Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017


You build on failure.
You use it as a stepping stone.
Close the door on the past.
You don't try to forget the mistakes,
but you don't dwell on it.
You don't let it have 
any of your energy,
or any of your time,
or any of your space.
   --Johnny Cash

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Running on Caffeine--Cover Reveal, Comfort Food and More

We are having an odd cool front this weekend. The temperatures this morning are in the 50s, but tomorrow we will be back in the 70s and 80s. That's Texas weather for you. LOL

Swim lessons are progressing. I managed to kick off the wall and swim a few feet underwater. It's kind of funny that I was able to do that because I haven't mastered the "deadman float" (face down floating). I have been using fins and a kickboard to do laps in the pool and learning to keep my face in the water and blow bubbles. Just a few weeks ago, I couldn't even do that.  I know my baby steps probably sound silly to most people, especially those who know how to swim, but I'm proud of myself. I'm getting more comfortable in the water and figuring out how to coordinate my body in this new environment. Also, the exercise is great for me!

I'm working to finish Surviving Ivy this week. This is definitely the longest of any of the Bryant Station Curves books. I'm tentatively setting the new release date as May 23.

I have the book cover and am thinking about having a cover reveal on May 10. If you're interested in hosting a book cover reveal on your blog, website, etc. send me an email.

Comfort food
We all have foods that we turn to make us feel better when we are down. More often than not, the comfort foods we pick are things our parents made for us. Chicken and dumplings is one such dish for me, and when the weather starts getting colder, it's one of the first dishes I think about cooking.

Over the years, I've cooked a lot of different foods. Two of my current comfort foods are dirty rice made with ground beef  and chicken casserole.

The chicken casserole is one of my favorites. Many years ago, a friend gave me the recipe. I don't know where she got it from, and different versions can be found on the Internet. It is definitely a comfort food for me, and leftovers are even better the next day.

Here's the version I make.

You will need:
2 large cans of premium white meat chicken
1 regular size bad of Doritos (nacho flavor) crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of diced green chili
1 can of evaporated milk or about 1 cup of regular milk (I've used both with no difference.)
1 small sour cream
about 2 cups of shredded cheese (your choice or mixed)
salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

Mix all ingredients, except for about 1 cup of shredded cheese, in a large bowl. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9 inch greased baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Back in a 350F oven for about 20-30 minutes. I usually leave it in there until the cheese on top starts to crisp.

Add a salad and there's the meal.

It's quick and easy. And the best part is that most of the ingredients are things that I already have in my pantry and refrigerator.

Like I said before, I don't know where my friend got the original recipe. When she gave it to me, she recited it from memory. And there are a lot of different versions on the Internet.

I hope you enjoy.

Monday, April 17, 2017


The great fun in my life
has been getting up every morning
and rushing to the typewriter
because some new idea
has hit me.
   --Ray Bradbury

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017


The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or touched--
they must be felt with the heart.
   --Helen Keller

Friday, April 7, 2017

Random Thoughts: Raising the Roof

I feel like our "apartment" is under siege. The powers that be decided it was time to replace the room on our unit. We barely got a 24-hour notice. I ended up having to take off early from the day job to help DH put up plastic to protect all of our stuff.  Our roof is flat. The ceiling is made up of boards that hold up the foam and plastic roofing material (it has a name, but I'm not sure what it is). So the plastic went up on the inside to contain as much of the dirt and other stuff that comes down when the roofing people remove all of the other stuff. And on top of that, they are replacing the rotten wood. The ground around the building is a mess too.

They've stayed the past two days until about 8:30 p.m., and it has been noisy. Hopefully Friday will be the last day, and then the fun begins.

We have to carefully take down the plastic and clean up. Without the plastic, the clean up would be worse. Every room has plastic on the ceiling, including the closets. My office is temporarily off limits until the plastic comes down and everything is put back into its place.

The kitties are not having a good time either. During the day, they've been hiding under my bed. They finally come out once I get home. Mommy will protect them from the monsters. Smokie, my gray tabby girl, is staying right with me as I write. She needs some attention and lots of pets.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be the last day for the roof work.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, 
and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do
 what you believe is great work. 
And the only way to do great work 
is to love what you do. 
If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. 
Don't settle. 
As with all matters of the heart, 
you'll know when you find it.
   --Steve Jobs

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Random Thoughts: Swimming and Writing

Most people learn to swim at a very early age, but I never learned. My DH knows how to swim, and I made sure the child learned how to swim, but I never took the time to learn.

Growing up, swimming was not on the list of things to do, so I never had the opportunity to learn. My first experience with swimming was during my senior year in high school. On our senior trip, some of the guys thought I was joking when I said I couldn't swim. They threw me into the deep end of the pool. One of the guys realized I wasn't joking and pulled me out. It was  a long time before I even had the courage get into the shallow end of a pool.

Three weeks ago, I had my first swimming lesson. My instructor started with the basics of just learning to relax and float. By the end of my second lesson I was starting to float without any help. My third lesson was today. I started floating without holding on to the edge of the pool, and I actually managed to swim the backstroke. It was only a few strokes at time and it wasn't perfect, but I did it!

I need to disappear in to the writing cave. Surviving Ivy (Bryant Station Curves #8) is close to being finished. March was a tough month for me. I had some severe sinus problems that made one side of my face hurt. It's getting better, but it threw my writing schedule off.  But I'm getting back on track.