Yaaay! Hooray! 😀 Dr. Tanya is bringing back the #5Things prompt. Here are my 5 fave food combos with my very own photos…
1. Seafood & Pasta
2. Peanut Butter & Blackberry Preserves
3. Lox & Bagel
4. Sweet Potato & Broccoli
5. Grilled Cheese & Tomato
I know you were expecting me to have cake or cupcakes, or maybe cookies or pie, and here I go posting normal food, so like what’s up with that? Welp… There’s no combo with cake. Cake stands alone. Same with the others. Sorry, but I’m not a fan of ruining my desserts by glopping ice cream over them. Nothing against ice cream! Love ice cream. But it’s also a stand-alone.
These are from Melanie, who got them from Fandango, in twoseparate posts, but she reworded some, and then added more to make a better number, as you do, so are they her questions or his questions?
Let me know what you decide, okay? In the meantime, imma answer the questions…
1. Okay, you write a blog, so do you also play word games of any kind?
Yes, all of them. Not at the same time, of course, but if it’s a word game, I’ve likely tried it, or some variation. Right now, on my phone, I have Wordscapes, which has pretty backgrounds and relaxing sounds. It’s too easy though.
2. Do you have any other type of creative outlet besides writing? Art, sewing, photography, jewelry making, etc.?
I’ve done all of that. I used to love baking and cake decorating. I also did lots of needlework pictures and pillows. I tried to start a tee shirt painting biz but got a hurty wrist and had to stop. My hands are achy lately, so I haven’t been doing any crafts at all. 😢
3. Do you listen to anything while you write or does it need to be quiet?
I prefer quiet.
4. Are you an avid book reader?
I go in phases. This year I’ve only read 19 books so far.
5. Name a country you would love to visit if the world wasn’t shut down because of the virus.
6. Have you ever written a poem about someone and gave it to them?
Yes, as jokes and seriously. I’ve also written loads of poems about people that I haven’t shown them. Here’s my favorite one.
7. Is there an author (living or dead) that you would love to sit down and talk to for an hour?
8. Have you ever met a fellow blogger or interacted off WordPress?
I’ve met a few.
9. Cake or pie?
Yes, please… coconut cake / cherry pie.
10. Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning / tea the rest of the day.
11. What is the strangest movie you have ever seen?
When I was 11, my parents took me to see Greaser’s Palace in NYC, which traumatized me. I still think about it occasionally.
12. What lessons have you learnt from C-19?
Nothing, except to double down on what I was already inclined to do.
13. What values do you live by?
Family first. Prioritize work and my peace of mind. Try to tune out the negativity and craziness of other people.
14. What is your favorite movie?
15. Whom have you loved unconditionally?
Only my children.
16. Your dreams in life?
Happy, healthy children. Being financially secure. Writing a lot!
17. Do you like citrus flavoring?
Yes to lemon and lime. Not a fan of orange usually. Pineapple is good with coconut.
18. What is your remedy for the hiccups?
Holding my breath.
19. Are you lucky?
I think “luck” happens when I’m careful to avoid doing stupid things. So, it depends on the day… 🤣🍀
I have a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips here… I mentioned that I considered adding them to my banana bread last week but decided not to. Maybe I should have. The BB was tasty but ultimately boring ~ I ended up throwing half of it out. That was a lot of BB for one person to finish. I think I would have eaten more of it if I had put in the chips.
On the other hand, I still have an unopened bag of chocolate chips! And I also have a whole bunch of flour. Apparently, flour is as hard to find as toilet paper now, but I bought my flour before the SHTF, as they say. But the thing is… I’m still only one person here… one person who does not want to stuff her face with a whole batch of nummy chocolate chip cookies, or even half a batch. I don’t want to emerge from isolation as Fatty Van Wrinkle who can’t fit into her clothes. 🤣
Speaking of chocolate chip cookies, did you see that the Doubletree has posted their recipe online? It’s a pretty complex recipe and now I see why those cookies always gave me massive heartburn. I’ll stick with Tollhouse. Or Mrs. Field’s. Mini-peeve: if you ever order a gift for someone online from Mrs. Field’s, be prepared for daily spam from that company. Daily! They make great gifts though. 🎁
I love a delicious golden cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting. Strawberry is wonderful too. Did I tell you I used to keep a cupcake taste-test chart on my old blog? As I aged, I found that cupcake calories were not friendly to my metabolism, to put it mildly. So sad. These days, I try to satisfy my sweet tooth by sneaking a spoonful of sugar into my cup of herbal tea as the last treat of the day.
For the anthology box, I read When Love Rises by Michelle Stradford. I enjoyed it and gave it a 4-star review. Not 5, since I couldn’t connect that well with some of the poetry at the beginning. Here is my full review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.:
I especially connected with the later poems in this book where I felt her true soul was laid bare. That painful, powerful imagery resonated with me. Throughout, her poetry contains wonderful metaphors and striking language. A joy to absorb.
I love poetry. I’mtrying to get in the mindset to write moremyself, but it’s so hard to focus because of the thing.
Next, I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a book I meant to read last year. This book really grabbed me, which is odd because it focuses on topics I normally shun. First, it has a huge emphasis on the mother-child bond, in a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Second, the story is told from the eyes of teenagers a huge chunk of the time. These days I generally dgaf about the angst of teenagers. You think it’s bad now, kids? Just wait. Third, there’s the familiar trope of boring suburbia, the bad that lurks beneath, and the MPDG who twirls in and shakes everything up.
And yet… the story held me immediately. I needed something exactly like this right now, something so different from what’s happening in the news. Remember when we as a nation were riveted by a stain on a dress? That was the most important thing going on. I find it hard to focus on trivia, but I don’t feel like watching a movie either. I haven’t turned on my TV in days except to exercise to a video (I get the news online).
So anyway. That’s when LFE took place, in the Time of the Blue Dress, around 1997, in a wealthy Ohio suburb. I was riveted by the story; I really wanted to discover what the various characters would do. Their actions seemed surprising at times and yet also inevitable, which I admire in writing. It’s a fine line. You don’t want to be predictable, and yet you want your readers to say… oh, of course. They would have done such a thing. I can totally see it now. And there were so many layers upon layers to each character and the part they played in this drama, that the finished “cake” felt fully earned.
I gave LFE 5 stars despite the fact that Ms. Ng had POV breaks within scenes and lengthy, meandering backstories with POV breaks in those too. That just goes to show you that the story and characters are everything; rules are still important, but they can be broken. I’m not sure why Ms. Ng broke them, but with her credentials you know she knows them. They weren’t mistakes. One critic suggested it’s a cliche to have someone die on an icy road or of a brain tumor. I didn’t cringe when reading them, but I can understand someone not liking those sections.
I can see that same critic’s point about the trope of the MPDG breezing into the small town and turning it upside down while discovering all is not what it seems. I guess there’s also the trope of the naive country bumpkin stumbling into the big city and encountering cynics and meanies. But everything has been done. The key is to bring your own voice and spin. That critic doesn’t believe that Ms. Ng added anything new, but LFE struck me as fresh and engaging.
Here are some interesting questions from Melanie for the first Monday in March…
Can you bake a cake?
I assume you mean from scratch, since any dingdong can follow a box mix directions. Yes, of course. I’ve made lots of cakes from scratch, but I gotta say… I prefer a box mix. If you use butter instead of oil, they’re just as yummy, more precise, and less messy. I like box brownies too with extra noms in them, like chips or PB. Love to take a spice cake mix and fancy it up with things too. All good. And canned frosting is delicious as long as it’s buttercream. Do not buy that nasty whipped stuff (gross).🤮
A yummy carrotty cake I made a long time ago…
Cookies though? Sorry, they must be from real cookie dough mixed by hand. No box mixes or goo squoozed from tubes or some frozen pre-cookies plopped on a sheet. Idk why, but it is so.
What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?
A kitty saying hi. 🐱
When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not?
I ate them. What’s weird though is that I hated PB&J until I was around 12. Wouldn’t touch the stuff. But now I love it!
What’s something your family would be surprised to learn about you?
My family consists of just my daughters and there is nothing they don’t know about me. But if there was something I wanted to keep secret, from them or anyone, I sure as hell wouldn’t blab it here. 🤣
AND (of course)
GRATITUDE IS AN ATTITUDE!
Please feel free to share some gratitude from this past week (or month or year). This is purely optional of course, but it does tend to uplift everyone (I happen to think) to read some happy and/or joyful thoughts or view some uplifting pictures. Thank you if you do so!
I’m super grateful to my friend Doug for motivating me to write Switching Positions. We’ve been writing buddies for ages, but he’s much more prolific than I am. In fact, I was in a slump after putting out my last few poetry books, which barely counted in my mind anyway because they were borne of pain from a relationship. I don’t consider them creative art really. And other than bits and pieces of twittery and bloggery, I hadn’t been creating anything for a while.
So, Doug and I were chatting about politics in December and that whole “wine cave” business came up. We were riffing on it, and I said it would be a great place for a meet cute. He told me to write it ~ a short story. Well, it turned into a longer story, a novella. Every time he asked me if I was finished, I’d say no, I have more funny stuff to say. I tried to zing all the candidates, but there were too many. Not so many now…
Anyway, I’m really happy with the book, and the fact that it’s sold a bunch. Woo hoo! Thank you to everyone who’s bought a copy of Switching Positions. I even have a 5-star review, woohoo! Love reviews. 😍 And now I’m motivated to get back to my other WIPs and finish them up too. All thanks to Doug and his pep talks… much gratitude. 💙❤️💙❤️💙
So far in 2020 I have read 8 books. Here are my two latest reviews. Visit the links in the above paragraph if you’re interested in the previous reviews (they are brief).
Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse. I grabbed this book by Harper Lin only because of the cupcakes. I’m glad the bingo game is pushing me to read outside my usual genres, but if this is a typical cozy? Meh. The writing is lazy, tepid, and full of stereotypes.
Skip the italicized part if you plan to read this book!
I liked the budding romance between Francesca and Matty and the possibility that Matt killed his own father. That kept me going actually, that this whole nice guy routine was a total fraud, as it so often is, and the sweet boy Franny knew as a child had turned into a very bad man as they do. But no. After misdirecting us into thinking that an ex-con had done did the deed, Lin just flings a previously unknown character at us as the murderer. Well, poo! That’s no fun. I won’t read any more books by Harper Lin, no matter how much cake they contain.
Okay, you’re safe from the spoiler now! I’m moving on to a book written by an indie author, my friend JR Rasmussen. Unlike me, JR figured out how to focus on a genre and do the branding thing, gather a group of advance readers, and basically go about writing in a wholly professional way. She also has kick-ass covers on her books, not that we should judge by this, but… damn.
With that disclaimer, I also want to say that I wasn’t all that interested in reading her book A Dream Of Fire when it first came out. Dragons… meh. Magic… meh. Like I was happy for my friend and all, but I was sticking with romances. But then I got sucked into the whole Game of Thrones madness and was suddenly whoa dragons? Hell yes I wanna read a book with magical dragons!!! Gimme.
“Thoroughly enjoyed this witty and exciting story! I used to avoid this genre in general, but Game of Thrones got me hooked on dragons and magic in fiction. This was a superbly well written story with great dialogue and interesting characters. Loved the imaginative spells!”
So there you have it. Unfortunately, my loan expired for American Gods and in the meantime I’ve somehow accumulated a pile of other books to read. I’ll be working on those for my next update.
Cheekis one of those words that annoys me, when used a certain way, as in the title of this post. It’s probably because I raised myself on a steady diet of romance novels and words like cheek and cheeky were always the exclusive province of bad stepmothers and other nasty characters who had it out for the heroine.
“How dare that cheeky girl presume to address the lord of the manor in such an impudent fashion!” The dowager duchess pursed her lips in disgust as she poured tea.
“Oh, I know, dear Beatrice,” Matilda agreed as she selected a lemon cake from the silver tray. “She believes she is above her station because her father educated her.”
The duchess laughed. “The silly twit doesn’t need to recite poetry to dust furniture. But my son refuses to put her out. He says he owes her father a debt.”
“No good will come of it,” Matilda warned. “She’s bound to continue thinking much too highly of herself.”
I cannot think of a way to use cheek (other than as the body part) where you aren’t denigrating someone for having the nerve to speak out of turn or to someone who is “above them” in some way. Psssh! This is why we dumped tea into the harbor! 😛
Gatsby here. Mommy is busy, so I’m doing the Wednesday post today from up on the fridge where I have a good view of all the things. As you can see, Mommy tried to take the energy guide sticker off the front of the fridge and failed, lolz! I refuseto help with such frivolousendeavors, for I am originalcat and concern myself with much more important matters such as killing spiders and hiding under the bed if it appears Mommy might take me to the vet. My life is no cakewalk, I’ll tell you that! I don’t think Mommy appreciates how many complicatedtasks I perform while she’s out, but it’s all very tiring and now I must nap.
Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on January 4, 2013. You’ll have to click through to see the pics. Enjoy!
OK. I finally got to try a Sprinkles ATM cupcake after all this time ~ the ATM is only in select locations, the closest one to me being in Beverly Hills. I ended up there early in the morning on a Sunday, and I won’t regale you with my parking adventures, but trust me, they were epic, as usual.
As you can see, it is pink, and states quite clearly that it is a CUPCAKE ATM, so that you do not confuse it with something else. So far, so good. But things went downhill from there. First, it was early morning, as stated, and the sun was glaring right on the screen making it impossible to read anything at all. I had no idea what I was doing. None. But I could not leave without a cupcake! So I slid my credit card through the thingie and hoped for the best. (Hoped I did not get charged for 500 cupcakes or something.)
Nothing happened. I shaded my eyes every which way and barely made out some squares on the screen. I touched one. Still I had no clue what was going on. Could not see anything because of the glare. But I must have done something because things whirred and clanked and a box appeared ~ my cupcake!
I peeked into the box… bummer. It was a black and white (chocolate cake with white non-buttercream frosting and choccy sprinkles). Oh well.
Finally I could see the main screen a little bit ~ turned out there were only three cupcakes available that day: the B&W, an all-choccy, and a doggie cupcake. Ugh. That’s a terrible selection. I was a little worried about my credit card as I had no idea how much was charged, and there was no receipt, plus also no way to say I was finished with the transaction. But it turned out to be $4, no big deal.
I drove home with my precious. And I was determined to judge fairly, even if I had a little bit of a sad over the choice of cupcake ~ maybe it was a good thing to try a new flavor, right? Right!
The cake was very fresh. Peeps might think it wouldn’t be, coming out of a machine, but it was soft and nummy, and super-chocolatey. Even though choccy cake is not my fave, this cake was tasty plus. The frosting disappointed. I can deal with non-buttercream (I heart Sprinkles strawberry, forex, and it’s NB), but this was just… white. Had a nice texture, but its taste was sugarbland.
So there you go, the ATM cupcake review, done and dusted. I will eventually try Sprinkles ice cream, but not when the weather is so freezing.
My new year got off to a bit of a rocky start with many hours wasted on things that made me feel bad and not good, so I’m going to change that this weekend. It just takes paying attention to what I’m doing and remembering which things I want more of in my life, and which things less of (or eliminated). That sounds easy enough, right?
Rory has a new game happening, which is all about me.
Now, I realize I’ve been saying that I’m gonna avoid these kinds of rambling personal posts and focus more on fiction and poetry, but the first thing you need to understand about me is… I’m a liar. Okay then.
1. What is your favourite sweet treat?
I have lots of favorite sweet treats. But first, let me announce that I’m not a chocoholic. I can happily leave the choccy treats to others… and while I enjoy a chocolate chip cookie like any normal human, it’s not at the top of my list. What is? Coconut cake, lemon bars, thick homemade peanut butter cookies, and crumbly cinnamon coffee cake (like the kind Starbucks used to sell before they made it “healthy”). I also love pie, but am super picky about it ~ if it’s not exactly right, I don’t like it at all. Forex, pumpkin pie is awesome but only if it has a graham cracker crust and whipped cream on top. Otherwise, meh.
2. If you want to really relax – what is your go to?
I have a hard time totally relaxing. There’s always something (usually several things) bothering me somewhat. Idk how people can forget about all that’s wrong with this world… even if you’re personally cocooned against financial horrors, what about other people and animals? You must know of the vast suffering that goes on day in and day out, unabated. I just trudge along, I guess. There are things that temporarily distract me like movies, games, poetry. But I know the other stuff is there while I divert myself with trivia. I spend too much time on news sites, which is depressing, and I know I should stop. What’s the point? I can’t do anything about all this outrage… it just boils in my brain, keeping me from being able to relax. Soon, I’ll be moving to a place where it’ll be easier to exercise; maybe that will help.
3. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
This is a weird question for me now. I don’t feel I even have “guilty pleasures” these days. I hardly indulge in anything because of fear of consequences. And after a while, not indulging becomes as much of a habit as indulging, you know? It’s like I’m too lazy to do anything wrong. Drinking? Nah. That’ll give me a migraine. Sex? No thanks. Too stressful to deal with another person. Overeating? Ick, tummy ache! The only self-indulgent thing I might do is not get dressed on a Sunday and watch movies or read all day instead of finishing any chores. But this isn’t even that pleasurable… I only do it when I’m really tired. And I’ll feel bad when the unproductive day is done.
So, there you have it, Rory. Super boring personal jabber. I warned you. 😜