Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Sometimes I need chocolate in order to write, so I do believe this post is very much relevant to writing and is, therefore, perfectly acceptable to post in a writing blog.  That being said, here goes. . .

Chocolate is a very, very important part of a writer’s life.

Ingredients–

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup  baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • additional sugar for dusting cookies once they’re done

DIRECTIONS–

1. Cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg and vanilla, blend well.  Next, blend in cocoa, buttermilk, salt, and flour, alternating little bits of each one until it’s all blended well.

2. Prepare your cookie sheet (I use PAM…it’s so much easier than anything else).  Drop cookies with a ladle or an ice cream scoop about 2 inches apart. I would only do about 1/4 cup of batter per cookie or less.

3. Bake on 35o until you can touch the top and it springs back. Probably about 12 minutes. I don’t know–I never measure ingredients and I never watch the clock, either lol. THESE ingredients came from my handwritten cookbook, though, so your measurements are safe.

4.  When the cookies are done, let them cool a few minutes before you even think about taking them off the pan.  While they’re still warm, dust with regular sugar.  Once they’ve cooled, you’ve got some really awesome cookies!

 

NOTE– these cookies are almost like little mini-cakes. 😀

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On the submissions process…

There was a point in time in my life where I truly believed editing was straight from the devil–actually, it was just a few weeks ago.  However, I’d forgotten how horrible the submissions process can be. It’s been a while since I’ve submitted anything anywhere and it’s totally slipped my mind how much crap goes into submitting your work to a publisher.  That being said, I’m still in the submissions process and feel like if the next few months do not fly right past me while I go through the horrible will they take it or not blues, I may just spontaneously explode at my desk.

STEP One–  Write a really awesome, super duper rockin’, mind blowing novel.

Writing like a MAD WOMAN!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP Two–

Edit the novel.

Step Three– Edit the novel.  This time add coffee.

Edit, Edit, Edit.

 

 

 

 

 

Step Four– Edit the damn novel!

 

Oy… 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Five–

Look up publishers through the interwebs or otherwise.  Find houses who will hold an interest in the type of book you’ve written.  Please refrain from sending erotica novels to horror-only companies and vice versa.  Chances are, you’ll get nowhere that way.

Step Six–

Read through the publisher’s guidelines with a fine tooth comb and if they make suggestions to submitting authors, by gum, READ THROUGH THOSE SUGGESTIONS AND PUT THEM TO USE.  They will ask you to format your manuscript in a certain way with this font and that margin size and you’d better do it, too, because they want to know that you can follow the darned instructions.

Step Seven–

Send along cover letter, synopsis, blurb, full manuscript, a partridge and a pear tree.  Cross your fingers.

Step Eight– Wait.

While you wait, model your husband’s hard hat from work just because you can…it breaks the monotony lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Nine–

Wait some more.

Step Ten–

Get rejected and start over at step five OR do a victory dance and call your mother and your best friend because you just got a contract with publishing house x.

Step Eleven–

Write another book and start completely over at step one.

 

**Also, I’m really full of crap and you should take everything I say with a grain of salt because, even though submitting is time consuming and sometimes painful, submissions is important and worth it in the end.  Remember–even if a publisher gives you a big fat NO, that doesn’t mean your book sucks. It means they don’t want it. Keep looking.  If an editor gives you feedback, THANK THEM and take their advice seriously.  After all, most of them send form letters and having an editor take their precious (dead serious here, editors are busy folks) time to give you some feedback on why your story isn’t up to par or how it could be better is a pretty awesome thing. **

 

Mama said there’d be days like these…

And here we go to Editland! Nope. Just kidding. I’m on Facebook looking at kitty cats.

I’m sure there are days when every writer has told themselves that enough was enough and they’re done–no more writing!  After all, this lifestyle definitely isn’t for everyone and there are a lot of annoyances and horrible, horrible cruelties that come with the job.

Today has been one of those days for me. I woke up in a good mood–totally ready to take on the stack of Willow Lake edits that need entered into my computer.  I took my kids to the bus stop, came home, and started doing a few chores that needed doing.  When I got done with all that, I sat down at  my laptop, opened up Willow Lake, glanced over to my right, where I keep the stack of the printed copy of the manuscript, and began. And then  I went cross-eyed because I hadn’t had coffee yet and, even with my glasses on, I can’t see unless I’ve had some caffeine. So, I made coffee and sat back down and began to go over it again.

And the phone rang four hundred times, so I quit and decided that I should just take a break until the distractions slowed down.  Three hours later, I was bouncing off the walls and couldn’t hold still long enough to enter those darned edits! Instead, I found myself doing laundry and running back and forth between my son’s bedroom and mine until I finally settled down on Facebook.  Big mistake.

Facebook, in my experience, is a great place to meet other people who share the same interests.  I’ve met so many other writers there and many of them I consider to be friends of mine now. the downside of social networking is that, unfortunately, there is always drama.

Naughty, naughty Facebook!

Today, I witnessed a few writers discussing submissions–the process, how it rattles one’s nerves, and how depressing a rejection can be.  This is great. I like to see writers discussing things we’re all interested in because you never know when someone else is going to point something out you haven’t yet thought of or when someone else will have a tip or a lead to a new submission call somewhere. Oh, and also query letters and writing a synopsis is the devil and other writers can listen while I pour out my absolute distaste for those two things–it really does help.  THIS conversation, however, really, really made me soooooooooo (lots more o’s) angry I was seething! An author was complaining because a publisher had the audacity to reject their book and only because it was a genre other than those the submission guidelines listed.

*Eye Roll*

Seriously?  Can anyone really be so daft as to think that a publisher is going to read your book, though it’s not what they asked for, and fall in love with it and the characters and publish it anyhow? Um, yeah. May

When I see Demitrius, I think of Olivier Martinez (Blood and Chocolate). It helps.

be in fantasyland.  In reality, it goes unnoticed in the slush pile so the publisher can then move on to manuscripts submitted by those who listened and used their context clues (and BOLD PRINT lol) to pinpoint exactly what the publisher wanted.  You can’t submit a piece of YA to an open submission call for erotic horror. No, no, no! That is just an example (not exactly what happened today), but still–I’m going to rip out my hair by the end of the day.

This was just the beginning.  After seeing this weird post, I scrolled down and tried to forget it. It wasn’t something happening to me on a personal level, so I kept my opinions and comments to

myself and opted to behave myself. I decided to edit. I picked up a sheet of paper with Willow Lake edits scribbled everywhere and got at it again.  And got distracted again because I’m in the middle of another WIP and I began to think about all the wonderful new characters and, frankly, I really wanna play with them today. But, I want to have Willow Lake edits in the computer before the 14th, so I have to just suck it up and keep going.

Sorry, Demitrius, Gia, and Arty–I’ll come back to play with you on October 15th, just as soon as Willow Lake is submitted.

*CRIES* I really, really am happy to be getting back to vampires, though. I’ve missed them insanely. Willow Lake is my ghostie story and the characters are so close to my heart, I don’t think I’ll ever fully move past them, but it truly is time to move forward to something else.

This brings me to my next WIP, “En Morte.”  The story will follow a young woman named Artemis Gregory as she wraps her car around a tree and is involved in a horrible car crash (black ice).  She’s then rescued by a pair of vampires and turned.  The story will take you through the process of becoming a vampire and through the course of the book, you’ll be solving a mystery of sorts.  Well, several.  See, Arty (Artemis) isn’t just a new vampire. She also has amnesia and had no clue who she even was at first and wouldn’t have ever found out, but Demitrius had also rescued her purse and driver’s license with photo ID.  Thank goodness for her, huh. At least she knows her own name. Regardless, there will be some twists and turns in this paranormal mystery.

 

Also, as promised, I somehow managed to put together a quick playlist for “En Morte.”  Here is the list (if you wish to see):

1) Filter-Cancer

2) Nine Inch Nails- Reptile

3) Nine Inch Nails- Heresy

4) Ozzy Osbourne- Dreamer

5) Nine Inch Nails- Eraser

6) David Bowie- The Man Who Sold the World

7) Neil Young- Old Man

8) Puddle of Mudd- Blurry

9) Saliva- Always

10) Nine Inch Nails- Dead Souls

11) The Cure- Love Song

12) Garbage- Only Happy When It Rains

13) Ozzy Osbourne- No More Tears

 

I know. There is Nine Inch Nails stuff everywhere.  That’s just how I roll 😀

I’m so glad to be back to vampires!  Also, this concludes my post. I just had to vent it all out. Thanks for listening!