Friday, July 29, 2011

Yesterday I responded to a post by Vickie Motter at Navigating the Slush Pile concerning your favorite comfort books.  After replying, I thought about the books I had listed and decided to explain why I chose them, as they aren't really the most comforting of stories.

First, there was Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.  I had to read this in college for one of my reading classes and quickly fell in love with the story, even though it made me cry.  Jeffrey, aka Maniac, is race blind.  The shade of your skin doesn't matter (in fact he doesn't understand why he is called white or blacks are called black) what matters is your actions. The acceptance of people for who they are, not what they are, makes me hope our children will focus more on actions than race.

The other book I chose was Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.  I can still remember sitting in my third grade classroom, listening as our teacher read this aloud after lunch.  The description was so vivid I could see the story in my mind, as though I were watching a movie.  While the story is not a happily-ever-after ending, the memories it brings warm my heart.

What stories from your youth do you turn to for comfort and why?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recipe Thursday!

I love Greek food.  Especially Souvlaki.  So, as is usual with me, I looked up a recipe on line and have played with it until I have my own version I use.  So, with great apologies to all my Greek friends for the liberties I have taken, here is my recipe.

Chicken Souvlaki
(serves about 4)

3 boneless chicken breasts
olive oil
lime (or lemon) juice
1 12-16 oz container plain Greek yogurt (regular yogurt works too, it's just thinner)
1/2 a cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
Feta cheese
Olives (black or Kalamata)
pita bread

In a hot skillet, add olive oil and a few dashes of lime juice (I prefer the taste lime gives, but lemon works just as well.)  Add chicken and cook until done, turning as needed.  Cut into strips.

While chicken is cooking- put chopped cucumber in a small bowl and cover with a layer of salt (if you put on too much, you can rinse it off.)  Let sit for a few minutes, then move mixture into a paper towel and squeeze out excess water (if rinsing, do so before putting in paper towel and then add seasoning to mixture to taste).  Return to bowl and mix with container of yogurt and about a teaspoon (or more if desired) of lime (lemon) juice.

To assemble:

Heat pita's on a hot skillet (I have a flat, cast iron pan I use and I set my empty tea pot on top, flipping pita over to heat both sides before removing.)
Spoon the yogurt sauce on warmed pita, add lettuce, chicken, olives, and cheese.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011


I've been neglecting my blog lately because life has become quite busy, and as much as I like sharing things with all of you, I've been taking that time to spend with family and friends or write.

With that in mind, I've decided to set some goals for myself, and I thought I would share them with you so you can help keep me on track!  So, here they are:

1) Finish current WIP by the end of August.  I am in the revision stage, so this shouldn't be too difficult, or at least I hope not!

2) Reach 50 followers on my blog and on Twitter.  My question to those of you with many followers is this: How'd you do it???  I would love some advice on how to get to more people as followers.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I'll be posting some recipes later this week (have a few I wanted to share).  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Case of the Sticky Hand

Remember those sticky hand things you could get at the store?  You fling it on things and it sticks until you peel it off?  No?  Does this help jog the memory?

My son came home from visiting Grandma with a blue one of these. (Note to those of you with kids-- don't leave them on white walls for extended periods of time-- they will leave color on the wall.  At least his did.) Tonight as I was surfing the net, I reached over to drink my cooling cup of coffee, only to discover something was floating in the cup.  The sticky hand.  No one knows how it came to be in the cup I had been drinking from for about 30 minutes, but there it was.  Three adults and one child had no idea where it had come from. I figured my son set it in the cup instead of on the table, and dear hubby wondered if it had been a gift from my cat.  Either way, it wasn't what I had wanted in my drink.  My son graciously took care of it and got me a fresh cup of coffee (after dumping and rinsing out the other.)

What strange gifts have your kids or pets left you that you?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Learning from side trips

Sometimes when you get stuck and you think about how to get unstuck, your mind will come up with a really cool idea.  But when you go to put this idea down on paper (or screen as in my case), it doesn't translate in the same way.  No matter what you do, you can't make the scene come to life the way it did in your mind.

This was my WIP last week. I had let it sit while I worked on another project, and my mind came up with a fantastic opening, complete with a Fairy Godmother for my prince.  Unfortunately when I tried to put it into words on the page, it wouldn't flow right.

Eventually I went back to my hunting scene and found a way to add in dialogue.  Now, not only do I have an action packed opening, complete with dialogue, but my female MC has a character flaw I didn't realize--she's a perfectionist.  And the fact that the male MC caused her to flub a shot with an arrow is grating on her in more ways than one.

Do I regret the time I spent playing and writing scenes I am not going to use?  Not at all.  They helped show a few places I had plot holes, and helped me find some new insight into my characters.

How about you?  Have you ever gone done a path with your characters that you had to backtrack from and re-do?  Did you regret the trip, or did you learn something from it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4thof July!!!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!  I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, good food, and fireworks!

Oh, and Happy Belated Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!  I hope you had a great day 7/1.

This morning I woke up and heard about this Marist Poll.  Thought I'd share it with you.  I was quite surprised by it!