Sociable

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For Your Thanksgiving Consideration...



Hello friends. I've been scrambling to finish a major editing project by deadline, and now that that's done, I hope to get back in the blogging saddle. Look for me to be galloping by your excellent blog homes following the Thanksgiving cook-a-rama I'll be enjoying today and tomorrow.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope you have the *best* gathering of family and friends to help you celebrate the true meaning of the holiday. YOU will be on my things/people-I'm-thankful-for prayer list tomorrow, ya better bet!

In case you're stumped for ways to prepare those two most traditional of Thanksgiving dinner items -- turkey and pumpkin pie -- below are my simple remedies. Couldn't think of any better folks than you to share them with. Enjoy!

Now, go forth and pass the love and grins forward. :D

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The best ever Thanksgiving turkey your guests will never forget...



And the final word on pumpkin pie, and how it's really made...




Sunday, November 22, 2009

Boudreaux & Thibodaux - Boo and the Tax Man


Happy Sunday y'all! Hope you enjoy today's adventure wit (with) dat (that) crazy Cajun.

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The IRS decides to audit Boudreaux, and summons him to the IRS office in nearby St. Martin parish.

The agent isn't a bit surprised when Boudreaux shows up with his attorney. He says, "Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and no full-time employment, which you explain by saying that you win money gambling and from other unnamed sources. I'm not sure the IRS finds that believable."

Boudreaux gets an insulted look on his face and replies, "Mais, I'm a great gambler, and I can prove it." He looks the tax man in the eyeballs and ax (asks) him, "How 'bout a demonstration?"

The auditor thinks for a moment and says, "Okay. Go ahead."

The Cajun smiles big. "I'll bet you a tousand dollar dat I can bite my own eye."

"Oh, this I gotta see. It's a bet." The IRS agent sits back in his chair, smug in the knowledge that his client will shortly be handing over the bet money to him.

Boudreaux removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor's jaw drops.

Boudreaux smiles and says, "Now, I'll bet you two tousand dollar dat I can bite my udder (other) eye. You gonna take dat bet, mon ami?"

Now, the auditor can tell Boudreaux isn't blind, so he takes the bet. He just stares when Boudreaux removes his dentures and bites his good eye. The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand, with Boudreaux's attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous.

"Hey, Mr. tax man, you wanna go double or nuttin'?" Boudreaux asks. "I'll bet you six tousand dollar dat I can stand on one side of your desk, and pee into dat trashcan way over dere (there) on da udder side, and never get a tee-tiny drop anywhere in between."

The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there's no way this old guy can possibly manage the stunt, so he agrees again, even though he's sweating now.

Boo stands beside the desk and unzips, and although he strains mightily, he can't make the stream reach the trashcan on the other side, so he pretty much soaks the auditor's desk.

The tax man leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win. But then Boudreaux’s attorney moans and puts his head in his hands.

"Hey, you okay?" the auditor asks.

"Not really," says the attorney. "This morning when Boudreaux told me he'd been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty-five thousand dollars that he could come in here and pee all over your desk and you'd be happy about it!"





Moral of da story? Don't mess wit (with) dem Cajuns!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Foibles ~~ Yes, Clara, I CAN get it all in just one load...


Depending on your perspective, the driver of the car in the picture below could either be an optimist or a plain ol' garden variety scabooble head.

Judge for yourself.

And if you have a story to share about an instance when your bullheadedness overcame your senses, please DO! Have a glorious weekend. (To you NaNo-ites, flying fingers and plenty of writing time to you!)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Writerly Things


Hey bloggy friends. I've had scant little time to visit you lately because I'm in edit mode. As soon as I finish up the current project, I'll be back on my regular rounds. Until then, how's your writing, NaNo word count and/or current WIP project going?

Have you heard Deb Schubert's good news? Geaux Schube!!

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Looking for an online crit group? Lynette sends you this message: Lynnette Labelle at Chatterbox Chit Chat  is doing a little matchmaking for writers. If you’re looking for a critique group or partner, head over to her blog for details.

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Speaking of writing/critique groups, I'll leave you with an article I wrote on the subject~~

[And Jessica Faust with BookEnds Literary Agency posted on the crit group topic today also. Must be something in the air!]

Writing Group Wizardry

Get the Lead Out

Too busy to commit to a writing group? Don’t need to join because you’re already published? Think devoting time to critiquing others’ work is crazy when you have your own projects to craft? Think again. Writing groups have lots to offer, especially if you start and moderate one yourself.
 The key to finding or founding a successful group is establishing some ground rules at the outset. At the initial gathering of a few likeminded acquaintances, have everyone write an unedited synopsis about what they imagine as the perfect writing group. Include expectations, meeting dates and times, goals, benefits of membership, group size, meeting location, whether or not to include speakers and/or timed writing exercises, genres covered, and specifics concerning the critiquing process.

Iron Out the Wrinkles

After you’ve compared notes and come to a consensus on how your group will work, start recruiting prospective members. If you plan to stay small, it won’t take much effort. Posting notices in local coffee houses, college campuses, libraries, and bookstore fliers should do the trick. Word of mouth will also help. The most successful writing groups start small and grow slowly, giving them the best survival rates and incubating healthy productivity.

It is imperative that you decide whether you will read your work aloud at meetings and then discuss, or submit work via email for written critiques to go over during meetings. The first few gatherings will be a bit longer as you iron out your process and learn to balance exercise work and critique time. Encourage members to touch upon only the highlights from their crit comments instead of every niggling suggestion they’ve made on the printed submissions. This will help meetings flow smoothly and efficiently.

Leaving time at the end for general discussion of problem areas and writing successes and failures is a good idea. You may also want to trim group time by sending marketing information by e-mail. Unless the location where you gather has time restrictions, leave time at the end for chat.

For a group of six to eight writers, plan on approximately two hours per meeting. This will vary if you plan to incorporate speakers, small workshops, or timed impromptu writing exercises that exceed 30 minutes.
 Bookstores are usually a nice place to gather, as coffee is available and the hours are conducive to day or night meetings. Store managers are normally more than happy to host and/or advertise for your group.

Cyber Support

If joining a live group isn’t possible, consider one online. A larger search engine will bring up a good list of possibilities from which to choose. Concentrate on long-standing and national organizations that include critique and discussion groups such as the National Association of Women Writers. Seek groups that focus on your preferred genre and experience level.

Check membership benefits, requirements, e-mail load, and endorsements. Beware of groups that load up your e-box with tons of unwanted mail. Cyber groups offer busy writers the convenience of working around packed schedules. They also allow you the ability to try on several types before deciding which is best suited to your needs, goals, and skill level.

From the Horses’ Mouths

Don’t just take my word on the bountiful benefits of writing groups. Fellow writers lend their two cents on the subject:

"Being in a group has helped me learn what works and doesn't work. When I see something that doesn't work in someone else’s piece and it is something I also do, then I can hone in on it in my own work. Of course, it helps when others read your work in the same objective and perceptive way and catch things that you don't. They can say, 'This dialogue doesn’t sound natural,' and all of a sudden you see it. You become much more alert to what works and what doesn't. It also sets a fire under my arse to write more, as I don’t want to be left behind when I see others achieving their goals!" ~ KM, writer, editor, novelist

"The critiquing process has taught me to be a better editor, as the discussions are enlightening and thought provoking. Meeting in person has also helped me conquer my fear of speaking to an audience. Something I’ve long suspected has been proven; writers who make time to write every day are more successful than those who don’t. I love the networking and job ops we share in our group. I’ve enlarged my writing dreams by virtue of my membership, and there’s no greater thrill than sharing successes with others in this thing called writing." ~ AB, author, freelance writer, poet

"In terms of honing the craft, critiquing helps me step back and review my work objectively; using a discerning eye. There is camaraderie regardless of sex, color, lifestyle, background, and religious beliefs that unite us under one idea – that we want nothing more than to write it down. My life is more whole by knowing these people, and I’ve found that ideas come into my head faster than I can get them down sometimes. The support and kinship has been instrumental in making me realize that I am a writer, that I’m not crazy." ~ KF, writer

"My writing group forces me to oust the characters living in my head and to get them down on paper coherently." ~ ML, writer 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Veggie Beef Soup




When your checking account is low and the leftovers of delicious meals past have taken over the fridge, WWYC? [What Would You Cook]

On your quest to produce something tasty and filling for yourself and/or family, I know you're repeating the Gumbo Writer cooking mantra -- "cheap, easy, good" -- while trying to think of somthing a little different to serve. Yay! You can take off your thinking cap and make this quick but hearty soup below.






Muss-Go Soup {Everything in the fridge Muss Go!}

small jar tomato sauce
leftover spaghetti sauce w/ground meat
cooked squash
leftover sausage links (cut small)
1 meatloaf (chopped into hunks)
leftover porkchop casserole with rice & peas
1 can each cheapo green beans and corn

Throw all ingredients into a large pot or use similar/compatible ingredients hanging around in your refridgerator. Stir, taste, season, simmer for a few hours.

Make a pan of cornbread, and voila -- soup's on! You can feed a ton of people for a couple of meals or serve once and freeze the rest for a super easy meal again later.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boudreaux & Thibodaux - Politically Incorrect Hunters



It's not often I find a picture that fits both the Politically Incorrect and those crazy Cajun friends categories. Come to think of it, it also qualifies for the You Might Be a Redneck division. (The hunters and "hunting widows" amongst us will probably best relate to today's photograph.) 

Oh, I know you're saying how gross this display is, but aren't ya laughing just a little bit too?

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The spirit of Christmas finds its way down to a little hunting shack where those two bad boys, Boo & Thib, can be found spending much of their time~~~






Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Foibles ~~ Festive Neighbors


Before we get to our weekly foible, which will hopefully diminish any bad omens hanging over this Friday the 13th, thanks to all of you who hopped over to agent Rachelle Gardner's blog yesterday and left such kind comments on my guest post. You rock!

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Now, please don't fuss because I'm "rushing the season." I just wanted you to have an early heads up in case you're stuck for fresh ideas for decorating your house/lawn for the upcoming holiday season.

The display below might just be one of the best ideas I've ever seen...and it made me smile like a lunatic!

It's beginning to look a lot like...





Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Writings - Exciting News


Guess what? I'm guest blogging at literary agent Rachelle Gardner's place tomorrow on the topic of writerly illnesses. Go by if you get a chance, and  hopefully you'll enjoy my whackadoodle humor on a subject of interest to writers who sometimes find it impossible to write around life's demands. 

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If you're a NaNo looking for a break in your word count production or a Non-NaNo who likes writerly contests, check out the Why I Write essay contest going on at Editor Unleashed. I think I read that there's $500 up for grabs!

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Fellow Louisiana blogger and author of "Inspirational with an Edge" books Pamela S. Thibodeaux is hosting a virtual book tour AND kicking off a cool Christmas goody basket giveaway. Drop by and put your name in the comment hat! 

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That is all for today boys and girls. Happy Hump Day. ;D

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesday Recipe ~ Potato Soup


Not that it's cold enough here to want to warm our hands on a hot bowl of soup yet, but sometimes you have to rush the "season" in order to add some change to the normal menu items.

I truly love experimenting with and making up new recipes -- especially when the final results turn out wonderfully. This is one of those dishes that couldn't have turned out better. The simplicity of making the soup added to its value in my opinion. It'll be a keeper and a regular on our table as the weather cools off (finally). I hope you'll like it as much as my family did if you try it.

And remember, always take recipes and make them your own by adding or subtracting ingredients as your tastebuds dictate. It's all about experimenting and knowing what things go well together.


Loaded Potato Soup

10 medium potatoes (peeled, chunked and boiled in salt water until soft)
1 stick butter
2 cups milk
Salt & pepper to taste
12 pieces bacon, microwaved until crisp
1 14-oz container French Onion dip
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Drain potatoes after boiling. Add seasoning, butter & milk to pot. Stir and mash, leaving some potatoes chunky.

Crumble bacon and add, then the cheese and dip. Stir well. Cook on low for @30 minutes. Thin as preferred with more milk. {This soup is really good thick!}



For an extra kick, sprinkle on some Cajun Fire Crackers made using oyster crackers instead of Saltines. It's slap ya momma delicious!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Title Contest Winners



It was another tough contest to judge, but luckily, I had a few extra sets of eyeballs helping me determine the winners. Yeah, that's right, even with added help, I still couldn't pick a clear winner!

Thanks to all who participated. I loved reading all the title entries. If you have some extra time and would like to browse through the 30 or so fun contestant entries, the original post is HERE.

And the winners of Cajun Goody Packages are~~~





Rebecca Nazar: #1 When Paige Takes Flight--a writer's memoir

Suzyhayze: #3 The Gravity of Damage - Memoir


Congratulations!!


**Rose photo by: designhouseofflowers
 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Politically Incorrect Kartoons ~ Blonde Security



Happy, restful Sunday! I'm wrestling with some life junk (again), and editing a lovely manuscript, so my time in Blogaritaville has been limited (again). But I'm thinking about y'all and visiting when I can. Until things level out, I hope you'll enjoy today's blonde moment since Boudreaux & Thibodaux are still out in the woods hunting. Huggage!

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During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was constantly emailing the websites she frequently visited to ask for her password. The help techs talked among themselves about the well known blonde customer and her daily confusion.

It was discovered that she was using the following password:


MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofy

When asked why she created such a big password, she said, "Doh! All the websites and 'earls' (url's) I go to tell me I have to make them at least eight characters long."




Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Foibles ~~ Stoopid Signage


Don't you just love crazy signs? I hope you'll enjoy the three below.

I've been caught up with life "stuff" lately, but I hope to et around today to visit. Save me a cup of coffee in your blog kitchen, won't ya? 

May your Friday fly by and your weekend stretch out before you.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Got Zip, Nada, Nuttin'...




...'cept this cool Post of the Week award (for the Book Title Contest) from my favorite photographer, Hilary over at The Smitten Image. Go visit her blog if you're in the mood for some wonderful camera work.
















Thanks Hilary!


*Zero image by thetruthabout

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wc + sp + lc = stet?




If you've ever done editing work and/or have a Journalism degree, you probably know what the  formula in the title means. If not, here's the decoded version:

Word choice + spelling + lower case = let it stand
(or leave as is)

With the ability to edit using the comment and other Word doc functions today, proofreading marks have gone the way of the editor's red grease pencil, but they still come in handy when working on hard copy manuscripts. And aren't they intriguing? 


















Okay, I got my Sharpie fix for the week. I'll leave you with a little editorial motto you might enjoy, and a reminder to enter the fun and groovy Book Title Contest...





Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tasty Tuesday Recipe ~ Cajun Pumpkin Seeds




Don't throw out the old Halloween pumpkin until it spills its guts for you to use as a good and tasty snack! 

Cajun Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from 1 pumpkin
2 Tbsp. butter or margerine
Dash of olive oil
Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder

Scoop seeds from pumpkin. Clean off pulp under running water. Spread seeds out on paper towl and let dry for a few hours.

Mix seeds in bowl with melted butter or margerine and olive oil. 

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Add seeds to tray in a layer. Sprinkle on Tony's and garlic powder. [If you don't have Tony's, use salt, pepper and red pepper to taste.]

Bake at 300 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and eat. Great as garnish in soups, added to salad or trail mix.




*Image from ehow.com


Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Title Contest!


The last book naming contest was so much fun, let's do it again!


The rules are simple:

  • Pick your favorite photo from some I recently shot.
  • Create a corresponding book title.
  • Leave your entry [Photo number, title and genre] in a comment, and make sure I have some way to get in touch with you in case you're the winner. 
  • One per customer, please.
  • Contest ends Sunday, November 8, midnight Central time.
  • Winner gets a Cajun Goody package!
Your entry should look like this~~>
#3 Just Below the Surface - Horror/Fantasy (suz_e_q@yahoo.com) [Add address only if you don't have one attached to your profile!]

Feel free to spread the word on Twitter, in the Blogosphere, at your FaceBook, or wherever. The more the merrier!

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#1

















#2













#3













#4



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Politically Incorrect Cartoon ~ Autumn Blonde


We'll give ol' Boudreaux & Thibodaux a little break today since they're off in the woods hunting anyway.

It's been a while since I posted a Politically Incorrect Cartoon (PIC), so here's one in which we can observe a seasonal blonde entertainment venue to welcome in November. Break out your kids' Halloween goody bags, or if you have leftovers after the gobblins paraded by last night, munch on some of that while you enjoy! 

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No words needed~~~~~~~~



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