Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken Soup and Santa

For you Chicken Soup for the Soul lovers, you better head on over to my pal, Sioux’s blog and get the scoop of the various book signings going on. All of my WWWP gals will be signing books that have their stories in them. Some other friends of mine will be there too! At least one of us WWWPs will run around cheering them on. I’m just grateful that they’re all at different times since they’re at different locations. I’m excited for them.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I may not be a Chicken Soup writer, even though I’m told I write better non-fiction than fiction.

One genre in fiction that I didn't think I could write was romance… humorous romance, and go figure, I’ve received a contract for my story to appear in Fifty Shades of Santa anthology. When I told my youngest daughter, Rita, she said, “That makes sense.”
“Well…you’ve been married four times.”
Gee, thanks Rita. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t qualify me to write humorous romance, but…

This is the same daughter who came home from kindergarten or first grade with a little booklet—a fill in the blank—I believe it was for Mother’s Day. My mom is good at _____________. My mom helps me with _______________. My mom says that I’m _________________. I can’t recall the exact wording, but they were filled in with sweet words written like a beginner, misspellings and all. 

The last fill-in sentence threw me for a loop in two ways. One, because it was on the negative side. It said, My mom isn’t very good at _______________. Two, was Rita’s answer. In all her innocence and honesty she fills in “finding a husband or boyfriend.” ACK. This was shortly after my third divorce.

We learn from our mistakes, eh? Maybe Rita’s right. She was right in first grade! When the book is out, you can decide for yourself. I still wonder…

Don’t forget, head over to Sioux’s page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Do You Share Recipes?

Dear Mom,

I’ve had a hard time writing anything worthwhile—even to blog. I’ve written every day—mostly journaling, and well, who really cares how much time I spend writing on any given day? I know I write. Some days more than others. I also know I can’t NOT write… otherwise they’ll haul me away and throw away the key.

While cooking for Thanksgiving I’m reminded of how I tell this story at the feast I prepare each year… the one where I’m trying to perfect sweet potatoes—the sweet potatoes that I had one year at a friend’s house. Not really sure if he was my friend because he wouldn’t give me the recipe. He stated, “Oh, I just add a little of this, and a little of that.” I can still picture him waving his arms, prancing, all giddy. He knew these sweet potatoes were, well, sweeeeeet. He wouldn’t even say what was “this” and “that” but since I’m not the dumbest rock in the box, I figured butter and brown sugar were key.

These sweet potatoes haunt me every year, and this was BC – Before Children. I was dating the soon-to-be dad of my three children. He was living with this friend—the same friend who made the yummiest sweet potatoes I’ve ever tasted. The same friend who wanted to date me after I got divorced. Had I been thinking… maybe had I dated him I’d have that sweet potato recipe.

However, 30 years later and I’m still at it. Still trying to make the sweet potatoes the way he did. Who says I’m a quitter?

At my own Thanksgiving dinner, I hear, “These are the best sweet potatoes.” or “I don’t really like sweet potatoes, but these are good!” That’s when I step on my soapbox and rant about my saga of the sweet potatoes. I look up and curse Billy Bob (made up name) because bless his soul, he’s deceased and he took the recipe to his grave. Think of the pleasure he could have given many and the honors he’d receive in his name. When I’ve mastered it, I will share it with the entire world! But it will be my recipe, not Billy Bob’s.

That got me thinking about recipes… do you share recipes? I mean, I get how certain businesses can’t share, but what about just an ordinary person? Take for instance when my niece was married—her husband's grandmother was Italian whom supposedly had the best tiramisu. I wanted an authentic recipe to enter a work-related dessert contest. I had to swear on my life that I wouldn’t share the recipe with anyone. Not a soul. I’m sure my niece did lots of begging just in order for me to have it. Seriously, he almost did not share it. And no, his grandmother didn’t own some sort of bakery.

I don’t know what all the fuss was about because the recipe wasn’t all that great. (Sorry Grandma Whatsyourname.) I lost out to a cheesecake, and I haven’t made tiramisu since. And no, I won’t share the recipe because I promised I wouldn’t. I will share any of my recipes, but mostly they’re from someone else or a cookbook.

Oh, but you can bet I’ll share the candied sweet potatoes once it’s mastered. Hopefully that’ll be some time in the next 30 years.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and may you walk away with recipes that you love!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Update on WiWoDoNaNo

Dear Mom,

It's clear I'm not as disciplined by being a WiWoDoNaNo versus an official NaNoWriMo participant, but I am writing every day. I write every day anyway, it's just I'm more aware of how much I'm writing.

I was out of town this weekend, but I scribbled a few words. I'm using amounts of time versus word count this November.

November 1: One hour, 35 minutes
November 2: One hour, 45 minutes
November 3: One hour, 10 minutes
November 4: 15 minutes
November 5: 15 minutes

I think I can add a little time to a few of these days, if I include some writing that wasn't personal. On November 4 and 5, I could add an additional two hours and 30 minutes--and that's for each day.

Hey, it's writing, right?

Oh, and here is a picture of my sweet niece, Victoria and me. We were in front of Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, MN. The photo was taken by Victoria's partner, Kate--photographer extraordinaire!

Photo by Kate Lockhart

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Dear Mom,

Every year on November 1st, writers from all over--at least those that choose to do so--participate in NaNoWriMo.  I've told you about it before... like, last November.  I participated in NaNoWriMo for the past two years and was on the fence about it this year.

So... I'm unofficially going to do NaNo, with my critique group (WWWPs - that stands for Wild Women Wielding Pens - that name came from the clever Sioux), and the other clever one, Tammy created our little unofficial official shield for Wi(ld)Wo(men)DoNaNo. Yes, the other two (Linda and Beth) are clever too. Yeah, me too. I guess that's why we all gel so well.

We'll be writing/rewriting whatever we feel like versus strictly fiction. This way we can ride the wave of NaNoWriMo! Woot! Woot! I learned about Woot! Woot! my first year doing NaNo. I'm not sure if it still exists, but I'm Woot! Wooting! anyway.

Good luck to everyone participating or not... just keep writing.

Stay tuned here for reports of my November daily writing... or in my case, rewriting.

And if you want to see a few photos of where I spent a day in MN, Kate at A Curious Endeavor shows it quite well.