The pandemic is still raging on and it's July 2020. We all should have known something bad was coming when Trump stopped air traffic from Europe months ago. I don't think any of us expected this. Life is on hold as we know it and I wonder what the fall brings. I pray for only good news. Despite all the hate being highlighted on the news and social media, I have been blessed to see a kinder side of Americans. My current project is allowing me to interview people across the country with a common theme (I'll share that soon). I've been in touch with over 50 people and only one was mean. Everyone, from various walks of life, are being as positive as they can be. They're looking for the silver lining in all these clouds and it makes me feel hopeful. Oh yeah, the nightly pandemic porch cocktails don't hurt either! Just about every night [...]
Yes, it's official. I signed with Jessica Alvarez at Bookends Literary Agency to take my career to the next level. I wasn't sure if this would happen with Covid-19 pausing everything, but it did, and I'm super stoked. Jessica and I are already working on a project together and hope to do many more to come. As far as the rest of my writing life? Well, let's just say not much has changed except that I got the cat videos out of my system, however, a new hobby emerged. I've moved on from retro cookies to pandemic porch cocktails. Yep, a new one (almost every night) gets shared on my Instagram page. Well, I promised to do this more often and it's only been a month since my last one, so not bad.
The world as we knew it is over--at least temporarily. We've all been dealing with Covid-19 in various ways in these unusual times. I've been trying to keep on writing and researching, but get easily distracted with the news, changes in lifestyle, and helping others. When I wasn't feeling creative I chose to bring some laughter into my world by creating some funny notebooks on Amazon and even created some funny narrative cat videos. My cat Hobbs Monahan actually made the local paper because of it! I also started sharing some retro cookie recipes on my Instagram page. I think that's out of my system, but who knows. I'm back at work on my next book, Historic Foods of America: Recipes from Hotels and Restaurants. It's pretty much together, but I'm finalizing recipes and the format. Next up is finding the best publisher, which might require an agent. I've never used one before, but it might be time. [...]
This week is filled with cool stuff! First, I received a copy of my interview with the historic Tombstone, Arizona's Epitaph newspaper. Second, I'm headed to Payson, Arizona for a book festival and will get to talk and hang with my pals at True West magazine! Lastly, but certainly not least, I received copies of my newest book, California Madams!!
Being an author doesn't just mean you get to write all day. My to-do list includes everything from marketing, researching new projects, proposals, searching for an agent, promoting my current works, blogging, and a host of other writing-related items. I will admit though, I do have a pretty cool job sometimes... I'm just back from our Most Intrepid Western Author Posse tour and the Western Writers of America convention in Arizona. I was on the road for ten days and worked my butt off (oh if only it were that easy, right?). Of course I ate some really delicious food and drank some tasty libations along the trail! I do love a good prickly pear margarita. Hmm, maybe that has something to do with the butt thing, but I digress. We went horseback riding at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, which is an amazing place to stay to get a sense of the old west ranching days a la [...]
I'm finally back in my writer's saddle again! Well, sort of. But first, an update on my SALs and food issue saga. I had another NAET treatment on Monday and this one was for SALs and benzoates. I had a serious flare because Easter dinner had a lot of SALs foods, so it was perfect timing. The one thing that continues to improve is my sense of smell, which is a blessing and a curse. You get the good and the bad! I also had a free consult with a health/Ayurvedic specialist to learn about my Dosha (mind-body type). Yeah, I know, it's getting out there, but when you feel like crap you open your mind to options. Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge) and was developed by ancient sages of India. I have to take a quiz to see what my Dosha is so I can work on my diet and other [...]
Last time I posted about a possible SALs reaction and having found an acupuncturist and NAET specialist. I've had three treatments so far and other than slowly getting my sense of smell back I don't see any difference. But then again I haven't been tempting fate by eating foods that could trigger a reaction. During the NAET testing I learned my body didn't like Vitamin C, Sugars, or Vitamin A. Next week we test for SALs. It may seem odd, but I get it. Most SALs have all those other components in them, so we're clearing away the intolerance to those first, so the SALs (if positive) will go away easier. Kind of like pulling support from a tall building so it will collapse easier. I also had an upper endoscopy that showed my eosinophils are around 100 in my lower esophagus, which means inflammation. I have to take a PPI, which I don't like and causes bone loss, [...]
Let me start my saying that while it seems I've been doing very little writing and work on my books, I have been doing research. As most authors will tell you, that's where we get into trouble. I love doing research as much as I do writing and that why we have deadlines or we'd never be published! This is a long blog, but stay with me, if might just help you. If you've been following me at all, then you know I've been dealing with food allergies for a while. I also have dysphagia, which means sometimes food gets stuck in my esophagus. I've been to the regular doctor, gastroenterologist, holistic chiropractor, and acupuncturist. They have all told me something different. One says I have EOE and Schatzki's ring, another says GERD, and another says maybe mono or Epstein Barr. Quite frankly my head is swimming on what the hell is going on. I do know that the [...]
Instead of having a light and airy gluten free burger bun for my shrimp patties, I ended up with a product that looked like a wheat flat bread. I followed the recipe, but it still didn't work. I consider that an epic fail as you can see by the pre-bake photo. They were an okay option for the shrimp patties, but not what I expected. I made the panisses again and they were just as delicious as the first time. At least something worked. Oh yes, the shrimp patties were pretty tasty, too. Here's the recipe: Shrimp Patties 1 cup gluten free Panko bread crumbs 1 ¼ lb shrimp 2 tbsp mayo ¼ tsp. pepper ⅛ tsp salt ⅛ tsp Old Bay 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped Place bread crumbs into a food processor and pulse them a few times to make them smaller pieces. Next, add 1 cup shrimp, mayo, pepper, salt, and Old Bay into a food processor. Pulse about six times until minced. Add the remaining shrimp [...]
Let me start by saying my buns didn't look like this on the inside. I was headed to one of my favorite burger places in Raleigh, Burger-Fi. But I knew I couldn't have a traditional bun and was facing lettuce as a substitute. Now I don't know who thinks that lettuce could ever replace a bun on a burger. Nope. Facing burger hell I tried to create a GF bun to take to the restaurant. I found what looked to be a decent recipe. Photo looks good right? Since I don't want to use Xanthan or Guar, which are both bad for you, I found a cool GF product by Pamela's called Not Xanthan Not Guar (NXNG). It's made of potato starch and psyllium husk. It's also low in carbs. I didn't pay attention to the label and did a 1 for 1 sub. I should have reduced the NXNG. The recipe seemed to wet, but I continued on [...]