Invited to a Spring Tea? The event often requires a pretty hat even if you live in Southern California as I do. The one I’m attending is at a beach home of the hostess rather than a hotel which drives formality up a notch. Morning teas are less formal than afternoon teas. Here is the dress I will wear:
Do you sit at your computer for work or play? As a writer my goal is 1000 words a day, and you know what that means– I can’t eat more than a 1000 calories a day. That’s even when I swim laps! I am just 5’4″ and like to weigh around 120 pounds. With that in mind, I eat great tasting food for good health. I like eggs but for a long time eggs were getting the bad rap of high cholesterol. Health update! I can go ahead and eat eggs. Turns out, diet affects only 20% of blood cholesterol. New guidelines no longer advise against eating cholesterol-laden fair like eggs. This morning I’m having a soft boiled egg, whole wheat toast, and orange and coffee. What have you read lately about eating for good health?
I’m making a new side dish for Easter– A rice-lentil-mushroom and sweet potato combo.
- 5 cups rice (any variety will do, but long grain varieties are nice)
- 1 cup brown or green lentils (just not orange/red ones)
- 1 onion, or large shallot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet potato, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs of choice; cilantro, basil, parsley, mint (optional)
- 1/4 cup toasted nuts or seeds of choice; chopped cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc (optional)
- 2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp agave, sugar or sweetener of choice
- black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
- 5-4 cups water, or more as needed
- Begin by cooking your rice and lentils in the same pot. Just stir them together and add water, cover, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until lentils are rice are both cooked through and water has been absorbed completely.
- While rice is cooking, slice and chop all veggies and set aside. When rice is almost done, begin cooking veggies in the largest pan you have, a wok is perfect, if you have one.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of sesame oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften and garlic is fragrant (stir frequently so garlic doesn’t burn). Add carrots, mushrooms, and sweet potato. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes until sweet potato begins to soften.
- Add 1/2 Tbsp of sweetener, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or substitute) and stir to combine. Add kale and cabbage and let simmer over medium heat until kale and cabbage have wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and season to taste.
- When rice/lentils are done, use the same pan/wok and heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium high heat. Add rice/lentils and stir fry with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring and stir frying until rice and lentils begin to dry out a bit, if they get a little crispy, even better.
- Add veggies back into pan with rice and lentils and toss well, add fresh herbs if using, and top with nuts/seeds before serving if desired. Season to taste as needed.
Earth-sky is a wealth of information if you enjoy astronomy. As I’m writing the second book of my futuristic series, INTERVENUS for teen and new adult readers, I need to know what my characters see from the planet Venus. Betrayal at Crater’s Edge will follow A Brand New Address.
Tonight, March 23rd, looking from Earth, as soon as darkness falls, look westward to see the waxing crescent moon shining above the dazzling planet Venus and below the Pleiades star cluster. Venus, the third-brightest celestial object to light up the heavens after the sun and moon, comes out first thing at dusk. You’ll have to wait until nightfall to see the Pleisades star cluster, which is visible to the unaided eye. The Pleiades is also known as the Seven Sisters.
Most people can see six Pleiades stars with the eye alone, although those with exceptional vision might be able to see a few more fainter Pleiades stars. If you have binoculars, by all means aim them at this beautiful dipper-shaped cluster to see more Pleiades stars popping into view. This cluster consists of hundreds of sibling stars, all of which were born from the same cloud of interstellar gas and dust some 100 million years ago.
At a distance of 430 light-years, The Pleiades cluster is one of the closer star clusters to Earth.
Oh my, today I’m featured at O.C. Lit! Here is the emag article–
Today Lit Central O.C. is happy to welcome Kathleen Rowland to the O.C.
With less interest in myself than others, I’m never good at the bio bit. I’ve taught elementary school, worked as a programmer/analyst, and now I write romantic suspense. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, and traveling abroad with my husband. Of all the wonderful experiences in life, my husband, children, and grandchildren feed my soul and muse. Serving OCC RWA as secretary and membership chair is sparking my writing. Volunteering with fun, supportive people does that.
Q: What was the inspiration for your novel?
A: A fascination with space travel drove me to write book one of my futuristic new adult INTERVENUS series, “A Brand New Address.” I wrote a story about teens struggling with hope during a dark circumstance.
Q: Did you outline it ahead of time, or wing it?
A: I outlined in Scrivener, but writing and musing goes together.
Q: What was your biggest challenge writing this book?
A: Keeping physical attraction appropriate for readers straddling the line between YA and NA was a challenge. I wanted readers to connect with my protags’ love story, get lost in it, and be affected by their choices.
Q: How is writing now different from writing your first book?
A: As a beginner I over-explained. Dialog was stilted. Now I write action in the moment followed by brief sequel. Making Debra Dixon proud, I slam every scene with GMC. My POV character has a goal, is motivated by a personal incentive, but is blocked with a conflict.
Q: When was your first book published, what was the title, and what was it about?
A: “Mining Evermore,” a paranormal romantic suspense published in 2008, follows a beautiful criminal attorney who makes a name for herself by saving petty thieves from trips to the Big House. When a madman leaves victims not quite dead along the beach, her good intentions work against her. Witch hunters believe she knows who’s behind the freaky cruelties. The handsome immortal mayor doesn’t approve of her slick lawyer tactics but has a reason to protect her.
Q: What do you know now about being a writer that you wish you had known before you published your first book?
A: I’ve learned to keep the reader guessing about both the romance and the mystery until the end. I learned to hold back information. The love story is more important than the crime which may have been the reason the couple came together. Readers who are mostly women need to fall in love with the hero through the viewpoint of the heroine.
Q: What is the most common rookie mistake you see new authors make?
A: Point of view problems are a rookie’s most common mistake. Keeping POV consistent within a scene and not allowing “bird’s eye” to slip in is hard to learn.
Q: What sort of author marketing have you found to be most effective?
A: Personal contact has been my most effective marketing tool. Book signings give me an opportunity to get to know readers. I also present workshops at my local library and other groups. In a couple of weeks I have one scheduled with my sorority alum group. I am active on my blog, where I write about topics other than writing some of the time and “spotlight” other writers. I tweet and retweet about once a week for about an hour.
Q: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A: Always a storyteller, I didn’t become a writer until 10 years ago. Before that, I was consumed with caring for my five children and working full time. Every stage of my life has been satisfying.
Q: What is your typical writing day like?
A: Up at six, I drink coffee while reading email. When my husband gets up, we hang out for an hour. I swim laps for 45 minutes, shower, and start serious writing at 10. I write until 3:30, take the dogs on a walk, clean, do laundry, and cook dinner.
Q: How do you celebrate a book sale or new release day?
A: I announce a new release on my blog and tweet. If I have a book signing, I invite friends by sending them postcards with a book cover.
Q: What book or books are you reading now?
A: I read many subgenres. I just finished reading “Gone: The Breathe Prequel,” by talented YA author Elena Dillon. Presently I’m engrossed in “Generational Curse,” by Tracy Reed. Next on my Kindle is Debra Mullin’s “Heart of Stone.”
Q: Name three of your favorite television shows.
A: “Allegiance,” “The Black List,” and “Chicago P.D.” are favorites.
Q: If you could have dinner with an author—living or dead—who would it be?
A: The late Barbara Parker wrote legalistic romantic suspense with such pizzazz.
Q: If you couldn’t be an author, what other job would you choose?
A: A landscape architect because I appreciate nature and could utilize my creative flair.
Q: How long have you lived in O.C., and where did you live before?
A: We moved from New Jersey to California in 1994, but I grew up in Iowa.
Q: What’s your favorite writing spot in O.C., outside of your home?
A: I enjoy laptop-writing in a park with a rose garden.
Q: How can people find out more about you?
Q: What are you working on next?
A: I am finishing a romantic suspense, “Deadly Alliance.” I plan to pitch this book at the California Dreamin’ conference. After completing this RS for adults, I will write the second NA book, “Betrayal at Crater’s Edge.”
Tomorrow, read an excerpt of Rowland’s novel, “A Brand New Address.”
My grandson, D’mitri, ran in the L.A. Marathon on Sunday and finished! I didn’t go but had the tracker on. My son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter were in Los Angeles cheering him on. His pace was also logged. Pretty cool technology. Yesterday D’mitri stayed home from school. His ankle hurt, but today he’s back for his 6th grade classes in middle school. 26 miles is a long run!
ASICS LA Marathon:
D’MITRI MEYER at the Finish in 6:03:38.
Pace 13:53 min/Mile.
Time of Arrival: 1:17 PM.
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Today I am rewriting the wedding chapter in my romantic suspense, Deadly Alliance. This is a triple wedding taking place on a pontoon on Lake Arrowhead. The hero Fin Donahue marries heroine Amy Kintyre, but then they fell in love the second they met. Of course they didn’t like each other at the time, but there was that sizzling magnetism! Fin’s dad is marrying his girlfriend whom he met at Straight Arrow, an assisted living complex. Amy’s friend, Cassidy, is marrying Spencer who is the son of the lesser villain. I needed to research pontoons and picked the one below so that there would be room for some of the guests on the upper deck. The ceremony takes place on-board, but the reception is at the community church.
Did I tell you I’m on a mission to lose six pounds in three weeks? My black dress is a little tight. It doesn’t slip right off and drop to the floor like it did before! Yes, friends, I’m doing 900 calories a day, but my husband likes steak. Tonight I’m making Bobby Flay’s Grilled New York Strip Steak, and the sauce is made with yogurt. (I will only consume half of the allotted steak portion.)
INGREDIENTS for Grilled New York Strip Steak
1½ tbsp canola oil
1 medium Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup FAGE Total 0%*
2 tbsp prepared horseradish, drained
4 New York strip steaks, (1½ – 2 inches thick)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cook for about 12 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized. Cool for 15 minutes.
- Mix the yogurt, horseradish, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Next, fold the onions into the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
I’ve got my eyes on my goal!
Don’t all of us love Earth’s seasons! Now as winter is ending, and spring begins at the March 20th equinox, we get “spring fever.” Our daughter Janice went to the beach yesterday and came back looking like a lobster. Dieters buy a bikini a size too small and crash diet which often leads to over-eating. Take it easy. Live through spring fever with moderation.
The Vernal Equinox is a special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is rising earlier now, and nightfall comes later. Plants are sprouting. Winds are softening. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, people are enjoying the warmer days of spring. In SoCal oranges are 88 cents a pound.