Monday, October 5, 2015

The Story Behind the Sale

Okay, so you may have seen my Facebook post last week about a new book deal. It went something like this: So I sold two YA novels to Jolly Fish Press! RIFT will be out in the fall next year, and MEND in the Spring of 2017. ‪#‎booknews‬ ‪#‎JFP‬ ‪#‎timetravel‬ ‪#‎RiftWalkersseries‬ 

You can read the entire press release here.

Yes, I'm super-excited about it. I can't wait to see the awesome cover JFP will make, and hold the book in my hands. That's all awesome.

But really, you want to know which emotion was the most prevalent when I signed the contract? Relief. I think I probably wept.

See, this book has A Story, as most do. And this Story was HARD. And I wanted to quit about a million times, and no one ever gets to read That Story. I'll make it brief.

So I started writing this YA time travel novel at the end of 2011. I must've been certifiably insane. Because who writes a time travel novel? Oh, yes, someone who enjoys torture. Apparently, that's me.

I had an agent, and she liked the premise. So we revised. And revised. And revised. We gave the shiny new manuscript to my editor at Simon & Schuster.

And they said no.

I broke up with that agent, and decided a few months later to query using RIFT. Success! I got another agent with the manuscript. She wanted revisions. Times two.

Once those were done, we went out on submission. Lots of bites. Lots of rejections. Some close calls.

No offers.

I didn't quite know what "it" was in the book that didn't work for people. There had to be something, though, you know?

I broke up with Agent #2, and sat on RIFT. I thought it was a good book. Both of my agents thought so too. So I decided to submit to smaller houses myself. And I got an offer. I wasn't super-satisfied with the house, so I kept it in my back pocket while I continued to explore.

At this time, I was unagented and writing in another genre. I'd self-published some of my work -- I still do. But a time travel novel? No way I was self-pubbing that. I really wanted to have a clever, savvy editor for it, because again, I felt like it was missing something.

I had my finger on the pulse of all the query contests, the Pitch Wars, etc. I had created a dedicated column in my Tweetdeck just for #MSWL.

And that's when I saw this tweet:

And I thought, I have a time travel novel. Could be a good fit. So I went to Jolly Fish Press's website, and I liked what I saw. I should! They're right here in Utah, and I've sat on panels with the owner, Christopher! I don't know why I didn't think to submit to them.

But based on that #MSWL tweet and my research, I did. A few days later, they requested the full manuscript.

And just a few days after that, I got this tweet:

It took about another month to get the official offer, and bit more time to get things going from there. By the time I signed the contract, I just wanted the heck off this RIFT Rollercoaster. So many ups and downs and yeah. The tears. They were of relief that I didn't have to keep riding.

And now you'll get to read RIFT next fall! And now I have to write ANOTHER FREAKING TIME TRAVEL NOVEL. What was I thinking? Ha! Thankfully, I started on MEND during NaNo in 2013, so I have about 55,000 words. They might all need to be deleted and rewritten, but whatever.

And that's The Story. I know I'm not the only one on this crazy writing, querying, submitting, publishing roller coaster. How's your journey going? 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt!

And we're back today to reveal one of the nine pixels for the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt!!

You can win an ARC of Cure for the Common Universe and an embroidery of ‘Nobody Puts Princess in a Castle’ from The Cotton Floozy!

Oo. Aah.

If you participate in the Manic Pixel Scavenger hunt, your odds of winning will be greatly increased.

Oh, look, here’s a pixel now!

What do you see?

Write down your findings from this and the other pixels at any or all of the other blogs (listed below) and email them to Christian at cmheidicker(at)gmail(dot)com.

For every three things you send, he’ll put your name in the hat (or my jeans pocket) again and again and again, and then he’ll draw five names out of the hat (pocket) and send prize packages to those people.

Go! Get started! Win it! Win it all!

Participating Blogs:
Valynne Maetani
Carol Lynch Williams
Christian Trimmer
John Cusick
Brooke Lark
The Cotton Floozy

Jennifer Bardsley

#cureforthecommonuniverse #manicpixel

Tune in tomorrow to find out if you’ve won!

Happy Scavenging!

Go check out the book on Goodreads!

Prepare to be CURED June 2016.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE Cover Reveal and Scavenger Hunt

Okay, so I'm taking part in a pretty cool cover reveal that will take place over the next few days. Author Christian McKay Heidicker is here to tell us all about how YOU can participate and enter to win a copy of his forthcoming book, CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE, and other prizes! Take it away, Christian!


Hello, everyone. My name is Christian McKay Heidicker.


Whew. That’s a mouthful. Let’s try . . .


There. Better.

You may be asking yourself, where’s the cover? I came here to see a cover.

Okay, first, have I told you how nice your hair is looking today?

And second, the cover isn’t here.

CURE’s cover art is a little intense to take in all at once, so for everyone’s safety, I’ve divided it into nine pieces (er, pixels) and spread them across the Internet.


To make a scavenger hunt, of course. What’s the use of a book about a kid going to video game rehab if there isn’t some gaming first?!

Also, this will be your chance to take in all of the juicy (potentially scandalous) details of the cover before it’s fully revealed.

The art is reminiscent of books like I Spy or Where’s Waldo, so this scavenger hunt will work just like that . . . except instead of finding a cats eye marble or some seemingly friendless chump in a red and white striped sweater, you’ll receive ACTUAL PRIZES.

Five lucky winners will receive a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (cover obscured for obvious reasons) AND an embroidery of one of the phrases from the book, hand stitched by the extremely talented Cotton Floozy.


For every three things you discover hidden in the nine pixels and email to cmheidicker(at)gmail(dot)com or message me on Facebook, I’ll enter your name again . . . and again . . . and again. (There’s a lotta stuff on that cover.)


Subject: Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt

Dearest Christian,

I found:

1. A puppy made of garlic cloves
2. A bottomless bowl of undercooked breadsticks
3. A Christmas tree wearing lipstick
4. Amelia Earheart’s monocle
5. A bottomless bowl of overcooked breadsticks
6. A Who*

*(Objects not actually on cover, but no less interesting than what’s really on there.)


So, no, the cover is not here. But fear not! Tomorrow, I’ll be posting their whereabouts on this blog and at (You can also follow them with #cureforthecommonuniverse and #manicpixel.)

Tomorrow, the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt begins!

In the meantime, go check out the book on Goodreads!

Again, the cover is exquisitely complex, and in my personal opinion, AMAZING. It was designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy (that of Miley Cyrus.

Prepare to be CURED, June 2016.


Fun, right? So tomorrow, I'll get to reveal one of the nine pixels and you can come check it out to email Chrisitan things you see. So come on back tomorrow to see it!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Writing on Empty

Okay, so this has been one of the roughest starts to a school year I've had. For a few weeks there, I literally came home and stared at a screen. TV. Kindle. Didn't matter. I had no creative juices inside. I was literally empty.

I didn't write. I have things I wanted to write, but I couldn't force myself to do it. I shouldn't have to force myself to do it.

Well, about a month into school, I started to feel human again. And that's when I realized that I can't write on empty. I also realized that I could write on nearly empty, and the more I did that, the fuller my tank became.

It was weird. I would think that the more I expend, the less I have, but with writing, it's the opposite for me. Writing rejuvenates me, but I have to be in a certain place to even get the document open. I'm happy to be back writing again, being able to manage my time and my stress to be able to do that.

Do you get filled when you write? Are you empty or full right now?

Monday, September 21, 2015


Dude, today and tomorrow, my YA contemporary romance novel, SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE, is free! F-R-E-E. No money whatsoever. 

Head over to Amazon and get your free copy!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Second Chance Ranch!

Dude, okay, so my first foray into the Christian romance market is happening today! I'm super-excited about it, but also a little nervous. It's not my first book, but it is a completely different genre (thus the pen name), and I'm just not sure how it will be received.

But I need something to keep my mind off the fact that my agent is submitting my contemporary romance, and that the edits I'm expecting aren't here yet. This is the first time I'll be working with this editor, and I have little shivers in my stomach as I wait. What will the edits be like? Will I be able to do them? You know, the typical angst.

Anyway, I've enjoyed my little jaunts into the self-publishing world, and this time has been no exception. I hope you'll get a copy of Second Chance Ranch this week so it'll land on your Kindle on September 15.

Pre-order now!

Ever done something a little new and a little scary? How did it go?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fitting Work Into Life

Okay, so I've been MIA around the blog and blogosphere for a few weeks. Can I just say that teaching is really kicking my trash this year? I don't know if it's because I'm getting older (cough, cough). Or because I'm teaching an extra class this year. Or because all my classes are pretty large (35+).

But when I get home from work, I am T-I-R-E-D. I basically stare at the TV, or lose myself in mindless Kindle games until I'm completely zoned out. I might be able to get on Instagram and double-tap a few times. Sometimes I run through my Facebook groups and hit like. But there's no way to stay caught up, and I barely have the energy to make dinner let alone all this other stuff.

It has been hard fitting work into my life! I feel like this at the end of every summer, so I know I'll survive, but this feels like it's taking longer to settle into a routine. My creativity is completely shot, and I haven't been able to work much on my writing, and I'd like that to change too.

Any tips for how to avoid the staring and mindless games?? I'm all ears.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Free and Discounted YA Science Fiction and Fantasy!

Okay, so for the next five days, you can load your e-reader with some of the best YA science fiction and fantasy out there.

My book, ELEMENTAL HUNGER, is part of the sale. It is only 99-cents for the next five days. I hope you'll go get it!

About ELEMENTAL HUNGER: Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Go to the YAASFF site: Your Adventure Awaits: Summer Fun and Freebies. You can see all the books that are 99-cents and free, and enter to win one of 5 amazing prize packages! 

5 days. Tons of free and discounted books. 5 prize packages. Now until Friday, August 21. Your adventure awaits!

Go now by clicking the banner below!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

All Hallows' Eve Timeless Romance Collection

Dude, I am so excited to be included in the thirteenth Timeless Romance Collection! Halloween has never been my favorite holiday, but I think this year it will be.

Because Heather Moore, Sarah M. Eden, Annette Lyon, Jordan McCollum, Lisa Mangum, and I have six romance novellas centered around the paranormal!

ALL HALLOW'S EVE is not to be missed. Romance, thrills & chills. Need we say more?

In Sarah M. Eden’s mysterious novella OF GHOSTS AND GARDENS, if Enid Pryce has one downfall, it’s that she talks to the ghost in her garden, which doesn’t make her too popular among society’s elite. In fact, she returns to her home in Wales after a Season in Bath with not one offer of marriage. Deeming herself a failure at the nearly-spinster age of nineteen, she is pleasantly surprised when an English gentleman shows up in her garden, apparently intent on finding out more about the ghost. Burke Kennard, grandson of an English marquess, quickly becomes utterly charmed by the young Welsh woman, but the ghost in the garden is more likely to push them apart than pull them together.

In Annette Lyon’s enthralling story IT’S YOU, when Charlie and Anna both see the ghost of Nanny Mae, they think they’re losing their minds. Anna tries to find out more about the ghost and uncovers a decades’ old family secret. One that separated two people in love. Now, the ghost of Nanny Mae must set her wrongs to right. As Charlie and Anna explore the past, and the truth of what happened, they discover that the mistakes of the past might lead to love of the future.

In SOPHIA’S CURSE, a suspenseful novella by Heather B. Moore, Joan grows up in an abbey in France, believing that she is an orphan. A chance encounter with the foreboding owner of a neighboring estate, alters everything she’s understood about her parents. She discovers she’s an integral part of changing a decades-old curse, and that her life, as well as the handsome and intriguing Simon Rousseau’s life, are both in danger unless she makes an enormous sacrifice that will change the course of her dreams.

In Lisa Mangum’s haunting story THE SIRENS’ SONG, we meet recently widowed Oliver, the lead physician on a luxury cruise liner traveling to Greece. He hopes that the change of scenery will help ease his grief over his deceased wife, Cate. After falling overboard, though, he is captured by a siren and taken to a mystical island. Through the sirens' song, Oliver is able to relive his memories of Cate—both the good and the bad—as long as he gives away his memories of her. But can he sacrifice his best memory in exchange for one last chance to say good-bye?

In Jordan McCollum’s thrilling novella THE MAN OF HER DREAMS, homicide detective Alexandra Steen dreams about real murders before they happen, seeing the crime through the eyes of the killers. But the dreams never contain enough clues to save the victim before it's too late. Then one dream ends before a murder occurs—in a place she knows. She finds herself racing against time to prevent the deadly act, only to discover that the intended victim is a man she thought she’d never see again. Seven years might have passed since her breakup with Nick, but the years haven’t changed her feelings for him. Now, she must convince Nick that her dreams are real and find a way to prevent his death.

In Elana Johnson’s chilling story THE GHOST OF MILLHOUSE MANSION, Naomi knows her crush on Colt Jennings is unreasonable. When he invites her to his reclusive mansion to restore an old wooden rocking horse, Naomi can’t resist accepting the job. The more time Naomi spends touring his home, the more interested she becomes in Colt. Until she sees a man in the library who vanishes into thin air. She thinks she’s losing her mind until Colt tells her about the ghosts he’s been seeing for years.

GHOSTS, you guys! I got to write about GHOSTS in the Rocky Mountains! The very first novel I wrote years and years ago was a ghost story. (It was terrible, but we won't dwell on that.) Almost thirty books later, and I get to share some ghosts with you. Completely different ones, in a completely different place, in a completely new genre, but still. GHOSTS.

I hope you'll pick up the anthology, which releases this Friday, August 14. All the novellas are clean romances with a paranormal twist. I can't wait to read them all!

What are you excited about this week?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Exciting News-ish Items!

Wow, this summer has FLOWN by! F-L-O-W-N. I swear it was just barely the last day of school, and next week I'll be starting a new school year. Cray-zy.

Anyway, there have been things happening, as I'm sure there have been for you as well. I had some lofty summer goals for my writing, and I'm happy to report on them.

1. Write the sequel to my adult romance. Check. I drafted the book in June--the same month I got two offers from publishers on the first book. The same month I signed with a new literary agent for that adult romance. So yeah, maybe writing that sequel was done on a high.

2. Edit the inspirational romance I'd written earlier this year. Check. I actually bought several of Margie Lawson's writing packets, and used her Deep EDITS system. I can't recommend it enough. I worked with highlighters and pen on a hard copy of the book, putting in about 10 hours each day for a solid week. Double check. Then I entered all the handwritten changes into the computer for another week. Triple check. More news about this book below.

3. Write the sequel to the inspirational romance. Check. My goal was to write 5000 words each day for 12 days in July, before my big dance trip to Vegas and my family reunion. I ended up drafting the 50,000-word book in only 7 days. Yes, it has holes. Things that need to be fixed, And 10,000 more words. But it's drafted!

So naturally, after my vacations and whatnot, I made myself a list of writing goals for the fall--my busiest time of the year what with school starting and everything. My son's a senior this year too, which means scholarship apps and all that. (I love paperwork, so I'm super excited about this!)

And I decided to publish my inspirational romance under a pen name. I've never been a fan of pen names, but I have all my YA and New Adult stuff under Elana Johnson, and my adult contemporary romance as well. This is inspirational--religious. I decided it needed to be delineated.

So I'll be releasing the first book in the series, SECOND CHANCE RANCH, on September 8. (You can pre-order here.) The second book is in edits right now, and it'll be out on December 1.  I'm writing this series under the name of Liz Isaacson, and you can follow happenings for it on twitter, Facebook, and my blog.

About SECOND CHANCE RANCH: After his deployment, injured and discharged Major Squire Ackerman returns to Three Rivers Ranch, anxious to prove himself capable of running the cattle operation so his parents can retire. Things would be easier if the ranch wasn’t missing 1.6 million dollars, which forces Squire to hire Kelly, the girl who rejected his high school prom invitation, as his accountant.

She’s back in town with her four-year-old son, living in her parent’s basement until she can get her life back together. With fresh ink on her divorce papers and open gashes on her heart, she’s not ready for much beyond her new job on the ranch.

Squire wants to forgive Kelly for ignoring him a decade ago. He’d like to provide the stable life she needs, but with old wounds opening and a ranch on the brink of financial collapse, it will take patience and faith to make their second chance possible.

I'm toying with publishing my YA fantasy, but I also got an offer on one of my YA sci-fi novels from a publisher, and I'm thinking they might be interested in it. So I might wait on that. Either way, it's been an eventful summer!!

How has your summer been??

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Release Day! CHAMELEON by KT Hanna

Okay, so I'm super excited to be coming off my blog hiatus for this. There couldn't be a better way! See, a new book is out today. Yes, this happens a lot. But this book is awesome. I got to read an early copy, and I loved it.

It's CHAMELEON by KT Hanna, and it's the first in her Domino Project series.

About CHAMELEON: When Sai's newly awoken psionic powers accidentally destroy her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. Her only options are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, and partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite psionic hybrid.

After eliminating an Exiled scientist, she discovers someone is manipulating both sides of the conflict. With each mission more perilous, Sai must figure out who to trust before her next assignment becomes her last.

I enjoyed the book so much, I blurbed it for KT. I thought everything about it was well-done, and I could see why it had garnered an agent's attention. But we all know the market for dystopian and science fiction (two of my favorite genres!) isn't super-hot right now. I'm so glad KT decided to publish this book, because it deserves to be read!

And it's out today! So go order it. If you like well-written stories, with beautifully developed characters with flaws and strengths and everything in between, coupled with phenomenal writing, you'll like CHAMELEON.


About the Author: KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis.

We're having a blog hop, and an e-card & mega swag Rafflecopter giveaway!

The blog hop stops are noted below. Each day has a different theme and you can find out about the process, the idea, and the evolution of Chameleon, and even a bit about K.T. by visiting each blog, when their posts go live.

4-Aug 5-Aug 6-Aug 7-Aug 10-Aug
Fun facts about the book What I learned writing Chameleon Author Interviews The world of Chameleon The Evolution of Chameleon
Manuel Soto Marlo Berliner Leatrice McKinney Rebecca Enzor Patricia Lynn
J Elizabeth Hill Stacey Trombley Dawn Allen Sharon Johnston Bex Montgomery
E.L. Wicker JC Davis Suzanne van Rooyen Mandy Baxter Madelyn Dyer
Jessie Mullins Andrew Patterson Heather Rebel Jessica Therrien Carissa Taylor
Emma Adams Lady Jai Elayna Noreme Kendra Young

We're giving away e-cards of your choice from B&N, iTunes, & Amazon – one to the value of $25, and three to the value of $10! Each prize includes a swag pack of a magnet, sticker, bookmark, postcard, and mousepad!

Just follow the options listed on the giveaway and you'll be entered!

full swag pack

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cover Reveal: CHAMELEON by KT Hanna

Okay, so I'm super-excited for my friend and fellow blogger, KT Hanna. She's revealing her cover today, for her debut novel, CHAMELEON. It's the first in a new YA futuristic series, The Domino Project.

Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) is a YA futuristic science fiction story. It's set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower devastates landmasses, makes seas rise, introduces the psionic gene into the human race, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world.

About CHAMELEON: After Sai's newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.

On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.

Without further ado - here is the cover, by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?!?!

I love the total sci-fi-ness (totally a word!) of it. And I love YA sci-fi, so I can't wait to read it.

It's available for preorder for a special price of $2.99!

Amazon Link

MeAbout the Author: KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis.

To celebrate, we're giving away 2 x $10 Amazon e-gift cards (open to anyone who can receive and use an Amazon e-card) Just click on as many options as you like and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 1, 2015

School's Out -- A Short Break

Okay, so school's out for summer!

And I couldn't be more relieved. It has been a challenging year for me, and I'm continually amazed at how every year is different in teaching. Always something new, always something different.

So I'm going to take a much-needed break from blogging. Just a couple of weeks. I'm going to relax by the pool, write a book, go to a National Park, and relax. Wait. Did I say that already? :)

What are you doing this summer?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Crock Pot Cook: Shredded Beef Tacos

Okay, so I know people are huge fans of crock pots. "You can't mess up," they tell me. "Works every time," they say.

Well. I'm here to say that I've messed up and had things not work in the crock pot before. But this is not one of them. I love making this meat mixture. It's so versatile. I made tacos one night, layered it with cheese and tortillas for a beef quesadilla the next, put it on sourdough with cheese for an amazing beef grilled cheese the third.

It makes so much, I took half of it to my friend who had just had surgery (and her family of 6!) and still had enough to do all of the above.

This is a recipe from the American Heart Association cookbook. I've made exactly one thing from it: this, but it was worth buying the thick volume. I've made a few changes according to my tastes, and I'll note those below.

Shredded Beef Tacos:
2 lb. top round steak
1 bell pepper (recipe calls for green; I use whatever color I have in my fridge), diced
3 large onions, diced (I only use two, and it seems to have plenty of onion)
1/4 c. water (recipe calls for dry red wine, but I don't cook with alcohol)
1/2 c. ketchup (recipe calls for low-sodium, but yeah. I use the regular stuff)
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. cumin
3/4 t. liquid smoke
1/2 t. hot sauce (I'm a wimp, and don't put this much in. I do a couple of shakes and call it good)
2 medium bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced (I adore garlic and may or may not add more than this...)

1 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. cumin

Taco toppings (sour cream, ranch dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, guac -- whatever you like!)

I use those raw tortillas, cook them and add cheese before I start building my taco. That way, the cheese is melty and everything's warm. #mmm

1. Place the steak in the crock pot. Dice the onions and pepper and layer over meat.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the water, ketchup, bouillon cubes, pepper, cumin, liquid smoke, hot sauce, bay leaves, and garlic. Whisk together and pour over the meat and vegetables. Stir to coat.
3. Turn the crock pot on low and let it go for 6-8 hours.
4. With one hour of cooking time left, add the additional 1 t. cumin and 1 t. brown sugar. Shred meat, remove bay leaves, and stir well. Let stand for one hour so the flavors will marry.
5. Assemble tacos, or quesadillas, or enchiladas, or chimichangas, or... the list is endless!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taking Time to Learn

Okay, so confession time. I'm one of the most impatient people on the planet. No, really. You might be thinking of Two Weeks Notice right now, and when Hugh Grant says, "That's silly. Have you met every person on the planet?" << Ha!

Of course I haven't met every person on the planet, so maybe I just FEEL like the most impatient person ever. Maybe you can relate to this.

Anyway, I've been getting some feedback about my writing, and I've realized that I need to A) slow down, and B) learn new stuff. That last one is vague, but I know there's more I need to do in order to find my success again.

But I'm impatient, and I had previously made some writing goals to draft two books this summer (since I don't work and all that). I find myself resisting the thought to maybe re-draft my goals, and take the time to learn what I need to learn before I draft the novels.

I have notes from the conference I attended last week. I have a few writing exercises I need to get done before I draft. I bought a new craft book on the suggestion of the instructor of another class. I need to read it, ponder it, incorporate it into my writing. And I need to fill out my beat sheets for my new novels.

I think I'll have to do less work later if I put the time into this now. So I guess this is me publicly saying I'm going to take the time to learn a bit more -- about the writing craft, my characters, and my plots -- before I start drafting.

Have you ever had to slow down and readjust goals?