Revenge of the Leftovers

Thanksgiving was full of win. Wednesday night I made the pumpkin soup and the pumpkin cheesecake sopapillas so all the flavors had overnight to meld. Considering how easy both recipes are, things went pretty smoothly with no major catastrophes. (Long-time readers know of my love/hate relationship with cooking, mainly that I love to eat and hate to cook).

My mom’s dinner Thursday outdid last year’s with turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted root veggies, corny corn casserole, green beans, homemade cranberry sauce, some kind of apple and cranberry dish, stuffing, muffin basket, and from-scratch biscuits (Im sure im missing something).  My uncle brought his new GF who seems a lot nicer than his ex-wife, and friends of the family joined us since they were not invited elsewhere. I tried to help out as much as possible but i know my mom was in some pain when we were cleaning up (and it bothers me that she was holding her side. As a colon cancer survivor i worry when i see her with that pain but she’s adamant that she wont undergo treatment should she get cancer again).

Friday we joined my mom, stepdad, and sister’s family on our annual trip to Delaware to Coleman’s Tree Farm. It was a beautiful day so the kids were able to enjoy the playground after we picked out the trees then we had ice cream outside (!) – although i had a pumpkin whoopie pie – and then went back to my mom’s for Revenge of the Leftovers.

It’s odd because just a few years ago I was more worried about making it out to the club on Wednesday night for the biggest club night of the year and now, I couldn’t care less. Sure, i’d like to go dancing once in a while, but it’s certainly not the focus of my life like it once was. I have so many more productive things i can be doing although one of my writing friends keeps trying to get me to go to Dorian’s parlour for the steampunk nights.  I think I will have to take her up on that offer soon 🙂
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On the writing front, I’m working on edits for a story that I am very excited about and can’t wait to submit. I received some good feedback on this rewrite and am really proud of all the work I put into it. I’m also excited because this is a story I really loved but I was able to cut away a lot of great writing that no longer fit my vision, or the needs of the story.

Being Thankful

So I have a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving; however, it is good to take the time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for and spend time with friends and family. Too often in our lives we get so busy that we barely register how blessed we are, even when things may be going wrong, or we focus on what we don’t have. I am of course extremely grateful for many things including my family and the wonderful friends i have both in real life and those i’ve never met except online. I have a good (if sometimes frustrating) job, a nice house, a decent car, and many amenities that make life pleasant. So to all of you, whether you celebrate or not, thank you for being in my life. I’m a better person for knowing you.

Moving Past The Fear

Home with a sick child today unfortunately :/

One thing I am slowly learning is that having never done something before is not a good excuse for not trying it. I have a lot of fear trying something new and too often I never do what I intend, or I procrastinate until the point that it no longer makes sense doing what I planned. Today I conquered a “geez, Im going to make a fool out of myself” fear and tried something new. It may not be perfect but it was an attempt and that’s what counts, right? The best thing is that this is only the beginning of a project I am hoping to initiate within the next week here 🙂  Stay tuned!

Come to think of it, I actually began another writing project I was procrastinating on doing (out of fear) last night and it went extremely well.

Now, onto cooking!  (*sigh*)

So, dear readers, what fears, writing or otherwise, have you conquered this year?

New Jersey Authors’ Network panel: review

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes ~ Desiderius Erasmus

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This is the post i should have made last week.

Last Tuesday, six authors assembled at the Cherry Hill library in south jersey to talk about publishing. Included in the panel were Jon Gibbs as facilitator and with Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Kristin Battestella, Jennifer R Hubbard, Jonathan Maberry, and Mike McPhail.

First of all, I am ashamed to say that despite living in South Jersey off and on since 1985 I have never been to the Cherry Hill library which makes the local main branch in Mullica Hill look like a shabby third cousin from the wrong side of the tracks.

Jon led a great discussion and I wish i had taken notes (well, having paper would have helped – i was woefully unprepared). I learned something, took some advice to heart, or was just plain inspired by each writer.

I am happy to report that at least 6 or 7 members from the South Jersey writers meetup made it too 🙂

After the Q&A part, we were able to chat up the authors, who were super nice, and i bought a few books:

The Vampire Family by Kristin Battestella
A Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels  (Danielle Ackley-McPhail was a contributing writer)
as well as Fur-Face by Jon Gibbs (and I got a replacement I Are a Writer mug!!)

I am very glad I went – i’ve been quite inspired all week 🙂

So you can check out these fine writers for yourself, here are the websites:

Jon Gibbs:  http://www.acatofninetales.com

Jennifer R. Hubbard:  http://www.jenniferhubbard.com

Jonathan Maberry:  http://www.Jonathanmaberry.com

Mike McPhail:  http://www.mcp-concepts.com

Danielle Ackley-McPhail:  http://www.sidhenadaire.com

Kristin Battestella:  http://www.jsnouff.com/kristin

Pumpkin Madness

This past weekend was a blast!  After a delicious dinner celebrating the birthday of a friend on Friday night, the family went to Pumpkin Madness at the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster County, PA. There were all kinds of activities for the kids including a giant jumping pillow, a ball-cade, pumpkin bowling, pin the face on the pumpkin, and of course, punkin chunkin! After that day, it was an early bedtime for all of us!

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On the writing front, I’ve decided not to do Nanowrimo this year. As I’m thisclose to finishing this draft of Small Town Ghosts, I’d like to concentrate that and give it a round through my beta readers. I’m really pleased with where it is going although I wish it was going a little faster. However, in the end, I can only do what i can. The upside is that my illness is under control and I’m pleased with the way things are shaping up in my life *knock on wood, right?*