Monday, December 17, 2012

Did Adam and Eve eat collards?

If Adam and Eve ate collards, did they eat them raw?

According to an article in http://Creation.comthe original dark green leafy vegetable was . . . you guessed it . . . collards (or maybe kale).

Quoting from the article:
 Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi and kale , some of the most nutritious of all, contain lots of minerals and vitamins, and antioxidants that greatly surpass the power of vitamins A, C and E—the antioxidants commonly available in vitamin pills. They also have substances that inhibit cancer cells.1 Clearly, vitamin pills cannot make up for the benefits of eating the real food that God created. Furthermore, you can eat ‘boatloads’ of these vegetables without getting fat—it sounds like many of us should be eating a lot more of them.

 (The author of this article states that collards and kale are of similar nutritional value and origin.)

 Raw? Yes, high quality tender young collards are delicious raw in salads and wraps. Also, collards marinated overnight are as tender as cooked greens.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Friends and fellow writers ask me how I put my books together.

After stuffing myself with traditional Thanksgiving delights, I took a walk and thought about the way I write.

When I work on a writing project, I allow it to absorb most of me. I’ve tried not to become so involved, but I don’t seem to be able. Books about writing suggest making charts of the characters and listing the plot in individual scenes. I’ve tried, but so far I haven’t mastered those skills.

Instead, I move into the fringes of whatever I’m writing. At the moment I’m working on The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, which is a historical romance set in south Mississippi in 1908. Most of the story is Loretta’s, and she’s telling it in first person. I’m not Loretta, but I’m there listening to her and writing down what she thinks or writes in her journal. I’m her scribe.

Making charts confuses me. The characters change from what I originally conceived them to be. The plot changes as the characters deal with situations.

At some stages of the process, I have trouble concentrating on television programs, other writers’ work, or the life around me. In the middle of the night, I think or dream of the story. I awaken in the morning with the novel on my mind. I rush around so I can get to work writing . . . or is it play? Some writers tell me they don’t want to read other people’s writing while they are in certain stages of the process because they don’t want to be influenced. For me the problem is different. When my mind is full of my story, I cannot find room in my brain for anyone else’s book. At such times I read only nonfiction.

Some of my friends who have been published gazillions of times are much more organized. They know exactly what they want to say and how they want to say it. They organize charts of the characters, outline the plot, write a rough draft, and rework it two or three times. VoilĂ  – a book is born.

I can’t work that way. Instead I write it and rewrite it. I take out, and I put back. I change the point of view. I look at the story through the eyes of different characters. In The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, as I said earlier, I’m Loretta’s scribe. Some days though I’m spending time with Chad to discover how he sees the events going on. After all, they are major concerns of his.

Once a week I bring two excerpts of the Loretta story to a critique group. While the critters crit my work, I crit theirs. The entire process is for me more play than work. It reminds me of sharing toys with cousins during childhood.

The process of going over my story countless times also reminds me of making furniture. I sanded and sanded and sanded until the wood was smooth. There was always a point at which too much sanding left the furniture rough because the soft sections of the wood became worn down. I have to look for that sweet spot in my writing where the project doesn’t suffer because I’ve rubbed out the smooth details that made it worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cabbage and Dark Greens

Leftover turkey giblet gravy – something to do with it
Ideas for turkey dinner leftovers are plentiful but what about leftover gravy?
Don’t throw it out. Use it as you’d use roux. Marvelous flavors will result from all those seasonings and drippings you cooked into your gravy. Take one little step to have delectable flavoring sauce. In greens? Yes!
—SautĂ© until tender:
1 stick celery, chopped fine
1 head cabbage, chopped fine
2 large onions, chopped fine
3 tablespoons olive oil
—Add and simmer covered until all the greens are tender:
1 cup water
1 pound frozen greens (mixed, turnip greens, mustard, collards)
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
—While the greens are cooking, liquefy in blender:
2 cups giblet gravy
—Lower the heat and add the gravy along with the final two ingredients:
1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes
1 packet (single serving artificial sweetener
—Adjust flavors to your own taste.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Secret Promise Reviewed by Paul Elliott, M. D.

Mary Lou Cheatham is wonderful, skillful author who is accomplished at threading compelling fictional stories with romantic interest through an accurate historical framework. Secret Promise, set in south Mississippi in 1907, is an excellent example. Secret Promise is an intriguing variation on the Cinderella theme. Mary Lou beautifully captures and energizes in the reader the range of feelings and politics of the days of prohibition, racial discord, and substandard schools in her home state at the turn of the Twentieth Century.

Hortense Clemons, the epitome of a wicked stepmother, has two goals: helping her daughters marry successful men and keeping plenty of moonshine available to treat her lumbago.

These are the days of prohibition, racial discord, and substandard schools. On the positive side, 1907 is in the middle of the era of innovation. Model T's and Coca Colas are new. Women are exchanging their hooped skirts and whalebone for a sleeker natural look. Senator Clemons works to improve conditions in Mississippi, while his daughter Caroline helps keep him in office.

Rage, pride, and unforgiveness overwhelm Jake. Who will help him find his way back to God? Will Caroline have enough courage to embrace life? Join her as she flees from her attackers. Follow her as she crosses racial barriers. Sit with her at the governor's table.

Come follow Caroline and Jake on romantic train rides, strolls under an umbrella in the rain, walks at night under gaslights. Cry with them, laugh with them. pray with them. See Caroline and Jake sit in a fringed topped surrey on a bridge on a secluded road. Does Cinderella marry the Prince? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Does the Secret Promise get in the way? You'll have to read Secret Promise to find out.

Secret Promise has the elements of historical fiction, a spine-tingling mystery, and the beauty of romance, yet the story moves with an urgency that compels the reader to beg for more.

Whether you prefer history, mystery, or romance you should read this book!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Follow the link below to a new video about Secret Promise, an inspirational romance staged in 1907 in the South. Secret Promise

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's Write Weekend, PPW's Exciting 2012 Conference

Frontiers in Writing, June 28-29, 2012, is 164 days away from today, January 16. I’m excited. And I’m grateful to the FiW 1012 Conference Committee:
Dr. Mike Bellah, Jim Gleason, Rory C. Keel, Phyliss Miranda, Barbara Propst, and Natalie Bright-Chair. Kenja Purkey, PPW President.

This year’s Friday night Keynote speaker is Jodi Thomas, New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist and RITA award winner. Another featured keynote speaker is John Erickson, best known as the author of Hank the Cowdog series of books, audio-books, and stage plays.

Other speakers are Arizona poet and writing instructor Harvey Stanbrough, former acquiring editor and ghostwriter Hilary Sares, and best selling author Candace Havens.

In addition to the above lineup, Panhandle Professional Writers will feature Jeff C. Campbell, former criminal investigator and author; Jim Gleason, Community Relations Manager at Barnes and Noble; Craig and Nancy Keel, both prize-winning authors; and Phyliss Mirando, an outstanding presenter, who is also a New York Times bestseller; Chris Steward, an attorney specializing in copyright issues; and Mary Lou Cheatham, author of story cookbooks, devotionals, and inspirational historic romances.

I’m going to enjoy this conference. I’m bringing plenty of pens and notebooks. Now let me tell you another reason I’m excited. Check the last name on that list. This is the first time I’ve spoken at a conference. And it’s a big fabulous conference. (I know it’s good – I enjoyed the 2011 FIW Conference.)

During the next 164 days, I will continue to prepare my fifty-five minute talk scheduled for Friday, June 28, 2012, about overcoming rejection. I am delighted to present “Reject Rejection” with my insights as a writer on the way up writers’ hill. Let's Write Weekend