Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sulllivan's Island

Sullivan's Island has a beauty of it's own. I find I enjoy the mornings most when strolling with a hot cup of coffee and listening to the wind. Soft sand, beautiful water. There are always people on the beach no matter the time of day or year.

Though it appears to be a square, the lighthouse is actually triangular shaped. It is closed to the public except for a few occasions when the par services opens it. I did have the opportunity to tour it this fall.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just a day around the neighborhood...

Frozen in the South!!!!



Lily Pulitzer stylized Jeep -- Only in the South!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

White Bean and Chicken Chili



One of the first types of soup can be dated to 6000BC. source





This is just so delicious you just have to try it. Serve with a fresh salad and some french bread and you have a delightful light and healthy dinner. I found this recipe on MyRecipe.com which is a favorite recipe site. One of the best features is the recipe file. Once you sign up as a member user, you can file your recipes within the website and access them when ever your in need of one. It's a perfect way for me to stay organized and eliminate the clutter of handwritten cards with food spills and liquid stains on them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Morning Cuppa...


Coffee, regarded as a Muslim drink, was prohibited by Ethiopian orthodox Christians as late as 1889; it is now considered a national drink of Ethiopian people of all faiths.


This past holiday, my dear friend who always seems to be in sync with what I enjoy most, gave me a wonderful tasting coffee from Baby's Coffee in Breaux Bridge, LA. Billed as having an "elegantly nutty flavor", LaBelle Pecan is a delicious, aromatic blend suitable for any time of day or occasion. I have been enjoying a cuppa each morning and I plan to try some of their other offerings soon.

Paranormal Grit Lit--REALLY??

Enjoy our guest author Karen White! Author of "The Strangers on Montagu Street"

PARANORMAL GRIT LIT--REALLY??
By Karen White
I’m known for writing ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction. My books are recognized not only by their Southern setting and characters, but also by their emotional intensity. From my very first book (a time-travel historical published in 2000), that has been my trademark and what my readers look for in all of the books I write. And believe me, an author doesn’t ever want to mess with reader’s expectations!
So when I proposed the idea for THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET to my agent, she was a little leery at first—especially after I told her that I planned to make this into a series. She couldn’t have been too surprised, though. In the last nine years I’ve published eleven books: a time-travel historical, a gothic romance ala Victoria Holt, two contemporary romance/mainstream fiction novels, five “grit-lit” books, and two “paranormal/grit-lit” novels. I’m not one for sticking to the tried and true, I guess!
In this series (THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET is the second book, and was published in November, 20009), I’ve blended my favorite elements of ‘grit-lit’ but threw in my passion for old houses, the city of Charleston, a lot of history, mystery, and ghosts. The main characters are multi-layered with a lot of emotional baggage (ala Karen White books), but their dialogue is lighter, and snarkier, than my readers are probably used to. And, yes, my protagonist, Melanie Middleton, sees dead people.
So, how did I sell this idea as a marketable proposal to not only myself but to my agent and editor? After all, isn’t the publishing industry married to the ‘tried and true’ despite their insistence that they want something ‘fresh and new’? I made a deal with the devil (figuratively, of course). I promised my editor that I could still do a ‘grit lit’ novel every year—if I could just be allowed to sneak in these cool women’s fiction/paranormal mystery books in between. Seeing as how my books are usually around 120,000+ words, it was no mean feat promising two in a single calendar year. But I believed in this project and I signed the deal. It didn’t hurt that I live with two teenagers so that the need to escape to my “happy place” of writing is an almost constant one. J
I am blessed with a really wonderful editor who likes what I write and trusts me a great deal. I think all of us (me, my agent and my editor) were holding our collective breaths as I worked on the book, hoping it would live up to its promise of being a book that my current readers would enjoy as well as one that would attract new readers. After all, I’ve always had a dash of the paranormal as well as a mystery in all of my books—this one just had a little more.
I’ll admit that I had a lot of fun writing THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET and THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET. They’re a little lighter in tone than my previous books, and the dialogue between the two protagonists, Melanie and Jack, was the most fun I’ve had between the pages of a book in a long time. With ‘bated breath, I turned in the book and waited.
Luckily for me, my agent and editor loved the book as much as I did and they reinforced the decision to keep my name for this series because it was definitely a ‘Karen White’ book—recognizable by not only the southern setting but by likeable but flawed characters who have to work through internal and external conflicts—including a ghostly presence who’s not all that nice.
So, did I pull it off? Did I manage to merge women’s fiction with a paranormal romance? I think so, and judging by readers’ reactions, they agree. Nobody really knows what to call this series—and that’s okay because I don’t know either. Maybe my books will be the beginning of a whole new genre! My publisher was pleased with the response and asked me to write two more books for this series--so there will be two more to follow THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET. It’s not too much of a hardship for me since Charleston is one of my favorite cities. From the first time I visited about twelve years ago, I knew it had a special place in my heart and I look forward to each trip I make from Atlanta to “research.”
Regardless of what genre people call my books, I’d like to believe that with each and every one of them I have achieved the goal that I set for myself every time I sit down to write: to create characters readers will care about, and put them in a story that will make my readers feel every emotion, want to turn the pages, and give them a sigh of satisfaction when they get to the end. And that’s really what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Writing...a labor of love


split infinitive -- an infinitive verb form with an element,
usually an adverb, interposed between to and a verb form as in to boldly go.
Source


Yesterday I had to prepare a writing sample for a potential contract. I've only had to do so one other time and I don't find it to be an enjoyable exercise. I prefer writing for fun and my own enjoyment. Writing to be judged how I would handle a specific situation is another story because one does not know if they are interested in your execution of the situation or your style of writing. I did my best to address both. This particular exercise had me writing conversation scripts between an upset employee and a manager...Oh my!!! The difficulty for me is not in creating the conversation but in essentially guessing which conversation they are expecting.
It is hard to write knowing you'll be judged by someone for something. One just has to look at the comments left on blogs and websites to see how people can be quite heartless in their judgements. It is one of the reason, I enjoy reading blogs and websites for content and ideas, not to note if the writer has used a split infinitive.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Green Chili Chicen Stew

Green chili is a important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. The town of Hatch, NM has been the leader in chili growing and is known as the "Chili Capital of the World"

World Famous Salsa & Green Chile Sauce - El Pinto
It's exceptionally cold today where I am and I'm having fond memories of yummy Green Chili Chicken Stew with warm tortillas. Quite difficult to get the green chili's here so I have to use prepared sauce. There are many good chili sauces on the market, I happen to have El Pinto Green Chili Sauce available but you can make it from scratch if you have access to some good Hatch Green Chilis.