The Games We Play With Ourselves #MFRWAuthor

Good Morning Sunshine

Good Morning Sunshine

We all do. Yes, you do too. Wait, not those games! What kind of a girl do you…never mind.

I mean the little half truths we tell ourselves. Like: “I can get by on four hours of sleep” or “I can get that done in a couple hours.” I can put in a garden, and train the dogs, and go to my job all in the same day. No problem.

The ones I like (or hate!) the most have to do with cleaning the house, or packing for a trip. No, I can NOT load the motor home in less than half a day. And no matter what lies I tell myself, fifteen hours driving is fifteen hours driving, or in the motor home more like twenty. We can’t fold time…yet.

Then there are the writing lies. Like: sure I can get all those reports, articles, and reviews done all at the same time. They won’t have any impact on edits or story creation or that great Deep Story class I’m taking. NO problem on racing through edits…even when deep down inside I’m wondering if this is the best ever or just a bunch of rambling words on the page. Yeah I know that’s not a new whine.

Maybe, in an alternate reality, I could do all these and more. Fact is not only are we all limited on available time but also on available brain cells, or maybe creative energy is a better term. We need that down time, whether it’s planting bulbs or walking with the beasts or maybe messing around with a new recipe.

Speaking of a new recipe, I had a bunch of zucchini from a recent buy. It’s the proverbial dark and stormy night and I’d seen a recipe for zuke fritters. And I thought…hmmmmm

Here’s the recipe, from the amazing ALL DAY I DREAM ABOUT FOOD. Well, okay, that’s the starter recipe. I’m avoiding grocery stores as much as possible unless I’m wearing blinders and racing through with a list. Trying so hard to break my fried chicken addiction! So I worked with what’s in the house.

The original ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup golden flax seed meal
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground marjoram
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

I had three zucchini so I grated those and put into a colander to drain. Chopped up an onion very fine. Used a low salt Tuscan blend of dried herbs. Flax Seed Meal, Coconut Flour, check. No feta but this amazing Cheddar Cheese from Trader http://www.turoklikefood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Unexpected-Cheddar.jpgJoe’s “Unexpected Cheddar” with a rich, tangy flavor and a crumbly texture. Added some grated Parrmesan. All that dry stuff added to the grated zuke. Then the last little bit of chopped green chile in the fridge…next time I add more. Make a hole in the middle for the eggs so I can

Fried

Fried

whip them up a bit. Coconut flour AND butter. for cooking. Four splats into the fry pan…no way am I waiting around to fry all these so I poured some of the oil mix onto an oven pan and baked the rest.

Baked

Baked

CONCLUSION: the baked cooked up faster, held together better and was much easier to deal with. Both were ultra yummy. I’ll have a lot to share, for sure!
Done, and still time to race through ten pages of editing plus cover another Deep Story class. Of course I can.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Introducing…Elle Wright’s THE FORBIDDEN MAN #MFRWAuthor

WrightTHEFORBIDDENMANElleI’m so excited to be able to help launch Elie’s book. Looks like there’s a Rafflecopter event going on as well. How cool is that?

EXCERPT THE FORBIDDEN MAN

“Are you still feeling cold?” he asked, adjusting the heater and finishing off the contents of his flask.
“Actually, I’m feeling pretty hot.” She jumped when he started coughing. “Are you Wright_The Forbidden Man_MMokay?”
He wiped his mouth. “I’m straight.”
“You sure?” Syd studied his face as she smoothed her hand over his back.
“Yeah.” He closed the flask and tucked it back into his pocket. “It’s the liquor.”
“Huh?”
“The bourbon.” He patted his pocket. “It’s making you hot.”
“Somehow I doubt that,” she mumbled.
“What?” he asked, leaning in closer.
I doubt it’s the liquor. “Forget it. I’m cold again.” She burrowed into him.
“You want me to make you hot?” he asked.
Her eyes flashed to his and her lips parted.
“I meant . . .” He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat.
“Uh, I can turn the heat up.”
“No.” She forced a smile and lowered her gaze. “It’s fine.”
When his hand caressed her cheek, her eyes closed of their own volition. Time seemed to stand still. She felt his warm breath on her skin above her lips. “I think—”
She dug her nails into his knee. “Maybe you should call Kent again. See where he is.”
He slid his thumb down the side of her neck.
She exhaled. So this is what Terry McMillan meant when she waited to exhale? “Because this isn’t going anywhere good. You’re acting like you want to kiss me and I know that’s not true,” she joked.
He clenched her hair in his hands and tugged gently.
“How do you know that?”
She searched his eyes. “Do you? I mean—do you want to?”
“I do—and so many other things.”
She let out a nervous giggle. “I think you’re feeling the effects of that gasoline you’re drinking, Morgan.”
His gaze dropped to her mouth as his hand crept up her thigh and rested on her hip. She jumped in surprise when he squeezed. “Actually, I don’t believe I’m drunk enough,” he said. “At this point, I know exactly what I’m doing, which means I’d be held responsible for my actions.”
Syd placed her hands on his stomach and felt his taut muscles tighten in response. “Den would kill you. So would Red.”
Morgan traced her lips with his thumb. “It may be worth it. Let me . . .” Then, his mouth was on hers, drawing a low moan from her mouth. The simple touch of his lips to hers set off a fire in Syd that seemed to burn brighter and hotter with every second.
She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck as he continued to assault her senses with his kisses. He slid his tongue across her bottom lip, demanding entrance, which she happily granted. She gripped a fistful of his hair as he pulled her onto his lap. He rocked into her, introducing her to his rock hard erection. She braced her other hand against the window as she grinded into him. He trailed hot, wet kisses down her throat and cupped her breasts in his hands. As his thumbs traced her nipples, she cried out and he captured her cry with his hot mouth.
Reluctantly, she tried to pull away, but he latched onto her bottom lip with his teeth and sucked. He obviously wasn’t ready for this to end . . . neither was she.

The-Forbidden-Man-Release-Week-BlitzAnd here’s the rafflecopter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2230/?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Getting a Bit More Fit #MFRWAuthor

Just a bit. I’m not one of those automatic 10,000 minimum steps people. I only wish. Nor do I jump out of bed and hit the jogging trail. More likely I ooze out of bed, stumble to the back door to start the dogs going out in the morning routine. Sometimes I’ll go out with them to check what’s happened in our yard overnight.

Thanks to the turmeric there are not so many groans and creaks but it still takes a while for all the parts to work in harmony. But there are some mornings…hold on, getting a gulp of the magic nectar. Whoever figured out roasting and grinding beans, then boiling them, deserves a humanitarian award.

Jami Gray Small

Jami!

This is kind of a “hi, I’m here” blog, just to touch base. Tomorrow I’m part of a release week blitz for Elle Wright’s THE FORBIDDEN MAN.

Coming up: Over Labor Day (my birthday!) Jami Gray and I have concocted a ‘Labor of Love” blog blitz, with an ultimate prize of a Kindle, loaded with books. Which should be pretty cool, I’m thinking.

I’m editing the next Stormhaven story…this is Tyler Randolph’s story, where he learns to have faith in a woman, and himself. It’s either the best yet, or it totally sucks. Yeah, I’m at that stage.

So hang around, I have recipes and pictures to share (that would be low carb and high plains)

Happy Sunday everyone..I’m taking myself to breakfast, want to meet me at the Grille?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Letting Emma Watson Speak for Me #MFRWAuthor

I’m being brought back to an earlier subject: the problems with how we see ourselves and each other. Emma Watson says it brilliantly, so I’ll step back and let her speak.

He/She. Let us all be free from prejudice.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Summertime…it’s HERE #MFRWAuthor

Moving to New Mexico turned my entire weather world around. We have real winters, dry heat, and summer hides around the corner until we don’t think it will show up. Then it’s here BAM and the temperatures rise until we can bask in the heat, letting our bones cook, after months of chilling out.

Then, if we’re very lucky, the rains come.

We’ve been lucky this year. We’ve had rain every few days. Sometimes heavy, sometimes just a lick and a promise. But the holding tanks are full and the plants are happy. If I can just win this danged grasshopper war, I might end up with a garden.

In the meantime I’m hard at work on the next Stormhaven Love Story, where Karma gets even with Tyler for snickering at Devin. Ty meets his comeuppance in Rosalind Summerton, who stands toe to toe with him, and both of them come out winners. Here’s a snippet:

***Ty leaned against his pool cue, taking in the picture she made in a slinky flowing dark red dress with accents in two other colors he couldn’t name. The total package was stunning, something not often seen in this small off the beaten path bar.
“What color did you call that again?”
“I didn’t. I tend not to name my colors, gives them the idea they have rights and privileges.”***

Oh, yeah, Ty’s gonna fall hard, and love every minute of it.

003

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Jami Gray Takes Us Inside the Insanity that is a Writer

Jami Gray SmallAs a writer, I belong to numerous discussion loops whose evil plans are to crash my in-box under the weighty heft of insightful discussions on the industry, craft and whether your cover should feature more or less skin. However, one day someone sweetly shared a link to a very insightful blog about being a writer. After picking myself up off the floor, I quickly forwarded it on to the other, like-minded individuals of my critique group, and then, because I’m mean, I made my hubby sit down and read it.
I sat on pins and needles (okay, so I basically stood over him with a blunt object) and waited for him to be swept away by the genius evident in the post. He laughed, which was good–nice to know the warped sense of humor I married him for all those eons ago is still there–and then he looked at me with (gasp!) pity?!!! What the hell? No, no, no, he was suppose to say, “Oh honey, now I understand why the Prankster Duo and I have to exist on unidentifiable left overs and delivery, while you sit in a dark office illuminated only by the flicker of a computer screen and why you sometimes resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings (that’s the weird little dude who glows in the dark for you non-nerds). It all makes sense!”
Did he say that? Um, nope. Instead his response is, “It’s okay baby, I knew that when I married you and I still said ‘I do’.”
Seriously?? Did he not see the mad genius that exists in each writer’s mind? It’s a mad babble of voices that fight for supremacy while leaving minor things like groceries, doctor appointments, eating, and basic hygiene, scrambling for solid purchase in their frenzied wake? There’s a reason a writer will stare at you with a bemused smile while their eyes keep darting off to the side in the midst of your conversation. Really, they’d love to listen to you but it’s a bit hard when the characters in your head start to get pushy and demand exclusive attention. I know, it sounds a bit psychotic, but it’s not our fault. It’s why we write!
Growing up, every book or movie that caught my attention (Star Wars, Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three, Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, and oh so many more) would end up being rewritten in my head. A new character would join the cast—the female bounty hunter that made Princess Leia look like a wimp, the female wizard that kept Taran the Wanderer from wandering, or the brand spanking new character that joined Bran and Will in overcoming the looming evil to wake the Old Ones—and the story would adjust accordingly, starring a character that eerily resembled, well, moi.
Eventually what transpired in my head made it to paper via an electric typewriter. Now days, my shiny desktop fruit helps me capture the worlds and characters in vivid detail for others to enjoy. On some level, I’m hoping to spark that same need to add and rewrite in my readers. If I’ve done my job right, it should work and I’ll have dragged another poor, unsuspecting soul into the maddening world of a writer. If not? Well, then I must try again, and again…
I once read something that clicked even though it was directed at musicians. They said to make great art, you had to expose your soul, even though some things are better left safely in the dark. Those that fear exposing such darkness are constantly tormented by the fact they can almost touch the creative beast, while those who grit their teeth and reach out may burn, but the beauty of such exposure ensnares those around them.
Much like playing or creating music, writing demands a price from its creator. Every writer uses their own experiences in some way or fashion to help put life into our characters and create believable worlds, but it’s also one of the scariest things we’ll ever do.
The next time you run across one of us, be gentle and understand, regardless of the genre (poetry, children’s books, songwriting, screen writing, mystery, romance, etc.) published or unpublished, we are writers and it’s not as simple as sitting down and typing out a string of words. We’re sharing with you something infinitely precious, so if you damage it, expect repercussions. You may find something familiar about that character we killed off in horrible ways in our next book. Yet, if you share how much you enjoyed our stories, you’ll make a writer’s week. Heck, maybe even our month.
Pick up SHADOW’S EDGE for FREE for a limited time and dive into the shadows of the Kyn…
Banner

Thanks for sharing, Jami! My advice to readers, if you haven’t met the Kyn yet, you need to check them out.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Vanity of Vanities…All is Vanity. AND Muffins #MFRWAuthor

A totally self indulgent silly post. You can skip to the end for a really good recipe.

This phrase has been running through my head these last few weeks. I honestly had no idea it was a quote from the bible..thereby exposing how little attention I paid in bible camp. Yes, bible camp. Camp SAYSF, in fact, in southern Maryland. I was, oh, around 11 or 12.

136I was a ‘hefty’ young person, or so I thought. Even now, many years past young, I still obsess over my appearance. Okay, I can forget to brush my hair sometimes. And, yeah that was a paw print on my skirt last week. All right, I don’t own a pair of heels. Geesh, you trying to expose all my secrets? At least my face stayed pretty, right?

Then I needed an author head shot for my publisher. They let me send in a bit of graphic I’d 222889_101308309961119_101308129961137_9460_7954124_n[1]created instead. Seems over the years we took pictures of the dogs, not so much the people holding the dogs. From time to time I’d come across a photo, but for sure I didn’t look like THAT. Did I?

022When the heck do our faces end up with more lines than smooth skin? Does it happen overnight? Certainly that face in the photo isn’t the one I saw in the mirror, ummm…when WAS the last time I really did look in the mirror?

Yikes, that long?

It so happened my little Biddy had a successful show last month, and we posed for a me only 001win picture. Well, she posed for the picture, I was caught gaping. I asked a photographer friend if he could just blur my face…you know, like the witness protection program? In this case I guess it would be handler protection? He said I didn’t look that bad. Problem with e-mail, you never know how much the person on the other end is chuckling.

Mona 0513I have to face the facts: I’m no longer that crazy kid with the decent skin. Now I have to work at keeping my skin from showing the effects of years spent outside. I’ve come to the conclusion taking off my glasses goes a long way toward fixing my dry skin. Maybe I should ask for gauze over the camera lens?

Okay, as promised, a really yummy recipe, for CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE MUFFINS Super simple, also. For this first round I didn’t add the chocolate but I might do so in the future. I generally have a bar of 90% in the freezer for an occasional indulgence. Here are the ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup pecans, coursely chopped
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp molasses (optional)
  • 2.5 oz 90% cacao chocolate, chopped OR homemade sugar-free chocolate chips

I left out the molasses and the chocolate but I just might try the molasses…bet it gives a knockout richness to the final goodie. Oh, and I used the mini muffin tins so I didn’t have to turn on the full sized oven.

053
For once I managed to get a picture before I ate everything.
Happy munching!

 

3 Comments

Filed under Romance Writing

Just….DON’T #MFRWAuthor

Every now and then I come across something I need to share no matter how late it is or how many blogs I had planned to write. Seems like most often these shares have to do with what is done to women. In this case it’s something we do to ourselves. We have to stop.

I’m not seeing a share option so I’ll give you a link THIS WORD CAN DAMAGE YOUR CREDIBILITY

Sounds serious, doesn’t it? Well, yes, it is serious. All too often, in an attempt to not be too aggressive, we go the other direction, apologizing for having good ideas, or for being in charge. We have to stop.

Now to stagger off to bed so I can start the day bright and early…SHOWTIME

This clip doesn’t have much to do with my life, I just love this movie, the music, the drama, the whole heart wrenching story

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Homeward Bound…Finally #MFRWAuthor

Finally, after days of questions, answers, problems, solutions and endless Salukis, I packed up the dogs and the motor home, heading south and west to New Mexico. Impossibly late on Saturday, stopping a few hours away from Purina for a night’s rest, then on home. No matter how I calculated the hours and miles, I had a rough trip ahead but I really really wanted my own bed that night.

Ah, the adventures. I managed to make it to Amarillo, feeling like I’d been in an elephant stampede. And realized the only way to make it home safely was to slow down. Drive a couple hours, get gas. A couple more hours, walk dogs. I always plan to travel this way but the urge to GET THERE always takes over.

West from Amarillo. I’ve noticed the fields, normally dry, are under water. Even the Panhandle has been getting excess rain

Kind of like this

Kind of like this

. Looking off to the north, I see what seems to be smoke, close to the ground. Hmmmm, what could that be? Seems too wet for any kind of prairie fire. Looks like it’s moving pretty fast though. Looks like a LOT of wind. Looks like….crap. Oops.

I speed up to stay with the big rigs, knowing they have far more experience driving in weather. Got hit with some wind but got ahead of it. PHEW

I love New Mexico

I love New Mexico

Not far now to New Mexico. About 8 miles outside the border, the land changes from Texas to New Mexico. It’s about the land, the plants, and just the feeling of home. Not to mention the sky, clearing, and welcoming me home.

I get to Santa Rosa, only 85 miles from home, and the sunset greets me. IMG_5285How gorgeous. So close, I can almost taste it. Just cruisin’ now, wide awake, down the hill into Moriarty. And those light ahead of me are coming up awful fast.

Yep, a tiny car going you have GOT TO BE KIDDING 45 mph on a 75 mph road. Good brakes are worth their weight in gold.

Finally, finally home. Let the hounds out, stretch, breathe the dry air. Unload the essentials, especially the camera. Because the moon and the clouds are sending my final welcome. Home at last, the adventure over. Until the next time.

022

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Artist’s Statement ….Part Two

MonaKarel:

I’m setting aside tales of the trip, random thought about my Fitbit and sunset pictures to share a profoundly important blog post from someone I just discovered. As I read it I found myself nodding and then ducking my head in shame. These thoughts encompass every page in my life. You’ll see what I mean.

Originally posted on The Pale Rook:

The Pale Rook

So remember that thing I applied for?

My application was successful.  I was selected to take part in a project at Scotland’s Craft Town,  the wonderful West Kilbride.   I’ve been a massive fan of the Craft Town since I first found out about it a few years ago, so I’m massively chuffed to be a part of it.  The project I’m involved in takes selected craft makers based in Scotland, at various stages of their careers and gives them specialist business mentoring and studio space for six months.   For the first time in over a decade I am being mentored rather than mentoring others, which has been quite a shock to the system.

The first meeting of the participants, organisers and business mentors involved an exercise where we had to think of things that limited our business or things that we were worried about and then we had to…

View original 1,954 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized