November 22, 2011

Breaking into a Secret Place

I love running. I've never run a 5k in under 30 minutes and I've never run a marathon, but I have hopes of someday reaching those milestones.

The running community is a close one. We're supportive and can celebrate acheivements at any level. (Kind of like the writing community.) But what is it that unites us? It's not that we've all hit the wall while running a marathon. It's not that we're all super-elite athletes.

Is it that we simply share an interest? Would we be equally supportive if we all loved cross stitch samplers or followed weather patterns? I know there are communities of people that do love these things, and I'm not knocking them, but any runner would have to agree that it's more than a hobby we share.

My theory is that we've broken into a secret place. We're the ones that figured out the combination to the lock and now we're enjoying the spoils. And while we can tell others how wonderful running is (no, really!) and we can give them the combination to that lock, until they want it enough, they'll never open it.

I share a lot about my writing endeavors on this blog. Writing has its own secret place, its own supportive community. I consider myself very fortunate to have two secret places.

November 15, 2011

Trying Something New: Eggs Benedict

I like trying new recipes, especially if they're supposed to be a little challenging. I make divinity every Christmas now, because I was too stubborn to let a pile of amorphous white goo get the best of me. Now it's my husband's favorite treat.

I was in the cooking mood, and my stomach growled for something substantial. Maybe it was because I'd been watching Holmes that week (where Sherlock Holmes is played by Benedict Cumberbatch), but I felt like I had to try eggs benedict. I've never made it before, but I know it involves a poached egg, an english muffin, canadian bacon or ham, and something called hollandaise sauce.

I looked up the sauce and already knew how to poach an egg. The rest was pretty simple: just slap it together.

The sauce was harder than I thought. Not too difficult to make, if you keep a close watch on the temperature, but knowing when it's cooked enough was hard for a first-timer. Still, I managed to make the best brunch I've ever made. (Possibly the only brunch I've ever made, but I was still proud.)

Quick moment of honesty: It took me a few tries before I got a good poached egg. The first few times, the white went everywhere and it looked like silly string.

November 8, 2011

Why NaNoWriMo is like my book cover

I love NaNoWrimo. A whole bunch of people come together and for 30 days, they write their hearts out in hopes of reaching the coveted 50,000-word mark. They don't really have much to gain from it. Just a silly novel and the chance to see that novel as a book they can actually see and hold in their hands.

While that can be pretty cool, and enough to motivate you to keep going, NaNoWriMo is so much more than that. It's a community of creative people who come together to do something crazy.

It's a bunch of people who say, "Hey, let's create something new and see what we come up with."

They sit down, they write, and they have a blast doing it.

You know what? I love people like that. They're fun, and when I read their blog posts and facebook updates and tweets, it makes me want to do a happy dance. Because there are really cool people out there doing something just because it's a challenge and it's fun.

I was just thinking about all the folks who are designing a book cover for THE FAIRY TALE TRAP. Some of them are strangers, but I'm cheering for them. It wasn't until today that I stopped to consider why. Why do I care if somebody I've never met creates a great cover, especially if it doesn't win?

Because they're crazy. They don't have much to gain by entering the contest. Just a silly novel. ;) I mean sure, there's the Amazon gift card and the chance to see your work on an actual book.

But this contest is so much more than that.

These complete strangers are creating something new, to see what they can come up with. And even though it's a really small community, hearing from them and what they're doing is exciting.

Because I think the world is a better place when we say, "Hey, let's create something new and see what we come up with."

November 1, 2011

Quiet Beauty on my Window Sill

Happy NaNoWriMo, everyone! Sadly, I can't participate this year, since I have THE FAIRY TALE TRAP to revise and prep for publication NEXT MONTH. (Yikes!) But I will cheer for you from here and admire your pretty word counts. :)

Well, the baby craziness is over and I'm trying to get healthy again. (Yes, I know toddler craziness is right around the corner, but at least my body is my own again.)  So I'm running regularly (slowly, but regularly), taking vitamins, drinking water, and trying to get on a decent sleep schedule.
I love flowers.
There's something about
them that makes the world
seem a little less crappy.

But I also want mental/spiritual health. My religious beliefs play a big part in that, but I thought it might also be nice to bring a little nature indoors.

So I used a Groupon to fill my window sill with color. I got a bunch of flowers and herbs (at half price) and put them where I would see them (and water them).

So after dropping my daughter off at school, running, coming home and showering, and taking care of my son, I need to do the dishes. Being able to see this natural beauty while I work brings quiet awe into a crazy day.

How do you recharge?
.i2Style{ font:bold 24px Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif; font-style:normal; color:#ffffff; background:#67b310; border:0px none #ffffff; text-shadow:0px -1px 1px #222222; box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -moz-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -webkit-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -moz-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -webkit-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; width:96px; padding:20px 43px; cursor:pointer; margin:0 auto; } .i2Style:active{ cursor:pointer; position:relative; top:2px; }