Monthly Archives: June 2013

Handling Criticism and the People in our Lives

Kristen Lamb’s blog came around at a fortuitous time in my non writing life. Poor me, I’ve been feeling unloved because some people have been {{gasp}} RUDE to me.  Life’s not a chair of bowlies these days and **sigh** it’s just all so HARD. So I read Kristen’s blog Handling Criticism. And I read it again. Especially this observation: “Part of getting a healthy relationship with criticism is learning to discern what’s constructive versus destructive. Some people are just jerks. Nothing we do will please them, so learn to shrug them off.”

Some people ARE just jerks and nothing we do can change that. We can just work very hard not to come down to their level. Not everyone is going to love us, and once we get past that point we can work harder at being our own person, not a reflection of what we think other people want us to be.

As a writer, that means writing the best books I can, dealing with good criticism, ignoring the bad, and learning the Writer Serenity Prayerdifference.  As an individual, it means accepting the people who want to join my life journey, and not worrying about those who don’t. (bet you thought I was going to say pitying those who don’t)

I’m off to write the very best book I can.  How about you?


Don’t forget to mark your calendars for MFRW’s incredible SUMMER CAMP!! where we’re all going to learn how to promote those great books we write



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Let’s Welcome JoAnne Tucker for a Friday Poet’s Corner

Have you ever noticed how some people are artistic on so many levels? They not only produce great sculptures or

JoAnne Tucker

JoAnne Tucker

paintings, they also have a delightful garden and/or cook divinely? Here’s JoAnne Tucker, who not only writes books but also lyrical poetry, and delights the eyes with her paintings. Please help me welcome JoAnne to the Friday blog. Help yourself to the quick yummy, and enjoy.

“Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between” is a poetry collection that provides a glimpse into the heart, mind Poetry Coverand soul, of its author. It is a heartwarming read, written with love and respect for others. Some poems were written in times of sorrow, other poems were written in times of joyous celebration. Life is like that.
“Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between,” is available at Amazon
My original canvass paintings, can be found at Books and Paintings by JoAnne or
RECIPE: Fruit Topped Angle Food Cake  Prep time-5 minutes
8 pudding cups of Snack Pack Vanilla pudding
1 large container of tropical fruit in light juice, undrained
1 bunt sized angle food cake sliced into eight or more pieces
Stir together pudding and fruit in large bowl. Spoon generous amount of sauce with fruit over each slice of cake and serve cold.
I was afraid to grow up.
Afraid of life.
I worried myself to death.
It was hard to breathe.
Like a fish out of water.
Like having asthma.
High school was hell-crazy wild.
My only plan.
Just get up and go.
Cant be like mom.
She always had a plan.
Living her life without any man.
Cant think that far.
Felt out of place.
Like dust floating in space.
Scared out of my mind.
Of what I might or might not find.
Cant hack relationships.
More drama.
Why waste the time.
Still confused, but still craving knowledge.
I need to do what I want-for myself.
Even if its just me who cares.
Even if no ones there.
It was a long hard road.
To get my act together.
All bad choices, solely I sowed.
Working for nickels and dimes.
Like a newborn.
Taking one step at a time.
A new wife and mother.
Scared of life.
Scared to grow up.
Worry myself sick.
Never thought of a plan.
Didn’t want to be like the others.
Living my life according to my mother.
My life seemed over, before it began.
Cant think or feel.
Cant plan ahead.
Like a foolish child wanting to be a woman.
Some days to hard, just cant deal.
To confused to understand.
That growing up comes with demands.
Married badly, blamed myself.
Got out fast, and never looked back.
I covered myself in chaos.
All out of faith, money, and time.
Need to step back and take deep breaths,
and take one step at a time.
I cornered myself in chaos,
in false love, self loathing and lies.
Writing my future off as a loss.
Nothing left but sorrow, despair and good-byes.
Feeling helpless, lost and alone,
I felt I could accomplish nothing on my own.
I retreated to a place called the dark.
To contemplate my choices,
before my life’s journey embarked.
My only failures were the ones I created.
My bad choices were thorns all around.
It took years to find happiness and evolve.
My will to succeed is my solid ground.
In this bleak life of mine,
I walk the dark alleys of broken dreams.
A darkened corridor of lost tomorrows,
within a collage of unraveled seams.
My life simmered like a bad stew.
Hidden within a clutter of tear stained cheeks.
Living in darkness, an unbridled soul.
Torn between life and death, my future seemed bleak.
Despair cowered behind my eyes.
Once beautiful, I was left aged and alone.
Reflections in my sea of tears,
reminded me I was forgotten and solitary.
Stumbling over common life hurdles,
like a babe learning to crawl.
Losing everything to my lustful addictions,
of fear, failure, and shame.
Lost control of what was mine.
That poison controlled me for a while.
It felt bad and made me cry.
As emotional pain went on for miles.
I found courage with family and friends.
No more shadows, cold or rain.
The venom that once ruled my life,
is a faded memory I achieved through strife.

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Let’s Try to be a Little More Healthy

As I mentioned while discussing the amazing chorizo dip recipe for the MFRW Summer Camp, I looked at my favorite party dish recipe with new eyes.  And thought there just might be ways to make it marginally healthier. Not that chili, cheese, and sausage will ever win any culinary awards from the dietary council. But we can at least cut down on some on the processed foods.

So I started with the first component, chili.  Everyone who likes chili has their own ideas about what makes a good combination of meat, tomatoes, and spices. I’ve certainly sampled some fabulous recipes in the past. For grins, I went hunting for a “low carb” chili recipe, to see what I could find.  And I discovered Low Carb Friends, with this great recipe for

Dottie’s Texas Chile

1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion – diced
1 can (14.5 ounce) cut diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 can (14 ounce) beef broth
1 cup water
11/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional: 1 can (15 ounce) black soy beans –drained and rinsed well.
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour Cream
Brown ground beef and onions, breaking up well. Drain well. Add spices and continue to cook and blend well. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until reduced slightly. Add beans (if using) in the last 10 minutes, just long enough to heat through. Black soy beans have a softer texture than pinto beans and will break down faster.  Add water or more broth if necessary. Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Great starter recipe. I didn’t go for the bean option., and I decided to use the crock pot. Since I didn’t have beef broth, I

See the tip of the bone?

See the tip of the bone?

increased the water, and threw in a couple of beef bones. Then I let it do its simmering thing for a few hours.  Eventually it bubbled into a delicious chili, a bit more watery than my preference but this is just for starters. I poured most of it into a heavy pot to sit for a couple days (refrigerator of course!) and saved out a little to enjoy right now. This morning I had some with my eggs. Meant to take a picture for you but oops ate it too fast!

I also added about a cup of New Mexico Green Chile, roasted, chopped and frozen, to give it that extra boost.  If you want to try something extra good, then add some VERY dark chocolate right at the end of your cooking. Puts that chile right over the top.

Upcoming: I’m going to try a home made version of Velveeta, to continue getting away from processed foods.  So stick around. And you do have those dates blocked out for MFRW Summer Camp, July 12-14 right?


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