Category Archives: writing tips
Curation Corner: 30 uses for those half-used or blank notebooks
Lots of good ideas in Shelby Abrahamsen’s
30 FUN AND EFFECTIVE WAYS
TO USE A BLANK NOTEBOOK
You’ll see some of my favorites in the intro graphic.
Plus, there is something non-threatening to picking up a half-used notebook and diving in with your latest brainstorm. Just my observation…
Curation Corner: Following up on Writers, Ink
As I was curating for my previous post on podcasts for writers, I ran across Writers, Ink, a team effort of J.D. Barker, J. Thorn, and Zach Bohannon.
When I clicked over to their website, I signed up for the free revision course (see above).
Am hoping it will A. offer some helpful strategies B. nudge me to open some work that needs my attention [i.e. is collecting digital dust].
Hope this help, writers.
Curation Corner: Writers–run these as you craft your best seller
Another gem. This one from Alice Florence Orr of podcastreview.org.
8 Podcasts to Inspire Your Writing Practice
I’m most intrigued by Writers, Ink.
Orr’s description: Hosted by three bestselling authors, Writers, Ink will make you feel better about that unfinished manuscript on your flash drive.
As I finish this post, I’m listening to the episode The Benefits of Writing in the Morning.
Hope this help, writers.
Curation Corner: Writers–Embrace the mess
Click the above word cloud for a two-minute curation of Stefanie Flaxman’s Be a Bad Writer to Be a Great Writer post on Copyblogger.
While this site is directed at entrepreneurs and content marketing, it is filled with solid advice and strategies for all writers.
Curation Corner: Look into MasterClass Live
As I’m writing this, Dan (The DaVinci Code) Brown is the middle of his 50-minute YouTube video that includes a Q and A session with students who had signed up for his MasterClass course.
Here is the link to MasterClass Live on YouTube. Lots of excellent free knowledge being shared by the experts.
I was going to post this next week, but I’m going to squeeze this in today to promote their 2-for-1 annual membership offer through Nov. 30. (Nope, not getting any $$ for doing this. Just wanted to pass this along. I’m inches away from ordering myself, as it opens me up to send a free year as a Christmas gift.)
25 Ways to Start a Story
This arrived in my inbox today. It’s from a January 31 Writer’s Digest article by Robert Lee Brewer.
If you want to subscribe to the Writer’s Digest free Weekly enewsletter, follow this link. It always has a generous supply of free content for us writer-folks.
I should be writing.. Instead, apple crisp…and apple cake.
I really had no choice.
It’s officially apple season and the golden delicious tree is burgeoning.
So, last Sunday I slapped together an apple crisp sans recipe, though my trusty assistant in culinary crimes–my wife and herder of Buddy the Rescue Dog–pulled up an Epicurious recipe for a crust topping as a guide. For the filling, I just knew what ingredients I wanted and went from there.
Result: a caramelly ooze —gee, go figure, when the cook indiscriminately tosses in plenty of brown sugar and enough flour…well, there were the sweet cherries and their juice, and the chunks of golden delicioius–well, you get the picture… and the crust was as good as the apple-goo.
Autumn…I love you.**
A few days later, within hours of finishing the crisp, and with plenty of Act of Kindness Writing chores I could/should be dealing with, it was time for an apple cake…or, as the recipe calls it, a ‘moist’ apple cake.
On its own, this is a ‘will bake again’ item. As always, though, I did stray ‘just a bit’…
- I added allspice to both the apple mixture and the flour mixture.
- When it comes to cinnamon, I just don’t get the low doses in most recipes. Can’t remember the last time I actually measured cinnamon.
- I added rehydrated Craisins.
- I made my own ‘apple sauce’. I just mashed away at, and then seasoned, chunks of golden delicious with the pastry cutter. And mashed away some more.
- Figuring on a more moist result, I used a loaf pan instead of a 9” x 13” pan.
- Fearing there might be spillover, I scooped out about a cup of the mixture and slathered that into a greased pie pan. Gotta say, when revisiting this recipe, I’ll be tempted to go exclusively with pie pans. It’s a quicker bake and four smaller cakes open the door to more experimentation, say a little creme de cassis reduction for one of them…and Ree Drummond’s Easy Caramel Sauce for another. Come to think of it…I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have those on hand for slices of this current version…
**“No, deeeear! I don’t know anyone named Autumn!”
I should be writing. Instead, drifting…toward chocolate cake.
- Raise your hand if:
- you’ve ever left a measuring cup in the bag of flour or sugar.
- you’ve intentionally left a measuring cup in the bag of flour or sugar for the next baking venture.
- you skipped the ‘firmly pack the brown sugar’ step and instead just poured in an extra tablespoon or two of the stuff.
- you would consider breaking off a hunk of this cake rather than resorting to a [pinkies up!] utensil. Recipe below…Note: Feel free to overdo both the chocolate chips and the cocoa.
2. Best way to get rid of the redolent odor of wildfire smoke in your kitchen? Four batches of roasted tomatoes, with generous supplies of garlic chunks, rosemary sprigs, etc. [It ain’t pretty here in Oregon right now…]
3. And then there’s this: Do you think dogs lying peacefully on the floor know the difference between our giving them half our attention [one hand scratching their chin and one hand clicking links or entering a passcode] vs. our full attention? Do we send out a ‘semi-distracted’ vibe when we are, in fact, semi-distracted?
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 4 TBLSP cocoa
- 3 six-inch long zucchini
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Cream first four ingredients together in large bowl.
- Add next three ingredients and stir well to mix.
- Measure next six ingredients into sifter; then sift into bowl of other ingredients.
- Finely grate zucchini into bowl; stir until blended.
- Fold in half of the chocolate chips to mixture.
- Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ pan –or- two 9″ cake pans.
- Sprinkle rest of chocolate chips on top of batter.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. [Check it about the 37-minute mark. Hey, different ovens, right?]
*Cutting the oil in half barely changes the final result.
Curation Corner: Erika Dreifus’ Practicing Writer
I’ve followed the work of Erika Dreifus’ work for about three years, further proof of what a slacker I’ve been for not passing it along to you folks sooner.
And so, still in ‘slacker’ mode, I’ll let her monthly newsletter’s table of contents do my work for me:
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Editor’s Note: What’s New
- Success Stories
- Featured Resource
- Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY OR APPLICATION FEES; PAYING OPPORTUNITIES ONLY)
- Submission Alerts!!! (NO SUBMISSION/READING FEES; PAYING CALLS ONLY)
- Blog Notes
- Newsletter Matters