Tag Archives: creative side

Spring!


Spring is really here in Downeast Maine.

Several days of temperatures in the high sixties/ low seventies, and even once (I admit the car was sitting in the sunshine) it hit 81!

Now, Friday, it’s a little more of what you would expect for this part of the world, 60 and breezy. And you can smell spring in the air.

We took a trip to Campobello Island yesterday, it was simply beautiful at Herring Cove Provincial Park. And we discovered a new (to us) lighthouse at the far end of the island. Evidently if you hit the tides just right, you can walk over to the lighthouse, but that will have to be next time.

The Head Harbour Light on the northern end of Campobello Island.

So I didn’t get much writing done, but, boy oh boy, did I ever recharge my creative batteries. And maybe we should all give ourselves permission to do that once in a while.

Miracle Mirepoix!


After almost fifty years of putting food in front of hungry family, I discovered mirepoix.

Now, I have to admit, I was never much of a carrot person, having been brought up on carrots from a can. Blech! But this past year we had our first garden, and the thing that grew the best was carrots.

One Day's Output from our garden

Faced with what seemed like thousands of delicious carrots that sprang like magic from my ill-prepared ground, I wracked my brain for what to do with them. A good portion were frozen for winter, we had carrot cake and carrots as a regular side dish. The carrot cake was lovely, as a side dish they were okay.

But chopped and mixed with celery and onion…. WOW.

And that is all mirepoix is Рor at  least that is the basis for it.

Chop two parts onion, one part celery and one part carrot. Done.

You can add it to soups or saute it before you make chops, or chicken or even hamburgers. It becomes step one of all your cooking, and you look like a genius in the kitchen. You can use it in omelettes.

You can add green peppers. You can put herbs like oregano or savory in some of the portions. You can freeze it, and have a taste of summer all year round. That is actually what we did, and I’m working my way through the freezer and all its one-cup portions of miraculous mirepoix!

Organizing your writing effort – Part One


I’ve been extremely productive in the last three months, writing approximately 2600 words per day and busily editing my first book, Devil’s Daughter.

My second in the series, Sorrow’s Son, is about 70% done. I was reflecting this morning on how I have been able to get so much done, and over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing my thoughts.

Today, I want to talk about organization.

My right brain loves to write. It can flit and flutter over any random¬†occurrence, wondering “what if” and “how about” to it’s hearts content. But my right brain is a ditz. It will pick and pour over anything that strikes it’s fancy at that given moment and then go on to something else.

My left brain thinks my right brain should be locked up. My left brain wants to know how many, how fast, when? And it thinks there should be a concrete beginning, middle and end.

They are both right. When I started writing again, seriously, I thought I would create a spreadsheet to track how much I was accomplishing. I thought I’d throw my analytical brain a bone. “You sit over here, counting, and my creative side and I will have fun. Go away and be quiet.”

But, lo and behold, my left brain has important work in the creative process. It provides the safety net. If you are anything like me, and you have had difficulty keeping “on task”, try a spreadsheet. Think about what is important to you while designing it.

Sample Spreadsheet

I open this every day before I begin writing, and I close it when I am done for the day. If my right brain wants to work on something else, I can create another line for that book. I can also add sheets for short stories, or novellas, or keep them right on this page. With some simple formulas, you can see not only where you are and where you’ve been, but where you are going. I find it easier to relax when I have some boundaries, relax and write. The boundaries keep me safe while I’m picking flowers from the air.

I have a completely different spreadsheet sheet for daily word counts (your mileage may vary on this, I’m anal and like to keep a really tight rein). I’ll show you that one tomorrow!