I fancy myself a writer.

Posts tagged “Home

Leaving: A writing prompt from The Write Practice

Panther, a toilet-using cat, photographed in S...

If only my cats would use the toilet while I’m gone! | Panther, a toilet-using cat, photographed in San Francisco on 22 August 2005. He is ten years old and has been using the toilet since the age of six months. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning I decided to write a brief “Leaving” essay in response to a writing prompt from The Write Practice:

My ex-mother-in-law would leave town for the weekend, stumbling out of her house with an armload of disorganization, oblivious to the pile of stinking, half-washed dishes sitting in cold, slimy dishwater in her kitchen. She would walk away from the overflowing garbage as though she expected cleaning elves to take care of it while she was away.

She used to ask me to water her plants while she was gone, and I always wondered if she expected me to morph into a cleaning elf in her absence. Um, yeah. I didn’t. I just avoided the kitchen, filling a pitcher with water from the bathtub, and watered her flowers as fast as I could so I could escape the stench as quickly as possible. (more…)


Bread is my DOC (Drug of choice)

Pain au levain, a French bread

You just can’t find a decent loaf of bread in most American bakeries. | Pain au levain, a French bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like bread. I always have. If you mention my bread lust around my mother, she’ll nod her head and say, “Yes, she always did like her bread.”

When I was a kid, my parents did most of our grocery shopping at Aldi, where the bread was mass-produced and over processed. We usually ate white bread because it was the cheapest, but once in a while, my dad would bring home several loves of oat bran bread when it was on sale and stash it in the deep freezer.

The oat bran bread was my favorite. It never lasted long, because I would sneak into the kitchen several times a day and snag a handful of slices that I would take outside with me and chew on while I wandered around the woods on our property. For some reason, I liked to pull the oat bran bread apart and roll it into little balls before I ate it.

Yeah, I know. I’m kind of a weirdo. (more…)


Money saving tips for the starving writer

homemade pickles

This is my first attempt to make homemade pickles reusing the juice from my favorite store-bought brand.

I am thinking about running a series of blog posts on money saving tips for the starving writer. The free sample lady at my local Wal-Mart grocery is always full of tips. I love this lady. She doesn’t stand around with a blank look on her face or scowl at the people who are eating her samples even when they obviously have no intention of purchasing the product. No, this woman will chat with you whether you’re going to buy her products or not. She also likes to look in your shopping cart to see if she has any coupons for what you are buying. She has saved me money on a few occasions. (more…)


Logistics, logistics: Naming and dating characters

English: An Entennmann's cake donut, bought fr...

Oh, maybe I could name one of my characters “Donut!” (Just kidding!) | English: An Entennmann’s cake donut, bought from a grocery store four-variety pack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today it’s all about logistics. The time period of my current WIP has evolved since I started the first draft. Because of this evolution, I realized that many of my character names were no longer appropriate to the times when they were born. So today, my writing activities are focused on charting out a timeline and coming up with new names for several of my characters.

In the beginning, I thought most of my characters were born after the apocalyptic event that changed their world. I was thinking they were born in a time when food would be scarce, and that parents in that time might be tempted to name their children after various food items they missed from the old days. My characters thus ended up with names like Cauli (short for cauliflower,) and Radi (short for radish.) I also had a couple of characters named Apple and Peach (which are maybe a bit too cutesy, but this didn’t start out as the serious project it has become. I was just experimenting and having fun!) (more…)


Welcome Autumn: How to make blackberry dumplings

blackerry dumplingsTo welcome autumn today, my sons and I are planning our own little at-home harvest festival, complete with a variety of cool-weather foods. We started the day off with a pan of my favorite blackberry dumplings.

My parents can’t seem to agree on where this recipe came from. My mom swears she got it from my dad’s grandma, Wilma Webster. My dad insists he never ate blackberry dumplings as a kid, so the recipe had to have come from my mom’s family. Either way, this has been a favorite recipe in my family throughout my entire life.

When I was a kid, my parents would bundle us up in long sleeves and long pants on some of the hottest days of summer. They dragged us out into the woods and shoved us into endless blackberry brambles where we would pick (and eat) until our plastic ice cream buckets were full and our hands were soaked with blackberry juice. (more…)


My house won’t let me write

A picture of my messy, distracting closet

Who can get any writing done in a house with closets that look like this? And why do I still have a high chair and Pack n Play when my baby is 6 years old?

Last night, I stayed up until midnight grading papers so I could have today free to go to the library and write.

As I showered this morning, I considered how crazy it is that I can’t get any writing done at home. My house is just one big distraction begging me to do anything but write. I’m not quite a true hoarder, but I must admit that I have let things get a bit out of hand.

I just bought a new dinette set and couch with part of my tax refund money. The old furniture left last weekend, and I was left with a huge empty space in my dining room and living room while waiting three days for the new stuff to arrive. After the first day, I was ready to cancel my order.

That huge, empty space in my house, completely uncluttered—well, let’s just say that empty space looked a little like freedom to me. (more…)


The nerve of some people’s kids

Einkaufswagen

Einkaufswagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s funny how a random comment from a complete stranger can ruin a fun family outing.

Yesterday, I was pushing my 5-year-old around in a shopping cart in the garden section at Wal-mart looking for flowers to plant in our garden. It was a beautiful sunny day, around 70 degrees, and we had decided it was time to get a couple of plants in the ground. My younger son loves to help me out in the garden, so this was a perfect opportunity for the 2 of us to spend some one-on-one time together while his older brother was at a friend’s house. (more…)