Monday, June 30, 2008

Writing Woes 2

This one isn't about a lack of writing. This one is about how much I love technology but hate my lack of remembering to back up often.

I lost about 4.5k of work on Ivory today. Now, that isn't horrible as Ivory was at 90k words. But now I'm back at 86.5k after seeing the lovely 90k mark. Its depressing. *sigh*

Lesson, back up after every session of writing. EVERY SESSION.

Time to try to remember what I already wrote...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gah. I need a day off. No stressing about anything. Not allowed to worry about money, my weight, cleaning, family (really meaning the in-laws), not allowed to freak out about my writing instead of getting an normal job. Not allowed to stress out about anything. Now if a day like that was ever actually possible, I'd be in heaven for that day. Of course the only way one of these magical days would happen is if it was a weekend, I turned the phone, tv, and computers off all day long. No driving anywhere, just staying home with nothing on. How likely is that to happen? Not. Never. Oh and turning cell phones off. Yeah. See. Oh and not allowed to play on my ds. I think thats it. Gah. Today is still a bad day. Has been all week. I dislike life right now. I'll get over it and I know it. It helps knowing that because then I don't feel like I've hit rock bottom, but it still sucks feeling worthless. I tell my husband when I feel like this, he tells me I'm being silly and everything's okay. I believe him. My mind just won't. Its annoying.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Ever Submission

Its officially in the mail box. I can't touch it now. I could if I had one of those mail boxes at the end of the drive way, but luckily, I live in an apartment and the outgoing mail box is unforgiving to writers wanting to tear open a submission and reread it yet again. I walked over first thing this morning and mailed it. It is now out of my hands. So scary. So awesome. First submission of many to come.
No I didn't magically finish my novel overnight. It is a submission of a short story to a regional magazine back home. I've got another short story that just needs a bit of polish before its ready for the mailbox. Then I have a very short start to a short story that isn't just in need of polish, its in need of finishing. hehe. then of course I have my novel. Desperately in need of finishing, editing, revising, and then polishing. A novel really is the definition of a long-term project. At least for me anyways. Not so great at focusing.
And of course I have ideas for short stories often, so that list will lengthen. However, I will not start my next novel until I finish this one. I will not. Having rough character sketches, rough plot outline, scene tag lines, and some dialog isn't starting the novel. Its prepping the novel. Right? *sigh* I am determined to finish Ivory before devoting myself to Entry into Madness. Crap its already got a title, MMC, FMC, bad guys up the wazoo. Its a thing. I don't want to end up with multiple unfinished novels. I figure if I finish the first one, it will be easier to finish the second one before starting the third and so on down the line. I know I am not at the point where I can be working on multiple novels at once. Many later in my writing adventure but not now. Short stories and a novel is doable.

Laters for now

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Blah. Life is life. I always have these ups and downs with my writing and it drives me crazy. I have good days, decent days, okay days and down right shitty days. Today and yesterday are/were shitty writing days. The fact that I had to convince myself to post at all on here is a clear indicator. I've got a short story almost ready to submit to a magazine. Almost. The magazine wants a cover letter with a short bio. Haven't done that. The story is done, but is about 55 words short of their 2000-3000 word range. So I wonder, will those 55 words matter? Is my story good enough to stand on its own without those 55 words? Will my submission be automatically rejected for being under 2000 words? What do they want from me in my bio? I have no writing credits so I can't add those, I have nothing relevant to add that would help sell my story. I know not to put my specs like a dating website. I'm a 5'5", blond haired blue eyed writer who would love to she her work in your magazine. Yeah. That wouldn't go over well. I know not to say, I'm a new writer, this is my first ever submission and would you please oh pretty please publish me?

End rant.

Edit: I can tell it was late for me. Its not 55 words short, it's 455 words short. I'm guessing 455 words short matters much more than 55 words short.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Late night chatter

So as of right now, I've written 2,244 words today. That is the most I've written in one day in a long time. So yay! This week so far I've written 5,544 words, which again, is awesome. My normal writing goal is 1,000 words (1k) every day that I sit down to write which normally is M-F. So being Thursday and I started on Monday, I am 1.5k ahead of my normal goal! I've still got tomorrow AND the weekend. Andy (my husband) doesn't fly in until Monday so I've got 3 extra days this week to write. I will reach a total of 90k on Ivory, hopeful goal of 100k, I will be happy with anything over 94k. If I keep managing 2k at least a day, that puts me at 88k tomorrow, 90 on sat, 92 on Sun. Now 2k is the mental minimum for when Andy is away because I can write in the mornings and evenings. I don't generally do well writing in the afternoons as I always seem to want to nap. If I can get to at least over 94k by the end of the weekend, I'll be well ahead for next week and hopefully will be able to keep up. Not sure if I'll be able to write on Monday, Tuesday hes home but then Wed hes back at work. If I get to 94k that'll have me ahead until the 24th so sweet and I really want to hit this goal. I want to be sending out queries by December. We'll see how I do at editing and revisions before I set that goal in stone.
Okay. Off to sleep I really should go, but I'm up till midnight at least to check the bank for Andy and I did just drink a small glass of soda.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life without Andy

No he didn't leave me or anything like that, hes just not here, hes up North for his brother's graduation. So I'm all alone down here. I've discovered that I don't like him being gone. It stresses me out to no end. And I'm not eating regularly, which is never a good thing.

I am trying to write a tone while hes gone, but last night my wrist started rebelling against typing. So either I've got to learn real quick how to type fast one handed, or I've got to take it slow. Phooey. I am planning on making those sour cream cookies sometime this week...the kitchen is just still a mess from when he left. I haven't gotten the urge to tidy it completely yet, mostly because I do feel so ill. I went shopping for food yesterday only to discover my stomach will not settle with most foods I eat. I'm on the cracker diet at the moment, not willingly.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Every morning I do my best to get out in the sun for a little bit. I don't go all out in a bikini to tan myself, but I let myself get some sun for a good 15-30 minutes every morning. Like Friday morning, it was bright and sunny on our patio at 8:50am. I went out for a good 25 minutes. I may have burnt my ears a little, but it was so nice and it always starts my day off great.

I made an earlier post about cloudy days, it is true, they mess with me like crazy. I love sunshine in the morning, it starts my day off wonderfully.

Going to try to get a nap in, we're leaving at 3am to get him to the airport in time to make it through security.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Writing Woes

So. I have a plan to finish my first draft of Ivory by the end of July. Problem is, I don't make my word count every day like I should. Next week my hubby is going up North for his brothers graduation so it'll be just me for the week so I can write whenever and not have to worry about making dinner around 6 or anything like that. Sweet! So I'm hoping I'll be able to catch up and get ahead. I want to have 23k by the end of the month, 27k will have me caught up, so 30k would be awesome because then I would be ahead.

I've been handwriting my novel for the last couple of weeks, it gets more than staring at the computer screen done does, but I'm still ending up not making my goal. Now honestly, a lot of that has to do with me letting myself get distracted. So, all my instant messengers are signed off, and once I'm done doing my normal first thing online stuff I'll be writing. Hopefully I'll get a head today a little, to start catching up. Monday I'm bringing my hubby to the airport, which is about an hour away and hes got a 5:45am flight....ick.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Debbie's Mini Pies

This one is from Debbie, as you can tell by the name. It uses premade stuff from the refrigerated section again, this are in no way healthy, except that they are mini pies inside of full ones.

You'll Need:

1 roll big flaky biscuits, the one with 5 in it I think
A normal sized muffin tin
Cinnamon and sugar
Fruit pie filling of your choice, blueberry, peach, strawberry, w/e you want
Little bit of flour and butter to make the crumble top
Cool whip (or canned whip cream, I can't do dairy very well so non dairy cool whip for me)

How To:

Separate each of the biscuits into two, flatten them each out into about 4 inch circles. Dip one side in the cinnamon sugar, then stuff them cinnamon sugar side down into the muffin tin. Fill with desired filling. Smush together the flour and butter, and some cinnamon sugar until its crumbly. Sprinkle on top of each of the mini muffins. Bake in the oven at around 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Pull them out, drop a dollop of cool whip on the one you're going to eat, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and enjoy! Oh, to get them out of the pan I let them cool a minute then used a fork, I plan to try them using paper muffin cups but haven't yet.

Its very yummy and sweet. I only eat one at a time, too sweet for me to have more than one, too much sugar makes me go to sleep. :D


Thursday, June 5, 2008

I dislike making titles

Just emailed my father, telling him I can't come to his wedding simply because plane tickets are too expensive. Which is 100% true. It'd be like 400 bucks just for me to fly up for the weekend. I don't know about him, but we don't have any extra cash laying around anymore. We did, but not anymore. That is what really sucks. We actually had money in savings, but the way things keep getting more expensive, and the need to buy plane tickets for other things that were planned way in advance compared to his wedding totally depleted our savings. I think there may be about 100 dollars in there. Money is tight. For everyone I know. This is when I wish I was a trust fund baby. But my life would be totally different if I was so, really I don't. I love my life and wouldn't change it. Yeah it sucks sometimes, but I still love it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cloudy Days

They bother be greatly in the mornings. More often than not, I want to be able to sit out on our little patio for a good 15 minutes in the nice morning sunshine. Today, its cloudy with little bits of sunshine poking through for seconds at a time. Some days I wake up and want it to be downpouring. But I usually want the sun. My day always starts out better when I get to sit in the sun for a little bit.
Cloudy mornings also make my to-do list look insanely long. Now don't get me wrong, I love cloudy days in the afternoons, it generally keeps it cooler this time of year. But in the mornings, when its already cooler, it sucks.
Short post for me this morning. I might post more later, but I've got some catch up writing to do.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


This one is all mine. Now, I am not good at baking, so with this recipe I start with a pre-made pancake mix and add to it. In the future I hope to make yummy waffles that don't start out as such, but so far all attempts have yielded floury tasting dry waffles. This recipe only makes about 3 waffles with our Belgian waffle maker. I'm going to try altering this weekend to get a solid four waffles. It really depends on your waffle iron for how many waffles you get. With ours this one makes two good ones and the third is fickle. Sometimes it makes a good third one, other times the remaining batter makes about half a waffle. I think it changes depending on how long I let it sit.

You'll Need:

A box of Aunt Jemima's pancake mix, original, the just add water one.
You'll use 2 cups of the above mix
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cups oil (I use veggie oil, olive oil would be too heavy I think)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon, I think
You can add various things to the batter, blueberries, strawberry chunks, whatever you want really. With this amount of batter, no more than a cup I would say. But thats me. :D

A waffle iron, a mixing bowl, a spoon, a ladle, cooling racks, a fork.
Various toppings. I top mine with cool whip and normally fresh strawberries, my husband likes butter and Mrs. Butterworth syrup. If i want syrup, I go for the good stuff thats like 5 bucks a bottle. Thankfully I don't go for it much. This morning my husband used his syrup and peanut butter, that was on pancakes made with this mix straight up. So yeah, use whatever you want for toppings.

How To:

Follow the instructions on the back on the box, the waffle instructions are on the bottom left corner above the chart for different amounts of pancakes. Add in the brown sugar and cinnamon once you've got the water and oil mixed together. Now, this is important. Do not set your waffle iron to heat before you make this. Right now, walk away from the batter. Get the waffle iron out of the cupboard and set up. Spray it lightly with Pam and plug it in to start heating up. Stay away from the batter.
After about 5 minutes or more, the waffle iron should be heated, and your batter should be full of air pockets. This is what you want. Ladle a good amount of the batter onto the iron, you want the batter to be almost reaching the edge on its own while its still seeping around the iron. Close the lid and back away. I want to say walk away, which you can, just don't forgot about it. I'm not sure how long it will take to cook, it depends on the waffle iron. Tried and true method, don't open the lid until after it starts steaming and stops. So. You close the lid. No steam. It starts to steam. It stops steaming. It is safe to check the waffle. I use a fork to pop the waffle out of the iron and onto a cooling rack. No I don't let it cool, its just that if you put it right onto a plate, the bottom gets soggy from the steam. So let it sit on the rack for a minute before serving.

Thats it really. You can also make like a double batch and freeze some if you want. I haven't tried that because I'd want to eat them all.

I usually make these on Sunday, around noon when my husband and I finally wake up. hehe. I'll take a photo and post it. I didn't make them this past Sunday, we had friends over Saturday night and my husband was only able to get me out of bed by luring me out with cinnamon buns. :D


Monday, June 2, 2008

My Current Projects

As of right now I have one major writing project underway, and three small ones.
I've got a large crochet project, and a large for me cross stitch project I'm doing for my cousins wedding.
I know theres more but that is all I can think of at the moment.

My main focus is my novel. Thats my major project. Its called Ivory and is currently about 76,000 words long and about 1/3 complete. I've got a full outline and almost every chapter is at least started with a small blurb. I try to write at least 1,000 words every day. On a normal good day, I do it with no problem. How often do I have normal good days? every other week or so. I'll be going good for 3 days then hit a rock. I get thrown off course for a week, then get back on track. It is very annoying and frustrating but I have come to learn fighting it only makes it worse. I lose focus very easily, especially when I am feeling even the slightest bit ill. We're talking a minor headache and its all over. Plus I really cannot wait to go back and start editing it. I've been working on it for about seven months now. It is my first novel so it is taking longer than I wish it would. I'm hoping to be done with this first draft by August 1st.
By editing I mean printing out each and every page and attacking it with a red pen, highlighters and those flag post-its. I love post-its, they are just so expensive! I want to get those ones that are shapes, but I can't bear spending 5 bucks for sticky notes that I rarely do use. I've got two packs of the large flags so I'll be using those. I want to edit it so badly because I can see areas that need to be fixed, there are parts that need to be edited because I wrote scenes out of order so now some people are in scenes that shouldn't be there. I really think I'll edit those before printing it off, because I know where they are and there is no point in printing out pages I know have to be totally rewritten anyways.
Once I print it out, I will so take a picture to post on here. Its going to be a massive stack of paper.
I've got a short story that I really need to finish writing, I just...never get to it. I'm horrible at forcing myself to do things, even when I like doing then and or know its good for me. Same is true for my cross stitch project for my cousin's wedding. Its going to be a cute wedding thing for them. I have it all planned out and the thread sorted. I have started it. I've working on it that one least the wedding isn't until Oct. I've got time. Really should only take me about 3 or 4 hours to do, I just know I probably cannot sit and work on it straight for that long. Eye strain and all.
As for crochet, I am trying to start a baby blanket. Hopefully for me and my husband. We aren't planning on trying for children for about 4 more years at least. But you never know. Plus, I know three people getting married this year so I figure having one started would be good to have on hand.
So whose getting married?
My cousin Daphne is marrying Ben on Oct. 24th.
My father is marrying is girlfriend of...2 years? on Aug. 8th.
My husbands friend and my friends, Joe and Linda on Aug. 27th.

Which of these weddings are we going to as a couple? None. Nice right?
I'm going to my cousins wedding as her maid of honor solo, theres no way he'll get the leave. Maybe a four day pass, but even if, the plane fare will be insane. My dads wedding, just learned about it and same problem, no leave and plane tickets. Joe and Linda's we simply don't know yet. They live close enough we can drive up. My husband might be able to get a pass. If so, we'll hopefully be going to theirs, even if just for the reception, (the church charges by the amt of people showing up. weird right?).
Oh and, who's engaged?
So far I think it is just my sister and James, they've been dating for 4 years and don't plan to get married until shes done college, another two years. My cousin Ian was engaged, but that one didn't work out. Oh! Debbie is at least seriously committed if not engaged yet. Shes been very out of contact lately, I don't blame her. :D That reminds me of a wicked yummy dessert recipe she gave me. I'll have to post that one.
Thats it for now I think, later gators!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Twice Baked Potatoes

This one is a family favorite from my husbands side. It has become a favorite on my side of the family too!

Note: This one can easily be halved, but since it takes a while to make and they freeze well, I just make the full recipe.

You'll need:

A good two hours! (Takes an hour roughly to bake the potatoes the first time, so not two hours chained to the kitchen.)

10 pounds russet potatoes
3 pounds bacon(yes, three pounds, you can cut it down if you want, I suggest trying it first then altering as you wish)
4 cups of diced onions
1 four cup package of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-8 ounce pack of cream cheese (the little box)
16 ounces of sour cream

One large cookie sheet or two smaller ones, a large mixing bowl, a fork, a soup spoon, wiring cooling racks, electric mixer, a fry pan, cutting board and knife, and I think that is it. Oh, a potato scrubber if you're big on getting the potatoes clean within an inch of its potato life, otherwise just use your hands to scrub them.

How to:
Turn the oven on to 425 degrees. Scrub all the potatoes, takes a bit and tends to tire you out, but just think, its a mini workout! Poke the potatoes with the fork a few times so they don't explode in the oven. Now I normally put the potatoes right on the oven rack but you can use a cookie sheet if you want. Bake the potatoes for an hour.
While they are baking, dice up the onions and put them aside. Heat up the fry pain to cook the bacon. Best idea we've ever come up with, slice up the bacon into chunks before frying it. Saves a lot of effort afterwards. Fry up the bacon, a pound at a time works best. Line a plate with paper towels to drain the bacon as you are down frying it. Drain the fat as needed to not create a boiling pile of fat. With the last batch reserve some of the grease to cook the onions. To make it healthier you can drain all the fat and use olive oil or some other healthier alternative. Cook the onions until they are tender. You cook try to do this while the potatoes are cooling but I find it easier to do right after I get the potatoes in the oven, then once I'm done with the onions I can just walk away from the kitchen till the potatoes are done.
Check the potatoes after the hour, I usually poke a butter knife into the biggest one, if it goes in smoothly, they are done. Transfer them from the oven to the cooling racks for about 20 minutes or so. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge at the same time so it will soften up a bit before its time to mix.
After the potatoes cool a bit, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the meat part, leaving the skin intact making a sort of potato shell I guess. Scoop the potato meat into the mixing bowl. Arrange the potato shells onto the cookie sheets, its best to try to cook them all at once. Add the cream cheese, sour cream and mix well. Try to get it creamy. If you need to, add some more sour cream, some butter or milk to make it creamy. Then mix in the onions, usually okay on low with the mixer, otherwise use a spoon. Then its time for the bacon and cheese. Easiest to do them one at a time. Once you've got the cheese mixed in its time for a taste test. Usually needs pepper and some salt, I go light on the salt because there is plenty from the bacon, my husband knows he'll have to add more when he eats one, but he doesn't mind.
Time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once you've got it salt and peppered start scooping the mixture into the potato shells. Be generous! Stuff those potato skins! Don't mound them, just stuff them. You will likely have some mixture left over, that is normal, time to treat yourself, stick it in a small bowl, pop it in the microwave and enjoy!. The potatoes once stuffed get put in the oven for about 30 minutes, might take longer, you want the tops to start turning light brown. Then eat!
What to do with the rest of them? Unless you're feeding a heck of a lot of people, you'll have a bunch of potatoes left over. I freeze about half of whats left, glad ware comes in here. The other half I stick in zip bags and put in the fridge. Don't do that until they are cool though. Hot potatoes into the freezer...not so good. You can also freeze or refrigerate any leftover mixture that didn't make it into a potato. Reheating the potatoes, microwave is the quickest but it tends to make the potato skins tougher. I reheat them in the oven, at about 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You don't want to brown the tops anymore, just warm them all the way through.
Recipe is from my mom-in-law Doss, side notes are from me though.

Ignoring my slightly dirty stove, this is sort what one looks like. This one is out of the fridge since I made these last week. They are wicked yummy.