Monthly Archives: September 2009

Kick Start Your Novel

In November, I’ll be teaching the four-evening Kick Start Your Novel class in Eugene, Oregon.

This series of four classes is an intensive, hands-on novel-writing workshop designed to get your novel going in the right direction. Classes are structured so you will learn about the internal structure of fiction and the key aspects of writing a novel, then you will work on your book in class.

This workshop is for the writer who has basic writing experience, is highly motivated and has at least a nodding acquaintance with the novel that dwells within. While you may work on a novel-in-progress if you insist, I strongly suggest that instead, you work on something fresh for the purposes of this workshop. Leave your old work at home and let the spirit of the moment move you. Trust the creative process and watch the magic happen. Trust me. I’ve taught this class many times, all over the country. I know what kind of magic we can conjure up. 

Plan to attend all four sessions, and spend non-class hours working intensively on your book as well. Momentum is important.

This class is not for the faint of heart, the weak-willed or those who are afraid of the intense internal examination that novel writing entails. Your level of expertise is not as important as your dedication to the process.

The class will take place over four consecutive evenings, 6pm-9ish November 9, 10, 11, 12. Space is limited to six participants.

Come with your writing materials, an open mind and a willing heart. You will be amazed at what happens.  For more information, or to register, pop me an email.

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Filed under concentration, connections, Discipline, dreams, Learning, Possibilities, Writing

Bored in the Kitchen? Not Any More!

Alert: This is a not-quite rave review of a new-to-me product.

The product is e-mealz.

For $5 per month (3 months at a time), I download a weekly 5-dinner meal plan, complete with recipes and a shopping list.  If I shopped at Wal-Mart, they’d even tailor the weekly recipes to Walmart’s sales and include prices. This is pretty incredible.

I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, so that doesn’t apply to me. And, truth be told, not every one of their meals suits us. (I will personally never eat tilapia, no matter how it’s dressed up to look like real fish, but that’s a different blog for a different time.)

What is true is that I’ve been in such a terrible rut when it comes to cooking. For years! It is absolutely the last thing on my priority list. I cook out of necessity, and my poor husband has to eat whatever I put on the table, which isn’t much, and usually isn’t good. And it’s the same thing, week in, week out.

No more.

I’m cooking delicious things now. Things I would never imagine I would prepare, would never think to prepare, recipes that blow my mind with their simplicity and tastiness. There are always leftovers for lunch the next day, and in fact, sometimes we’ll have an evening of leftovers. Of the five recipes per week, I probably make four.

So we’re eating well (and much healthier), my shopping is so efficient that I’m saving at least $15 per week on groceries (probably more), I’m not spending any more time in the kitchen than I was before, and the food is much better and the variety is delightful.

I’ve rediscovered my kitchen, and am surprised to remember at how satisfying it is to put a plate of something good is front of my husband.  So give it a try. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to cancel. But at least give it two weeks before you do that. I was sold after the first week, but the second week really sealed the deal.

E-mealz. What a great idea and for me, a great service.

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Filed under Marriage, time

I’ve Been Arrested. Again!

This time every year, I go to jail for the March of Dimes.
 
I support this organization because they do so much for the babies. Al and I have three healthy (adult) kids and eight (count ’em!) healthy grandkids, and we’re making a donation in gratitude for each of those eleven healthy bodies.
 
If you have healthy children or grandchildren, won’t you consider making a donation, too? The March of Dimes is working tirelessly on behalf of the children.
 
Consider this: 1 in 10 babies is born premature, half for unknown reasons.
 
1 in 33 babies is born with a birth defect.
 
1 in 8 women receive inadequate prenatal care.
 
Premature birth and birth defects are th eleading causes of death in the first year of life. 
 
The March of Dimes is working on all of this and more, but they need to keep their funding to keep up the research.
 
Please help. Even $5 makes a difference.
 
 
Thanks!

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Filed under Beauty, family, Goodness, Social Consciousness, Truth

New Interview

Apex Books has put a new interview in their latest edition of Apex Magazine.

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Filed under Promotion, Writing

Edna’s Fabulous Zucchini Relish

Okay, so I went out to look at the zucchini plants — way too many zukes this year — and found a ball bat. I try to keep up with them, but it seems like I turn around twice and there’s a five pound zucchini out there. What to do? Make relish.

This recipe came from my dear grandmother, Edna Gutzmer. It’s a sweet pickle relish, using zucchini instead of cucumbers. Please share it.

Edna’s Fabulous Zucchini Relish

10 cups zucchini

4 cups onion

Grind together (I shred it with the Cuisinart) and let stand in the refrigerator overnight with 1 cup of salt. In the morning, rinse with cold water and squeeze out excess.

Add:

2-1/4 cups cider vinegar

4 cups sugar

2 Tablespoons celery seed

2 Heaping Tablespoons mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 large green peppers, chopped

and 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, turmeric, and cornstarch

Simmer for 30 minutes

Pack hot into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2″ head space, process in a hot water bath for ten minutes. Will make 6-8 pints.

Or… pack into half pints and give them away as Christmas gifts!

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Filed under Summer

Want to Write Short Science Fiction?

Registration opened yesterday for Science Fiction Story Weekend at the Coast, and the class is already half full, so if you’re planning on it, better get registered.

Come join us! We’ll have a great time wreaking havoc with the space/time continuum with our alien pals.

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Filed under Short Stories, Writing