Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday News

Today is my first day of school! Starting tonight, I’m taking an introductory Finnish class one evening a week. Why Finnish? My grandmother immigrated from Fnland and was so determined to learn to speak English, she didn’t teach her children or grandchildren to speak Finnish. She was one determined woman, and I loved and admired her for it, but I’ve always wished I’d had the chance to learn her first language. So after many years, today’s the first day of that journey.

Last Saturday I presented a workshop—The Hero’s Journey: Creating Characters Hollywood Style—to the Vancouver Island Chapter of Romance Writers of America. I used one of my favorite romantic comedies, Love Actually, as an example of how screenwriters use archetypes to create dynamic characters. I received lots of wonderful and positive feedback, which is always great, and as always when doing something like this, I learned a lot while putting the workshop together.

Can you believe we’re into autumn and it’s almost October? This weekend I’ll be taking part in the BC Women’s Show in Victoria, BC. Then I’m heading to the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle—October 9 to 11—and am so looking forward to connecting with a group of other writers. Busy days!

Until next time,

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Week with the Wet Noodle Posse

The Wet Noodle Posse wraps up its Free Falling theme on Wednesday, and then we’re into October with a new theme—To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn. Here’s what we’re blogging about this week:

Monday: Guest Blogger Sandy James—“Free Falling”

Tuesday: Guest Blogger Mary Eason—Topic TBA

Wednesday: Merrillee Whren—“Falling for Niagra Falls”

Thursday: Introduction to October’s To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn theme

Friday: Q&A Day—How do you reward yourself after a mammogram?
Hope to see you there!

Until next time,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Small Town Quirks

I'm blogging today with the Harlequin American Romance Authors about small towns that celebrate quirky holidays. Hope to see you there!

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday News

Exciting news to share this week! I have a title and publication date for my next Harlequin American Romance! Firefighter Daddy, the first in a two-book series set in San Francisco, will be a July 2010 release.

On Saturday, September 26 I’m presenting a workshop, The Hero’s Journey: Creating Characters Hollywood Style, for the Vancouver Island Chapter of Romance Writers of America in Nanaimo, BC. Other presenters are author Susan Lyons and literary agent Sally Harding from The Cooke Agency. Click here for details.

Last week I forgot to post the covers for this month’s four wonderful new reads from Harlequin American Romance:

Doctor Daddy by Jacqueline Diamond
Once a Cop by Lisa Childs
The Ranger’s Secret by Rebecca Winters
A Wedding for Baby by Laura Marie Altom
You'll find the covers here on the eHarlequin website. Happy reading!

Until next time,

Monday, September 21, 2009

This Week with the Wet Noodle Posse

Here’s what the Wet Noodle Posse is up to this week:

Monday: Diane Gaston—Starting a New Manuscript

Tuesday: Theresa Ragan—Topic TBA

Wednesday: Delle Jacobs—Topic TBA

Thursday: MJ Fredrick—Favorite Fall Snacks

Friday: Q&A Day—How do you make deadlines work for you rather than against you?
Until next time,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Fun—Let It Snow!

Film sets fascinate me, and I’ve always thought it would be great to be part of a film crew. I’m sure the job has plenty of less-than-exciting moments, but there would also be days when you’d get to turn summer into winter. How much fun would that be?

This week I happened upon a film set in a quaint little neighborhood square where the crew had done just that.

As you can see from the bystanders in shorts and tanktops, it was a lovely late-summer day, complete with snowbanks and a gazebo fit for Santa!

The set is for a TV mini-series called Seven Deadly Sins, starring Eric Close (Without a Trace), Dreama Walker (Gossip Girl) and Greyston Holt (Durham County), and set for release sometime in 2010. I hope I get to see it.

Until next time,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Food for Thought—Baked Brie

On Sunday I hosted a potluck farewell party for a friend who is moving away. I love potluck because:
a) the food is always so interesting, and
b) it’s a lot easier for the hostess!
I served baked brie, one of my favorite appetizers. At least one guest asked for the recipe, which I posted here on the blog last December, but it’s so good, it bears repeating.

Baked Brie

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
8-ounce round of Brie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the Brie in a baking dish and set aside. You can take the rind off, but it is edible so I leave it on.

Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and cover them with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes, until soft. Drain well.

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Saute tomatoes for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, still stirring constantly. Stir in the basil, parsley and balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.

Cover the Brie with the tomato mixture and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is soft and warm, about 10 minutes.

Serve with crackers and a thinly sliced bagette. The warm cheese spreads easily and the topping is mouth-wateringly delicious.


Until next time,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday News

Good news on several fronts.

I’m beyond happy to report that I have finally submitted the book that has been stalled for far too long. While I wait for revisions--and yes, there will surely be revisions--I'll continue with the second San Francisco book. The goal this week is to write and revise and at least one chapter.

It’s been a good long while since I attended a writers’ conference so I signed up for the Emerald City Writers’ Conference in Seattle next month. I’m looking forward to being inspired and reconnecting with friends.

On the home front, one of my cats had surgery on Saturday and I now have a two-times-a-day struggle to get antibiotics and pain meds into her. The surgery went well. Administering the medication, not so much. She’s a feisty little thing and we’ll both be glad when this is over.

Until next time,

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Week with the Wet Noodle Posse

This week The Posse continues free falling with the following blog posts:

Monday: Dr. Debra Holland—"Song Titles as Inspiration"

Tuesday: MJ Fredrick—"Falling in Love, Again and Again"

Wednesday: Maureen Hardegree—"Top Five Things College Freshmen Shouldn't Say to Their English Instructors"

Thursday: Maureen Hardegree—"Buy One Get One Free and Other Coupon Deals"

Friday: Q&ADay— What was your favorite after school snack as a kid?
Until next time,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Food for Thought—A Very Grown-up Dessert

I recently came across this recipe in a magazine and of course I had to try it.

Blackberries in Champagne

1 quart fresh blackberries
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
1 cup chilled sparkling white wine
fresh tarragon or mint
Wash the blackberries, put them in a medium-sized bowl, sprinkle with sugar and toss. Pour the wine over the berries, give a gentle stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Divide the berries and bubbly among four dessert dishes and garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon or mint.

Super easy, very elegant, and a light and lovely dessert to finish off an adult dinner party.

Be creative with dessert dishes. Small fruit nappies are an obvious choice, but footed sherbet glasses would be great, as would large-ish brandy snifters, as long as the opening is large enough to comfortably accommodate a spoon.

The recipe I saw called for tarragon but I think mint works better. I haven’t tried this with raspberries or strawberries, but I’m sure either would work just as well.


Until next time,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Letters vs. Email

I’m blogging with the Wet Noodle Posse today about my love of the good old-fashioned handwritten letter. Please drop by if you get a chance.

Until next time,

Monday, September 7, 2009

This Week with the Wet Noodle Posse

Free Falling is the Wet Noodle Posse’s September theme and we have a whole range of topics lined up, from fresh starts to letting go, writing of all kinds, autumn themes, etc. I’ll be blogging on Thursday, September 10 and I hope you join me.

Monday: Diane Gaston—"A New Start"

Tuesday: Terry McLaughlin—"Writing: A Hobby Out of Control"

Wednesday: Maureen Hardegree—"Letting Go"

Thursday: Lee McKenzie—"Falling Out of Touch"

Friday: Q&A— How do you stop yourself from editing when writing your first draft?
Until next time,

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Food for Thought—Breakfast Smoothies

I used to be one of those people who skipped breakfast, even though nutritionists say it’s the most important meal of the day, and that it should include protein. I’ve never been a big fan of packaged cereal and toast or other breakfast-type pastries, and I have always equated protein with meat, which is not something I usually want first thing in the morning. It’s taken some retraining on my part, but I am finally a breakfast eater. Now most mornings start with a bowl of oatmeal or a scrambled egg and a breakfast smoothie.

Lee’s Good-for-You Breakfast Smoothie

1 banana
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)
1/2 scoop whey powder
1 to 2 teaspoons flax seed oil (high in Omega-3 fatty acid)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk

Whirl everything in the blender and enjoy.
I buy vanilla-flavored whey powder that has no artificial sweetener. The berries are high in antioxidants, and the whey powder and oil are high in proteins. Omega-3 is supposed to reduce cholesterol and coronary disease, improve the way we respond to stress, and even fight certain cancer cells.

A smoothie is also great for busy people who don’t have time to sit down and eat breakfast. It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare, and can be consumed while getting dressed and driving to the office. And it’s delicious!

So no more excuses for skipping breakfast.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sew Cool

Every once in a while my husband and I will spend a Saturday or Sunday morning going to garage sales. Once in a while that old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” proves to be true, and sometimes one man’s trash turns out to be everyone else’s trash, too.

A couple of Sundays ago, we scored this great find—a hand-crank Jones sewing machine for ten dollars! The patent date is March 29, 1893, the patent number is 6668, and the serial number is 13679. After doing a little Internet research, we believe this machine was made circa 1894 or 1895.

It has lots of ornate decals, including a worn but still lovely rose design on the bed. It still seems to work nicely, although it’s hard to imagine sewing with one hand while turning the crank with the other, and there were no bobbins with it so we haven’t actually been able to try it. Still, it’ll make an interesting display piece, don’t you think?

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday News—The Blogger Is Back

After a busy summer of writing and working and catching up on life in general, I am back and blogging.

On September 26 I’m presenting a workshop—“The Hero’s Journey: Creating Characters Hollywood Style”—at the Turn the Page workshop sponsored by the Vancouver Island Chapter of Romance Writers of America. There will also be workshops by literary agent Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency and author Susan Lyons.

Free Falling is the Wet Noodle Posse’s theme this month. On Thursday, September 10 I’ll be blogging about Falling out of Touch. Here’s this week’s schedule:

Monday: Maureen Hardegree— Pet Names

Tuesday: Introduction to September’s Free Falling Theme

Wednesday: Maureen Hardegree— The Perfect Sack Lunch

Thursday: Maureen Hardegree— The Best Things in Life Are Free

Friday: Q&A Day
I’ll also be resurrecting Friday Food for Thought here at The Writer Side. Haven’t yet decided what September’s theme will be, but it’ll be yummy!

Until next time,