Thursday, December 26, 2019

Do You Write During the Holidays?

As the sun set on December 21, the shortest day of the year, I took this photo in a nearby park. Fewer hours of daylight can be depressing for some, but I've always enjoyed sitting quietly in the evening and writing, which I can easily do as long as there is electricity. I've written without electricity, too.  See that post HERE. 

However, the Christmas season involves a great deal of energy--cleaning, decorating, singing Christmas carols, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, cooking, and baking. In all that flurry of activity, there's little time to summon up my muse and write so I don't even try. There are those who insist every writer must write every day. But I believe there can be extenuating circumstances, and I count Christmas as one of those times when it's better to give my full attention to things other than writing. Once the holidays are over, I return to my regular routine and write every day while allowing the dust bunnies to multiply.

How about you? Do you think a writer must write everyday without exception? Do you write during the holidays? If so, how do you manage with everything else that needs to be done at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Oat Shortbread for Lazy Cookie Bakers

It's that time of year when many people turn to baking cookies. I'm a lazy cookie baker. Life and writing leave me very little time for dropping teaspoons of cookie dough on a baking sheet. I found this recipe in The New York Times New Natural Foods Cookbook. However, I changed one thing. Rather than use 3/4 cup of butter, I used 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of Canola oil. It worked.

This is a terrific recipe. It's quick, there aren't many ingredients, and it's delicious. :-)

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and work thoroughly together with both hands.

3. Press mixture into a greased 13x9 pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Cool for 10 minutes.

6. Cut into squares.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Thanks to My Author Friends


I am very grateful for my author friends. They buy my books and review them. They post interviews about me and my books on their blogs and then retweet my tweets. They are extremely supportive. I try to do the same for them.

Other authors know exactly how difficult it is to entice people to read books. Other authors know there were 675 million print books ( sold in our country last year and getting anyone to notice a new one that is not on the NY Times list of bestsellers is far more troublesome than using a metal detector to find coins on the beach. 

Other authors know how disappointing it is to get rejections or bad reviews. They know what's it's like to have poor sales on a book. They understand what's it's like to have a publishing house go out of business, leaving them with orphaned books.

Other authors are helpful and encouraging. They will applaud another author's success and offer comfort to an author who is having a bad time.

I want to thank all my author friends who helped me launch CLEAR AS ICE. I wish them all the best of luck with their books in 2020.