Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing you fun and love and happiness in 2012.  Southern tradition holds that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day brings prosperity, so as a public service, I'm posting a recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Salad, which I found many years ago in a cookbook titled Miami Spice.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (canned are acceptable)
2 ribs celery, cut into fine dice
¼ cup finely diced red onion
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, plus 4 sprigs for garnish toss together in a bowl

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toss into bean mixture, chill, eat, drink and be merry!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I found this poem printed in a magazine when I was in my twenties and have always loved it.  With all that Christmas means to the religious, for me, in the final analysis it comes down to a mother, a father and a child.


I doubt He came to chants of angel choirs,
or that His birth was heralded afar.
We charge the tale as afterthought requires,
convert a feeble candle to a star,
bring Eastern kings to worship at the byre. 

More like, some older woman from the inn
sent Joseph to heat water at the fire,
and helped the frightened girl to usher in
the wrinkled, squalling Babe, and tore a clean
old linen sheet to make the swaddling bands;
then, having finished, left the girl serene
and trudged back to her room to wash her hands. 

I find the daily miracles of earth
sufficient portents for a Savior's birth.

     Roland A. Browne

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Detour

The muse is at the mall, probably still shopping (or maybe people watching) and I'm at home, getting ready for the holiday and finding myself doing a lot of crocheting.


Who would have thought that with all the other things to do I'd have picked up the crochet hook and started an afghan?  I'm obsessed!  I love to crochet in cool weather.  The weight of the piece on my lap is warming and I love to see the work progress.  So, crocheting it is, for the time being. 

My friend Sonja says one kind of creativity always sparks another, and so hopefully the sometimes mindless yarn-overs and single crochets will give my brain some free time to work through the story problems and character oopses in Take Me Home.  Then, at the end, I should have an afghan and a book!

Happy writing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Counting Down To Christmas

I'm beginning to get excited about Christmas.  Cards are in the mail.  Wreath is on the door.   I'm through with shopping and getting ready to pull out the decorations. I spent the afternoon making holiday bags out of food boxes from the pantry and packaging up some spiced almonds and pecans I made over the weekend. 

I'm not spending a lot of time writing, although I have morphed Lindsay, the heroine from Take Me Home, from a secretary/assistant to the in-house counsel for hero Shadow's sports agency.  Now, if she leaves the city, she has even more to lose.  Yay!  (Does that sound mean?  No worries.  She gets everything back, and more, when she falls in love.)

How are you preparing for the holidays?  Is your schedule shot to pieces like mine?

Happy writing (and celebrating).

Monday, December 5, 2011

At Loose Ends

What to do?  What to do? 

I'm eager to begin rewrites of my NaNoWriMo novel, Take Me Home, but I'm getting mixed suggestions about how long I should let the book "simmer."  The NaNo folks say wait until March for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month).  Stephen King says give it six weeks. 

I think about the book a lot, even though I'm getting back into reading, crafting and trying to improve my cooking skills.  Maybe since I'm so unsettled about what to do, I should think about it some more. 

So, I will. 

PS to those of you who are thinking of trying the Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa Cake.  I made one today, with pineapple, and before I put in the pan I decided to throw in a cup of blackberries I had lurking in the fridge.  OMG, as the young girls say.  Best thing I ever ate!  Try it!

In the meantime, happy writing.