November 4 2014

NaNoWriMo Day 4

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This is my second year participating in NaNoWriMo.
Last year I found the site in the wee hours of November 1st and decided that my finding it on the very day the challenge began was someone’s way of telling me I should stop talk and thinking about writing a book and get busy writing it. Being as I had written exactly little of nothing outside of some lengthy emails since my college day, I decided to go with some good advice and write what I know. So I did my first NaNo as a rebel and wrote my 50,000 word in the form of a parenting memoir of sorts. So I didn’t have to think about plots, characters, or scenes. That was a good thing because all I had to do was write out some of the many stories of our adventures in parenting. I had very little organization. If a story was about one of the kids as a baby, it went in the Infant chapter, High School stories went in the High School chapter, etc. After I hit my goal shortly before Thanksgiving, I put it away needing some distance from anything even resembling writing. Basically other than adding some words to it as an assignment for a writing class, I did nothing else on it. It still sits at about 51,000 words and may never be finished.
The experience I gained last November was priceless. I learned that I could write and get to the 50,000 word goal in the 30 days allotted. I earned that there are so many other writers out there and I am not alone. I learned that writing IS a group sport! I met some fantastic and enthusiastic writers and found some very cool places to hang out and write that I might never have visited were it not for someone deciding to hold a write-in there. I am not the sort of person to go out and meetup with someone I don’t already know and spend several hours with them. This seemed very safe, meeting up in public places and in a group setting and I learned so much from those mostly 20-something writers. They didn’t shun me because I am older than them, maybe older than their parents even. Many of them are the ages of my adult children, and maybe that is why hanging out with them never bothered me.
This year, I am doing it again. This year, I am going to do it the non-rebel way. I am attempting to write an inspirational fiction mystery novel, from scratch. I search high and low for ideas and read extensively during the month of October to figure out what to write and more importantly HOW to write it. It still left me unsure until late in the day on November 1st what my subject matter would be. I only got there because one of the other WriMos recommended during a Chatzy Write-In that I check out the area of the NaNo website for adopting plots. I read through so many, making notes on any that seemed interesting, several pages of notes actually. Then I found a simple idea that I twisted and expanded on and made my own. I have some ideas for plot and characters, but nothing even remotely complete and not very solid yet. I took a free class on Sunday afternoon called Introduction to Murder that was offered at the library and taught by members of the Indiana Writers Center. One of the things the teacher had us do in class was to write down our opening sentence. What do I know about opening sentences to mystery books? Nothing! But, I dug deep and wrote some babble down, then had to share it aloud with the teacher and the 1 other student taking the class with me. They both loved it and thought I should use it! So after that, my word count stands at 26 words. But that quirky idea of an opening sentence helped lead my story, gave me a focus of sorts to begin planning actual characters and the tiniest thread of a plot. My word count should be 6,668 or higher at the end of day 4, but it is just 26. I am hoping and praying that once my plot is more solid and my characters more real to me the thought will spill forth from my brain painlessly and plentifully and I will be able to catch up and even get ahead in no time. It is not too late to join the challenge. You only have to write 27 words to get ahead of me! Am I worried? Yeah, a little. But the ideas are growing in my head and I had a vision today of turning this one little idea into a series of 7 or more books. How is that for positive thinking and being ambitious? Come on and join me, we will do this thing together. What is the worst that can happen? I could fail the challenge by not getting to the goal in time, but any words I write are more than I had written on Halloween, so I still win don’t I? So, what’s it going to be? Are you in?
(Originally Posted 11/4/2014)

May 11 2014

Writing Exercises and Prompts

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Writing Exercises and Prompts just might become my new favorite app on my smartphone. One of my main problems with writing consistently is coming up with ideas of things to write about. This could solve the problem on the go!
Now I will have no excuse not to write, because it is on my phone, it is always with me,. It generates “random story ideas, plots, subjects, scenarios, characters, first lines for stories and more” so I don’t even have that as an excuse anymore. For those without access to a smartphone, there is a website also: http://writingexercises.co.uk/index.php.
You can just keep having it generate new ideas until one sparks your inner writer to action and the writing flows. So what are you waiting for? Go to the website or download the app and get busy writing already!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.uk.writingexercises.WritingExercises
(Originally Posted 5/11/2014)

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May 9 2014

Chicken Pot Pie 

Chicken Pot Pie

2 chicken breasts
2 (10 ¾ oz.) cans Cream of Chicken Soup
frozen mixed vegetables to fill the empty soup cans
2 already pie crusts (from the refrigerator section)

Boil chicken in a pot of water for 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken and let it cool. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together soup and vegetables. Microwave for 5 minutes or so.  While that is in the microwave, take chicken off bones if they weren’t boneless, and tear or cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add chicken to soup mixture and stir together. Unfold one pie crust into a glass or ceramic deep-dish pie plate, and add filling. Put second pie crust on top and pinch the two crusts together at the edges. Cut slits in top pie crust to vent. Bake 1 hour in a 350° F oven. Cut into quarters. Serves 2-4.

This is also a great recipe for using up left over chicken or turkey.
Can also use canned veggies, but drain them first.
(A Karen Beidelman Original Recipe)

(Originally Posted 5/9/2014)

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May 9 2014

Writer Up!

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Thanks to Kristen Lamb, I am writing this blog post today. I recently found her blog and have been reading the entries as time permits or rather as the need to avoid actually writing myself hits. Tonight, I was going through my overly-full email inbox and was caught immeadiately by the subject line, “Writer Victory!—#1 Voluntarily Submit”. Now as a writer, I can certainly use a victory, so of course I had to stop and read it to find out what the victory was all about.
Read the blog here:
http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/writer-victory-1-voluntarily-submit/
She says, ‘Today, we will discuss V, which stands for “Voluntarily submit.”‘. Ok, Kristen, after reading this blog post, I too will “voluntarily submit” to writing because now I am inspired to share this blog post with others so they can gain inspiration too. Click on the picture here to read the entire blog posting. Loved the graphic and wanted to grab your attention. This will inspire me to write when I normally would have talked myself out of it. 
So, those of you reading this, is there anyone reading this? Take a second to comment and tell me what inspires YOU to write, or do whatever it is you do to express your creativity?
(Originally Posted 5/9/2014)

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May 7 2014

Pizza Quiche (Pepperoni Cheese Pie)

Pizza Quiche

Crust:
1/2 pkg. Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crusts
(Note: If using frozen shell, use Deep Dish size.)
Spread one crust into deep dish pie plate and set aside.

Filling:
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 pkg. (3 ½ oz.) sliced pepperoni
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ cup milk (skim works fine)
4 eggs. Beaten
salt & pepper, a dash of each

Cook onion and green pepper in butter until tender.  Cut 2/3 of the pepperoni slices into fourths.  Toss onion, green pepper, pepperoni, and cheese with flour.  Add milk, eggs, and seasonings.  Pour into prepared pastry shell.  Gently place remaining pepperoni slices around edge of pie.  Bake in 350°F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until set.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings.
Source: from the back of a box of Hormel Brand Pepperoni
Nutrition Info: ¼ pie (leave out butter, use 1/3 cup each frozen green pepper and onion, and substitute turkey pepperoni):
512 calories, 29g total fat, 13.6g sat. fat, 0.9g polyunsat. Fat, 4.9g monounsat. Fat, 254.9mg cholesterol, 1115.6mg sodium, 6.6mg potassium, 34.2g total carbs, 0.4g dietary fiber, 5.2g sugars, 24.4g protein, 17.3% vitamin A, 1.5% vitamin C, 35.6% calcium, 8.1% iron.

(Originally Posted 5/7/2014)

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