Beautiful Fall Day

On Sunday, it was warm here in the Carolinas. I was sitting out on the deck enjoying brunch and thought the trees with the leaves falling off looked incredibly beautiful against the blue sky and clouds.  It’s fantastic to have a couple of warm days before it turns cold for good. I try to enjoy them outside if possible, preferably curled up with a book in a chair on the deck. It was so quiet, you could hear the leaves falling. How do you celebrate Fall?

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Roller Derby

Yes, we have roller derby in North Carolina. Recently, there was a charity event double-header game at Dorton Arena in Raleigh. I found out about it through the Amazon LivingSocial coupon and figured couldn’t beat $5 for a ticket. While it was entertaining, my friend, Jennifer and I found the crowd even more fascinating. I’ve never seen so many tattoos or brightly colored hair in one place before. We sat in the stands although if you’re a big fan, you bring your own chair and sit right outside the rink lines – which in my humble opinion is crazy!

What’s your favorite hobby or sport?

Writing Spaces

A few months backl I repuposed my entertainment armoire into a writing space. it started out beautiful and organized and as you can see now – not so much. it’s very messy but I love it. I can shut the doors when I’m done to hide the mess and come back and open them with my notes, etc. still strewn about. You  may be wondering why I need this when you see a laptop in the picture and it’s true, I do drag the laptop around the house and out and about but there’s just somehing inspiring about having a dedicated space.

What areas do you carve out for your passions?

Cheers!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? Or NaNoWriMo for short? It’s where during the  month of November, you try to write 50,000, yes, that’s correct, 50,000 words in ONE MONTH. To keep you accountable, there is a website with writing buddies – Kim Harrison is mine and currently she’s kicking my butt – so you can see how you’re doing in relation to others. Nothing like a little competition to keep you motivated.

As many of you know I’m working on a book about green smoothies, Wicked Green Smoothies, of which the objective is trying to get most of us to simply eat another serving or two of fruit and veg. Well, what you may not know is that I’m also working on a novel, this one’s fiction, about ghosts. The idea’s been bouncing around in my head for a while. Note: this is a very fun place to live and sometimes I forget there’s a real world out there, but I digress. So, I decided to sign up and declare my intent to reach the 50.000 milestone by the end of November. I figured it would help keep me motivated and maybe feeling a bit competitive. Not to mention, when you speak your intent, the Universe listens and I hope conspires on my behalf. Hey, I can use all the help I can get.

This weekend, I met up with a couple of published writers also taking the challenge and participated in a write-in. A write-in is where you get together and, yep, you guessed it, write. We did a couple of writing sprints which gave me my word count for the day. For me, that’s about 2,000 words. Writing sprints are setting a timer for say 15 – 30 minutes, saying go and everyone writes. When the timer sounds, you tell everyone else your word count. I realize I may get a decent first draft but already know there are many revisions to come as I keep jotting down related notes. But no revisions yet, have to keep going, then come back and revise. On the bright side, being 13,000 words in, I realized I already know what the next three books in the series are about, oh, yes, it’s a series. That came to me pretty quickly. So stay tuned and I’ll follow-up with a status in the next week or so, and again at the end of the month with my final word count.

Cheers!

Favorite Books/Authors of 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I started thinking about some of my favorite books/authors of the year. With the proliferation of e-readers and free Amazon Kindle apps for your phone and PC, if you haven’t already – expand your horizons,
read a book today.

Never thought I’d say how much I love my Kindle and yes, it’s overtaken my love for a printed book. It’s super easy now to take a small e-reader to the beach, on vacation, work, etc. and have all my books at my fingertips not to mention instant gratification to get a new one after trying a free sample by clicking a button. I can stay in my jammies and never leave the house at midnight because I just have to have that next book in the series.

Below in no particular order are my faves for this year:
I don’t know how she does it
The Help
Hunger Games trilogy
JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Karen Marie Moning Fever series
Kim Harrison Hollow series
Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter series
Diana Gabaldon Outlander series
Margret Maron Deborah Knott series
and way too many more to mention…

So I have to wonder, do you still read paper books? Do you have an e-reader or Kindle app? Plan to ask for one for the Holidays? If you do read e-books, do you only get from the library? Yes, you can get e-books from the library for your e-reader. If you buy e-books, what’s your price point for e-books? .99 – 5.99? What do you want to
see from authors and who is your favorite?  I know, a lot of questions but I’m a curious sort…

Cheers!

Ode to Kale

Kale is my favorite dark leafy green to use in Wicked Green Smoothies. I had never eaten nor had any interest in eating kale prior to experimenting with smoothies. Actually, I didn’t like any of the leafy greens period. After looking into dark leafy greens, I wanted the most bang for the buck nutritionally, so to speak and kale quickly became my fave.

Kale is called a “super-green” as it’s very high in vitamin K, vitamin C, beta carotene and calcium. When you grind it up in a smoothie it releases sulforaphane which is a chemical with killer anti-cancer properties. Steaming, stir frying, microwaving, baking and grinding in smoothies keep the levels of this chemical high.  Boiling will decrease them. Have you tried kale sautéed w/a little olive oil and garlic? Before you say “Eewww”, try it, it’s very tasty.

There is also a chemical in kale which helps boost DNA repair in cells and hey we all need to do everything we can to keep looking young, right?

A bit o’history – up until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was extremely common all across Europe. Even the ancient Romans and Greeks ate kale. During World War II in the UK there was a Dig for Victory campaign which highlighted kale as it was easy to grown and packed full of nutrients missing due to all the rationing of the time.

There are many leaf and color types:
Leaf and spear (a mix between curly and plain)
Curly leaf kale
Lacinato
Dinosaur
Plain
Black Cabbage
Tuscan Cabbage
Tuscan Kale
Rape kale

Kale tastes sweeter after a frost and grows well into the winter.

Kale Chips are also fantastic and I’ve listed the recipe in an earlier post.  Try them, and you will like them!

Cheers!