Monday, February 28, 2011


Hi all!  Sorry for being off line last week, but when you look at the pictures below, I am certain you will understand my absence.  We have been remodeling our upstairs into a bedroom for my son.  While it is not quite done yet (who knew one kid could have so much stuff to sort through!), we are a longs ways from where we were last week at this time.

Last Monday when I left for work, the room looked like this:

When I came home from work it looked like this:

When I went to bed it looked like this:

Tomorrow I'll share the transformation my son's old room has been going through (as well as the rest of my house!)

PS!  Special thanks to Regina for the blog award on Friday!  I promise to share more about it by early next week!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Blogging this week is going to be spotty from me.  Sorry about that.

We just got back from a quick trip to Southern PA and Baltimore, MD over the weekend.  Then it snowed (again), and we had to clear the rest of the stuff from the room upstairs so it can get carpeted tomorrow (Yeah!!) and become Dear Son's room!

So, tomorrow before work I have a few more things I need to help hubby moved out of the way, and after work we will be moving stuff up to transfer the room.  As you can imagine, this won't allow for online time.  But, it means I am that much closer to having my own office to write to all of you from.

I'll be sure to take pictures so you can see my progress as I transform the boy's room to my room.

Hope you all have a great week.  I'll be back in as soon as I can!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Recipe Friday!

Welcome to all of my new followers, and welcome back to my regulars.  I hope you all had a splendid week.

First I'll share with you the "Heart Shaped Bread Bowls" I made for Valentine's Day (although they didn't quite turn out the way I wanted), then I'll give you an easy cinnamon bun recipe.

Bread Bowls
Thaw a loaf of frozen bread dough.  I let mine rise in a ziplock (gallon size) bag over night.  Pull the dough into 3 (or 4) sections and shape into a heart (or a circle) and place on a greased sheet pan.  Grease the outside of 3 (or 4) ramekins and push into the center of each dough shape. Let rise for about 15-30 minutes. [Here is where I made my mistake. I should have let the dough rise a bit more, but I didn't.  That, and I pushed too hard with my ramekins and broke through the bottom of the dough.]  Bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven (or until browned as you like).  Remove from oven and remove ramekins.  Fill with stew or chili.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Buns
Frozen bread dough
1 stick Butter, softened
Brown Sugar
Raisins (optional)

Thaw two loaves of frozen bread in a gallon ziplock.  Mush down and spread on a greased sheet pan.  (You want to make a long, thin rectangle, but not too thin.  [If you are using raisins, place in a bowl, cover with water, and put in the microwave for about 30 seconds to plump them up.]  Brush all the butter over the bread dough, leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch border all the way around.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and spread on a layer of brown sugar.  Add raisins, then roll up (from the narrowest side is how I usually do it).  Cut into sections and set upright on the sheet pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (or until browned as you like).

In a bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 Tablespoon of water.  You can add a few drops of lemon juice and cream cheese to make it more like frosting.  Pour (or spread) over the baked cinnamon buns.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Day Late...

OK, so this blogfest was happening yesterday, and I meant to get this post up, but work, life and writing intervened (I'm sure you all understand!)

Well, here are my answers to the Bernard Pivot Blogfest from  Nicole's One Significant Moment at a Time.

  1. What is your favorite word? I would have to say my favorite word is asinine.  I just love the sound of it.  
  2. What is your least favorite word? Hmm.  My least favorite is quit.  I never want to give up on something.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?Music.  Definitely.
  4. What turns you off? Negativity.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? Well, I don't really swear that much, but I do like the British word wanker.
  6. What sound or noise do you love? I love to hear my son's laughter.
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? Wind chimes-- or any incessant noise that really  doesn't create a song.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Taxi driver.  Between the people and the other drivers.... Yeah, not for me.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome home!  It's good to see you!

How about you?  How would you answer these questions?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WCC Wednesday

Wow!  It's the 16th of February.  Where is the year going???  I got some very good feedback for my WIP, The Ruby Dagger this week.  I am working at applying the comments, while moving forward in the story.  Over the weekend I outlined the rest of the chapters for the story (now, if they stay that way is yet to be seen).  I need to have a basic road map of where I am going, but I still let my characters run down those side roads to see what's hiding in the shadows.

Take yesterday, I was writing a scene where they are looking for the male MC, and, with some really cool magic, they found him.  As I was writing their entrance into where he was being held, I looked down and saw my notes for the next chapter and had an "Oh, crap!" moment.  I had totally forgotten I didn't want him to be there.  But, with some quick thinking, I was able to make that happen.  The magic was totally not expected, nor was the speed with which they would succeed.  But, in the end, I was able to take that side road back to my main road-- a little detour, but one I think will work well.

Trisha and Lindsay have finished their WIP (I still have 3 more chapters to go with it!) and let me just say, Wow!  I really loved what they did.  What a great tale-- it kept me guessing in parts, and never failed to keep me turning the pages (or hitting the page down button, as is more accurate!)

Fiona is really finding her footing in the center of her WIP.  I am anxious to see what the changes are that she has made to parts I've already read.

Jackie is still working through her outline.  She is a bit more of a planner than I am-- but hey, differences are what make it all so interesting!

Katie is being incredibly patient.  She's working on another WIP while I go through the remainder of her story. I've managed to get another chapter off to her, and hope to get a couple more out this week!

How about you?  How have your WIP's gone this week?  Are you planning or panstering?  If you plan, do you give your characters a chance to stop and smell the roses along the way, or march them down a specific path?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Changing Weather

Yesterday morning it was warm here, I think in the 40's (I could easily have gone to the bus stop without a coat!)  The sun came out, the birds were singing.  And then, the skies turned gray, and rain began to fall and the wind began to blow.

Last night, the wind howled and the sky spit snow.  It really shouldn't have been a surprise to me to see the road covered in snow when I woke up, but it was.  Today it's supposed to be a high in the low 20's with a wind chill making it feel below zero.

Tomorrow, however, is supposed to be a high around 40.  And, we're supposed to get close to 50 by the weekend (before coming back down to normal temps in the mid-upper 30's).

It got me thinking about the weather my characters face.  In Quest, I have my characters experience thunderstorms,and the cold of being high in the mountains.  In Ruby Dagger,  it is the middle of a cold winter.  What about you?  Do you have the weather impact your characters?  How?  Why?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Monday, and Happy Valentine's Day!!!

This past weekend was filled with writing, reading, and getting the last few things we need to finish up our son's room.  (We are remodeling the upstairs of our cape to give him a bigger room.)  The half bath should get the walls up and toilet and sink back in this week.  That leaves the carpet (which will happen next week), then we can move him in.

What makes this so exciting?  Well, his current bedroom will become my office.  Since October, all my writing things have been scattered throughout the house as we remodel and move things from one room to another.  This means by the end of the month, I should have an office to relax and write in (or by early March if I am being more realistic--- I do have to paint the room!)

Speaking of painting, I am taking the room from a bright green (it worked for my son) to a color called "Glass Slipper" (a very pale blue).  The humor of the name is not lost on me.  (For those of you who don't know, I write fairytales!)

Well, hope you and yours have a love filled Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Recipe Friday!

Last year we started watching Man vs Food.  I don't recall the episode (or even where Adam was), but there was one where Adam had these super huge, loaded pancakes for breakfast.  After watching that show, I decided to do some experimenting in the kitchen to see what I could come up with, given the supplies on hand.  I found chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and bananas on hand.

So, here's what I'm calling "Loaded Pancakes".

Loaded Pancakes
Pancake mix
Chocolate chips
Butterscotch chips
Bananas, sliced thinly
Anything else you want

Mix up your favorite batter and get your griddle hot, and spray with your cooking spray (or whatever you use to keep things from sticking).

Pour out pancake batter.  While the first side is cooking, place banana slices, chips, and whatever else you want on the top side (nuts would be a good addition!)  Flip.  Cook.  Put on plate.  Smear with butter (or margarine) and top with syrup (we prefer real maple syrup, but the other stuff works, too!)

Give these a try and let me know what you added.  Have a great weekend! And don't forget-- Monday is Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When You Don't Want To

Last night I went swimming with a couple of friends.  At first I wanted to beg off as it was really cold out, but I went anyway. (If my one friend had a cold and could go, so could I!)  We had a great time, and got in  a good work out, and I was very happy I had gone.

Lately that's how my writing has been.  I keep putting off working on writing out my WIP (my brain is always working on the scenes and letting me see where I need to go), then I make myself sit down and write it out as I have people waiting to read it (thankfully!).   Some days it goes better than others, but I almost always find I am happy that I have finished more of my work.  It is an awesome feeling to watch something you are creating take shape in front of your eyes.

How about you?  Do you run willingly to the computer (paper/pen) and write, or are there times that you have to force yourself to do it?  How do you feel afterward? 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WCC Wednesday

Brrrr! Is it cold out there!  I love winter, but I must admit, I am quite ready for this one to be over and the warmth and greenness of spring to arrive.

This week I have made good progress on my WIP (I almost finished a chapter in one day yesterday-- a far cry from the 4 days it took last week!)  I have ideas for where I am going with my re-working of Quest, too (formerly Sleeping Handsome-- I know-- I really didn't like that title either!)

Trisha and Lindsay are making great progress on their dystopian.  We all agreed on chat the other night that we eagerly await more from them each week.

Fiona has hit her stride with these latest chapters of her time-slip.  They are engaging and make you want to read more!

Jackie is reworking her entire idea, so I am patiently (well, mostly patiently) waiting to see what she does.

The next two days I intend to devote time to reading through Katie's work and getting more of it back to her.

How are you WIP's going this week?  Did you finish up?  Are you stuck?  Have you made goals for yourself?  Are you meeting them?  (I'm close- my goal was 2-3 chapters a week.  And, for the most part, that's where I am!)  I'd love to hear from you about yours!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Too Little Time

Last week I struggled for 4 days to write a chapter of my WIP.  I would look at what I had written, and reword it, and delete it (don't worry- I save each days work in a new file name, so it wasn't really gone!)  And I still wasn't happy with it, but I decided to move on to the next chapter (which was much easier to write.)

I'm not sure what the problem was with the first chapter-- Was I trying to make my character do something they wouldn't?  Was I using the wrong point of view?  Whatever it was, I was certain it was horrible and my critique partners would rip it apart.

When I sent it out to them, I told them to take a close look at that chapter as something was off.  Then I waited to hear back from them.

Interestingly, not one of them saw it as I did.  Sure there were things I need to develop a bit more (it is a first draft, after all), but they didn't see what I was talking about (and had expected it to be really bad, based on my perceptions.)

After we talked about it, I realized it wasn't my writing that had been giving me problems last week (as the chapter I wrote fit where it was, and moved the story along), but it was more that I had been forcing myself to write and get it down in a limited amount of time.

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever had so much going on that you try to make time for all of it, and feel that your writing isn't moving the way you think it should, even when there's nothing wrong with it?  How do you balance it all?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

Well, it's official.  Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers.  The Pittsburgh Steelers did manage to make a game of it, but in the end, they shot themselves in the foot (or feet!)

Usually one of my favorite parts of the Superbowl is the commercials.  This year, there is only 2 that stood out in my mind.  The Coke commercial with the dragons and the bud commercial with the sword fighting.  (What can I say-- I'm a sucker for fantasy.)  Overall, I was rather disappointed with the commercials that we saw.  Many of them had me scratching my head as to what they were actually trying to advertise!

How about you?  Did you have a favorite commercial?  Did the game go the way you wanted?  Share below, and have a great Monday!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Recipe Friday!

With all the talk of spring this week, I'm turning to a recipe some of our camping buddies shared with us (Thanks, The Wunders!)

So, while winter leaves us pining for the warmth of spring, here's "Anytime S'Mores"

Anytime S'Mores
Large Marshmallows
Chocolate chips (or melt-a-ways, or almond bark)
Graham Crackers, crushed

Melt your chocolate in a shallow bowl/pan (the Chinese take out plastic rectangular things work great for this).  Roll the sides of a marshmallow in the chocolate, then roll through the crushed graham crackers.  Place on wax paper or a silcone sheet until chocolate is firm.  Repeat until you have enough or run out of ingredients!


Thursday, February 3, 2011


So, it turns out the mini system that preceded the BIG STORM, was actually worse for us here.  We had about 6 inches of snow from that which made the roads rather messy. 

Yesterday, we had some mixed precipitation in the morning (mostly sleet) that had cleared up by the time I got to work (and the roads were 100% better than on Tuesday!)

How did you make out with the storm?  Ready for the next round this weekend?  I think I'll grab some writing snacks, I mean supplies, today! ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WCC Wednesday

First- Lindsay at Tiptoe Kisses is holding a contest (sorry for the late mention-- this week has totally gotten away from me and it's only Tuesday right now!)  So head over and check it out!

Yes, I write my blogposts the night before- usually.  Some go up the morning of, but not most.

We managed to get about 6 inches of snow in the first round yesterday, and this morning we have mixed precip (Yup, I am updating my post before I put it up!)

Now, on to today's regularly scheduled post.

As I mentioned above, I am behind this week.  It's my first week as a full time employee at my new job (not that I haven't been working full time, I have been since November :) ).  I sat down Monday night to do some writing, and what I managed was to fix some things in my WIP that had been pointed out to me, and read through so I know where I am and what I want to do next.  After dinner tonight, I hope to get some more time in on it.

Trisha's (and Lindsay's) project is coming along nicely.  I can't wait to see where they take me this week with their characters.

Fiona is working out some issues that we've talked about in our weekly on-line chat (it's like a writer's group, but online-- super cool!)  I look forward to seeing how she adapts our comments.

I am still behind with Katie (Sorry Katie!!!)  I am hoping to get 2 chapters out to her this week (there-- now all of you can pester me about it to make sure it happens!)

Jackie has started getting her story down, and I look forward to reading more.  I've heard her tell me the idea of the story, and am anxious to read it.

How are your WIP's progressing this week?  Are you ahead?  Behind?  Right on schedule?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Happy February!  It seems hard to believe we've already finished one month of 2011 (and I have so little writing to show for the 31 days!- hopefully you all are doing much better at that than I am.)

The weather people have been going at it since yesterday that we're supposed to be getting 1 to 1 1/2 feet of snow over the next few days.

I want that much snow, yet at the same time I am ready for the snow to be gone.  It seems like it's time for spring to start showing itself (even though I know there are at least 2 months of winter left).

How about you?  Are you getting snow?  Are you happy about it?  Do you want spring to show up soon?