And The Moral of the Story is…

posted in: FOODS, SEASONS, writing | 1

I‘m working away at editing the 2nd book of my new Fresh Start women’s fiction/romance series, which I hope to launch in February.

This 2nd book, a June release is in editing. I’m at the tail end of that and decided to update my iMac. Last night, I started updating the system, and this morning it wasn’t done. I’m a morning person, all systems go, so I was ready to put the final touches on this new masterpiece, the 2nd book of Fresh Start series. Ready to go. Yeah. My computer needed a whole lot more updating and installing time.

Thus, crocheting and checking on the computer’s updates/install. No luck.

This a.m. early, still no luck. I got so frustrated–which helps nothing in technology–so I decided to bake potato rolls, Denver Biscuits my family loves, an old time recipe from Pike’s Peak mining days.

I started my computer downloading/updating/install process yet again, and made the yeast dough, which has to rise. The house was cool, ZERO degrees out this a.m., wind chill -21, and rising takes some kind of heat, so I started the heater, and placed one bowl of rising “bisquits” in front of it.

The computer wasn’t updating and installing fast enough and I wanted to get to work, editing my masterpiece. So I started another batch of yeast dough. Another stool, more rising.

Neighbor guys who cleaned my driveway and who sometimes take away dead limbs, etc. fetched the dough through the 6-7 inches of snow I was not tromping through.

And the moral is: Some things can’t be rushed–writing/editing, rising dough, and updating/installing computer tech stuff.

 

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.

 

Time for Thoughts

posted in: FOODS, HOLIDAYS, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS, writing | 1

Like everyone else, I’m deep into the holidays and the end of the year whatevers. I’ve just had a little renovation, which put me behind, but then, I’m always behind, aren’t you?

At the end of the year, I think back to days of yore. Huh. Cannot remember how many quarts of green beans I’ve canned from a huge garden. I canned everything in sight, just like my mother, who was lucky enough to have plenty of trout, salmon, steelhead, etc. to can. Her panty was a thing of beauty, all organized, fruits/jams/meats/whatever. And yes, since we are German descent, jars of kraut. She stopped crocks years before that and made kraut in jars. I did the jar-method, too, but no longer doing any of that. I miss Mom.

My stack of crocheted dishcloths is going out the door/mail as gifts. I make lots of mistakes, but people seem to like them anyway. This year I found a new InstaPot delivered to my porch, thanks to one daughter who has 4 children and works and is mad about the fast convenience. Mm. We’ll see, she says…

I‘ve just sent out notice to my beta readers about a first book of a series, and I long to edit the 2nd. The holiday time-crunch is upon me, however, and I need clear thinking room for the edit. I truly hope they love it. So a new series in 2018, along with more Tallchiefs in that series. Talk about writing plans!

For a limited time, His Christmas Present, a 2-fer, and The Rose Basket: Novella are on sale for .99. The Rose Basket: Novella is a romance-humor story also in paper and makes a nifty gift. Because it’s short, my sister is enthused.

At the end of the year, that precious space in which to reflect, you’ll hear more of my stuff, like how I polish antique furniture and burn candles and generally think about the past and the future. It’s a really important time for me and I hope you, too.

But for now, I’d better get busy. Take time for these reflections and yourself, will you?

April Showers

posted in: Life Happens, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS, writing | 1

In SW MO, we have more than “showers”, we have flooding at this date. Rivers are brown with mud, sheets of gray rain and big, big lightning and thunder storms.

But the rolling hills are filled with new green, a contrast to the dark cedars. Not a good time for those who are allergy challenged. And the dogwoods are blooming, the roses and everything is just–grand, is the word. Grand.

My knockout roses have started to bloom and I can’t wait to see what else I’ve planted–not an organized gardener. If I can find a place for a bulb, there it goes. 🙂

It gets really hot and dry here in the summer, so my porch has lots of succulents. They are new to me and I’m enjoying them. Meanwhile, these beauties are along our highways:

I’m writing heavily and unplug during high storms, which can really stop a story rolling along, coming thru my fingertips. I’ve been waiting to spend time working with my last contest “Happy4Me” and it was more difficult than I supposed. The question was: What do you do when you’re down?

The range of answers was tremendous, and most entries listed reading. I am truly inspired by all the ways people try to work with their I’m down-mood. Uncommon, thoughtful answers that included volunteering, video games, crafts, remembering good times, etc. Terrific thoughtful answers and I loved each one. I’m announcing the winners soon in my email list, so if you haven’t yet, SUBSCRIBE HERE.

If I can–remember, I’m writing heavily–I want to write more about my Happy4Me contest which has ended. You’ll know when I do write about it.

I am humbled by the people facing real challenges, either emotional or physical or both, and by the simple joy and appreciation of life people hug within them.

Enjoy!

Cait

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?