Friday, December 24, 2010

BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books has a Christmas gift for all you Amazon Kindlers out there! Merry Christmas!

I'll leave you with this and will be enjoying family and friends and food and et cetera through the New Year:

BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books is doing a one-time Promotional for SWEETIE where you can download it for free on your Amazon Kindle. Their Christmas gift will last though January 1st and then it goes away, and they never do it twice for the same novel. So, if you have a Kindle, or receive one for Christmas, now's the time to get it free before it goes back to regular price. You can find it on Amazon Best-sellers/Kindle where they list the freebies and the paid ones together, and last I was told it was at Number 10 in freebies.

(Tender Graces and Secret Graces are not included in this promo - they did TG last year already!)

Love to you all and thank you for being such wonderful and supportive friends - you've been such a great community for me and I appreciate you all more than you could ever know. *Blowing You All A Kiss*


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Wishes - What you Pined for as a child . . .

Oh Christmas! It's almost here. Remember how when we were kids how long it took before Christmas arrived? Forever and ever and ever. Now, it seems to come round so quickly.

There was a time when I was a child when there wasn't much money at all. When I lived with my biomom in West Virginia, there was really no money - I don't remember christmas at all then. But when we moved to live with my adoptive mom and my bio dad, my adoptive mom always found a way to make Christmas wonderful, even when there was very little money. We didn't have stockings, but instead she'd fill paper lunch bags, with our names written in her beautiful penmanship, with whatever she could afford - many times fruit and nuts, and when times weren't as bad, candy, too. So, yes, it's true about that "All I got was an orange" thing - to some extent *laugh*

When I was a little girl, all I wanted was a doll. Seems a manageable request, but I didn't have one until I was an older little girl. My Maw Maw once came over and gave me a beautiful doll, but it was so fancy, I wasn't allowed to play with it - oh the torture! I'd sometimes dream I had a doll in my arms, only to awaken empty-armed and sad. All together now: AWWWWWW! *laugh* - well, eventually I did receive dolls and other toys, so all turned out well. I remember my first-ever Barbie when I was about in first grade - she came with a ski-outfit -ohhhhh!

Another present I wished for I never did receive: A horse - particularly either a Black Stallion, or a beautiful Bay, or maybe an Arabian - wish wish wish my little heart would WISH. Every Christmas I'd think, "maybe this year," but of course, it never happened. Not all dreams can come true. Not all wishes can be granted. And sometimes that is a good thing. Where would we have put our horse? As much as we moved, it just wasn't practical. And it is expensive and time-consuming: blah blah blah! All those reasons I know as an adult, but as a young girl I just didn't understand. I still pine for a horse, but now I am the Grown Up who must refuse myself my wish. All together now: AWWWWWW! *teeheehee*

So, what is a Christmas Wish you wished for as a child and DID receive, and what was a Christmas Wish you wished for as a child and NEVER have received?

Merry Christmas!

stallion pic
blood bay

Monday, December 20, 2010

Movies with Friends, Choc covered toffee, christmas trees on porches, and Critter tracks, et cetera

Our tree -on our porch

Hello Y'all. I had a wonderful weekend. I actually left the little log house Saturday and met friends to see two movies, back to back, with lunch in between--we went to Asheville where there is this "complex" that has restaurants, condos, shops, and the movie theater, so we could park and walk to everything. I'm so glad I crawled out of my cocoon and flew off with them.

We first saw BLACK SWAN- Oh, I did love this movie. I had not seen any of the trailers, so everything was a complete surprise for me. It was a darkly intense beautiful disturbingly engaging movie that left me exhausted at the ending, breathless- sort of that punched in the gut feeling, but in "this movie is GOOD" kind of way. Natalie Portman was powerful, fabulous! We (Charles, Frances, Christie, and I) had lunch, then stopped at the chocolate place for chocolate before the next movie. I bought two Ha-UGE pieces of chocolate covered toffee - I love love love toffee - and had them completely eaten before the next movie barely began - gluttony thy name is Kat! *laugh* - the next movie was TRON and though I didn't like it as much, it was visually appealing enough to keep me interested so that I wasn't bored, so much. The best part of that Saturday was Black Swan and my friends - and the chocolate toffee *teeheehee*

Sunday GMR, Not Quite Fat Dog & Psycho Cutie Girl, and I went for a long walk around/near Killian Knob in our cove and above area. One part of the walk, up on an old log trail, I took photos of all the critter tracks we saw. There were bear tracks (looked like mama and baby bear) but they were about melted away, and many many wild turkey tracks, and deer, and what looks like maybe a fox, and et cetera. I also captured some ice crystals on vegetation, and other beautiful cold mountain morning sites.

I am still in my "goofing off" phase that I promised myself for the entire time between Thanksgiving and Christmas -other than work I must must do - for example, our Rose & Thorn Journal will go live January 15, so Angie Gumbo Writer and I, along with our wonderful staff - visit our staff page, you may recognize some faces there - are working on the winter issue. The fall offerings will be sent to archives, so go by and give them a farewell. Also, sign up for our newsletter if you haven't already. We are also updating the facebook page. You can find us on twitter, too. And we have a Blog you can subscribe to.

So enjoy the photos below (you can click to make them larger). And tell me, what did you do over the weekend?

Friday, December 17, 2010

SnowMama, Sweetie Kindle Promo Soon, Kat Goofing Off . . .

My Snow Mama

Some of fave Christmas Movies, from post below:

It's a Wonderful Life
Christmas Story
Christmas List
Die Hard (Laughing! . . . GMR makes fun of me about this one)
Charlie Brown Christmas
The Ref
Christmas Wife

and there are more - those just come to mind.

My posts lately have been a bit scattered and on the "lite not sayin' much" side, but after the holidays I will go back to my schedule of regular ole posting (mostly :-D ). I just made up  my mind that this holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Years Day, I would goof off some; spend some time fiddle dee deeing; spend time with GMR; walk among the cove here at Killian Knob; watch sappy holiday tv/movie specials; do not much a nuttin'. So, I'm honoring that made up mindedness and actually Doing It.

I hope you'll scroll down to the post below and visit the links or tell me what your fave christmas special is- (I'm not sure if the Swag Bag give away by Best Damn Creative Writing Blog is still going on, but Sweetie is in the swag bags. Also, there was Moonshine and Santy Claus(e) story that's all in fun!)

Oh, and Bellebooks/Bell Bridge Books (my publishers) emailed some of its authors yesterday to let us know they have decided to do some kind of Special Kindle Promo, including only SWEETIE and not the other two titles, some time around Christmas - I am not sure if it begins right before Christmas or right after, but if you have a Kindle or are/may be receiving one, you may want to check it out - they may be offering it at a huge discount, or even a freebie, for a limited time (10 days I think?). When I find out more, I'll let you all know!

What's up for y'alls weekend? I'll come a-visiting today through the weekend - see y'all later!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BDCWB Sweetie Give-Away; Moonshine & Santy; music and movies and cold cold cold!

Hi Y'all!

I've been having a good time watching Christmas Specials and doing things around the little log house. It's collllld here and we've been having this artic blast for long enough that I'm feeling a little bit cabin fever. Yesterday I woke up to 1 degrees; this morning 5 degrees. It's now a balmy 8. Lawd! Not even winter yet! We've broken or near-broken a few records here.

Are you staying warm I hope?

I have a few links today.

First, Best Damn Creative Writing Blog ever re-posted the Sweetie Review and along with it a Swag bag give-away. From their blog/review site: 3 AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF SWEETIE ARE GOING INTO OUR BDCWB HOLIDAY SWAG BAGS! BE SURE TO ENTER EACH DAY FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN

Then, it's that time a year again where I post a link to the little story  Moonshine & Santy Claus(e) - Vagabondage Press/Battered Suitcase published it a few Christmases ago; thank you VP/BS!

And I wanted to embed this You Tube but it wouldn't let me, but I think this part in ELF movie is so cute; Click Here to watch/listen. I really thought I wasn't going to like this movie, but it's sweet and warm feeling after all.

Right now I'm listening to the cd that we all associate with "Charlie Brown Christmas" by Vince Guaraldi.

Psycho Cute Dog and Not Quite Fat Dog are snuggled in their beds. I'm still in my jammies. The cove is quiet. All my Christmas shopping is done.

And, I finally found Christmas List on TV - it came on at 7AM this morning. Why oh why won't they release this DVD? It's one of my favorites . . .

What's one, or some, of your favorite Christmas movies/shows?

(bird photos were taken from my living room window)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Random Photos, Random Videos . . .

Well, folks - its 11 degrees, snow and ice on the ground, and more snow coming. Wind chills below zero. Wind gusts expected up to 40 mph. It's lightly snowing again now. I'm all snuggled in. Enjoy the photos and video! I've decided I'm going to take another day of watching Christmas Specials. Later, y'all!

My Walk in the cove before the "snow storm" came yesterday. Some of the photos are where I took my camera and put it inside a hole in a tree trunk to see what was inside -in one, you can barely see a nest! There is a shot of the only blooming flower I saw. And others of ice, bark, Not Quite Fat Dog's back full of fuzz, and et cetera. To see it larger, just click on it.

From my porch yesterday:

This made me laugh!

And this is kind of cute, but a bit . . . strange . . . and slightly gross at times (cat's where food goes -ewwwww!~ *laugh*)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Random Photos of Ice While in the Woods & Pumpkin Bread Morning & Toys for Tots!

I took a walk in the woods along the creek yesterday morning. The temps were in the 20's and it seemed rather nice--when compared to the teens and single digits we've had! Little Cutie Psycho Girl and Not Quite Fat Dog were with me, sniffing away. I snapped photos of "ice sculptures" and roots of trees, mostly. Click on individual photos to make larger if you like.

look at the bent over trees -they're not dead but alive -nature finds a way

trunk looks like it has legs and walking across the forest floor :)

Ah, this is a secret sacred place I won't tell anyone where it is and only a few may know if it. It made it into the Sweetie Novel.

These are of my pumpkin bread morning (from post below). Ah, it turned out lovely. In the recipe, I added pecans, and I also added orange zest, just a touch of lemon zest, and used orange juice in place of the water, and I also added more spices--used fresh nutmeg, and a little cloves and a teeny bit of allspice. This recipe is well-loved and well-used, for years I've had it and it always turns out delicious. I made two batches, and this year I put some Kentucky honey bourbon in one of the batches - ohhhhhh! Thank you to dear Kimmi, author of Unbreakable Child, for that lovely smooth sweet bourbon from her state.

The numbers/letters are worn from this stove already! It's only about 5ish years old! The other side is worse *laugh*

Add caption

Yesterday I did the Toys for Tots drive, mailed some packages, and did a little last minute christmas shopping for GMR (shhhhhh!). We just do a few little things for each other and that makes it more fun.

I hope you will remember those in need, especially at Christmas time. If you know of a family in need (and sometimes they are too proud to ask), then reach out to them, or maybe there's a charity in your area that you trust. Toys for Tots is one of my favorites. I'd planned on picking up only a couple of toys, but by time I went to the cash register, well, there were more than a couple in my basket *laughing* -- I had dolls, and trucks, and a musical book, and Play Doh, and games, and a thing that makes art from clay, and I bought an Easy Bake Oven because I never had one so some girl or boy will -teeheehee, and, . . . well, I felt like a big ole kid, I did. Only about twoish weeks until Christmas - can you believe it?

Y'all are the best - thank you for all your comments and support-my Blog Friends are WONDERFUL!

Today, I am going to listen to Christmas music while tidying up the little log house. What's your day look like?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dogs in Clothes, Danged Cold, and Pumpkin Bread (& Bobby Flay's Throwdown Pumpkin Bread Pudding)

It's 7 degrees out there; well, I think it's soared up to 9 degrees. Lawd! Unseasonably cold. I usually am pretty tough and will go out to walk the dogs in all kinds of weather, but this morning, I declined . . . because, just because!

GMR is taking Maggie and Jake (Psycho Dog and Fat Boy) to Lake Junaluska. Lawd! I broke a rule - I never dress my animals in clothes, but this morning we actually put one of GMR's sweatshirts on Jake; and one of my fleece jackets on Maggie. Laughing! But, when the temps are in the teens or below, and when wind chills are lower, drastic measures are called for. GMR had to bundle up, too, in layers. But Maggie Psycho Cutie is about to go nuts with cabin fever, the shorter walks around the cove are not enough for her. Oh the sacrifices we make for our animals - or should I say the sacrifices GMR is making, since he's taking them and I'm here in the little log house: teeheehee.

Instead, I'm going to turn on some Christmas music and bake some pumpkin bread, and maybe do some online Christmas Window Shopping . . . too cold to go Real Store Window Shopping. Lawd!

Soon the little log house in the cove will fill with the sounds of Christmas music and the aroma of spice. Ahhhhhhhh!

Then, I will settle in front of the fire to work on Rose & Thorn - our new issue is out January 15.

Soon, I will have to really sequester myself to work on VK III - do you know I'm getting mail from readers asking me not to stop writing about Virginia Kate? To stop saying "the final Graces book" ...? Makes me smile, but, dang, far as I know this is the final Graces book. Of course, I guess I can't predict if something else will happen in the future with VK writings - just don't know.

What's happening in your world? What are you up to today? And did you put down your Christmas wishes in the post below? I'm having so much fun reading those :-D

Okay, time to put on the Christmas Music, and to gather my ingredients for Pumpkin Bread.

Oh! And for those of you who like Bread Pudding (which I admit I do not), GMR is going to prepare Bobby Flay's "Pumpkin Bread Bread Pudding" out of some of the bread I make . . . I found the recipe on someone's blog out there in blogland, so click up there, or find it on Food Network.

The Blogger's pumpkin bread recipe is a bit different from mine, but you can find all kinds of recipes for pumpkin bread. In my recipe it calls for water, I use orange juice instead of water, and I put in lemon and orange zest and I add walnuts or pecans to mine.... no raisins since GMR hates them.

My recipe doesn't call for butter, either, as hers does, but instead oil. Whatever recipe you use, it'll taste good!

Y'all have a great day  . . . Happy Day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

If you could have anything for christmas . . . bend time, fold space . . . eat cheesecake for a week

 Today I have a question:

If you could have anything you wanted for Christmas, what would it be?

I mean, if space, time, money, good sense (laugh!), age, reality, et cetera, were not an issue, what would you want? Like "I'd want the planet Saturn in my living room!" or "I want George Clooney for just one hour - ONE measly hour is all I ask!" (teehee), or "The teddy bear I had as a child that was missing one eye and had the fur loved off - I can't find it anywhere and it means the world to me - wish I had it back (I really do)." Or, "To be able to eat as much cheesecake as I want for an entire week and not have any side effects, like weight gain or sugar coma." or "I want a new car/new wardrobe/new shoes/newshirt." Or "I just want a good christmas for my kids - I just need enough money to make it through until I find a job - I just want my mom/dad/sis/brother/friend to be okay . . ." or, I just want my stuff published/my book to be a best seller/my poetry/art/music to be appreciated . . ." -- Et Cetera!

What is your desire? Nothing is too frivolous and nothing too grand.

I could say I want my book(s) to be reviewed favorably by the New York Times and become a NYT bestseller - but really, right now, what I honestly would love is where I was last year at this time:

This is what I want . . . me, my son, lil boop last year at Christmas
But, since I said we could be frivolous - I'd also love to have lunch with Steve Martin and talk about writing and art. Or, be on the Oprah or Ellen show wearing a boa and black boots. Or, ride on Saturn's rings until I SEE - and what I SEE I can't know now because I'm not on Saturn's rings. There's so much more, but I could do this all day. Oh! To be able to be "magical" like they are on Christmas Specials and do something(s) wonderful for someone(s)!


Earlier in the year I'd wanted to do a writer's calendar and some of you sent me photos. It was part of a "challenge" I had - a contest Angie Gumbo Writer and I were doing. I'd said I'd do any challenge as long as I could take it to fruition, etc etc (that's how the Nekkid Book Reading came about, and Titus won the contest for that suggestion!). I want to let you writers know that I didn't just toss your photos and forget it, but, I never received twelve photos, and then time ran away from me and the idea never came to fruition. However, I am going to re-visit this - I think it'll be a fun idea to have a "Writer's Calendar" - or maybe a "blogger's calendar" or some kind of calendar--the idea was to make it to where any proceeds went to charity, and from there it all was just ideas. So, I'd like to keep this in mind-just wanted to post about it before I forgot again!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Knit skulls, streetlit nights, and You, and Me and a bunch of ground corn

I want to thank you all for your comments below – you are all lovely and beautiful, and to Anonymous: I hope you will please please reach out if things become dark again; if nothing else there is an entire blog community who cares, okay; and not a fake care, but a real Human Care—a loving sincere care; okay? All, thank you sincerely and kindly and with love—your comments of love and loss and tragedy tore into me—we are all of One more than we often realize.

Humans have a need to find the why’s when sometimes there simply isn’t an answer to the why; but when we don’t find that answer, we think we can’t find peace—finding peace has to come from within us, not from without, for if we look for the peace from without we may have to continue searching searching to no ending. Find your peace and then let it settle in—it's a letting go and a holding onto balance.

Now . . .

The two photos you see are the ONLY photos I took while in Texas. Um, er . . . okay, Kat, you didn’t take ANY photos of humans? Only the scene outside your mom’s house while you were looking out the window, and the skull of a deer your uncle has had in his shop for fifty years? OOOOO-Kaaaayyy. Teehee. But both of these images compelled and called to me. Look at the lit-night scene—what does it bring to your imagination and thoughts and innards?

And as for the skull: look at the intricate and beautiful knitting of the skull. This is art. This is beauty. This is magical! Why is it knit like this? (& some science/medical person may know the answer). I couldn’t quit studying it. Off where you cannot see is my mom and my uncle, and me, and we of course are not in the photo. Sometimes I am bad about not taking photos of people and only of things. dang.

I want to tell you all about grinding the corn. The corn was my uncle’s who lives in Arkansas. These are my adoptive family. I can’t tell you how much I hugged my adoptive mother while in Texas. Without her, I do not know what would have happened to my brothers and to me. I’ve been with her since I was about 3 and a half. She is Mother. My mom. She’s the best. HERE’S TO ADOPTIVE MOTHERS/PARENTS!

She grows corn herself, and herbs, tomatoes, squash, peppers, beans—and more—in her beautiful back yard. We had a big bag of corn from the farm and an old-fashioned grinder. I’d pour a bit of corn into the receptacle, balance my self on the table to keep it steady, and then with the other hand/arm I turned the crank, over and over and over until it was ground—then I’d do it again, and again and again, until all the corn we needed, plus a bit more, was ground.

I ground that corn by hand and while doing so, I thought how difficult life used to be, and still is, on farms and old homesteads and before “modernizations,” but how those doing the living didn’t perceive things as “difficult” necessarily, but only as living their lives; it was and is their Normal, just as we live our Normal.

It took us a couple of hours to get the corn completely ground, to sift it, and then to grind the courser parts and sift that. Every time I looked into the bowl of ground corn, I felt a sense of satisfaction of a job well-done, of how good that danged cornbread was going to taste. And taste good it did. It tasted like Farm, like Work, like Sweat, like Old Times, like my granny. The cornbread dressing I made from it was a masterpiece of our work, especially after I added in the fresh herbs Mom grows.

I wished for more time with Mom. The older I become, the more I want to learn from her—her canning, her garden, her knowledge she gained from her own mother growing up on that farm.

We run from our mothers only to find that we’ve gone in a circle to meet them again.

Lastly . . .

I was emailed that The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog did a great review of Sweetie—you all know how I don’t look for reviews or my rankings/reviews on Amazon, so I have to be told if someone sees a good one. And Asheville Citizen Times put Sweetie on their list of “What Books are Good as Gifts?”! They wrote: “The strong, “quare” voice and supernatural elements also infuse Kathryn Magendie's novel, “Sweetie,” in which a bullied schoolgirl finds a friend in a wild spirit.” So far, I’m hearing good things about Sweetie. Like at Missy’s Book Nook where my publicist sent me the link to her review of Sweetie. And! Angie at Gumbo Writer is doing a great contest for Sweetie giveaways and some other gifts!