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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Writing Wednesday and a Yummy Recipe

We had a writer's meeting today at the library.
I came home,
worked on revising my children's story, 'The Snowman Village,'
and made snowballs!

They are so good! They are the perfect light snack to eat while you sip on coffee, tea or milk. 

The perfect cookie to make after writing about a snowman village.


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Gradually add flour. Stir in nuts.
Shape dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and bottoms are lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes and then dust with confectioners' sugar. Makes 3 dozen.

Delicious eaten when warm. I just love these. I bet you can't eat just one.

I know my post wasn't too much about writing today, but that's okay.

I have been editing some of my stories this week and I just finished my column for the January issue of Two-Lane Livin' and I have came up with 28 ideas so far this month for picture books!

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Hi, Welcome to Writing Wednesday.

Last week I told you about a site called Rate Your Story.
You can submit your story (up to 2000 words) and it will be rated by judges who are published writers. 

I submitted my PB manuscript titled "Grasshoppers". My submission was rated by Margot Finke, who has had many rhyming picture books published. You can go here to visit her blog. I was honored and excited to receive a rating of #2 from her!

Below is the scale they use:

10 - Consider this story as practice and write a new one.
9 - This story is best saved for reading to your family.
8 - If at first you don't succeed...rewrite, rewrite again.
7 - Your idea has merit, but the story needs a lot of revision.
6 - Not bad, but it doesn't stand out.
5 - Better than average, but still needs work.
4 - A decent story – could be great with some polishing.
3 - Good story –  Get a critique or two and polish before submitting.
2 - A very good story - with the potential to be great.
1 - Great story!  You should consider submitting this.

I'm making a few changes and searching for publishers. I thought it was a good story, and was glad the judge agreed. is written in rhyme! They discourage people from writing in rhyme because of how hard it is to get the rhyme and meter just right. I had help with this story from my writer's group and when it was finished we were pretty happy with the result. 

The December issue of Two-Lane Livin' is out now. Do you like the cover? The picture is one I took last year of one of my blue jays. We have quite a few feeders and I love taking pictures of birds in the winter.

My column this month is titled, Winter Snow and Hot Cocoa. Below is a poem I have in the December issue.

In the Winter
by Janet F. Smart

In the winter
Hear the roar
As blizzards blow
Outside your door.

We slip and slide
In the snow
With our red cheeks
All aglow.

We build snowmen
Big and tall
And keep them warm
With a shawl.

The sky grows dark
In we go
For dry, warm clothes
And hot cocoa.

Happy Writing and I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes

I thought I'd re-post a few of my recipes for Thanksgiving.

Have you checked out the price of pecans lately?  If so, and you don't want to shell out the money for them, check out this recipe for Poor Man's Pecan Pie. Instructions can be found here on my site.

And what would Thanksgiving be without a sweet potato casserole. This is absolutely the best one I have ever tasted.


4 LBS sweet potatoes

Cook sweet potatoes. Drain and mash with mixer and add the following ingredients:

1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix together and put in baking dish.

Mix the following ingredients for topping:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Spoon topping on and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Another good recipe is Pecan Pie Muffins. They are delicious!
You bake these in the mini muffin pans.

Pecan Pie Muffins

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased mini-muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Go here to check out the step by step pictures. While you are there check out my recipe for Nuts and Bolts. They are good to enjoy while waiting on the turkey to get ready.

Cheese Balls are also good to munch on while waiting for the turkey.


2 - 8oz packages cream cheese
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 t. Worcestershire Sauce
1 t. lemon juice
finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine the cream cheese and the cheddar cheese. Add the Worcestershire Sauce and lemon juice. Mix well with fork.  Shape into a ball, then roll in finely chopped nuts of your choice. In the one below,  I shaped it like a pumpkin and added pretzel sticks and pepper slices for decoration.

Well, are you hungry yet?