Writers: Be open to criticism, even if it’s from another species…

Buddy’s editorial vigilance can be a little annoying, but in the end, his syntax choices usually win out.

And if you’re looking for assistance beyond some beloved know-it-all pet, try these suggestions from Jeanna Bray’s guest post at LiveWriteThrive.

18 Worthy Websites for Writers

Two of the sites I pursued after reading the post:

750 Words (The site description: “It’s a daily brain dump.”)

AutoCrit

More on these sites in later posts…

Finally! A completed writing project!

Just click the book cover for a preview.

What are the best parts of this book being on the Amazon shelf?

  1. I finished a project!
  2. There’s nothing like seeing my book available publicly…to spotlight glaring necessary fixes.
  3. Offshoot projects resulted from this one.
  4. I have more time to create my mini-course on ‘acts of kindness’ writing.

Wisdom for Writers from Beaver Cleaver



When revision and editing process breaks down.
Beaver: “Sometimes things get so messed up, crying is the only thing you can do.”  

Romance writers take note:
Beaver: “Yeah, but there was too much kissin’ and not enough apes.”

On dealing with editors:
Beaver: “Do you like me a whole lot?”
Wally: “Look, don’t get sloppy on me. I might just slug you one.”

On complete transparency:
Wally: “Beaver — you got crumbs in the butter again. Boy, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s crumbs in the butter.”
Beaver: “Sorry Wally. That must have happened when it fell on the floor.”

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

I should be writing. Instead…bread pudding.

Sweet potato bread pudding, to be specific, inspired by an episode of George Hirsch Lifestyle

I had leftover monkey bread/pull apart from a local bakery–the parts lacking anything resembling sweet, syrupy, or nutty [i.e. the dry stuff that should have been drenched, but wasn’t. Okay, so I’m a hard-nose when it comes to unhealthy, but oh-so-good pastries.]

And I figured it would be a great springboard for a bread pudding.

Anyway, I steamed the sweet potatoes and worked in plenty of vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar. The resulting mash sat peacefully in the fridge for a couple of days and this morning mixed well with the sweetened custard, then the bread, chopped pecans, and rehydrated cranberries.

I can’t seem to track down the exact recipe, sorry. So, bakers, just mix it all together and keep an eye on it. At 350 degrees, the pudding–about 2.5 inches high– took about 70 minutes–foil-covered for the first 40 minutes, then crisping up the rest of the time.

L. convinced me that the sweet potatoes made this a health food. Worked for me.

I should be writing. Instead…mini-pies.

dog looking up at counter with pies
Other than the restricted access, we think Buddy approves.

Yep, not getting out much over the last week, so…

Substituted one cup of almond flour. [2:1 ratio–all-purpose:almond.] It added a nice [no surprise] nuttiness and richness to the crust. I’d do it again.

Filling: caramel-dried cranberry-pecan-apple.

Topping: a basic streusel I threw together [flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon]

Caramel: I think I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s actually what Ree Drummond calls her ‘brown sugar sauce.’

Why mini-pies?

  • Lots of different flavors.

  • ‘Fails’ aren’t as drastic. Therefore, it encourages experimentation.

  • Practice with different fluting techniques [though–as the photo shows–the almond flour gives the crust more of a ‘mind of its own’ once in the oven.]

  • Built-in ‘portion control’.

I do like the America’s Test Kitchen approach of high heat on a pre-heated cookie sheet for the first ten minutes. I go with 450º, then drop to 375º.

When was it done? We just waited for the inevitable ooze from the middle.

Need a justification for stress-induced baking? I’ve got it covered.

Stay safe, you all.

Rants and Riffs Installment #17: Face-touching outlawed and other Gordian knots

 

1. Yep, I’m all for health and safety precautions in these Covid-19 times, but a news article reminded readers of the health risks of face-fondling and offered some solutions.

Another solution…masks. And really, wouldn’t it make life more interesting?

2. As for the article itself, nowadays, it’s not all that easy to find a straightforward objective just the facts, ma’am’ article. Everything has morphed into ‘commentary’, ‘analysis’, or ‘opinion’. Gggaaaaaahhhhh! Just give us information! [and without the ‘Breaking news!’ notices…]

3. Please don’t make me compare ‘apples’ to ‘oranges’. It’s just not fair to either one.

4. Used car prices…insane.
wrecked carYou expect me to match your price for that unsafe-at-any-speed death trap with mushy brakes and a not-as–serpentine-as-it-should-be belt? I’ll show you*…right this minute I can saunter into a showroom and pick up a new model, complete with the dozen soon-to-be-released-at-inconvenient-intervals recall notices.

5. We can put a man on the moon, but most veterinarians still prescribe those insane, post-surgery e-collars. The poor dog is probably groggy and waaay unsettled and the technician snaps that opaque inverted dome around the patient’s head. Yep, real vet training would include putting students inside one of those for a day and expect them to follow through on daily tasks–yes, all daily tasks–and then sleep through the night.

Queen Elizabeth I
This is a start. I wouldn’t even expect vets to wear the jewelry or puffy shirt. I’m not a complete Philistine.

6. And those dumb hypersensitive Chromebook/laptop track pads? One brush of my lithe and slender pinky knuckle and, unbeknownst** to me, the cursor wanders off to some obscure location in my latest masterpiece. At least with handwritten work, there is no roving cursor to track down. And if there is, well, I have bigger problems.


* Who is ‘you’, anyways?

** Hey, when I use the word ‘unbeknownst’, you know I’m fired up!

I should be writing. Instead…a culinary escape

Better yet, just pour yourself some coffee/tea, snag a treat, and follow the links below…
I have watched these shows multiple times and inevitably dream of a pastry/bread-driven road trip. Note: The people are just as appealing as the treats.
No interest or time? At least fast forward to 15:17 of  A Few Great Bakeries to meet my culinary ‘hero’. This guy is classic.

And for those writers who choose to just sit back and enjoy, how about a couple of rationalizations for your productivity hiatus?
The Holstee Manifesto My favorite nugget: “When you eat, appreciate every last bite.” Glad I found this.