Fourth Quarter 2018 – One Page Reviews

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee

I remember reading a review of this book that highlighted all the “amazing” sex scenes. sigh. 143 pages in and no one has had sex. Yes, there were two groping scenes but only one was even slightly titillating.  Worse the main character is such an ass I don’t want him to get laid. I want him to get shot. Maybe he redeems himself later in the book, I’m sure that’s the point but he’s so nasty and self deluded 143 pages in that I just can’t believe any meaningful transformation can occur.

The House of The Spirits, Isabel Allende

This was a gift from my sister in law a few years back. I tried to read it. I tried to like it. Yawn, yawn, yawn. It’s literary but that shouldn’t be an excuse for page upon page of back story each time a new character is introduced. I should care about them first.

 

Side Note: I have decided this will be the last One Page Quarterly Round Up. You don’t need to know which books I don’t like. I think originally I felt I should justify by rating system by posting one pagers when I found them but now I think you should trust me. Smiles. Plus I want to put less negativity in the world.

 

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Sunday Sup: Fun with Mozzarella

It’s no surprise to you, I’m gluten free. And I try to keep my grains to a minimum, gluten free or not. This often leads to me trying odd recipes.

Like this one from Our Paleo Life for a keto pizza crust.  I played with their recipe, of course. Mine goes like this.

Melt a bag of shredded moz (2 cups) in the micro, 45 seconds to one minute.

Add an egg, stir until the whole mess feels slimey.

Add 3/4 c almond flour and stir until sticky.

Pat out into a round on parchment paper, or a square, heck make a triangle, live dangerously.

Top and bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. My fave is to top this with pesto, chicken, bacon, more cheese, roasted garlic, red onions. Yummy!

Having made this pizza a lot over the last couple of years, I didn’t blink too hard when I saw this recipe for Gnocchi.

Melt 2 cups shredded Moz in the micro. Add 3 egg yolks, one at a time, and make sure each one is incorporated before adding the next. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

IMG_20171116_185459Scoop up a quarter of the “batter” and roll it into a log. Slice into 8-10 pieces. Drop into boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Fish out and top with sauce.

 

 

IMG_20171116_185447

 

I topped with an Italian sausage, spinach, and marinara combo. Can’t go wrong with that. Especially when you liberally add some parm. I swear I was Italian in a previous life. LOL

 

 

 

Of course, there’s always cheese sticks. I know. Gluten laded and fried to within an inch of their lives, I gave up traditional cheese sticks eons ago. And then I found this recipe.

Unwrap a cheese stick or six. Cut them in half. Freeze them for a couple of hours. At least 2 ideally.

Wrap each stick in a slice of bacon, covering all the cheese stick. Try to tuck the bacon in so to speak so it doesn’t come unrolled while frying. Place in a pan to grill the bacon. Turn the bacon wrapped stick as each side gets brown and crispy.

By the time the bacon is done the cheese is melted inside.

I like to serve these with honey dijon sauce. Whatevs. I can live with my weirdness. LOL

Enjoy the Moz!

 

Fiendish Friday: Virgin No More

It’s happened ladies and gentlemen my rejection cherry has been popped and vastly sooner than I anticipated hearing back from the publisher.

What did she say?

Despite the engaging read, I am sorry to say that I have to pass on your series. The majority of readers in this category are looking for a murder that can be solved within the space of one book, and I don’t know that it would be possible for us to find commercial success by breaking out of that formula and requiring the reader to invest in three books to discover the serial killer.

Ok. Sure.

Except when I pitched the series to her, I made it clear that despite murders being solved in books one and two, the Dismember Killer would not be caught until book 3 and she still asked to see the manuscript of book 1.

Reading between the lines?

The book sucks and she wanted to be kind or maybe avoid any drama from would be authors. LOL.

Which brings me back to that same old grind. Maybe the reason all the things I do for marketing don’t work for me when they work for other people is I’m just not starting with a good book.

Sigh.

 

 

Wednesday Words 1.3

It’s a new year of Wednesday Words. I want to try to be more regular about this but I suspect it will still be hit and miss.

I wrestled a lot last year about whether I have the right temperament for the battle it takes to get any traction in the publishing world. I’m caught in the standard catch 22. I need more reviews to get more marketing but I need more marketing to get more readers to get more reviews.

So I’m giving it one more year. I’m shelving the debate about my emotional state and going full out. Whatever ads and marketing I can secure, three more novels, and probably one anthology, if Dan wants.

I was asked to post more of my writing. I can do that. I will do that. Soon.

What writing goals do you have for yourself this year?

Kindness Challenge Day 31

Day 31: Plan what acts of kindness you will do in 2018.

I think I’ll keep on being me. I do pretty well. Except for the forgiveness thing. I’ll keep working on that. LOL

In the mean time, let’s talk about the blog. Yup. End of the year. Time to review, take stock, see what’s working and what isn’t. I firmed up into three standard posting days this year with occasional offshoots and surprise posts. Fiendish Friday, Sunday Sup, and Book Review Monday are all doing evenly well. Except….

The pure stats:

Views: 4435 (Last Year 7794)
Visitors:  1623 (Last Year 1475)
Likes: 1386 (Last Year 1502)
Comments: 452 (Last Year 761)

Most Viewed Posts:

Allison Maruska’s new book review and interview.

A funny little ditty about what it’s really like to home school

A ridiculously boring post on rebranding my blog

An amusing travelog of our time in Amsterdam

A strange little question about the nature of the Great Oz

Blog posts I thought were funny but got fat ignored:

Um. I got nothing. I spent about 90 minutes going through my lowest views posts looking for some that deserved more attention and I got none from this year. LOL. Maybe my posts weren’t as funny as previous years. Maybe I was more concerned about offending people than necessary. Which leads me to …

I think when all is said my blog has plateaued. I need to figure out how to jump start it’s growth again. I don’t have the foggiest clue how to make that happen.

If you’ve got thoughts, I’d love to hear them. Til next year my friends.

 

Kindness Challenge Day 29

Day 29: Do a good deed to bring a smile to someone’s day

 

Today’s challenge is pretty vague so I’ll use this opportunity to tell a story. Winter 2015/2016 I heard both presidents at the coop were resigning. One in March and one would stay on until the end of the year. I watched for several months but no one stepped up. I told the staying until the end of the year president that I would take on the job if no one more qualified stepped forward. Realistically, I didn’t want to. But on the other hand, no board, means the coop doesn’t function and my special needs child, the one who does not adapt to change, he loves it there. He loves it so much he’ll try new classes there because he’s comfortable in the environment. I can’t lose that. She agreed I hadn’t really been at coop long enough (less than a year at that point).

Flash forward a few months. Want to guess what happened?

In April, 2016 A. and I are elected and essentially take over the board. Along the way we divide up the work as much as possible and have a dozen member board over that first summer to keep things as easy for everyone as possible.

Want to guess what happened?

Yeah by Fall the board had dwindled to almost nothing. And I was doing six jobs easily. A. was doing another 6. But we ran that way all last year. Hoping we were improving the culture and community at the coop enough that this year we could get more people to get involved and do what they said they would do.

I unhappily but fully devoted all the time the coop needed to it’s running. When I do something, I give it everything. There is little point in not doing a job right to me. But that also means when you break my “give a f**k” there is no turning back. I am done. I reached that point this fall and gave notice I would be resigning when the president came back from maternity leave.

I started looking for people to take over portions of my job, specifically. Like “you spend all your time here on your laptop, can you take over the website?” That sort of volun-telling. And I eventually got people on board. In fact, almost all of my jobs have been off loaded to other people, just in time for my replacement to come in.

Why the hell am I nicer to others than to myself? ROFL.

Anyway I told the new vp all the things I offloaded. It made her day. Possibly her week. LOL

Kindness Challenge Day 28

Day 28: Forgive someone and look for their good points

 

Ever heard the phrase holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die?

I try really hard to remember that, so I don’t hold onto that sort of cruddle. It can be struggle, of course. I find venting it really well, usually let’s me let it go. By which I mean complaining in detail to a girlfriend over wine.

But just because I forgive someone doesn’t mean they should get another chance to mess with my life. Protecting oneself is not the same as not forgiving someone.

I would argue that the greatest challenge to forgiveness is when the repercussions are still making waves in your life from something someone else did. I’ll give an example.

A parent at the coop set up relationships with vendors a few years back. And when the board tried to change or cancel those relationships, this parent fought us, and because this parent had set up the relationship, the vendors ignored the board. We refused to sign contracts with vendors and they came anyway on this parent’s say so, without a contract. We had to get legal involved. And then we had to pay for services we hadn’t agreed to, that we hadn’t signed contracts for, to the amount that legal arbitrated with the vendors. Money the coop didn’t have. Money that gave the coop a fat deficit in the budget. Now the coop is being audited.

It’s very hard to forgive this person when their actions are still jacking with my life on a daily basis. I’m working on it. I am. But mostly I think it’s a good thing this parent no longer attends the coop because I think my head might explode if I had to look at them twice a week. LOL

If you don’t know what I am talking about with the whole Kindness Challenge, you can find the calendar here. All normal posts will resume in January. Enjoy the time off. Enjoy the kindness. Practice a little yourself.