Writing, promotion, tips, and opinion. Pour a cuppa your favorite poison and join in.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Cold Days, Warm Thoughts, Hot Cooking

Doing something a little different for my blogs, Unicorn Bell and Spirit Called. Since we are all interested in food, well...

I'm an on-again, off-again cook. Cold winter days and no lawn work leads to the kitchen.

I have a relative who has a problem with gluten. She avoids wheat and even has stomach upsets if the restaurant leaves a crouton on her salad.

When store bought bread gave me the same problems, I wondered if gluten was the reason as well. On a whim, I munched on my homemade bread and was amazed when nothing happened. Nothing. No problems.

One friend said it’s the preservatives in store bought bread. I don’t know. I just know it ain’t the wheat or gluten.

My favorite recipe is for hot rolls. It’s a combination of recipe book, my long-departed mother-in-law, and me. This is for a bread machine but can be adapted for those without one:

To bread machine:
1 ¼ warm water
¼ C butter
1 t salt
1/3 C dried milk

Then add:
1 egg mixed with ¼ C sugar

3 ¾ c bread flour (I always use King Arthur brand)

Make a well and add,
1 ¾ t yeast.

Set machine on dough. Mine takes 90 minutes to mix, knead, and rise.

Form 15 rolls and place in greased 9x13 cake pan.

Cover. Let rise 20 mins.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 mins.

For more information, go to the King Arthur Flour 
Great recipe for Easy Plain Bread is on their website.

For my favorite crusty French bread-type recipe, go to Spirit Called.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Herding Sheep


Misdirection fascinates me. From books to TV shows to movies and, of course, magic, this is the pinnacle of a good storyline. Keep the audiences guessing. When they gather at the gate like sheep, close the easy exit, and open another.

Before I knew what it was called, my earliest recollection of misdirection was the short story:

The Star by ArthurC. Clarke. A devout man, an astronomer traveling the cosmos, questions his faith when faced with the ancient destruction of a planet.

Distractions started me down one path and when Mr. Clarke’s revelation came in the last sentence, it always leaves me breathless.

Misdirection, when the reader’s attention is focused on one element.

Longmere, a modern-day cowboy/sheriff of a small town. I was slow to catch on to the
existence of this series that premiered in 2012. It became one of my all-time favorites this fall. The storylines juggle between characters and intertwine like a braided rope. Just when I think I know where a plot is going, the story herds me down a different alley like a border collie. Keeps me off centered.

Distraction; when the audience sees a shiny object and misses the palmed coin.

Star Trek, the 2009 reboot. When all is lost and Captain James T. Kirk faces certain death at the hands of Klingon, he utters one, devastating line to his enemy: “I’ve got your gun.”

Twists and masterful shifts keep readers on tippy-toe. Make them believable and know the attainment of the title, Writer.

If they can guess the plot, the writer loses. If the reader gasps, you win.

Actually, everyone wins. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Twitter Pitch

Have Manuscript, Will Pitch

Opportunities are far and few between in the world of the budding writer. 

Here is a great chance to be noticed, coming from the award winning blog, IWSG, Insecure Writer's Support Group:

Our first #IWSGPit was amazing!
We had about 2300 Tweets and became a trending topic on Twitter.

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 18, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. 

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents. 


Writers may send out 1 Twitter pitch every 1 hour per manuscript. 

Publishers/Agents will favorite/heart pitches they are interested in. Publishers can either Tweet basic submission guidelines or direct writers to their submission guidelines. (Writers, please do not favorite/heart pitches.)

No images allowed in pitches.

Pitches must include GENRE/AGE and the hashtag #IWSGPit.

#C - children’s
#MG - middle grade
#YA - young adult
#NA - new adult
#A - adult
#AD - adventure
#CF - Christian fiction
#CO - contemporary
#F - fantasy
#H - horror
#HI - historical
#LF - literary fiction
#MCT - mystery/crime/thriller
#ME - memoir
#NF - non-fiction
#PB - picture book
#PN - paranormal
#R - romance
#SF - sci-fi
#WF - women's fiction

Sounds most excellent.