Tuesday, September 29, 2015

PDT Beef Mexican Thingies

Yeah, I could call them quesadillas, but I'm not sure that would be right, so PDT (pretty damn tasty) Beef Mexican Thingies seems about right.

2 flour tortillas
1 pkg pre-cooked beef fajita meat
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese
1 pint sliced fresh mushrooms
1 stick butter
1 can sliced black olives
1 jar salsa

Put a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet on medium high. When the butter is melted, lay a tortilla in the pan until you see it started to get air bubbles. Flip it and let it fry for another 30 seconds or so. Remove to baking sheet.  (I used a pizza pan covered in aluminum foil.) Repeat with other tortilla, but set it aside on a another plate.  In the same skillet, add in about 4 tablespoons more butter. When it's melted, add in the mushrooms.  Saute until slightly browned.  Remove mushrooms to bowl - leaving as much melted butter as possible.  In same skillet, add fajita meat.  Stir it around until the meat is hot.  Place fajita meat onto first tortilla (the one on the baking sheet), such that it forms a nice flat layer.  Top fajita meat with about a third of the bag of cheese.  Liberally sprinkle with black olives.  Liberally top with sauteed mushrooms.  Place second tortilla on top.  Spread about 2 tablespoons of salsa over the top.  Sprinkle with about a third of the bag of cheese.  Bake at 350F until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.  Remove.  Cut into quarters using a large pizza cutter.  Serve with salsa.

Everything is, of course, to taste.  Use more of anything if you'd like.  Use 4 tortillas with less of the fillings to feed more people.  Use chicken instead of beef if you like, or go vegetarian (if you feel the need) and use more mushrooms.  Try refried beans or sliced tomatoes or whatever.  Put shredded lettuce on the side.  Nix the mushrooms if you hate those.  Play with it and have fun. 

As is, this should probably feed four people.  Hubs and I ate the whole thing last night and we were stuffed for the rest of the night.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 38

Welcome to Sunday Update with your friend, B.E.


Ahem, it's been a slow week writing-wise.  I'm a little stumped and I'm kinda bored.  The book's not boring, but I already know what's going to happen.  This is why I never read the last page of a book first - like some people I know.  :cough:KID:cough:  What I'm stumped on is how I'm going to get to the ending I already know.  I only have a few scenes left.  Maybe I should just shitcan the ending and write something totally new.  Or maybe I should just suck it up and write the damn book - bored or not.

I noticed something the other day that did make me shitcan a part of the cover for Bloodflow.  I was over at my author page and noticed I have a thing for covers with the MC standing with her back to the reader, looking into the cover image.  Three books now and two of them have that.  It was almost three.  I spent an afternoon coming up with a new replacement for the MC on the cover.  Which kinda sucks because I spent a really long time choosing the right image and then erasing the background of the picture she came in, so she looked like she belonged on my cover.  :shrug:  It's not quite perfect yet, so I won't share it with anyone, but soon.  Maybe after I get this book done, I'll finish that cover.

I spent the past two days gardening.  Thanks to an ad in the local paper wherein the landscaping place announced they had mums buy 1 / get 1 free, I now have sore buns from bending over the garden.  Yeah, yeah, I didn't HAVE TO buy ten mums.  But I did have it on the agenda to clean up the bed, move the bulbs, and put something along the house that might discourage the local cats from using that space as a littler box.  Mums were perfect.  I got two each of butter yellow, bright yellow, dark orange, and orangey-red.  Then I got one purple and one maroon to fill in where last year's mums had died.  Then I began replanting the bulbs in a scatter pattern.  It should be pretty come Spring.  Now I have to dig up and separate the iris bulbs because they're getting choked.  Fall planting is fun.  My muscles just aren't used to it.  Aleve to the rescue!  ;o)

I think we might've found the right balance for Max.  He seems to be eating better and is more his happy-go-lucky self.  Of course, I've said this before and had him turn tits-up on me, so I'm trying to be reserved with my hope.

Kira is, as always, the queen of all she sees.

Fall means migration season here in the Ozarks.  It's not in full swing yet - as in the eagles and the sapsuckers haven't returned - but it's pretty neat seeing the casual visitors come back for a little while as they head south.  And we still have at least one hummingbird as of yesterday.  Or maybe he's was just passing through and our hummingbirds are already farther south.  Either way, the feeder stays up until I go a couple weeks without seeing any.  Consider it a way-station for the little guys still on their way.

What's the update from your little corner of the world?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This n That Thursday

I don't know where the time goes.  Seriously.  No Clue.  It was Sunday.  I remember Sunday.  Now it's Thursday.  I know I did stuff in between, but not the stuff I was supposed to do. 

Someone somewhere here in the Ozarks found a two-headed snake.  I wonder if they realize it's actually conjoined twin snakes?  Two brains equals two individuals. 

Individuals.  I'm big on individuals.  Each one of us is a separate human being - an island unto ourselves.  Yeah, yeah, I've heard the whole 'no man is an island' thing, but I don't agree.  We're all islands and we can build bridges from island to island, but we cannot be absorbed into one big mainland.  Unless we try to become like that two-headed snake.  Jus' sayin'.

I'm working on too little sleep again.  Can ya tell?

I didn't win the lottery again.  Oh, and if I happen to not say that during one of these things, it doesn't mean I won that week.  So don't come looking for gifties.  I don't have any.  ;o)

I was reading an old crime novel last night (Cape Fear by John D. MacDonald).  I love old novels.  It's amazing the things you find in them - like a passage denouncing the education system in the fifties.  I did some research back when I worked for a private school corporation, and from that research, I learned the fifties was about when 'progressive education' gained its foothold on American schools.  Later in the book there was a passage where the teen daughter is talking to her father about things she'd been taught - like in English class her teacher taught them that only bad writers make characters who are totally evil or totally good.  And then father ruminates on how the man who is stalking them is totally evil.  I thought it was kinda brilliant of the author to weave that in there.  I believe there are totally evil people and I try to write them. (It's not as easy as it sounds - especially when the drift has been toward making villains sympathetic in some way.) If that makes me a 'bad writer' in the eyes of some, I can live with that. 

In a good character, something not-so good is considered a character flaw.  So, in an evil character, would something good be a character flaw for them?  Just something to ponder.

Yesterday, I caught part of a show that detailed the last 24 hours of a death row inmate.  Totally engrossing.  Especially the part of the different methods of execution and the part about last meals.  (Texas has done away with letting the condemned order a special last meal.  They get to eat what everyone else is eating.  Aside from losing the interesting information about who ate what, I think it's a good idea.)

What's on the this-n-that in your world today?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 37

Not much progress this week on much of anything.  I mean, I wrote a pretty good scene in Fertile Ground and then couldn't muster the gumption to write more. 

It's that time in the quarter when I'm a roiling ball of hormonal angst.  The time when my daughter would actively avoid being around me.  Hubs is learning.  I feel bad about it, but there really isn't much I can do about it - aside from getting my shot and I'll be doing that this week.  No wait, I take that back.  There is something I can do and usually do when I realize this time is upon me - be aware that I have turned into a total overly-sensitive, raging bitch with no motivation, and then suck it up.  And yes, I have already apologized to Hubs - because that's what good people do when they realize they've turned into a raging bitch.  As for the motivation?  I'll get back to work today.  I have ten days left to finish this book before I get the edits back and have to dive into BloodFlow once more.  I left the villain in a precarious position and the heroine about to swoop in on him.  Now I need to throw in some other twist and some more danger, resolve it all, and wrap it up.

I did some reading this week.  An old hard-boiled detective novel that was cool.  An interesting SF that's the first in a trilogy. It had some bobbles, but ultimately it was a good book.  Then I tried to read a romantic suspense that was a total toad and set me off to the point I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall.  I calmed down and picked up Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  I'm much better now.

While out walking this week, Hubs and I spotted a snake smushed flat on the side of the road.  It was a Western Pygmy Rattler.  Never so glad to see something dead.  We also saw a little green garden snake smushed on the road.  A little sad, but around here, snakes are not on our 'happy to see you' critters list.

Charlotte the spider has moved on - either to set up a web in a new location or to scout for her winter hiding spot.  I hope it's the latter because if she sets up on the front porch, I will have to hit her with the broom.  Nothing personal, but spiders are also not on the 'happy to see you' critters list.

What updates do you have this time around?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Charlotte the Spider

I talked before about the resident spider - Charlotte - but in the interest of keeping my daughter's pulse from spiking, I'll start with a picture of Max and a warning that she need not scroll down past his picture because there be monsters.

And now we come to Charlotte.  I tried looking up her exact species, but only managed to boil it down to 'standard garden orb weaver'.  :shrug:  Anyway, she's about an inch - inch and a quarter long minus the legs.  And she's doing a wonderful job of eating large bugs.  Yay for Charlotte.

Don't worry - she's outside.  She's just happened to build her wonderful web outside the north window in the sunroom.  And as long as she stays where we can see her and not run into her or have her on us in any way, she gets to live.

Pretty damn creepy, but she's okay out there.  Now the other spiders her size that keep making their orb webs on the front porch, by the garbage can, and between the cars?  They really need to move out into the woods because the first time I walk into one of their webs is the last time they build one.  I admire their bug eating abilities but my niceness only goes so far.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 36

I just finished cleaning my desk off, so my workspace is all shiny and dust-free.  Not sure if that means I'm ready to work, but it sure makes me feel productive and junk.

I'm making some steady progress on Fertile Ground.  I've added about 5K words in the past few days.  Not breaking any speed records, but I know where the story's going and I can feel the climax approaching.  Another 10-15K and I should be done.  Which is good, because my edits should be back on Bloodflow by 10/1 and I need to work on that once it gets here.

Speaking of Bloodflow, I've got the cover almost done.  Not sure I'm happy with the cover model I picked.  Something about her just doesn't say Miranda Kruz.  In the course of looking for a new model, though, I found one who would be perfect for the cover of Fertile Ground.  :eyeroll:  I'm not ready to work on that cover yet, but I saved her to the hard drive.

I'm waiting on acceptance of WIOH for ad space in ENT for the end of this month.  I'll let you know the particulars once they give me the go ahead.

Now that the weather is cooler, Hubs and I are trying to go for a walk every day.  The other day we went at almost sunset.  On the way back, I could see the nighthawks headed out for their evening meal, so being the bird watcher I am, I started counting heads.  By the time we got home, I'd counted 70 individual birds.  Pretty cool.  Lucky for me, they were all headed east, so I didn't have to worry about counting the same bird twice. 

We have a big garden spider who's built her web on the outside of one of the sunroom windows.  I named her Charlotte.  (Yeah, not exactly original, but it works for me.)  I say hello to her every day as I open the windows out there.  Friday, she caught a really big wasp and then she didn't look right.  Yesterday, she spent the whole day curled up on the top window casing.  I thought she was going to die and it made me sad.  I said something to Hubs about getting attached to the spider.  His reaction: "I'll buy you a puppy if it stops you from getting attached to a spider."  And then we both laughed because we know there's no way I have time for a puppy right now.  (She's back to normal today, so I think she might've just eaten too much rather than been stung badly.)

What's the update in your world this week?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remember and Live Your Life

I don't need to tell you what day it is.  But I won't admonish you to spend a single second in silence, remembering what those butchers and assholes did fourteen years ago.

Remember, certainly.  How could one ever forget?

But do not bow your heads.  Honor the fallen by holding your head up.  Take up arms in your own way by living your life to the fullest.  Walk around with your face uncovered and your soul free from guilt.  Play music.  Look at art.  Draw. Sculpt.  Write books.  Dance.  Have sex.  Drink, if you have a mind to - alcohol, coffee, rainwater... Do whatever it is that they say you can't do without breaking one of their asinine rules.

Be free and celebrate your freedom.

Don't let them have even one inch of your life.

A moment of silence?  Fuck that shit.  Live your life and be free.

Shout it from the rooftops.

"Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?"  I see it.  Do you?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

This n That Thursday

For some reason the gray/green tree frogs here like to hide in the crevices of our cars.  Hubs lifted the hood of his jeep to check the oil - frog.  I opened the driver's side rear door of my car - frog.  We went for a drive and at one point he had to stop because there was a frog clinging to his window.  Apparently, that one wanted to see new territory because we left it in the grass about ten miles from home.  (The assumption being that it was hiding under the hood where it meets the windshield and decided to come out for air when we stopped to take in the view.)

My right ear is clogged this morning.  No clue why.  Doesn't hurt or anything, but if it doesn't clear up this morning, I'm going to get it cleaned.  Maybe it's a frog.  ;o)

This morning I read a news article wherein a woman was pulled over for speeding in a school zone.  She told the officer 'this is why you people get shot'.  Yah.  And she's right.  They're getting shot for doing their jobs. They're getting shot for daring to make people accountable for their actions.  And by her logic, someone else could easily make a case for shooting her.  That's why we have laws.  You know, the laws people like her gleefully break on a daily basis.

Actually, we have laws like speed limits in school zones because people like her are too stupid to slow down where children are playing without some law telling them they have to.  Because in a rational world, someone would see 'school zone' and automatically slow down to avoid the potential of accidentally hitting a child.  But we don't live in a rational world.  Jus' sayin'.

Don't get me started.

My sedums are getting ready to bloom.  I'd never seen these before I bought them, so I have no clue what they'll look like.  The greenhouse gal said they'd bloom purple.  We'll see.

We put piles of corn out for the deer.  The squirrels cheerfully eat the corn.  Bunbun - our resident wild rabbit - likes to eat corn in the middle of all those squirrels.  I have decided it's his way of protecting himself should Mittens the bobcat show up. It's his 'squirrelly warning system'.  ;o)

What's on the this n that radar for you today?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Advice I Wish Someone Had Told My Younger Self

Or things my younger self WAS told, but that she then ignored...

- don't ride a bike wearing shoes with no traction
- don't punch concrete
- just because he said he loves you doesn't mean he understands the meaning of the word
- just because you drive the same route every day and have unconsciously memorized the timing of the lights doesn't mean you don't have to pay attention anymore.
- your metabolism will change when you hit 30
- it will change again when you hit 40
- never turn your back on the crazy horse
- never be alone in supply room with the creepy teacher
- just because he said he loves you, wants to marry you, and wants kids doesn't mean he'll stand by you if those last two occur out of order.
- if he gets pouty and jealous because you're paying attention to anything but him, leave.
- it's okay to be alone
- if you can't learn to love yourself, don't expect anyone else to love you like you deserve to be loved
- someday you will love broccoli
- just because you learned to love broccoli doesn't mean you'll learn to love Brussels sprouts
- get off your butt and move those legs - they ache worse when you don't use them.
- you don't need alcohol to relax, have fun, cut loose, be silly, be yourself, be popular, make friends, etc.

What are some things you wish you'd been told or that you wish you'd listened to?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 35

I know it's not Sunday.  Feels like it, though, doesn't it?  Holiday weekends always mess me up.  (Not that I'm not time deficient anyway, but holidays make it worse.)

Okay, so in the past week...

I sent Bloodflow off to my editor.  She jumped right in and sent me a note saying she loves it so far.  Fingers crossed that sentiment holds through the rest of the book.

I picked up Fertile Ground and have been working on reading through the 53K words I already have written on it.  So far so good on that, too.  I still love it.  It has flaws, but they're fixable.  AND... it's a big and... I know basically how it will end.  Which was a huge sticking point and the reason I didn't finish it when I started it.

I wrote the cover copy for Bloodflow.  Not sure if it's the final draft yet, though.

I spent yesterday on a cleaning jag.  Mostly I deep cleaned the bedroom*.  Moved furniture, dusted, vacuumed, washed all the bedding, did the laundry, did the spare room, did the dishes... :yawn:  I'm tired just writing that. 

I took some time and pimped Wish in One Hand out in the world.  Didn't sell any copies but I did give a couple away, and I sold an Accidental Death.  The local library - one of the recipients of a free copy - still doesn't have Dying Embers or Accidental Death in their system.  Not sure what's going on there.  :shrug:

What's the update from your corner of the world today?

*This house technically has 3 bedrooms, but only one has a bed in it.  One of the others is our office and the third is the 'spare room'.  We could put a bed in there if we ever had guests.  LOL

Thursday, September 3, 2015

This n That Thursday

Yesterday, Hubs and I went for a drive.  It was a gorgeous day and we struck out to see new territory - this time a park and marina on the north side of the lake.  Pretty pretty.  We also took some side roads and got some great views from between lovely homes.  Of course, I forgot my camera, so you'll all just have to take my word for it.  Since it was Wednesday, there was no one out there.  It was awesome.  Then on the drive home, just as we were coming up to the long bridge, we hear something that sounded exactly like a tire blowing out.  We limped the jeep across the bridge and pulled into some dude's driveway.  (Hey, you shouldn't have converted an old gas station into your home if you didn't want people with car trouble stopping there.  Am I right?)  Hubs gets out to check his side.  I get out to check my side.  Nothing.  No flats.  Nothing under the car.  :shrug:

Once upon a time, I was driving down the freeway when I heard a thup and suddenly it felt like someone had shot me in the back.  (Not too outlandish on a Michigan freeway.)  But other than the instant of pain, I was fine.  Got home about an hour later and discovered the belt to my overcoat was missing.  The only thing I could figure was I shut the car door on the belt and it had been dragging on the road.  Must've caught on something or got under the tire or into the drive shaft and THUP.  Sucked it right off me through the door like a piece of spaghetti.

Have any of you heard that new song on the radio that has The Munsters theme in the background?

Someone in Italy purchased a copy of Dying Embers.  Grazie!

We're creeping up on Labor Day weekend here in the states, which means the unofficial end of summer.  Which also means the weekenders in my area will be scattering back to wherever they live, thus freeing up the DSL bandwidth again.  No more slow internet on the weekends or in the evenings!  Yay!  It also means I need to get to the store today so I don't have to contend with vacation people over this holiday weekend. 

I finished the edit round on Bloodflow last night.  Which means I should be writing today. BUT the season opener for the Michigan Wolverines is tonight.  Maybe I should take a day off... you know, to rest the muse... yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

What this n that has got you going this morning?