Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in review

I was busy the last couple of weeks & didn't post on my "book birthday" (Dec 24) that Mariposa has been published now for a year. That was the official start, last year, of my 2015.

We felt out of it last year on New Year's Eve and went home early to watch the Brad Pitt movie Fury. While the neighbors blasted fireworks, we watched a movie with all kinds of explosions. It was a bit odd, to be honest. That's been another sort of theme of this year-- not fury, but feeling a little out of touch, socially. Not on purpose or for any reason other than just-- well, our couch is comfy. Our TV set up a little too awesome. Luckily, my kids & my spouse & I all like hanging out with each other, and we have two snuggly cats who prefer us to stay home, too. If I am making a resolution, one of them is to be better about doing things out of the house. Meeting up with old friends over the holidays reminded me that I do love being social. I just have to do it my way....

The early part of last year found me writing Hoodoopocalypse. It was the fastest I've ever written a novel, and I enjoyed it very much. The group of writers who "felt weird" was having a blast, and I would easily crank out 1,000 or more words a day. I thought that was the way you did it now after having written your first novel-- you just could flow that easily. After that one was done, I found that it's not as easy every single time. I'm doing my best to keep up a reasonable pace, but two novels circulating in the space of a year still "a'int bad."

One of the best things this year has been meeting a lot of new imagina-- online friends. As part of my drive to get to know more writers, I followed a few of my favorites online. Then I met more. Now I have some new, dear friends and a few loyal fans who keep me on my toes and remind me that I should be writing. Yes, yes. I know.

Upcoming in 2016: I have two job prospects, and I dearly hope I get one of them. If I don't, I'll survive, but it would be very nice to be back in the classroom again. I miss it-- I miss students, even on their "do I really have to write a paper" days. The next few weeks will be big as far as that goes, or they will fizzle out if I don't get a nibble on one of the two for interviews. Antici-

--pation is the word, then.

We're prepping our house for the move back to San Antonio, and will miss the friends we have here, but are looking forward to purging all the build up of the last 10 years. Getting rid of the toys the kiddos never play with. Me getting rid of something, I'm sure, that I never bother with, too. I'm going to try the Japanese method of "tidying up." Purge purge purge.

I'm also in the process of reading stories, poems, etc, for the Indie Women Anthology that my friend Pavarti & I are putting together. We have gotten a lot of great submissions already, and we still have a whole month 'til the last date of the submission period. It's a project close to my heart in that we're donating the proceeds to the Pixel Project to End Violence Against Women. I've already seen an amazing community forming around the Facebook group for it, and I'm so psyched at the potential to really fill a niche that seems to be there. Women's writing that provides a market and a place for people to actually make something happen for charity. Social activism through social networking, FTW!

The year ahead: big change. Good things, I hope. Starting tonight when we're going to a friend's house for our last "Redneck New Year's" which will entail a LOT of fireworks, black eyed peas, and socializing.

2016: Let's Do This Thing! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lee Lee’s Cajun Eggs Benedict Sunday Brunch Recipe

Lee Lee’s Cajun Eggs Benedict Sunday Brunch Recipe

1 pound andouille sausage, diced in ½ inch cubes
1 dozen fresh eggs (if you can get the ones from the Farmer’s Market, everyone is always impressed by that)
6 English Muffins, toasted and split and buttered
1 pound of butter, salted
1 package of the really good Hollandaise sauce mix (because honestly, you don’t have all day to be making sauces. Just follow the directions on the packet, even that woman from carpool line can figure it out).

2-3 vine ripe tomatoes (have your housekeeper dice these and remove all the seeds while you have a mimosa. Have her make the mimosa too. Heavy on the Prosecco, please, we have another bottle in the liquor refrigerator out in the garage. Use the fancy crystal champagne glasses Maw Maw gave me for Christmas last year because we are not trashy around here).

Send the kids to their rooms to play the Nintendo-Box so they will get out from underfoot. Seriously, I do not need y’all in the kitchen while I am trying to cook! Send your husband back to the living room when he tries to steal one of your English muffins.  Surely there is an LSU football game on or golf or something! I will call you when it’s ready!

Have the housekeeper pour you another mimosa while you find the special French iron skillet you saw on that Paula Deen cooking show last year and just had to have. The one you haven’t used yet.

One more mimosa won’t hurt while you wash the pan out because you have to do everything around here.

Put two sticks of butter in your frying pan. Melt those right up. Keep the heat high and toss all that yummy andouille sausage in there until it browns. If you live somewhere sad that doesn’t have andouille, just use Polish sausage or whatever you can find. 

(Bless your heart).

Once the meat is cooking, prepare to poach the eggs. Your housekeeper should do this because you need to take a break from all this effort. Have a seat at the counter while she poaches the 12 eggs perfectly. You’ve already made the hollandaise sauce (which of course is why you’re so exhausted already you need to put your feet up). The sauce should be waiting while your housekeeper grabs the pretty China plates out of the China Cabinet in the dining room. You’ll have her hand wash these later because we don’t put those in the dishwasher; I don’t care what that lady at Dillard’s says; these are hand wash only. Use the good silver, too. This is Sunday Brunch and we celebrate.

The andouille sausage should be perfectly browned now. Remove from heat and toss the diced tomatoes into the mix. Toss gently so you don’t squish the tomatoes. (It doesn’t matter if your kids don’t like tomatoes because the little bas—angels— aren’t going to eat this anyway and are going to beg for cereal after you put forth all this effort).

Place two buttered English muffins on each plate, scatter the sausage & tomato mixture on top. Have the housekeeper put a poached egg on top or to the side so it looks pretty on each half of the muffins. Pour a lot of hollandaise on top of the entire mixture, then sprinkle Slap Ya Mama seasoning on top, for pretty. Not too much, just enough.

If you have any fresh (not freeze dried, don’t even think about pulling that mess out with me) green onions or scallions chopped up, put a couple of those on top too.

Have another mimosa and share your delicious Cajun Eggs Benedict with someone who deserves a great brunch. This recipe serves between 6-12, depending on how you split up the meat & tomato mixture.  Maybe invite a few ladies from the book club. If you do that, be sure to have more than one extra bottle of Prosecco, too.

Go take a nap because Lord knows in a few hours the house is gonna be a mess and you gotta supervise the kids and take them to school tomorrow.  Have the housekeeper clean up the kitchen while you nap. Sure it’s Sunday and she was planning to go home to her family but she can still get there after brunch. Have her stay longer to watch the kids and keep them quiet because all that cooking gave you a headache.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mariposa Audio Book

I have totally forgotten to post this offer on the blog.

 My Mariposa audio book, narrated by the amazing Renata Friedman, is available on Audible, right now

And if you get a brand new membership to Audible, and use your first free credit to buy Mariposa, and then you send me a copy of the receipt showing your purchase along with your address, I'll send you a FREE print copy of both Mariposa and (when the publisher gets it to me) Hoodoopocalypse!!  I'll also throw in a free copy of the Mariposa prequel Lady in Blue.

So go check it out, get a membership to Audible today, and listen to Mariposa on your long holiday drives. You can get the app free on your phones, and it's an amazing way to pass the time instead of listening to "Baby it's Cold Outside" YET AGAIN.

If you're an I-Tunes person, you can find it there, too. The Audible offer above doesn't apply, but you still get an amazingly performed book. And my eternal gratitude.....

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book Blab Today: Slipstream!

A few writers & I are doing a new thing where we are talking about different types of writing, the challenge of indie publishing, etc. It's on a new platform Twitter is creating called Blab. If you have a Twitter account already, it's easy to sign in and watch us. It's not so much about sales or promotion, but the nitty gritty of the craft-- it's writing talk, mostly.

Today's chat will be about defining "Slipstream" fiction, persistence in spite of or because of negatives in publishing, and anything else we can come up with. It's pretty fun, and if you come during the live stream, you can chat with us, too, ask questions, etc. Come hang out if you have an hour free today! Come check it out!

Our "old" blabs are here on  YouTube where you can see what we've talked about before, if you're interested in that, too. 

Oh, and just for fun, here's last week's blab:

Come Play With Us!! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Blog Tour!

For December's release of the Mariposa Audiobook, and in honor of Mariposa's ONE YEAR book birthday, I'm going on a blog tour! I'll be doing interviews, having reviews, etc, on various awesome blogs all over the Internet. The first one, today, is on Mythical Books, and they'll be talking about my sources for Pinspiration for Mariposa. You can see the Pins I made for the locations.

You can also sign up to win one of five free downloads on Audible of the amazing audio version of Mariposa, narrated by the brilliant Renata Friedman.

Finally, check out the banner links above where there's a Rafflecopter to win the FREE KINDLE FIRE! That I'm giving away as part of the big December promos!

Let's Do This!!