First Readers, Fast Writing and The Bloggy Blah, Blah, Blahs

Today, I’m at the Scribes talking about the The Bloggy Blah, Blah, Blahs. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, stop by and share your tips for the blogging blues.

Also, I’m a guest at “How to Write Fast“. If you’re looking for advice on how to write more quickly, this is the blog to visit.

In other news, Mystic Storm is finally in the hands of my most valued first readers. Yay!! For those of you following along, this is Zephyr’s story. At the end of Mystic Ink, I left him in a bit of a pickle after the Fates punished him for interfering in a Hero’s Journey.

Finally!

I did it. Last Sunday I finished the draft of Mystic Storm. But the work isn’t over yet. Before I can share Zephyr’s story with my trusted first readers, I have to read through it and make sure there aren’t any gaping plot holes.

In the meantime, I’m at the 7 Scribes today  – We Are Family.

Stop Thief!! Beating the Time Bandits

Hi everyone,

While I work my fingers off to finish the first draft of Mystic Storm, you can find me over at the Seven Scribes where I’m sharing tips for beating the Time Bandits –

Stop Thief!! Beating the Time Bandits.

What’s a Woozle?

This past weekend, to celebrate my oldest son’s birthday, we all went to The Big E. For those of you not from New England, the Big E stands for Eastern States Exposition and it’s our great regional state fair!

There are tons of sellers hocking wares like homemade crafts, beef jerky, leather, furniture and enough fried food to clog your arteries just by standing too close. Fried butter or fried jelly beans, anyone? Hubby ate a crazy burger – a bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between a glazed donut (and I totally forgot to take a picture!!)

There are also “as seen on TV” type gadgets and lovely wares like awesome hand-painted ceramics.

And they have a fantastic miniature circus museum. No surprise that only Younger Son and I went inside while Hubby and Older Son sourly waited outside.

They have a parade which included Mardi-Gras floats and colorful beads. Yes, I cried when the dalmatian went by.

So what does this have to do with woozles? The main reason we attended the Big E this year was to surprise Older Son with tickets to see Jeff Dunham!  One of his most famous puppets is Peanut the Woozle. While I don’t have any photos of Jeff on stage (because we were too far and flash photos were not allowed), I do have a photo of the stage.

And Older Son came away with a shirt from his favorite character- Walter!

Galloping Goulash!

I’m coming off a week of answering loads of  interview questions for an upcoming blog tour, so I’m taking a break from talking about writing. Instead, I want to talk food.

Okay, I know it’s still summer, but this is a great, easy recipe for a rainy day. Especially if you have loads of tomatoes sitting around. And fall weather will be here soon enough so you can save it until then.

It’s around this time of year that I start getting sick of eating “summer” food because we don’t want to heat up the house. This is one of my older son’s favorite recipes. I don’t mind making it for him since it’s pretty easy and cooks up fast without me hovering over the stove too long.

I improvised this recipe for goulash. I know there are numerous versions of this, but it’s the basic American version with ground beef, sauce, and pasta.

Here’s what you need:

1 – 1.5 lbs of ground beef

1 box of shaped pasta (choose any shape that floats your boat)

1 onion sliced  or chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes with basil & oregano (or if you have fresh tomatoes use those instead)

2 can of tomato sauce (the 14 oz size)

Grated Parmesan cheese

If have them, I also add in fresh oregano, basil and parsely. If not, dried is okay too.

Cook as follows:

1. Brown the ground beef with the onions in a large skillet until onions are soft or meat is no longer pink

2. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, bring to a low bubble (not boil!), lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 -25 minutes.

3. Boil water and cook pasta  (use the al dente directions so it doesn’t get mushy). Drain pasta. I usually take out about a bowl full because and leave it plain. Older son snaps it up. I find that a whole box is too much and absorbs all the sauce. So use less and add more later if you want.

4. Add the pasta to the sauce/meat and blend. If you have fresh herbs, add them now. I let that simmer for about 10 minutes (or the time it takes for the pasta to soak up some sauce).

Right before serving, I add in the grated cheese to taste. Enjoy.

If you have a moment, please stop by the Scribes where I talk about using the 5 senses – Scents and Sensibility.

Who has a favorite go-to recipe?  And anyone else ready for a change in season?