WWW roundup

Really in love with the new material, which is seducing me back to the other computer, so just a little bit of fun for you this morning.

An excellent writer blog:

Tess Gerritsen keeps an insightful and honest blog about the writing life, and a post this week was particularly honest in a way you don’t often see from writers, many of whom are always worried about keeping up appearances.   A snippet:

Over the past twenty years, I’ve had twenty books published.  My career
has been a see-saw ride, and there’ve been times when I thought my
career was, if not dead, then headed for oblivion.  My first nine books
were paperback romantic thrillers, eight published by Harlequin, one by
Harper.  None of them earned out more than $12,000 in their first
printings.  Since I’m a slow writer, and couldn’t turn out a book any
faster than every eight months, I knew I’d never get rich as a writer.

And then a little later….

By the time GRAVITY was released, it was clear that my sales were in a downward spiral.  Despite publisher enthusiasm and rave reviews, GRAVITY
could not find an audience among women readers.  That doomed it in the
marketplace.  And once your sales start to slip, the pre-orders for
your next book, and your next, begin to plummet.  Just as depressing
were my foreign sales, which had been so bad that I was having trouble
finding anyone to publish me in the UK.
I took off a year to re-group.  I wrote my next book entirely on
spec, without a contract.  This time, I was writing just for myself.  Read the whole piece.

I have written whole books several times for various reasons, most often because I was frustrated by the external market and needed to connect back to myself and my own body of work.  It has always been a Very Good Thing.  One was In the Midnight Rain, which has become one of the most beloved of my romances.  Another was Heart of a Knight, a medieval romance that won the RITA.  The most recent is Elena’s story, working title Cooking for the Dead.  (We’re all batting around title ideas still.)

It’s also something I highly recommend to my students. Often. Published even more than unpublished, and especially if they’ve hit a wall–internal burn out or publisher disinterest or a need to change direction.  Have you ever done it?

Cooking and travel

I’ve been thinking it might be fun to go on a cooking holiday, and what popped up in my email this morning? A link to a travel-cooking site that has some lovely, lovely trips.  Wouldn’t it be cool to go to Morocco and cook?   Of course, the coming year is already packed with travel, so it will have to go on the back burner, but I really think I’d have a blast…..

Vegetarian week


‘m sure I’ve mentioned that my eldest son, his girlfriend, and virtually all of their entire circle of close friends, are vegetarians.  This happened one week when Ian and his former debate partner did research for a case and read about the meat industry in the US.  The both became vegetarians overnight.  I kept thinking they’d go back, but it’s been years now, so I think the change is complete. 

And while none of them proselytize, their commitment intrigues and impresses me.  I’m also working on deepening my yoga practice, and often vegetarian eating is a part of that.   

So I’ve been keeping a vegetarian kitchen this week.  Experimented yesterday with a lower fat, healthier version of that wintertime comfort food fav, macaroni and cheese.  Turned out spectacularly well, enough that Christopher Robin gave it the British stamp of approval. I’ll post the recipe Friday.  If I can read all my notes. 

9 thoughts on “WWW roundup

  1. HB

    Funny that you should post this now because I had a hamburger urge the other day. It was the first time I could remember in quite some time that I had craved meat. But it went away quickly and I enjoined my asparagus omelet. Once you commit, it’s much easier than I ever thought it would be. There’s nearly always something veggie to eat and you forget the taste of meat. If you splurge and eat it (like I did once in Hawaii) you get very ill 🙂

  2. There’s a wonderful cookbook called “Vegan Planet” you should check out. It has lots of great recipes. You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy it. (I’m not.)

  3. caro

    I am so excited for the mac n cheese recipe. It seems that Ian always loves the things I make for him that you post, I wonder why that is? 🙂

    The veg thing is really a decision you have to make all your own. The summer we lived in Portland I argued with Ian against it and was fairly convinced I would remain a meat eater for life. But, after living in England and reading more stuff I came to the decision on my own. It wouldn’t have work if he would have tried to force me into it and I think he knew that. Plus, I’m the one who feeds us. 🙂

  4. Anonymous

    I heard a fantastic piece on NPR’s This I Believe by author Robert Fulghum who wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten entitled Dancing all the Dances as Long as I Can. Lots of fascinating bits, but in response to your “wouldn’t it be cool to go to Morocco and cook?” – At the age of 70 he is going to Buenos Aires for three months for immersion in the culture of his new-found passion – Tango. Check it out…. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15679626

    A thrilling clip; “I seek the sharp, scary pleasure that comes from beginning something new — that calls on all my resources and challenges my mind, my body and my spirit, all at once. “

  5. HB, I can only imagine what eating meat after a l ong haitus would do to the digestive system! I don’t crave hamburgers, but I think I would miss fresh turkey.

    Gina, thanks for that recommendation. Since I had a $10 coupon that had to be used, I picked up a Moosehead Restaurant cookbook. Nice.

    LOL, Caro. I’m so glad to be helpful in feeding Ian! And I’m not quite ready to be fully veg, but the week has gone well and easy. CR is less convinced, and since I have to cook for both of us….

    Buenos Aires to study Tango at 70!! Brilliant. That’s the kind of 70 year old I hope I can be.

  6. Too funny: my code was 3vg

  7. HB

    Sean is pretty much over red meat but he still eats chicken. It’s not too hard. I make vegetable dumplings for example then cook his chicken on the side. Or if I make him a chicken breast, I give me more vegetables or a big hunk of tofu. It’s a lot easier than I thought to have only one person veggie but it’s probably because Sean doesn’t mind going mostly without meat and I make a lot of things that’s easy to add chicken later. Oh yeah I make a good curry that I do the same way (add the cooked chicken on the top). Not trying to convert 😛 Just saying I am surprised at how smooth it’s been.

  8. Thanks for those ideas, HB. CR is happy to eat his meat midday at work for the most part. He’s a pretty agreeable guy. 🙂

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