Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Best Fudge EVER!

Dickinson Family Fudge

Melt 1/2 lb butter in large heavy saucepan. Add 12 oz can of evaporated milk. Add 4 1/2 cups of sugar. Put over medium heat and stir constantly until it boils, about 20 minutes. Do not stir while it boils 10 minutes. (Boil slowly.) Take off stove and add 24 oz of chocolate chips and 13 oz marshmallow fluff. Stir together. Pour into mini loaves or a large pan for cutting into pieces.

Makes 5 lbs.

Warning: Don't eat it all at once! It's dangerous to the hips, but so good crossing the lips!

Monday, December 28, 2009

When in Doubt Ask Other Writers

Every writer, at one point in time or another, needs a support group. This can be as simple as a critique group or a larger writers group you attend monthly meetings at.

Writing is like any other job. The more you investigate and learn about the business, the more success you will bring to yourself and your writing. Even when you think you have learned it all, we can't lose sight that other writers have much to teach us.

If you are writing on your own and don't belong to a critique group or monthly writers group, I challenge you to join one. It will renew your spirit and continue to help feed your passion for writing. Where do you find such people? Search the internet for local writing groups in your area. Talk to people you know. Once I started doing this, I was very surprised at how many people write and don't ever tell anyone about it.

I have a weekly critique group and a monthly writers group. I love them both. They teach me something new every time we are together and most importantly, they move me forward with goals. Find your group. It will make a world of difference.


Friday, December 25, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life!

Of course, I have to recommend today that you watch the classic, It's a Wonderful Life. Every year I fall in love with Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. I still laugh out loud during the dancing scene when they end up in the swimming pool. Such good fun!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ice Cream Cake

This is a fantastic recipe.

Ice Cream Cake

1 stick of margarine or butter
1/2 package of Oreo cookies crushed. I put them in a ziploc back and crush them.
1 block of your choice of ice cream. I use Cookies and Cream, but during the holidays it is fun to use peppermint ice cream.

Melt margarine in microwave about 30 seconds. While doing this, let block of ice cream sit on counter to get soft, usually about 15 minutes.

In a Ziploc bag, crush 1/2 package of Oreo cookies. Pour cookies into a 9 x 12 pan. Add melted margarine and stir. Spead out to make crust.

Remove ice cream from carton. Slice and lay on top of cookie crust. Use a knife to spread and even out the seams and make smooth.

Refreeze over night. Before serving, set on counter for 10 minutes. This makes is easier to cut. Enjoy!


Monday, December 21, 2009

It's the week before Christmas...

and all through my work center,
there are secrets within, not a child may enter.
I've hid a few presents, and I'm not telling where.
You'll have to wait four more days. Christmas is so near.
Now it's back to work I must go. There are stories to write.
Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas. May your holidays be filled with light.


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Blind Side

Happy Friday.

I went with my movie buddy to see The Blind Side that stars Sandra Bullock. It was fantastic. I know that some people did not give it a good review, but I disagree.

I loved seeing Sandra in this kind of supporting role. She had a spark to her that was interesting, and the story line never once allowed me to check my watch in boredom. I am usually a romantic love story kind of movie girl, but this was a movie that definately needs to be seen.

Some of the reviews focused on how there wasn't enough of Michael Oher's personal perspective. I disagree. This movie caused me to come home and Google Michael Oher. His story is fascinating. Plus, there is a book that the movie is based on called The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game. I definately feel this is a family movie to see. There are many lessons to be learned. Plus, it opens up another reading opportunity for the family. Go see the movie!!!!!

Ingrid. :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

White Chili

Last Friday at our weekly critique group, Ann made a delicious white chili for us. I asked her to share her recipe with us. Here it is.

White Chili

One roasted chicken from the store (already cooked), meat picked off the bones and cut or torn in bite size pieces.

4 cans of pinto beans (15 oz, drained)

One 16 oz. jar of the salsa with corn and beans (I used the Meijer naturals--medium spicy)

One 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes undrained

Two teaspoons cumin

Mix all above ingredients in Crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hrs., stirring occasionally if you are there (not necessary, however). On Friday, I put it on high for 2-3 hours and it also worked fine.

This recipe is very easy to play with--I have made it with different kinds of beans and with mild salsa, too. You can also put in less cumin if you would like.

This is a super-easy recipe!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Cut Out Those Pictures

As I continue to write, I am discovering that I need a visual to help me describe my characters. This is when I started to cut out pictures of people in magazines or on the internet that look like my characters. In fact, I have started a book that I can pull out and use in the future.

If I see a picture of a person or a place or even a house that inspires me, I cut it out and put it in my book. Each book I work on has it's own binder. I put all the pictures that pertain to that story in the binder and often look at it to stay focused and submerged in my story.

I even researched "man kitchens" once on the internet to get just the right picture of my hero's very masculine kitchen. This little tip of cutting out pictures truly helps my writing. I hope it will help yours.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Jennifer Armintrout's New Lightworld/Darkworld Series

Jennifer Armintrout became a national bestseller with her Blood Ties series about vampires. If you haven't read them, they are The Turning, Possession, Ashes to Ashes, and All Souls' Night.

With her new series she has created a new world order consisting of the Lightworld, Darkworld and the Upworld. The veil between the magical world and the world of humans has been torn and fairies, trolls, demons, dragons, vampires, angels, elves, and all sorts of imaginary creatures now must exist on earth with humans. Of course, they can't all just get along.

Book one of the series, Queene of Light, tells the tale of Ayla, a half faery, half human, who can not escape her role in the ancient prophecy of the Fairy Court.

Child of Darkness and Veil of Shadows are books two and three in the series.

Queene of Light started a bit slowly for me. I had some trouble getting into the story because everything in the world building was new to me. I felt a little distant from it. But once I got to know the characters better, I couldn't put down the book.

The next day I picked up Child of Darkness and read it within a twenty-four hour period. Again I had a little difficulty with the book initially. I didn't particularly feel much sympathy for the main characters. They were showing all their warts and weren't very lovable. But as the action took off and the characters were forced to change, I enjoyed the story more.

I haven't bought Veil of Shadows, yet. But I'm greatly anticipating the conclusion to this unique tale of the Lightworld, Darkworld and Upworld.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mexican Dip

Here is a fantastic recipe from my sister, Sherrell.

Mexican Dip

Layer the following in order:

1 can of refried beans
mix together the following then layer
2 avocados mashed
2 TBSP of lemon juice
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of pepper
mix together the following and layer
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1 pkg of taco seasoning
1 bunch of green onions chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 can of black olives chopped
1 pkg of 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese.

Then decide what you want to scoop the dip out with. You can use tortilla chips. I personally like corn chips. Enjoy!!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Working through the holidays

This is a difficult time of year to keep to the writing. I am easily distracted by baking, shopping, wrapping presents, and various other holiday activities. Plus I seem to find myself curled up on the couch under an afghan voraciously reading romances much of the time.

I have to remind myself that I consider myself a writer. And you know what? Writers write. If I'm not writing during this holiday season, then I'm not much of a writer. I don't want to get to January 1 and find I've made no progress on my WIP in two months.

So, I commit to you and myself to renew my weekly goals and write every week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Moon - Twilight Saga

Happy Friday.

Many of you do not know this little fact about me. I am a HUGE Twilight fan. And, I am not a teenager! :-)

When Twilight was released, I saw the movie about eight times in the theater. Now that New Moon is out, I bet my Twilight buddy and I will see the movie at least twenty times. Over the top you say? Maybe, but for me, it has turned into a whole new form of literary analysis. Let me explain.

Being a writer, it fascinates me when another writer creates characters that people love. This is what happened in the Twilight Series. When I go to the movies, my buddy and I are comparing details from the book to the film. We truly enjoy this. I guess some could view this as an obsession, however, there are worse ways I could be spending my time.

So, the reviews on New Moon. I really enjoyed it, but I felt a little let down at the end. Of course, the director changed some things. At the end, I felt we needed more from Edward and Bella. There wasn't enough of their important conversation like in the book. I actually had to go back home and reread the end of the book to feel complete. Maybe I have read them so many times, that I am too picky. Anyway, I give the movie a thumbs up. I can't wait until Elipse in released in June 2010.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Almond Glazed Sugar Cookies

I got this recipe from a tear-out card in a magazine years ago. It was an advertisement for Land O'Lakes butter. It is one of my favorite cookies to make for Christmas.

I just made a double batch for a celebration of Advent last night. That's why the glaze is tinted blue. :D

Almond Glazed Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 to 5 teaspoons water

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine butter, sugar and almond extract in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining cookie ingredients. Beat until well mixed.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Flatten balls to 1/4 inch thickness with the bottom of a buttered glass dipped in sugar.
  • Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.
  • Stir together all glaze ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk. Decorate cooled cookies with glaze.
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.