Happy 4th!

July 4th, 2019

To all who observe, happy Fourth of July.

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Delicious Pancake Recipe – You’re Welcome

June 23rd, 2019

This morning I decided I wanted pancakes but we didn’t have buttermilk for my usual recipe. So I read a few recipes and remembered another recipe that called for egg whites. What I came up with was DELICIOUS and and made from what I had on hand. Here’s the recipe so I don’t forget what I did and so you can enjoy:

  • 1 cup All Purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp regular salt)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp (or so) lemon zest

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites to soft peaks.

Lightly whisk the yolk with a fork, add the oil, butter, lemon zest, and almond milk and combine. It turned out one of my eggs was a double yolker so I think you could safely use two egg yolks. I’m sure any kind of oil would work, but I used walnut. If you use sweetened almond milk, you might want to cut down on the sugar.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Combine until mostly smooth. Fold in the egg whites and don’t over stir at this point, just until everything is combined.

Cook your pancakes at whatever size you like. I used a buttered griddle at medium heat and a cup of batter for each pancake.

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Revision Updates

June 15th, 2019

Yes, I am still revising Bound In Smoke. Although the story retains mostly the same plot events this is a do-over of the first half of the book. But it’s also a do-over of the entire book with respect to some authorial choices about the writing.

It’s been a rough few years with writing because of the demands of taking care of my mother while she was increasingly ill, getting my son through college, etc. That said, I did produce a complete first draft of Bound In Smoke, a story and world I really love.

Every book presents its own writing challenges, and Bound In Smoke is no exception. But this book served me up a major surprise in terms of what broke open the story for me, and that was changing the story from third person to first. The minute I made that change, the story world opened up for me in a way the 3rd person version did not.

Years ago, I rewrote an early draft of a novel as first person, had some great story insights as a result, then rewrote into 3rd person again (because that story was strongest in 3rd person anyway) , which is the version that was published. I have also written several first person stories, so this isn’t entirely out of the blue.

That said, I am excited about Bound In Smoke. I suspect this story will stay in first person, but I guess you never know.

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Revisions!

May 25th, 2019

I have Bound In Smoke back from my editor and I am doing revisions. After thinking about it for a few days, I am redoing the beginning. But things are going pretty well.

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Good Weekend to You

May 4th, 2019

It’s the weekend, and Bound In Smoke is with my editor. While I wait, I’ve started a historical novella with the long promised title of Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion.

That’s what I’m up to. What about you?

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The Fork is Out

April 21st, 2019
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds
The Fork

You guys. I have sent Bound In Smoke to my editor. The fork is out. Photo by yours truly. It’s one of my best on-accident photos.

Repeat! THE BOOK HAS BEEN SENT TO MY EDITOR!

Here is the cover of Bound in Smoke, by the way.

Cover of Bound in Smoke, Book 1 in the Street Witch series. Cover features a tough looking witch admd a fiery, dramatic, urban gritty background.
Cover of Bound in Smoke

Bound In Smoke is book one in a new paranormal romance series. It’s got witches and demons and there’s enforcement zones, and it’s pretty awesome. I do not have a final blurb yet, but you can read a little bit about the series here.

Ember Azuria is a street witch who accepts a job from a trained witch and ends up blamed for the disappearance of a valuable talisman and with a demon warlord sent after her. The problem is, you just don’t want Ember pissed at you.


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Hello March! February, Where Did You Go?

March 11th, 2019

Should I even mention January? What the hey with time passing so fast? March is almost half over and where the heck did February go?

Today, I returned from the RWA Board meeting, which was busy busy busy and very productive. The meeting involved a time zone change for me and there was the time change omg and I had a very early flight back. I can’t decide if I’m so badly time-shifted that I’ll be fine tomorrow or whether I’ll be a zombie. Any bets on that?

The tulips are coming up and as soon as a few more are blooming, I’ll post some pictures.

I am, as I keep saying in truth, almost done with Bound in Smoke. I have done two major revisions — which is what I like to see in my drafts that I really really like. I have approved the final cover and hope to show everyone shortly.

And now, I will get some writing done, or fall asleep at the keyboard. I’m not sure which.

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Women, Art, and an Emotional Story (for me)

February 23rd, 2019

I love antique stores and finding neat things, so it makes sense to me that I enjoy the occasional video on the subject. I don’t think there’s a way to write this post that doesn’t include spoilers because it would require watching 6 videos, all of which are at least 40 minutes and longer and then not seeing the one that made me cry and have a lot of feelings.

If you want to try, you’d start here:

Otherwise, this twenty minute video is well worth your time.

Basically, this Canadian man ended up buying a house from the relatives of a woman who they said was a prominent Canadian potter (true). But he had the impression that she had passed away and I watched all the videos believing that this was so. My grandmother was a hoarder, and I was slightly uncomfortable watching the videos, but this was was not an ordinary hoarder house because the inhabitant was an artist with deep connections to her work and the art world. This wasn’t a series of videos uncovering rare collectibles. It’s uncovering important, significant art.

Over the course of the videos, he discovers her art, and it just takes your breath, or at least it did mine. The first time he finds some of her sketches, it was obvious that the woman was gifted. Keep in mind that at the request of family, he was keeping her name private.

When he started to find her pottery, my breath caught again and again and again. He was so respectful of her, and it was clear that understood what he was uncovering.

And then came the video where he interviews her. Because she had not passed away. She is (as of this post) 102 years old, mentally sharp, but in a assisted living facility. I tell you I just cried because it was amazing to actually hear this woman talk about her art. He now hopes to preserve her house and I sincerely hope the Canadian government agrees. She worked into her 90’s, by the way.

Some Thoughts About Women and Art

As I was watching the videos, and before I knew she was still alive, I kept thinking, this is what can happen to women artists who don’t have a wife doing all the housekeeping. I am branching out now from the specifics of this artist and speaking more generally.

There’s so much talk about male artists with ZERO recognition of the women who make their dedication to their art possible. These men do not raise the children, cook, clean, or run interference to protect the art of the women they know. The Art World seems to take this protection of male artists for granted.

There’s almost no recognition of what we lose in art because women artists cannot dedicate themselves to their work in the same way. I can’t help but think that a male artist whose work was in museums in his lifetime would have been protected. Someone would have stepped in to make sure he was not pestered with the details of daily life. Was that true here? I have no idea.

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A Bad Day was Had

February 6th, 2019

I had to travel to a two day conference at the other end of the State and upon returning late in the evening, go to work the next day. This morning AT 5:45 AM, when I got up we had no internet and my carrier was saying they expected service to be back at 4:11 PM. Wow

Less than an hour later, I dropped my thermos of coffee, which happened to be open because I had had just taken my second sip, and my coffee spilled everywhere. ALL OF IT.

Here’s a picture of my mood at that point:

I had to buy replacement coffee that wasn’t the coffee I make which I love because I make it the way I like it. AND because it was morning, I decided to get almond milk instead of regular milk and only realized too late that I might end up having to replace that coffee too.

Mornings. I’m telling you. The brain is not firing on all cylinders when there’s no coffee fueling it.

As for Mouse, the cat I adopted from the shelter last December, who turned out to have diabetes, her numbers have stayed good, so we’ll go two more weeks without insulin and recheck her to make sure she’s still doing well. She has at last decided to wander the house a bit and is currently on the couch with the big dog. Both are napping

The almond milk was actually OK.

How was your day?

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Hello there 2019!

January 1st, 2019


Happy New Year to everyone who observes the Gregorian Calendar. As I write this, Maybelle, our one-eyed rescue chihuahua is scavenging vegetables dropped by the macaw. This is how food environments work, and I’m pleased to see it in effect before my very eyes.

The parrot drops bits of vegetables when he has breakfast and animals lower in the canopy clean up the mess. Maybelle is on a strict diet because she has deep seated food issues from having been in a hoarding situation where food was scarce. The vet says she can have all the vegetables she wants so this works out well.

Mouse, the new cat, is improving. I brought her home from the shelter the Friday before Christmas. According to my vet, she is closer to 10 or 11 rather than 8, and she has diabetes and a urinary tract infection. Both those last two were undiagnosed at the shelter, so it’s good she’s getting treatment now.

She’d been at the shelter for a very very long time, and had been returned once by someone who wanted a more affectionate cat. I just can’t take her back. She’s a sweetie and it turns out giving insulin injections is easier than I thought. So . . . we will find a way to manage. Plus, she’s already doing much better.

Freddie the Macaw has added to his verbal repertoire and now calls for Bella, the other dog, in my Dad’s voice. He also barks like Maybelle which causes people to run around trying to figure out why Maybelle is barking. Freddie and I are good friends now.

For anyone who stuck it out this long, I hope to have Bound in Smoke to my editor shortly. I’m in the final stagings of my revisions. I have seen the first draft of the cover and it’s pretty awesome so stay tuned!

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