Sunday Ruminations

What do you want for Christmas? This question is asked by every family to each of its members every holiday season. It’s like a universal question. No one knows what anyone really wants. And this year, no one even remembers what anyone got last year.

Are we becoming a society of wants and not needs?

Has materialism really finally gotten such a foothold in this world that nobody even needs anything — they just want stuff?

Stuffitis as spoken of by Dave Ramsey is that desire to own something in the misguided assumption that it will bring us unending happiness.

I admit to being a stuffitis victim. But let me add, I am recovering from this addiction.

The human spirit was not created to attain peace, contentment, or fulfillment by gathering more stuff.–Dave Ramsey

And oh is he ever right.

This year let’s find someone who needs US. They need our time, our passion, or maybe just our silence, because silence truly is golden. Give of your time, your love, your expertise in something. It will never be forgotten and might start a real revolution.

I say, it’s time.

Thanksgiving roundup

Well, happy Black Friday, y’all It’s only a few weeks until Christmas now. I love the month of December for many reasons, one being it is Christmas, but the other being that several of my family celebrate their birthdays. So, I am anxiously anticipating December.

But for now, my Thanksgiving roundup.

I went to the hospital twice yesterday. Once for a normal visit, early in the day, coming home about 12:30 – just in time to go to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving fare. Her hubby brined a turkey and baked it and it was probably the best turkey I have ever had. I am definitely going to check into brining the bird next year.

She also made red cabbage with bacon. OMG. It was such a great addition, I am planning on incorporating it into my Christmas dinner this year. There was also candied bacon for an appetizer and that was astoundingly good as well.

So I am going to have three new things to learn how to cook, and maybe will try them at Christmas. Heck, Thanksgiving is just the practice meal for Christmas anyway isn’t it? Would you like some recipes? Here is what I found online that sounded right.

Red Cabbage
1-16 oz jar of red cabbage
smoky bacon

Fry up the bacon reserving 2 tbsp of the grease.
drain bacon on paper towels.
crumble the bacon into the cabbage
add the grease
microwave until warm through.

At least, that is what I think she did. I know there are other recipes where you actually cook fresh red cabbage and make your own, but I know my friend didn’t have time to do all that.

Also, the candied bacon… here is a link to how to make it…and believe me, it doesn’t get any easier than this!

And on the way home, my little hubby woke up and had an appetite for a hamburger, so I headed to get him one and went back to the hospital for my second visit. If you didn’t already know, you can follow his progress at Allan’s journey through cancer
So, that’s my Thanksgiving roundup. I hope yours was blessed and fun.

Welcome to the holiday season!

jill111 / Pixabay

Writer Groupie Episode 44 Chat with Barbara Ehrentreu, YA author/poet

Welcome, Groupies! Welcome to Episode 44! Today I interview Barbara Ehrentreu, YA author and poet. Her books are If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor and After.

In my special intro, I talk about focusing in on your niche and how it is critical for today’s book marketing world. So if you are interested in ways to be more focused on your niche, be sure to have a listen to the audio only version.

Barbara Ehrentreu is published by Muse It Up Publishing and has many insights about writing. She is an editor as well, and I am happy to have her on Writer Groupie Podcast.


In this episode, we learn about:

  • How Barbara got started writing and how getting her master’s degree was the catalyst for it
  • How Paula Danziger influenced Barbara’s writing
  • How critique groups helped shaped her YA novel
  • How real life influenced If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor
  • Insider details on the Muse It Up Online Conference!
  • How Barbara received 25 reviews
  • Why Barbara hasn’t gone commercial with her editing
  • Discussion about Pen Letters, a national group for writers
  • Insight into Barbara’s poetry
  • Details about Barbara’s poetry anthologies
  • BONUS:Info about Barbara’s podcast, The Red River Writers Tales from the Pages

Find Barbara Ehrentreu on these sites:

Get a journal to keep your poetry in!


You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE


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Writing is like exercise

It is my experience that we exercise out of fear. Yes, that’s right, fear. The medical community tells us that if we don’t move it, we will lose it. Whatever IT is for you, for me, it is flexibility. I have to work out to keep flexible, keep my muscles able to do their job.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Flab setting in doesn’t thrill me either, let me tell you.

So, as I crawled out of bed today and contemplated doing some exercise, it occurred to me how a consistent writing life is like exercise.

1. You have to pace yourself. You cannot fling yourself into the writing chair and go non-stop writing gibberish. You have to take your time and craft a story. Much like how we cannot jump on a treadmill and go at it without thought for our muscles who haven’t quite been waked up yet.

2. There are different types of exercise and there are different types of writing. Some might like the quick pace of a thriller and enjoy the more than 3 miles an hour pace on the streets around the neighborhood. Personally, I am more the “can I just amble along discovering things as I go” person.

3. And finally as with exercise, practice makes perfect. You will become a better writer with time. You will also lose that spare tire around your middle with time. You will have great dialogue with a lot of practice and you will have a great bicep the more you stress it with weight.

All good things come with time says the old cliche and it is true.

I hope you have chuckled at least once through this blog post. We all need the best exercise, laughter. And if the mental image of me sweating to the oldies doesn’t make you laugh, you are indeed a tough customer.

Want to go shopping?

It’s that time again! Shopping season!

Some of you are groaning and some of you are celebrating.

want to go shopping?
Activedia / Pixabay

It is my experience that too many people spend too much time trying to find a gift for someone when they could have already done the research and just gone straight to the purchase, and here’s why:

1. They are not sure what the person receiving the gift is really interested in.
2. They are not sure what the product is really like.
3. They are not sure if the money is worth the effort.

Now, I am not able to do much about the person on the receiving end of your buy, but the other two? Yeah, I am going to be able to help with that.

I used to hate to shop. I never knew what to buy anyone. I’d spend all my time running around stores aimlessly. Maybe there are people out there in blog land who are the same?

I really don’t care for shopping during the holidays, too much crime. So I do most of mine online. And some of us might not have the best weather for going into stores, so there’s that. It is my hope that together we can find exactly what you want and need by doing posts about products, like books, or movies, or … why don’t you tell me what you are interested in?

And they said on the news that 68% of the people polled said they wanted CLOTHES this year for Christmas. Only like 48% wanted digital/electronics this year. Interesting huh?

I thought so too.

So,I am hereby declaring my website will be transformed during the month of December into a shopping site as well as a writing/book/author site. (you know I am not deserting my besties!)

As some of you may know, I am an affiliate associate for Amazon. And if you DIDN’T know, well, you do now. It’s fun, and as I am a consumer, just as you are, if I find things that appeal to me, why not share that?

And there are way too many great sales and stuff out there not to share right now especially.

So, here is a link to Amazon and their holiday banner for clothes-hounds. The gist of this banner is, holiday clothes – esp. New Years parties! Yes, I hate to admit it, IT DID APPEAL TO ME! I wanted to see what people would be wearing for the party scene this year. And this is SORT of for the ladies…sorry fellas!

(ps-After this post is live, I will be putting these sorts of banners in the sidebar, so you can check it out!)

Happy Shopping!