Archive for July, 2011

Stand and Deliver

Years ago, during my lengthy stay in Purgatory (also known as corporate management) I had a boss who insisted we all stand during meetings in which an important decision needed to be made, especially if that decision would require compromise.   His premise was that people are much more motivated to solve a problem after an hour on their feet than they are after four hours (or days) sitting on their asses pontificating. 

Instead of “standing their ground,” people are more likely to “stand and deliver.”

I’m thinking we need to send someone to remove all the chairs in Congress.

What do you think?

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Scent – the pathway to the subconscious

Those who study the brain have long said that scent is a powerful memory trigger. One whiff of snickerdoodle cookies baking, and we’re five years old, back at Grandma’s kitchen table.

I believe scent is also a strong creativity trigger. The right aroma can put us in a thunderstorm, a rainforest, a field of wildflowers or between linen sheets. I know a lot of people carefully create a new music playlist before the start a book, selecting tunes that create the proper mood and tone for the work. I have been known to do that, but honestly, I spend more time selecting the perfect scents.

Let me stop a moment to interject that I am NOT a salesperson for the product I’m about to endorse. I am, however, a big customer.

I use the Scentsy warmers to create scent in my workspace–you know, those little pots that warm scented wax with a low-wattage light bulb. It’s part of my writing ritual to pick out just the right scented wax, and to turn on the warmers before I sit down to create. Right now I’m working on a book set in a fictional south American country. I found the most delicious rainforest scent. It’s heavy, and green and moist, if you could attribue those adjectives to an odor. As soon as the wax warms, the jungle surrounds me, grounds me in my story.

I’ve used homey scents like apple pie for those hearth-and-home scents, linen and cotton for love scenes, peppermint when I worked on a sub-plot with a bright, active child character. The possibilities may not be quite endless, but they number in the hundreds, if not thousands. New scents are introduce each month, and I love to peruse the catalogue.

As for the more practical aspects, Scentsy warmers are less likely to start a fire in the home and more eco-friendly than candles. And as someone with a houseful of dogs and cats, they’re a necessity even on my non-writing days. I have one for the living room, one for the kitchen/dining area and one in my bedroom.

Here is my living room Scentsy (I live on a ranch in Texas, remember):

So if you’re having trouble finding the flow in you current work-in-progress, consider using scent to put your head in the “write” space.

Don’t blink!

I blinked, and somehow April became July. I feel like I’ve experienced a “time slip,” except I know I was here these last three months. I trained dogs, I wrote, I travelled.  I took a great trip to Shawnee National Forest with my horse and my friends Shirlee and Shi. I’ve continued freelance writing and picked up a new gig, freelance manscript critiquing and copyediting. But somehow I sorely neglected this blog.

So today I offer a token of apology: an awesome, simple recipe to beat the heat.

If you’re living anywhere near me this summer, you’re seeing signs like this pop up:

So here’s a way to beat the heat without blowing the diet or the healthy-eating resolution: Pineapple Sorbet.

Pineapple Sorbet

 1) Buy one 20-oz (or so) can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice (no sugar added). Pour it all into a freezer safe, preferably glass, storage container. Leave until frozen solid.

2) Take dish out of freezer and break apart with a strong table knife. Put chunks into a feed processor and blend well, stopping frequently to push the chunks which rise to the top down under the blades. The friction from the blades will heat the pineapple a little and make it a smooth consistency. Serve–and cool off!

If you like it sweeter, add a little sugar. If you like it creamier, add a little milk or coconut milk.

You can also throw in other fruits or some shredded coconut.

Ta-dah! A cool, healthy summer treat for the whole family.


Available Now!

western romance novel boxed set

7 men as tough as the West. 7 women ready to Cowboy Up

Available Now!

Psychological Suspense short story with a bonus inspirational short story included

Coming Soon from Vickie Taylor

Fantasy Romance Novella

What am I reading today?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker - Just started, but I'm intrigued so far!

Last five books read:

TEXAS GOTHIC - Rosemary Clement-Moore - Awesome! Great fun and spooktastic at the same time!

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - Ransom Riggs - Really creative idea. Enjoyed it very much!

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - D.D. Scott - Very enjoyable, fun book!

THE GOOD DAUGHTER - Diana Layne - Awesome! Get it now!

GOT YOUR NUMBER - Stephanie Bond - Fun little mystery!

What’s on my TBR List?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker

Reader’s Guide to E-publishing

Find your next e-book here!

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