Friday, February 26, 2010
Here are five things I've been putting off doing until...I'm not sure when...spring?
1. Cleaning out the van. It needs a vacuuming in the worst way.
2. Going through my son's closet and taking out all the stuff he's outgrown and sorting it for the rag-bag or give away.
3. Reorgainizing the pantry. I like to do this every few months, just to make sure everything is rotated in and out in a timely manner.
4. Going through my homeschool materials and evaluating what I will need for next year and what I need to list on eBay.
5. Dusting. My whole house. I spot dust here and there, but the whole house could use a good dusting. Baseboards, door panels, fan blades, lamp shades.
So, what are you putting off?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
2 lb. dark orange sweet potatoes
1 cup peach pie filling
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Spray a 4 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and place sweet potatoes in the slow coker. Add pie filling, melted butter, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. 10 servings
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thought I might try a writing Tip for Tuesday series for a bit. I've got a great selection of writing books I thought I'd dip into and share some of the pearls of wisdom contained inside.
Have you read The Art of War for Writers?
James Scott Bell has hit one out of the park with this manual. 77 tight chapters to help the writer strategize their writing careers, hone their writing skills, and sharpen their editing abilities.
The things I loved about this book:
1. How JSB broke things down into manageable bites. He's a tight writer at all times, but The Art of War for Writers has no extraneous words.
2. The clear divisions and direction. The book is separated into three parts: reconnaissance, tactics, and strategy.
3. The examples, graphics, and humor. When things got a little sticky or unclear for me, I'd turn the page and there was a concrete example or chart or witty turn of phrase that cleared things up for me.
The Tip for Today from The Art of War for writers comes from chapters 25 and 26
- Write Hard, Write Fast, and the Fire of Creation Will be Yours.
- Edit Slow, Edit Tough, With a Process Both Clear and Cool.
I've found this to be so true for me. The most lucid first drafts I've written have been my NaNo novels, where I don't stop to overthink things but let the words and the story idea consume me and pour out onto the page. And my best editing comes after a cooling off period, a time of reflecting and gearing up. Then rereading the entire work and making a plan for the editing.
How about you? Do you write hot and edit cool? Do you edit as you go? What have you found produces your most creative work?
Monday, February 22, 2010
Last Thursday was not that kind of day. Last Thursday was a Red Letter Writing Day.
Here's what happened:
1. My Writer's Digest Magazine arrived. I always feel so writerly when it arrives, chock-full of information and advice.
2. I finished the content edits on Maggie and the Maverick except for one final read-through. This is my shortest content edit ever, and I owe an awful lot of that to my dear crit partners.
3. Mary Connealy sent me a link to Crossroads Bookstore in Sioux Falls where we're listed on the home page for our book signing on March 12th.
4. I got my first royalty statement and my first royalty check! Wow! How fun was that???
5. I got the cover art for Clara and the Cowboy. I think it's so beautiful. What do you think?
In the words of my crit partner, Katie Ganshert, Holy Canoly! What a day!
Have you had any red-letter writing days?
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
It got me to thinking about the best kissing scenes. I have a favorite.
John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, in The Quiet Man. That kiss in the cemetery...oh man!
Aside from the silk shirt...what makes this scene so amazing?
Everything that went before it. The chemistry between John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara sizzles. They are both intense, passionate, larger than life people. And you know that when they do get together, the sparks are going to ignite an inferno of emotion.
A good lesson. A really passionate, emotional, pivotal kiss can't come out of nowhere. It has to be a natural result of the tension built up until it culminates in a kiss.
Do you have a favorite book or screen kiss?
This week, Heartsong Connection is featuring The Marriage Masquerade. Pop on over for a chance to win a copy!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I'm not a fan of the grainy texture of cornbread. There's just not enough butter or honey to cover that grit.
But, I've found a way around it. :)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
1. Some might argue, but I think there is still romance in the simple, traditional "dinner and a movie". You can't beat a classic! And this date works well for new relationships or old married ones. =)
2. I think horse-drawn carriage rides are always a winner. This isn't a year-round possibility, but a lot of big cities have carriage rides they offer during certain times of the year, usually in downtown or historic places. Even non-horse lovers can find romance in the clip-clop of hooves and the brisk wind blowing their hair as they snuggle up with their loved one.
3. There's something really special about picnics in the park. Something about a blanket on the ground and a basket full of fruit, cookies, and sandwiches just screams romance. Maybe because it's more intimate than a crowded restaurant full of bustling waitors and other patrons. Better yet, it can be completely free if you already have groceries stocked at home!
4. My husband surprised me for our five-year anniversary last August with a stretch Hummer. He and the driver picked me up at my parent's house, where we had dropped off our daughter, and then whisked me away to a five star restaurant and hotel. It was very romantic being treated like a queen! Of course, the diamond anniversary band also helped!! =)
5. Window shopping. Hold on, now, it's not nearly as boring as it sounds. Find a great outdoor strip mall or outlet, and hold hands while you tease each other about what would look nice on the other person in a window display. Snag an ice cream cone or cup of hot chocolate and take pictures by scenic landmarks or fountains. Try on outfits you would never consider buying and take pictures being silly in boas and hats. My husband and I inadvertantly did this while Christmas shopping this past season, and I have the most hilarious picture inside Pier One, with me wearing an antique, golden feathered mask. We had so much fun!
Thursday, February 04, 2010
2 lb. fresh beef brisket
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
10-oz. can condensed beef broth
Combine all ingredients in 3-4 quart slow cooker. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours until beef is tender. Skim any fat from liquid in crockpot. Remove beef and cut across grain into thin slices. Serve on crusty baguette rolls and serve with the hot broth for dipping. 8 sandwiches