The Aftermath

posted in: CRAFTS, DIY, FOODS, HOLIDAYS, SEASONS | 3

I’m dressed in my Ninja black, sweater and sweat pants, at my desk and starting to catch up in The Aftermath.

We had quite the season, but I’ve never been one for a show of abundance, rather simplicity. This wreath and a ceramic Santa Claus with candles is all I have to take down/put away.

Family visited and the young boys and I crocheted. One really went to town with a Tunisian hook, which is my favorite, too. He is 11. The 6-year old “loomed” with another daughter. I needed a scarf, so this one is almost done. According to The Judge, it needs to be long enough to start at the waist, wrap around your neck and hang down to your waist. I’m just crocheting to the end of the ball.

We had a cheeseball competition. The judge isn’t declaring winners, because she doesn’t want to lose her cheeseball “abundancy” with chips. She was into the refrigerator, prior to our pasta dinner. The butcher here has great Italian sausage, perfect for browning and sauce.

Here’s my 2-cheeseball recipe: 4 cartons cream cheese, carton sour cream, carton blue cheese, handful of shredded cheddar, 2 handfuls of mixed colby etc., sprinkle of garlic power, dash salt (next year I’ll use parmesan in lieu of salt), worchestire, and after forming and chilling overnight, pat ball with pecans. The judge said I needed to cut the pecans smaller, but that certainly did not slow her down.

That daughter loaded up on my Denver biscuits, a recipe from the miner’s Pike Peak’s days. (It’s really a potato roll.) I made 4 tons of that, 1 ton for her to take home, a bread bowl of dough for another daughter. The recipe is good for a refrigerator roll, to take out as needed, and sometimes I take just the dough to neighbors’, so they can make hot rolls for breakfast. Always a hit with real butter.

Note: Leggos are no fun to step on.

I’ve just sent book 1 of a new series to my beta readers and hope they like it. JUST YOU is in the works and soon for pre-order. JUST LOVE book 2 is being edited. I usually print out the mss and red ink the edits before sending on. A screen edit is ok to a point, but hand editing, away from distractions is best for me. Then correct, and go over.

I am absolutely thrilled with the reception of THE ROSE BASKET: NOVELLA now on sale in ebook and print.

And I’ll finish my scarf tonight… All in all a good holiday and I am back to work now. I hope you had a good holiday, too, complete with family/friends.

 

Organized or Stressed?

posted in: DIY, REFLECTIONS | 2

! The multiple winners of my Cradle Contents have been notified via email. I am so hoping this cover is going to be super and you’ll see it here with its mates. I have some idea I’m going to draw a logo for all 3 books, but we’ll see. 🙂 

Jan/Feb are my really hard working months and right now I’m amid organizing for 2017. I am not using the new snazzy hot pink planner I bought. It did not note Pearl Harbor, which is important to me–truly disappointed in that. I am a planner-snob.

This is the first year I’ve tried working ahead, with a planner. I opted for making my own to which I could add pages, pockets, etc. I love these smaller 3-ring binders for almost everything. This one is my work book, where I keep notes about projects, etc. Love, love this notebook. Then my brand new homemade planner is white. Homemade works better for me, where pages can be added or removed. These notebooks are handy for just about everything. And it’s fun DIY.

Sometimes I think that with all the electronic gizmos, it still comes down to paper. With these DIY notebooks, you can have sticker-fun. Who doesn’t love stickers? And happy cups. That’s my happy cup on my notebook, btw.

I’m just starting a new book/series and marking total words written per day in my DIY notebook. This is where the goal setting comes in. Some writers want so many words per day. I don’t. I write more in scenes and go with the flow, but I know to make a deadline, I need to be midpoint by a specific date. I approximate. I’ve written enough to know when it’s time to stop, to take a drive, walk, and generally get away.

SIDE NOTE: In case you didn’t know, laying out a new book, the possible start of a series, is an agonizing process. Character names have to be matched, selected carefully. Where to start, etc. are big mulling items. Generally, I just write and worry about getting the set up down, then re-edit those first pages and take off.

Is this current planner rage more beast than help? Is extreme goal-setting creating even more stress to our everyday lives? We are actually pressuring ourselves. Some days, I am disappointed that I didn’t get whatever done, most frustrated. On those days, I make a list of the things that I did and it’s quite a long list. I forgive myself. There are only so many hours in a day, so much of my energy.

And then, life comes along and interferes, disrupting the whole planned ball game. Demands on an individual are huge, encompassing care for our families, work routines, maintenance of car and home and health, plus huge amounts of paper work and daily business.

This year, I am taking more time off Internet, especially the holidays. Many writers are not on Internet on Sunday or a chosen day, and that is a good plan, to back away for just that one day and do something else. Refreshing, nurturing ourselves is very important. We’re not machines, programmed to run constantly.

My question is: Are we planning ourselves into stress, rather than relieving it by planning ahead? Are we too goal oriented? What is our individual time and energy vs the goals we set, the plans we make?

2017 Best Wishes 2 U

posted in: CRAFTS, DIY, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 0

Aloha from Chilly Foggy SW MO!

Ok, I took a break. I admit it. And thoroughly enjoyed the holidays and especially the very end of the year. I think I enjoyed this time more than any other year. I hope you did, too. It’s foggy this morning and we’re expecting 0 temps soon. January and February–especially Valentine’s Day–are my favorite times of the year.

Reflecting on 2016: I am so thrilled with the reception of my Basket Series. So many kind people posted their reviews and I sent copies to my sister, who is not on Internet. Thank you so much! This was a series I’d waited to write and I already have the rough draft of a short story to follow–whenever.

First: The Cradle Contents and the Website Ideas Contest are now closed. The Cradle Contest had multiple winners with the same very good ideas and the prizes will be my books. I have some of the items on hand for the cover of The Cowboy and the Cradle.

I am so pleased that people remembered the Tallchief series and their very nice comments are most appreciated.

These are boxes my daughter wrapped. I had more fun with these perfectly wrapped boxes. She could have just sent empty ones. Weren’t they gorgeous in the previous basket shot? I love that basket. In fact, I love all my baskets as you can guess by my Basket Series.

 

This is a gift I wrapped for friends, complete with a Tunisian crocheted mat and The Basket Maker’s Wife and The Egg Basket. I also crocheted dishcloths and caps, some for messy buns. Now, isn’t that a word for hairstyles?

I started on a new series last night and had been mulling ideas. I drive a lot when thinking, just open road, the wheels on the pavement and no media. Lots of good thinking/ideas come from that time. I’ve driven across the country and up into Canada and am planning some trip, somewhere this summer. I lost my favorite seagull picture and I want a good shot of an old windmill.

And my homemade 2017 planner? It’s filling up. It’s a new project, one of many. 🙂

That’s it for now. I’d love to hear from you. Write to: Cait London.