April 22 2017

Peanut Slaw at Whisky’s

Hubby and I left on Friday, early afternoon, and drove toward Cincinnati, Ohio. Because it was my birthday and since we were going that way anyway, we decided to stop and have a late lunch in a cute little place in Lawrenceburg, Indiana called Whisky’s Restaurant. We had been there once many years ago. Back then, while waiting for a table, I talked to a local lady and asked what we had to try while we were there since it was our first time. She recommended Whisky’s famous Peanut Slaw. Our table was called only moments after her recommendation was given. When we placed our orders, we took her advice and tried it. I can’t remember what else we had that day, but the peanut slaw was memorable. So when we found ourselves in the general vicinity again, we decided to see if they were open for lunch this time. We were nervous as we pulled in because compared to last time when we had to wait at least 45 minutes to be seated, there were only a handful of cars in the parking lot. But luck was with us and they were indeed open, only a few tables seated.

We again ordered the peanut slaw and were not disappointed. Hubby also ordered the Gourmet Meatloaf with mashed potatoes (because it had a whiskey glaze I suspect, but also because the man really loves meatloaf). The slice of meatloaf was 2 inches thick. Very generous portions. I tried the Bangkok Chicken and it was good as well. Now you might be wondering what exactly peanut slaw is. I wondered the same thing my first time. It is a big scoop of some of the best coleslaw I have ever tasted that has been rained down upon by chopped peanuts. I thought I should take pictures to share with you, and I decided to take some of the menu too so you could see the offerings. (see all the photos below)

Since it was my birthday and also the first day of our vacation, we decided to celebrate/splurge and have dessert. Hubby tried the apple tart and I had the chocolate lava cake. I am kind of sorry I didn’t think to take photos of hubby’s food and the restaurant itself. The restaurant is made up of what used to be two houses.

It is a really great place to stop if you are going to be anywhere near Cincinnati, Ohio. It was certainly the right place to stop for a celebratory lunch.
Do you have favorite places to eat? Not chain restaurants now, I am talking about those great one-of-a-kind places that usually only the locals know about. Please share them with us in the comments below.

Menu Side 1
Menu Side 2
Peanut Slaw
Rye Bread in the bread basket
Bangkok Chicken
Lava Cake

If you are interested in seeing more photos of the place and the food, taken by others, you can find them here.

April 13 2017

Tips & Tricks to save you $

I have been told that I should be sharing some of the things I have learned during my thirty plus years of marriage and living in the world and dealing with life. Here are a few tips for saving money I came up with off the top of my head.

Email Sign Ups

One tip that comes to mind this month especially is that you should always sign up for the notifications from your favorite restaurants and retail shops. Why? Well, during the month of your birthday, your inbox might be flooded with offers of free things at some of these favorite places. In the past, this has happened as soon as the month of my birthday arrives. This year it seems to be a bit slower trickling in, but still, some offers have arrived. Sure, you will get emails through the year as well, but you know how to delete the ones that don’t interest you, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

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April 13 2017

Quarterly Goals Checkin

Back in January, I told you all about my 2017 SMART Goals.

Well somehow the first quarter of the year has come and gone and it is time to see how those goals are coming along.

Here are the goals I set at the beginning of the year:

1) Do a cabin weekend  DONE!
2) April trip (on track)
3) Annual Hockey Trip for the kids’ birthdays (not scheduled yet)

1) Get 6 hours of sleep a night (Getting Better)
2) Drink 6 cups of water a day (Fairly Consistent)
3) Continue using MyFitnessPal app (Ok, so I only enter my weight each day)

1) Clean out my home office (Not much progress)
2) Declutter the landing  DONE!
3) Declutter my clothes (1st pass done)

1) Do some genealogy
2) Take three writing classes  DONE!
3) Read for thirty minutes a day  (Fairly Consistent)

1) Pray daily  (Fairly Consistent)
2) Read 15 inspirational fiction books (4 read so far, so on track)
3) Crochet 26 hats to donate to charity (17 of 26 done)

Do you want to see photos? Let me know if you want to see photos of the hats I have made so far in the comments below. If more than 10 people show and interest, I will post pictures.

1) Finish one of my previous NaNoWriMo novels (working on edits and revisions during April)
2) Publish something (see writing goal #1 above)
3) Participate in NaNoWriMo (and hopefully win again)

How do you tackle making sure your goals get done each year? Do you schedule them into your monthly goals and then further yet into weekly goals? How does that work for you? I know I am finding that editing and revisions to my 2016 NaNo Novel have been even more difficult than I originally expected. I have amazed myself how far I have gotten on the crochet hats goal, but I attribute the success to getting a jump on it while at the cabin over New Year’s weekend.

How are you doing on your goals for 2017? You haven’t given up already, have you? I sure hope not, we still have nearly 3/4 of the year to get them done.

April 5 2017

Writing with Others

Writing with Others

Do you find yourself having trouble staying on task when you are supposed to be writing? Do you write better in a group where everyone is focused on getting words down during a writing sprint?

Sometimes during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo, I am able to go to in-person writing events with some of our local writers. These are so helpful and tons of fun. At other times, I find myself unable to attend a local event for one reason or another and missing the chance to do writing sprints with other writers. My solution for that is to go to YouTube and find a Virtual Write-In to watch. I found out about Virtual Write-Ins through NaNoWriMo, so I wanted to share some of their events that are on YouTube and available anytime you want to feel less alone in your writing. Here is the National Novel Writing Month YouTube Channel. They have a playlist of 86 different write-ins that you can watch and write along with. Most of these are about an hour-long, but they have several word sprints in each one so you can always jump ahead to find a longer one. Another perk to using these is that many of them include prompts that might help you get your creative juices flowing.

One of my favorite channels on YouTube to watch year-round is the YA Word Nerds. They do live shows every Sunday evening and have done many write-ins especially during the months of April, July, and November when there are NaNo events going on. You can find their live show playlist below and can scroll through looking for their Virtual Write-Ins. Sometimes they have guests with them like the video shown below with guest Kyra and past WordNerd Calyn.

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March 31 2017

Fear of Finishing

I have only recently figured out that a good part of the reason I have yet to finish one of my novels is because if I finish the first draft, I will actually have to figure out how to edit the thing. Now one would think that knowing this is an issue would be a big part of overcoming the fear and doing something to fix the problem. Yes, I am willing and able to admit it IS a problem.

I felt marginally better after hearing the keynote speaker at a recent writer’s conference acknowledge that it is a common problem among writers. He said it was kind of like while you are writing the book, writing is your job, so when you finish it is like losing your job or being fired. Once you finish the book, you have to tackle a new job, that of being an editor. Hopefully, an editor who will finish revising the first draft into something worth reading. It is a huge commitment.

So, now that it is almost April, it is time to figure out what project I want to tackle for Camp NaNoWriMo. The nice thing about camp is that you can choose your own goal and one of the things you can choose is to edit a previously written manuscript. So, I am planning to tackle overcoming the fear and seeing how much progress I can make on revising one or two of my partially written novels.

I have started/written six books in five different genres since November 1, 2013. Yes, I am still experimenting trying to figure out what works best for me. No, I still haven’t found my writing niche. I have written one book twice using just the characters and the basic ideas and setting from the first version of the book. I consider the second version to be the second draft. I know the first version I wrote is almost entirely crap because I had no idea at all how to plot or write fiction.

So I recently took the plunge and picked two of my books to print out, read through and revise during April. No, I don’t expect to get either one completely revised in the 30 days, but I want to have options. The options may be good for times when one of the books is just making me crazy and so I can switch to the other.

Book 1 is the first NaNoWriMo novel I wrote in November 2013 and the working title at this point is, “The Roller Coaster We Call Parenting”. It is creative non-fiction and basically a parenting memoir. When I compiled it I used only half inch margins so it printed out at 116 pages double spaced.

Book 2 is draft two of the novel I tried writing in November of 2014 and wrote the second draft of in November 2016. The novel is inspirational fiction mystery, has one-inch margins and printed out at 177 pages. It is the first of seven books planned in the Crafty Ladies Series, this one being “Marni’s Story”.

I chose these books because I feel like they might be in the best shape of any I have begun writing thus far and this alone might keep me focused on the revision process instead of giving up before I finish. In November 2015, I wrote “Lu Ann’s Story” another book in the Crafty Ladies Series, but this one was written as an inspirational fiction romance. During Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2016, I started writing an inspirational historical fiction novel, but only got about thirty thousand words into that one, so it is the least ready for revisions at this point. In case you are keeping track and realized that was only five books, I have also written a non-fiction book about how to use Excel. I have begun revising it and it doesn’t need that much more work so wasn’t enough to tackle for a Camp NaNoWriMo project. Maybe that can be option three and the one that actually makes me feel like I am getting something done if I finish the first round of revisions on it.

So my actual goal for April 2017 is to spend an hour a day or thirty hours total for the month reading through and revising one or both of the books I have printed out. I may also compile and print out the others just so I have them in case all the electronic backups somehow fail me. Oh man, that didn’t sound at all paranoid now, did it?

If any of you have any great tips, tricks or advice for how exactly one goes about revising a novel, PLEASE comment or email me and do share. I have read a few craft books on the topic, watched countless videos on YouTube by others who have done this, but still feel somewhat unprepared to actually tackle this job as editor. I do know enough to know they are a hot mess and nowhere near ready for anyone else’s eyes yet, so tackle them I will, because in 2017 I am doing everything I can to be FEARLESS.