Tales from a Rocky Coast – Volume One

Our book is almost ready for publication. We are editing our second proof and I’m surprised by the edits–the number and the tiny things that people catch. It gets exponentially more complicated when you add a second, third and in this case a fourth writer in one book. 

My hope is that we will only need one more proof and that it will be published in January or February 2018. I’m ready to be done and we still need to move on to marketing. 

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We are merging our eleven year old website, Kritique Kritics with the original name of our group, Friday Night Writers’ Group for consistent branding reasons. This website has such a long history and I don’t want to loss the goodwill by dumping the name Kritique Kritics.

I need to think about how best to do this. I want our site to be easily found by new followers and not so different or difficult to find by old followers. 

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Warrior Cat Book Series

Originally published in September 2011.

I just started my second book in the Warriors saga, by Erin Hunter which is a pen name for three authors. I started reading the first one to help me write a book about my cat and give him a voice. The second one, I have to admit

I absolutely love the books. Just call me a child at heart. They are better than “The Cat Who…” series. What’s delightful about the books?

The cat names:  Tigerclaw, Yellowfang, Mousefur and Fireheart to name a few.

The rituals: naming of the cats, meetings between the clans and the clan structure.

Funny or insulting lines: “Sounds like a pawful”, “I’ll have the other clans shaking in their flea-bitten skins”, “Excitement tingled in his paws”, “What’s a kittypet like you doing out in the woods?” and “Just a two-legged pet”.

Buy it for a child and read it yourself when no one is looking Tell yourself you’re buying it to read to a child—just try one book and you will be hooked.

I wish I’d know about these books when I was reading to my nephew, Kyle.  He loves cats and he liked me to read to him before he went to bed.


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Winning Story

Originally publish in November, 2008.

I got a phone call from Ann Schroeder inviting me to read my Center Coast Writer’s Conference winning story, A Full Circle, at the next SLONightWriters’ meeting. Then I got an email from NightWriters’ president, Susan Tuttle, with the same invitation.

I was thrilled, not as thrilled as winning first place, but very proud just the same. 

There is just one problem—I have speech anxiety. I’m terrified and the meeting is in nineteen minutes. Why did I agree to do this? Are all writers this nervous? I feel sick!

Gotta go and do a great job or embarrass myself.

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Debra’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Published previously on this site.

 Bowl One

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 ½ Cup Sugar

1 Stick Butter

½ Cup Crisco or 1 more stick of Butter

2 teaspoons Vanilla

3 Eggs

Bowl Two

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Cup Oatmeal (1 minute)

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves

½ Teaspoon Ginger, Nutmeg

 1-12oz bag of Semi-Sweet chocolate chips or whatever kind you prefer.

 Preheat oven to 325 o – 375 o 

Mix bowl 2 and set aside.

Mix bowl 1, except eggs by hand or with blender until creamy.  Add eggs, mix.  Add contends of bowl 2 a little at a time, until gone.  Add chips.

Bake at 325-375 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  I like crunchy cookies so I bake mine for 14 minutes at 350o

 I have tweaked this recipe off and on for too long and I finally think it’s just about perfect. It started years when I accidentally doubled the sugars in a batch and it tasted wonderful. The next push was when my friend, Carol Poling, made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies about 25 years ago and I never forgot the taste.  I had to be able to make Carol’s cookies or something just as good so I’ve been experimenting on the oatmeal and spices for only five-ten years and finally we have the recipe.

Don’t tell my husband, but I’ve had this recipe for a while. He thinks I’ve been experimenting all these years. But, I just love to bake cookies. It’s our little secret.

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The Gift of Giving

Originally published November 1, 2010.

I had the best day I’ve had in a very long time.  I thought I was doing something for children and it turned out to be something for me.

When I was a little girl my mother had trouble affording the necessities, let alone Christmas presents.  One Christmas I remember the neighbors helping to buy my three sisters and I a couple presents each.  All of those neighbors worked hard to support their own families so I’m sure it wasn’t easy to help another family, but they did it and I will never forget what they did that Christmas. 

For twenty years my family have been buying toys for needy families, sometimes placing the toys in the “big box” at the store and sometimes we delivered the toys directly to the families.  I have always felt great joy in doing this simple thing, but this year I felt elated—not because I was giving, but because I was receiving—what exactly, I’m not sure. 

My mother used to tell me that when you let someone help you, you are giving him or her a gift—”the gift of giving.”

Thank you Betty Remy, Margaret Day, Nita Pruitt and Lois Loveless for making that Christmas, so many years ago, a lasting and wonderful memory.

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