Bringing It Home. Forever.

This past Saturday I witnessed something that was I was starting to think might never happen. (When I could stand to watch the drama, that is. There were a few moments that I thought Glen would wind up as a grease spot on the driveway.) This was a milestone in our relocation to the country 3 1/2 years ago. Yes, yes, we moved into the “forever home” in that time, and that was huge, of course. But this event marked the culmination of everything Glen has been working toward thus far in making us comfortable here. Okay, in making me comfortable. He still has to finish relocating his welding shop and all of his equipment out here. But as far […]

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Giving Thanks

Greetings, Readers! I hope the Americans among you are enjoying a wonderful holiday, and that the rest of you are blessed with delightful November weather. Everyone, I pray, is blessed with good things to eat and good people to eat them with in this turning of the year. That’s what holidays and cold snaps are for, after all. Glen and I are grateful to be luxuriating in all of the above. Gratitude, in fact, is so beneficial for the body and the soul that I try to be mindful of my blessings every day. Some days, of course, the wheels fall off the bus and gratitude gets shoved aside. That’s life, unfortunately. But lately I’ve been feeling especially blessed and […]

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Cheddar Spread: A Recipe

Before we get started, I hope everyone had a frightful, delightful Halloween! Here is the jack-o’-lantern I carved for us. I made the mouth smaller than I had drawn it to maintain the shell’s structural integrity. Turns out there was a bit of rot inside. We can’t have Jack collapsing in on himself! Now on to food matters. The cocktail hour is my favorite part of the day. Glen is almost always home by then and we can relax and catch up on how we’ve each spent our time since he left for work. If I’ve already made a start on dinner, it’s baking in the oven or simmering on the stove. We’ll put our feet up and sit back […]

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Of Pumpkins and “Jack-o’-Bone”

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who told me how much they enjoyed last week’s 500-word flash fiction, “One Evening at Happy Hour.” Gracias, folks! It was wonderful to hear that and I appreciate my readers so much! (If you haven’t read it yet, find it here.) Now, unfathomable as it is, we find ourselves almost at the end of October. 2018 has one palsied foot in the grave. And as we careen crazily toward 2019 as if we’re riding the Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags, I ask myself (again) how the year got away from me so quickly. I’m pretty sure I was here and awake for more than two thirds of it, so how […]

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Just for Fun: Flash Fiction

The Realm Below, book 2 in the Space Between series, continues to chug along on its course to a January 2019 publication date. The significant hurdle of the first copy edit is cleared now, and what a relief that it turned out to be no big deal! My meticulous copy editor Danylle had so few changes that it took me less than a day to go through them. (Which means that The Daughter, my first editor, did her job well. Thank you, Katie!) There are, of course, important tasks still to accomplish before January, but thankfully, most of them won’t be done by me, since I have no clue how to do them. (And don’t want to know. My head […]

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Gettin’ Judge-y with It

The reference section of my home library holds some of my most treasured and depended-upon books. This hefty volume is my trusty Webster’s dictionary—the Third New International, Unabridged version. It lives in my office right beside my desk. I have a number of dictionaries of the English language, as well as dictionaries of other sorts . . . . . . which are all very useful in their own ways. But the Webster’s, so full of fascinating tidbits, is the one I turn to most often. [I had no idea that “isinglass” is first defined as a very pure type of gelatin originally made from the air bladders of Russian sturgeons. Probably another reason those sturgeons are in decline.] Just […]

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Ceviche: A Recipe

When I was a teenager, I lived in Panama for several months. Panama City, the capital, is a coastal city with the Pacific Ocean at its door. I’ve never lived anywhere else quite like it. Seafood was abundant and spectacularly fresh, and the city had countless open-air cafés that served it. I still remember the evenings I spent in those cafés: the lively sparkle of city lights, the ocean smell and traffic fumes mingling with the savory aromas of grilling fish and beef, the garlicky chimichurri sauce often on the table as an accompaniment, the endless stream of pedestrians passing by or standing in noisy groups, laughing and flirting, moving to the beat of loud music. In these cafés, eating […]

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Revisiting the *ick* Sardine Pineapple

In the interest of launching The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis by the end of 2018, I’m finishing the last of The Daughter’s suggested edits to the book. I still have a few days’ worth of work to go. So to free up some time, I’m rerunning "What the Cat Wouldn't Eat," a favorite post from March of 2017, written soon after we moved into our “forever home.” In two weeks I’ll post an easy, delicious recipe for ceviche. (I made it yesterday morning and ate it for dinner last night. Yum!) In the meantime, cast your eyes over what was surely no one’s favorite party hors d’oeuvre, the Sardine Pineapple: What the Cat Wouldn’t Eat Chicken and Dumplings. […]

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My Brain is Toast. Crunchy, Charred, Toasty Toast.

The twelve-step countdown has begun. After 2 weeks of long days, I wrapped up the first three of the steps I’d outlined in the previous post. The Realm Below is now much closer to publication. It was two weeks of minimal cooking, minimal laundry (oh, wait—I swore I’d never do laundry again. Dang it!), minimal errands, minimal everything except working on the book. 1. Starting as soon as I finish this blog post, I read the printed manuscript for consistency, continuity, loose ends, etc. DONE 2. I start again at the beginning with the document on my laptop, doing a line-by-line edit, correcting typos, simplifying sentence structure and fixing any problems I found in step 1. This of course means […]

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The Realm Below: Coming Soon(-ish) to a Bookstore Near You!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure and a fragile hold on reality that I inform you that, by the time you read this post, Book 2 in the Space Between series will be in the editing phase. A few minutes ago I finished typing “STILL NOT THE END” at the bottom of page 245 and sent the manuscript of The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis off to Glen for printing. And now, just as it did before The Space Between was published, it’s dawning on me that the writing is the easy part. Oh, sure, there’s no question that writing is hard. Over the past weeks of intense work and terrible sleep patterns, my mind has suffered […]

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The Machete: A Cocktail (and still REALLY good!)

Intro: As I mentioned two weeks ago, today’s post will be a rerun. Though I’m making great strides (121,000+ words and counting!), I still need some time to finish writing The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis. Especially after the delay caused by the left hand vs. demonic clothes dryer snafu. So today, in this post from May 2016, I’m revisiting the cocktail I accidentally invented due to a lack of the proper ingredients. And it’s a good one. I get requests for it when out-of-towners like The Daughter and Glen’s sister Denise come to visit. We all love it, and it’s ideal for this sultry weather. Saharan dust? Who cares? Wash it down with a Machete! Here you go: […]

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Crunch Time

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking over the past couple of months, as you could probably tell from the crawfish, the ice cream with chocolate shell topping, the vichyssoise and the Caesar Salad of the last four consecutive posts. (And let’s not forget the Sweet Batter Bread!) Sometimes that nesting, nurturing mood strikes me, and when it does, there’s no telling what will come rolling out of the kitchen. The house will smell delicious, there’ll be homemade bread in the toaster and something savory roasting in the oven or bubbling on the stove. Well, it’s a good thing I got to indulge those kitchen cravings when I did, because now my cooking is on hold. Twelve days ago I […]

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