Saturday, January 31, 2009

Poetry & Poop


Yeah, you read the title right. Poetry & poop pretty much describes the polar opposites of my life...and most days, I have equal "servings" of both. The poops of life are, well, obviously the things you wanna scrape off the bottom of your shoe and forget about pronto. Here's a few examples:

  • Bad things happening with/to your kidlets
  • Ill loved ones you are incapable of helping get well
  • Writing rejections
  • Foiled plans and goals
  • Getting woken up from a nap
  • Burning supper
  • Things that disappoint or let ya down

Conversely, my life's held quite a bit of "poetry" lately. You know -- the things that bring you joy and fulfillment, a new and fresh perspective, unexpected gifts (material or otherwise), and prayers answered. Like these:

  • Writing acceptances
  • Hugs from kidlets and loved ones, or even a love letter
  • Perfect weather
  • A juicy book you can't put down
  • Finding a blog that really peels your apple
  • Connections made with friends
  • A new pair of shoes that don't hurt your feet and cost less than $15
  • A whole day off
  • Nappage to the sound of rain on a tin roof provided by your noise machine
  • Kidlet unhurt in an accident that totals his vehicle, insurance covers it without going up on premiums, and you find a good used vehicle to replace the heap
  • A recipe that turns out just right

See what I mean? Into every life, a little poop and poetry must fall. Let's just hope when the negatives rain, you have a dayum sturdy umbrella and remember that the sun will shine again soon and dry up the piles.

My favorite poetic moment of late is having a poem, Net Worth accepted at The Found Poetry Project. (Yeah, go check it out and maybe make one for yourself or to submit. And leave a comment while you're there if you've got time to kill. C''s not like broccoli or liver. You'll like it!)

And the poopy aspect? Well, let's just say I'm covered...literally. Behold the advent of my family's new favorite pair of shoes -- fondly referred to as The Poop Shoes; de rigueur for taking the puppy outside and/or cleaning the laundry room where he spends time til he's fully potty trained~~~

Sooooo, what's the biggest P & P aspects of your life right now?

{Top two graphics from}

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lunacy Lunacy- Episode 10 & Some Blog Bling

Happy Friday and weekend coming to y'all! And without further ado (because I'm running late getting to my parents') here's the latest edition of


**Oops, see, I told ya I was tired. Called myself by youngest child's name (Court Jester) when I was/am, in fact, Castle Wench!

And on other news, Bella at That Damn Expat passed on some lovely blog bling called the Lovey Award to me. Thank you, dear girlie. If you haven't checked out Bella's extraordinary blog yet, please do so posthaste. It is full to the brim with off-the-wall humor and interesting topics. You'll get a hoot out of Bella's blog!

Award fine print says: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to three bloggers who must choose three more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Oh, the pickin' & choosin' is the hard part for me, so I'm running my cursor at random over my sidebar's Rockin' Blogs with my eyes closed, and where it lands is gonna determine the winners:

Deb Shucka

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wanna Super-Size Your Writing?

...then check out Melissa's The Just Write Challenge. Several of us did the trial run this month, and the official date begins February 1st.

And speaking of food, y'all might all enjoy this humorous video called Food to Die For from CBS.

QOD (Question of the Day): If you eat junk food, what's your absolute fav?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good Writin' Stuff

Hope your writing projects are progressing, and your week is going well. Today, blog buds, there's a cool contest announcement from a local Louisiana gal who writes "Edgy Christian" books.

But first, a new poetry venture you just gotta check out for yourselves. Even if you don't think you can write or even enjoy traditional poetry, you might just love giving this new form a shot.

The Found Poetry Project is the brainchild of husband and wife team Tim and Megan Green. The blog features new poems on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And guess who's got one being featured soon?

Found poems are exactly that...poetry hidden inside text originally meant to be anything but poetic or lyrical. (Think news articles, educational reports, etc.) Warning: Finding/crafting these poems can be seriously addictive!

Tim Green is the editor of the fabulous RATTLE, so check it out too. I've truly enjoyed my subscription, and highly recommend it.

Now...the contest: Author Pamela Thibodeaux announces the details here~~

A Sweetheart of a Contest

As we all know, the flagging economy is forcing businesses to make tough decisions and the book industry is no exception. Book stores are closing. Publishers are laying off people, cutting back on production, and pulling titles from distribution. What’s an author to do?

Get those sales up. So, fellow author and friend, Pamela S Thibodeaux, is having a Valentine’s Day contest Where Everyone Gets a Gift! Between Jan. 31st & Feb. 13th everyone who enters will receive Thib’s Teaser (a pdf with blurbs/excerpts/discount coupons/short story) AND their name will be entered into a drawing for the GRAND PRIZE – simply email Pertinent Promotions at with Sweetheart Contest in the subject line. No Purchase Necessary to Participate...
Purchase any (1) Tempered novel and, along with Thib’s Teaser you will receive a Special Surprise Gift and your name will go into the drawing twice for the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (include your mailing address for the surprise gift).

Purchase 2 Tempered novels and in addition to Thib’s Teaser you will Receive a Special Surprise Gift, Your pick of a FREE download of either Choices or Cathy’s Angel and three chances to win the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (pick your short story and include your mailing address for your surprise gift).

Purchase the first three Tempered novels (Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams & Tempered Fire) and in addition to Thib’s Teaser you will Receive: A Special Surprise Gift, Your pick of a FREE download of either Cathy’s Angel or choices a FREE autographed copy of Tempered Joy and four chances to win the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (pick your short story and include your mailing address for your autographed copy of Tempered Joy & your surprise gift).

If you purchase any of the Tempered series according to the rules above from your local book store, MAIL a copy of your receipt to Pertinent Promotions c/o Pamela S Thibodeaux, PO Box 324, Iowa, LA 70647 and your prizes will be the same as those listed.

Same rules apply if you purchase DIGITAL copies of The Tempered Books *Note* If you purchase digital copies of Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams, and Tempered Fire according to the rules above, you will receive a digital copy of Tempered Joy. *Digital copies also available @ All Romance Ebooks!

Winner announced Feb 14th.

*All entrants will be added to Pertinent Promotions and the author’s personal mailing lists.*Grand Prize: CD of my TWRP titles which includes 3 short stores (Cathy’s Angel, Choices, & A Hero for Jessica), 1 full-length novel The Inheritance and an advanced copy of my Upcoming Release Winter Madness (short story) and a Valentine Gift Basket!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chicken Dish Recipe

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." ~ Luciano Pavarotti

This is a new favorite of mine -- a recipe given to my parents long ago by dear friend Margaret. That's why it's called Maggie's Chicken, or nicknamed T.B.E. Chicken Dish (The Best Ever). Hope you enjoy it on one of these cold days.

T.B.E. Chicken Dish

10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
1 small jar Armor Chipped Beef

Wash and pat dry breasts. (Okay, guys, no wisecracks!) Put one slice of beef on bottom of each breast and wrap with a bacon slice. Mix sour cream and soup together in a small bowl. Place wrapped breasts in a casserole baking dish, leaving a bit of room between each. Pour over the soup/sour cream mix. Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours. Voila.


Note: The gravy looks like it's stuck bad to the casserole dish, but it's one of my parents' clay dishes, so it just appears to be a mess. Dad cooked this one for my family, and it may have just stayed in the oven a tad too long. :) But the gravy and gras-du (pot liquor) are some of the yummiest things about this recipe.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mo Blog Love

Let's get this party started! (Are you as tired of that worn out saying as I am?) In any case, happy Monday. I'm particularly happy today after the bad-thing-that-coulda-been-much-worse that happened over the weekend.

First, thanks to Jessica at BookingIt for a nifty-fied blogging award. One made even better by the fact that I'm not sure I'm pronouncing it correctly. *smile* I do appreciate it, though, and you can see it newly displayed over yonder on the sidebar!

Here be the award 411 and rules:

Premio-Dardas: "This award 'acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It's a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted it to you, along with his/her blog link.

2. Pass the award to (15) other blogs that you feel are worthy of this recognition. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen as recipients. [This is the hard part. How to choose amongst friends?]

Kathryn, whose blog TENDER GRACES shows us the possibilities of getting a wonderful book published. (Plus, I like her wanky posts.)

Melissa, because she's an encourager.

Travis and Kimmi of THE UNBREAKABLE CHILD, for the recent bad times they've experienced, and because I love their blogs.

Amy Sue Nathan. I love her parenting columns (see sidebar icon) and take on the writing life.

For Bella at That Damn Expat because she deserves one for the crazy neighbors surrounding her.

Colby...for her video expertise and off-the-wall posts.

To Tim Green of RATTLE. Love that publication and his editorial brilliance.

Also for Linda and AVT Coach, because they are kind and good.

Terri needs one too, because she always thinks of others first.

Jinksy, how could I leave you and your "Nipple Notes" out?

To t i m, whose icon is the most original I've ever seen, and whose droll posts I so enjoy.

And for the sheer pinkness of her blog, Ang.

Jenn Johansson also deserves some blog bling for sharing the writer journey.

To Carrie, who sees, hears and shares.

And for Small Footprints, for helping keep our Mother green.
Yeah, yeah, I picked more than 15, but y'all know I don't do maff, so tough tooters.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Hores" d'oeuvre, Anyone?

I've been on a long six-hour journey, and am exhausted, so this post will be short. My youngest son was going to a friend's birthday party out in the country at dusk, traveling down unlit sharp-turning roads. Long story short, he was forced off the road by an oncoming driver who crossed the center line. Son (aka Court Jester) had no choice but to hit the huge ditch and embankment. In doing so, he went airborne and then the car's rear flipped over the front and also spun 180 degrees. The cops couldn't believe he'd missed the huge electrical pole and trees lining the embankment. Miraculously, my baby didn't get a scratch even though the vehicle is totalled. Thankfully, he had on his seat belt. I've just got two things to say: Thank You, God, and everyone hug your babies today!

Now, here's a little something you might enjoy in the form of a third grade class assignment:

{Hors d'oeuvre picture from}

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Buncha Blogland Contests

If you're in the mood for a blog contest, there are plenty going on right now:

The Unbreakable Child author Kimmi is hosting a contest to win a very cool friendship ball.

Dear friend Kat Magendie of Tender Graces is having a photo caption contest. Go check it out in her original post.

Brian, The New Author, is sponsoring a writing contest to celebrate his 100th blog post.

Barbara over at The Serenity Gate has lovely Valentine's goodies to give to a lucky winner over at her place.

Hope I'm not forgetting anyone. If you know of a current contest, please feel free to list it in comments. And are you "fer" or "again" holding bloggy contests, and why? Happy Saturday, all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ledbetter Lunacy - Epsidode 9

So, what's on tap for your weekend, friends? Hope whatever it is, it's so good that you will cuss Monday morning's arrival. :)

Trot out the Drum Line and stand at's that time again, and I hope you enjoy another installment of...


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dream Killers?

We're taking a poll here at Gumbo Writer today, so please leave your thoughts in a comment if you have time. 'Preciate you as always!

Before the serious question, I have one straight from my life of the moment~~Per day, how many pounds of poop can a perky puppy poo? Okay, on with the serious one now:

What's the biggest roadblock or hurdle standing between you and your goal/dream? Is it self-sabotage, lack of time, too many responsibilities, too scattered & distracted, fear? Whatever it is, do you have a plan to overcome it?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Writing -- Donald Maass Notes

Today, writing bloggy friends, we have some good insights into novel writing from Donald Maass' book, "Writing the Breakout Novel." Hope you find them illuminating.

    • "[Breakout novels] change us because their authors are willing to draw upon their deepest selves without flinching. They hold nothing back, making their novels the deepest possible expressions of their own experience and beliefs."

    • "The key ingredients that I look for in a...premise are (1) plausibility, (2) inherent conflict, (3) originality and (4) gut emotional appeal."

    • Plausibility = "Could that really happen? (Like the best lies...a breakout premise has a grain of truth.) It invokes questions, draws us deeper."

    • Inherent Conflict = "If the milieu of the story is not only multifaceted but also involves opposing factions or points of view, then you have a basis for strong, difficult-to-resolve conflict."

    • Originality = "It is essential to find a fresh angle...Is it [your premise] truly a fresh look at your subject, a perspective that on one else buy you can bring to it?"

    • "If there is one single principle that is central to making any story more powerful, it is simply this: Raise the stakes."

    • "...a combination of high public stakes and deep personal stakes is the most powerful engine a breakout novel can have."

And speaking of writers and writing, hop on over to Kimmi's cool blog (the one featuring her soon-to-be-released-book The Unbreakable Child), and enter her contest. Winner gets a really cool prize on February 8th!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cheap & Easy Pork Chop Casserole

Good morning, friends. Hope you "passed" a great weekend as we say here in Cajun-land. I made this oh-so-yummy casserole Sunday, and it's always a big hit with my family. Enjoy!

Cheap & Easy Pork Chop Casserole Recipe

First, brown your chops in about half a cup of canola oil. (I buy the family-sized pack and use the number of chops needed for the recipe.) Season to taste. Lots of garlic powder is always great in pork and chicken dishes...or that could just be the Italian in me. :)

While your chops are sizzling away, prepare a large casserole dish by coating with non-stick spray. Add a box and a half of uncooked instant brown rice (or white, if you like, but it'll take longer in the oven to cook the white) to the casserole, and 3 cups of water. Stir in (and swish around thoroughly) 1/2 cup of Kitchen Bouquet and spices to taste. This makes your rice rich, dark and flavorful.

Let rice sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently again, evenly distributing ingredients in casserole. Now, here's a technical chef's term for ya, "blop" contents of one can of cream of mushroom soup on top of rice. (I used what was on hand -- one can of store brand soup plus one can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic. *drool*) About now, check and see if you need to turn your browning chops over.

Drain chops on paper towel when nice and brown, then add to casserole dish. Chop and saute one large yellow onion in the same pan. Spread onions onto chops, then the other can of soup.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour and a half, or more if your pork chops are really thick. Watch the smiles as forks move to mouths. (Serves 8 "regular" folks, or 5 hungry Ledbetters)
Below you'll see the rest of my menu -- baked sweet potatoes, frozen butter peas and Jiffy cornbread muffins.

This is the love that will come from your oven:

Note: You can make this casserole using chicken or roast hunks. No matter the meat type, it's all good. Maybe my sweet veggy-tarians and flexi-tarians (Kat) could substitute TVP or tofu?

Budget Sidebar:
Pork chops $3.00
2 cans soup $1.50
Jiffy (2 boxes) .66
Sweet potatoes (free from local grower)
Rice $2.00
Misc. ingredients $1.00
Frozen veggies $1.50
Total = < $10.00 for the whole meal!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trivia, Brain Food & A Unique Blog

More Trivia Factoids:

  • Besides being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it's also Edgar Allan Poe and Dolly Parton's birthday.
  • One plain milk chocolate candy bar has more protein than a banana.
  • "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson was the first video to air on MTV by a black artist.
  • Tequila is made from the root of the blue agave cactus.
  • In 1845, President Andrew Jackson's pet parrot was removed from his funeral for swearing.

Brain Teasers:

  • Almost everyone needs it, and yet almost nobody takes it, even when it is available. What is it?
  • What belongs to you but others use it more than you do?
  • What is is that you will break even when you name it?
  • The leaves are on the fruit, The fruits is on the leaves. What is it?
And a Blog You Might Enjoy:

If you're looking for a new and different sort of blog to peruse, you might wanna hop on over to The Truth Teller's place. Readers are welcome to ask anonymous questions and receive savvy advice in a post. (Thanks for the heads up on this cool place, Carrie!)

Answers~~advice; your name; silence; pineapple

Sunday, January 18, 2009

To Go With Your Sunday Funny Papers...

Enjoy these different kinds of printed bloopers. And if you're so inclined, feel free to pick your favorite.

1. Ouch!

2. Maybe they shoulda said "spuds?"

3. No Moping! (A university sign?)

4. Gotta Protect the Brain!

5. Have it Your Way? Or: Kids, Stay in School!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What's Your Favorite Day of the Week?

...And why is it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ledbetter Lunacy -- Episode 8 "Bad Christmas Baby"

Happy Friday, friends! Hope the weekend ahead is good and relaxing or fun for you.

Today's episode, like all others, is a real and true recreation of actual events which took place with my family. Everytime I pass through my living room and see the creche (and all the other Christmas decorations) still up, I think of the story of the Bad Christmas Baby. So today, you're privvy to some of the crazy stuff whirling around in my memory banks.

So...strike up the band and warm up the instruments, it's time for more...


Note: There were many people there that night, not just the Ledbetter Lunatics, and one person is missing a head covering! (The head gear are cardboard templates, and I forgot to draw that second female from the right with hair!) :) On with the tale...

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