Wednesday, March 20, 2013

a Sweet Novel and Chocolate recipe

From the Novel Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood

By Melissa Hart

Comes a recipe which I end up making over and over again until it might make the novel easily the Heaviest reading I have ever done.  I modified it slightly by warming the milk in the microwave to shorten the stirring time, but seriously this is a book well worth reading even if it didn't include wonderful recipes, but it does.

I only gave a short review of this on Goodreads

 but I have to say that the only things needing said about this book is that it is on my favorite shelf and You should read it.

Spanish Hot Chocolate

Begin with a healthy dose of remorse. Add a quarter cup of unsweetened cocoa and half a cup of white sugar in a saucepan. In a measuring cup stir a tablespoon of cornstarch into a quarter cup of cold water Until it dissolves with your fantasies of a perfect vacation in Madrid. Pour it into the saucepan and stir until the mixture is smooth

Warm over medium heat while warming two cups of milk in the microwave. Slowly pour milk in, allowing yourself to reflect on dead dictators as you gently whisk out lumps. Allow to simmer for awhile until it coats your spoon like pudding. Maybe 10 -20 min as you stir. Serve with humility and a tiny silver spoon

Yesterday, I tried a quick and easy idea, and it wasn't as good but was still very good and was ready in less than 4 minutes.  I filled my mug 2/3 with cold milk, and took my spoon and loaded it full of cornstarch and dissolved it in the cold milk. Then I microwaved that for 2 minutes, and it came out thick and glossy like meringue.  I just stirred in a packet of hot cocoa mix and it was ready to drink

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Keep On writing

 Even as I celebrate some book sales and consider the next moves in book publicity and wrestle with the taxes and the business end of everything, I know that I can't stop writing too.  And of course since I can't live on what I make yet, I also need to keep working at the schools and taking care of my family.  Life is busy.  I consider that a blessing.

 April has a chance to get moving on my newest book again with a 30 day commitment to CampNaNoWriMo available  but I'm not sure I have the energy and motivation for that yet.  But on the other hand, committing to something usually forces me to create the time and energy

 And as we get into the spring I feel the energy of the earth and sun returning, and waking up the winter thickened sap in my old veins.  So Maybe. Are any of you gong to try?

 I have begun a third Duffy Barkley Book, in fact I wrote 10,000 words in the last summer camp, then added 50,000 in November's NaNoWriMo but I can see that another 50,000 is needed to finish this book so it would be the perfect thing to commit to in April.  The ideas that flow in the chat room got me one of my favorites of Duffy's friends when I wrote book 2 and was challenged to add a dragon named Fred who loved baths.
So at 9 Duffy ended up enduring bullies and a school shooting and had to try to save his sister and ended up facing his own crippling condition in a strange Oz like world.  Then at 11 he tried to help a friend in Guatemala and ended up back in that other world.  And even though his great-aunt had been there before he ever was, he has always been the only one from our world there when he has been in Uhrlin.

But in my work in progress, Duffy is 13 and both his sister and his aunt are missing and he is here in our world.  I'm starting to get into the thought process again, starting to feel the need to write, but then what happens to the momentum I've just begun to feel in promoting the three books I have out there in this world.


I think writing and being a published author are both full time jobs. But I can't imagine not trying to succeed at both.

See You at Camp?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Goode Books Free Kindle Days are Over, Results Here

Free Ebooks for Kindle from Me with update on progress

I decided to update what has been happening with this experiment with a few details. 

After 24 hours free on the Amazon site

Duffy Barkley  was uploaded 2 times in the UK and 55 in the USA                           Oregon Trail had  2 in Canada and 4 in Uk and 89 in US

after 48 hours
Duffy had 135 in US and 5 in Uk and 3 in Germany plus 1 in Japan and 3 in Canada                Oregon Trail had 210 in USA and 5 in UK with 1 in Germany plus 1 in Japan and 2 in Canada

but then something happened
I don't know what,
 but I suspect a better read blog
or a kindle freebie facebook page
talked about The Double Time on the Oregon Trail Book

after 36 hours the Oregon Trail book took off

Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog still did OK. It showed up with 158 in USA and 6 in UK and 3 in Germany, 1 in France, 2 in Japan and 5 in Canada 
Double Time On The Oregon Trail uploaded  a surprising (to me)  565 in USA and 7 in UK, 1 in Germany, 2 in Japan and 5 in Canada

And after the end of the 5 days, I had the fun of realizing that in 5 days exactly 1000 copies of my kindle books, or my paperbacks had been ordered and would be getting out into the world to serve as eager ambassadors to tell my stories and maybe encourage a few more people to try kindness and tolerance instead of anger as a first response to those who seem to be different.

And during that fun, even though it gets me no $$$, event I learned that an action from months ago had payed off
I had given a copy of the Oregon Trail novel to a fifth grade teacher
after his wife told me that he teaches a unit on the Oregon Trail.
That was not long before he told me that he had passed it on to the director of the County's Unified School District Curriculum
now, 4 months later
I found out that the district has approved and ordered 38 copies of my novel
to teach as a class set, and to base in the district IMC

and Someone in the UK has bought the Sequel to Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog, now as well

So, Ok
I only get a couple bucks a copy there too, but 
I'm an internationally read author :)
with a book being used as a textbook in a California School District.

It doesn't pay the rent but it keeps me smiling.

Older post below tell you more about the books