Friday Fare: 9/20/19

There was an interesting bit of scuttlebutt on the #writingcommunity of Twitter this week in reference to a Medium piece published by an author who (basically) squandered thousands of dollars in advance money.  There was a lot of snark, a lot of “how could you?”, much “well, this is what I did”, and a couple decent think pieces which dug deeper into the complex world of publishing, author finances, etc.  Rob Hart is the wildly successful author of the recent book “The Warehouse.”  His career has run the gamut of small and large presses, co-authoring, etc., and he has some fairly concrete advice for authors.  His blog post links to a (TOTALLY NSFW) piece from Chuck Wendig.  Wendig’s another author who has a varied writing career and if you want to laugh about the “tomfuckery” (Hart’s word) of the publishing world while holding back tears about those same shenanigans, read yourself some Chuck Wendig.

Revisions are the key to success, so dammit – I’m going to be GOLDEN someday.  But seriously … I appreciate Jessica Faust and her crew’s insights into the publishing world.  They’re a wealth of knowledge for writers.

Finally, as a huge Sean Bean fan, this article gave me a giggle.


Watching: I had a chance to go to It: Chapter Two this past weekend in the movie theater from my childhood:

I liked the symmetry of sitting in the movie theater I spent so much time (and money) in as a kid and as a young adult, fast-forwarding to my 40s and watching a movie about oaths and friendships.  Sixteen-year-old me would be pretty pleased with my 41-year-old self.

Reading:  My senior paper adviser from my alma mater has his debut fiction novel out: King by David S. Faldet.  I’ve been working my way through that this week and am enjoying it.  It’s always interesting to read books that are set in an area I’m familiar with.

Writing Life:  I’ve had a couple awesome writerly things happen recently.  First off, coffee with my good friend and horror writer Meg Hafdahl.  It’s always good to hang out with peers.  And finally, I’m a proud member of Sisters in Crime and have been benefiting from a new education initiative that SinC is offering to its members – a number of webinars with various industry experts talking about different facets of a writing craft and career.  This week’s presentation was about being a productive writer by Dana Kaye.  There was some good food for thought in Ms. Kaye’s presentation.

– Shelley


What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.


Friday Fare: 9/13/19

I’ve had a lot of good article bookmarked lately.  Let’s dig in:

What did women’s blue jeans look like the year you were born?  My daily uniform is basically jeans and a T-shirt, so this was AWESOME.  I went past my birth year and took a look at all of the fashion trends that I’ve lived through.

Stephen King has outlived most of his harshest critics.  Right on, man.  (Incidentally, I’m hoping to make it to see IT Part 2 this weekend.  Grateful for this man who has been scaring me for decades!  Also, puts his newest book “The Institute” on hold.)

The making and the movement of the newest supergroup to come out of Nashville.  (Also see Listening below.)

Here’s another movie that I want to see – Tom Hanks playing Mister Rogers.  I’m going to be bringing tissues.

Signs that you are an extroverted introvert.  As they say on the Internet … I feel seen.

A letter from a six-year-old convinced the maker of plastic toy soldiers to make female soldiers.  Right. On.  (And buy me a couple packages for my nieces.)


Listening: I’ve been a little obsessed with a new supergroup that’s come out of Nashville.

The Highwomen are a nod to the supergroup The Highwaymen that was formed in the 1980s, but they are doing it their way and it is wonderful.  This is an album that I’m going to buy and put on continuous repeat.

Reading:  Finished Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames.  I’ve been a longtime reader of the Frugalwoods blog and the book was similarly enjoyable and a fairly fast (and informative) read.

Writing Life:  Work has been a little hectic this week, but I had a couple creative opportunities that I’ve taken advantage of.  First off was attending the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime meeting earlier this week where I got to see Jessie Chandler and Terri Bischoff talk about the love/hate relationships between authors and editors.  (Sherry Roberts also read an excerpt from her upcoming novel “Crow Calling.”  I prefer suspense to cozy mysteries, but I adore her Maya Skye series.)

I’m also getting super excited about the upcoming Bouchercon 2019 in Dallas, Texas!

– Shelley


What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.


Friday Fare: 9/6/19

My children are back in school.  Thank you Lord.

Prior to returning to school, my kids had a couple extra days off.  As I am the more permissive parent, they played too many video games, ate way too much crappy food (we found something at Chuck E Cheese called “unicorn churros” and it was about as disgustingly delightful as it sounds), but all and all had a great time.  I took some time off and ended up going on a canning and pickling binge.  I’ve said this before – canning, baking, making jam – it makes me feel closer to my grandmas.  It makes me feel like I’m honoring their memories by bringing back some slow foods and taking the time to subject endless glass jars to water baths and cheering when I hear the snick of a properly sealed jar. (Or, let’s be honest, I freaking love eating pickles and sometimes I find myself wondering – can I pickle that?  And lo and behold, most of the time I can and it’s wonderful.)

These are the recipes I’ve been using this summer to preserve the bounty that I’ve stolen out of my mom’s garden (and off of my aunt’s apple tree):

Easy Fridge Dills – Smitten Kitchen is my absolute go-to for almost every recipe.  Deb Perelman is a domestic freaking goddess.

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes – This was a total pipe dream, but The Kitchn made it happen.

– Refrigerator Sweet Pickles – My mom sent me this recipe via text in a picture she took of a note that one of her friends gave her.  <– That’s when you know a recipe is legit.  What’s funny is that I’m really the only person in my family who eats sweet pickles, so those six cups of thinly sliced cukes?  Those are allllllll mine.

Spicy Pickled Green Beans – I made a couple jars of these and made one that I did not process in a water bath.  My friends and I launched into that jar and man … good stuff.  Makes me think that the properly canned version is going to be uh-maz-ing.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce – made it for my kids.  They didn’t like it.  Le sigh.  Anyway … made it according to recipe, blitzed it using an immersion blender and then processed in a water bath for 20 minutes.

Salsa – This has been my go-to recipe for 5+ years.  But pro tip … seed your jalapeno peppers (or any peppers) using gloves.  Otherwise, the oils from the damn peppers will burn the sh*t out of your hands.  (You’d have thought I’d have learned that lesson many years ago, but no – I’m a freaking idiot.)


Listening: Joyann Parker … you’re welcome.  She’s a Twin Cities-based blues musician and I sincerely hope that she hits it big in the somewhat near future.  This VOICE.


Reading:  Finished Glensheen’s Daughter by Sharon Darby Hendry.

Writing Life:  The kids are back in school.  I’m hoping that this means a little bit more time in my future for creative work. 🙂

– Shelley


What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.