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Where I’ve been…

So I’ve had several questions about where I’ve been and why I’ve been so quiet the last few months. Don’t worry…everything is fine! Just a lot going on.

Almost two years ago, when I saw the surge in authors self-publishing and became intrigued with the possibilities myself, I realized there was going to be a huge need for editing and publishing services to help these books compete with the “big six” traditionally published works. I’d been working with developing authors for years, teaching classes, giving workshops, judging contests, etc. I had a solid graduate-level education, and I had the benefit of working with some wonderful editors at great New York publishing houses. So I enrolled in the Specialized Certificate in Copyediting program at the University of California, San Diego. I graduated at the end of August. The last few weeks were challenging. The final exam (a long non-fiction piece to copyedit) took many hours. Throw in a national writers’ conference at which I was a guest speaker, a hurricane deployment, and the need to tune up my search and rescue dog for FEMA recertification, and it was nearly a recipe for disaster. But I am happy to say I aced the exam and received my degree a few weeks later (and my dog has passed the first of his two recertification tests).

Wow, was I happy and relieved! I thought it was time to breathe easy.

Um…NOT!

I had done a few editing jobs and built a sketchy website. Word got out, and business picked up speed. In fact, it became a freight train. I am so grateful that so many authors have entrusted me with their creative children. I am doing my best to do every one of them justice. I am now booked out several months into the future and still receiving requests. Wow. Thank you.

For anyone who is interested, here is my sketchy website for the copyediting business. And I will be speaking on editing and self-editing at the Dallas Area Romance Authors meeting on Saturday, October 27. Click the linkie for more info on that.

So I’m busier than ever copyediting, writing, working search and rescue dogs, and taking care of all the critters at home. But lovin’ life!

Remember:

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Healthy Eating Tip #2 – Power Breakfast

I’ve never been much of a breakfast eater. I’ve tried on and off to correct that, as I  know eating breakfast is important. But the thought of sugary, bad carb laden pancakes or waffles to start off my day turns my stomach (and would likely pack on the pounds). I don’t eat meat, so bacon and sausage are out. I can tolerate one of the those fiber and protein breakfast bars sometimes, but really, they get boring after a while. Besides that, they’re processed, and I also am trying to reduce or eliminate preservatives and artifical flavorings and crud like that from my diet.

Recently I stumbled on a healthy breakfast that I adore. It meets all of my criteria:

  • portion controlled
  • good balance of protein, good carbs, and fat
  • inexpensive
  • easy to make
  • packed in vitamins and minerals

Recently I posted a recipe for making mini-lasagna servings. They’re made in ramekins–little oven safe dishes. I got a lot of good feedback on that recipe. At least one person I know went out and bought a set of ramekins so she could make it. Well…one added advantage of today’s power breakfast recipe is that we all get even more use out of those ramekins!

So here it is…my power breakfast special!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup frozen vegetables, any kind (I like to mix broccoli and spinach)
  • 1-2 organic, free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, or whatever seasonings you like!
  • 1 tablespoon cheese

Instructions:

1) Preheat broiler to low setting.

1) Defrost the vegetables in a small microwave-safe bowl (about 1 minute on high). Dump on paper towel and tamp to remove excess moisture. Put vegetable mixure in ramekin (I use my medium ramekins, which are 7 oz.).

2) In a separate  bowl, crack open the two eggs, add the teaspoon (or less) of water, and whatever spices you like in eggs (try some red pepper flakes if you like spicy food). Whisk until egg yolks and whites are blended. Pour into ramekin over vegetable mixture.

3) Microwave on high until egg is cooked and set (about 90 seconds).

4) Remove from microwave. Sprinkle cheese on top (I like to use Mexican Queso Fresco, but any good melting/browning cheese will work). Put ramekin on baking sheet and set under broiler until cheese melts and gets crispy brown around the edges. This only takes a minute or two, so watch it carefully. Enjoy!

If you’d prefer, you can sure just do all the cooking and cheese melting in the microwave, but it’s worth the extra effort to put it under the broiler to get those crispy brown edges and bubbles on the cheese.

I love this savory breakfast. Even in only a 7 oz. ramekin it’s very filling. It has a nice balance of protein, good carbs, and fat. It’s automatically portion controlled. It’s also cheap and easy to make, so it’s healthy on your budget and your schedule as well!

FYI…I always, always keep bags of different types of frozen vegetables in the freezer. Fresh is great, and feel free to substitute if you have them, but frozen vegetables offer about the same nutritional value for much less money, and they don’t have all the added sodium of canned vegetables. they’re great for quick meals like this one. But that’s a Healthy Eating Tip post for another day.

At RG2E, it’s all about the readers!

This post wouldn’t be complete without background music. Click here for a short clip of the theme song.

That’s right…there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to sites for readers. It’s a big, confusing world out there when it comes to books. So many titles to choose from, so little time to read!

So what’s the shortest path to the best books on the web?

That’s right: The Readers’ Guide to E-publishing. This site lists some of the best e-books on the market in all genres.

What could be better? Why, if they gave away some of those books free, of course!  And they do, of course!  Free books daily.

What could be even better than free books daily? Free e-readers! And they do that do.

Check it out and make it a destination stop for book shopping.

You might even find some of my books there starting later this month.  😉

Good-bye, my friend

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, y’all. It’s not that nothing is happening worth writing about, honestly. I’ve just had this post that I’ve needed to write for several weeks, but had a hard time wrapping my head around what to say, how much to say, and how to say it.

I lost a friend in January, a very dear friend who taught me a lot about living.

Being in my mid-forties at the time I met Shirlee, I thought I knew about living. I was wrong.

I like to ride horses–not just in arenas or my back pasture, but in new, scenic places. In mountains and forests and across rivers and grasslands. I had always wanted to ride in Caprock Canyon here in Texas, but never had anyone to make the trip with me. One day I was hanging out on a forum for people who trail ride and I saw this woman post that she and her husband were plannig a trip to Caprock. They lived in Iowa at the time.

Out of the blue, I sent this woman I’d never met a message asking if she minded some company out there. I’m easy to get along with as a trail rider. My horse is pretty reliable and I don’t mind going off and doing my own thing. I promised not to hang on her coattails all day long every day.

Well, I did. Hang on her coat tails, that is. Because Shirlee and her husband Leroy and I bonded pretty quickly. We had similar riding interests and styles, though they had a lot more wilderness experience than I did. A LOT more.

I learned that Shirlee was a four-time cancer survivor. FOUR TIMES. Can you imagine that? She was a bit older than me, and weakened from all those treatments, and yet she could ride me into the ground. I’ve never, ever seen someone who enjoyed being in the saddle so much. For Shirlee, riding–living–was pure joy. Because she’d learned that being able to do either of those things is not a given. She was one of the bravest riders I’ve met, and she helped me put my fears aside. She took me and my horse over, under, and through things I would never have tried on my own.

We became fast friends and Shirlee and Leroy took pity on me (my inability to find other riders here in Texas who want to go horse camping and trail riding) and allowed me to accompany them on many other trips. We rode the Buffalo National River several times, the Shawnee National Forest, in the Colorado Rockies, and at Robber’s Cave in Oklahoma. Just last fall we went back to Caprock for a reunion ride. We talked about me coming out to their new ranch in Colorado this summer.

Shirlee passed away January 21.

In the end, it wasn’t the cancer that took her, and I’m glad for that. She fought hard and she won that battle. She deserved to win it.

Farewell, my friend. I miss you. I won’t forget you or the lessons you taught me: Live. Love. Laugh. And RIDE.

Shirlee Wolfe

 

New Year’s Blog Hop – Update with winners!

Hi y’all!

Thanks so much for the great response to the New Year’s Blog Hop and all the great stories. The contest is now closed. Since I had such a great response, I’ve decided to pick three winners for my upcoming fantasy romance novella instead of  just one.

The three winners from my blog are: Catherine, Monica, and Heather.

The grand prize winners from the overall blog hop are:

#192 from Malia Mallory’s site – Lilaz won the Kindle Fire!

#2436 from VK Syke’s site – June won the $80 Amazon GC.

Thanks to everyone for participating!

New Year Blog Hop – PRIZES!

What is a blog hop? That’s when several blog owners link their sites together, and readers win prizes for skipping around and commenting on as many blogs as possible. So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, and have at it. Each time you comment on a blog, you are entered to win a Kindle Fire and an $80 gift certificate. Also, those who comment on this blog on January 4 are eligible to win an electronic copy of Vickie Taylor’s upcoming fantasy romance novella, Mother Nature & Father Time, A love (and hate) story.

New Years’ Memories

Blog hops often have themes, and the theme of this one is favorite New Years’ Memories. As I thought back over my life, one memory stood out for me.

My Senior year in high school, Danny asked me to the New Year’s bash at his fraternity. I was beyond excited to be going to my first college party, but I was also nervous. I’d never met Danny in person–just chatted with him online. It took three days of serious shopping, but I finally found the perfect dress, a low-cut black number with white piping that said “mature” witout giving up “sexy.”

The bash was a blast. I hadn’t realized until I got there that it was a masked party. I was handed a little half-face sequined disguise at the door. Luckily the person handing out the masks knew Danny and pointed him out to me, since everyone inside already wore their masks.

Danny and I were a perfect match. We danced, and managed a bit of conversation by shouting over music. At midnight, he told me, a toast would be made, and everyone would remove their masks for a New Year’s kiss.

I couldn’t wait.

The big moment  finally arrived. Champagne in hand, everyone counted down the final seconds of the year.

“Three. Two. One. Happy New Year!”

We clinked glasses and sipped. My heart strummed. I lifted my mask, saw Danny’s lips curve upward beneath his full face piece. Slowly he slid it up from the bottom to reveal …

ZOMBIE!

I spun to run, but one of my three-inch heels caught on the carpet. I tumbled forward into a girl, her face decaying and smelling of death. A bony hand grabbed my ankle from behind and dragged me …

Oh wait … that was a book idea, not a memory. Sometimes I get the two mixed up. 

In reality, New Year’s Day is the most exciting day of the year for me, but not because of any zombie encounters. It’s a time to let go of any mistakes and disappointments from the previous twelve months and contemplate the possibilities ahead. Clean slate.

I look forward to 2012 with as much anticipation as I’ve ever felt. I’ve made some big changes in my life, career-wise, and I can’t wait to share them with you in the form of books. I have three romance novellas coming out on Amazon.com in January, and then I will be starting a cozy mystery series that I can’t wait to tell you about (but I’m going to, because I want it to be a surprise).

Happy New Year, everyone!

click here for links to the other participating web logs! Win a Kindle Fire and an $80 Amazon.com gift certificate.

A Very Vegetarian Thanksgiving

It’s been more than two years since I went vegetarian, and I’m enjoying being meat free more than ever. Finding fun, filling dishes to make for Thanksgiving can be a challenge, however. I’m just not the tofurkey type. Each year, I’m on my own for Thanksgiving, as my family runs off to sunny Florida for the month and I stay home to keep the horses, donkeys, dogs and cats in kibble and oats. I really don’t mind. Every year I have invitations from friends for the big day, but honestly, it’s one of my favorite days to spend at home. That’s the thing about writers. We enjoy companionship…but most of us are also comfortable with solitude. I like to play hermit in my little house with my animals. I munch; I read; I munch some more; I watch the parades and football on TV; I munch, and I cook. I use Thanksgiving to try out new things, dishes I’ve wanted to try but just haven’t taken the time to experiment with.

Coming up with a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu for one has become an annual challenge. So without further ado, I am ready to unveil this year’s Very Vegetarian Thanksgiving.

First up: Appetizers

-Aunt Ginger’s cream cheese and olive spread with fancy crackers. Thanks Aunt Ginger! To be munched upon while the real cooking commences
-Steamed fresh artichoke with herb dip

Next: Main Dishes (two things I’ve been wanting to learn to make)

-Corn tamales. Yes, the handmade, old-fashioned kind with Masa Harina and cornhusks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Sweet potato ravioli with herbed butter sauce. I’ve been dying to try making my own pasta!

Also: Sides

-Creamed spinach. From scratch, of course, with fresh organic spinach

Finally: Dessert

-My tried and true delicious creme brulee!

I can hardly wait for Thursday. Only downside is that it is supposed to be in the 70s. Too warm for a roaring fire.

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving?


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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