Writer’s Resources and more

Author’s Connection

This link surprised me with the information available for writers. It’s always a good thing to double check before entering contests or submitting work for anthologies because the expenses can add up and if you’re like me money doesn’t grow on trees. I was surprised at how many bogus contests there really are.

http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/contests/

Mandala

I’m on round 82 the last round of part 12, I’ll post a picture when I’m done. I am very pleased with the turquoise, teal, and burgundy together. I’ve decided to do a hat and scarf in the three colors for me.

Airbnb 

I made cinnamon macadamia scones and cranberry macadamia scones for the guests this weekend for breakfast. The fresh fruit is pineapple, strawberries, and honeydew melon. I also have Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt. They shouldn’t be hungry.

For dessert in the evening, they have the choice of buttermilk sugar cookies, coffee white chocolate macadamia cookies, and double chocolate chunk cookies. I try to keep a varied selection on hand.  My favorite of this week’s selection is the coffee white chocolate macadamia ones, they are so moist!

Here’s the original recipe by Cindy. I never follow any recipe to the letter, it’s just me. I’m not a huge fan of almonds so I substituted chopped macadamia nuts and I used white chocolate instead of the chocolate. I didn’t bother to toast the macadamia nuts either. I also increased the vanilla to 2 teaspoons because I am a huge vanilla fan. However, you prepare them they are divine and the perfect adult cookie.

Recipe By: Cindy Carnes
“These cookies are a step above any you have ever tasted.”

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Toast almonds in oven for 10 minutes or until brown.
  3. Dissolve coffee in 2 tablespoons hot water. In a separate small mixing bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer at a medium speed until fluffy. Pour coffee, vanilla and eggs into the butter mixture; mix well. Reduce mixer’s speed to low and slowly pour flour mixture into the butter mixture.
  5. Fold chocolate chips and almonds into the dough. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, 3 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

Quote

“Memories may find me but they will always be behind me. I’ll take today over yesterday…any day ” unknown

 😊❤️

Life in a Nutshell

I’m on Round 73 with the Mandala. I added orange, pale yellow and red from earlier rounds to bring the colors outward. My inspiration for part 11 was the fiery sunset, the sky glowed intensely Saturday evening with the beginning of our heat wave here in Jersey. Thankfully, today is the last of this heat and air advisory. I don’t mind the heat so much but 95 is more than I enjoy.  I’m crocheting the Mandala directly under a ceiling fan or I’d be roasting. The picture doesn’t do the three colors justice but next to the blue is the orange, then its yellow followed by the cherry red and when I begin Round 74 it will be yellow again then the orange will end this part. The stitches are hdc, dc and dtr which are easy enough to do.DSC_0019

I did sneak in a mental health break and worked on a seashell hat and scarf pattern that I saw on Rhondda’s  Oombawka Design Crochet. I was very pleased with how it worked up. I’m not thrilled with the buttons I’ve come across yet so that part isn’t done yet. The brown button isn’t large enough nor does it contrast enough. The white plastic just looks cheap to me. Maybe it’s just me because I really wanted a seashell about the size of the white button but finding it thus far has been quite frustrating.

I’m inclined to have the lighter turquoise be the front versus the darker only because so much of the darker turquoise shows on the hat. This is the first time, I’ve tried Caron’s Cake skeins, I loved how the colors unfolded in this pattern. I still have a small ball of yarn after completing the scarf and hat.

If you haven’t checked out Rhondda’s patterns they work real easy with the clear instructions. I’ve included the link to the next hat I’m going to do for my grandson.

https://oombawkadesigncrochet.com/2017/06/just-my-style-hat-free-pattern.html

Writing challenge for the week wasn’t as much as I hoped but I still did accomplish 35 minutes a day with the blogging challenge I am doing on Writing.com and I wrote 2 poems that I’m still mucking with before I share them.

We’ve had guests at our home since last Tuesday until yesterday with the Airbnb part of our lives. Tuesday through Thursday, we had two writers join us because they were attending a writing conference in Princeton. Then we had a couple from DC up to watch their son in a soccer championship for the weekend. And the final guests were a one-night college couple that left a lot to be desired and encouraged me to change the details on my listing. Two of the three groups were awesome and we really enjoyed the conversations immensely. I was genuinely sad to see the DC couple leave.

After looking at Tami’s cinnamon rolls and broccoli alfredo I decided to make the alfredo Saturday evening for dinner, the lesser of the two evils much to Vic’s disappointment.  He’s not starving by a long shot. I made lemon cupcakes and apple brownies for the guests to enjoy and there were tons of leftovers. We had blueberry muffins and a lemon coffee cake for breakfast.  The alfredo, I decided to try a low-cal version with vegetable broth, flour, and a bit of olive oil instead of heavy cream with freshly grated parmesan and garlic. I added broccoli that I had sauteed with garlic and fresh herbs from the garden after the sauce began to thicken.  I love using fresh herbs. I grow rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, chives, and sage in rail planters.   It came out so good, Tami, thanks for the inspiration.  But I can never cook just for one meal so, on Sunday, I decided to add chicken and mushrooms which definitely took it to the next level. YUM!

Yesterday, I made us grilled cheese with tomato and fresh basil on sourdough bread for lunch. It was simply too hot to eat anything heavier and besides we had a dinner plan that was a lot more appealing. We went out for an ice cream date with our grandson, Chris. I don’t know about you but when it’s 92 degrees ice cream is a perfect dinner alternative. He enjoyed having ice cream instead of dinner too.

I’ve been enjoying reading USA Through Our Eyes posts about Rochester, New York. I learned a lot about the city and saw some lovely glimpses of the area. Gabe’s digital painting is really good , you should check it out.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/52885002/posts/1489123409

If you’re looking for healthcare info  I suggest you check out my better half’s blog Crain’s Comments.

https://vlcrain17.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/more-scandals-in-for-profit-medicine/

He’s a researcher and enjoys helping people be prepared for life’s unexpected nuances. If you have a question, he’s the person to ask, he’s really good at finding answers to health issues.

I’m going to close with Theresa’s challenge to write with our inner child creativity inspiring us to do something different than we normally write. That in itself is difficult to do because we’re just creatures of habit. At least, I know I am and writing differently sometimes makes me feel unnerved. I need my coffee cup and my pencil in hand. Even this blog entry I wrote the jest of it on paper and then copied it here on WordPress. I feel safe with my paper and pencil.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/56405964/posts/6515

If you haven’t checked out Theresa’s Tattoo Girl, you’re missing an enjoyable read. I can’ t wait to see what happens next with Jaime and Corey.

 

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. ”   

Soren Kierkegaard

 

 

 

Poets and Poetry, Writing Challenge and the Mandala

I will admit there is a smugness among poets because we try to use our poetry to make something happen or stop happening. We hang onto that thread of belief that what we wrote will shorten a nightmare, maybe even save a life. We find it unimaginable to not try with our writing.

There are definitely some bad poems out there but for every bad poem, there is the one intellectual poem that will strike a nerve. As an author on more than one occasion, a poem I’ve written has surprised me with the end result being different than where I began.

This particular poem has engaged different readers in ways I didn’t anticipate. From how did you know how alone I feel, or I’ve been there or are you okay?

Undesired

I lie

withered beside

the road like

a broken little bird

to confused to fly.

My neglected state

is apparent

even to the most

oblivious of

the oblivious.

Anger and frustration

sustain me

initially

but even that

energy fades

leaving a pitiful wisp

of what I once

was.

Now, a memory

shuffled among

many, I’ve

lost value

over time

until all

that is left

of me is

dust.©

The writing challenge had a slight bump in the road, Monday, and Tuesday no matter what I began writing ended up torn into pieces in frustration. My poor pencil snapped at one point because I was pushing so hard into the pad. Course, having my migraine spike that the control meds didn’t take the edge off didn’t help. I decided to sleep,  read some and work on the mandala until the Botox injections finally kicked in and the migraine from hades dissipated. It’s been three days since the injections and I am still struggling but at least today when I sat down to write I wrote something I liked.

Marcus sent me back my critique on Death and I and unfortunately, his commentary was the same as Vic’s that with all the time I’ve been spending trying to emulate what other authors in our local writing group do I lost my own voice in the process. So today, I went back to the table with my beloved pencil and began again line by line.

Funny thing before I knew it three hours had flown by and a whole pot of coffee drank. Oops, sorry, Vic.  (I’m a serious coffee drinker unlike my husband, he doesn’t usually drink more than one cup whereas I am usually a pot and more. I sleep like a baby every night regardless what time I indulge.) For this week, Theresa, Ronel, Tami I have almost 5 hours accomplished, although 2 I really feel were unproductive.

I did get some blog reading done. I spent some time with usathroughtyoureyeswith Audrey, Tom, and Emma (their dog). I also tried finger crocheting without much success, Yolanda. I did enjoy catching up with your crochet posts. The sweater is gorgeous but she (Yolanda) is frustrated with the sleeves. My only crochet clothing projects were vests for my children when they were younger. I do hats and scarves quite often because I love the look of Tunisian stitches. I’ve avoided shirts because of the sleeves and the way they drape or don’t drape as she discovered. Misstalkaholic had an interesting post about the Wagah border I enjoyed in addition to her examples of baggy shirts and wearing options. I’m guilty of liking loose baggy shirts untucked and just hanging there but then I’m 61 years old and comfort matters immensely to me. Tami is trying out bloglovin. I wish you lots of luck Tami.  I blog on Writing.com, I don’t have time to commit to another site beyond here and there. I did see oceanoriginals is looking for pattern testers. I briefly contemplated that and decided not to stretch myself any thinner than I already am.

We’re on Airbnb now, trying to earn some much-needed money to finish the renovations in this stone fortress so I really need to stay on top of the house cleaning and not let my furballs get to out of hand.

Mandala update:

I’m on round 66, the most challenging row thus far I have encountered. The directions are a bit complicated and working with two yarns at once have definitely slowed my progress. I’m working with baby blue and royal blue in this section which is Part 10. The designer did note there are only two colors in this part.

Round 64 and 65 were a snap unlike 66. I have taken it apart now 3 times because I messed up the popcorn spacing and the changing of colors which shows big time if you don’t have it as directed. It didn’t help either that Purryl, our oldest tabby, decided to chew the yarn I had pulled out either. A migraine didn’t help either.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis

I’m taking my time and checking often now so I don’t have to take it apart again. Plus I moved to the table so the mandala did not lay on top of me because it is mighty toasty here. I could give in and put the AC on but I’m resisting. We’ve been shut up for so long I want to hear the birds sing, and even that crazy woodpecker who’s clearly not working for the government because I can see his accomplishments .:)

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle

Have a great day!

Writing Challenge Continued

The rough draft of the poem I shared several days ago about life in moments and another one about wildflowers I took with me to my writing critique group. They enjoyed the imagery but the feedback was the cadence was off in both. One of the authors Raz Steel suggested I merge my poems into paragraphs with punctuation and see what comes to mind with it in a different format. This is both poems together with punctuation.

  Life in a Snapshot

This morning, I saw the droplets of water on the glossy leaves and fragrant spring petals. The plants bowed in the breeze, joyful for their reprieve from Mother Nature’s exploits. The birds sang sweet melodies, and a squirrel chattered noisily. Each sure, they have the remedies for the making of a beautiful day.

I sat with my coffee cup to my right while I scribbled with my pencil on paper. I tried to keep my thoughts reined in, but I’m enchanted at the moment. My youngest kitten nudged my hand startling me out of my musing. I happily agreed to Macavity’s insistent demand.

Unable to focus, I asked Vic to come dance with me in the field of clover. Our toes tickled the sweet fragrances free. I entwined garlands of wild flowers for us to wear as the bumblebees happily buzzed from blossom to blossom. The celandine and berries add brilliant color to the spring canvas. The birds sang magical notes as we strolled hand in hand back home as the sun faded behind the treetops.

At our age, we cherish every minute in this revolving door called life.

Life in a Snapshot evolved further with Raz Steel ‘s help. He hates adverbs and redundancies and I’m guilty of using both. Needless to say, he jumped all over them and immediately brought them to my attention. I’m eternally grateful for his editing prowess.

What do you think of Life in a Snapshot now?

Droplets of water beaded on glossy leaves and spring petals this morning. The plants bowed in the breeze, joyful for their reprieve from Mother Nature’s exploits. Birds sang and squirrels chattered, each sure they had the remedy for rendering a beautiful day.

I sat with a coffee cup and scribbled with pencil on paper, my thoughts reined in, but enchanted, nonetheless. Macavity, my kitten, nudged my hand and startled me out of my musing, and I agreed to his insistent demand.

Unable to focus, I asked Vic to dance with me in the field of clover. I entwined garlands of daisies and lavender to wear, as the bumblebees buzzed from blossom to blossom. Our toes tickled the sweet fragrances free, and celandine and berries added brilliant color to the Spring canvas. Magic guided us home as we strolled hand in hand, and the sun faded behind the trees.

*************************************************************************************

My writing was derailed again. Unfortunately, it was for bad news.  My deceased husband’s aunt texted me to let me know my ex-brother-in-law Jimmy had passed away.  Wow, He’s the same age as me. Jimmy’s health had been complicated with diabetes and heart issues for some time now. I’ll miss him but I know he is in a better place.

RIP Jimmy Osborne.

angel

               Don’t Cry For Me © Deborah Garcia Gaitan

Don’t cry for me,
I will be okay.
Heaven is my home now,
and this is where I’ll stay.
Don’t cry for me,
I’m where I belong.
I want you to be happy
and try to stay strong.
Don’t cry for me,
It was just my time.
But I will see you someday
on the other side.
Don’t cry for me,
I am not alone.
The angels are with me
to welcome me home.
Don’t cry for me,
for I have no fear.
All my pain is gone,
and Jesus took my tears.
Don’t cry for me,
this is not the end.
I’ll be waiting here for you,
when we meet again.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/dont-cry-for-me

“I have come to know that it [death] is an important thing to keep in mind — not to complain or to make melancholy, but simply because only with the honest knowledge that one day I will die I can ever truly begin to live.”

—R.A. Salvatore, The Halfling’s Gem

I’m going to give a shameless plug too for my friend, fellow author Raz Steel. He has two published books available on Amazon. I’ve posted one link the other is easy to find.

Quotes About Poetry

rose-764267__340

“What makes a good poem? Brevity, terseness, spareness, viewing something new for the very first time, creating an image like no one has ever been blown away by before in their entire life.” ~ Lee Bennett Hopkins

” Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. “~ T. S. Eliot

“Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it. “~ Rumi

“Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings and making music with them.” ~ Dennis Gabor

” Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.”~ Carl Sandburg

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”~Rita Dove

“Poetry is an act of peace.”~ Pablo Neruda

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love

with language. “~W.H. Auden

Writing Challenge Day 2

Yay, I accomplished 49 minutes and a poem not counting this blog entry.  🙂 I’m joining Teresa Barker and Ronel Janse van Vuuren on the productive writing challenge. Now, you’re probably thinking what’s so difficult about writing, you just do it. Easier said than done. There are so many other things that need to be done every day in a house with a messy Marvin husband and three moving hairballs. ( aka Purryl, Yeats, and Macavity, our four-legged family) The distractions are endless and I feel guilty letting everything sit while I stare at the page.  At least, I do.

A good friend said, “People go to work daily and when they come home they tackle the stuff that’s essential and get to the other stuff whenever. The problem with you is you’re not thinking of your writing as your job.  Or maybe writing isn’t to you? ”

Dang it, he’s right. 😦  I put my writing second to everything. That will be changing. 🙂

So this morning with every attention of writing for 90 minutes,  I sat for the allotted time and found myself getting lost in my thoughts before a poem came together for me. I briefly did get distracted by my surroundings and that stinker Macavity, who is mighty insistent but I did persevere.

My Life in Moments by Lyn Crain

Droplets of water on glossy leaves
and fragrant petals glisten brightly.
My plants joyful for their reprieves
from  Mother’s Natures antics 
savor these moist moments.

Birds singing sweet melodies
and squirrels chattering away.
Each sure, they have the remedies
for the making of a perfect day
create new musical moments.

Coffee cup sitting to my right
while my pencil scribbles on paper.
My thoughts wander as I write
and soon my images blur I’m
clearly lost in the moments.

My youngest kitten nudges my hand.
 He startles me out of my daydream.
 I happily agree to his insistent demand. 
His playful antics are a show stopper
highlighting our magical moments.

I discover something new to embrace
in life’s evolving door of mystery.
At my age, I cherish each place
that gives me the opportunity to
celebrate my life in the moments.

 

“When you are here and now, sitting totally not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.”~Osho

“Forever is composed of nows.” ― Emily Dickinson

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” ― Maya Angelou

If you have the opportunity check out these dear ladies blogs and see how their productive writing is going.  Have a great day. 🙂

I’m off to the treadmill the other promise I made to myself to get back on track.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/56405964/posts/6137

https://ronelthemythmaker.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/interview-with-the-authors-of-the-herolost-anthology-mysteriesofdeathandlife/

 

Roses

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn … Should never crave the rose.” ― Anne Brontë

“Some people are like thorns. But you have to let them be thorns because thorns can’t turn into petals. The trick is not letting them prick you; never let a thorn prick you!”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Love is like a rose. So beautiful to look at, yet so painful to touch.”
― Anonymous

“They are not long, the days of wine and roses. “~
Ernest Dowson

 

Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
We both lie silently still
In the dead of the night
Although we both lie close together
We feel miles apart inside
Was it something I said or something I did
Did my words not come out right
Though I tried not to hurt you
Though I tried
But I guess that’s why they say
Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has it’s dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn
Yeah it does
I listen to your favorite song
Playing on the radio
Hear the DJ say love’s a game of easy come and easy go
But I wonder does he know
Has it ever felt like this
And I know that you’d be here right now
If I could have let you know somehow I guess
Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has it’s dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every… Full lyrics on Google Play Music