Friday, May 31, 2013

Lemon Bars: A little of my mom's kitchen

Lemon Bars
(Only two ingredients needed!)

1 box angel food cake mix
2 cans lemon pie filling (42 oz total)

In a large bowl, mix the dry cake mix and both cans of pie filling together. (Mixer not needed. This can easily be done by hand.) Pour into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until starting to brown.
Cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy.

When I was little, my mom was always cooking something, and almost everything was from scratch. As I grew up, I learned a few of her recipes (like gravy from scratch, fried chicken, and pinto beans), but the vast majority of the recipes died with her, because they weren't written down. They were in her head, and didn't have the measurements you see on recipes now. Her measurements were a pinch of this, a smidgen of that, enough liquid until it feels right or looks right. Being a teenager, this made no sense to me because I had to follow a actual recipe, but this was how she learned to cook from her mother. She also learned how to cook on a wood burning stove.

Yes, you read right.

My mom was born into a family of sharecroppers in Arkansas. So while grandma and grandpa were out in the fields, she took care of her younger siblings and either started the cooking or did it all herself. I sometimes wonder if this is why she really didn't want us (her own children) in the kitchen, because she had to do the cooking at a young age.

My mom made it to the ten grade before she quit because she had to help support her family.  I was actually the first generation in her family to graduate from high school and go to college and earn a degree.

By accident or by fate, I came across the above recipe at Merlin's Magickal Mistress. The lemon bars look and taste like one of the treats mom made, and the smell takes me back home for a little bit.

Happy Dance!!!

A little something of mom is back and I wanted to share it with you.

Thank you Judith for posting the recipe at your blog and for giving me permission to repost the recipe.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Editing Tips

When it comes to editing, I think there are a lot of people in the same boat as I am. I can write and I think I'm fairly good at it, even though there are others who will disagree, and that's okay. There are many authors whose writing styles I don't like, but that's neither here nor there.

The boat many of us are in is the editing/revisions boat.

And for some of us, I think it's sinking fast.

When we were in school, e were taught to read and write. We learned grammar rules. We wrote papers on various topics. But when I think back, was I really taught to revise a paper--to edit it for grammar errors?

I don't remember being taught to really, truly edit a paper the way we need to edit a story. It was more topical stuff that I was told to check for to make the paper appear polished. So now, I'm having to teach myself how to edit my manuscripts. Not easy. If you're like me, you're reading various blogs and books on how to edit and what to edit.

Here are a few blogs I've come across that might help you:

10 Functions of the Commas at

11 Compound Word Errors that Might Make You Look Like a Numbskull at

A Proofreading Checklist: What to look for before calling it done at

We're Ready for Revision Pre-Flight: Top 10 Self-Editing Tips at

Monday, May 27, 2013

THANK YOU for Your Service!!!

To everyone, past and present, who has served this country, THANK YOU for your sacrifice.
I also want to say thank you to the families of our soldiers.

Have a safe and happy MEMORIAL DAY!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Superstitions are everywhere

If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you.

I can remember my mother saying this on many occasions, along with other superstitions that were handed down to her from my grandmother and so on. But what are superstitions?

Superstitions are widely held beliefs in a supernatural intervention of sorts that cause certain outcomes to the things people do. Let's face it. Humans are superstitious and misfortunes breed superstitions. We humans are often very desperate to find a reason for our misfortunes or bad luck. By being superstitious, we can hid our mistakes and in turn blame them on luck because it was luck, not the choices we made, that caused the misfortune.

Here are some of the superstitions I grew up hearing.
  • If a black cat crosses your path, it will bring you bad luck.
  • Friday the 13th is a day of bad luck.
  • Walking under a ladder brings you bad luck.
  • Breaking a mirror will bring you seven years of bad luck.
  • A four-leaf clover is a sign of good luck for the whole year.
  • Horseshoes hung over the house doors will bring good luck if the points are up.
  • An owl hooting during the day in front of your house means a death in the family or extended family.
  • If your right hand itches, you will get some money.
  •  If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake in one blow, your wish will come true.
  • A rabbit's foot brings good luck.
  • Wishes on shooting stars will come true.
  • Putting salt on the doorstep will keep evil spirits out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Marketing, PR, and Tweeting

Self-publishing is different for every author. It's based on the choices we make and the paths we ultimately decide to follow. And even though the stigma of being self-published is not what it used to be , it still doesn't mean we don't have standards. If fact, we must look and act like professional writers in order to be taken seriously.

Check out 12 Things for New Indies to Avoid at

I literally stumbled across this article today while looking for something else, but that's the way it usually happens. The tips are really great. Even if you're not new to self-publishing, this article will give you a few things to think about and revise in your publishing journey.

Check out PR and Marketing for Self-Publishing: Do's and Don't at

This article has some good advice about PR and marketing, hence the title. LOL. For many self-published authors and those of us looking at self-publishing, PR and marketing are areas we don't have experience in dealing with, but are crucial if we want to succeed. In other words, if we don't learn how to market and promote ourselves, our books will not sale, and that's what we don't want to happen.

Here are some other articles you might be interested in:

Marketing for Dummies (and Indies) at This is a comprehensive list of places for marketing yourself and your writing.

Using Twitter as a writer and how I've grown my Twitter network at

100 Things for Author's to Tweet About at

In a lot of ways, Twitter scares me. I don't want to be the pushy author who only promotes her books. That's just boring and not cool.  All three of the above articles are interesting and have links to other articles that are helpful, and have a lot more tips. Tips are always a good thing.

The last three articles are a three part series from about using Twitter.

The Beginner's Guide to Social Media: Twitter and Retweeting

The Beginner's Guide to Social Media: Part 2 Twitter and Retweeting

The Beginner's Guide to Social Media: Part 3 Twitter Jail and Twitter Lists

I've learned a lot from the articles--ideas I want to incorporate into what I'm doing.

Dream big and keep writing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A little "Practical Magic"

"There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender for luck. Fall in love whenever you can."
--Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Monday, May 20, 2013

I am a dreamer. I am a writer.

I am a dreamer.

I believe the eyes are the window to the soul.

I believe in the possibility of other worlds.

I believe we will reach the stars and never stop.

I believe there are things that go bump in the night, whether it's good or bad.

I believe myths have an origin in reality. You just have to dig through the fiction until you reach the reality.

I believe there's another person living in each of us. Sometimes we show this person to the world, but most of the time we keep that part of us hidden.

I believe good and evil resides in all of us. We make the choice as to which we let out.

I believe we control our destiny.

I am a writer.