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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Play

 Apparently I actually do sound like Gollum. I know I promised to never do the Gollum voice again, but in my defense, I didn't think I was. These pups are so cute. I just had to share. Gertie and Gladys at 4 and 1/2 Months.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ The Picture of Perseverance ~ Ane Mulligan ~ Interviewed

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Your journey to published author is a picture of stick-to-itiveness. Share the top most valuable things you've learned along the way in the following areas. 


The Lord is the Keeper of Dreams. If He has placed that dream in your heart, TRUST Him.

About yourself:

That I could stick with it for so many years without giving up.

About writing: 

Motivation is the key to plotting and characterization. If we have the core motivation, a universal one that readers can relate to, the characterization and plotting will grow from that.

About sticking with it:

The only person who fails is the one who gives up, and then remember to factor in God’s timing. I got my work publishable (according to 4 different acquisitions editors) six or seven years before I got published.  

You wear several hats in Christian publishing and writing. You are a mentor to many, a critique partner, editor, columnist....you get it, my fingers are getting overwhelmed typing now. How do you juggle your duties and responsibilities and keep that lovely smile upon your face? 

You hit it when you said juggle. I have a priorities list, it’s following it that’s hard. LOL I am ADD and a people person. I’ve learned to turn off my email during my writing hours. It’s too hard to ignore. The rest seems to fall into place fairly easily. I’ve found the busier I am, the more organized I am.

What has investing in Christian publishing done for you? 

It’s enriched my life with friendships. I’ve had the privilege of promoting some wonderful, life-changing books. It’s also given me a ton of business networking relationships. That hasn’t hurt my own book promotion.

Where did your inspiration for your series come from?  

From an overheard conversation. Yes, I’ll admit it. I eavesdrop. Most writers do! I heard a couple of young women complaining about their husbands. From those small snippets of conversation, a what if was born. What if a 40-something’s marriage had grown too comfortable; that she felt like nothing more than a sheet-changer, a towel-folder, a pancake-flipper? Fro there, Claire Bennett and the small village of Chapel Springs found life. Claire needed a BFF with a similar problem, and Patsy Kowalski jumped up and waved her hand.

Is there an Ane Mulligan clone in your series? Or do you find yourself completely woven into your stories. Share your thoughts, too, no a or b answers here. 

There are absolutely bits of me woven through my characters. Claire has my move-before-I-think tendency. Patsy has my ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away. But most of Claire came from a blending of three delightful women, who are thrilled with “their” Claire.

What has script/play writing done for your fiction writing skills? 

Nothing except knowing how to write dialogue. Oy vey, was that a hard transition! Show don’t tell? How do you tell a story without telling it? POV? What kind of acronym was that? Pop-out vehicle? Well, you get the idea. It took one long novel (which now lives with the dust bunnies beneath my bed) and several crit partners to complete my education.

If you could be a color from a crayon box or paint strip, which one would you be and why?  (feel free to describe or come up with a name:  (no need to run to Wal-Mart)

Red...it’s loud. I’m loud. I laugh too loud. I talk too loud. What’s left to say about that? LOL

Stripes, lace, polka dots or denim? Why? 

Stripes and polka dots on denim. Denim is soft. Lace scratches. Throwing stripes and polka dots together is flat out fun. But I usually do that in my earrings. I love wild earrings.

Strawberry, chocolate or vanilla? Why? 

I love them all, but vanilla is so rich and creamy. Oh. You’re not talking about ice cream? Well, in that case, strawberry because they’re colorful and make me smile.

If your book becomes a movie, drop some names, who would you choose to play your characters?

Definitely Diane Keaton for Claire. Her character in Baby Boom was where I got Claire’s first characteristics. Things just happened to her! Okay, now I have to make a confession. I don’t watch movies (or so rarely I don’t know who is in them) and I don’t watch TV. I read. Okay, I watch Downton Abbey and HGTV. Am I pathetic or what?

Dream location? Describe your perfect laid back oasis. 

The mountains with a lake view, or in other words: Chapel Springs. It’s exactly where I’d love to live.

You and I share a fondness for pooches. Please share one of your favorite doggy stories. (You can send a picture of a cutie if you'd like.) 

My favorite involves Shadrach (our first English mastiff) and a good friend, musician Frankie Aster (who also became a character in one of my books). When Frankie first met Shadrach, the beast scared Frankie to death by leaping in his face and woofing. That’s all he did, but a 220-pound woof is scary.

For ages, Frankie kept a good distance between him and Shad. But after a while, Shad moved closer. By then, we were sitting at the table, eating chips and salsa. Shad sat beside Frankie, watching every chip go into his mouth.

Finally, after coaxing and teasing Frankie for being a whus, I told him to offer Shadrach a chip from between his lips. Frankie looked at me like I was nuts! But finally, he did. Shad gently took it without even touching Frankie’s lips. From that moment on, they were the best of buddies.

With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.

With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Cheeseburger Enchiladas

Cheeseburger Enchiladas
9 x 13 pan

1 and ½ Cups of crumbled hamburger substitute.
2 TBSP ketchup
1 TBSP classic yellow mustard
2 ½ TBSP finely minced onion (Set ½ TBSP aside and mix with ½ TBSP of dill pickles for the top of the casserole)
2 ½ TBSP finely minced dill pickle (Set ½ TBSP aside and mix with ½ TBSP of onions for the top of the casserole)
2 teaspoons of pickle juice
4 TBSP of chili cheese sauce

Mix all (but the reserved pickles/onions) together in a bowl
Grease the 9 x 13 pan.

Divide the meat mixture between approximately 10 flour tortilla shells and fit them into the pan. Don’t overstuff these. If you are someone who really loves a stuffed pan of enchiladas you might want to double the filling and sauce and add extra baking time.

Chili Cheese Sauce

3 TBSP Flour
3 TBSP Earth Balance
3 Cups unflavored/unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 Cup enchilada sauce or tomato sauce
1/2 TBSP chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup of shredded cheese (Daiya)
1/4 Cup nutritional yeast

Melt Earth Balance in pan, add flour and make a paste. When completely incorporated begin adding milk slowly and stir. Heat until mixture bubbles and thickens, stirring constantly.

When mixture thickens add chili powder, garlic powder and cheese. Stir until cheese is incorporated and melted. Add the tomato sauce and mix well. Pour this over the enchiladas. (Don’t forget to use the 4 TBSP of this for the enchilada stuffing mix.) Sprinkle sesame seeds over top of casserole. Squirt on ketchup and mustard swirls. Add the minced onion and pickles. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Check and if the mixture is bubbling and heated through it’s good to go. Serve with a side of french fries.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Dusty Filter

 Instagram is great. Where you snap pics and then change them up and make them all arty with filter fun. 

However, I did this series the old fashioned way. Sunny afternoon. Curious pups and a dusty black Nissan with a lovely reflective surface. And a Smart Phone. Just a peek into the fun I have during frequent bathroom breaks. (Theirs, not mine. Just in case you were confused. ) 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ Gardein Beefless Ground ~ Reviewed and Recipe

Again, thank you, Target for selling Gardein products at the best prices around. 

Now, onto Gardein Beefless Ground

Look at that picture. Totally looks like hamburger doesn't it? I don't think anyone would guess it's not the real deal if it's in a recipe. Maybe a taste comparison side by side with no seasonings etc. But who does that? We want a meatless replacement to go into our favorite family dishes and recipes. Right? 

Gardein will do that. I am so impressed with all the products I've tried and this one is no different. 

With the Beefless Ground I made a hearty "Bear" Soup (I have no idea where that name came from, my husband's grandma I think.) Bear Soup is hamburger potato soup. 

I used 1 Cup of the Gardein Beefless Ground
1 small to medium onion finely diced
1 TBSP oil (I used grape seed)
2 finely diced celery stalks
3 garlic cloves minced
4 Large or 7 small to medium diced potatoes)
8 Cups of broth (my broth was no salt added so I added salt to taste)

This will feed 4-6 depending on appetite.

In a dutch oven or soup pot sauté the onion, garlic, and potatoes until golden and crisping. Add the other ingredients and simmer for at least a half hour or as long as needed. 

If you need a hamburger substitute I suggest Gardein's Beefless Ground. Texture and taste are hand down winners. Also the bag will probably make 2-3 solid multi-serving meals. At under $5.00 that's cheaper than beef. Also, it's gluten free. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Slithery

only okay type of snake I've ever met.... See the size of the tiny leaf? 
 I'm pretty sure I've made my hate affair with snakes clear. 

I detest them, they creep me out and I pretty much freak out around them. 

Back in the day, though, when my kids were little I tried to tolerate the horrific reptiles. Toad-boy would find snakes pretty much everywhere. And he'd study them. I remember once discovering him jotting down notes on a dead snake he found at my parents. He began to pry it's mouth open. When I voiced my motherly concern he suggested that I not watch the experiment. 

Another time we went camping and he found a garter snake at a lake. He measured the writhing and very unhappy snake. So then I notice scratches all over his arms. What in the world I wondered out loud, Then the snake struck and grabbed his arm and he pulled it away leaving a new set of scratches. UGH!!!!! 

However, there were cute (I know, right?) little ringneck snakes that the kids would find on occasion. Little worm-sized gray things with an orange little stripe around the neck. The only issue I had with these little guys was the habit of the kids to bring them in the house and then lose them. 

So yesterday afternoon I spied a ringneck. I had to take a picture and send it for nostalgia's sake. And I told the kids I was tempted to bring it inside and let it lose for old time's sake. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Different Take on Training.

Charlie is a smart one. 

Let's think this one through shall we? Lil Laura is going to be at Charlie's licking level for a few years. He's probably seen how messy children's faces get. He's maybe seen children in high chairs tossing bits all over the place. 

I think that Charlie is training Laura to share. And while he's at it, teaching her the beauty of a good game of fetch. And making sure she knows who her best friend truly is. 

Oh, yeah, it's not the smart move of tossing toys to the baby, it's the baby training behind the ball game. 

Thanks Mom for sharing the video.