Welcome to my blog, thank you for stopping by. If this is your first time to my blog, it's nice to meet you. If you've been here before, welcome back.

My writing journey has begun. The road will have some bumps and detours. I only hope that the first hill is not too high, and the journey is long.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We're off to see the Wizard!

     I think I have mentioned once or twice before (*haha*), that I am a “character” person. I love characters. Wouldn’t it be great if you could look into a crystal ball and see your characters, actually see them in a crystal ball? Well, why not? It is an interesting concept. Isn’t that what we do when we are creating our characters? We visualize them before we write about them. We are the ones that make them whole. They are the voice of our story. It isn’t enough that our characters bumble along and tell the story – they really need to live it. By living it, they believe your story, too. If your characters believe your story, your readers will, as well.

     There are so many aspects to making your characters real. There is no need to rush through it. Take a trip to the Wizard, or if you already have one, pull out your crystal ball. It may take time before you see anything, it may be a little cloudy, at first. You need to be attuned to your crystal ball. Creating characters takes time. It is hard work! Remember, information will be subtle, but if you are patient you will be rewarded. Today, the crystal ball says that while this story has been dragged out enough, more is still to come!  (I have "stowed away on a ship", now a crystal ball.) 

     Hmmm, maybe I can use the crystal ball to see when I’ll be published!

crystalball.jpg image by olympia5

     I know it’ll all work out in the end, but I’m anxious to see how it all turns out!

     What ideas do you come up with for creating your characters?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (9)

Look Out, Lancaster County: 4-in-1 Story Collection
Look Out, Lancaster County: 4-in-1 Story Collection, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Paperback

Growing Up in Lancaster County: 4-in-1 Story Collection
Growing Up in Lancaster County: 4-in-1 Story Collection, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Paperback

These two stories were

written by Wanda E. Brunstetter

and published by: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated

     These two books are a wonderful mix of pleasure and fun! I have been a fan of Wanda E. Brunstetter for years. She brings you into this simple lifestyle with such a great story sense. If you have read any of Wanda’s books, why not open this door to your children. They will love the “misadventures” and pure joy of reading about little Rachel Yoder. I enjoyed reading these two books. I am recommending these books together because once you have read the first you will want to continue on reading about Rachel.

Amish Ginger Cookies Recipe

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg 1/4 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Extra granulated sugar


     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and 1 cup sugar until creamy. Add egg and molasses; beat until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the extra granulated sugar. Place balls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5 - 7 minutes until barely turning brown.

Allow to cool for 1 minute on baking sheet and then remove to wire racks to cool completely cooled.
Don’t Forget The Milk!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getting To Know You Better

     Recently, I was asked these questions.  I wanted to share them with you.  If you'd like post your answers so, that we can get to know you better, as well.  Don't forget to leave your link to your blog so, we can stop by. 

1. What was the one thing you learned that you never forgot?
          Every day is a new page!

2. If you could sit down to dinner with three people (real or fictitious/dead or alive) who would they be?
          My Mom, my Mother-In-law and my Grandmother. Three amazing ladies! I miss them!

3. What one word best describes you?

4. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
          Read a lot!

5. Where is your most favorite place on this earth?
          Inside my grandson’s hug!

6. What first impression do you hope people walk away with?
          It was nice meeting her.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Setting Sail On The Good Ship Lollipop!

     Did you ever think of being the writer of a story is like being a stowaway on a ship? You are hidden from the characters on board, watching their activities, able to watch unnoticed. Stowing away on a real ship is illegal, but stowing away on the ship that is your story is adventurous, there are possibly some close calls and disasters.
     The stowaway writer must keep the story moving forward, just like the ship. We are the controllers of the fate of our characters. We create situations and reactions. Something happens causing the character to react; this reaction causes a new situation. Somewhere there is an intriguing plot that has just the right clever twist, to wrap things up.

     We all know that writing can be both a solitary pursuit and one that takes an incredible amount of time. The stowaway on ship leads a solitary life, the feeling of an endless journey, separate from the other passengers, not wanting to be discovered in this role. Isn’t that how we write? We travel an endless journey, not wanting our voices to be heard through our characters, but that the character’s own voice is heard loud and clear.

     So, set sail on your journey, treat it like both a job and an adventure at the same time. Make your way safely to your destination. Do whatever keeps you focused and doesn’t get in your way. I hope you find yourself on a large ship with calm waters and not on a dingy on rough seas. Happy Sailing!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (8)

Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep

writen by:  Kathy Stemke
illustrated by:  Jack Foster

     This is a story about Zachary and his baby sister, Layla.  Zachary becomes a Super-Hero by putting on thick black glasses.  These glasses give him the power to protect his baby sister.  Follow along and see how Zachary does all this while taking Layla for a walk, while she is sleeping. 

     The story is so wonderfully told by Kathy Stemke and the art done by Jack Foster is fantastic.  I highly recommend this picture book.

     If you have time stop by Kathy's blog - for more great reading.  She has some coloroing pages and Super Hero Glassess that you can print and cut out for your Little Super-Hero.

     Also please stop by Jack Foster's website at and check out his wonderfully humorous illustrations, they'll make your day!

Chocolate Crinkles


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted


In a stainless steel bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar, with a hand mixer, until thick, pale, and fluffy. (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) At this point beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the melted chocolate mixture.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to shape into balls (3-4 hours or overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. With lightly greased hands, roll a small amount of chilled dough to form a 1 inch ball. Place the ball of dough into the confectioner’s sugar and roll the ball in the sugar until it is completely coated and no chocolate shows through. Gently lift the sugar-covered ball, tapping off excess sugar, and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue forming cookies, spacing about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. (If you find the dough getting too soft for rolling into balls, return to the refrigerator and let chill until firm.)

Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or just until the edges are slightly firm but the centers are still soft. (For moist chewy cookies do not over bake. Over baking these cookies will cause them to be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

These keep well in the freezer.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time:  15 minutes        Cook Time:  12 minutes        Total Time:  30 minutes

Don't Forget The Milk!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Just a quick post, today.  What a shame that after being in business for more than 40 years, that Borders is now closing their doors.  Borders has always been one of my favorite book stores.  I will miss it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

How Do You Start Your Story?

     Every day I sit down, pull out my notebook and try to put my mind in gear.  I write down things that I have heard or seen.  Everything I have written has been inspired by something else.  I jot, scribble, list, cut and change from beginning to end.

     I seem to focus a lot on characters.  After all, they are my favorite part of a story.  I like to know the details of my character's lives.  I need to know where they live, what they look like, what they like and what they don't like.  Most times I start out by outlining or interviewing my character, often obsessing about my character's details.  I probably gather up three times the information than I will actually use.

     Outlining and/or interviewing helps me create believable characters.  Do you interview your charachters?  Do you let your characters reveal himself/herself to you?  This is how I start my stories.  How do you start out yours?  Do you start with a plot, a title or a character?  Please share.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Auntie B's Book Club Blogfest Contest

     This post is a prompt from Brenda Lee Drake’s site at

     This contest is looking for 250 words of anything that has characters between 12 and 25. There are 4 judges who are college students. So, check it out; comment/critique if you like and hop over to the other participants’ entries at Brenda’s site.

Title:  Inside The Teardrop
Genre:  YA Contemporary Novel

Pitch (35 Word Logline):

     The shattered pieces of their own lives bring these five girls closer together than they ever could have imagined. Life is about giving, not always taking and through it all they find forgiveness and love.

Excerpt (250 Word Opening Page Sample):


     Her heart was pounding in her ears, thump, thump, thump. Her hands were sweaty. Just a few more feet and she would be at the door. Keeping her eyes straight ahead, one focus in mind, legs beginning to shake, Libby reached her right hand out to push the door open, keeping her left hand in her pocket, shielding, protecting, not letting go.

     Two more steps. Run! Libby’s feet were pounding the ground. She never stopped running until she reached the front steps of her house, her stomach starting to squeeze up into her throat. She bent over holding her stomach, realization of that throw up in your mouth, sick in your stomach feeling.

     Libby stayed there until she was breathing normally again and her heart stopped racing. She was glad her mother and sister were out. They had moved here about two months ago. She lost count over the amount of times they moved in the last nine years of her life. Libby just wanted to stay put and have a normal teenage life. But, Libby’s life has never been normal.

     She walked up the front steps of their latest rented place, through the door, and up to their apartment. Before plopping herself on her bed, she reached in her pocket and pulled out the silver heart necklace she had just stolen from Bangles, Beads & Bling and tossed it into one of her boots on the floor of her closet.

     She opened her laptop and started to type.

     If you like, leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.  Please stop by Brenda's Blog to visit the other participants' entries.  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my story.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (7)

the Ranch Dog

Charlie the Ranch Dog, Ree Drummond, Hardcover

written by:  Ree Drummond
illustrated by:  Diane deGroat

     Charlie is a loveable Basset hound.  He brags about how hard he works, but it's really his best friend, Suzie who does most of the work.  Charlie is usually eating or napping. 

     One day Charlie wakes up and realizes he has to save the garden from the cows all by himself.  He saves the garden and exhaustedly lays down for another nap, hoping Suzie won't forget to wake him up for his dinner. 

Linzer Square Cookies


1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam


Preheat oven to 375 ° degrees.

Grease a 9" x 9" pan.

     Put walnuts in a food processor and grind.  Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, sugar, brown sugar and process to combine.  Add the butter and process until like small crumbs.  Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture, set aside.  Add the beaten egg to the processor bowl.  Process until clumps scraping the sides of the bowl.

     Press dough evenly in the pan.  Heat jam in a saucepan.  Spread the jam over the walnut mixture.  Sprinkle with reserved walnut mixture.  Bake at 375 ° degrees for 23 to 27 minutes.  Cool & Cut.

Prep Time:  15 minutes         Cook Time 23 to 27 minutes

Don't Forget the Milk!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Soon I will be ready to critique the manuscript I have been working on.  I will be doing this in preparation to showing it to others for their critique.  I have some questions I will ask myself (besides the usual grammar issues I have), such as:

1.    What draws me into the story?
2.    What brings me away from the story?
3.    Is there something in particular that throws me off?
4.    Is there something I really like about the story?
5.    Does the story flow?
6.    Does it satisfy me as a reader?
7.    Does it fall short?
8.    Are my characters strong enough?
9.    Are all the elements I want or need there?
10.  Do I leave the story satisfied yet, wanting more?

     If anyone has any suggestions/comments that would help, I would really appreciate hearing from you.  Thanks, Maeve

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Appreciate You!

     Today, for me is appreciate your followers and fellow bloggers day!  Thank you for your support, comments and posts.  You have touched my life.  You inspire me in more words than I can explain. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting Started Is Inspiration

     Are you the sort of writer who has to be in just the right mood before the words start to flow?  Inspiration is a mood that few of us can afford to wait for or depend on.  I know, I agree, I am one of those who feels the need to be inspired.  But, writing is work.  Work generates work.
     We writers write in order to be read.  Initially, writing is a private, sometimes secluded process, it can slowly or quickly become an overwhelming public process.  Scary thought, isn't it? 

     So, let getting started be your inspiration today.  Good writing takes work.  The hardest part is getting started.  Write a little or write a lot.  Do it every day.  Even if what you write doesn't get published for a while, even if another reader doesn't see those early attempts it's still practice.  As they say, practice makes perfect.

     Happy writing to you all, I can't wait to read what you have written!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shake It Up!

     Breaking your routines can help you get out of a rut.  If you usually sit at your desk to do your writing, try writing outside.  The weather is beautiful.  There is so much inspiration just waiting for you.  Get up, get dressed, get moving and get outside!  Try going to a busy public place and just watch people.  They'll amuse, inspire and fascinate you.

     It will help you get out of your rut and you might write some really good stuff while doing so.  Match your surroundings to whatever you are writing about.  Location, location, location - surround yourself with writing inspiration.  Nature has a way of freeing our spirt and renewing our soul.  Capture the beauty around you.

     Even watching others can change how you view things.  People are stars waiting to be discovered.  Look around, find your "Star", then write about them as your charachter.You will be amazed at how much this helps with your creativity.

     Every writer needs inspiration to produce inspired writing.  So, what are you waiting for go out and get inspired! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Back And I Missed You!

I have been distant from my blog this past week, focusing on my YA Novel. I did make a lot of progress. I dedicated so much time to my writing, even when not actually writing. I was more observant of what was going on around me. I took it all in and used some of it in my story. Twenty-eight more pages done and still going!

Every single day brings new things to learn about ourselves and life. Ideas and inspirations can come and go with the blink of an eye so, make sure you capture them.

Thank you to my followers, I appreciate your feedback. I know that you have been busy, too! I missed you! What progress have you been making? I’d love to hear about it.

Your relationship with others reflect your relationship with yourself, wherever you may be in your personal development.” - Oprah

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Taking A Break - But Working Hard

Hi Everyone - I am going to be taking this week off from my blog.  Dedicating this week to some serious time on my W.I.P.  Hope you all have a Happy 4th and a Great Week!  - Maeve

Friday, July 1, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (6)

Jumping Off Swings
by Jo Knowles

     I have mentioned Jo's books before, but not under Books With Cookies And Milk.  I have been blogging about picture books, but I thought I would blog about one for the YA Genre (and for us, too!)  Jo writes this story using four different narrators.  Here you can feel a connection with each of her characters and how Elle and Josh struggle with the outcome of their one night stand, along with the support of their best friends, Caleb and Corinne. 

     I have been blogging about "Tone" and "Who is telling your story".  Check out "Jumping Off Swings" and see how it is done so well.  Jo writes a compelling story.  While you are at it check out "Lessons From A Dead Girl".  Jo's newest creation "Pearl" is coming out on July 19, 2011.  I can't wait for it. 

     Here is a recipe to make and enjoy while reading this amazingly good book:

Chocolate Ganache S'mores


1/4 cup whole graham crackers, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (10 ounce package large marshmallows.


1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2.Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix until evenly moistened, then press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is lightly browned and smells toasted, about 5 minutes.

3.Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. When the cream has come to a boil, remove from the heat immediately and pour over the chocolate chips; whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Pour evenly over the graham cracker layer.

4.Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

5.Place an even layer of marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Broil until the marshmallows are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until chocolate has hardened, about 45 minutes. Cut into bars using a pizza cutter sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Prep time:  10 min.            Cook Time:  20 min.          Ready In:  1hr 15 min. 

Don't Forget The Milk!