Sunday Quote says life can be a meany-pants

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
~ Margaret Mitchell

Read More

Recent Poetry Publications & More

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in anthology:poem, Blog, roar of sky | 0 comments

I’ve been drowning in my new book for almost three months. With Roar of Sky now in the possession of first readers (and causing me to stare at my email an awful lot as I wait for verdicts), my head is (briefly) above water and I’m catching up on other writerly things, such as poetry submissions, promotional work, and my website. I need to get these things done now, as I expect more work to drop on me in June!

My Bibliography page is now up-to-date. Here are my poems that were published over the past two months:

I also have three poems nominated for the Rhysling Award this year (!!!) and they can be read online as well. The full anthology is available on Amazon.



Read More

Bready or Not: Pride O’ Scotland Shortbread

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cookies | 0 comments

The day after my anniversary, it seems only right to share the shortbread recipe I made for my husband the first day we met: Pride O’ Scotland Shortbread.

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

The original recipe is from one of my mom’s very battered cookbooks, which she gave to me a few years ago. The pages tenuously cling to the spiral binding. Back when I was a teenager, this shortbread recipe was one of the first I really declared ‘mine.’

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

Back in those dark ages before widespread internet shopping and Cost Plus World Market, my family was only able to obtain shortbread once or twice a year–at the Fresno Highland Games, and maybe at Christmas. Those red boxes of Walker’s Shortbread brought us great joy.

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

So when I found this recipe and my relatives declared that my shortbread was BETTER than Walker’s brand… whoa. I felt like I’d made something magical.

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

Maybe I did. It helped snare me a husband, after all.

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread

This recipe produces two pie-rounds of firm-yet-soft and buttery shortbread. The wedges will keep well for a few days in a sealed container. Modified from the Beta Sigma Phi Cookbook from 1968.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Grease two 9-inch pie pans.

Place dry ingredients in mixing bowl; add butter, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix with fingers until dough holds together. Divide dough into two balls and press each ball into a pan. Flatten evenly with palms; prick surface all over with floured fork. Slash into wedges.

Bake for 17 to 22 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven. Immediately cut again following slash marks and carefully run the blade around the edge of the crust to loosen the shortbread.

Let shortbread cool. Cut again along slash marks and the crust, then remove wedges to eat. Shortbread keeps in sealed container for several days.



Bready or Not: Pride O' Scotland Shortbread



Read More

Guest: Rebecca Roland Author of Shattered Fates Talks About a Favorite Book

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Blog, guest | 0 comments

Roland-Shards New Front_halfsize_sm

I’m happy to welcome Rebecca Roland to my site again! Shattered Fates is the final book in her trilogy with World Weaver Press. I read it as an early draft, and it was awesome. To celebrate the release, Rebecca has new covers for all three of her books. She’s here today to talk about an old favorite book of hers.

Roland-Fractured New Front_halfsize_sm



Years ago when I was in grad school, a friend of mine who was a voracious reader pressed a book called Shards of Honor into my hands and said, “I think you’ll like this.” Eager to read a new book, I took it home and started it. And… it was slow. I read a few pages, then brought it back to her and said I couldn’t get into it. “Keep it,” she said. “Try it again.”

I tried it again and couldn’t get past the first few pages. But I held onto it because I knew if I brought it back to my friend without having read it, she’d be really disappointed in me. And I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong. Eventually, I picked it up for a third time.

I don’t know what changed, but I got past the first few pages, and then barreled right through the rest of it. The book was great. Once it got going, it never let up. Shards of Honor and the next book in the series followed Captain Cordelia Naismith, but then the series switched over to her son, Miles Vorkosigan. As much as I love Cordelia, Miles is one of those characters who leaps off the page at you. He’s brilliant but flawed, and he gets into the biggest messes. He’s a man of honor. He’s witty and romantic. He’s so energetic, and he thinks so far ahead, that he keeps nearly everyone around him constantly on their toes. The other characters never knew what he was going to do, and neither did I. In short, he’s a fantastic character. He’s one where you can let him loose on the page, and he will write the story for you.

I love stories about unique characters. I love cool idea stories, too, but it’s the characters who burrow under my skin and stay with me, and Miles Vorkosigan is my favorite by far. When I write, I try to make my characters as multi-dimensional as Bujold made Miles Vorkosigan. I try to push my characters into situations where there appears to be no coming back, and I try to make them flawed and real. There’s a real joy in writing when the character is genuine and doing what they do.

I borrowed all of the books in that series from my friend. Then I went out and bought copies of my own. I’ve read them all several times now, and each time is just as enjoyable because there are always some details I’ve forgotten, or some new insight I gain.

Roland-Shattered Fates Front_halfsize_sm

About Rebecca’s book Shattered Fates:

The magic barrier protecting the Taakwa from their enemies, the Maddion, is gone. Malia, who led the Taakwa against the Maddion in the Dragon War, must convince the magical being, the changer, to repair the barrier before the Maddion invade to take revenge on her people and the winged Jeguduns who also call the valley home, even if it means reversing the healing the changer wrought for her.

Chanwa, the wife of the Maddion leader, uses the disorder created by the changer to lead a coup against her husband in a desperate attempt to ensure she and the other Maddion women are treated as equals. Her life, and the future of every Maddion woman, depends on her success.

Both women know the only way to succeed is to come together in an unlikely alliance.

Available for at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and direct from the publisher, World Weaver Press.

Read More