St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Tradition, and Further Updates

Hey y’all!  I’m posting as promised!  Sadly I have no photos to share because I didn’t take any.  I had a decent day, but wasn’t feeling like photos.  That’s all.

My corning beef and cabbage came out perfectly. I put my brisket into the crock pot after finishing with my 7am class, added a few cups of water, turned the crock pot on high, and let it cook until about 4:30pm.  Fall apart, melt in your mouth, like butter, delicious!  My landlady’s husband is Irish, but he doesn’t like corned beef, so I made her a plate and invited her over. She loved it as well. Said it was ‘the bomb’.  The cabbage I fried up using my wok, a little bit of vegetable oil, and some natural corned beef stock from the crock pot.  Add seasoning to taste; salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy. Cook it down then add hot sauce and simmer. Mouth watering.  I boiled, then baked my red-skinned potatoes.  I’ve never done this before, but wow, they came out as good as my roasted potato recipe.  All in all, a great meal turn out considering I couldn’t get my hands on any Guinness beer to go with it.  Instead, my husband and I enjoyed some Bud Light Platinum.

The day wasn’t as busy as I initially thought and planned for it to be.  My parents are feeling their age and have been tired and achy with the weather, not to mention their own health ailments, so I didn’t have to go clean their place yesterday.  I wouldn’t have minded doing the cleaning for them, but they said it could wait until next week.  I did still go to my doctor’s appointment, a follow up on my eczema, and working to find a medication for it that my insurance will cover.  We tried Eucrisa and it works, really well, but insurance doesn’t cover it and it’s WOW expensive.  It’ll get figured out.

After I got home from my doctor’s appointment, I jumped right into cooking the rest of our St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  So, that was that.

Now, I’m fully focusing on finishing my manuscript.  It’s about halfway done, but the only stories I have left are those in my file on my computer.  I’ll be writing, revising, editing, and getting those polished up over the next month, then I’m sorting, categorizing, and preparing the file to submit to Page Publishing.  Fingers crossed!

This last week, though I was hanging outside on my porch because our weather was beyond beautiful, I sat outside with my writing binder, composing rough drafts from some notes I wrote a few years ago.  I had originally titled the entirety of the story ‘The Battlefield’, but after rereading all my notes, I decided a better route is breaking the story up into three shorter, but more detailed stories.

‘Dad Has What?’ is my dad’s cancer story from my point of view.  It was a very stressful time, a very scary situation, and I was only 14 years old.

‘The Gavel Hits Home’ is my story about the custody battle between my mother and dad, for me and my little sister.  It wasn’t pretty.

Finally, ‘Sneaky, Sneaky’ is about a little no-no I did while on visitation with my mother.  I was a well-behaved teenager, for the most part, but this is about something I did against my mother, without her knowledge, and I believe it helped us during the custody hearings.

So, as you can see, I’m still working, still writing, and to be honest, avoiding public places as much as possible, what with this Coronavirus, COVID-19, cautionary scare.  I’m not saying I don’t believe it, I’m saying I’m using as much caution as I can and I understand the fear of it.  Thank goodness my daughter is in online school.  However, I am wondering what they’re going to do as EOG’s and EOC’s were scheduled for the end of next month, but are currently suspended until further notice, so to keep our kids healthy.  So we can all stay healthy.

As always everyone, thank you for reading, and y’all, please stay healthy and safe!

It’s Manuscript Mania!

Hey y’all!  I thought I’d touch base again, and talk more about my manuscript.  It’s really coming along!  I started working on it daily and diligently just before the start of the new year, making it a strong habit to write daily, even if I’m only writing into a random journal.  My husband helps with the editing process on the more serious pieces.  I write, or lately, rewrite, give it to my husband for an opinion, and depending on his opinion of the piece, I reread it for revisions.  It’s a process, but we’re a great team.  My husband and I.

I’ve been pushing myself so much, I have a few pieces in limbo.  For example, I’m rereading to rewrite one, and my husband has three different ones in his email inbox waiting for him.  They either need a directional opinion, or a final proofread for grammatical mistakes.  A couple of them are pieces I’ll be submitting to Chicken Soup for the Soul!  The others, are my book.

I just finished with “Not Quite Nestle”, a story about my mother’s Christmas cookie disaster, and what exactly happened.

I spent some time revising a story I titled “What’s That Smell?”, about the birth of my daughter and a visitor I never expected.

Another story I’ve been working on, I titled “A Little R to R (Rest to Recuperate)”, a story I wrote about finding time for myself.  With all the stress in life, everyone needs a moment to themselves, to take a deep breath, to shake your shoulders, to meditate, or whatever you have to do to gain a better grip.  Finding time for myself came one step at a time.

I wrote a funnier story about Christmas awhile back, and decided it needed revising.  “Merlyn’s Christmas Cat’astrophe” is about our oldest cat and her first Christmas.  Kittens will be kittens.

That isn’t all.  There are more, but these are the more recent pieces.  I’ve spent all this time working on them, since just before the turn of the new year.  I’m up before the sun every morning because I teach English classes in a virtual classroom in China.  When I don’t have a class scheduled, I use that time to write and revise because the house is super quiet, peaceful, and still.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  I can’t wait to see it finished in April when I submit it for publication!

 

 

Welcome 2020!

Happy New Year y’all!

In my last post, I wrote and told y’all my new year’s resolution was to complete my manuscript, and I’m so excited to announce that I have officially began working on it full force.  It’s in full swing and it has been since December 30th!  Being that I’m writing my memoir, in short story form, I have several short stories written but need a lot of revising.  I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how I’m going to work them all out.  This in turn made me realize, I have to feel out which short stories to work on and when it’s the best time to work on each of them.  In other words, I can’t just work on one, finish it, and then continue on to the next short story in line.  Rather, I need to feel each story out.  For instance, to give you an example, I felt the need to work revisions in a short story about forgiving myself.  I can’t move on and work on a different short story about a memory until I have first forgiven myself for many of the choices I’ve made in my life which gave me the memories I’m writing about.

I’ve also decided to share excerpts from my written work.  How great does that sound?  I would love for y’all to purchase my first book once it’s published, but why would y’all buy my book if y’all have no clue what’s in it, right?  Personally, I don’t purchase a book without first having a little knowledge of the writer or it’s contents.

In “A Letter to Myself”, I wrote it because I have to first, forgive myself, but I also wrote it because I needed help forgiving myself.  I needed to write it so I could find the positive outcomes during some rough patches in my life.  Every obstacle I have faced taught me something.  In learning from it, I share the lesson in writing to help others possibly going through the same thing, or facing a similar obstacle of their own.  That’s who I am.  That’s what I do.

So, without further ado, here’s an excerpt from “A Letter to Myself”—–

“Keep in mind, life might not have happened as you planned, but it still happened, and you still obtained everything you were after.  The only difference was the journey.”

“Your life didn’t happen the way Granny planned either, but she wanted you to have the life she wanted and cheated herself out of- finishing high school, going to college, falling in love, marriage, and raising a family.  She didn’t want that for you, but for herself.  She was trying to live her life vicariously through you.  She had her own lessons to learn, through you, the unknowing teaching implement, but she was an unteachable student.”

 

I hope y’all enjoyed reading that small portion of my most recently, completely revised piece.  I was certainly a task to write, but you know what, I feel like I finally freed myself from a burden I should have never carried in the first place.  Like I can finally accept that while a lot of people in my past expected certain things from me, it matters more what I expect from myself.

In closing, I want you to know that I’ll be sharing many more excerpts from my book as I work on it and further it’s contents.  I have a lot to write about and I look forward to sharing more and more of it with all of you.  My goal is to finish my manuscript by the end of April, my birthday, and submit it to Page Publishing for, fingers crossed, publication!  Until then, I’m working on it one day at a time, writing on story at a time.  At the present moment, I’m revising “Not Quite Nestle” about a cookie baking experience gone very wrong.

Thanks for reading!