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Monday, January 11, 2010

Kidlit Writing Contest

If you write MG or YA, is having a contest. Yipee!

If you don't frequent the website you are missing out. Mary Kole is an agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and her site is filled with great advice.

CONTEST LINK: Kidlit Contest

PRIZES: The winners will receive a 1-15 page critique.

HOW TO ENTER: Submit the first 500 words of your YA or MG novel.

Email your entry with the subject "Kidlit contest"

And put a link to the contest page in two places (provide the links in your email so she can verify them)

Get editing and good luck!

Friday, January 8, 2010


This makes a ton of filling. I usually get 4 packages of flour tortillas and cook up all the chimis and put them in freezer zipper bags for quick lunches and dinners. You could also freeze the filling in several zipper bags to make fresh chimis each time.

Chimichanga Filling:

1 lb hamburger or other ground meat
1 can sliced mushrooms (or fresh chopped and sautéed--I use fresh because I think the canned ones stink)
1 can green chilies
1 can refried beans
1 can chili
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can kidney beans (drained)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped and sautéed
1 package taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Cook and season meat. Add all other ingredients; simmer for 20 minutes.

Place 1/3-1/2 cup filling at the center top of each tortilla. Fold over the sides. Roll from top to bottom. Use a toothpick to keep it from unrolling. Deep fry in oil until golden brown.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

It's resolution time again. I find each year I tend to set several dozen grandiose goals, ones I could only attain if I were perfect and didn't have a regular life to live. Instead of setting the same goals I've set every year, I'm going to be realistic by setting goals that don't overwhelm me.

I'm going to share them here. I encourage you to do the same. The first Wednesday of each month we'll evaluate how we're doing and help each other.

  1. Do something nice for someone (outside my family) 2x a month.

  2. Continue to work out with my trainer 3x a week; add 45 min. cardio at least 1x a week.

  3. Write 3x a week and send one query a month.

  4. Practice speaking and reading Thai 2x a month.

That's it. That is my focus. Each one I had to go back and simplify, and had to stop myself from writing the endless list of unattainable goals.

What are your goals for the year, and how do you keep yourself motivated?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wii, Writing, and Mii

For Christmas our family gift was a Wii. I set up my Mii character (you create a player for yourself, choose gender, hair, skin and eye color, and all sorts of other things). Some of the characteristics were like me and some were ones I wish were me. Through this creation I play games and perform various tasks.

Thinking of my character and the make believe world that didn't exist until a week ago, made me think of writing. With the Wii I see that character as me. As a writer I'm a voyeur into others lives. Even though bits of my personality leak into my main characters, it's not me. I talk with my husband about these people and tell him what is happening in their world. Sometimes he says, "You know they're not real, right?" Of course I do, but as I write a story the characters do seem real. They surprise me with things they've gone through or how they deal with their problems.

Now my confession: some ideas for my stories come from real life, but more often then not ideas pop in my head from who knows where. As I write their story I'm hearing it for the first time. Often I don't feel like the creator but rather the scribe.

How do you feel when you write or daydream? Are you in charge or are you more of a bystander?