March Writing Progress

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As I was working on a draft of one of my books yesterday, I realized that I had not give my monthly report on my writing progress.  My apologies for tardiness!

I received excellent feedback from a fellow blogger on my novel Evil Lives After –thank you!  I finished the 9th draft, and I am now currently working on smaller revisions for the 10th draft, which I hope will be done this month. Then I have to decide–do I keep trying to get an agent for it, or do I self-publish? I am leaning now towards self-publishing this book.

I am continuing timely progress with book 2 in my YA series. I expected to have about 100 pages written by the end of March, and I am exactly on target.  With this rate,  I will complete the first draft by the end of June.  It will also keep me on my target goal of drafting two first drafts every year.  I know that these are not finished works, but without something down on paper, there is nothing to correct.  Also, I have so many novels and a few nonfiction books patiently, or not-so-patiently, waiting in line to be composed that I must continue this pace.

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Book One of this series is now the novel that I will begin to pitch to agents.  I think I have a much better chance of finding an agent for this piece than the horror novel.  I will work on both my query letter and a pitch to give at the Writers Digest 2016 conference in Manhattan this summer. As always, I am excited about going to this conference.

That is all for now…will do another update in one month or so!

 

 

February Progress

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With February having come to an end, I want to give a monthly progress report on my writing efforts. It was a very busy month for me with a full load of classes, so there was a great deal of teaching, planning, and grading.

My writing, however, is keeping on course. I have reached page 80 on the first draft of the second book of my young adult series, which means I should be able to complete the initial draft by the end of June. I am also progressing on revisions. I am close to finishing the 9th draft of my horror novel Evil Lives After, and I will then begin revisions on the 4th draft of the first book of my Young Adult series.

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I have also made several more submissions of Evil Lives After.

I will post an update in about one month.

 

 

Sam’s Chicken Paprikash

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It has been a while since I have talked about the characters from my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1. Sam Sadlowski is one of three founding members of the IPS, the Investigative Paranormal Society, a ghost and supernatural investigation group, that is central to my book.

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Sam is a retired homicide detective and an avid cook.  But he doesn’t do any of “that high-class stuff served on a plate too large and a portion too small,” as he would say. A proud descendant of Polish and Hungarians, he loved the peasant food he grew up with. He loves hearty food and plenty of it.

One of his favorite foods was a meal his mother made often when he was growing up.  Here is his version of Chicken Paprikash:

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(Photo By Liz French, 2016)

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken, either breast or thighs

2 green bell peppers

2 large onions

1 pound button mushrooms

1 can crushed tomatoes

paprika — regular or hot depending on the level of desired heat

fresh ground black pepper

garlic

pinch of salt (optional)

sour cream

either dumplings or wide noodles

To prepare:

Use a large dutch oven, preferably of cast iron.

Boil the chicken for a few minutes to begin the cooking process, then transfer to the dutch oven that has a hot layer of cooking oil in it that has been heavily coated with paprika, so that the oil looks red.  Be sure to pat the chicken dry first with a paper towel to avoid oil splattering.

While the chicken is searing, on both sides, chop the peppers and onions. Clean the mushrooms with cold water and a paper towel.

After the chicken is seared, turn the heat to low or simmer.

Add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Add the seasoning.

Add the crushed tomatoes.

Add two-four tablespoons sour cream, and mix completely.

Let simmer in the dutch oven for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cook the noodles or dumplings.

To Serve:

Serve over noodles or dumplings in a large bowl.

Slick thick pieces of good bread to place on the side.

Sam prefers to drink Hungarian red wine: egri bikaver, which translates loosely as “bull’s blood” with the meal.

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If you enjoy hearty meals, give this a try. You will probably enjoy Sam’s recipe.

 

 

 

Writing Update

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It has been a while since I have posted my writing progress, so I want to give an update on what I have been doing. I posted a while ago that I want to write a first draft of a novel every six months or so, and I am on target with that goal. I hope that the first draft I am currently writing will be between 200-250 pages, and I currently have about 40 pages written.  At the pace I am going, I should have it complete in June.  This is book two in my YA series.

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I am also very busy working on revisions of my horror novel Evil Lives After and the first book in the YA series. In both cases these revisions are minor. I believe both books are ready for submissions; I will see what kind of results I get.  In the case of the YA, I have been getting excellent feedback and reaction from readers. I have also received excellent advice on the horror novel, and I have cut some and rearranged chapter order, so I believe it moves along much faster and better than before.

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On the academic writing front, I am working on revising an article on Gothic literature as well as conducing research for a book on an obscure Irish playwright, Seamus Byrne. I hope to send the article out again soon, and I will work on drafting a chapter of the book in the summer.

I will give an update every month or so on my progress.

 

 

 

 

My Current Writing Progress

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It has been a while since I have updated my writing progress, so I decided this would be a good time to do so. I just finished the first draft of a horror novel about a werewolf.  It is clearly a misshapen skeleton of a book at this point, but at least, it is done and can be developed and edited later. As indicated in my previous post, without words down on paper, there is nothing than can be revised.

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My writing goals for the first half of 2016 follow. First, I will revise my horror novel Evil Lives After, which would be its 9th draft and to continue submitting it to agents and publishers. If I have no success, I will then plan on self-publishing this book.  I believe it is time. Next I will revise the first book of my YA series and also submit it to agents.  I am not sure if submitting two books is recommended or not, but I am following my own plan of action.  We will see what happens. Finally, but definitely not least, I will write the first draft of the second novel of my YA series.

As long as I maintain the pace I have been keeping over the last few years, I should be able to accomplish these goals.  We will see at the end of June if I have reached the destination.

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