Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Idea

This is not my own idea by any means, but it's a yummy alternative to your run of the mill reheated turkey.

The filling is:

1 Cup of chopped Turkey. (If you pick the bird, this would be place to use the little scrap pieces.)
1 Cup of chopped Veggies. (I use one bag of the steamable California mix - broccoli, cauliflower & carrots. Partially cook them or they won't cook in time.)
1 Can of either Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom soup, whichever you like
1/2 Cup of Sour Cream
1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
A little bit of milk - just enough so the mix isn't too thick

Crust - This takes a little bit of work, but it's so worth it.

2 - 10 Piece packages of refrigerated dinner rolls (When it's only the three of us, I use the Grands and then freeze 1/2 of the filling to use another time.)

Open up the pack of rolls, separate them and let them warm up a bit. They are easier to work if they are not cold. (Only do 1 pack at a time or they will dry out too much before you're done.)

Lightly spray a muffin tin.

Pat them down flat

With your thumb, start pressing the center until it is as flat as you can make it,

and the center is the size of the bottom of the muffin tin.

Put it in the muffin tin and then press the sides until they reach the top of the tin.

IMMEDIATELY fill the muffin tin with the filling (If you don't, the biscuit will shrink down again.)

Repeat until they are all filled, then bake as per the biscuit package.

They pop out of the tin very easily with your nail and a fork.

If you are making these ahead of time for a party, then don't bake them all the way, then you can either freeze them at this state or you can refrigerate until you need them, then pop them in the oven for five - seven minutes until they are heated through.

November 30th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

I DID IT!! Just before 10:30 yesterday morning, I hit the 50K mark for NaNoWriMo!! YEAH!!! The official number is 50,864. Yeah, I know I was over 68K last time, but last time I wasn’t driving back and forth to Vermont or having two major parties at my house two days apart. I’m happy I reached goal, and I rewarded myself with a piece of pumpkin pie and a long nap.


I had planned on pre-making the potato pancakes yesterday and then just throwing them in the oven to heat up today, but I just couldn’t force myself to cook two days in a row. The nap helped, but I was still exhausted from Thursday. So now, after I finish the blog, I will start making them – all ten pounds - and hopefully, by four o’clock, when people start showing up, the house won’t still smell like cooking oil. I doubt it though. I made a small batch last week for just the three of us and I could still smell the oil two days later.

I will also be making thirty individual pot pies, the ones you do in the muffin tin with a refrigerated biscuit for the crust. Plus I have cheese and crackers, chips and dip, and pie. Others who are coming are bringing, appetizers, desserts, and one person is bringing a third main dish. I think we’ll have enough food.

One of the fun things about my tree decorating parties is, I really never who is going to show up. Word just gets out there and friends start walking into my house, picking up and ornament or two, sticking them on the tree, then they start chowing down. Everyone brings some food with them to share, so there’s always enough, except for my potato pancakes. I swear I could make twenty ponds of them, and every single one would go, but I draw the line at ten pounds.

Okay, off to peel potatoes. I’m pretty sure I’d rather be “off to Ireland” like I have been for the past twenty-nine days. Oh, don’t forget, you’ll be getting your last installment, chapter 16, of Faerie Tale Queen later today on my Facebook page. So, until tomorrow, I hope you have a great day, and Happy Writing!


Your Last Challenge was:

Tell a little something about you and the holidays – what makes them special for you, a tradition you’re pretty sure is only done by your family, you’re little holiday secret, whatever you’d like to share.


I am going to let you in on a little secret – I am a total Christmas sap. The very second radio stations start playing Christmas songs, even before Thanksgiving, I have them tuned in, but I make sure to flip the station before anyone else gets in the car. Ooo and if I can sneak in a Christmas show on Lifetime when no one’s looking, woohoo!

I get excited when I see the first Christmas lights go on in our town, and I even drive home different ways, just so I can see more lights and decorations. Although everyone rolls their eyes over the silent decoration war between my one neighbor and another neighbor a few houses up the street, I anxiously await to see what’s new every year in their displays. Pretty soon both families are not going to be able to add anything new unless they swap out with an old, because they are seriously running out of lawn space.

The holiday also turns me into a bit of a water fountain. I can’t hear Christmas Shoes on the radio without crying. I get a touching card in the mail, I cry. Heaven knows most of the Christmas movies make me cry at some point, and I will admit, there are a few commercials that get me going as well. This year’s zinger was the Budweiser commercial where the snowmen offered their carrot noses to the team as a thank you for saving the mail truck and delivering the presents. Want to hear the really sad part? I only caught a glimpse of the commercial on Thanksgiving. My husband simply told me what had happened and I got choked up.


See, I told you, total Christmas sap. Today I was glad for the time limit because, believe it or not, there’s more, but I ran out of time…


Your Next Challenge is:


You hear your mom’s (or your dad’s) words come out of your mouth for the first time.


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

It’s the morning after, and I’m so tired and I’m so sore, my hair even hurts. Thanksgiving is a LOT of work!

I had planned on eating at six last night, and I think I did pretty well. We were only about fifteen minutes behind schedule, and I only forgot one thing. We sit down at the table, four people short of who I thought was coming, and my husband asks, “Where’s the stuffing?” Dang it! The one thing I didn’t have prepped because it only takes a few minutes and I didn’t want it to take up oven space. So, while everybody’s dishing out, I go make the stuffing. DISCLAIMER: I used to actually make stuffing and it would take quite a bit of time to make, but everyone loves Stove Top, so I figured stuffing was one corner I could cut and not feel guilty about it.

So, stuffing crisis averted. We all had a yummy meal. I broke out the containers and divvied up all the leftovers, so everyone walked away with another Thanksgiving dinner, including leaving enough home for the four of us. I loaded the dishwashers once, started doing the remaining dishes by hand, my daughter unloaded the dishwashers, I loaded them again, and then finished the last dishes by hand.

It is mind blowing how many dishes get used for Thanksgiving. Before dinner, all of the dishes I had used to prep the food where already washed and put away, several of the pots were washed, and the turkey roaster was washed. The four loads of dishes were just the plates, glasses, silverware and serving dishes we used.

Now today, I get to put all this stuff away…yeah. For the holidays, like I’m sure many people do, I pull out the good china, so all of that needs to be packed away again. I also use my aunt’s pots to prepare, so they need to get stored in the basement again. The folding tables need to get dragged outside and the furniture needs to be put back in place. (We don’t have a dining room, so our Thanksgiving dinner takes place in our family room.) The floor needs to be mopped, the vacuum needs to be run, and then I get to drag all the Christmas stuff upstairs because tomorrow we are having our tree decorating party. Just shoot me now…please.

Other than going to the grocery store to pick up some stuff I need for tomorrow, I am NOT Black Friday shopping. My daughters, on the other hand, are out with their grandmother, aunt and cousins at Jersey Gardens. My son PJ and his girlfriend Alex are out, God knows where, shopping; and my husband is off to work, so he’ll be out in the mess as well. No thank you. What about you? Are you braving the crowds?

One last funny story before I close, I took the dog out this morning just as it was getting light out. I heard a strange noise and I looked up toward the sound. Directly overhead was a navy and red hot air balloon. It took a minute for Colby to spot the balloon, but when he did he went bat guano. He was wagging his tail so hard his body was literally shaking, and he was barking his head off. (I’m sure the neighbors just loved that at 6:30 in the morning.) Colby wanted to get at that balloon in the worst way, and I had a devil of a time getting him back in the house. My dog is such a nut!

Okay, I’m off to Ireland. I have less than 1,800 to go, so I’ll probably be finished today. Even if I finish today, I will still post one last chapter tomorrow for you to read. I want to thank you all again for reading as I wrote. I don’t think I would have made my NaNoWriMo goal if you hadn’t been.

I hope you have a fabulous day. Safe and productive shopping if you are out there in the insanity. And, Happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was to spend a wonderful day with your family. I hope you all took me up on my challenge!

Your Next Challenge is:


Tell a little something about you and the holidays – what makes them special for you, a tradition you’re pretty sure is only done by your family, you’re little holiday secret, whatever you’d like to share.


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Gobble, gobble, gobble. The day of the feast has finally arrived.

I went to bed early last night, I think I was asleep by 9:30, with the hopes of getting a few extra hour of sleep, so I could be well rested for all that still needed to be accomplished today. As you can see by the timestamp of this post, it didn’t quite work out that way.

I woke up at 2:30 and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I laid in bed until three and then gave up. So far all I have done was load the dishwashers – that’s not a typo, we actually do have two dishwashers. It’s a cool, two drawer, independently run unit by Fisher and Paykel. The dishwasher came for free as a promotional item with the stove we purchased, a stove which later today will have all six of its burners running at the same time, and will be baking our turkey as well as several sides all at the same time! Can you tell I LOVE my stove?


After I finish this blog entry and my first of, I’m sure, several cups of coffee, I need to find quiet things to work on so I don’t disturb my sleeping family. Vacuuming at 4:30 in the morning will not go over well. What I think I’ll do is get all the food prepped and in the pots/pans/dishes to be cooked. I can do that, put it all on the back porch to get it out of my way (okay, so a cold day does have its benefits at times, but I still don’t like the cold), and then I can get my kitchen cleaned.

The turkey doesn’t need to get into the oven until 10:30 to be ready for supper at 6, so that will give me time to whip up a batch of corn bread. First thing I’m going to do though is stick little PostIt notes all over the kitchen saying, “Don’t Forget the Butter!” It’s a standing Thanksgiving joke around here. The corn bread recipe I use calls for melted butter. I melt the butter in the microwave while I’m combining the other ingredients. I make the corn bread, actually corn breads, I do those little individual loaves. They look beautiful on the cooling rack. I open the microwave to pop in whatever’s next, and there’s the butter. I have done this several times, and it’s always and only the corn bread I screw up, year after year. I’ve even make it a point to tell whomever is helping me in the kitchen, not to let me forget the butter, and they forget to remind me. I would just give up, but when the recipe is done correctly, it’s the yummiest corn bread ever.

Other than the biscuits which I’ll pop in right before we eat, the corn bread is the only baking I need to do today. Last night, Lys baked an apple pie and two pumpkin pies for me. I had asked her to use my deep-dished Longaberger casserole to make the apple pie, and to use three jars of the apples I had canned. Since we were only making one apple pie, I wanted it to be a big one. Instead of the casserole dish, Lys used a Longaberger pie plate, and she did use 3 quart sized jars to fill the pie.

Holy crow. If I had just made pies with fresh apples, I probably would have gotten at least five pies; but since we picked the apples so early, I couldn’t use fresh, I had to can them or they would have gone bad before I could have used them. I filled eight quart sized jars of apples. I already used two for a cobbler I made a few weeks ago, and now Lys used three to make one average sized pie, which means I only have one pie’s worth of apples left. That’s sad. Cleaning, peeling, cutting and canning those apples took hours. Seems like an awful lot of work for very little yield.

Okay, it’s going on five already, and if I want to get finished by one so I can sneak in a nap before people get here, I had better get moving.

I hope you have a blessed day, and Happy Thanksgiving!


Your Last Challenge was:

I’m thankful for…


I know ten minutes will not be enough time for this challenge, because I really do have much to be thankful for, at least fifteen minutes worth. J

I’m thankful we have food to eat.

I’m thankful we can provide shoes for our children’s feet.

I’m thankful for the roof over our head.

I’m thankful we can sleep in a bed.

I’m thankful for those who gave their lives so we can live free.

I’m thankful for our dear friends and family.

I’m thankful I have a husband and children to love.

I’m thankful for the many blessing we receive from above.


Since I knew I couldn’t possibly list everything, I guess my brain thought a more generalized poem would suffice. Yup, I’m still a little baffled when a challenge produces a poem. The one thing I didn’t mention above was I am incredibly thankful to be able to do something I truly love, writing; and I am thankful for all of you, reading.


Your Next Challenge is to go have a wonderful day with your family.


You have all day. Enjoy them and your time together. Eat delicious food. Throw your calorie counter out the window. Have a slice of pumpkin and a slice of apple pie. Laugh and make memories. Go.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

It’s a soggy morning here in New Jersey, and it’s only supposed to get worse. They are predicting over four inches of rain for our area today. I’m not going to complain, because if it was colder, this would have been sixteen inches of snow!

I am a little worried though. In the past, after heavy rain like this, our town has become an island. If it does again this time, it would mean eight of my fifteen guests won’t be able to get to my house.

Today is going to be spent mostly on cleaning because we didn’t get as much done yesterday as I had hoped. Both girls are coming down with colds, and I wasn’t feeling that great either, so we fizzled out after two hours. Thankfully, the rooms that remain to be cleaned are not as big a challenge as the family room.

I have less than 5K words to go for NaNoWriMo, and four days to do it. Faerie Tale Queen is at a point where it is moving very quickly, so for the first time all month, I am pretty confident I WILL be able to reach the 50K goal. I am also seriously rethinking participating next November. It’s just too much, preparing for the holidays AND writing a novel. How folks with a “real” job do it is beyond me.

So did any of you see the flyer I posted yesterday? Thursday through Sunday, Kindle and Nook versions of A Second Chance and Taking Chances will be available for almost 40% off the cover price. For four days, they will be sold for $2.99 – the lowest price allowed under the KDP program I’m enrolled in – but on Monday, they return to their regular price of $4,95.


Now, because I’m a technological ditz, I don’t know exactly how to do it, but I do know you can send a book to someone else’s Kindle as a gift. You can also hold a gift in queue to be picked up later by that person. I was hoping more technologically savvy folks would know how to do this and think a book for $2.99 would make a great stocking stuffer. They could wrap up a piece of paper telling the recipient they had another gift waiting for them online.

So what do you think? Was it a good idea? Do you think it will generate any buzz? Do you think folks would give a Kindle book as a gift? This whole marketing thing is still new to me, and I’m not making enough money yet on the sale of my books to hire professionals to handle it for me, so I’m kinda winging it – those marketing classes I took back in college were a LONG time ago, and the world has changed considerable since then. What has me scratching my head is when I do the exact same thing, two different times, and get dramatically different results. Just can’t figure that one out, but whatchya gunna do?

Anyway, I know it’s not even six in the morning, but I really need to get busy. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:


Don’t laugh at me. Don’t tease me. I may not be as big as you, but I am perfect. My size, my shape, my color are all perfect. As a matter of fact, I am actually better than all of you. Could anyone bring any of you home to be their family Christmas tree? No, they can’t.

Your only hope of ever holding those twinkling lights would be if someone chose you for Rockefeller Center, and chances of that are like a zillion to one, and for the lot of you, even less than that. Oh sure, you’re tall enough, but the way you decided to stay all squished together in your little clique, didn’t allow your branches to spread and grow, and who wants a tall skinny tree?

I’m even the right size to be balled up and replanted in someone’s yard where I’ll be loved and cared for by a family, and I’ll get to be their Christmas tree every year. Can any of you say that?

So you can laugh and scoff and tease all you want, but I know I’m better than all of you bullies. Oh look, here comes a family now. And what’s that in their hand? A shovel you say? Imagine that. Later losers.

Your Next Challenge is (considering the day, I kinda had to do it):

I’m thankful for…

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Good Morning! Yesterday was partially productive.

I wrote over four thousand words, so that was good. The reason I was able to write so much was because we got a really late start on cleaning the family room. The plan was I would write until my daughter, Dani, came home from school around noon. She would take a break and eat lunch. Then both daughters and I would tackle the family room.

Since my uncle is now coming to Thanksgiving again, and he has horrible allergies, we have to do a thorough cleaning. I’m talking everything has to be taken off every shelf and cleaned, the walls need to be wiped down, every piece of furniture needs to be moved and vacuumed (even the bottom of the couch). Every candle needs to be capped so no scent escapes. No air fresheners can be used. We practically need to sterilize the house, so it is A LOT of work, but it’s a heck of a lot better than having to call an ambulance again because he’s having a severe asthma attack.

So, back to why we didn’t finish the family room. My mother came and picked up my oldest daughter, Lys, yesterday morning at ten. When she was here, I told her she couldn’t keep my daughter out all day because I really needed her help. My mom told me she would have Lys back by two. Perfect, an hour later than I had planned, but still doable, because I figured it was a two hour project if all three of us worked together. We’d be done by four, and I’d get a break before I had to start cooking dinner.

This also worked well for Dani, because she was so tired when she came home from school, she got to take a nap until two. Since the house was quiet with Dani asleep and Lys out with my mom, I got to write for longer than I had planned. I came to a stopping point, the end of a chapter, and I look at the clock. 2:45, and still no Lys, so I send a text. No reply. 3:15 I call. No answer. 3:30, I call again. Again, no answer. At this point, she’s an hour and a half late and I can’t get a hold of her, so I’m thinking they got into an accident, because that’s how my brain works.

Five minutes later, Lys calls and says they are at Kohl’s. Needless to say, I am not able to keep the displeasure from my voice. She apologizes and tells me they will be home soon. Dani is still asleep on the couch, so I wake her up, and the two of us begin on the room. She helps me drag an old chair to the dumpster, which I had been planning on pitching for months, but never got around to doing and be darned if I was going to spend half an hour cleaning it if I was just throwing it away. Then we disposed of a ripped up desk chair as well.

The next thing on my agenda was to break down Colby’s cage and get it moved into Dani’s room for the holidays. There was nowhere in the family room to keep it where it wouldn’t be in the way. I begin folding up the crate, and Dani tells me she didn’t realize I had planned on moving it right then and she needed to go and make room in her room for it. Off she goes, leaving me alone in the family room. I look at the clock. 4:15. Still no Lys.

My phone rings, it’s my girlfriend Karolyn. I feel bad, because she had to listen to my five minute, without taking a breath, rant over not being able to get the room cleaned and how inconsiderate my mother was for keeping my daughter out when she knew I needed help. Karolyn listened, commiserated, sympathized, and like any true friend does, she got angry on my behalf, and then told me an even worse story about what happened to her, to make me feel better.

At 4:45, I hear the beep of my mother’s car alarm in the driveway, nearly THREE hours after when I should have been hearing the beep. I end my conversation with Karolyn, so I can glare at them when they come in the door. Now, I wasn’t going to say anything, because I really do hate confrontations, but they were sure going to know I was not happy. Then my mother makes the unfortunate mistake of telling me not to be mad at Lys, “they were having fun”. That’s when I lost it.

I told her I wasn’t mad at my daughter. My daughter wasn’t the one driving. My daughter wasn’t the one who had it explained to her how I needed help. My daughter wasn’t the one who promised to be home by two. Then, instead of just apologizing and being done with it, my mother has the nerve to point out that I was the only one cleaning, implying that if Dani wasn’t helping then why should Lys be required to help. That’s when I blew my second gasket, and set the record straight.

What fries my cookies is, my mom doesn’t think she did anything wrong. She freaks out when she’s entertaining for nine on New Year’s Day, and my husband and I do a large portion of the cooking for that day, plus my mother has a cleaning lady who cleans her house before the party. Wouldn’t it be logical to think I stress out a bit before an event, and any deviation from a set plan causes me a whole lot more stress, especially when I have to do all the cooking myself and I don’t have a person to clean my house for me?

Anyway, what’s done is done. I can’t change it, so as of right now, I am over it. Today, I will write until noon. Take a lunch break when Dani gets home from school. Then the three of us will tackle both the family room and the living room. We should be able to get both rooms immaculate by 4:30 – 5, and I can take a half hour break before I have to start dinner. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, I can get back on schedule and be able to breathe again.

On that note, let me get to Faerie Tale Queen. I hope you have a terrific day, and happy writing!

 Your Last Challenge was:

 The Black Friday experience…

Once every four or five years, I decide to brave the crowds and go shopping on Black Friday. Then, when I return home, I vow NEVER TO DO IT AGAIN. It is complete insanity, the lines, the traffic, the parking. It’s an unmitigated nightmare, but the one thing about Black Friday that disappoints me most is the attitude of the people.

Just the day before, they were gathered around a table with their loved ones giving thanks for all the many blessings they have in their lives, and on Friday their bodies are overtaken by trolls. They are mean. They are nasty. They are self-possessed. Tell me, is that 20% off video game worth you banging your cart into another person and then cursing them out for being in the way?

After the third time I utter “Merry Flippin’ Christmas to you to!” is when I usually give up and call it quits for the day. Black Friday is the anti-Christ as far as I’m concerned. It brings nothing but bad will and disdain. Sure it would be nice to finish up my Christmas shopping, but I think I will wait and do it next week, during the week, when there’s a chance of getting a stranger to smile back instead of sneer.


Your Next Challenge is:


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Good Morning! Well, the 4:00 am thing didn’t exactly work out for me this morning. I drank entirely too much caffeinated sweet tea last night, to be able to fall asleep early enough, to be able to wake up at four. I think I hit the snooze button at least five times before I actually got out of bed.

We all went to my son’s house yesterday. He and his girlfriend Alex hosted the Dallas vs. Giants football party this time around. Let me tell you, sixteen people in that tiny Cape Cod is an experience. There were people everywhere. It was a noisy ruckus, with a lot of yelling and laughing, and for the folks watching the game, even a little bit of cursing… on both sides. It was a house divided almost equally of Giants fans and Cowboys fans and Food fans (several were there just for the food and family and could care less about football). It was nice not being grossly outnumbered for once, but I didn’t even watch the game. For some reason this season, when I watch, my Giants lose. Unfortunately yesterday, I poked my head in to sneak a peek at the end, and well, y’all know how that turned out…

While all that rowdiness was going on in the living room, Alex was running around making food, serving food, cleaning up food, making and serving more food. I kept asking if she wanted help and she kept saying, “No, it’s ok. I got it,” but you could tell she was getting tired. She and my son had been busting their butts for days preparing for the party. I finally managed to nudge her out of the way so I could at least wash some dishes for her.

I get it. I remember what it was like when I hosted my first parties when I was young. I wanted to do everything, but then, with age I came to realize some of my guests actually felt more welcome if they were allowed to help when they offered to help. Did it really matter if the carrots went in the wrong section of the cru de te dish or if the cheese was in squares instead of cracker sized rectangles? No, it didn’t, and when I realized that, parties went a lot smoother. Helping made my guests happy, and it helped me. When Alex gets a few more parties under her belt, I’m sure she’ll come to the same conclusion. In the meantime, I just keep offering to help, and do the dishes when she’s not looking.

I spent quite a bit of time chatting with my son’s friend Mike’s girlfriend Ashley last night. I had met her briefly in October, and she seemed nice, but we didn’t really have time to talk then. Well, we did last night, and she confirmed my first impressions. She is nice. I’m glad Mike has found a great girl, and I’m glad we get along with her. This is especially helpful since my son informed me last night that Mike and Ashley will be joining us for Thanksgiving.

Actually, I’m thrilled they’re coming. I’ll confess now, I was kinda depressed when I thought I was only hosting Thanksgiving for nine this year. Heck, I could have nine for dinner on a random Tuesday night. There’s nothing special about that, and Thanksgiving should be special. So, now with Mike and Ashley coming, arrangements made so my aunt and uncle are now coming (my uncle had shoulder surgery and wouldn’t have been able to drive), that brings us up to thirteen. All I’m waiting on now is to hear if our friends Barb and John are coming. If so, that puts us at fifteen, and for me, makes it feel more like a holiday. True it’s half the number I used to host for Thanksgiving, but I’ll take it.

So here’s the game plan I came up with for the next three days. I get up early, do my blog while my daughter gets ready for school, write like a fiend from the time my husband leaves for work and my daughter comes home from her half day at school, then me and my daughters tackle one room each day – family room today, living room tomorrow, kitchen Wednesday, which will leave only the bathroom to clean on Thursday. If I stick to this plan there is a slim chance I may hit the 50K. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

I hope you have a great day and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

 This year you are able to go home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. When you get there, things feel just a little off…

From the moment I boarded the plane this morning and during the entire drive from the airport, I could barely sit still, which I’m sure made me one of the guy I was sitting next to on the plane’s favorite person. I’m sorry, but I was so excited. It has been years since I have been in the position to be able to come home for Thanksgiving. Either money was too tight or things were just too crazy at work and I couldn’t get away; two years, I wasn’t even in the country during Thanksgiving.

I’ve seen the family over the years. I’d meet up with them during my travels or they would come and stay with me for a few days, but this was the first time in forever we would all be under one roof.

As I pulled up in front of my parents’ house, the first thing I notice is my dad painted. For my entire life, we have had a white house with blue shutters. Now we have a blue house with white shutters. My folks are getting wild and crazy in their golden years. Dad’s going to get a kick out of the fact I had to double check the address to make sure I had pulled up in front of the right house.

I gather my luggage, headed inside and stop in my tracks. Gone were the beige walls, gone was the shabby furniture, and what replaced it looked like it had been torn from the pages of Country Living. The transformation was astounding. Maybe this isn’t the right house.

“Honey your home!” Mom squealed and wrapped me in a fierce hug.

Your Next Challenge is:


The Black Friday experience…


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Good Morning! So we made it home with only encountering a few flurries along the way. I actually saw more snow last night driving my youngest daughter to a birthday party then I did driving home from Vermont. I am glad we left when we did though. One of my daughter’s housemates sent her a snap chat of their dorm with a pretty good covering of snow, and another one of him with a pretty good covering of snow.

Sadly, I have come to the realization today I probably will not hit my goal for NaNoWriMo this time. I have only six days left and twelve thousand words to go, and I have no idea how I will be able to do them and prepare for Thanksgiving all at the same time. This does not mean I am giving up. Whatever spare minutes I can sneak, I will spend writing. When the girls are out shopping on Friday, I plan on chaining myself to the chair and writing. Unfortunately on Friday my husband is home as well, so I’m really not sure if I’ll be able to get much work done then either because I’m sure he’ll be pestering me to clean up for the party we’re having on Saturday.

We are having our annual tree trimming party on Saturday. Every year we shoot for the first Saturday of Chanukah to put up our tree, unless Chanukah happens to fall really late. It’s a tradition that started in our family quite by accident well over a decade ago. One of my dearest friends happens to be Jewish, but she loves decorating Christmas trees, so I invited her over for dinner and to decorate our tree. It was a Saturday and it was the second or third night of Chanukah, so since my girlfriend’s family wasn’t around, I thought I would surprise her by making potato pancakes for dinner. She was thrilled. We had a blast and made some good memories.

The following year, purely by chance and not design, the same thing happened. We were putting up our tree during Chanukah, my friend came over again, and I made potato pancakes because it was Chanukah. Now, I believe this is our seventeenth year, the tree trimming party has grown to include friends of various religions and family. I still make potato pancakes, although now it’s ten pounds of potatoes instead of five. We have a blast, and we make more good memories. Oh yeah, and my tree gets decorated.  

Maybe I’ll start setting my alarm for 4:00am for the next three days as well, instead of getting up at 5:00 am. This will give me an extra hour to write, an hour which my husband can’t complain I’m not cleaning. Sorry, for swinging back to this, but I’m still trying to figure out a way to get to my goal. If I say I’m going to do something, then dang it, I will do everything in my power to do it. I can’t stand falling short of a goal.

Don’t get me wrong, Faerie Tale Queen will get finished. I never had any delusion of actually completing the book in a month, because it will take far more than 50K words to finish the story. The question is, whether or not I will be able to hit the 50K goal by November 30th.

Well, I have forty-five minutes before I need to start getting ready for church, so I had better use every second efficiently and get writing. I hope you have a wonderful day and happy writing!


Your Last Challenge was:


“See, I told you I wasn’t lying.” Camie whispered. “It’s right there, just like I said.”

Joey peaked around the bush, “Whoa.  Do you think anyone lives there?”

“I don’t know.” Camie repositioned herself to get a better look. “Do you want to go and find out?”

“What do you want to do? Just go up and knock on the door?”

“I don’t know. Maybe?”

“Are you crazy? What if an axe murderer or something lives in there?”

Camie rolled her eyes, “Like an axe murderer would be living there. Now who’s crazy?”

“Well I’m not going anywhere near the place, and neither should you.” Joey insisted. “Come on we should go.” Camie’s eyes widened and she began to rise, but Joey pulled her back down behind the bush, “What are you doing?”

“Look the door is opening and there’s an old woman coming out.” Camie whispered again.

“Who’s there? Timmy, is that you? Timmy, have you come home? Timmy?” The woman called.

“Oh Joey, she sounds so sad.”

Joey moved a branch so he could get a clearer view of the house. “What are you talking about? I don’t see anyone.”

“She’s right there,” Camie pointed, “and she’s calling for someone named Timmy.”

Camie rose, rounded the bush and walked into the clearing. The woman turned and smiled at her. As Camie began walking toward the woman, Joey grabbed her arm and spun her around. “What are you doing?” He hissed.

“I just want to go and talk to her.”

“Dammit Camie, there’s no one there. Let’s go.”


Your Next Challenge is:


This year you are able to go home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. When you get there, things feel just a little off…


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.