Cookin' up a Cupcake

So I've been a been neglectful of this here baby. That's because my real-life babies, though not really babies at all, have started back to school, among other things. You know life 'n stuff. But I've been cooking up some goodies in my spare time. Heh. Heh.

It involves things like this.

And this.

Only you know I don't eat sugar. Not a lick of it. Not sugar cane, not honey, not refined, or unrefined. I don't eat maple syrup or agave, or anything of sugar's relatives.

So in fact, it looks more like this.

I may have mentioned something about it last week. Or was it the week before? I'm holding on so tight to summer I'm losing track of my days.

But I've been mixing and stirring and tap, tap, tapping away on these here keys.

The inspiration came from several places...Cupcake Wars for starters. Such an odd indulgence for a sugar and gluten free gal. And trying to perfect an actual frosting free of the aforementioneds. Tricky stuff. Though I don't recommend trying to eat a middle grade fiction manuscript. No sirree. Not a good idea.

Not sure what I'm round-about getting at? Stay tuned.

Living with Paradox

I am living in limbo, yet feel as if I'm experiencing a shift. It doesn't make sense. I know. But I cannot deny that is what I've been experiencing and sensing. Here we are at the beginning of a new school year, the leaves are beginning to lose their vibrant green hues. There's a mutedness. In everything. The night air is cooler and it's getting darker now. I am not ready for autumn. My heart holds fast to its tether to the light. To the long warm days. To the freedom summer represents. But it will happen. There is no stopping change even as everything else in my life exists in limbo-land. Work, housing, husband's work, before school, after school, weekends, writing, the future. Everything is unknown. Understatement of eternity. I know that too. And I'm learning to be okay with it. I have no other choice than to let go of needing to know what may happen, what might not happen, and simply live in the present.

Here's what been going on in the here and now lately, courtesy of my Instagram. (Please follow me above.)

1. She's got the wind in her fur.

2. Somewhere over the rainbow. I've seen a few of these this summer. Lucky me.

3. Ten points to anyone who can guess what this is.

4. Noted. Thank you Vivian Swift.

5. Throwback Thursday. What I think when I hear the words, "Winter's coming." Although that also means GOT will be resume.

What have you been up to? How do you deal with the unknown?

P.S. Great writer's contest on Brenda Drake's blog- Pitchmadness! Check it out!

Online Writing Conference

Sunrise - don't worry I was passengering. 

I've been remiss this past week in my usual Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule.

Where have I been?

What have I been doing?

Aside from savoring the dwindling final two weeks of school vacation with my family, making a 600 mile round-trip drive in under forty-eight hours- after nearly driving into an overflowing lake, weathering a major family crisis, my husband losing his job, surfing, and buying and selling a home...I've been participating in two amaze-balls (yes, I went there) writer's events.

Last week I posted about writerly types of goings-ons here.

Today I want to remind you WriteOnCon (as in writing-online-convention) is happening. Today- Tuesday and tomorrow. For people like me who aren't always able to attend conferences with outstanding panelists, query-pitch sessions, and terrific community building opportunities, here is our chance to participate, ask questions, get answers, and learn more about the craft of writing.

In case you're curious, you can visit the forums and see that I've posted three queries- a simple search for FIGHT CAMP, TO THE SEA & SUGAR will bring you what you're looking for. I also put up the first 250 words of TO THE SEA & SUGAR. After that, I ran out of gas. And time. There were meals to cook, phone calls to make, and laundry to fold...oh and a lake NOT to drive into. Anyway...I'd love to know what you think, get feedback...even if you're not a writer, I gather you are a reader. I mean, duh, you're reading this and often readers give great critiques because you know what you like!

I've also been hanging out over at Figment- an online writer's group where you can post pages, chapters, etc. of writings, get reviews, feedback, and read the work by other writers. I'd love for you to read my first chapter of SUGAR and lemme know what you think!

And wish me luck, I received a 100 page request from none-other than an uber agent.

Moonrise. Passengering again. 

Writerly Kinds of Things...

Big week online for young adult writers who aspire to be published.

Starting NOW: Write on Con- the online writer's conference has forums open to get a jump on receiving feedback on queries, the first 250 words, and the first five pages. This is triple awesome.

Monday: Miss Snark's First Victim opens the lottery for the Secret Agent contest- where selected entrants post their first 250 words for critique and some amount of chosen manuscripts will requested by the Secret Agent.

Monday: Agent Greeting Contest on Michelle4Laughs. This one has a sense of humor.

Thursday: I submitted a query for critique to Falling for Fiction. Please let me know what you think! I've since made a couple more changes, but this is the gist.

Even if you're not quite ready to submit your material, these contests and critiques are a great opportunity to get familiar with the query process as well as try your hand at offering constructive comments---and supporting your fellow writers. Note* This post stands in a day early (instead of my usual Tuesday post) so those of you interested can get a jump on the events.

Drink Up: The Secret Smoothie

Secret smoothies are for people like me who have several hungry mouths to feed but run out of quickly devoured fresh fruits and veggies before I can restock. When we’re out of the desired bananas, berries, greens and such to make some of our favorite smoothies (epic smoothie post) and I’m in a pinch I’ll make a “Secret Smoothie.” 

I keep a couple pouches of pureed fruits and veggies aka baby food on hand to toss in the blender with whatever else I do happen to have in our fruit bowl for a nutrient packed snack and no one is the wiser.

Ideally all our smoothies are prepared with fresh, local organic produce, but sometimes I fall short, don’t make it to the store, or items are eaten before I have a chance to toss ‘em in the blender. Occasionally I also have the reluctant taster, one who isn’t so sure about plums, yams or egads! peas in her smoothie, but I take a cue from JessicaSeinfeld and sneak in the contents of one of these little pouches and they’ll never know why their drink is so action packed and delicious!

The combinations are practically endless with the fruit and veggies pouches, just roll up your sleeves, don your best poker face, and serve up a Secret Smoothie.

A Secret Smoothie Flavor Concoction…look for the brightly colored cap for a clue ;)

And...I find using the less attractive, but more ripe spotty bananas to reduce that tongue biting unripe taste for my smoothies.

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