Archive | October 2015

Adan Ramie on Being an Indie Writer

Great post! I actually had someone ask me recently “Why don’t you get your books mainstream published?” As if being on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc. and having been on the Amazon best seller list more than once (both the free and the paid lists) wasn’t “mainstream” enough. I replied that mainstream was obviously a matter of opinion and that what I thought he actually meant was why I was not published with one of the big publishers, and that was because I didn’t want to be. I enjoy the control, I enjoy keeping my rights, and I enjoy the whole process. I’m happy being an indy and you are 100% right – if we’re happy about it, why do we downplay it? I am as guilty of this as anyone – I rarely tell people I write books, though will tout other accomplishments. After discussing a similar topic on another blog I wonder if it has to do with the indy status so much as it does the subject matter of my books that I am “embarrassed” about. Even among fellow indies vampires are often sneered at (I even saw a writing blog award once that specifically said “please do not award this to vampire writers”. Really??). We need to stop sneering at one another – stop trying to label certain genres as legitimate, or certain writing styles, or certain requirements (such as “that cover looks sloppy so they must not be a *real* writer) in an effort to make ourselves feel better about our indy status and start sticking together – like that lion pride Adan mentions.

(loved that!)

Article 94

Adan Ramie, author of Maladaptation, andConsuming Darkness is a pal of mine, and I asked her to say a few things about being an indie writer.


Hold Your Head Up, Indies
“I’m only an indie author. It’s no big deal.”

Those are my words, said to an acquaintance who asked about what I had been up to lately. The words bounced off the insides of my skull like an old bucket down a well. They rang empty and false. In an effort to avoid hubris, I chose self-deprecating humility, and it felt all wrong. It sent the wrong message, not only to the listener, but to myself. Is it really no big deal to be an indie author?

The Humble Indie
For a long time, there was this black cloud over indie publishing that said it was something to be avoided. That’s where failed authors went to lick…

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Starlight Blogger Award

screen-shot-2015-07-24-at-3-04-37-pmThe awesome Rami Ungar has nominated me for the Starlight Blogger Award! How cool is that? I should probably have accepted it on my author blog but I’m in need of something to post here, so….

Hey, it’s all still me.

So here are the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.

2. Answer the 3 original questions and then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.

3. Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think at the light emanating from the stars the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you a true STARLIGHT Blogger.

4. Please pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.

5. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions answer that first then answer the 3 new questions from your nominator and never change the Award rules.

6. Please don’t delete this note:

The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter. It is a Copyright image, you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.

Copyright 2015 © – Design by Carolina Russo”

Alright, so here are my answers to the original questions:

1. If you could meet anyone throughout history, who and why? I would like to meet Shakespeare. My motives are not ones that most people would agree with – Yes, his plays are good, but is he the most genius writer that ever lived? No. I;d like to meet him and prove he’s just human, like all the other writers, not a literary God. Then if I had time I’d go talk to Poe who I think deserves more credit than he gets.

2. What is your favorite book and why? This is a hard one. I’m going to choose The Last Unicorn today because I’m in that kind of a mood.

3. Who is your favorite fiction character from any medium and why? Oooooh! Any medium… let’s just make it hard! Like the books, this changes all the time. I’m kind of between things right now – nothing has really grabbed me and dragged me away. The last thing that did was the anime Saiyuki and it was Sanzo and the prince that really caught my attention. I love the different layers to the story – with the reincarnation aspect giving you their past life in heaven and then their “current” life on their journey west.

The three new questions:

1. When was the last time you saw a scary movie? What was it, what did you think, and do you normally watch scary movies?

It’s been a week or two – Mom and I watched Lady in Black 2. I thought it was pretty good, it fit in well with the mythology they had already created in the first movie, which often doesn’t happen in prequels/sequels. And yes! We watch them a lot – it’s kind of me and my mom’s “thing” to watch either scary movies or else real crime shows (like Forensics files) or ghost hunting shows.

2. What are you dressing up for this Halloween? What are your plans for the holiday?

I was hoping to buy a new costume this year – it was down to three on Amazon – a warrior woman, a red riding hood that could have been turned evil easily, and a cool black ensemble (i think they had it as a witch but I;d have used it for a vampire) BUT alas, the fundage is not there, so I guess I’ll drag out my box of capes (yes, I have several!) and try to find something to wear under it. We’ll probably have trick or treaters again (which is awesome!) if it’s like last year we’ll have around 200 of them, so that will last until dark and then I imagine we’ll have a family halloween party like usual. (Though the brother is talking about dressing as a gangster so I may try to find something that goes with that instead)

3. What is something (book/TV show/comic book/movie) from your childhood that you still enjoy today?

The Last Unicorn. Ha ha! That worked well! 😉

And here are the original questions for my nominees:

  1. What was the last TV show you watched? Was it good?
  2. Stripes or polka dots? Why?
  3. Do you watch Youtube, and if so, what kinds of things do you watch on it?

And now for my nominees:

Have a good night all!
Jo 🙂

Mom and the Cavatini Experiment

This should have posted last night but when I logged in to write today’s I found that it hadn’t, so you get it instead. Aren’t you lucky?

Apparently the world was supposed to end today (yesterday), which would not have been surprising because it’s my mother’s birthday. I kid, I kid. I love her, though we drive one another crazy sometimes. My father claims it’s because we’re alike, but the problem is that on most things we’re complete opposites. As I said, I love her, though, and she was a good mother growing up. She made me paper dolls, and we had tea parties, and she read us books, and all of those little mother things that a lot of moms don’t do. Not because they’re bad moms, just they’re different. She also raised me a bit “Artsy” – I remember the first time I learned that not everyone could draw, or that not everyone had piles of blank paper in their house or a hundred colors of colored pencils. She used to read her poems to us and have us critique them (yeah, I was editing as a toddler – ha!). She also taught em to like vampires, and Poe, and gothy things and…I could go on but you get the idea.

Anyway, so she got a cake:

the swirls did not go all the way through. Pooey.

the swirls did not go all the way through. Pooey.



In house news I painted on the dressers some more, though I don’t know what to do with those messed up spots. Hubby has voted to ignore them for now and see how it looks once it’s in our room and – if it’s too bad – buy some contact paper. This is why I love hubby.


Also I have finally gotten around to testing out switching the front room and dining room, and I think we are going to do it:


Now to the Cavatini. If you’re as old as me, you may remember that pizza hut used to have a delicious pasta dish called Cavatini Supreme – okay, I looked for an image but couldn’t find one. Anyway, it was a pasta dish made with  onions, sausage, green onions and pepperoni thrown in (I can’t remember if there were mushrooms, and recipes don’t seem to agree).

Anyway, I LOVED cavatini, as did my best friend Mel. Hamburg was one of the last places you could still get it, long after everyone else discontinued it, but even it went in the mid 2000s. So you can see how long its been since we’ve had it. An effort at recreation spawned our version of “baked spaghetti” which involves prego’s italian sausage sauce, green peppers, mushrooms, and whatever cheese we’re in the mood for, baked in the oven. It’s good, but it tastes nothing like it. The sauce is the key. Noodles, peppers, mozarella – that all tastes the same, but the sauce…

And that’s when it hit me that we keep using spaghetti sauce – but Pizza Hut used to have only ONE sauce – a pizza sauce – that they used for everything. Perhaps we needed to try pizza sauce.

Fast forward to now. Mel and the kids came over and I sifted through all the cavatini recipes online until we found one that sounded close. Except we didn’t use the spaghetti sauce they suggested. We used Ragu pizza sauce.



And it’s close. Closer than any we’ve ever made before. But it’s missing something. Mel pointed out that Pizza Hut used those purple onions, while we used sweet onions, so maybe that’s the problem. This means we’ll have to have another cavatini party and try it again – and cu the recipe down. It made enough for an army – we fed eight people and could have fed five or six more probably. More if some of us were not hefty eaters. here’s the one we use:

  • 2 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large onion, diced
  • 1 carton white mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 ounces (½ stick) margarine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 pound assorted pasta (wheels, shells, spirals, ziti)
  • 1 pound pepperoni. sliced thin then cut in half
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 jars of Ragu Pizza sauce

Saute the peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic salt in butter. Brown hamburger and sausage, and cook noodles in the normal way. Drain. Now mix everything together, top with mozarella, and bake at  350 for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

I did look up recipes on how to make “pizza hut sauce” but it’s not oregano or basil we’re missing. One of the recipes does suggest lemon juice, and though that sounds weird to me, it might be it since it;s a “kick” that the pasta is missing. I also found a really crazy recipe involving grape jelly:

2 lb : Ground Round
2 tb : Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 pk : Onion Soup Mix
1 lb : Jar Prego Spaghetti Sauce;
Provolone Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 c : Grape Jelly
28 oz : Stewed Tomatoes; Sliced Style
1 cn : V-8 Juice; (6 Ounces)
4 c : Uncooked Assorted Pasta;

I’m pretty sure that this would be awful. But if someone else wants to try it and let me know that would be great, LOL! (worth a try, right?)

Okay, it’s late and I am tired so I am out of here. Have a good one! And if you know how to replicate the OLD pizza hut sauce (the new stuff isn’t the same) please let me know!

Jo 🙂

P.S. And look what came in the mail today:


Guess what hubby is doing tomorrow?

Spray Paint and Pumpkins

I know I mentioned somewhere that I was upset about the cold because I was in the middle of spray painting. Well, here’s the project.

It’s our bedroom dressers. I thought the paint had bubbled up, but, after I sanded it off and repainted, it turns out it’s just the wood texture coming through in spots, so not sure what to do about that because I really don’t want to sand it all off again… We’ll see I guess.
In other news I have pumpkins for the front porch.


Wrote some more today – not a lot but some – sorted boxes we brought up from Missouri, and started on some items for the craft show in November. I need to find out from Suzie again who to contact…
I’m tired, you’re tired, and tomorrow is the cavatini experiment so I will sign off now.
Have a good one!
Jo 🙂

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Plugging along

The flu/bug/whatever is persistent. Still getting fevers, sore throats, and swollen tonsils. I may have to break down and go to the doctor. I hope not.
It’s cut down on my productivity though because it makes me tired. I have done my sentence a day – I’m on chapter two and would be farther except I was just too tired last night and tonight I watched The Revenge of Doctor X with the brother and father. I did do two sentences, something like “the furniture was thick with dust. The least they could have done was clean while they were on an assignment.” That’s close, anyway.
With nothing else to say here’s some photos from the weekend birthday party I went to for my cousin’s son Tim. He’s a good kid, and smart. I’m quite fond of him.

I’ve started Halloween decorating. I need to buy the stuff to make a new wreath (long story) and finish my pumpkins if it warms up enough to spray paint again.

And I leave you with the new faucet.


It was easier to just buy one then try to find the cartridges for the old one. Seriously. True value is switching their plumbing to Ace’s inventory all week and no one else local had it. Even Menard’s in Bellevue didn’t. That’s when I said “screw this!” We also got the garbage disposal ordered finally. Yay!
And now I leave you for bed. Have a good one!
Jo 🙂

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