One Line Friday


It’s my favourite day of the week, Friday. Time to get together with family and friends. Sleep in, 🙂
No school lunches to pack, or kids to rush out the door.

Spring is here.

The nursery’s are filling up with a heavenly assortment of colours and smells. The promise of happiness is ripe in the air. The bluer than blue skies, flowering trees, fresh mown grass.

I Love Summer

In honour of Mother Nature’s renewal here’s the picture for this week,

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One Line Friday

“Don’t worry Amanda, I’ll take care of you. Always and forever.” Seth assured her, as he wrapped a sun-warmed arm around her shoulders in a brotherly hug.

Okay gang, let’s see what you’ve got. Give me your best line.
Have a great weekend all.

Easter Dinner


Easter dinner is serious business. Most other nights you can get away with anything from Hamburger Helper to Spaghetti and your family won’t complain. They don’t dare.

However, tonight is all about family. It’s special, and the meal you serve needs to portray this.

A lot of houses will be serving ham, scalloped potatoes, hot cross buns and while this sounds great, at our house we do things a little differently.

When my daughter was young there wasn’t a lot of money so I began cooking lunches at our local Farmer’s Market in order to help out. This way she could go to ‘work’ with me.

Needless to say she was a hit with both the other venders and the buying public. Who can say no to a cute little two year old?

One of my most popular dishes was something we called Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls, served up with potato and cheddar pirogues covered in fried onions, sour cream and bacon bits.

We usually sold out long before market ended. 🙂

My daughter developed a taste for these and throughout the years, regularly pestered me to make them up for her.

That’s how it became our Easter Tradition.

I thought I’d share my recipe here, and maybe it’ll become a tradition in your home also.

2 pounds of med ground hamburger
2 med heads of green cabbage
Approx. 4 cups of uncooked long grain rice (no minute rice )
3 cans of a good brand of Tomato soup (I use Heinz)
Salt and Pepper

Start by mixing together in a fairly large bowl, your hamburger, rice, and a small handful each of salt and then pepper. Mix until the rice has mostly been integrated into the beef.
Wash hands thoroughly.
Cut the cabbage up into slivers similar to what you’d use for coleslaw.
Using a good sized Dutch oven, start with a thin layer of cabbage, about an inch thick, in the bottom of pot.
Spread a layer of rice-beef mixture loosely on top of this.
Repeat procedure until you reach the top of pot. You want to end with cabbage on top.
Open 2 cans of the soup into the bowl you used for beef mix, (it’ll pick up residual spices) then take each can and half fill with water and swish before dumping into bowl. Stir until mixed.
Slowly pour this mixture over the pot of cabbage rolls, spreading it across the top.
Put a lid on and cook in pre-heated 350 oven for 2.5 hours.
Remove lid and spread last can of soup undiluted over the top of your casserole.
Leaving lid off, replace in oven for half an hour longer.

Remove and Enjoy. 🙂

Hope you give this a try one day. Let me know how it turned out for you.
Any special traditions you do in your homes that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.

One Line Friday’s on Saturday


Sorry I’m late. It was Good Friday yesterday and we spent the day as a family doing outdoor activities. It was a very good day. 🙂

Here is my pick for this week’s muse,

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The sky turned turbulent, much like Aurora’s emotions as she listened to the horrifying report Cochair had flown through the tumultuous night to impart to his mistress.

Okay, there’s my first attempt at fantasia, let the games begin. 🙂

Share your lines here, we want to see some creativity,

Have a great Easter.

Five Warning Signs Your Story Needs Revision


a few mistakes new writers make

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 11.38.45 AM Original image via Jenny Downing Flikr Creative Commons

We can have the best story ideas in the world, but to be blunt? There’s a lot to be said for delivery. While these problems might seem picky, there are some fundamental errors that can weaken the writing. If our writing loses power, this can become distressing or distracting to readers.

Many readers (not being editors or professional writers) might not be able to articulate specifically why they lost interest in a story, but often the answer is simple. It can be an accumulation of the small things. The little foxes spoil the vine.

Most of us make one or more of these errors, especially when we’re new. Hey, that’s called “being NEW.” No one is born with the natural ability to write brilliant, perfect novels coded into their DNA. It takes time and practice, so give yourself permission to make…

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The Story Grid: A Writer’s Tool


Story grid, now this is a good idea, 🙂

Bob Mayer

Every book is an adventure in writing, but there is one tool I have consistently used from my very first book and with every single one of the next 60 some odd that followed: The Story Grid.

After a couple of decades together, my wife has learned my few and far between foibles. One of them is a lack of attention to detail. I’m a big picture guy. If my wife wants to hide something from me in the fridge all she has to do is put it behind something. If she needs me to get something for her, she knows to give me very detailed instructions down to exactly what drawer, where in the drawer it is, and exactly what it is. Or I’m like Cool Gus: I’ll come back with the first ball I find.

I have the same problem writing. I can “see” the big picture of…

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Love Has Everything to Do With It


In todays fast paced lifestyles people forget to stop and appreciate the love and support of those we’re closest to, our families.

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We don’t do it on purpose, of course. We love those who are dear to us. They know that. Or do they?

I think we go blithely along, expecting them to understand, to forgive us if we don’t say it enough, to understand that after all, we’re busy you know.

It’s not enough. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that time is precious, too precious to let those moments when you should have acknowledged your loved ones slip by.

Don’t do it, make every day a special day.

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

One Line Fridays


It’s Friday and you know what that means, PAARTY!!

Okay maybe not, but it does mean it’s One Line Friday again. Here’s the deal, I post an adorable picture and leave it to your enterprising minds to come up with a clever sentence for it.

READY?

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Okay, here we go:

Colleen wrapped her wind-whipped shawl tighter around her body as she moved purposely along the rocky shoreline towards her fate.

 

Your turn, let’s see what you’ve got, 🙂

 

Keywords and Visibility on Amazon


S.K. Nicholls

key-to-success

If you, like me, have been having trouble categorizing your book in order to get better visibility for sells, this link might help.  I was using random keywords related to highlights of my book, but not coming up well in searches.

KEYWORDS

I had enormous difficulty in getting the correct keywords through KDP for visibility until I ran across this rather obscure piece on KDP’s site.  I was using all the wrong keywords.  The keywords that I was using were all related to my book, but they were NOT the specifically programed words and phrases that Amazon uses.  I was barely able to find my book in search results until I ran across this page.  Now, I have sold more books in the past two weeks than I had in the past two months, just by getting these correct keywords into place.

It seems that Amazon has specific keywords programmed 

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A Synopsis Checklist


Writers In The Storm Blog

by Shannon Donnelly

Years ago I was struggling to try and figure out how to write a synopsis. It took a lot of input from other writers, and some workshops, but I finally became comfortable with syopsis writing—and now it’s one of my favorite tools. I’m now doing my “Sexy Synopsis workshop again for Outreach International Romance Writers, but I wanted to offer up my synopsis checklist.

A synopsis is one of the most useful tools you can have. It keeps you from getting stuck. It starts you thinking about blurb and marketing copy. It can even show up flaws you might have in your plot, as in maybe the conflict really isn’t strong enough.

The checklist I developed came from looking at a bunch of synopses and from taking a lot of classes on synopsis writings. Feel free to take this list and customize for your own use…

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Weak Words


I’m taking a few different on-line courses on editing your manuscript to make it the best it can be.

One thing each of the classes all agree on is the necessity of removing weak words from your baby.

I thought okay, no biggie, I have a fairly good vocabulary. This should be easy, I thought.

 

 

The first word on my new list, Just.

I found 89 of those babies.

On a roll now I moved on to the next word on the list, That.

1249, hmm.

Was.

2475, 😦

Okay, maybe this just wasn’t going to be as easy as all that.

Next word, As.

You get the picture.

This might take a while. Haven’t even touched the ly words yet.

How about yourselves, any weak words you want to torture . . . I mean add to my list?

Shoot.

 

 

One Line Fridays


My romantic/suspense writer’s group, Kiss of Death, have this great idea going on Twitter every Wednesday where they pick a page number and encourage everyone to go into their WIP to pick one line and post it.

 

I thought it would be fun to do something along those lines here, with a slight difference. I’m going to post a picture and encourage all of you to come up with a creative line for it.

 

This weeks picture should stir the creativity, 🙂

 

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Here is my sentence,

Nick knew when he rose this morning and saw the drab gray skies it was going to be one of those days, he was right.

 

Okay, your turn, just post in the comments. Let’s see what you’ve got. 🙂