Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
La La Check-in
If I'm serious about 1000 words a day, Monday-Wednesday-Friday and maybe Saturday, my WIP should be at nearly 30,000 words by the end of the month.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Stuffed Artichokes were the dish of the day. Not only are they beautiful and Christmas-y, with their red and green, but they are to die for. I wish you could pluck off a leaf and taste one for yourself. The artichoke leaves are stuffed with mixture which is similar to our meatballs (although prepared differently) and then covered with a tomato sauce and baked.
THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
We added one more day of celebration this year--the day when my brother's family could join us.
We gorged on spaghetti (homemade noodles) and rajole.
Now rajole is not the prettiest food in the bunch, but it is mighty tasty. A mixture of bacon, celery, garlic with many wonderful spices are mixed and then placed on a very thin piece of bottom round steak. It's then rolled, tied up, and dropped in the spaghetti sauce to cook and give the sauce amazing flavor.
Mangiamo!Now I'm sure the day needed for recovery from the all this food makes sense!
Getting back to the writer in us that doesn't ever really shut off.
Tradition is important. Most families have one or two or even more than they can count. And so should our characters. And if they don't, well then, that must speak volumes about them as well.
How about the main character in your current work-in-progress? What tradition(s) do they have?
Saturday, December 20, 2008
He was anxious to hear my BIG wish, and once I told him, he said he and the elves would do all they could to make it happen. Then he told me that once my book is published he would be sure to put it in many, many stockings. Isn't he great? That's BIG.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Snowed In! What's a Girl to Do?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
'Tis the Season
Monday, December 15, 2008
Here's to staying warm and healthy, friends.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I'm a WINNER!!!!!!!
Those are my Candy Cane Kissed Chocolate Cookies. If you read on, you may find the recipe at the end of this post.
I'm sure most of you recognize this pink-haired sweetie. That's Laini Taylor with hubby Jim Di Bartolo. What a treat it was to have them join us on Wednesday night. A group of us got together with Laini and Jim before the SCBWI WWA meeting, where Laini was our amazing speaker. Honestly...AMAZING! So amazing, that after a week or so making little progress with my own writing, I made some yesterday. And some is better than none. I attribute this to Laini's inspiration (she's FULL of it). If you want a little taste of what she said, check it out HERE.
Hello, Cupcake! How does that happen? Just one more sign that Sara and I have been and are a great team. And just maybe, we often think alike (and buy friends the exact same present). But seriously, what gift could be more appropriate for such a cute cupcake like Jaime Temairik?
Now, put down the cookie or the fudge and go work on those La La Goals! Or, go and make some of these:
Candy Cane Kissed Chocolate Cookies
2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
6 Tbs Flour
½ tsp Baking powder
¾ cup Sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbs dark corn syrup
½ tsp peppermint extract
½ cup chopped peppermint candy cane
-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (Really! Use the parchment.)
-Melt half the chocolate morsels and set aside.
-In a medium bowl, with electric mixer on medium, beat sugar, eggs, corn syrup, and extract until thick (about 3 minutes).
-Gradually beat in melted chocolate, then dry ingredients.
-Mix in remaining morsels and freeze for 10 minutes.
-Drop heaping tablespoons of batter, 3” apart on baking sheet. Refrigerate remaining dough. Bake 12 minutes. Quickly sprinkle tops with chopped candy and then bake 3-5 minutes more until cookies are softly set.
-Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
La La Lasso!
That's right. The La La Lasso will be awarded to one fine friend for accomplishing something, anything in December. Last week took me off course a bit, but I'm getting back on. But lots of you posted December La La goals. Keep 'em coming. To accomplish anything this month is fabulous, even if it's writing your holiday letters and sending out cards. Go ahead. Post away. The more the merrier.
When I saw the lovely Holly Cupala the other evening (remember, I told you I'd tell you about this) she said she meant to bring me something. A thank you of sorts. A yummy one at that. Want to know what she had for me but forgot? Cherry Caramels. Really! How sweet is that?
But here's what happened. As we were in a long line of massive people buying Martha Brokenbrough's book, there were the caramels sitting in a cute, little box. And that Holly grabbed 'em up and said, I'm getting them for you. Then away I sailed on my ferry, after a really great night with friends, with a box of caramels sitting in the passenger seat. I only ate one (honest)--I had to see what they tasted like for goodness sake--because the rest will motivate me through the work (my La La goals), just like they've done for Holly.
I'm now in search of the perfect licorice rope to serve as the La La Lasso; a treat to pass onto one of you, just as Holly did for me with her caramels. A sort of paying it forward with candy!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Monsters, Loser, Liar, Psychic, and a Big Chicken (Really!)
I had planned to head over on Friday night so that I could attend Jaime Temairik's Holiday Monster party. I'm still sad I missed it. I hear it was monster-ific. You can read about it HERE.
I started my day as a guest speaker in Lois Brandt's NaNoWriMo class. Yes, she has a class that assisted a group of writers in reaching their NaNo goals. Cool, huh? Cool until you hear that I was invited to represent the NaNo Loser. I walked in sporting a cap with a BIG capital L on it. Well, actually that's not quite true, but it would have been fun. And it would have made sense. That L could have stood for Liar rather than Loser since I told them how lies helped my successes with last year's NaNo. I'll tell you of my lying ways in another post. Promise. (I know it must be hard to believe me now that I've outed myself.)
But, I did get to share my recent good news--news that came because of my NaNo loss last year. I've signed with an agent. Here I am a week ago when the agreement came in the mail (prior to the week falling apart). I know this is just a beginning, but I'm trying to celebrate all my successes along the way. And it felt appropriate to stand in front the word believe for this photo. I'm still holding tight to the belief that my novel will find a home...the right home. And now with the help of my agent; the fabulous and savvy Rosemary Stimola, it feels even more possible.
I spent the afternoon at the wonderful Third Place Books where I browsed and read and wrote and met a best friend's aunt in the bathroom. Funny...I know. At least that' s what I did until it was time for the big event; Martha Brokenbrough's Things That Make Us [Sic] book event.
So, I think Martha is about one of the smartest, funniest people I know. And so was her event. There was even Grammarella the Punctuation Psychic on hand. BTW...I'm an apostrophe. I'm sure that's obvious.
Just look at Grammarella soaking up her psychic vibe from all the books.
Not only was the event attended by Grammarella, but also a very large chicken.
And what's more...there were lots of cool peeps there. Here I am with Joni Sensel, Martha Brokenbrough, and Holly Cupala . (On a side note, the talented Mrs. Cupala sent me home with a yummy treat. I'll tell you about that in a later post.)
I would say it's obvious that the evening was as smart and funny as the book and its author. If a book about grammar sounds boring, I dare you to pick this one up and say it is. Watch for a coffee spot interview with Martha in the near future...
Wow, seems I'm promising a bunch of future posts. Guess I'm not lacking content. But before the others, you're sure to hear about my time with the colorful Laini Taylor. If you are in the Seattle area this Wednesday, you won't want to miss Laini's appearance at the SCBWI Western Washington Professional Series meeting. I won't!
Friday, December 5, 2008
A Full Circle Moment
That's our neighbor's new bundle of joy. He's a French Bulldog and too cute. And on a day when we're all still feeling very sad, it was wonderful to meet this fresh, little guy and welcome him to the neighborhood.
We had a moment together when he fell fast asleep right in my hand.
Here's to pets everywhere who bring love into our families.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sigh. Double Sigh. Triple Sigh.
I've posted some more recent pictures of Hank, but here's some from Hank's younger days. The below was taken almost 11 years ago when Hank was still a puppy.
We adopted Hank as an older puppy. Before he was ours, he belonged to a little girl who decided she'd rather have Backstreet Boy tickets than her dog. That's right. She sold him to us so she could go see a concert. We felt like we rescued him. He was covered with fleas and living with big dogs that I don't think we're very nice to him. But just look at that face!
And I just love this picture. Hank and I surrounded by my very favorite flower.
Hank has been with Derek (hubby) and I before we were married. He's been with each of our girls since the day they came from the hospital. So, it's tough. Real tough...
I do have exciting happenings upcoming this weekend and next week. My mind's just not there at the moment, but I do look forward to sharing with all of you.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The December La La
Monday, December 1, 2008
Back to It
I'm the or not.
At least they don't write LOSER across the word count bar. And, I must say, nothing about 27,000 (or almost that many) words feels like losing.
After the long Thanksgiving weekend, it's to get back to normal...
Nothing has been normal for the last week and a half. Kids have had half days of school and then a four-day weekend. Time to get back to a five-day weeks consisting of full school days and a typical schedule. Not that four days of great food, time with family, and a house now filled with Christmas cheer hasn't been wonderful, but...I'm ready to get back to it.
Congrats to all those who made it to the NaNo finish line!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Pick Myself Up, Dust Myself Off, and Start All Over Again
Another Crack of the Whip
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Can I Win? Can the Dawgs?
IT'S APPLE CUP WEEKEND!!!!