Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Day of November

I love penguins and used to enjoy watching Chilly Willy cartoons. I thought it appropriate to bring in Chilly on the first Day of December. For those of you doing NaNoWriMo, how many pages did you get done? Or is it what was your word count? The real question is what are you going to do with the story you wrote in November. Are you going to edit it? Are you going to send it out somewhere? Is it sold? Or will you simply be brave enough to let someone else read those words you slaved over? No? That's okay~ Contrary to popular belief, I believe that everyone has their own journey to make when writing. When and if you're ready you will edit, you will let others read it. You will edit again and you will send it out. That doesn't have to be today or tomorrow or in the next year. No words are wasted. Writing is a craft best practiced every day. Life is too short to fit your pace into someone else's life- whether that is writing fast or writing slow. It's a journey not a competition.
As for Chilly Willy, look how happy he is simply to be warm. My goal for December is to find what makes me that happy and to live it. My wish for you is that you do the same.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Books to give for Christmas or Not!

When doing your Christmas shopping- remember a book is a wonderful gift to give.

Here are a few fun things my Dad (Ted) has to say about buying books as gifts for Christmas:

Books to give for Christmas or NOT!

For those of you who read my book reviews here on Nancy's Blog, you already know I read...A LOT ! I also buy books...A LOT.....When we moved, I donated about 150 to the local library for their book sale, sold ( gave away) another 200 in an auction to not have to move them 900 miles from Kansas to Michigan. When we moved to Kansas, I donated 40+ books on Russian History ( my other passion ) to Butler County Community College in El Dorado.
Last week, I got a real prize........a catalogue from a book wholesaler..........imagine 75 pages of books--20 per page average---at bargain prices---better than any book club!!!
Wow, I was in hog heaven!!!
I began to go through it and I checked some books that I was interested in and began a list or two. Books I'd like and (with apologies to their authors) books that probably should not have been published!
The CIA Lockpicking Manual - Listed under Self-Help books
What to do When the S--t Hits the Fan- Another Self-Help
Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-defeating Behavior - Self-Help
Lies The Government Told You: Myth, Power and Deception in American History-Listed under Politics
Don't Vote-It Just Encourages the B------S - Politics
Napoleon's Hemorrhoids - History
Bedlam: London and Its Mad - History
Myths,Lies, and Downright Stupidity:Get Out the Shovel--Why everything You Know Is Wrong - American History
Idiot American: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free - American History
How Do You Light a Fart? And 150 Other Essential Things Every Guy Should Know About Science. -Science--where else
As I reviewed the selections I had listed and then shortened it, because by now you must have got the idea, I realized, I could have just as easily called this:

"BOOKS TO BUY FOR CHRISTMAS!!" Support you starving author...............Have a great holiday.

So, do you know any strange book titles? Feel free to share. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gluten-free Thursday- pie

Like many other people, I've been forced to be gluten-free for medical reasons. One of my hobbies is baking and it's tough to bake gluten-free. Many friends have asked for some recipes. I hope to have at least one GF recipe a month posted here. (No worries, I use mixes so you don't have to weigh your own flours, etc.)
Today is
Gluten-free Sour Cream, Chocolate Chip, Pecan Pie.


I use Gluten Free Pantry perfect pie crust mix. I find it at Walmart, Whole Foods, and Jewel/Osco.
You can follow the recipe on the back and freeze three of the four crusts. Or do the following:

Use 1 cup all purpose flour of your choice. (I used 1 cup of the mix above.)
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
mix. Cut in 5 tbsp butter and 5 tbps shortening (I use all butter) until pea size.
Then add 1 beaten egg, 1 tbsp COLD water, 1 and 1/2 tsp cider vinegar.
Mix until makes a ball-do not over mix. refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll out to two 8" pie crusts or one deep dish crust.

4 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp GF vanilla
dash of salt
Beat with whisk until well combined.

Add 2 cups chopped pecans and 1 cup chocolate chips.
Pour into pie crust - careful not to overfill.
Bake in 350 degree over for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

This writer's life has been busy and it's not even the holidays yet. The question becomes how do you find the time to keep writing even when you are so busy your to-do lists have to-do lists?
The answer is simple. One word at a time. One sentence at a time. A bad first draft is better than the most magnificent story never written. There are people who will argue that you are wasting time and energy writing a bad first draft. I say balderdash! Writing is a craft that must be practiced every day. That does not mean you "must" write twenty pages a day to be a writer. Or even a single page a day. What it means is that you sit down, open a file and write a few words. If you are too busy to warm up the computer- keep a notebook with you and write a sentence before bed, or in the car line waiting to pick your kids up from school, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. If you have a smart phone write a sentence or two instead of that tweet telling everyone what you had for lunch.
If you are still having trouble finding the time or the energy to write-and you are not on deadline- then perhaps giving yourself permission to take a break and wait is a good idea. Even the best writers need vacations...or a good night's sleep.
Take care of yourselves my friends and most importantly take a moment to breathe in and out. Nothing is so important that you should ruin your health over it. Cheers~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Book Review by Ted

Well, it's that time again. Another review is due. I must be slipping, but I've read a few good books in a row lately! If I say " The Silent Girl" does that ring a bell for you? How about "Ice Cold" or "The Sinner" ? Or what if I say "Tess Gerritsen"? Doesn't mean anything to you? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Didn't mean anything to me either. "The Chicago Tribune" says she makes Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft "seem like goody-two-shoes." Still never heard of her? What if I say " Rizzoli & Isles" ? Ring a bell?
Yes, Tess is the creator of the pair who TNT turned into a summer hit in 2010, returned this summer and are now scheduled to begin a " new season " in a couple weeks.

This month's book is called "The Silent Girl" and is placed in Boston's Chinatown and involves Detective Jane Rizzoli and M.E. Maura Isles. True to the transfer from book to movie, theatre or TV, the characters are a little different, but the "the name is the same".
The story begins with a tour in China town.
The tour goes down an alley and finds a neatly severed female hand on the ground in the middle of the alley. Throw in a dead detective who, though retired, had been investigating a 19 year old case of missing young girls, a group of people who receive letters on the anniversary of a massacre in a chinese restaurant and...oh, I forgot Ninjas and the legendary Monkey King!
You are Rizzoli and chasing a killer down an alley in the dark--suddenly the killer disappears and reappears silently behind you, knocks you down....a gun is pointed at your head...but then there is a whisper of wind and a thump, followed by a louder thump. You reach out and touch a pool of warm liquid, getting up, you feel a body and a head but they're not attached!
"What you must do," said Monkey, "is lure the monster from his hiding place, but be certain it is a fight you can survive." from "The Monkey King : Journey to the West." by Wu Cheng'en c. 1500-1582.
Oh, yes, my apologies to friends in Boston, but there is also the Boston gang boss and his flunkies. What other elements do you need to blend together for a novel you won't be able to put down? How well do you sleep at night after reading good, scary mysteries? Good luck if you dream about what you read...This would even make Alfred Hitchcock proud.
I'm off to find more copies of her other 13 books.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nov. 1 NANO

Hi, my writer friends, are you fast and furiously at work on your nanowrimo project? It's November once again and writers ban together to encourage each other to attempt to write a book in a month. As for me I've been thinking through some serious thoughts about my on-line marketing. I fear I have gone terribly wrong somewhere. I went to - a website that rates your on-line influence. Riiight- four years of blogging, facebook, twitter, linkedin and google-plus have gotten a score of 25 out of 100-
Wait! What?!
How is that possible I spend nearly 3 hours a day on internet talking and joining in, etc. to make matters worse, it listed all my dear friends - some who just started last year with this crazy marketing thing- as all having larger Klout scores than me. It's a little embarrassing really as I've taken several classes on internet marketing, read countless tomes, kept up on my marketing network to learn the latest and greatest trends. In fact that is part of what I get paid to do at work.
So what am I doing wrong? Well, number one I only today joined Klout. Hmmm- did you know your Klout score goes up as you chat more and link more on Klout? Sounds like a scam to me- and yet there are actual people who check Klout scores to determine your viability as an author. What?! Yes, I read that today in a writing association newsletter, which is why I went to find out my Klout score.
Now, let's talk working smart- working smart is not not writing my novel because I'm scrambling to add people to my Klout page. Smart is sighing at yet another way for people to judge me without ever reading my book. Smart is ending this blog and getting to writing my latest mystery. So forgive my low Klout score and check out one of my books. Then you can tell me which you'd rather I spent my time on. Cheers~