Beginning

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.














Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Joy Rides

Do you like to ride roller coasters?


     I don't really like "real" roller coasters, but I like the idea of being on a rollercoaster when I am reading.  Not every reader actually likes to ride a roller coaster, but they sure enjoy the building of emotion, the rise and the descent and the rise again of their stories.  It is a joy ride.  There are twists and turns, the tease, the delay, the anticipation, then snap all hell breaks loose.  This is what we create in our stories.  Mixing up feelings.  We use humor, anger and/or joy to change tension for both our character and our readers. 

     As we write our stories, we want to move the story along, adjusting the pace.  We want to keep the reader unsuspecting, allowing them the unexpected at the turn of the page.  So, we play with our scenes, adding color, scents, emotions and tensions.  The elements in our stories influence our readers.  So, I have my ticket for my rollercoaster.  Now, I am looking forward to standing in line to buy a ticket to yours. 

    

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quotations for Inspiration

Happy Monday Everyone!

     I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  As the week begins and the busiest time of the year is upon us, here are some quotations to start your week:

"Only the heart knows how to find what is precious."
- Tyodor Dostoyersky

"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing."
- President Thomas Jefferson

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
- Judy Garland

"Luxury need not have a price - comfort itself is a luxury."
- Geoffrey Beane

"If a home doesn't make sense, nothing does."
- Henrietta Ripperger

---
Here is a little angel saying to tuck in your pocket:

Sometimes you know an Angel only by the miracles he leaves blossoming in his path after he is gone. -

     Have a great start to your week!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (46)

Making a Friend

Making a Friend jacket cover

Written by:  Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal

     This is such a heartwarming story, wonderfully told with beautiful illustrations.  A little boy builds a snowman after the first snowstorm of the season.  He dresses his new creation in his favorite hat, and grows to love the snowman.  But, as we all know, snow doesn't last forever.  The weather warms and soon, the snowman is gone.  But, where does the snowman go? 

     The boy learns that the snowman will always be with him, in spring, summer, fall and when winter returns.  He realizes that the snowman will always be in his heart.  Just like the ones that we have loved and now have past or are far away.  We are reminded that, "What you love will always be with you." 

     I hope you will enjoy this story as much as I did. 

Recipe:

Melted Snowman Cookies


Ingredients:

1 package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix

10 large marshmallows
Betty Crocker Cookie Icing (white and orange)
Decorating Icing Tubes in Black, Red, Green, Blue and Pink


Directions:

     Mix cookie mix according to directions, or prepare your favorite cut out sugar cookie recipe, then just grab a golf ball sized chunk and squish it down until it's about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Do not worry about the shape or how lumpy it is, the more misshapen the better! Bake according to recipe directions.


     Once the cookies are cool, load them up with the cookie icing and spread it around with the back of a spoon, let some dribble over the edge for a "puddle" look.



     Spray a microwave safe plate with cooking spray, and place marshmallows on the plate. Set the microwave for 30 seconds, but watch the marshmallows as they cook. Stop the microwave as soon as the marshmallows start to get puffy, do not let them double in size.



  Spray your fingers with cooking spray or grease them up with shortening, and carefully pull the marshmallows off, by the base, and set them on top of the frosted cookies.



     Then just decorate as you'd like with the frosting, or your own homemade frosting! 

Don't Forget The Milk!
Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quotations For Inspiration

Happy Monday Everyone!

     Here are a few more quotations to start your week:

   "Laughter is one of the best medicines around for relieving stress and for creating a more healthy spirit. And, one of the greatest aspects is that it is totally free and can be done by anyone."
- Byron Pulsifer

"Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes up his mind to do. We are capable of greater things than we realize."
- Norman Vincent Peale

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
- John Quincy Adams

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
- Albert Schweitzer

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
- Meister Eckhardt

     Have a wonderful start to your week!




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (45)

The Adventures of Titch & Mitch
The King of the Castle

Written by:  Garth Edwards
Illustrated by Max Stasyuk

     Two pixies, a magical bike, an albatross and a King of the Castle who wants to make pixie soup cause Titch and Mitch to be in trouble again. Yet they still find time to free cuckoos from cuckoo clocks, save the crab queen's crown and solve the mystery of Echo Quarry - all with a little help from their friends! This is the third wonderful 'Titch and Mitch' story from author Garth Edwards.


Latasha and Little Red Tornado

Latasha and the Little Red Tornado

Written by:  Michael Scotto
Illustrated by:  Evette Gabriel

     LATASHA AND THE LITTLE RED TORNADO is the story of Latasha, an eight year old girl who lives with her mother and her dog. Latasha is a great new character for middle grade readers.  Now that she is 8, Latasha is starting to feel grown up.  Latasha's mother gets a new job as a nurse's assistant but her hours are long and Latasha has to be "looked after by their elderly landlady, Mrs. Okocho.  Latasha is not happy about this, especially since she is now 8.


     Latasha's dog (Ella, named after Ella Fitzgerald) is two years old and still gets into trouble. Wait till you read how she gets her nickname, the little red tornado!  Latasha is worried about this and works hard to help Ella learn to behave.  Latasha's relationship with her dog is great. You can't help but fall in love with Ella and feel Latasha's anguish when Ella gets lost.  



Turkey Monster Thanksgiving

Turkey Monster Thanksgiving

Written by:  Anne Warren Smith

     Since her mother left home, Katie could understand this year that they were going to have a different Thanksgiving this year.  She was okay at first with the plans for pizza for dinner instead of turkey. They would be albe to wear pajamas till noon, eat popcorn and watch football. Everything would be fine even if they did not celebrate that national holiday like another family.

     Now, it was two weeks before Thanksgiving and her best friend, Claire, told her about her family's Thanksgiving plans.  Claire was beginning to think that they should also have to celebrate Thanksgiving, the way everyone else does.  Things were changing and not for the best.  Things were beginning to go horibbly wrong.


The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest Thing

Written by:  Christina Mandelski

      A little after her seventh birthday, her mom walked out on her family. Each year Sheridan got a birthday card full of empty promises, but Sheridan still believed that her mom was coming back.  Sheridan also lets her relationship with her father drift apart, while he is working hard to get his own television show on a food-related television show.

     Sheridan is known as “Cake Girl,” because she makes the most incredibly decorated cakes at a bakery owned by her grandmother. Everyone wants a cake made and decorated by Sheridan.  She soon finds out that her dad is going to get the show, but that means they need to move to New York. She doesn’t want to leave – what if her mom comes back?  Things come to a head and Sheridan must make some really difficult decisions about who is important to her,  and where she should be going with her life.

Irena's Jars of Secrets

Irena's Jars of Secrets
Written by:  Marcia Vaughan
Illustrated by:  Ron Mazellan

     Irena remembers as a young girl, her father's wordds - If she ever saw someone drowning, she must jump in and try to save that person, even if she could not swim.  When Irena grew up in 1940 Warsaw, she became a social worker.  She saw that the Jewish people were "drowning".  Irena joned Zegota, a secret organization that was helping Jewish people, in Poland to survive and find places of safety.

     In October 1945, Irena was betrayed to the Germans and she was arrested.  Irena was secretly let go from her capture and went into hiding, continuing her efforts to help those in need.  She kept lists in glass jars and buried them near an apple tree in a friend's garden across from the german soldier's barracks. 

     Note:  As with any book I post about on my blog, I highly recommend them either for reading yourself or as a gift to another.  I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did. 

     Now for the cookie recipe:

Caramel Apple Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. caramel flavoring
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 medium Granny Smith apple, diced {about 1 cup}
1 c. almond and pecan pieces
1 tbs. dark brown sugar
1/2 can Dulce de Leche, or about 7 ounces caramel sauce
3 sections each of dark and white almond bark

Directions:

     Cream together butter and sugars. Add the egg and flavorings and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Use one tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss with the diced apples until they are well coated. Mix in the flour until it is well incorporated, then add the apples. The dough will be sticky but firm.


     Next combine the mixed nuts with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Drop dough into the nut mixture by the tablespoon and roll until well coated with nuts.


     Bake the cookies at 325 degrees for 15-17 minutes. When you remove them from the oven use a cookie scoop or spoon to make an impression in the middle of the warm cookies.


     After cooling, use a piping bag to fill the cookies with caramel. Drizzle the cookies with white and dark chocolate.


     Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's All About The Magic!

Flipendo2.jpg

     As writers, we realize that writing really isn't magic; it is hard work.  We want our readers to feel that it may seem like a magical and mysterious process.  In fiction writing we make the implausible, plausible.  We create a freshly imagined world that is both exhilarating and exhausting for us in its process. 

     Writers have an individual voice in their writing, they are writing from their own heart and soul.  Writing causes a change in the consciousness in the writer and an opening in the consciousness of the reader.  Both the writer and the reader relish in the anticipation of what will come in the story. 

     Set your pencils to paper and begin writing.  Discover the magic in your writing.  If done right the end result will be magical.  It is all about the magic!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quotations For Inspiration

" 'Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again.  If at first you don't succeed.  Try, try again."
- W. E. Hickson

"The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The easy, gentle, and sloping path...is not the path of true virtue.  It demands a rough and thorny road."
- Michel de Montaigne

" 'Hope' is the thing with feathers - that perches in the soul..."
- Emily Dickinson

"When I look into the future it is so bright it burns my eyes."
- Oprah Winfrey

Irish Proverb:
     It's a bad thing not to have a story on the tip of your tongue.


     Every moment is filled with endless possibilities.  Let the moments of the day inspire you.  Take a moment to enjoy your day.  Here is where you will find your inspiration and creativity.  Let the wonder of you unfold. 

Have a wonderful start to your week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Creativity

     As writers we are constantly creating. Whether we are writing, planning our day or daydreaming, we’re constantly creating. I just want to share a couple of ideas with you to keep or get those creative juices flowing.

1.    We spend a lot of time doing what we really don’t want to be doing. Before doing the usual laundry, errands, cooking etc., if you don’t already, try putting your writing first. Put it at the beginning of your list of things to do. When you are inspired to do something, you love every minute of it. It will make the other things you have to do for the day easier.

2.    When you feel stuck in the moment, or in your thoughts, take a breath, breathe deeply, then come back to this moment. Just breathe! It may sound simple, but most of us don’t take the much needed long, relaxing breaths. Our days are busy, often frenzied. Make that effort to take 10 deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Relax your body and your mind. You will feel re-energized! 

3.    If you find yourself getting frustrated, locked in your thoughts, unable to move forward in your writing process, write a letter to yourself. Tell yourself what you are feeling, it may help you to understand why you are stuck and alleviate the frustration. At least, with even writing a letter to yourself, you are still writing. You are still creating.

     Remember, there is no desire in the future, no action in the past, but there is desire, action and promise with today!

     Hope you are having a Creative Day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quotations for Inspiration

     Hi Everyone - Sorry for the lack of much posting last week, I had a crazy week!  Hopefully, things are settling down.  Here it is Monday, ALREADY!  It is time for some Quotations.  I'd like to share some with you from some other bloggers:

From Abby Fowers:  http://abbyfowers.blogspot.com/

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

From Lynda R. Young: http://lyndaryoung.blogspot.com/


"Be open, curious, present, and engaged.” – Author Unknown


From Stacy S. Jensen: http://stacysjensen.blogspot.com/


"The author should die once he has finished writing. So as not to trouble the path of the text." - Umberto Eco

     When you have a chance please stop by their blogs and say hello.

     Here is a poem I found that I will share with you.  Unfortunately, it is listed as Author Unknown.  I hope you find some inspiration in it to start your week.

Treasures In Life

There are treasures in life,
but owners are few
Of money and power to buy things
brand new.

Yet you can be wealthy and
feel regal too,
If you will just look for the
treasures in you.

These treasures in life are not
hard to find
When you look in your heart,
your soul, and your mind.

For when you are willing to
share what's within,
Your fervent search for riches
will end.

The joy and the laughter, the
smile that you bring;
The heart unafraid to love
and to sing;

The hand always willing
to help those in need;
Ones quick to reach out, to
labor and feed.

So thank you for sharing
these great gifts inside;
The caring, the cheering,
the hug when one cried.

Thanks for the energy,
encouragement too,
And thank you for sharing
the treasures in you.
- Author Unknown

     Have a wonderful start to your week!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I've Been Memed!

     Joanna, from http://joannamarple.com has memed me. Since I have been memed before, I answered them a little differently this time, hope you enjoy my answers.
     If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?

     I keep scrapbooks, memory boxes and many photo albums. I guess I would have to say that I do go back in time and relive many moments. I treasure my memories and gather them to preserve and share them.

     If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

     I made this change years ago. I never let a day go by without letting my husband, children and grandchild know how much I love them.

     What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?

     Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz! I love looking over rainbows, but I really know that there is no place like home.

     If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would you choose?

     Hmm, I wouldn’t say a particular person, but I would say someone who doesn’t believe in you.


     Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

     My nervousness of speaking in public. I’m working on it!


     Why do you blog? (Answer in one sentence)


     I blog because it is a way of speaking without actually having to stand in front of a crowd, to let others know what you are thinking.


     Name at least 3 people to send this to:

     I am going to name three bloggers I have been getting to know:


     Anne – http://www.cassam-isanyonethere.blogspot.com/

     TracyJo - http://www.evolvingsoul11.com/

     Susan - http://notesfrominnisfree.blogspot.com/

     I hope you’ll stop by their blogs and say hello!