A Little Something on How I Write

Good morning, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week. We’ve got a cold running through the house, but gratefully we’re nearing the end of it.

Today I’m going to tell you all a little something about how I write. There are lots of organizational systems out there that are meant to help authors, but I’m very much stuck in my ways. I am a notebook kind of girl.

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The first thing I do when plotting a novel is: I write my ideas down. I have a whole section of my notebooks reserved for future plot ideas. And they’re generally quite vague in details, just a sentence or two. For example: for my second novel my line was “Previously best friends, he is spy wanting to protect her, she feels abandoned, villains threaten her and force him to keep her save.” Then the more I think about the plot, the more details I put in. I find photos for inspiration, think of names, and then I begin to write character outlines.

My character outlines are generally a page long and consist of my hero and heroine’s age, appearance, habits, background, family, scent, sounds, likes, and dislikes, etc.

From there, I begin writing a general plot outline so that I know where the story is going to take me. This is never a ‘set-in-stone’ outline; I find that mine changes quite a bit when my characters take form… they like to lead me in different directions unexpectedly.

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Because my hero and heroine change my plot so frequently, once I write a much more detailed plot outline, I can only write one to two pages in advance. Only once I have typed the pages will I know for certain where to go next. For that reason I type and write notes alternately.

Once I have my detailed plot notes I sit down to type. During the week I have difficulty finding time, as with four children, my days are filled. My eldest is in Kindergarten, so my days aren’t as hectic as they once were, but with trips to and from school with my other three children, I am still quite busy. Thankfully, my husband has been so good to me and gives me time on the weekends to dedicate to writing. That is when I hide away in my office, curl up with a blanket and my laptop and get to working!

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I think that is enough about my writing for today. If you have any questions about my process, please feel free to comment! I would be pleased to answer any questions you have.

Stay tuned for another blog about how I write focusing on research and the ever-challenging historical timeline!

Thank you all for reading! Have a great Wednesday!

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The Attempt at Coleslaw

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m writing about my attempt at making coleslaw for my pulled chicken sandwiches. We had never had the sandwiches with coleslaw, but the thought of the possibility was always there.

Naturally, I searched Pinterest and found what I was searching for.

This is the recipe I followed:

– 1 bag classic coleslaw (I used 1/2 of a head of cabbage and shredded carrots)
– 1 cup mayonnaise
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (we did not add this, as Hubby is allergic to celery)
In retrospect, I realize that I did not chop the cabbage fine enough. It still turned out tasty, but next time I’m definitely chopping it finer, or perhaps shredding it, as well.
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You will probably notice the hand in this photo. It was my 4 year old son asking “What are you doing with this stuff?” He didn’t give me the chance to explain, he just ran back to the living room.
These are the directions:
1. Mix ingredients. Ta da!
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*The recipe called for the mixture to be refrigerated for several hours before serving, but I did not have the luxury of time, nor had I given this any forethought, so I served it right away.
This is when I made my sandwiches and added the coleslaw inside. I am not ordinarily a coleslaw ‘person’, but when it came to this particular meal, I greatly enjoyed the crunch and fresh taste of the coleslaw with the savoury pulled chicken. This was a hit!
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Thank you so much for reading! Stay tuned for my upcoming blog that looks at how I write. Happy Wednesday!

Oh, the Pandas!

Hi everyone! It’s going to be a quick blog post today. I just wanted to share a few photos of the panda gifts that I’ve received since signing with Pandamoon Publishing!

This is a teddy that my Mom bought me while she was on vacation. She heard the news via text from me while she was away. This little guy sits in my office, right where I can see him while I’m writing.

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This is a glass that my Mom had specially made by the very talented Angela Suzanne Designs as a Christmas gift for me. I love it! It was so well made, I am thrilled! This beautiful glass sits next to the panda teddy on a shelf in my office.

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This is a sleep mask that my publisher very thoughtfully made for me (and all the other new Pandas) as a Christmas gift. I absolutely love it!

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I am so happy to be a Panda. This year is certainly going to be an exciting one!

Thank you all for reading! Stay tuned for the next few blog posts! I’ll be writing about 1. my experience with trying to make coleslaw for my pulled chicken sandwiches and 2. a look at how I write.

Potato Patty Mistake

Hello blog readers! It has been some time since I’ve written a blog about food, so I thought I would share with you a big blunder I’d made a few days ago.

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I (mostly my husband) made a special meal of steak, lobster, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. It was delicious! We did, however, have plenty of leftover mashed potatoes (as is with most meals that includes this particular side dish).

A day or two after the New Year dawned, I decided to do something with the mashed potatoes. I had thought I’d seen an idea for potato patties somewhere on Pinterest, and I – foolishly – thought I could make them on my own without a recipe or any reference guide whatsoever. Yes. Foolish.

Alas, this is my attempt at potato patties.

Ingredients:

– Leftover mashed potatoes
– Butter/margarine (salted or unsalted, the choice is yours)

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The directions I created:

1. Heat pan and put a chunk of butter in.

2. Once butter has melted and is bubbling, scoop mashed potato leftovers into pan with ice-cream scooper. Flatten with “flipper”.

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3. Wait for a few minutes… or until you’re able to slide the flipper beneath the patty without it all falling apart. This is very difficult.

4. Flip patties and cook other side.

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5. Serve.

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Final thoughts: In retrospect, I think the potatoes should be on the dry side and possibly thicker. We like our mashed potatoes to be chunky yet moist, so we add a lot of butter in when we’re making it. My thought is that if the potatoes are thicker and dryer, it’d be easier to flip them. I also think that adding flavour wouldn’t be amiss. These just tasted like our mashed potatoes. Nothing special. Honestly, I might as well have simply put the leftovers in the microwave and had them like that. This was a complete waste of time.

Thank you for reading! Hope you’re all having a great New Year!