Thursday, April 30, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Awards

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This question is one that I actually skipped over last week (bad me!) because I had no idea how to answer it. I'm still not really sure, but I figured it's a great opportunity for some free writing, so let's just see what happens.

It is the end of your life and you are up on stage being presented with a major award. What award is it, and what have you won it for?

It's the end of my life...that's the first part that struck me. I mean, I have no idea how much time will pass between now and then. Will I have written lots of books? Will anyone know I write books? Will I have grandchildren? Great-grandchildren? I think it's that last one that I'd like to be known for.

I mean, not necessarily having them, but knowing that my family that I've worried over is doing well and is continuing to live after I'm gone is a pretty special thing. I don't really need an award to be proud of my children, to know that I've had my moments of failings, but that I've done my best to raise them to be good men. That's important to me. I want them to be successful, to be happy, but it's important to me that they're also good. So perhaps, in my last days, if someone were to give me an award, it would be a crayon drawing that says Best Mom in the World on it with squiggly little signatures and lots of hugs.






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Monday, April 27, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Cowboy Stew

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Cowboy Stew:

Ingredients:
1 pound browned hamburger
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) diced Italian seasoned tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
2 cans whole baby potatoes, drained (unless you can find a great big can of potatoes)
1 can tomatoes with green chilies
1 can Ranch Style beans (with the baked beans in the grocery store)
1 cup water
sliced jalapeno peppers for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Brown the hamburger with the chopped garlic cloves on the stove top. Drain the fat. Let sit in the pan for a bit to cool. Open all of your cans and dump them into the crockpot. Drain only the corn and the potatoes. After adding all of the can contents, add the browned meat and a cup of water. Stir with a spoon to mix a bit.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5. Garnish with sliced jalapeno peppers, if desired.







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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday : Technology

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What modern technological device takes up most of your time?

My first reaction was that it'd obviously be my laptop, but after some thought, I think it's probably my phone. I browse the web, scroll through Facebook and other social media, text, play games, take photos and yes, even take phone calls on it and while none of those are horribly time consuming, they add up to quite a few hours in the day. I'm pretty much okay with that though because it stops me from feeling like a total hermit.

How about you? What modern technological device takes up most of your time? Your phone? Your computer? How about your tv? That's one that I didn't consider above...my tv is often on if I'm awake. I use it for background noise. Since it doesn't have my full attention though, I'm going to stick with my original answer.






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Monday, April 20, 2020

Crockpot Monday: 5 Ingredient Beef Stew

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5 Ingredient Beef Stew:

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef stew meat
1 (16-ounce) jar southwest salsa (the kind that has corn, black beans, onions, tomatoes, and chilies)
4 cups beef broth
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup baby carrots

Directions: 
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the meat into the bottom of your cooker and add the rest of the ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the meat is so tender it falls apart when poked.

Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.






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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Strange Happenings

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Have you ever experienced something that just could not be logically explained?

Well, I guess you could say that since I'm pretty sure that the house I've lived in for the past ten years is haunted by a prior resident. I can't really explain it (yay for the question being right there) but I've felt her presence, knew she was very protective over my children when they were younger, and hasn't always been pleased with me. Once, I thought I heard her, but it's possible that I could have heard voices coming in through an open window. When he was younger, Roger was actually afraid of going upstairs by himself if it were at all dark. He told me there was someone up there. Now if you ask him about this now, he'll deny it, but as his mom, I say it happened. We bought spray that we sprayed around the room to "protect him." Thankfully, he's now made it to 19 and no longer afraid of his bedroom at night.





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Monday, April 13, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Zesty Burger Soup

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Zesty Burger Soup:

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
2 (10.5-ounce) cans tomatoes and chilies
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1/2 cup dried beans soaked overnight)
4 cups chicken broth
shredded cheddar cheese (to add later, optional)

Directions: 
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Brown meat in a skillet on the stove top, and drain. Put into your crockpot. Add the whole cans of tomatoes and chilies and corn. Drain and rinse off the beans and add. Pour in the chicken broth.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the flavors have melded.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and buttered bread.






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Friday, April 10, 2020

Book Review: Desdemona and the Deep

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In Desdemona and the Deep, the spoiled daughter of a rich mining family must retrieve the tithe of men her father promised to the world below. On the surface, her world is rife with industrial pollution that ruins the health of poor factory workers while the idle rich indulge themselves in unheard-of luxury. Below are goblins, mysterious kingdoms, and an entirely different hierarchy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I need to start out this review by thanking my friend, Russell, for sending me this book in a care package a few months ago. He thought I'd like it and he was right...now, let me tell you why.

The Good:
Desdemona herself. I love a good bad girl...and Desdemona starts out as the type of character you love to hate. She's rich. She's clueless. She's a prissy, spoiled heiress. Then, somehow, over the course of the book, you come to love her. She changes and maybe changes you a little bit in the process.

Then, there's the world building...not just one world, but three. It's a lot to ask of an author, but each one was its own reality and completely believable.

The Bad:
It felt a bit rushed. I understand that this is a novella, but I wanted just a little bit more to it.

The Summary:
If you're looking for a really good read that won't take you long, will pull you in and maybe even leave you a little bit breathless, then I recommend this book. I just found out that the author has at least two other books set in this world and I'm going to go wishlist them right now.






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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Need

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Hey! You're here and you've made it through another week! I know it's hard. I have days where I don't want to move, let alone function. I know so many of you do too. I think that's what makes this week's question so important.

What do you need?

I think that we all need to take some time and consider this. I actually have a white board across from my bed that has this question written on it. It's the last thing I see at night and the first thing in the morning. It causes me to pause and think about what it is that I need from that day or even in that moment.

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed right now with everything that's happening. If I'm not careful, I fall down the worry rabbit hole. I start worrying about my kids, their friends, the fact that I have to go out without a mask or gloves... it can be never ending, which is why it's important to stop and focus on what you need.

I need the basics: food, clothing, shelter. Food is a bit sketchy, but good for the moment. The other two are just fine. I need distractions: games, books, my bullet journal, good conversation about things not related to the virus. I need love and support. I need to not feel alone in all of this. I need to feel as if I'm helping, even if it's just by staying home.

That's probably just the tip of the iceberg, but those are some of what I need. What do you need right now? Is it anything that I can help with?





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Monday, April 6, 2020

Crockpot Monday: White Chili

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How are you all doing? Hanging in there? Eating well? I hope so! Today, I'm bringing you a delicious chili recipe that you can throw in your crockpot in the morning then come back and enjoy for dinner.

White Chili:

Ingredients:
1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans of White Beans
1 (4-ounce) can of green chilies
1 cup chopped white onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup vegetable broth
juice from one lemon
1.5 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese (optional garnish)

Directions: 
Add everything to the crockpot.
Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 4-6.
Serve with shredded mozzarella cheese if you’d like.





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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Fridge

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Wow, Thursday again. The days are blending into one another and I'm lucky to keep up with where I am. How about you? How are you doing? I think this week's question is one that could cause some anxiety, but I'm going to answer it anyway... Ready?

If I looked into your fridge right now, what would I find?

Let's see...cheese, Roger's salami, milk, orange juice, eggs, guacamole, sour cream, Roger's yogurt, and a store brand pizza. I think that's about it. I know that there's no hamburger or other meats.

It's not perfect, but at least it's not penguins eating tacos!






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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: How I'm Trying To Help

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Happy Wordsmith Wednesday! If you're like me, you're hunkered down at home, watching as the chaos surrounds us. It can feel crippling, as if there's nothing that we can do. I hate feeling helpless so I've decided to do whatever it is that I can to help creatives keep on creating. It breaks my heart to see them saying that they don't know how they can keep going when their money is going to things like feeding their children that they don't normally have at home. I know this feeling well. My youngest son is home from college and tomorrow we'll go through the rest of my grocery budget that needs to stretch until the 19th. I'm not quite sure what I'll do but I'll figure something out. This post isn't about me, it's about you! I want to help you to keep creating, so I'm offering the following specials until April 30th.

Comic Creators: Get a single issue edited/proofread for free! I'm limiting this to 5 spots so please get in on this as quickly as possible. Not sure if I have space? Just message me on Facebook (Katrina Roets) or email me: Katrina@KatScratchPress.com .

Prose Folks: I'm offering 10% off any book of any length. Depending how long your story is, this could be quite the deal! I'm not limiting the number of these that I'm doing but the longer you wait to contact me, the further down the line you'll be. Like I said above, just message me or email me to get on the list.

I sincerely hope that this helps. If you're not in a position to take advantage of these specials, please consider passing the information along. I'm not limiting this to current clients. This goes for anyone who reaches out to me.

Stay safe, my friends!







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