Time to Write a Novel??

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In just a few days, November will be here. To be that means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)!! It is the one month of the year where I, and many many others, try to write 50,000 words in just one month. Some of us are successful; some of us are not and that is ok. This is my sixth year doing NaNoWriMo. I am not going to stress out if I don’t make the word count, because my goal is just to regain my creative juices and write on a schedule.

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Planning is usually my downfall. I want to be a planner so I try and try each year to write what I had planned for NaNoWriMo, but it just doesn’t work out. My characters do as they damn please. So this year, I am not going to plan. I am going to write and let the characters run with it.  We will see. I am hopeful and excited to see what comes of it.

It has been hard to stay on a writing schedule lately. I have been letting my personal life interfere. Dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s has seemed to take over my thoughts and feelings. Perhaps writing can be a form of therapy for me instead of something I put off because I am just not in the mood to write? Maybe NaNoWriMo can help me get out of this funk?

I am looking forward to having a goal to work towards, talking with fellow writers about their imagination, and making time for myself to just write.

Good luck to everyone!!

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

In a previous post, I mentioned how I was going to start posting more and writing more and blah blah blah. Well, that was MONTHS ago.

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Apparently, life got in the way yet AGAIN!  School started up and my schedule is insane. My son has been sick more than usual for the first two months of school. My mother, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, has deteriorated so much lately….it is just heartbreaking. I just got caught up in the lows of life.

My recent visit with my mother was the worst ever. There never seemed to be a moment where she recognized me as her daughter. At one point, she asked me “Who is your mom?” It was so hard to say the next two words:  “you are.”

It broke me.

After that visit, I became determined.

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Determined to make myself write again. Determined to exercise and take care of myself more. Determined to be a good example for my son. Determined to truly live life to the fullest because life really is crazy short.

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So here’s to livin’ life to the fullest.  ❤

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie Review

Last night was DATE NIGHT!! We had an amazing dinner of Thai food, with a mai tai of course.  After a delicious plate of Pad Thai, we headed to the movies. We had the choice between Ant-Man and Mission Impossible. Ant-Man it was. What did I think?

Well, the problem is that I saw the first Ant-Man, but I didn’t see Captain America: Civil War. This Ant-Man and the Wasp movie began with Ant-Man not talking to or around the main characters from the first Ant-Man. Needless to say, I was confused. I had to whisper to my husband that I didn’t know what was going on. You could almost hear his SIGH that he had to talk during the movie. haha! He quickly mentioned how Ant-Man had gone off to fight with Avengers in a different movie.

With that being said, it was a cute and humorous movie. I feel like if they had just taken out a little bit of language, this movie could have been PG thus allowing more children to attend. I realize it was date night, but my son would have LOVED this movie. However, I do not cuss around him nor do I want him to go to movies and learn cuss words, so unfortunately he will not be seeing it anytime soon.   😦

Also, we stayed around for a scene after the credits which was  a little bit of a bummer. We then left the theater wondering why we were the only ones leaving. Yep. There was another scene that we totally missed. I googled it and it seems that we didn’t miss much. If you saw it, let me know what you think.

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Finding Agents and Making Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

The time has come. I have finished my second children’s book and I am ready to find an Agent to help me get it traditionally published!!

But wait…aren’t you an Indie Author? Yes, I know, I know.  I am and I should just do it myself, but this book is different. It needs artistic skills that might take me years to develop. So I have decided that this one needs to go out into the world in a different way. We will see where the world takes it. {Fingers crossed!}

In the meantime, I am making new dishes and seeing how honest my husband is about our dinners. haha! If he likes a meal, he will get seconds and sometimes thirds. I have found out that if he REALLY doesn’t like it, then his response to the meal will be: “Well, it isn’t horrible.” Yep. That is what he said when I made Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole for the first time.

Don’t get me wrong….it was f@cking delicious! However, it seems that anytime I make something healthy, he just doesn’t like it. Did he like the cauliflower rice? No. Shrimp scampi with spaghetti squash as the noodles? No.  But if I were to make fried chicken, fried okra, fried green tomatoes then he is all in. Get the point? hahah!

Anyways, I loved the dish and it was so incredibly easy that I needed to share it with you. You will love it too! I hope.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 or 2 small spaghetti squash
  • marinara sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pepperonis

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash  in half then place open face down on a greased baking sheet. Bake approximately 35 minutes. Let cool then scrape the inside out with a fork into a strainer. Then lightly take some paper towels and push some of the extra water out.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl add the cooked spaghetti squash noodles and marinara sauce. Mix well.
  3. Pour into a large baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top. I like a lot but my husband hates cheese so add how much you like. Then add pepperoni.
  4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and basil if you have it.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Finding My Way Back

Everyone struggles in life. Sometimes it takes us down a dark path, but we must always keep trudging along to find the way out.

Lately, I have been feeling down. I lie. It has actually been over a year now. I have kept my distance from friends, my house is becoming a disaster, and I have to remind myself daily how great I have it even though life isn’t what I dreamed it would be.

I usually keep my true self away from my blog posts, but not anymore. For the past year, I haven’t blogged much nor have I written as much as I would like. This past weekend I decided that enough is enough. I have been walking in mud for months trying to find my way out to happiness, but it is time to find that vine and pull, yank, swing myself immediately to the right path.

Book rejections, my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and my struggle with fertility have been like these tremendous weights on my shoulders all consuming my thoughts. At some point, we have to just break free and take charge. So this is me taking charge.

I am revamping my blog. My next Children’s book has been written; I just need to edit, edit, rewrite, and edit again. The three books I have written and published are all FREE for the next couple days! Summer is great for reading! Just click on FREE!

As for my mother’s Alzheimer’s and my infertility? I just need to admit to myself that it is what it is. I have guilt that I cannot provide my son siblings and I have guilt that I cannot help my mother in all the ways she needs due to time and financial reasons. I also have embarrassment about the infertility and have not spoken much about it. I am done not speaking. It is time to yell about something that people should feel like they can share. The time is now. I just need to do the best I can, appreciate all that I do have, visit my mom as much as I can, and just live.

If you are going through struggles as well, please remember you are not alone. There is a light at the end of that long dark road. I promise. You just need to keep walking or running. But don’t just sit in that darkness and hope you will find the way out. You must make yourself get up and get out. If you don’t have the energy, please tell someone. Tell a friend. Tell a family member. Call a counselor. You are not alone and we can all get through this. ❤️

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Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

If you grew up similar to me, then you grew up on cinnamon sugar toast on Saturday mornings after watching cartoons while your parents slept. Man, I still love it today even in my 40s. This morning, I woke up and decided to make doughnuts! However, I was out of regular all purpose flour AND out of confectionary sugar. Some recipes called for bread flour but then frying the doughnuts. I didn’t want to deal with hot oil today.

Disclaimer: I have never made doughnuts, but I did recently buy a doughnut baking pan on a whim. So that must mean I am qualified.

So hopefully, if you are a doughnut newbie like myself, this post will help you out. I found a great recipe and had to tweak it due to my lack of readiness and my desire to not have a dozen doughnuts to add to my hips! Once you hit 40, it really does happen. So anyways, here is what I came up with. If you make doughnuts soon, please comment and let me know. Or if you have a better recipe, please share it! I am so excited to try more delicious recipes soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bread flour (it was more chewy than I wanted…next time I will use all purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 egg (yeah this was difficult to do halvsies with! haha!)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pan with flour/oil mixture or if you are like me and don’t have that handy: spray the pan with Pam then sprinkle flour on it.
  2. Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a big bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla together.
  4. Stir the wet with dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the doughnut baking pan. Put just a little more than 3/4 because I didn’t and the doughnuts ended up not as round as I would want. You live and learn.
  6. Bake for 17 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes. While cooling get a bowl for the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and another bowl to mix together the cinnamon and sugar topping.
  8. Tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.
  9. Brush melted butter on the doughnuts. Or you can dip the doughnuts in more melted butter for a really buttery/sugary doughnut.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top.

You might want to add more cinnamon sugar if you want it really sugary. I didn’t; however then my son refused to finish the doughnut. Yes, you read that right! Crazy world we live in.  🙂

Kale Salad

I LOVE kale salad. I know, I know, it isn’t for everyone, but once I realized how to make it, I fell in love with it.

  • The trick for me… is to wash and pat dry the kale, then (in a big bowl) drizzle olive oil on it (maybe a tablespoon’s worth or more depending on how big the salad is).
  • I then massage the oil into the kale.
  • Then I do it a little more until the leaves are all oily.
  • Sprinkle some salt on top and let it sit for a few minutes. I usually do all this and then fix the rest of dinner so my kale usually sits out for 15 or so minutes.
  • Then when you are ready, just throw your toppings in and enjoy! I like to cut up some celery, carrots, cucumbers, add feta cheese, and a little bit of Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt dressing which is the bomb!!!!!

Let me know if you fix it; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!