Happy New Year!!!

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HappyNewYear2018

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I want to wish everyone a happy, safe, joyous, and successful New Year! I wish peace, safety, and comfort to those who need it in the world. I wish courage to those who will face difficult challenges in their lives. I wish love and friendship to all.

I wish writers the discipline to keep writing and remember, do not worry about the quality of the first draft, just get it down! Happy Writing!

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One Lovely Blog Award

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I have been nominated for this award by One Tough Mama at https://whathasbecomeofparenting.wordpress.com .  Thank you very much for this honor, and I apologize for taking so long to get to it.

The Rules:

*Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.

*List the rules.

*Display  the image of the award on your post.

*List seven facts about yourself.

*Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

Seven Facts About Me:

I am a writer of speculative fiction.

My first novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I will be released in mid to late September.

I am a professor of English Literature.

I drink coffee from morning when I wake up until evening before I go to sleep–it has no effect on my sleeping.

My favorite junk food is hot dogs. I have loved them ever since I was a little kid, and my favorite toppings are either chili, mustard, and onions, or ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, and a pickle.

One of my favorite books, and movies, is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings.

My favorite beer is Guinness.

My Nominees:

Karina Pinella at Karina Pinella Writing the Wrong, Right, and Rediculous  https://karinapinella.com

Mitch Teemley at Mitch Teemley The Power of Story  https://mitchteemley.com

Karen Dowdall at Midnight in the Garden https://karendowdall.com/

Spearfruit at spearfruit…it’s my life  https://spearfruit.com

Tony Burgess at The Tony Burgess Blog  https://tonyburgess1969.net

Jennie Fitzkee at A Teacher’s Reflections https://jenniefitzkee.com/

Yinglan at This Is Another Story  https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com

Tadhg at Ask A Teenage Aspie https://askateenageaspie.wordpress.com

Sarah Higbee at Brainfluff  https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com

Nic Schuck at   Nic Schuck    https://nicschuck.wordpress.com/about/

Rapaela at Hummingbird Redemption https://hummingbirdredemption.com

M.C. Tuggle at M.C.Tuggle Writer  https://mctuggle.com

Annette Rochelle Aban at Annette Rochelle Aban  https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Mary Cathleen Clark at Southern Highways And Byways  https://marycathleenclark.com/

 

Once again, thank you to One Tough Mama at https://whathasbecomeofparenting.wordpress.com

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Meet and Greet Weekend @ Dream Big: 2/26/16

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Dream Big Dream Often is hosting a Meet and Greet party! Stop by to introduce yourself and discover other bloggers.

Dream Big, Dream Often

always dream big orlando espinosa credit: orlandoespinosa.com

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!!  I cannot believe it is almost March, but as we all know time keeps marching on…pun intended!  lol

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet n Greet…

View original post 7 more words

Blogger Appreciation Award: II

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I want to continue to send out thanks and appreciation to bloggers I have found through WordPress and to show support to them.  I cannot list or mention everyone I want to honor, so I will do it in various posts–the order of the posts themselves does not indicate any kind of hierarchy of importance or liking, more of my inherent disorganization.

There are many wonderful people who write here and who offer positive contributions to the world through their blogging. This is simply a small indication of appreciation to them.

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The Rules of the Award:

The rules are simple.

(1) Thank the blogger who nominated you, link back to their site.

(2) Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.

(3) Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.

(4) Use the award image.

My nominees: (If you have not visited these blogs, please make a trip to them.)

C. M. Blackwood https://cmblackwood.wordpress.com

KC Redding-Gonzalez https://zombiesalmonthehorrorcontinues.wordpress.com

Esther Newton https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com

Herminia Chow https://aspiringwriter22.wordpress.com

Cathleen Townsend http://cathleentownsend.com

Russell J. Fellows http://russelljfellows.com/

Khaya Ronkainen http://www.khayaronkainen.com

Zach Chopchinski http://zachchop.com

Linda http://fabulousfaresisters.com

Nurse Kelly http://nursekellyknows.com

R.S. Gullett https://rsgullett.wordpress.com/

Lea https://foundinfrance.wordpress.com

There are many more bloggers who deserve to be mentioned, so I will post another Blogger Appreciation Award in the not too distant future.

Again, thank you for all you do!

 

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.

 

 

 

Blogger Appreciation Award

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I have received numerous blogger awards, and I appreciate all of them.  I thought, though, it was time I created one to show my appreciation for the wonderful bloggers I have met.

The Rules of the Award:

The rules are simple.

(1) Thank the blogger who nominated you, link back to their site.

(2) Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.

(3) Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.

(4) Use the award image.

My nominees: (If you have not visited these blogs, please make a trip to them.)

Doc Susszues-zen http://docsuesszueszen.com

Tricia http://neverlessthan.com/

Tadhg https://askateenageaspie.wordpress.com

Laine Anne Jensen http://frommidnighttodawnlight.com/

Cindy Knoke http://cindyknoke.com

https://itsgoodtobecrazysometimes.wordpress.com

https://anotsojadedlife.wordpress.com

Laura https://todaysdose.wordpress.com

Jennie http://jenniefitzkee.com/

Michelle Saul https://mythoughtsonwritingandreading.wordpress.com

Mitch Teemley http://mitchteemley.com

Yinglan https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com

Sarah Vernon https://firstnighthistory.wordpress.com

Kelly Miles https://authorkellymiles.com

https://usabaker.wordpress.com

Karina Pinella http://karinapinella.com

Kate M. Colby http://katemcolby.com/

https://contemporaneousquixotic.wordpress.com

About Me

Arohii https://zhwadevivre.wordpress.com/

Mitch Goldfarb https://mitchgoldfarbblog.wordpress.com

Marc Alexander Valle https://mavtheauthor.wordpress.com

There are many more bloggers who deserve to be mentioned, so I will post another Blogger Appreciation Award in the not too distant future.

Spirit Animal Blog Award (2)

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I have been remiss in responding to award nominations, so I thought I would take this chance to begin to fix this situation. I am honored to have been nominated again for  this award.  Any time a blogger receives recognition from another blogger is important.  I thank Roo from https://roosruse.wordpress.com for this honor.  If you have not seen her blog, please visit it.

Spirit Animal Blog Award Acceptance Rules:

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to their page.

2.) Post the award picture on your blog.

3.) Write a short paragraph about yourself and what your blog means to you.

4.) If you could be any animal, what would it be?

5.) Pick and notify ten nominees.

About me:

I am a writer and teacher, and I try to share my thoughts and experiences about both aspects of myself here.  I hope that what I write is both informing and entertaining.  I have found this blog to be a way not only to express myself but also to meet a wide variety of good and fascinating people.

My Spirit Animal:

I am going to take this opportunity to choose a second spirit animal. In the first award, I chose a wolf; this time I will choose the bald eagle.  I feel a great affinity for both animals.  This time I would like to identify with the beautiful birds that fly in the skies and view the world from a very different perspective.

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My Nominees:

scrapy do 2 https://scrapydo2.wordpress.com

R. S. Gullett https://rsgullett.wordpress.com/

Monica https://lookaround99.wordpress.com

Jennie http://jenniefitzkee.com/

Pascale http://lessonsfrommydaughter.me

Dr. Suesszues-Zen  http://docsuesszueszen.com

Molly http://goddesspriestess.com

Susanna J. Sturgis http://squattersspeakeasy.com/

Laura https://todaysdose.wordpress.com/

Linda http://fabulousfaresisters.com/

Once again, thank you to Roo from https://roosruse.wordpress.com

Dining With Characters: Part 4

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John Trumball

I chose this painting for the mood of calm it suggests, perhaps after a storm.  It seems like an ideal piece to suggest that redemption is possible.

For this particular culinary and fictional interlude, I want to speak with a few characters who have achieved redemption at the end of the work in which they appear: Ebeneezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Leontes from William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Larry Underwood from Stephen King’s The Stand. Some characters are heroic from the beginning of the story through to the end, but some, if not the complete antagonist of the tale, are deeply flawed. In the cases of these three characters they are all deeply damaged, if not morally defective when we see them much earlier in their respective works.

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https://commons.wikipedia.org

I thought given the nature of these men, an afternoon of a few glasses of ale might be the perfect way to discuss what they have learned or how they came to an understanding of what they needed to change in their lives. Scrooge, of course, had to learn not to focus his life on the acquisition and hoarding of material goods, that people and their welfare should be his concern.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leontes

Leontes, in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, allows baseless and unprovoked jealousy to overtake him, and he becomes a vicious tyrant who casts out his loving wife and infant daughter.  He also loses his son to death as a consequence of his terrible actions. It is only at the end of the play when he sees a “statue” of his wife Hermione come to life that he is able to understand the enormous errors he has made and their horrible consequences.  He has to face knowing that his actions cause deep and almost unimaginable pain to other people.  At the end of the play, he is a changed man, one who seemingly has grown as a result of his wife’s extraordinary act of mercy.  His redemption can come only through the forgiveness of another.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stand

At the beginning of Stephen King’s epic The Stand, Larry Underwood is a dissolute rock and roll emerging star, who has fallen prey to temptation, drugs, and a very dangerous crowd. He comes back east to visit his mother just in time for the outbreak of Captain Trips. If you have not read this book, I will go no further with the plot, but I do recommend it highly.  King acknowledged that this book was his homage to Lord Of The Rings, and the same level of epic sweep and individual morality and action occurs here.  For Larry Underwood, his most powerful moment is that of personal sacrifice.

As a writer, a reader, and a teacher, I am very interested in how characters change within the arc of a story.  I would want to ask these three how it felt to achieve their most powerful changes at or near the climax of the pieces.

Favorite Christmas Movies: Part 2

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White Christmas, the 1954 film about two former soldier who turn song and dance men and who help their former commander as he attempts to run a floundering ski resort, has special meaning to me. It stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney and was directed by Michael Curtiz. It features the songs of Irving Berlin.  As a major piece of American film history, that would be enough to be of interest to me, but it has a much more profound connection.

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My parents were both of “the greatest generation,” which is a description with which I agree. They were born and raised during the depression and were part of the multitudes of America who fought and supported World War II. My father was a Marine, and my mother worked in the Signal Corps.  This group of Americans had a toughness that was forged in the fire of great tumult, both national and international.

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 My mother loved this movie, and it was a tradition in our family to watch it when it aired on television, which was, if I remember correctly, every Christmas Eve. If not that night, then it was always on a nearby night. Of course, as a child who was born a while after World War II, it was all ancient history to me then, but for my mother and father, it spoke directly to their lives and to their hopes and dreams.

Both of my parents have been gone for quite a while now, about 20 years–they were married for 48 years and died within 2 years of each other. As I have become older, I have learned to appreciate what my parents did for us, which, I have to admit, when I was young and stupid, I did not. To paraphrase Mark Twain, –it is amazing how smart my parents got as I got older. And I appreciate and try to continue some of the family traditions, including watching White Christmas, but now with my beloved wife.  I still feel the connection to my Mom and Pop when I watch this movie.  This movie speaks to the connection of people, of hope, of joy, of happiness, and of the power of music.

And I wish we would have a white Christmas, but I think it will not happen this year.

Perhaps next year.

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