Sorry, due to illness (migraines) I have been negligent of you, my dear readers. Since feeling better, I’ve been hard at work on two wonderful new projects.

Book Four in my Desert Breeze Series and a collection of my short stories that will be published by Cane Hollow Press this fall.

Food and Food for Thought

So, this morning when I went to check for the link to the online version of my two stories in this AM’s

Sun News, I saw they had also already posted the article that will go in Friday’s kicks!

Here are the three:

Book  Review, Ancient Grains


Article on Grilled Pizza


Review of Second Cup for Friday Kicks section


So, where Is the food for thought? Blabbermouth Blog. Linda, who writes that blog is running a contest on YA. I can’t enter it, no time right now for this, still pushing on Book Four of my Legacy of Honor, (held up due to illness) but I noted in her challenge there is great advice for anyone writing, YA!

Check it out! http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/22093685/





Everything is fodder for a writer, even buying veggies.
Check out my story, Collards on the Corner,
In http://www.microfictionmondaymagazine.com. Today!
Hope you enjoy it.

Hard work

Writing is hard work. The basic idea is only part of it.
A few years ago, I wrote a piece about an incident we had encountering a collards farmer.
The story is a great anecdote at dinner, but as a written piece, it kind of flopped.
Then, I saw the publication, Microfiction Monday. The piece was already short, only about 500 words, but they wanted even smaller. So…I revised it downward which forced me to analyze the story arc and simplify–eliminating parts of the actual experience and transferring only the basic idea that others might find interesting.
Voila! acceptance!
If any of you would like my recipe for Italian Collard greens, let me know in the comments

The story will run on August 4 in the online mag, Microfiction Monday.


Keep up with my works and tips on writing at this blog and
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Leotta-Author-and-Story-Performer/188479350973

The rest of the story… (Keep your promises)

What happens when a piece of information comes in after your deadline?
Well, if it is critical, I have called editors and asked verbally with email follow up to have it inserted and where it should be inserted with working.

In the case of the cookbook review


the writers were not able to get back to me in time. The information was not critical but in order to honor their work in trying to get me the information and their
publicist’s work in getting me what I needed, I offered to put the extra info in this blog.
When I make a promise I keep it.
Here is the rest of the story!

Interview with Authors Nan K. Chase and DeNeice C. Guest
How did the two authors join up to produce the book?
DeNeice: Long story, short version is we met at a party, had simpatico, I was starting to make juice from crab apples, already had a basement full of homemade Meade, Nan says…hey let’s write a book.

Nan: As DeNeice said, we met at a party. Actually, it was a party at DeNeice’s house. She was new in town from New Orleans post Katrina and had the most amazing deep fried turkey she was serving up. Just couldn’t stay away from someone like that.

What do they hope to achieve with it–seems that they come from a very health oriented background?
D: We are giving people another way to remove/reduce the industrial fingerprint from their diets.

N: Yes, I think anything that uses fresh from the garden produce has a lot of health points. I hope we can help gardeners reduce waste in their gardens from bumper harvests. The more we can do to use that produce that falls to the ground, the better. Also, it’s important to me that we look for ways to eliminate trips in the car to the grocery store. In other words, the book can help people reduce their carbon footprint by utilizing what’s right there in the front or back yard.
Where do they find dandelions that have not been sprayed?
D: There is not much spraying in fields and meadows where we live.

N: In your own yard! Or, as DeNeice says, in nearby meadows and fields. Really, I don’t see that much spraying going on in either the rural or urban settings; mostly that may take place in the suburbs, where the appearance of a lawn is more important.

Any differences in using frozen fruit and fresh to make the juice drinks and the syrups in particular?
D: Nope, fresh or frozen works well.

N: Naw, it’s all good. In fact, frozen foods are often the most pack nutritionally. Fruit that is picked and quickly frozen loses little of its goodness.
What would they say to the person who thinks all of this is too much hard work?
D: Canning juice is time consuming but not that hard, but the results are worth it. Everything else is easy ( making wine, Meade, syrup, tea and kombucha)

N: Well, the hardest thing is to put a day on the calendar for “putting up” and then sticking to it. All the rest is just boiling water and washing. Not rocket science. We find that making a party of it by inviting friends and family is a great bonus. Old-timey fun. Nothing fancy, and the rewards are marvelous in the dead of winter.
Shortcuts? (I did note a few in the book)
D: I had some juice that was a little past the expiration dAte (it was off color) so I mixed it with some stuff I had sitting in the fridge and made syrup out of it…delicious.

N: I agree: herbs, herbs, herbs. They are always there in the garden if you groom them and keep track of peak harvest times. Also, I like to dehydrate small batches of herbs, flowers, fruits, etc. while in season, then pack them in jars and wait for a rainy or snowy day later in the year to construct a finished product. Dehydrated foods have a long shelf life.

Advice for the container gardener?
D: Herbs, herbs, herbs. Small footprint for big flavor.

N: Just see the last answer. Herbs, maybe cherry tomatoes, miniature roses. Anything of a special nature can be showcased in containers and then used to make a beverage.
I am wary of using my camellias for tea–cautions? types?
D: Not camellias, black tea, Latin name is:
1. Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis, Scientific name

N: What’s the worry? Typically the young tender tips of the growing leaves are used to make tea. Go for it! And teas can be made from so many other herbs.

Were the lovely photos taken at their home?
D: No, stunt kitchen, but all the photos are our products made from the recipes in the book.

N: As DeNeice said, the photo shoot took place about 10 miles from downtown Asheville, where we both live. We both have kind of dark kitchens, so the photos were much lighter and brighter this way.

Kitchen Toy

My newest obsession in the kitchen is my spiralizer.
I signed up for the Inspiralizer newsletter and churn away, inspired by that site to make my own recipes and loving the machine!
Here is the link


Be sure to check out the inspiralizer newsletter. If you liked my recipes, remember, they were inspired by her!

Opportunity. If it knocked, I missed it

Unlike the doorbell ringing by the UPS man (which for many months went unnoticed due to a broken doorbell) no packages or notes about pacakages are left when you miss an opportunity.
For instance, I just learned about the onthesamepagefestival. They had a contest–open to all, no fee, NC connections—check, check, check.
Oops . Deadline July 7.
More than 20 days ago.
Now, I subscribe to a number of feeds that offer me deadlines, but I have become complacent in using them–esp about NC opportunities. I thought I had it covered. Today I did some random exploration and found this one that I missed. You can’t publish if you don’t know the opportunity is there. SO, again I will widen my search. And I commit to sharing what I find. I’ve been wanting to make my blog of more value to writers and tellers. Karen Chace is my heroine among storytellers. Her blog is the very best for information on how and why and chock full of stories we can tell for various occasions.
I doubt I will have much more to offer there, but I will try to augment her in this area as well.
For writers, we need tips and opportunities to submit our work–contests to challenge us and more. One thing you will find little of is the “Slam”. I hate the term. Perhaps if someone convinces me that a poetry SLAM instead of a READING is a good thing, I will change, but for now…
So, if a link says its listings are proprietary, then I will simply offer that link to their list.
If I come across a listing on my own, as I did today (but before it expires!!!!)
I will share.
Writing and story have given me so much. I want to give back, to share, to help more of you become published and or perform your work. Excelsior!!!