Cooking, Finance, House and Home

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. Continue reading “Money saving tips for the starving writer”

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Novel Writing

Minor characters have major impact on story

 

Artwork of the main characters.
No matter how awesome your main characters are, your minor characters can give you a completely different perspective on the story. | Artwork of the main characters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your story making you angry? Maybe you’ve written several chapters, and each of them alone seem like a great start, but you’re having a hard time getting them to work together as a whole. What do you do when you hit these rough patches that make you feel like you will never be able to make your novel “work?”

One strategy I suggest to help you get over that rough patch is to take yourself out of the “official” story for a while, have a couple of glasses of wine (or a couple of beers,) and sit and do some free writes looking at the story from the point of view of the most minor character in the novel. Continue reading “Minor characters have major impact on story”

Travel, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

A visit to Amish country, Dalton, WI

Amish birdhouse at Lilac Woodshop, Dalton, Wisconsin
I found this cute little birdhouse for sale at the Lilac Woodshop near Dalton, WI. But is it truly Amish-made? What do you think?

Yesterday, my significant other (I’m going to call him my SignifO from now on) and I decided to take a drive through Amish country in the Dalton, WI area. I found a map of Amish businesses online, and we headed off on our adventure with dreams of Amish-made candy, cookies, and quilts dancing in our heads. Anyway, that’s what was dancing in my head. I can’t speak for his head.

It was a beautiful overcast day, the occasional splattering of rain interrupted by the occasional beam of sunlight breaking through spotty clouds: perfect driving weather, in my book. Our first stop was at a furniture shop on N County Line Road near Dalton. As it turns out, this and most of the other businesses listed on our map are operated right out of the Amish families’ homes and/or barns. This particular business does not have a showroom at all, so there was really nothing for us to look at. Continue reading “A visit to Amish country, Dalton, WI”

Pets

Can you really potty train a cat?

A picture of my cat, Zelda
Meet Zelda: She likes to hang out in my office while I work.

A few weeks ago, I finally got my 6-year-old the baby kitty he’s wanted so badly for so, so long. She’s a sweet little calico named Zelda, and she has yet to have a single accident outside of her litter box. Seriously, not even one. She’s awesome! But the whole litter box thing is still kinda grossing me out.

This is the first time I’ve ever had an indoor cat, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I started with a small litter box and soon found my bathroom floor covered in cat litter because Zelda kept kicking it out of the box. So then we moved to a bigger litter box with somewhat of a cover on it. But she still somehow manages to kick the cat litter out all over the place. Plus the smaller litter box fit neatly right next to our toilet, but the big litter box fits neatly… well… NOWHERE.  Continue reading “Can you really potty train a cat?”

Purple, Uncategorized

My first Quinceañera

Purple Quinceanera Favors and table decor
Quinceanera Favors

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my very first Quinceañera. Our Puerto Rican neighbors planned a beautiful 15th birthday party for their beautiful oldest daughter, and my son was invited to be one of her attendants.

The party decorations were very pretty, with purple ribbons and Quinceañera favors to match Charlene’s amazing purple dress. I was so jealous… my 15th birthday party was nothing like this!  Continue reading “My first Quinceañera”

Book Reviews, Books --> Movies

Did you read The Hunger Games before you saw the movie?

Cover of "The Hunger Games"
Cover of The Hunger Games

I read The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, about a year ago and loved it. But for some reason, I didn’t read the rest of the series right away. Before the movie came out, I thought it might be a good idea to finish up the book series. So, I went online to my public library and tried to put a copy of book #2 on hold.

By the way, good luck getting a copy of any of these three books from any public library right now. The books are reserved so far in advance, no library in our local consortium will have one available for the next several months.

I would buy the book, but my personal book collection has already far outgrown my tiny townhouse. I try not to buy books unless I absolutely have to, and even then, I am quick to give them away once I’ve read them.

I have a fear of turning into one of those book hoarders (like on the TV show, Hoarders,) who has books stacked to the ceilings with only a narrow walkway between the towers. Continue reading “Did you read The Hunger Games before you saw the movie?”

Random Rants

Maybe I just take too many pictures to begin with

facebook engancha
Image via Wikipedia

Several years ago, when I got my first digital camera, it never occurred to me that the ability to take an unlimited number of pictures would one day become a problem. I’ve always been a big picture-taker, but film was expensive, and I used to always try to save my film for the most important moments. But when the day came that I no longer had to worry about the price of film, every moment became a camera-worthy moment.

Then came a new problem: the cost of developing unlimited photos. It wasn’t long before I had upwards of $50 worth of photos in my Snapfish shopping cart, just sitting there waiting for me to order prints. But I was broke, so I began to search for other ways to save those priceless images. Continue reading “Maybe I just take too many pictures to begin with”

Crafting and Hobbies

Crafting for Christmas

Pink and Purple Hot Pads
Hot Pads: $12.50 + S&H per set of 2

I’m a crafty writer. In fact, I probably spend a bit too much time making stuff when I should be writing. But, crafting gives me a good excuse to sit in front of the TV once in a while. Anyway, I’ve been working on a lot of crafts for Christmas lately. I like to have a good stock of little things put aside each year, and I pretty much used up my stash this past holiday seasonContinue reading “Crafting for Christmas”

Crafting and Hobbies

I crochet too

Green and Gold Green Bay Packer Blanket
This is the Green and Gold blanket I just finished crocheting for my Green Bay Packer-loving boyfriend. I seriously hope my boys don't want the same colors because I am sooooo tired of looking at green and gold!

My hands are getting pretty sore lately from the strain of actually being productive at writing and crocheting in the evenings while sitting on the couch watching TV with my kids or my boyfriend. Yes, I crochet too. For some reason, my hands must always be busy doing something, thus the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Anyway, I recently made several scarves for Christmas gifts and a couple of stockings for my BF’s kids’ cousins. A few days ago, I finished a huge green and gold blanket for my packer-loving BF. I’m using the leftover pink and purple yarn from the girls’ stockings to make myself a new set of hot pads, and then I promised my 5-year old I’d make “his blanket” next. And of course that means I’ll make one for my 12-year-old after that. Continue reading “I crochet too”