11–18 of 18 entries from the month of: January 2013

OH ginger SNAP!

January 16th

Stop what you are doing right now and bake these cookies. They are the best cookies I’ve ever made and were inhaled by dinner guests this week. ¬†

January Dinner Party Fun

Poof! Gone.

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

Not kidding. Best. Cookies. Ever. 

So good I just lifted weights for an additional hour so I won’t feel guilty about making another batch. So good I’m drooling just thinking of them.

Getting the picture?

I think the only way to make them better would be to make 2 batches so you can let a few get stale. I love a crunchy gingernsap.

Good work, Country Living peeps. Good work, indeed.

~K

 

 

Posted in
Domestic Art, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recipes
Comments (2)

Word Count Wednesday

January 16th

$1.50 transformed

 

31,100 — an increase of only 1,000 words this week. This is not a huge improvement. However:

  1. I’m done editing for perspective. I’ve got 16 solid chapters told from 3 points of view.
  2. I’m revamping the story arc. Things I thought should happen 3 years ago when I drafted this are no longer as relevant. There is some time being spent on research, and some on simple dreaming. “What should she do?” “Where should he go?” This is the most fun part of writing a novel — the magic.
  3. I’ve got 165 pages. That’s not too shabby.
  4. I’m using new tools that are fun. For anyone interested in writing a novel, a few things I’d recommend
  • 30/30 timer. This came as a suggestion from my friend Susan, also a novelist. This iphone app will let you set certain time goals. It is free. (Also, a kitchen timer works.) Let’s cut to the chase: writing a novel is 90% about keeping your butt in the chair and 10% about inspiration. My goal is 60 minutes of writing (no editing, Internet, etc) first thing in the morning with a pot of French press. It is when my mind is most creative and at its sharpest.
  • Scrivener. The best way to organize a novel I’ve found. I love this program.
  • Mariner’s Persona. I haven’t yet purchased this, but my super smart friend Kevin recommends it. Something to consider.

There is something other-worldly about finding your writing groove. When you’re in the zone, hours fly by and you don’t need timers or encouragement or expensive apps. And then you get a little too confident, tell yourself you should take a day/week/month away to “brainstorm,” and when your lazy ego finds her way back, it takes forever to return to the rhythm.

I’m getting closer.

Back to it,

~K

Posted in
Novel, Writing
Comments (1)

A Map to Apathy

January 14th

As a reaction to school yard bullies, there is a dark recess in my psyche where I can retreat if I’ve tried and failed all possibilities to make a relationship better.

The route goes a bit like this:

Enter one of the following cul-de-sacs, right off the intersection of Painful and Annoying Drives:

Oh, you don’t want to return my calls? You’ve stopped looking me in the eye? You won’t have a constructive conversation on how I’ve made a mistake, but you’ll tell everyone else? You’re convinced I’m trying to steal your boyfriend/thunder/power?

You take, yet when it comes to giving, you are only able to offer an excuse.

African map

 

Well. From here, you’ve got a few navigational options. You can ride your bike in circles around that nonsense and soak it all in, let it change your perspective on how the world works, and question your value.

Or, you can retreat.

Upon retreat, there are three options:

1. Go Forth and Multiply Street.

This involves a good bit of fist wagging and vulgarity. You never really feel better once you’ve headed down this path. In fact, your words often come back to bite you.

2. Try, Try Again Boulevard.

This requires forgiveness and the elusive ability to forget. However, this route only works if there is willingness from the other party — or the street loops you right back to the cul-de-sac of rage.

Instead, see option 3.

3. Apathy Ave.

Apathy Avenue is my least traveled path, but most helpful. It isn’t necessarily constructive, but it also isn’t circuitous. I’ve discovered it takes quite a bit of journeying to get to Apathy Ave, but once I’ve arrived — there is no turning around. Once I don’t care, I don’t care. There is no emotion to be stoked. No rage. No happiness. No sense of loss. Zero weight given to others’ opinions.

Just a profound, satisfying feeling of, “I don’t care,” within which is wound a tight ball of unwillingness to be hurt any further.

-K

 

 

 

 

Posted in
Journal
Comments (5)

A Legacy of Love

January 11th

Begonia

More than 100 years ago, a young man brought a young woman a begonia on their first date. It was a humble gift, but a successful one. They would be married for many years, and have five children.

Those two were my great grandparents. Clippings from the plant were passed along to friends and family with the story; some 60 years later, my Grandmother Maxine nursed the plant to amazonian proportions on her shady Tucson patio.

Today, my mother is the plant’s keeper. Big bouquets of it grow in my parents’ home, as only plants do under the care of my mom’s green thumb. Friends in San Antonio have been given small, flowering pots. One day, I hope to include a few leaves in my wedding bouquet.

My grandmother’s legacy will always be one of love and authentic sentimentality. ¬†Handwritten notes. Birthday calls. Sincere thoughtfulness. She never asked how you were without expecting you to sit down and tell her, until she was satisfied with enough detail.

Birthday girl

Like the heirloom begonia, her spirit will live on far past the Pennsylvania farm soil she first called home.

A True Heroine

My grandmother passed away yesterday, peacefully. She was not in pain. This has been left to those who survived her. We struggle to find grace, knowing she is with her parents, and the four siblings and many friends who went before her.

I’ve long chronicled the beautiful friendship we shared. Her surprise 80th birthday was one of my favorite memories. Also, I will always cherish the postcard she sent me from Morocco a few years ago; her first trip to Europe and she was sure to cross the sea to see Africa too. She knew I’d appreciate her adventurous spirit. I will carry it with me always.

I love you Grandma Max. Thank you for everything you taught us. May your legacy live on in us.

-K

 

 

 

 

Posted in
Blessings
Comments (31)

Word Count Wednesday

January 9th

new release

30,100 — an increase of 6900 words. I’m on my way!

 

Posted in
Novel
Comments (4)

By Contrast…

January 7th

Last weekend? Sunny desert Arizona.

This weekend? Snowy, dreamy Evergreen, Colorado.

Evergreen

Ducks, happy to find water that isn’t frozen.

Evergreen

Ice fisherman, happy to find a lake willing to hold their weight.

Evergreen

Future hockey stars and Olympic ice skaters, making the most of the groomed, frozen lake.

Colorado really does cold right. It gives you a chance to bundle up in warm clothes, but doesn’t stay too gray or too cold for too long. The sunshine is back in force and my goodness, is it gorgeous.

~K

Posted in
Colorado
Comments (2)

Oh, Arizona

January 4th

I just can’t quit you.

A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

IMG_5458A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

A desert walk

If you ever get the chance, spend time at one of my most favorite places in the world.

Take a picnic. Take your time. Let the desert win you over. Contrary to the view from the highway, she’s is so much more than dust, brown and sharp edges.

~K

 

Posted in
Arizona, Flora and Fauna
Comments (6)

Word Count Wednesday

January 2nd

Dream Mexico Journal

23,200 words completed on novel 2 in the current draft, with about 10,000 more to be edited and added. Internets, hold my feet to the fire. I need to be adding 10-15,000 words a week to meet my April deadline for Novel 2.

The story is there, it’s just… My focus has been on other things. Christmas, traveling, Twitter. Pick your distraction and I will make it my new favorite way to pass time. Further motivation, I read about authors who publish a book each year and I wonder what I’m doing cruising TMZ.

Time to cut out the chatter and get my butt in gear.

~K

 

 

Posted in
Goals, Novel, Writing
Comments (3)