Monthly Archives: August 2013

How to Create in Writing–Hearing lessons we need

Holly Lisle is a writing teacher I found online. She has wonderful Ideas. I recently received an email from her listing four things to consider when writing. I’m sharing these with you, but advise that for full effect, impact and help for your own writing you visit her website, the how to think sideways writing courses.
This is some advice I got in her free emails–Keep these questions from Holly Lisle in
   * What am I writing?
Whatever it is, keep
your focus on THAT story, and don’t wander
off your theme.
   * Why am I writing it?
The big answer here MUST be “because it matters to me,” but
beyond that, WHY does it matter to you?  Knowing the answer to
this will help you keep writing even when the going gets
   * What effect do I want to create?
This will change from scene to scene.  What emotion do you want
to evoke in your reader in THIS scene.  You have to
first evoke it in yourself.
 * How do I intend to create this effect?
This is the art part of writing.  What structure will you
use,what sorts of words will evoke the emotions you’re working
toward, what will you show about your characters, and what
will you hide?

Writing can be  a lot like acting, like story performance on stage. When I teach storytelling, this is almost the same thing I tell my students–good to recall that I need it too–It’s important in life to always be a student.


What day is it? Where did Wednesday go? Marsala Meatballs


OK, I do know it is Thursday and I do not have a good excuse for not blogging yesterday so…..

But I will make it up to you by sharing my Veal Marsala Meatball recipe with you.

Spoiler alert: Two ingredients are essential but may be hard for you to acquire–Florio Marsala and Kudzu Bakery Pepper Bread. You can work around the pepper bread (I’ll tell you how in the recipe) if you have to , and if you can’t buy the Florio brand of Marsala where you live, then buy the very best you can find. It makes a difference.

1 pound ground veal

2 eggs

2 T cut up fresh Italian Parsley

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup Marsala wine

1/3 cup milk

3-4 slices (depending on thickness) Kudzu bakery pepper bread. (Or use challah bread and add 2T fresh ground pepper)

2-4T of olive oil for frying meatballs

salt to taste

optional: Mushrooms, (1/2 pound sliced), 2 T butter, 1 T flour, and 2T Marsala for topping

Mix all ingredients from veal through salt. Form into balls. Fry in olive oil until golden brown. Transfer to plate with paper towel. Add butter to same pan,  sauté mushrooms, add Marsala and a bit of flour to make it more of a sauce. Put the meatballs back in the pan to heat with the mushrooms. Serve. I like to serve it with saffron-flavored rice.

Serves 4 . I used it to serve two and then froze the other half of the recipe and served it reheated. The photo is of the reheated dinner serving which tasted as good as the first  time I made it. The contrast of the pepper and the sweet wine is delightful! I am also going to try this recipe with ground chicken–will let you know how it comes out.

What happened to Friday??

When I looked back at my posts, I realized I completely skipped Friday. It was on my to do list, but it did not get done. Sorry, fans and followers that I missed out sharing with you how to increase your productivity in writing or story performance. I was busy at work on a review of a book that has relevance. –Why tell you about it today on parenting share day? Because when we have an oops, it is important to share that with our children too. They need to hear about failures and how we got over it, made up for it, did better after. Life is not a series of successes and if they see our lives like that , how will they come to us and ask for help when they experience the inevitable failures life brings? Be truthful and honest in your sharing with your children. Help them grow tall in their inner selves.

Free Lunch

Free Lunch.

Free Lunch

IMG_0973A small but delicious blessing to day–I went to Kudzu Bakery in Myrtle Beach to pick up the free lunch I won on their FB page. After studying the list of luscious sounding sandwiches and eyeing the  cheese and other delightful options, I finally made up my mind. I would have dessert for lunch and I asked if I could have a slice of their fantastic looking coconut cake, a Southern staple. They graciously allowed my choice–health for the soul over healthy lunch today. But once you get a look at the photo you will know why!

Sick Days

Just read on a friend’s post that her daughter is ill. I was ill yesterday and in fact most of August. My friend is caring for her little girl with special foods/drinks to keep her hydrated and lots of love. My Mom would do the same–and my Dad. How you care for little ones when they are ill, is a great trust builder in families. It says that even when you aren’t tip top, you are still loved and valued. Hugs all round.

Listing–hand made

Yesterday I read a newsletter article about listmaking. I practically gave my self the old cuddahaddav-8 headslap!

Of course! I make lists for groceries,. I used to make lists all the time–just because I don’t do as many projects as I used to, I do still need a list to keep me on task. Oh, I’m not missing deadlines, but I am letting good projects languish because I get distracted. I meet word per day counts on my book, but not on the several short stories I’ve begun and not finished. So, back to the handwritten list.

writing by hand helps seal it into my memory.

I can take the notebook with me wherever I go.

I can see a history of what I have done.

So,  back tot he hand made list. Maybe if I had made a list I would not have missed my Wednesday blog!

A list is not just an organizing tool–it’s a boost to hard work and a dream maker’s basket of possibilities.

Dream on–and what I don’t finish today will go on tomorrow’s list!

Try it.

Facts from Fiction

I love fiction. I read it and write it. Often I read and learn a lot about places or people thanks to the meticulous research of the author. Last night I finished a mystery by KP Hall set in Rome and Florence–not only did she include good detail in the book about Gelaterie, she listed an agency in the back of the book with travel helps and and their Food Lovers Walking Tour of Florence

Read on, Mac Duff!


Skipping. It’s what we do when we are young and so enthusiastic about our day or destination that we cannot keep our feet on the ground–it’s also what happens when we miss something–too tired to post Friday, still not feeling well, I “skipped”.

Today is parenting day–coming back from vacation we may find that while we were “skipping” with joy we may have also “skipped” some chores.

Time to catch up today. But don’t make coming home a day of chores. Save some time for joyful homecoming, for enjoying a return to normal routine. Break for a treat and remind your little ones that even though vacation was fun, there is no place like home.  Both types of skipping can be good for the soul–the kind we do for pure joy and the kind we have to go back and fill in–both are good, both can enrich and can be enjoyed.

Free Lunch exists!

I just won a free lunch from Kudzu bakery!

Exciting. Still not feeling 100 percent from last week’s flu–trying to trick myself into eating–ate some pistachios yesterday and soup. Today I started with cereal, had a blueberry drink at McDonald’s and today I am having tomatoes and mozzarella for lunch. Simple but food I like. Yesterday I cooked some pasta for lunch for myself–small portion, but delicious. Had some leftover sauce in the freezer –just the right amount.