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Archive for July, 2009

Where Do You Hide Yours?

FYI – I hide mine in the fridge. :grin:

When was your last?

Um…I have to think about that…

What More Could I Wish For?

Ooh yes…I’ll take one now… :mrgreen:

Timtams are an Australian invention–one of their best, I have to say. And I don’t think we can take credit for the clever ads either. Hmm, I think it’s time. I’m going to add a packet of Timtams to my shopping basket this weekend.

What are your favorite store-bought biscuits?

What’s For Lunch?

Camera Critters

Mountain Sheep, South Dakota

Wanna share your lunch with me?

This inquisitive mountain sheep got a little close for comfort. My window wouldn’t go up fast enough!

To view other Camera Critters go here.

My Point of View…

Thursday Thirteen

…is that I enjoy reading romances and other genre fiction in both first and third person points of view. I like being in the main character’s head in some books while in other books seeing things from both the hero and heroine’s perspective is interesting. For a background on different points of view in writing here’s a link to a POV article. As I’ve mentioned, I enjoy reading books written in first person so today I have a list for you.

Thirteen First Person Reads or Series I Enjoy

1. Kristan Higgins (contemporary)

2. Stephanie Plum series – Janet Evanocvich (contemporary mystery)

3. Lisa Kleypas – contemporary Texas series. (contemporary)

4. Kate Daniels series – Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy)

5. Mercy Thompson series Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)

6. Josh Lanyon – (m/m)

7. Hard Fall James Buchanan (m/m)

8. Alien Huntress series – Gena Showalter (paranormal)

9. Lori Armstrong – Julie Collins series (mystery)

10. Keri Arthur Riley Jensen (urban fantasy)

11. Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

12. Something series – Jacqueline Meadows

13. And finally, I’ve written several books in first person: Wanderlust (romantic suspense), The Shadow (contemporary mystery) and Stray Cat Strut (paranormal m/m)

Do you prefer first person or third person fiction best and why? Do you have any favorites to add to my list?

Black Forest Muffins

Whenever I have a cup of coffee in a cafe, I always check out the muffins. Any flavor will do as long as they’re fresh. If I manage to time it when they’re still warm from the oven so much the better. I think muffins are good because they’re reasonably healthy and don’t have as much fat as cream cakes. That’s my reasoning anyway. I also enjoy baking muffins because they’re quick and easy.

When I want to bake a batch I always turn to Alison Holst’s Marvellous Muffin cookbook, which contains recipes for both savory and sweet muffins. The following recipe is an adaptation of her Double Chocolate Muffin recipe. I call them Black Forest Muffins.

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
¼ – ½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cherries

Place dried cherries in a bowl and add a little boiling water to cover – a few tablespoons. We want to reconstitute the cherries a little. Place other dry ingredients plus chocolate chips in a large bowl. Add the cherries plus the liquid.

Muffins: Dry Ingredients

100 grams of butter (about 8/10 of a stick)
1 egg
1 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter. Beat the egg and combine with the milk, yoghurt and vanilla. Combine with the dry ingredients, folding together until mixed. Do not overmix.

Muffins: Wet Ingredients

Spoon into 12 well-greased medium-size muffin pans or use paper muffin cups. Bake in a hot oven at 200C (400F) for 10 – 12 minutes until centers spring back when pressed lightly.

Muffins: Final Product

Enjoy with good company and a cup of tea or coffee.

Shootin’ The Breeze

Camera Critters

Bison, Custer State Park, South Dakota.

Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Well, can you???

To visit other Camera Critters go here.

Reasons I Dislike Winter

Thursday Thirteen

Last week author Jess Dee blogged at Samhain about 15 reasons she hated winter. Since it’s winter here in New Zealand, I thought I’d borrow her timely topic and do a list of Thirteen Things I Dislike About Winter.

1. It’s cold.
2. The cold means I have to dress in layers and I end up looking like a round blob just trying to stay warm.
3. It rains a lot more than usual.
4. I get cabin fever when I can’t go outside.
5. We’ve had more frosts in the last two months than we’ve had in the last five years.
6. My feet get cold.
7. It gets really windy and I can’t cycle some days.
8. The little dog and Mr. Munro leave footprints on the floor.
9. I tend to eat more. ‘Nuff said!
10. It’s dark when I wake in the morning and gets dark by late afternoon.
11. It’s difficult to get the washing dry. (I don’t have a drier)
12. The dog hates getting wet and leaves things to the last minute. I’ve learned to read the signs, but that means I have to go outside and wait. I feel mean making the wee dog stay outside in the rain because she’s old.
13. It’s not ice cream weather.

What do you dislike most about winter?

Pasta

When we were in the supermarket at the weekend, hubby and I debated purchasing some fresh ravioli. We decided it was too expensive and thought that maybe we should try making our own. Tonight hubby searched through our recipe books, made the pasta dough and filled it with ricotta cheese, spinach, pumpkin, nutmeg and a little cheddar cheese. We don’t have a round cookie cutter so it was difficult cutting out circles of the pasta dough. In the end, we did squares or triangles. Cooking them was easy, and although we worried about the filling squirting out while they boiled, this didn’t happen.

End result: They were delicious, although next time we’d try to roll the dough a bit thinner. We had a little of the filling over and that’s for tomorrow night’s dinner – we’re putting it inside jacket potatoes.

Have you ever made your own pasta? Do you like pasta, and if so, what’s your favorite kind?

The Egg-Timer Method

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I’m terrible at procrastinating and my usual “Just Do It” attitude hides at the bottom of the garden. It can be writing procrastination or housework related or perhaps the ironing pile. When I find things are out of control, and I’m not getting anything done, I turn to my trusty egg-timer. (Actually, it’s the oven timer but either works)

So here’s my hint for people who are having trouble fitting writing into a busy day or aren’t getting certain hated household chores done. Set your timer for half an hour and write this entire time or iron or whatever chore you’ve put off. It might be difficult at first, but do keep it up because gradually you’ll get past the procrastination. Half an hour passes quickly, and you’ll be surpised how much you’ll get done if you’re focused and concentrating. You can also apply this to children – perhaps they can tidy their rooms for half an hour while you’re writing. No? Okay, I’m good but not a miracle worker!

What strategies do you use to counteract procrastination?

Standing Tall

Camera Critters

My animal this week is a giraffe. This particular photo was taken in Kenya, I think at Samburu National Park. We were also able to visit the giraffe center near Nairobi during a different trip. I still remember feeding the giraffes. It was amazing, although their tongues were sort of sticky! If you’d like to see a photo of me feeding a giraffe, follow the photos link above to take you to some of my other photos.

Photobucket

To find other Camera Critter photos, follow this link.

Bottoms Up!

Thursday Thirteen

My Thursday Thirteen today is inspired by the Drinking and Drunkenness section of Marc McCutcheon’s Building Believable Characters. (And it had nothing whatsoever to do with my grump in the previous post!)

Thirteen Drink Related Descriptions and Symptoms

1. Inebriated
2. Tipsy
3. Stagger
4. Excessive
5. Swill
6. Soused
7. Pickled
8. Giddy
9. Stupor
10. Headache
11. Double Vision
12. Brawl
13. Guzzle

If you wanted to describe a drunken hero or a tipsy heroine which words would you choose?



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