then its all saved up and mailed at one time. It’s still small bursts of intimacy.

I believe we were losing the art of correspondance due to the telephone. No one wrote letters, at least not very often. Maybe cards during the holidays, or maybe not. When the computer and printer came around most of my friends settled on a group letter. Sure it let you know what every single person in the family had accomplished over the year, but it was generic and didn’t feel very personal. Now with Facebook, I can see my friends and their kids as their lives evolve during the year.

Yes, our lives are busy. Yes, we don’t have time for more than scanning and sending out a quick tweet. Yes it might feel like this isn’t what a close one-on-one cup of coffee would be like. But I feel the friendship. I feel that I am getting to know each and every one of you who comments. The pithy one liners, the carefully constructed words, the love and support.

Its all real, and I appreciate it all. And BTW: if you haven’t heard from me, I’ll be knocking on your door soon. Asking for a place to hang my hat for the day. In the old paper writing days one would write a letter of introduction, asking for an interview. Now I’ll be writing a letter of inquiry and sending it by email. Not so very different. Words, whether electronic or on paper, do promote intimacy. Thank you everyone for the friendship.

And in that spirit I will burden you with a last vegan recipe. This one is culled from a pot-luck dish and can be served to anyone as a side dish. (Just don’t tell them it’s healthy) And it can form a satisfying main meal if you will be having any vegetarians or vegans as guests. I like to make a big batch and freeze it in small containers for lunches.

Savory Lentils and Rice

  • 1 med onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup lentils (I like the color of red lentils, but green works just fine)
  • 3 cups water* mixed with 1 Tbl Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 tsp each Tarragon, Thyme, and Marjoram
  • 1 cup greens, chopped into small pieces, I like turnip or kale

Pre-heat oven to 350° . Sauté onions and garlic in oil over med-low heat till soft. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake covered for 1/2 hour, then stir and uncover, another 1/2 – 1 hour.

*I am at high altitude and need to use 4 cups of water and a longer cooking time, total 2 hours. Also if you use short or long grain brown rice, that can change your cooking time. Short grain cooks faster. This dish can be made ahead of time and re-heated. It is very accommodating.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Veganista? Or Veganish?, Writer's Journey

Discovering Adult Playdates

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write whatever comes up

 

A few years ago I found that my contact with adults was limited to opportunities that had to do with children. I baked cupcakes for the bake sale, drove here and there for everything from the zoo to the jumpy castle birthday party, and hauled cases of juice boxes. My conversations were squeezed into ten minute increments with a child pulling on my arm “It’s time to go Mom!”

And we seemed to only talk about kids. What was going on at the school or at Girl Scouts or soccer. How the volunteering for swim team was enormous and what a relief it was that the child had decided not to do it this year. Short conversations that revolved around something that wouldn’t even be an issue in a few years. Because those kids grow up.

As my children’s world grew bigger, mine shrank. No longer did I get to walk them to school and meet adults outside on the playground. They walked themselves. Now the drama and trauma of the empty nest loomed.

I tried dialing old friends, then ones with whom I’d partied all night in college, spilled my guts to over early morning pancakes. Those people I thought I’d always be friends with. Turns out while I was busy helping my kids learn to get friends and influence people I’d lost all of my own. I was left alone with the cupcakes.

At around the same time I sold used books out of my house. A job that kept me busy and earned around $300 a week with little time except that spent scrounging around dusty thrift stores searching for treasure. An activity I loved having an excuse to do, but was once again solitary. One of the side benefits was the ton of used books on a variety of eclectic subjects. That’s how I read the 80’s classic The Beardstown Ladies’ Common-Sense Investment Guide.

Why anyone would read an old paperback about a bunch of older ladies and their club is beyond me. But I loved it. I went on to Chicks Laying Nest Eggs : How 10 Skirts Beat the Pants Off Wall Street…And How You Can Too! A more modern hip version where the ladies were hot hockey wives and they met online through emails instead of in dusty small town meeting rooms. I was hooked.

I wanted a club. One where I could talk to adults about adult subjects. And the get rich on the side benefit? Well money is always nice. I reasoned that my busy friends who never had the time anymore to get together would make the time if it was an SIE (scheduled important event). And I was not disappointed.

Under the excuse about learning about the stock market I called my friends who never had the time to go out. They came. They made time for the first meeting. We had our own cupcakes and instead of apple juice in boxes we had glowing red and white wine in glass bottles. It was an adult play date.

The Queens of Green are still meeting three years later. I’ve learned a ton of stuff about the stock market, made a little money, (yes, we are actually up-at least as of yesterday) and now I manage my own tiny investments online. But the best part is my secret tell-no-one goal has been achieved. I now have my own friends.

And the looming threat of the empty nest? Well that is a distant memory. Between my investment club, my RWA activities, and oh yeah, writing full time, I have no fears of the empty nest. I’ve prevented what could have been a catastrophe.

Have you ever had to re-make your life? What happens to those friends who you swore you’d always have contact with? What feeds your soul and keeps you from threats like the empty nest?

I want to thank Shutterstock for the free clip art. Yumm, cupcakes..

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Filed under channeling success, Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's

Announcing Big News!

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

TA DA!

I’m thrilled to announce the acceptance of a contract from Passion in Print Press for my sensual novella Little Red Riding Wolf!

Little Red Riding Wolf is a tongue in cheek twisted fairy tale that won an honorable mention in RWA’s Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight contest this July. I had a fun time writing it and I’m thrilled that Passion in Print is picking it up. After listening to Laura Baumbach talk to CRW at our mini-con in August I came away very impressed with her dedication to publishing a quality product and even though I hadn’t planned on pitching (because The Queen’s Huntsman is still being edited again and again and my current WIP is not finished) I took a chance and pitched Little Red.

And now it will be a published e-novella! With it’s very own cover and available on the Passion in Print site for purchase!

I’m not sure exactly when it will be available, I will now have edits and all that goes with the publishing process to complete, but it is a very exciting way to come full circle this September. Last September I turned the corner at Margie Lawson’s Deep Immersion class and moved from being a writer to being an author. If you’ve been following my journey, I have been marching steadily down the road with the full intention of reaching publication. And now that day is here!

I’ll be posting updates on Little Red’s journey as well as my own on my News! page and I will continue to update my bio page with semi-montly snippets on my life.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this excitement!

My husband, first and foremost, for always being supportive. My IMC buddies from WooHooU! Sherry Isaac, Gloria Richard, Joan Swan, Babs Mountjoy, and of course Margie Lawson. And my mother, who insisted I had to go to Margie’s last year!

As well as everyone in CRW, but especially ML Guida and Hillary Seidl for insisiting I pitch and Lori Corsentino for switching spots with me. Lori, I never would have pitched if you weren’t such a generous soul!

And my CP Jessica R., for reading through Little Red Riding Wolf when she had just met me and writing detailed comments complete with green post-it notes. Thanks for all the critiquing!

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Picture Poll

Sensational Saturday

a blog where I just write

Number 1

One of the many jobs I have currently is a volunteer position as CRW’s PRO liaison. What that really means is if anyone has questions about RWA and PRO, I get to answer them. In an attempt to make the liaison position a little more exciting myself and Ashley March (CRW’s PAL Liaison and author of Romancing the Countess) started a bi-monthly article on the website for the PRO and PAL members.

This month I listed some professional goals that even pre-published authors should have on their list if they want to be heading down the road to publishing and one of these is the headshot.

I’ve gotten the website, and the business cards. I blog the heck out of this site and I also am blogging on Paranormal Freebies, but as a prarnormal romance author I know that the head shot is something that needs to be done. But I’ve been procrastinating. It means getting a haircut, and getting makeup done. It means trying on clothes in an attmept to look professional. Needless to say I’d rather be writing.

Number 2

Last week I finally got around to getting some better pictures, and as usual it was one of those spur of the moment things. I’m posting the ones I like best and was going to try doing something that’s been tempting me on the site. A poll.

I thought I could just click on the word  POLLS in the menu and lo and behold I could create a poll, but it turns out you need to create an account with Polldaddy, and sorry folks, I’m not up to that today.

So instead we are doing it the old fashioned way. I’ve posted a few of the pictures and placed numbers in the captions. You can comment in the boxes below as to which ones you like best. Now I’m not promising what I’ll use them for, but I definitely will use the number one photo on my bio page. At least for a while. (Don’t throw me under the bus people, please!)

This first picture is one I played with, but I think it’s kind of cool! It reminds me of the aura photography, and I love the way it’s funky and old fashioned at the same time.

number 3

And the next few are a little casual, but I wanted a few casual ones.

We took a lot of pictures, but of course I’m picky about which ones go up here.

Number Four

This is why models get paid the big bucks, because it takes five hundred pictures to get one decent one!

Number 5

Number five is the best of the formal shots. I am not a big fan of formal pictures, they add ten years to my life. But this one isn’t bad. I tend to get the not-smile on my face. Someday I’ll go in and get all the fancy stuff done, the hair and make-up and all that, but for now, here I am!

Thanks for participating!

I’m going to be attending the CRW Annual September Writers Retreat, so I will check back on Monday. That will give you lots of time to get your friends to come back, laugh at me and then vote!

Thanks for your help! Click on the little cloud at the top to leave your vote in the comment box!

UPDATE:

Number Two is the winner! But I will definitely be using them all for different purposes, so thanks everyone!

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Filed under Sensational Saturday's