Friday, January 30, 2015

How do you make your coffee?

How many of you  have used this kind of coffee pot, or at least remember seeing one like it on the back of the kitchen stove? Maybe your grandmother had one? Or an aunt? My mom had a huge one. I think it held about twelve cups, and the bottom was a bit scorched  (she loved to set the flame on the gas burners high.) Since I'm being totally honest here, it was also a tad greasy from the the cast iron skillet splattering oil as she fried bacon and eggs for our breakfast.

But time marches on and eventually, she changed to a shiny electric percolator for awhile and then onto the fast making Mr. Coffee. Recently, now that her family size decreased, she purchased the ever popular Keurig- single cup coffee maker.

Which is nice, don't get me wrong. I have one and it's great for that afternoon pick-me-up when all you need is a little jolt of caffeine. But have you ever woke to find the electricity off due to a power outage? And nothing will give you that steaming cup of java unless you've got a jar of instant and a gas stove.

Awhile back I came across this at the Goodwill and didn't hesitate to grab it up for the piddly amount of 1.99. Seriously! At home, I replaced my tea kettle in favor of keeping this coffee pot on the stove instead. Makes me feel- I don't know, like Olivia Walton or something, and any minute my family will come tromping downstairs for breakfast.

And I'll be ready.

1/4 cup ground coffee in the basket per four cups of water. Place over medium heat until it begins to perk, watching carefully so it doesn't boil over. Allow to perk for 5- 10 minutes depending on the strength you're after.

The aroma alone will leave you with a sigh of contentment.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Courage to write...where do you find yours?

Where do you get your courage?       



I’ll admit it, I’m a coward. I carry around a fear that sometimes paralyzes me and sends me running away from my WIP rather than putting butt in chair and face it. Instead, I find myself doing the most awful, mundane chores imaginable. Remember last summer when I cleaned behind all of the electrical faceplates in the house? Seriously! Armed with my spray bottle of 409 and a screwdriver I managed to waste an entire day on the pretense of keeping my family healthy wiping away the germs and avoiding embarrassment from friends who might notice the smudgy fingerprints on my wall outlets.

And God forbid we should suffer from the hidden bacteria contaminating the can-opener!

See the pattern? I will do anything NOT to write.


But…it seems I am not alone.


In my quest to avoid yet another day of staring at a blank screen, or worse, examine my characters GMC (Goal-Motivation-Conflict), I picked up this book I honestly can’t remember when I bought it, and started to read. “The Courage to Write” by Ralph Keyes.


And there, staring me right in the face was the answer. It was like attending an AA meeting with fellows writers confessing their fears of writing.


E.B.White- gave us not only ‘Charlottes Web’ and ‘Stuart Little’ but he also revised a handy booklet present on most everyone’s desk titled, ‘The Elements of Style’ by the late William Strunk Jr. Named Elwyn Brooks White, he claimed because his mother ran out of names, was a procrastinator who managed most days to avoid the trauma of writing altogether by squandering valuable writing time puttering around on his farm in Maine. He told a friend once that he considered himself “the second most inactive writer living, and the 3rd most discouraged.”


Seems I’m in good company, huh?


Okay, so I could go on with many wonderful and encouraging phrases in this book but instead, I’ll gather my courage, my tools, and go to work on the novel I’m writing. After all, I’ve got characters waiting for me to suck it up and continue on. 


How about you? What are your reasons for not writing?




Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nothing to do...

So, I had foot surgery in December and have been house-bound for four weeks. And I've  got eight more weeks to go. Ugh!

What am I doing to keep myself entertained?

Let's see....

I'm watching the final season of Big Valley and falling more in love with tales of the Old West. It's so beautiful! I'm also up to season four of Little House On the Praire and have just started watching a comedy series from the 70's called Soap. This is one funny show centered around two families, the Campbells and the Tates.

Currently I am reading the latest Johanna Lindsey novel titled, Stormy Persuasion- A Malory family novel.
This series started in 1985 with "Love Only Once" and follows handsome Captain James Malory, many dashing pirates and rakes. Not to mention the daughters born over the course as they come of age. 

On somedays I even pull out my current WIP and work on that. I know, I'd promised myself I'd get this written but here I am, fiddling around doing NOTHING! And despite the fact the last chapter written is really fun- it unfortunately has me re-directing what happens next.

Somewhere between chapters six and eight. Not sure.

   The patrolman shoved his ticket pad deeper into his back pocket. He reached over and grabbed Dot pulling her arms behind her.

   “I may not have the right to go through your bag but I can search and seize any incriminating evidence I find on your person.” With that, he grabbed her wrists and spun her around, yanking both arms behind her while he dangled the handcuffs.

    “You can’t do that!”

    “I can and I will,” the patrolman muttered as the cuffs clicked into place.    

    Despite the fact her hands were locked behind her back, she still managed to dodge the officer for several more minutes as he made every attempt to pat her down. The moment he hands actually touched her body Dot let him have it with a mighty blow from her knee.

    Crack! The patrolman fell over backwards cupping his family jewels and knocking her off balance in the process. He wailed loudly. "You're going to regret that," he growed as he lunged at her.
    Dot was almost on her feet when the officer’s hand caught her ankle, tripping her to the ground.

    “Earl! I could use some help, here!”

Although I usually write in order, this chapter has jumped sequence and will have to go on a back burner for a bit.

Foolish me. I really thought I'd enjoy having nothing to do all day but watch tv or read. Until dinner time rolls around and I realize, crippled or not, I've still got to eat. And hubs is much happier if I've cooked something. And I miss going upstairs to my room and soaking in the whirlpool tub. I miss trying on clothes, I've worn nothing but stretch pants since the Dec. And I miss visiting with my mom even though I have managed to go once a week if hubby's not too tired after work to drive me. It takes quite a bit of manuvering to get the wheelchair or scooter outside, plus me, in this snow.  I've been using muscles I didn't know I had.

Enough complaining. Really am glad to be mending so nicely.

Soon, I'll be back on both feet and shopping for new shoes!!!

Until then....