Friday, November 30, 2012

The End?

It is officially the last day of Nanowrimo and I am pleased to announce I am a "Winner" in that I completed the task of writing 50k words of a novel in 30 days. I am nowhere near the end of my novel, but that's not the point. I want to share with you, dear readers, what I have discovered over the last thirty days that I missed last year when I gave up after 18k words.

It is not enough to like your story, you need to love it. You need to be maddened with not knowing how things turns out for your characters. It will drive you from one word to the next when you have no idea what's going on.

You need to create a writing space. With whatever relaxes you and helps you focus. For me it was candles and a Pandora station full of Qntal and Loreena McKennitt. When I had both of those I found I could write for hours.

Set aside time. Since I recently moved and realized that with an added 1 1/2 hours to my daily commute I had to be more strict with my time in order to fit in the things I was used to. Scheduling was the key. I schedule workouts into my days, and time to cook dinner so adding writing time became one of those things I scheduled.

Having support is crucial. My fiance made sure to be busy when I wanted to write so I wasn't tempted to join him in other activities. He also cooked me breakfast one morning when I was writing. The best support came from him when I was stuck and needed to talk out the next section of the book. I was lucky to have a great source of trivia in him that I utilized the utmost.

Reminding yourself the backspace and erase button do not exist at all during nanowrimo. What backspace? Forward, forward. Something I hope I can keep up in the coming weeks as I try to find the same motivation to finish.

Lastly, is simply wanting to. No amount of prep and planning with help if you don't really want to be writing. If there are other things you want to be doing more, you will never write. You might become a great musician or basketball player instead. Nothing wrong with that. But if you don't have the burning desire to chain yourself to a computer then don't do it because it's dragging yourself through emotions and feelings, dredging up your past to understand your characters and it's hard work.

So before I embark on Part two of my book I am rewarding myself. I threw together a bottle of garlic infused vodka earlier tonight that I will enjoy next week, hopefully after I have completed another couple thousand words on my novel.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lower Carb Whiskey & Whole Cranberry Sauce

So here's a grown up cranberry sauce recipe that's both fun and a bit lower carb than regular recipes, based upon other recipes I have seen and wanted the best of both worlds.
1 12-16 oz bag of whole cranberries.
3/4 c xylitol
1/4 c coconut sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c whiskey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Toss your cranberries with the sugars, zest and cinnamon in a casserole dish then cover with foil.
Bake for 1 hour.
When you take it out of the oven let it cool for five minutes then add the whiskey. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Put on turkey or cheesecake.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Meri's Quick Cabbage Side

Welcome to the middle of nanowrimo. Last night I hit 20k words and the closure of act one of my story. I am trying not to panic as I launch into act 2 as I don't exactly know where I am going from here. I am going into the great unknown with my main character! Exciting!

So in the meantime my cooking has been of the quick and dirty variety with a lack of exciting cocktails and events to share.But I can give you this. It's a play on the North Woods Cabbage salad for those in a hurry.

Red Cabbage (about 1 shredded head)
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/8 c olive oil (ish)
2/3 ish tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or just save time and use garlic salt. I am all about combining steps!
about 6-8 squirts Bragg's Amino Acids (Or roughly 1 Tbsp.
Cut up your cabbage
Mix your dressing
Put on cabbage and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or overnight to let the flavors sink in and give it a really pretty pink hue. Enjoy.
PS: It's addicting. We eat it at least once a week in my house. It's along the lines of cheap, quick kimchi.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Tuesday Post

I'm not going to be posting much. Today is all the election. I hope you voted. Even if you are not in a swing state, casting a vote is sending a message. We are so lucky in America. We do not have to be afraid of getting hit by bombs, or shot or anything else awful that happens to voters in less fortunate countries. We need to vote for all the voices that get silenced.

To quote one of my favorite comedy film characters "Speak up, America, speak up!" Elle Woods had it right. I spoke up, for better or worse.

I voted for my uterus, my health, the civil rights of my fellow citizens, the students of California, the consensual adults of California and the taxpayers of California, burdened by a ridiculous capital punishment system.

I voted because my family motto is "Esperance" which means hope. I voted so I can look my future children in the eyes and feel that I have done my civic duty as an American, voted with the morals I hold, and tried to make a difference.

If you couldn't make time to vote, then don't complain to me. If your life and your country mean less to you than an hour one day, every other year I don't want to know, I don't want to hear.

Thank you

We will be back to regularly scheduled blog posts tomorrow.

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie

I really wanted pumpkin pie this week. So I was trying to find a good recipe for my low carb lifestyle. I started with this recipe here Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free Pumpkin Pie and made my low carb twists to it.

In place of the 1/2 c brown sugar I used 1/2 c coconut sugar. In the place of the white sugar I used Xylitol . In place of the coconut milk (I realized when baking I had the thin coconut milk, not the thick) so I subbed in a tub of the Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese (A tiny cheat). That stuff is crack. I also just threw in 3 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual ones. (I would use 4 next time, I really like those flavors.)

Verdict: It was a little hard to get out of the pie tin, the almond meal crust kind of stuck to the bottom, and it crumbled a bit when trying to plate it, but the flavor was great, subtle and sweet. I would probably add a bit more sweetener to the crust since it was very nutty and not very sweet. But you live and you learn.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Beer Love Affair

Apparently, despite my best efforts, my love affair with beer continues. I blame it on

the Untappd app and my friend Jes. And the fact there are beers out there like this Banana Bread Beer

It is so goddamn hard to be low carb when I know this is around. Their Double Chocolate Stout already has a place in my heart.

Nanowrimo is already affecting my brain, weakening my will not to drink. What is it about writing and a frosty cold beverage? Or even a hot one? Why do they go together so well?

If I ever get the chance to ask Steven King you bet I'm taking it.
Cheers to your adventures this weekend.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo! x 2

It's here! At last. Are you ready? Anyone in the LA area want to get together to write in the next month? Send me an e-mail @
That's all for now, there is writing to be done!