Trying New and Old Things

Isis in computer room

Isis relaxing in the doorway of the computer room

This has been a week of catching up, on several fronts. I’ll hit the writing further down, but it’s also been a recovery of energy for me. Last weekend was such a busy one, it really took it out of me, energy-wise, so this week has been a lot of rest until yesterday. Fortunately, my energy levels had improved again by then, because my husband and I hosted a birthday dinner for one of my best friends from college and her partner.

This may not seem like a big deal to many people, but when you’re one of those not gifted with the hostess gene (I’m convinced there’s such a thing), it’s not trivial. Add fatigue to that, and a spouse who normally helps but is hindered by having the use of only one arm… well, let’s say I’m glad I know these friends well enough that I don’t worry that my house wasn’t spotless for them.

Which was great because that left my energy free for food preparation. My college friend went vegan about three years ago, so that involved a bit more planning as far as the menu went. Being vegan is something I can’t imagine doing–just getting enough protein is something many find difficult, but my friend is healthier and more active that she’s ever been in the 25+ years I’ve known her, so that doubles my interest in being supportive of her choice. Meanwhile, her partner, whose birthday was a week before my friend’s, was really looking forward to a good steak.

So while my husband was literally single-handedly grilling steaks, I was grilling Cilantro-Lime Tofu on the George Foreman grill. That’s definitely new to me, as neither me nor my husband like tofu, so we’ve never cooked it. I’d found the recipe a few days earlier and it sounded really good (even to me), so I figured I’d give it a try. My friend scarfed it, so it must’ve been good. 🙂 I tried a bite, and indeed, it wasn’t bad at all. However, the rest of us enjoyed our steaks.

The other somewhat-new thing I fixed was roasted squash. My daughter introduced us to this a few weeks ago, last time she was home. She went to a farm market and bought a butternut squash, and an acorn squash, and fixed the former that night. Yum!  We still had the acorn squash, so I did the same with it. There wasn’t much of it, but what there was, was good.

For dessert, my husband had requested apple pie. He loves Mehaffie’s Pies, which are an old Dayton standard, but they don’t list ingredients on their website, and when I researched, I found that most store-bought pies and pie crusts contain lard, whey, or both. So to ensure our pie was vegan, I went back to another old standard–my grandma’s pie crust (aka Classic Crisco pie crust), and made it myself. It was a bit of work, but well worth it–the pie disappeared quickly!

IndiePowerPackWhat I read this week: I started The Indie Author Power Pack, by David Gaughran, Joanna Penn, Johnny B. Truant, and Sean Platt. I’m about halfway through the first book, Write, Publish, Repeat, by Truant and Platt, and have already picked up a ton of good ideas to put to use once I ramp up production and get more books out. I believe this is a limited edition, and is currently $.99. If you’re an author–regardless of publishing path–there is a lot of useful stuff in here. Highly recommended.

I’m also reading a novel, but am not far enough in to discuss, so leaving that for next week.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: My goal last week was to go through my WIP to see what I have, where the new scenes fit in, and what’s still needed. That’s done, and a big relief to see I only need three more new scenes, unless something pops in and surprises me–which would not be a surprise. I also finished the scene I was working on, which only needed a few paragraphs. So this week, I want to get back on track with producing new words, and finish a new scene or 3000 words.

What about you–what new things have you tried lately? Any old favorites you’ve dug out after a long time? Read any good books lately? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, writing, ROW80, or otherwise? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

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