Drunken Brilliance?

Who says the muse lives in a bottle of booze? Unless the muse is a tequila worm?


Boozing does not necessarily have to
go hand in hand with being a writer,
as seemed to be the concept in America.
I therefore solemnly declare
to all young men trying to become writers
that they do not actually have to
become drunkards first.

Nelson, W. Aldrich, Republican Senator 1881 to 1911


Stewed Tongue

Quite literally stewed, according to my “Young Housekeeper’s Friend” cookbook from 1859.  As for me I would need to perform the last step first before being willing to eat this dish: “Put about a pint of the liquor” in.


Boil a fresh tongue three hours, and if the skin does not easily come off, boil it longer.  Remove the skin, strain the water in which it was boiled.  Wash the pot and return the tongue to it with enough of the strained liquor [ed. note: Oh! THAT kind of liquor]  to cover it.  Put in it a carrot, a turnip, and an onion cut fine, and a tablespoon of powdered clove and also of ground pepper tied up in muslin bags.

Boil the tongue gently two hours and a half.  About fifteen minutes before it is taken up, toast two slices of bread without the crust, cut it up in small bits, and put it into the pot.

When you dish it up, put about a pint of the liquor and vegetables round the tongue in a fricassee dish.”

And I would add to this “Serve with a huge portions of strong liquor–the alcoholic kind.”

And the Winner Is!

Chasing Nightmares CoverMy Goodreads contest for two print copies of Chasing Nightmares is over and the winners selected.  593 people entered–woohoo! And over 250 people added it to their To Read List!  I’d say the contest was a success.

I will be mailing the books to Sharon in Springfield, IL and Cayla in Astoria OR this week.  I can’t wait to hear what they think of the book.

Thanks to everyone who entered and for all the support you have shown.  Happy holidays!

When the First is the Last

I usually need to find a great first line and first paragraph before moving on with my story, but it’s not unusual for me to find out later that the first paragraph wasn’t the beginning after all.  It seems great minds agree.


The last thing that we find in making a book is to know what we must put first.

Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662)

Don’t Excite Your Domestics

The holiday season is usually one where family traditions bring cheer and comfort.  In looking through an old “receipt-book” of recipes first published in 1859 by Mrs. M. H. Cornelius, I am reminded that traditions do evolve over the years, thank goodness, which is seldom a bad thing.  At least, I’m glad I do not ascribe to this counsel found in the forward of the book:

“The less alteration made in family arrangements on account of visitors, the happier for them as well as for you.  Never treat the subject of having company as if it were a great affair.  Your doing this will excite your domestics, and lead them to imagine the addition to their usual work is much greater than it is; your own cares, too, will be greatly magnified.”

Thankfully I have no domestics under me that I need to worry about exciting too much.  I am free to treat the holiday visits of friends and family as a grand affair and enjoy the excitement that then ensues.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your holiday traditions don’t overly excite your domestics, but do bring smiles to everyone’s faces.