Jan 272016

I used to have this hanging near my desk before we moved everything into a different room. I still haven’t managed to hang everything on the walls in the new location. In fact, I accidently printed over my 2014 NaNo winners certificate, but that’s another story.

I know to some it seems puerile need such affirmations, but sometimes a simple phrase can help me through the slog. I think my favorite is “embrace the ecstasy of writing.” It makes writing feel comforting yet exciting and a little dirty. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a romance novelist buried in here somewhere.

you're a writer

 Posted by at 11:23 pm
Jan 252016

A secret government unit, a group of renegade paranormal investigators…and a murder no one else can crack

Though haunted by the recent deaths of two teammates, Jackson Crow knows that the living commit the most heinous crimes.

A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition, Angela Hawkins already has her hands full of mystery and bloodshed.

But one assignment calls to them too strongly to resist. In a historic mansion in New Orleans’s French Quarter, a senator’s wife falls to her death. Most think she jumped; some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits inhabiting the house—once the site of a serial killer’s grisly work.

In this seemingly unsolvable case, only one thing is certain: whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion will cast Jackson and Angela into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.

Summary from Amazon.com

 Posted by at 6:16 am

Ham and Egg Bake

 Uncategorized  2 Responses »
Jan 222016

I didn’t have any fresh parsley, so instead of the parsley and basil, I added about 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning instead.  You can find Italian Seasoning with the spices.  It’s a pre-mixed variety of herbs commonly used in Italian food.  Since I used pressed ham, omitted the salt since ham has such a high salt content.  It turned out pretty well.  I think next time I might try adding some cream cheese to make the dish a little creamier.

Great recipe for surprise company and brunch with family and friends.


 Posted by at 6:23 am

Oxford Comma

 Uncategorized  No Responses »
Jan 202016

I posted a video for Weird Al’s Word Crimes video about two weeks ago and blathered on about the Oxford comma. Here’s a simple explanation of what the Oxford comma is, but not why I believe it’s sometimes useful.

When I ran across this image on Facebook, I died laughing because sometimes I write like Walken is speaking, adding commas for the speech pauses in my head. I hate editing them out, but I don’t stop myself. Sometimes it causes me to restructure a sentence based on natural pauses in a certain character’s speech patterns.


 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 152016

I found this Puppy Chow Popcorn recipe posted on My Happy Place and knew I just had to try it. Everyone seems to love Puppy Chow and I was planning on making caramel corn and cinnamon popcorn this Christmas, so I figured while I was making… why not?

I added slightly more of everything versus the recipe, so I thought a repost was in order.



 Posted by at 6:23 am
Jan 132016

Since I decided to make such a vague resolution, I thought I’d share the resolutions of another writer. She posted a well thought out list of ten resolutions for the new year. I’m not as ambitious this year, but I plan on taking a few tips from her for next year.

So, take a look and maybe add a few more to your own list. Most of them are making it on my list for next year, but this year I’m going to stick with being all lazy and chill about it.

A new year, a fresh start. Get 2016 off on the right foot with this list of ten resolutions for the writing life.

Source: 10 Resolutions for the Writing Life

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 112016

Whenever I grill, I stand outside having fun playing with fire while my wife makes all the side dishes in the house. So, I decided that I wanted to make the side dishes myself on the grill so she could actually have a break from cooking.

This is one of the first sides I tried to go with hamburgers and we liked it so much that I kept making it. We’ve tried different toppings and are anxious to try even more, so let us know if you come up with something good we haven’t tried.

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 102016

Another surprise sequel from Stephen King. I’ve always loved the movie The Shining and when I read there was a sequel, I was excited to read it.

I’ve never read The Shining and now that I’m reading the sequel, I wish I had read it. I can’t imagine anything better than Jack Nickolson, but I feel like there are some things I missed because I didn’t read the book.

I’m enjoying seeing what happened to little Danny after the events at the Overlook. I highly recommend Doctor Sleep for anyone that enjoyed the book or the movie The Shining. I’m not done yet, but I’m anxious to see what happens next.

Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.

Summary from Amazon.com

 Posted by at 6:23 am

Tea Cookies

 Uncategorized  4 Responses »
Jan 082016

This is a nice base recipe that you can add almost anything you like. I haven’t added nuts and fruits yet, but I will post how much I added when I do.

Try using a nice flavorful tea. I split the recipe in half and made half earl grey and half black dragon oolong. I’m trying spicy earl grey and chai next time!

I like to freeze these and thaw just one when I’m ready for tea. I tend to eat less that way.

 Posted by at 6:23 am
Jan 062016

You really need a full-time proofreader.

I really do. My grammar and punctuation skills are sorely lacking.

This is brilliant, but I’m still on the “there are times we need the Oxford comma” side. Sometimes restructuring the sentence isn’t the best answer.

The Oxford comma is the comma before the and in a list. For example; I need milk, eggs, and butter to make cookies. This is the way I was taught to write a list in school and it has taken me a long time to break this habit. Much like the double space after a period, it’s engrained in my head.

There are times that the Oxford comma is useful in clearing up a sentence. For example; I invited my family, Mary and Steve. Now let’s say that Mary and Steve are friends, not family. Reading the sentence, it is assumed that Mary and Steve are family and the only people invited when I actually invited my entire family along with Mary and Steve. If you add the Oxford comma the sentence becomes clearer. I invited my family, Mary, and Steve. 

This sentence can be rewritten for clarity. I invited Mary, Steve and my family. While I agree in this case, I believe there are cases when rewriting the sentence changes the impact. For example; I love my kids, Dan and Steve. Here, it looks like both Dan and Steve are my kids. Let’s say Dan and Steve are my brothers. I could rewrite it, I love Dan, Steve and my kids, but I wanted my kids listed first because emphasis needs to be placed on the love for my kids. Maybe I love my kids above all else. Without separating it into multiple sentences, I can solve the problem with the Oxford Comma. I love my kids, Dan, and Steve. 

It could be rewritten another way. Maybe; I love my kids more than anything, but I also love Dan and Steve. To me, that makes Dan and Steve more of an afterthought or of lesser importance than I meant for them to be. 

Either way, I’m sure the debate will continue for a long time to come. I just try to avoid the Oxford comma whenever I can.

Enough about the Oxford comma… on to Word Crimes!

 Posted by at 6:00 am
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