Monday, August 29, 2011

For the Love of...

image photo : Collage foodLast night I watched Julie & Julia.  The movie about a girl in NY who blogs about following Julia Child's cookbook for a year and preparing every recipe in the book just to see if she can and because she loves to cook.  Super cute movie BTW.  After watching the movie I felt inspired.  Not inspired enough to buy the same cookbook and prepare the same recipes (not much into French cuisine) but inspired to share with you my love of cooking.

Remember a few posts back when I mentioned how a book I'd read inspired me to plan a trip and travel somewhere and I asked you to share any similar situations.  This is the same idea.

I love to cook.  Not bake.  But cook.  I can sit and watch the Food Channel (yes I know it's called the Food Network but around my house we insist on calling it the Food Channel) all day.  In fact, while I was staying with my grandmother during her hospital and hospice stay we watched the channel all the time.  Each recipe and show got us talking about whether it was good or what we'd change about it.  My grandmother was a huge fan of Iron Chef because of the Japanese guy on it.  He's a famous actor in Japan and since she's Japanese, he wore a soft spot in her heart.  Plus, she had taped episodes from Japan's version (and they might have started the idea) and we'd watch those for hours.  I didn't understand a single word they said but I didn't have to.  I could tell they were sauteing something in this pan and braising something in the next.  

Anyway, no one taught me to cook. I didn't take a class and I didn't spend hours in the kitchen being taught as a kid.  I watched my grandmother cook and I absorbed.  The same thing happens when I watch a Rachel Ray (love her) show or a Giada at Home show.  I watch and I memorize the ingredients and how a dish is prepared. Just like them, I love to create a dish from scratch.  Sometimes, I watch what they make and I alter it to fit my needs.  I love to cook but I don't advertise it with my friends.  Sure my family knows I do and can attest to the great taste but like my writing, if I have no proof, I feel silly talking about it.  Because like Julie in the movie, I too love to cook after a long crappy day of work and just create something tasty to share.  The sound of my knife tapping away as I chop ingredients or the sizzle of garlic cooking in a pan drenched in EVOO are all things that I enjoy about cooking.  No one bothers me or demands things from me.  It's just me and my pan of yummy smelling stuff.

What about you?  Do you love to cook?  Or is there something you just love doing that you're not an expert at or you don't make money doing?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friendly or Friend Overload

I recently noticed a friend of mine from one part of my life was friends with someone else I knew from another part of my life.  I was so excited I tagged them and said "Yeah, I feel like I made a connection."  Later I got an email from one of them asking me who the person was she friended which she then explained she accepts everyone that asks. 

This all got me thinking.  Is it a good idea to friend on Twitter, FB, Google+ and any other social media website all those people who request to be your friend?  I know on Twitter unless you're private you have not control and you could find yourself being followed by a squirrel.  But what about the rest. Is it overload? 

As an author with a book coming out in April (I'm counting down) and maybe a short this year, I wonder if liking everyone and knowing everyone in the social media way, does it help your sales?  If I throw my name out there and like everyone and want everyone to like me will it bolster my sales.  Will someone discover a new author?  Or will I feel over-exposed and want to crawl back into my writer hole?

I could ask my friend how it's helping her but like me, hers isn't out until next year as well.  So I'm throwing my question out to the masses.  What do you think?  How do you roll?  Should I like everyone?  Should I stay right where I'm at and be selective with my friendship?

I'd love to hear what you think. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

What's new?

My "To Do" list is never ending.  I think as a mom, that's a given.  But for those of us who are moms, authors and have day jobs, our lists keep growing and growing and growing and... You get the point. 

Sometimes I need to sit back and just do nothing for a moment and enjoy crossing what I've done from the list before I add more.  And yes, I do keep lists.  I'm notorious for running to the store and buying everything I don't need and forgetting what I really need.  Which is usually milk.  I even wrote a list the other day telling my kids what they were going to do the next day.  Yeah, it's that bad.

Right now I'm having a sit back, drink a glass of wine and reflect moment.  Last weekend, I submitted my second novella for my series to my publisher.  I'm a little nervous this time around and am constantly asking my crit partner "Are you sure this doesn't suck?"  Of course, she's as sweet as sugar and she'd never tell me anything sucked but she hasn't told me I needed to change the entire story either.  I'm waiting to hear back if a short story I submitted will get published this year.  Yeah, I'm biting my nails, tapping my foot and stalking my email.  But I'm learning to be patient with writing.  I went to a dirt track race for my birthday wearing a custom made shirt made by moi.  Yeah, I had to dress up for the night.  They drive fast cars.  On dirt.  And I had seats in the "luxury box". 

I'm trying to finish a book I started reading like two weeks ago.  Yes, I'm feeling okay it's just that the book was a very slow go and now it's picking up but life won't allow me to read.  Speaking of buying books, FYI my publisher TMP now sells books!  Right on!  I know!  So if you haven't visited yet, jump on over and take a look see.  Mine with be there in April.  Go to:  My friend Julie is featured and we all know she rocks.  Plus, the other authors I've gotten to know from email loops and they are all awesome pants!  Don't walk, run to the site and buy.

So that's all I've done aside from day job (which not too thrilled with right now) and mom job.  What's ahead?  Beta reading, finishing this book I'm reading so I can share what I thought with the world, start on book #3 (I told them I'd turn in Nov.) and maybe work on that world hunger thing.  Although, that's been done to death.  I might need to try and find a new, obscure cause.  

Thanks for listening and I'd love to hear what you have on your lists.