Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Healthy Banana Bread - recipe

Dean Hinmon’s Super Healthy Banana Bread

2 1/3 Cups flour - I use whole wheat
1/8 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup chopped walnuts (optional, I sometimes throw in some roasted, unsalted soy nuts)
1 Cup raisins
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 large bananas pureed in the blender.
1 teaspoon vanilla

Notice that there is no oil, eggs, butter, and only a few grains of sugar in this recipe. Super healthy, yet delicious!

Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients, then blend the bananas, add vanilla and mix banana mix with dry ingredients. Pour into an oiled loaf pan and cook at 325-F or 163-C degrees for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Depending upon your altitude and attitude.

Eat a slice and then you can leap tall buildings and fly at the speed of a bullet. Feed it to insensitive people and they suddenly take on the caring personality of guardian angels.

The banana bread has other uses. It can be used as a door stop, an anchor for the boat and can be attached to a steel pipe for weight lifting. It can be used as a step for reaching into a high shelf in the cupboard. There is a case reported recently of the woman who killed her husband by beating him over the head with a loaf and then hid the murder weapon by eating it. Generally, this use is not recommended. You can't make banana bread while incarcerated.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Catching up

Books that went to press this week:

UNWORTHY by Jeanine Collins Malarsky

Editorial work continued or resumed on:

THE ODYESSEY, by Dorothy Elena Bowman
THE REMORA, by Charles Wilson

Galleys went out on, or went out for a second time on:


We are awaiting galley corrections on the following



I am having trouble with my laptop, where editing proceeds. Getting it repaired may slow my work for some time to come.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

What if your query gets a positive response? - writing tip

We all know that it's better to send a query letter for an article, than the finished article itself, because editors like to have input into how an article is written. So don't be expecting a check by return mail, expect the editor to read your query, like your idea, then call and make you an offer instead.

When an editor calls, be professional on the phone. Don't forget to ask the pay rate, if expenses are covered, and whether there will be a "kill" fee. Sometimes editors will ask untried or unknown writers to do articles "on spec."

That means you do the work and if they like it they'll pay you. It's a good way to break in the articles market, and it's a good way for an editor to assign something to an unknown writer without losing either money or face.

In the beginning you may okay this, but when you have considerable publishing credits, the proper thing to do when an editor says "on spec," is to say, "I'd really like to work with you, but I do have other commitments and I can't devote that much time without some insurance. What about a kill fee?" The kill fee is what you're paid for your time, if they hate the article and decide not to use it after you've done all the work on speculation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jalapeno Cheese Balls - recipe

Ed Petty’s Jalapeno Cheese Balls

2 lbs. mild and grated cheddar cheese
1 lb. prepared pimiento cheese
1 lb. softened cream cheese
1 7-oz. jar of chopped jalapeno peppers
2 medium chopped onions
6 cloves of minced garlic
4 tbs. lemon juice
4 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 4-oz. bottle of chili powder

Mix all ingredients except chili powder together and shape into 1-lb. balls. Put chili powder into a flat dish and roll each ball until all of them are covered. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap or tin foil and refrigerate until all of them are set. Makes four to five balls depending on size.

Contributed by Edward Petty, author of FOUR FLESH FEASTS AND AN AFTER DINNER MINT, NAKED, and JARED'S LITTLE PLAYGROUND...People can only be pushed just so far before they snap and claim justifiable revenge. This is not your everyday, garden-variety retelling of 'Good' versus 'Evil'.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Look for "regulars" close to home - writing tip

With regional magazines you can sometimes make good contacts and perhaps get repeat sales or regular assignments. When I was first starting as a writer there was a small, quarterly publication given away as a "freebie" in local Realtors offices.

I did a "profile" of a local sportsman every three months for them. Now interviewing local fishermen and hunters tends to get old, and $150 an article wasn't all that much, but it was income I could depend on and it built my publications list.

What local and regional publications are available where you are? As a writer, how can you use them to your advantage?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welsh Rarebit - recipe

Isabella, La Contessa Avezzano’s luncheon treat from England – Welsh Rarebit

1/4 cup butter
8 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup light cream
dash of cayenne pepper

Melt butter in heavy 3 quart saucepan or top of a double-boiler, medium low heat. Add cheese, stirring constantly till melted. Stir in Worcestershire, mustard, and cayenne.

Combine eggs and cream. Remove cheese mixture from heat, and blend well with the egg mixture. Return to medium heat, stir constantly, until thickened. Serve over toasted and buttered English muffins (or rather thick sliced Italian bread), or buttered toast triangles.

Contributed by Robert Legleitner on behalf of his character Isabella, La Contessa d’Avezzano. La Contessa is Kydon Schmidt’s landlady and a fellow allied resistance fighter in A BRIEF MADNESS: Book Two of the Kydon Chronicles...In WWII, Kydon Schmidt a man with a secret, has been forced to spy for the allies.... In this sequel to THE GOLDEN LEGEND Ky is seeking revenge on the men who shot his friend Val. If they want a spy, they’ll get one!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Catching up --

No books went to press this week:

Editorial work continued or resumed on:

THE REMORA, by Charles Wilson

Galleys went out on, or went out for a second time on:

THE ODYESSEY, by Dorothy Elena Bowman


We are waiting on galley returns for the following:


UNWORTHY, by Jeanine Malarsky


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is Op-Ed a market for you? - writing tip

If you sometimes write "Letters to the Editor" or if you are stirred by issues and moved to put words on paper, it can be.

Some major magazines pay well for these, and even your local newspaper can be a market. They usually pay very little, but, again, they can help that list of publications grow. Getting published is kind of a Catch-22 situation. Editors like to see a list of publications, so they know that others have found your work appealing and worthy of publication. Yet each of us has to start somewhere. Often local papers can provide that all important stepping stone, a list of prior publications, that can lead to being published in better, and better paying, markets.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Koftas - recipe

Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s Koftas

1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. red chilli powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsps. yogurt
3 Tbsps. sultanas

Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix well. Using your hands, make sixteen 1 inch meatballs and set them aside on waxed paper.

Spray a frying pan with Pam cooking spray and fry the koftas to a golden brown.
Let them drain on a paper towel.

1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 big onion, chopped
1 cup water
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 inch ginger, grated
1 Tbsp. flaked coconut
1 tsp. green chilli, chopped
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. paprika

Roast the cumin seeds in a skillet until they turn a lovely brown color and grind them to a fine powder. Mix this with the onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli, paprika, pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a smooth paste. Pour this into a frying pan and cook on low heat for five minutes. Gradually stir in the rest of the water and peas. Add the koftas, coating them with the sauce.

Cover and simmer for half an hour. Frequently turn the koftas to make sure they get throughly cooked. Garnish with the flaked coconut and sesame seeds.

Contributed by Bobbi Sinha-Morey, author of Sorcerous At Breakfast...A wonderful collection of new age poetry by the author of The Sylvan and Tears Of A Mourning Rose.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Bleak Moment, a Plot Strategy - writing tip

My good friend, Carla Neggers, says of plotting, that you create a character, then you put them in a big hole and throw dirt in on them. Every time they try to climb out (temporary triumph), you throw more dirt (obstacles), until the arrival of what many people call the "black moment" and Carla calls the "big gloom" when it appears that there is no happy solution. It's a hard fact, but true, that what's bad for the protagonist is good for the story. Without obstacles, there IS no story.

This is hard for all writers. We create our characters and in many ways they are a part of us. It's hard to throw dirt. We want to make everything right for them. I had a student once who wrote a story where the heroine was tied to the railroad tracks -- a suspenseful, if trite plot turn. The hero was riding to the rescue. The train was coming. The heroine was screaming. And the train ran out of coal and lost it's head of steam. Then the hero came to the rescue. When I asked my student why she had the train run out of coal, she said, "Well, I didn't want it to run over her, in case he didn't get there in time." But it is the possibility that he won't that keeps the reader on the edge-of-the-chair, to coin a cliché.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Catching Up

Books that went to press this week:

IRIS DESTINY, by Daniel Carr

CALL SIGN LOVE, by Carlene Dater

Editorial work began or continued on:

THE REMORA, by Charles Wilson

We still have not heard from Charlie Wilson regarding his print book contract. Perhaps he's on vacation.

We are waiting on galley returns for the following:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Veal Cutlets - recipe

Robert Legleitner’s Scalloped Veal cutlets

1 lb veal cutlets sliced thin.
½ cup flour
6 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup sherry (the good stuff too)
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
4 ounces or so of sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste

Dredge the veal in flour and sauté in butter for 3 or 4 minutes each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add sherry, parsley, and mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes. Should serve 4.

Contributed by Robert L. Legleitner, author of THE GOLDEN LEGEND...German-born archaeologist Kydon Schmidt has a secret that would ruin him...in the homophobic atmosphere of the 1940s. So when the U.S. Government recruits him for a mission against Nazi artifact collectors, he is not in a position to refuse. Great action and adventure. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Author Sends Link

Author Daniel Carr sent the following e-mail yesterday and asked that it be passed along.

"I am auditioning for a contest to perform at a concert and win some money; all I need is to get as many people as possible to view my video. If you could recommend my link to some people, it would be appreciated."

Also, I'd like you to at least listen to thirty seconds of it, if you'd like to. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGYF6fjqPf8

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Writing Resume - writing tip

A good tool to have is a “writing resume.” This is arranged just like a regular resume, but only includes information about your writing. Experience comes first, with information about your best publishing credits. You include education, but concentrate on writing classes, rather than degrees, though you mention them if you have good schools. You would also list here any experience you had that would enhance your stature as a writer. I usually say that I have served as president of the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, and that I have been an instructor for Writer's Digest Correspondence school. Include here any experience that you feel will impress the receiving editor with your credentials as a writer.

You also list “professional memberships.” PEN is good if you can get in. If not, join some other writers’ organizations: local groups, National Writer’s Club, etc. “Awards” if you have won any, and “References”. If you know any Famous Writers ask if you may use them as a reference on your resume. If not, try to pick people in a position that will speak for you, presidents of universities, officers in writers’ organizations and so on.

Include a copy with your submission, or query letter. They won't read the whole thing, but will give it a glance and be impressed by your professionalism.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crab Dip - Recipe

Liz Hamlin’s Crab Dip

1 round loaf of rye bread (seeds optional) reserved for later.

Dip Ingredients:

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip if you like it tart)
3 tbsp. Finely chopped or grated onion
1 pound Crab Meat
Old Bay Seasoning (to taste)

Mix dip ingredients together, adding crab last. Chill. Just before party, cut round hole in top of loaf and scoop out inside, arrange those pieces outside to use for dipping. Fill loaf with dip.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Catching up

Three books went to press this week:

HEIRARCHY OF TERROR, by Matthew L. Schoonover

Editorial work began or continued on:

THE REMORA, by Charles Wilson

We are waiting on galley returns for the following:
IRIS DESTINY, by Daniel Carr

That's it for this week.

For those who have e-mailed with concern about my recent illness, it was a medication complication and the cure was as simple as to stop taking the stuff that was making me sick. I am feeling much, MUCH better and probably owe my life to my children and friends who literally dragged me to the doctor.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Use what you have - writing tip

Many third-person fictional characters are based on real life experiences. Take Pat Conroy for instance. His novels are third person, limited omniscient viewpoint. But they are still (loosely?) based on his own personal experiences. He wrote THE LORDS OF DICIPLINE about being a “cadet” in a private military school. Conroy attended The Citadel in his youth. He wrote THE GREAT SANTINI about a boy’s relationship with his domineering father. Conroy’s own father was quite a force in his life as he has stated on more than one occasion. He wrote THE PRINCE OF TIDES about a Southern Writer whose poet sister attempted suicide. Conroy’s sister, a poet, has attempted suicide several times. He wrote BEACH MUSIC about an expatriate writer who returns to the South in order to care for his mother while she is dying of cancer. Conroy, who lives in Rome Italy, not Rome Georgia, wrote that book during and after the time he spent caring for his mother in her final illness. The only “non-fiction” (purported to be true) book he wrote was THE WATER IS WIDE an account of his career as a schoolteacher on a barrier island, an indictment of the inequality of education for black and isolated children that ultimately cost Conroy his job as an educator. But all his “fiction” still reflects his life experiences. And each fictional work has a different thrust.

Think about the strong influences in your own life when you are looking for writing ideas.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shipwreck - recipe

David Smith’s Shipwreck

1 pound lean hamburger, seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and oregano
4 medium or 5 small potatoes sliced.
1 can of drained red kidney beans, or any beans you like
1 small can of whole tomatoes poured over everything

Layer in potatoes to mostly fill the pot. Add beans, and put meat on top. Pour tomatoes over everything. Bake 2 hours at 300-F or 148-C degrees, or all day in a slow cooker on high. You do want lean meat for this, as all the fat ends up in the bottom of the pot.

Contributor’s Note: Why it’s called shipwreck I don’t know. It’s an easy, one-pot-cooks-everything dinner. You can do it either in a casserole pot and oven, or in a crock pot. Crock pots are a great item for helping a single person come home to a hot meal. They are small, cheap, found at garage sales, and don’t pop circuit breakers when used.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chapters - writing tip

Some people plan every scene before they begin to writer a book. Some people just sit down and write the story. I am one of the later.

I never divide my book into chapters until it is finished. I just write the story all in one big file. I also never pad the story to make it a certain length and I don’t advise you to do that either. Write the story one scene at a time. Then go on to the next and the next and so on, always following the action.

Some scenes will be only a few paragraphs. Some will be several pages long. Mine average about five pages. Though they can be less than one and up to nine. If a scene runs more than nine pages, I know I’ve lost track of something.

Once the story is finished, I go back and put chapter headings in at scene breaks, between 15 and 20 pages at a time. If I want a three chapter sample, I can go and do that at the beginning of the book and copy those pages into a separate file called sample, and so on. But I don’t like to break the story up until it is pretty well finished.

The reason is that quite often I find I need to insert scenes in places I had not anticipated. For instance: in GHOST DANCER, I had no plans for Elaine to come west. She was only to be mentioned as a reason for Christy’s leaving home. Then I wrote a scene and Elaine walked in, saying, “I’ve had a perfectly miserable trip!” I wrote her out, but she kept coming back. So then I had to go back and write in a scene where she found out a secret and left home, and another scene to show the perfectly horrible trip, and so when she showed up on the train, the reader was ready for her – and not as shocked as I was to see her there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Six-Layer Cake - Recipe

Mary Bible's Six Layer Apple Stack Cake

2-cups of all purpose flour
3-teaspoon baking powder
11/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup shorting
1-cup of milk

Sift all dry ingredients together. Add all other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
By hand beat 4 minutes. Stop each one minute and scrap the side of the bowl.
If by mixer, beat 30 seconds scrape side of bowel. Beat at high speed three more minutes.
Pour batter in three eight inch greased cake pans.
Bake at 350-F or 177-C degrees 30 to 35 minutes. Insert toothpick in center of cake. If it comes out clean the cake is done.

Turn layers out on a cooling rack. Cool completely. Split layers in half by taking a sewing thread about 18 inches long holding each end. Place thread half way down on back of cake layer. Hold thread tight and pull toward you, bringing the thread through. Now you have six layers.

Separate the layers with the crust side down. Leave them for one hour. Spread apple butter on each layer as they are stacked on top of each other. Frost the cake with apple butter. (If too thin pour the apple butter into a sauce pan. Add two table spoons of corn starch heat until the apple butter is thicker. Let cool before using it.)

Contributed by Dorothy Bible Kawaguchi, author of Her Name Was Mary...the story of a mountain woman’s struggle to raise her three children alone, during the Great Depression.