Monday Mayhem – Butterfingers Edition

What I’ve been working on: Christmas baking. I’ve made another mountain of Chex mix, Oreo balls, and the dough for my mother’s favorite cookies, Chocolate Shots.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: Plans, plans, and more plans. Christmas. Post-Christmas. Writing.

What I’ve accomplished:

Mount Chex
Mount Chex
Oreo
Oreo balls

What new goal I’m chasing: Just trying to kick back and enjoy the holidays. I’ll chase goals next year, I promise.

What I saw: The rootin’ tootin’est cowpoke in the West

sheriff

What’s on your holiday to-do list?

Here’s the recipe for my mommy’s favorites: Chocolate Shots

 

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Monday Mayhem – Fiction becomes fact

Write what you know. That’s one of the first pieces of writing advice an author hears, and there’s a reason it rings true. If we write what we know, chances are we’ll connect with a reader who has had a similar experience.

A couple of months ago, I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room reading a Kristan Higgins’ book and bawling my eyeballs out when the heroine’s beloved dog passed away.

Yesterday, I spent the day bawling my eyeballs out after saying goodbye to my beloved Beauregard.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside Ethridge
Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside Ethridge

I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t write about this anytime soon. Hug and kiss your puppies, kitties, buns and other furry friends and tell them it’s from me.

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Monday Mayhem – Holy crap! It’s December!

Okay, okay. Yes, I knew it was coming, but…yikes! I really need to get on the ball.

What I’ve been working on: Containment. I added another almost 8k this week. Go me!

What’s running around in the back of my mind: Christmas is coming. I really should do something about….something.

What I’ve accomplished: NaNoWriMo! I passed the 50k mark on Friday, making this my 5th year in a row as a NaNo winner!

What new goal I’m chasing: I’m continuing on with Containment, but December is my month of catch up and plan ahead, so I won’t be setting any lofty word count goals. I have a number of projects on the go at the moment. Going to whittle away at each one.

What I saw: A goal achieved

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

What’s new with you? Did you know it was December already? Why didn’t you tell me?

 

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Monday Mayhem – Throwback Edition

What I’ve been working on: I finished the first draft on Going Deep! Yay! Finally.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: It was a crazy busy week with work and travel and family and catching up with old friends. The front of my mind is too tired to deal with the back of my mind.

What I’ve accomplished: I’m on track (ish) for NaNo. I typed my two favorite words on the last page of Going Deep.

What new goal I’m chasing: I’m diving back into Containment in hopes of finding new inspiration. Wish me luck!

What I saw: Friends too fabulous to be called ‘old’ no matter how many years have passed.

IMG_1129

Special bonus! Here are the LAST five lines from the first draft of Going Deep:

Brooke drew back, ready to give him hell, but the sweet smile he wore grabbed her by the heart and squeezed. The indignation she should have felt was drowned in a hot rush of love. Brilliant or not, he was undoubtedly the dumbest man she knew when it came to women. A fact that made him all the more appealing in a twisted sort of way. Damn, she was in too deep.

Last, but certainly not least:

honor-guards-stand-on-duty-at-the-tomb-of-the-unknown-soldier-in-sept-2012-in-arlington-county-va

It’s Veteran’s Day here in the states. I’d like to say a special thank you to all the men and women who have served. We greatly appreciate you and the sacrifices you have made for our country. God bless.

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Monday Mayhem – Here we go NaNo!

What I’ve been working on: I’m still working on the marine biologist story. The darn thing just keeps going and I want to see where it ends up without my interference.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: Holy crap November is busy! There’s work and writing and laundry and travel and birthdays. Not to mention Thanksgiving and the DSRA book signing. Sheesh! I think we need to spread this month out a bit. We’re four days in and I’m exhausted.

What I’ve accomplished: I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Because I am crazy. And because it’s my fifth year and I don’t want to break the streak. So far I’m on track. I consider that an accomplishment. Check with me on day 20.

What new goal I’m chasing: 50,000 words in 30 days!

What I saw: The inside of many, many conference rooms. And a sweet pea in a pod.

photo(18)

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Monday Mayhem – A nibblet

I’m traveling this week, so I thought I’d leave a little bit of my work in progress behind. Here are five lines from Going Deep:

“This is way too fast, Brian.”

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “Not saying today or tomorrow. Just…it’s possible one day.”

“When you talk next moves, you go all in.”

“I see no point in wading when I know I’m going under.”

What are you up to this week?

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Random recipe share

I’m getting in the Halloween mood, so I thought I would share a couple of fun to make treats with you.

First up: Scary Spiders

6oz chocolate chips
6oz butterscotch chips
salted peanuts
chow mein noodles
and candy for the eyes (since they don’t sell the little silver balls nymore, I used Nerds)

Melt the chips over low heat, stir in penuts and noodles and stir until coated. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper and add candy eyeballs. My hubby likes to add extra chow mein legs because it tickles him. He’s cute, so I let him get away with it. Here are some pics:

spiders!
lots o spiders

And now my claim to fame: Bloody Ladyfingers

Any shortbread cookie recipe will work. I use:
2 sticks butter
1/2c Confectioners sugar
1/4c Corn starch
1 1/2c All purpose flour
Sliced almonds
Red decorator gel

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until firm but not golden.

Mix dough and roll into finger length ropes. Press a sliced almond into the end of each finger for the nail:
press
fingernails

Use a toothpick to press three slight indentations into the middle of each finger for the knuckles:
knuckles

Bake and remove to rack to cool completely.

On a sheet of wax paper, smear the end of each finger with decorator gel for blood. We like to add little extras, as if she tried to put up a fight…
a phalanx of phalanges
bloody!

What do you think of my lovely assistant? Nice hands, huh? There you have it, a glimpse into the sick and twisted mind of the Bloody Ladyfinger Lady.

Boo! Skeered ya, didn’t I?

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Monday Mayhem – Lazy slug edition

What I’ve been working on: Still on the same story. Haven’t written much this week. The day job is wearing me out. 🙁

What’s running around in the back of my mind: To be frank, my mind is fairly mushy at the moment. It’s too bad that mush isn’t translating into mushy love scenes.

What I’ve accomplished: Um…the laundry is caught up. I’ve watched 4 hours of The Wind of War on Netflix. Read a Jill Mansell book yesterday.

What new goal I’m chasing: Finish the damn story.

What I saw: Robert Mitchum as Victor ‘Pug’ Henry

pug

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Monday Mayhem – Retreat to advance

What I’ve been working on: I don’t know what to say. My alter ego has taken over my life. She gets all the bragging rights.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: Shel and Josh from Containment are starting to whisper to me again (thank goodness). I’m trying to be cool and play it coy, but if they stick around I may work on them as my NaNoWriMo project.

What I’ve accomplished: The good news is I signed a contract to publish Jump Into Love with Harlequin-E! The other news (not necessarily bad) is that Maggie stole it from Margaret and made the darn thing all sexy and stuff. What can I say? Split personalities can be vicious.

What new goal I’m chasing: I’m trying to build momentum on my daily word counts in preparation for NaNoWriMo.

What I saw: Inspiration

lake

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Monday Mayhem – Reform Movement

I know. I know. I’ve been a pretty bad blogger lately, but I promise to reform. The problem is, most the time I don’t know what to write about. My life isn’t all that exciting. But I like talking to you each week. It’s true. I’ve missed you. And I’m going to do five things to make it up to you.

That’s right. Five things. Not bad, huh?

Each week that I don’t have something special to share, I promise to share at least five things with you. They could be five lines from one of my stories or five whats. What’s a what, you ask? They’re pretty simple:

What I’ve been working on:

What’s running around in the back of my mind:

What I’ve accomplished this week

What I accomplished this week:

What new goal I’ve set:

What I saw:

Since I’ve been a bad blogger, this week I will give you both.

Here are five lines from Long Distance Love:

“I’m being transferred to Louisville,” she said in a rush. Her statement landed like a punch to the gut. “Yeah. I just…I don’t see how….”

Ellie’s small, sad smile tugged at him, spurring him into action. “We’ll make it work.”

Not enough for you? Buy the book!

Long Distance Love – releasing THIS WEEK from Turquoise Morning Press:

LongDistanceLove-MKEthridge-LG

Love may be a many splendored thing, but it’s rarely convenient.

A Christmas Eve snowstorm leaves newly-single Ellie Nichols trapped in an airport terminal with only hunky FBI Agent Jack Rudolph for company.

Lucky Ellie.

For Jack, the passing of a long winter’s night turns into a New Year filled with possibility. State lines and hundreds of miles separate them, but the spark that flares each time they meet cannot be denied.

Can two ambitious, career-driven people find a way to make a long distance relationship work when matters of the heart bring them up-close and personal?

And here are my 5 whats:

What I’ve been working on: I’m working on love story for people who saw movies from The Breakfast Club era when they were first released. It’s a racy one, so you might be more apt to find updates on it at Maggie Wells’ website. 😉

What’s running around in the back of my mind: WWII – I have a WWII-era story flirting around the edges. Nothing concrete yet, just a bunch of plot bunnies hopping around in my head.

What I’ve accomplished: Did I tell you I’ve sold a story to Fictionvale Magazine? It’s the short story that sparked this WWII jones, and it will appear in the online magazine’s premier issue in November!

What new goal I’m chasing: At the moment I’m just trying to keep writing. The demands of the day job and the distractions at home have wreaked havoc on my productivity this year. I’ve recently tried to settle into a pattern where I’m writing a minimum of 500-1000 words per day and not beating myself up if I can’t do anything more. So far, it seems to be working. I hope to gradually build on that over the next couple of months so I’ll be back in fighting form for NaNoWriMo. So yeah…my new goal is balance.

What I saw: True love

boys

 

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Your turn! What are your whats for the week?

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