Merry Cookiemas… Yule cookies thing… Yulemas cookies?

cookie exchange

I have been conscripted… er, invited to join the illustrious ranks of author-cookie geniuses.

I have noticed a sad lack of GF cookies on the now dozens of posted recipes, so I aim to fix that.

You are welcome!

So here is how it works: A well-known, award winning, local writer (Linda Poitvin ) started it all. She posted a cookie recipe and tagged four other authors.

Each of those authors posted a recipe, and tagged four other authors. And so on, and so on.

Linda tagged Marie Bilideau , who posted her recipe, and then tagged Nicole Lavigne , who tagged me.

And now, because of complex math type stuff, I find myself very short of author friends to conscript… er, tag.

Linda started us off with Snowballs. Marie brought us the cookies of Might and Magic. Nicole brought you darkly devious Chocolate Fudge Pomegranate Cookies.

Nicole, being awesome, included a GF variant so I can make these, too!

For a real collection of recipes, go back to Linda’s blog and follow all the threads to author after author.

So, on to my recipe:

Cape Breton Oatmeal Shortbread cookies

(originally from New Celtic Cooking – GF version by moi!)

Yield: 2 dozen or so

Ingredients: • 1 1/4 cups butter, softened • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1 1/2 cups oat flour • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats • ¼ cup cinnamon-sugar for topping

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F

  • Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (or mix by hand) and cream together well.
  • Add the vanilla and blend well.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and oats and continue to mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly until soft and relatively smooth.
  • Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut into rounds or squares.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until pale golden brown.

I cheat and just pat it into an 8″ circle, score it into 12 pie shaped sliced, and cook.  It’ll break along the scores, if they’re deep.

Here, I am supposed to name four new authors, but everyone I contacted either A) was already tagged by someone, B) said no, Or C) ignored me.

Maybe I’ll give you a new GF recipe next week to make up for it.  Maybe a Mayan chocolate cookie.  Maybe a crispy almond cookie.

Next week I have a surprise!

Next week, I am participating in the Author’s cookie exchange blog hop….

or something like that.

But it’s delicious, frequently gluten free, and will introduce you to new authors.

I slew the dragon!

I won!  I won!  I won Nanowrimo.

Well, I completed the required number of words in the allotted time.  Technically, I didn’t finish my novel because I have another 100k to go before the first draft is done, then a whole lot of editing and rewriting.  And alpha readers, and more rewriting, and beta readers, and more rewriting… then a fresh pair of eyes who reads that genre….

Then sending it out….

But, I still feel pretty good.  And I ordered the t-shirt.

So, what have I learned?

Stephen King is right, sit down and write every day, even if it’s crap.  That’s how I got it done, and it did get easier as I got in the habit of writing every day.

Chick Wendig is right,too.  Finish your shit.

I worked out the entier… 300 page… complicated… fantasy world…. plot.

Writing 3500 words a day can actually make your brain hurt.

Nanowrimo and the naked cat

So, I am mere days away from the official end of Nanowrimo.  I say “official” because I will likely be done today, and a dear friend and I have decided to continue the breakneck pace until we are finished a first draft. hopefully before Yule, so my darling hubby doesn’t kill me.

I can hear you wondering “where does the naked cat come in?”

Well, my poor, pretty boy got a skin infection on his butt.  He’s too pudgy to reach it to keep it properly cleaned, and is nervous of anyone going back there with scissors.  It’s the leftover trauma from being fixed, I’m sure.

So, off to the vet to be shaved, so we could apply ointment and the air could get to the infection.  The first day, he was not impressed at all.

Of course, I did start laughing every time I looked at him, and no cat likes that.  Not even a laid back dude like Yeti.  And it interfered with my nano-ing. How am I supposed to write about assassins and barbarians, and a looming war when I laugh every time I look at my cat.

I mean, seriously!  Look at the hooker boots!

My insecure, pay-attention-to-me, why-does-petting-feel-so-good cat.  But he soon settled in, though he’s cold for the first time in his life.  I keep finding him curled up in my sweaters.  At least he’s not covering them with cat fur.

Nano enters its second week

19,727..  39% of the way done, at 30% through the month.

Whew!  Going good, so far.

It’ll be fun trying to tie it all together at the end, it’s spawning subplots and minor characters like… a lot of… spawning things..

But editing and worrying waits until December, when I am done the mind flush that is Nano.  It’s great to see that there is a story here, lots of action, heartbreak, plots and treason.  Good stuff like that.

I was worried, since a friend came to stay for the long weekend and I fell behind.  But she was very understanding and let me have a couple hours each day to try to avoid falling impossibly far behind.

My dear fluffy-pants cat has decided how he will punish me for ignoring him.  He’s too fat to jump up on my desk and get in the way, so he’s taken to peeing on the floor, just outside the office door.  So I step in it if I go to the bathroom or for more coffee.  I may have to find a babysitter for the next three weeks.

Deep in the first week of Nano

11, 528.

Words.

in 4 days.

Holy freaking shit.  No wonder my head hurt when I awoke this morning, I likely sprained it.

And I have 3 more weeks to keep up this pace to get to 50,000 by midnight Nov. 30th.

So… why?

Because you have to write every day to get good., because the muse may come to you with words of silk and honey, but she has to know where to find you.  I’ll be at my desk.  Every day. Just like Stephen King said.

And hopefully, the habit of writing everyday will come back.  I used to write every day, finished a YA novel, 2 1st draft novels and a couple of film scripts.

But when I was sick for a year, that habit was the first thing to go.  So now,, ‘m fighting to get it back.  To finish a fantasy novel by the end of the month, then edit it into a reasonable second draft.  To stay writing to expand the YA novel to 50-75,000 words and submit it.

To get at least some of the hundreds of stories and voices onto paper before they make me nuts.

To get my alpha readers a second draft so they’ll stop whining.  🙂

Free book for Halloween!

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My friend Jamieson Wolf, a prolific writer in several genres, has decided to offer this scary story about a shopping mall (I know, right?)  for FREE this Halloween.

Mall of the Dolls  tells the tale of creepy little girls taking over a shopping mall. Is it a Halloween story or a Christmas tale?  You be the judge, but don’t wait…. it’s free for only a limited time.

My own news?  Um….  I finished cleaning the fridge….  It’s more of a chore than it sounds, since my back won’t allow me to stand up for more than 10 minutes, or bend over hardly at all.  I did one shelf a day, while hubby was at work, removing everything, washing the shelf, throwing out some stuff, putting in a liner… and returning what we were keeping.  There’s so much more room in there now!  And so many clean canning jars that were filled with… unidentifiable old… stuff…

And my beautiful boy (cat) had an emergency run to the vet on Saturday,  He had stopped eating and had diarrhea.  Never in the litter-box, of course not.  It was a foot away from the box.  Every.  Single.  Time.

It was drop-in day, no appointments and we were there about 3 hours.  With an increasingly hungry and bitchy cat, and an entire litter of 12 week old, russet, great labs, there for their booster shots.  Beautiful, friendly, rambunctious, cranky-cat-disrespecting puppies.

About the time one ignored Yeti’s growling and licked him through the mesh of the cat carrier, we were called into the exam room. So he was diagnosed with “I dunno, he doesn’t have a fever”.  Given antinauseants and antibiotics and sent home.

Yeti was still cranky the next morning when I had to give him his first 2 pills.  Before feeding him.  That was a full body workout for both of us.  He’s 20lbs of gorgeous, cranky cat.

20141029_094249  Yeti, FILLING my big brown couch.

I am also prepping for Nanowrimo.  Characters, photos of castles, playlists, stocking up on wine….  and yesterday my annual Fall migraine arrived.  yay…..

But the wine and allergy pills will beat it by Nov 1st.  I am determined.  Because writing with a migraine is painful, and doesn’t always make sense.  Even to me.

Write, Paint, Film, Create!