I Was a Beekeeper for a Day!

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Last July, I spent a week in New York attending a writer’s retreat and a horror writer’s conference. While I was hanging out, author, friend, and beekeeper Patrick Freivald showed a few of us around his beehives.

I’ll admit it was scary at first. We donned our beekeeper’s suits and veils, but the sound of bees buzzing right by my face made me nervous. I practiced deep breathing until I realized that the bees weren’t the least bit interested in me. They were busy with their honey.

We were only there for about an hour, but I learned so much! Honey is heavy. Bees are fascinating. Harvesting honey is much harder and hotter work than I ever could have imagined, and I have a new respect for beekeepers.

If you’d like some of Patrick’s delicious honey, you can buy some from Frog’s Point Honey. I thought I appreciated it before, but seeing the love and effort that goes into it, from human and bee, makes it that much sweeter.

 

Hey! I’m in the Las Vegas Seven!

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I never thought I’d see my name on the cover of a Vegas magazine, but this dream has come true. And it is AWESOME. Las Vegas Seven has included me on its list of Intriguing People of 2017, and that’s just cool.

If you’re in Vegas, you can find free copies of the Las Vegas Seven pretty much anywhere. It’s in grocery stores, hotels, etc. If you’d rather read the online version, you can do so here.  If you want to shoot directly to my interview, that’s here.

Easy 90 Minute Bread Recipe

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Easy? YES. Can anyone make it? YES. Do you have to be a baker in order to whip it up? Absolutely not. This is a quick, easy recipe that makes gorgeous round bread with only a mixer and a cookie sheet, cast iron pan, or pizza stone.

I originally came across this recipe here, and they have beautiful pictures of the bread. Please stop by and see what you think!

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I usually do half wheat and half white flour, and it turns out beautifully. You will need:

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of warm water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2¼ tsp active-dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 4 cups=bread flour (I do 2 cups of white and 2 cups of wheat)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  1. Put warm water (warm enough that it gives your hand a little sting), honey and yeast in your mixing bowl. Stir until the honey dissolves and then let it feed the yeast for about five minutes. Then add flour, the coconut oil (or melted butter, if you’d prefer), and salt.  Knead for ten minutes on low using a dough hook (or with your hands if you don’t have a mixer. No big deal!), then cover the dough with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Flour a flat surface and put your dough on it. Knead it a few times by hand, shape it into a ball, and cover it with the towel to rise again for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone or a cast iron pan, put them in the oven and let them preheat inside.
  4. After the dough rises for the second 30 minutes, put it directly on the pizza stone, cast iron skillet, or cookie sheet. Cut two slits in top for steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees for the stone or cookie sheet, and 35 minutes if you’re using a skillet. After you pull it from the oven, run some butter over the top to keep it soft.

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This is wonderful with my Easy Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe or my Easy Zuppa Toscana Recipe. (See a theme here? If it isn’t easy, I’m not making it.) I hope you enjoy!

I’ll Be Speaking at the LVWG on Thursday!

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I love speaking at the Las Vegas Writers Group meetings. They’re a lot of fun and I actually met my writer’s group, the Illiterati, at the LVWG. Please join us on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00. We’ll be talking about critique groups. We’ll discuss the pros and cons, how to give and receive feedback, and answer any questions you may have. The LVWG is friendly to novice and veteran writers alike. Please join us! I’ll also be selling and signing books afterward. It’s five dollars to attend, and you can either RSVP here or simply walk in. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Tap House

5589 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 

The popular Mercedes Murdock Yardley is returning this month to give us her take on joining and using critique groups. (Hint — she’s in favor of them.) Last time Mercedes presented her talk was very well received, and she has been invited back virtually by popular demand.

Here is Mercedes writing about herself:

Hi. I’m Mercedes. I have two broken laptops, three kids, a husband and no time to write, although I try my very best. I like to write stories. I like to write poems. I like to write essays and sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they aren’t. I’m the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the “serial killers in love” novella  Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, the BONE ANGEL trilogy, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, and the Bram Stoker Award winner Little Dead Red. I specialize in the dark and beautiful.

We meet in the non-smoking meeting room. Door opens at six, meeting starts at 7. Come early to order a bite to eat and network with fellow Las Vegas writers! New members at any stage of their writing career are always welcome!
It costs just $5 at the door! Come early to meet old and new friends and sample some fine Tap House food!

Miss Murder’s Easy Zuppa Toscana Recipe

I know. “Easy” and “Zuppa Toscana” don’t seem like they should go hand-in-hand, but they do. This is our weekly Sunday dinner because it’s delicious, simple to throw into the crockpot, and nourishes the soul as well as the belly.

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Ingredients

1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage

4-6 potatoes, chopped (I prefer golden for the mellow flavor)

1 chopped onion

2 TBLS minced garlic

1/2 pound bacon

32 oz chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup kale

3 TBLS flour

Brown sausage. Cook and chop bacon. Add sausage, bacon, chopped potatoes, garlic, broth, and onion to crockpot. Add water to cover vegetables, then cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 5-6 hours or until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes serving, mix flour and heavy cream together until smooth. Add cream mixture and kale to the crockpot, stir, and let cook for 30 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

I hope you enjoy one of our favorite recipes! This is amazing with bread, breadsticks, or rolls, and it’s easier than you’d think. Have a wonderful day!

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The Inaugural Issue of Gamut is Live!

I can’t believe it! This has been a long time coming. Gamut magazine is now live!

If you have a subscription to Gamut, feel free to log in and read the wonderful first issue. It’s simply beautiful.

If you bought ebook format, you should have already received those.

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And if you’re simply curious to see what we have to offer, come check out the sample stories on our site. Might I suggest you start with the very first story submitted, chosen, and published, Love Story, an Exorcism by Michelle E. Goldsmith.The art was created by Luke Spooner.

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