Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best & Worst of 2010

The year 2010 has had extreme highs and lows for me. There was almost no in between. The beginning of the year was extraordinarily exciting, and the last part of the year was shockingly tragic. Here are my best and worst moments:

Best of 2010

1. Getting published in IT ALL CHANGED IN AN INSTANT, More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure.

2. Going on the book tour for the above book of memoirs in none other than NYC!

3. Participating in and chairing Sleuths' Ink's first-ever JANO project where writers attempted to write a 50,000-word novel in a month.

4. Being named poet of the month for my poem, "A Country Drive."

5. Having my first-ever book signing at Borders where nearly 50 family members and friends gathered.

6. Pitching my novel to one nice and one hard-to-read agent/editor at a local conference.

7. Attending my first out-of-state writers' conference all by my lonesome. And pitching my novel to two very nice agents and meeting several writers who are now friends.

8. Seeing my daughter perform at Disneyland in a Bollywood show.

9. Learning that our fifth grandson, Eliot, was born. (Yes, I officially have more grandchildren than my mother. My stepdaughters are very fertile.)

10. Getting published in the Echoes of the Ozarks anthology.

Worst of 2010

1. The tragic and brutal death of my niece, Shana. Everything else pales in comparison, so it's futile to list those events.

What were your best and worst moments of 2010? Please share.

New Year's Resolutions

It's almost time. Have you thought about your New Year's resolution? Do you make them? Keep them? Mine are somewhat different this year. They are:

Stop being late! This also means leave earlier, start getting ready earlier, get off the computer sooner and avoid any other distractions that keep me from arriving on time. I'm really sick of putting on makeup and jewelry at stop lights--and sliding into home base when I arrive at a meeting.

Be a more disciplined writer. This means sending out queries on a regular basis. It's ridiculous that I finished my novel over a year ago and have only queried three agents. Being more disciplined also means writing on a regular basis, stop life from ALWAYS getting in the way, concentrate on my writing goals for the year, and WRITE.

How about you? What are your New Year's resolutions?

Friday, December 24, 2010

PopTech : Popcasts : Larry Smith's Six Word Project

PopTech : Popcasts : Larry Smith's Six Word Project My six words just keep on giving! Larry Smith, Editor of SMITH Magazine, sent this link. He presented the six-word memoir project to 800 very smart, innovative people at Pop Tech's annual conference in Maine. I didn't have any idea I'd be mentioned. Check it out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Candy

Normally, I don't make a lot of candy throughout the year because I'm not supposed to eat sugar and because I try to watch my weight. However, these rules fly out the window over Christmas. I love to make candy around the holidays. Below is my favorite (and easiest) recipe. Care to share one of your Christmas candy recipes?

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

1/2 pkg. Chocolate almond bark
12 oz. pkg. Chocolate chips
10-12 oz. Peanuts without skins (or cashews)

Melt almond bark in a microwave safe dish for 1-2 minutes. Add chocolate chips and melt another minute until smooth. Remove from microwave (bowl may be hot) and stir in nuts. Drop on waxed paper until set.

These are fantastic! Everyone loves them and they make great gifts if you put them in pretty holiday tins. Note: You could vary this recipe by using chocolate caramel chips and possibly pecans. I believe those just might taste like turtles. I'll have to try that. Yield: 35-40 clusters

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Decorating Tips

I'm no Martha Stewart but I do enjoy decorating for the holidays (maybe a little too much), so I thought I'd share a few of my tips:

Cranberries and Tea Lights Fill a pretty glass bowl with a bag of cranberries. Add water and place little tea lights on top. The cranberries and candles will float. This makes a unique, pretty centerpiece or nice countertop decoration.

Decorative Ribbons I go to the Dollar Store and buy rolls and rolls of pretty ribbon with wire edges (so it's bendable). I get red, green, gold, silver, and pretty designs. Then, I tie bows on candlesticks, topiaries, mirrors and most of the Christmas packages (it's much prettier than a stick-on bow). I also decorate the Christmas trees with pieces of long winding ribbons.

Large Flocked and Glittery Poinsettias A great way to fill in holes on Christmas trees is to take long-stemmed flowers (white, red, gold or whatever you prefer) and simply stick them into the tree (the long stem will be hidden and no wire is needed). It's beautiful to use several of them and much faster than hanging ornaments. (I use ornaments, too.)

Winter Potpourri I fill large glass hurricane candle holders with potpourri. Sometimes I'll separate a bag and use a portion of it as a base around the candle. Right now, our winter potpourri mix is so strong that it has some unattractive plastic wrap on top because we were getting headaches!

Care to share any of your decorating tips? Do you enjoy decorating for the holidays or remember traditions from when you were a kid?