Archive | May 2014

Recipe: Sweet/sour Asian chicken kabobs with Rice

Hello everyone.  I normally do not blog here about food, but this recipe I created today I absolutely MUST SHARE!

 

I do not consider myself a great cook, at least not to MY taste in food. True to general hyper-sensitivity and migraine sufferers as a whole, I have a sensitive, refined sense of taste; anything too bland or too strong does not taste good to me.

 

So I am so happy that today I had great success making some Asian chicken kabobs in my grill pan.   Here’s my recipe:

 

  • Cube a chicken breast and marinate in about 2 tablespoons of bottled sweet/sour sauce, about 1 tsp of Chinese chili/pepper sauce, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, 1/2 tsp of dill, and water to cover.
  • Refrigerate about 2 to 3 hours.
  • Skewer the chicken and put in grill pan along with all of the marinade.
  • Dust gently with more dill.
  • While the chicken and marinade cooks in the grill pan (turning occasionally), cook 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rice with about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce added instead of salt in the water.
  • Cook until chicken is well done and the sauce thickens.
  • Drain rice and spread evenly onto serving plate.
  • Spoon about half of the sauce directly onto the rice before plating the kabobs over the rice and evenly pouring the rest of the sauce over the chicken.
  • Garnish with more dill if desired.

Makes one serving.

This was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS with a subtle taste and just enough pepper to give it that distinctly ASIAN taste.

Serve with white or rose wine or a clear colored soda.

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Reblog: 5 Tips to Gain Confidence and Overcome Writer’s Doubt

Reblogged from http://www.livewritethrive.com/2014/05/19/gain-confidence-and-overcome-writers-doubt/ by Bryan Hutchinson

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Writer’s Doubt is insidious. It’s the fear within each of us that causes us to stall, reconsider, and—if we don’t fight back and overcome it—end up quitting.

What makes Writer’s Doubt so challenging is that it comes from within us. Yes, there are people who have criticized our writing and told us in one way or another that we’re not good enough. Some of us have even had teachers or editors tell us to give it up. But their words are nothing compared to the harshest critic of all: ourselves.

We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Nobody can be as hard on you as you can. You know your triggers better than anyone.

Haters can try all day to put you down, but their efforts, although still hurtful, won’t stop you from writing for long. Every once in a while, a cruel critic may say something that hits the mark, the proverbial bull’s-eye, causing you to stop writing and consider giving up. However, you know your triggers, and anytime your internal naysayer’s voice rises up to make you doubt yourself, she hits her mark every time.

You are a writer. You know it, and I know it. You have the power to overcome doubt, and you can do it. Believe it.

You have stories within you that you need to share with the world, and there are people who need to read them. So don’t hide. No. Please don’t hide your writing.

It’s true: not everyone will “get you,” but that’s okay. Not everyone “gets” Stephen King, either, and he’s sold over 350 million copies of his books. Once you accept and come to terms with the reality that not everyone will get your drift, Writer’s Doubt will loosen its grip from around your heart.

We give critics, haters, and those who don’t like our writing way too much power. Here’s the truth:

THEY DESERVE ABSOLUTELY NO POWER OVER YOU.

Take Away Your Internal Naysayer’s Power over Yourself

The next time it starts whispering its sweet you-can-do-nothings, stop what you’re doing and state with conviction: “I am a writer.” And it will whimper off and wait to try again another day. And yes, it will try again. It knows your secrets, even the dirty ones, and it will use them against you. But each time it tries, it will fail if you affirm, “I am a writer,” and continue to write.

Your internal naysayer is a dark, shadowy lurker, and the way to force darkness away is to shine a light on it. It’s that simple. And it’s that difficult. For example, maybe you’re not too happy with a piece of writing you did in the past (you know the piece I am talking about). You recently read it, realized how terrible it was, and then told yourself you’re really not that good of a writer. Stop. Repeat after me, “I am a writer!” It was your naysayer playing tricks on you.

Know this: we all look upon our past writing with fresh eyes and realize it’s not as good as what we could write today. That’s normal, and it’s a positive affirmation, because as time progresses we learn, grow, and improve as writers. But if your doubt convinces you instead that you’re in fact a terrible writer, you risk giving in to it and quitting.

See how sinister Writer’s Doubt can be? I’ve fallen for such trickery from it, and maybe you have too. The good news is that once you realize what’s happening, you don’t have to fall for it anymore. You are a writer. Go ahead, say it again, right now: “I am a writer.”

5 Tips on How to Gain Confidence and Overcome Writer’s Doubt

  1. Accept that writing is about writing, nothing more and nothing less. It’s not about being perfect. You don’t have to be the next Hemingway. You get to be someone unique and rare. You get to be you.
  2. Limit the people who you share your preliminary writing with to only those you trust to give you honest and helpful feedback. When you publish your work on your blog or in magazines, newspapers, or books, the whole world can read and comment on your writing. But while you’re still in the process of writing, you want to guard your work from overzealous critics, and especially from others so riddled with their own doubt that they feel the need to tear yours apart.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. All of us are at different levels—some are better and some not. Some attract tons of attention while others, even better writers, attract very little. Comparing yourself to other writers serves no one because there’s nothing to gain from it. It’s too easy to compare yourself to others, to start thinking negative thoughts about how it’s not fair that a less talented writer made the best-seller list or that you’ll never be as good a writer as someone else. It just doesn’t matter, and your own doubt will always distort the comparison in order to stall your writing.
  4. Write intentionally. Writer’s Doubt causes us to stall, to hold back our stories, and to find distractions that keep us from writing. The only way to overcome distractions is to be intentional, to write every day, rain or shine. You might write 500 words one day and 2,000 the next. The length doesn’t matter. Just be intentional and write every day.
  5. Highlight your successes. With all this talk about Writer’s Doubt, it’s important to remember it doesn’t always win. You have achievements too. It’s time to give them credit and remind yourself of them when you’re feeling discouraged.

The Most Important Tip of All

If you’re to the point that Writer’s Doubt is sabotaging your every effort, then that means you’re on to something awesome! Writer’s Doubt is at its most insidious when you’re about to make a major breakthrough. Keep moving forward, keep writing. Doubt can’t stop you anymore. You’ll know this because it will go nuts trying every weapon in its arsenal to make you stop.

You know how, just after it rains, when the clouds clear and the sky seems to brighten up with sunshine brighter than ever before. That’s what it’s like after you finish your masterpiece in spite of doubt’s efforts to trip you up. It’s worth it. Trust me, it really is. You’re going to make it after all.

You are a writer!

Detachment and the Law of Attraction

Self portrait taken January 24, 2014 showing new haircut, new hair style, and black eye makeup.

Self portrait taken January 24, 2014 showing new haircut, new hair style, and black eye makeup.

Tonight I am stepping back from the professional blogging in favor of something personal once more.  Those of you who know me or at least follow my work know that back in December I made a dramatic course change in my life — starting with a change in hair style and color and a new piercing in my ears.  I wear black a lot more now — something my mother discouraged.  But more importantly, a friend of mine introduced me to the movie “The Secret” and the Law of Attraction.

 

The Law of Attraction is a fairly simple idea that thinkers across history have phrased various ways such as “you reap what you sow” and “what goes around comes around.”  It is the idea that like attracts like.  A positive, optimistic attitude will attract positive events and a pessimistic, problem-centric attitude will attract more adversity.  Or thought of another way, it is the idea that as you think, so does your reality become.  Self-fulfilling prophesy.

 

A broad spectrum of teachers talk about how one’s emotions are your best guide to this.  when you feel good about something, you are attracting the positive.  But when you feel not good about something, whatever it is will only hurt you; the wise person turns away from whatever is causing the bad feeling in favor of what feels good.  This is not pleasure seeking so much as letting your emotions communicate to you what is in your sub-conscious mind which itself is the level of yourself where the Law of Attraction operates.

 

So what do you do when you feel neutral?  What does it mean when you really do not feel ANYTHING.

 

I looked this up tonight and found some helpful answers so important that I am blogging 90 minutes past my bed time for the evening.  Here is the full discussion: http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/2418/what-does-detachment-truly-mean-in-law-of-attraction

 

Here is the most useful part of that post:

 

Let’s list a couple of manifestational facts:

  • 99% of every manifestation is complete before you see any physical evidence of it – the only way you know then how close you are to seeing physical evidence of it is not through your five physical senses, but instead…how you feel about it. Once you are genuinely feelinghopeful of your manifestation coming, the physical evidence will start appearing…reaching the emotion of hope about a manifestation is the tipping point.
  • The neutral point is your friend…this is a favorite saying of mine. It means that if you do not stand in the way of your manifestation, it must come to you. Standing in the way means looking at it and feeling any negative emotion about it not being there yet. Feeling neutral about it is good enough to manifest it eventually.

So what do we get if we apply these to your situation?

We have that…

  • Even though you might be on the verge of manifesting your part-time job, the only physical indication you might have that it is almost there is that you are feeling hopeful about it.
  • Even if you can’t feel hopeful about it, as long as don’t feel negative emotion about it not having come yet, you will still get it eventually.

So let’s deal right now with wiping out negative emotion about you not having the job yet…I would recommend learning EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It’s quick, easy, effective and free to learn. There are lots of free videos on YouTube. Every time you think about your situation without a part-time job (and the implications of that), just use EFT to neutralize the negative emotion.

But it’s not much use getting your job eventually since you want it as soon as possible, I presume.

In order to speed up the manifestation of anything, we need to flow more energy towards it. The purest way to flow energy towards something you want is to feel appreciation about it…the feeling of appreciation is actually an indicator of pure energy flow.

So to speed up the manifestation of your part-time job, start making lists of things about that part-time job that make you feel appreciative. Or visualize all the great things that will happen in your life once you get that part-time job. (I recommend getting a copy of Ask & It Is Given external link (opens in new window) and looking at the manifestational processes listed there).

But here’s the big twist in manifesting…since you are no longer standing in the way of your part-time job (we’ve handled the negative emotion with EFT, remember?), then any pure energy flow (i.e. appreciation) towards anything will automatically manifest your part-time job. This is because that pure energy flow of appreciation is flowing to everything you want at the same time. Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it?

In other words, you don’t have to detach from your part-time job to manifest it. You just have to not feel bad about it and then just use something as an excuse to feel appreciation – and that can include things totally unrelated to your part-time job.

Let’s summarize.

The fastest way to manifest something you need (i.e. your part-time job) is the following.


Step 1. Get out of the way of your part-time job coming. Neutralize any negative emotion you feel regarding the lack of it.

Step 2. Now find anything in your life to feel good about and keep using that thing (or things) as an excuse for staying in that good-feeling place.

Reblog: Five Ways to Write Characters People Care About

The following is re-blogged from http://writersrelief.com/blog/2014/05/write-characters-people-care-about/

 

Princess Anyu from Laurel A. Rockefeller's  Peers of Beinan series

Princess Anyu from Laurel A. Rockefeller’s Peers of Beinan series

“In a previous article, we explored five ways to make your characters more three-dimensional. Once your characters are believable as living, breathing individuals, the next step is to make readers care about them. When readers are invested in the characters’ struggles and personal stories, they are much more likely to keep reading.

Here are five ways to make readers care about your characters:

Make Your Characters Need Something. One of the easiest ways to make your character more empathetic is to expose a vulnerability and establish a need to: save a dying mother, fall in love, crack the code, etc. The need can be as simple as “get to work on time” or as complicated as “save the world.” But it will encourage readers to empathize with the character and root for his or her success.

Example: Joe struggles through failed relationship after failed relationship in an attempt to find his soul mate.

Make Your Characters Take A Stand On Important Issues. A character with strong convictions and a cause to be passionate about will intrigue readers and earn their respect. If your audience is interested in your character’s goals and respects your character’s convictions, they’ll be more inclined to follow the story line to its conclusion.

Example: Leslie stands up for women’s equality in the workplace at a local public forum.

Make Your Character The Underdog. Nothing piques the interest of the reader more than the inspirational story of a hero battling against seemingly impossible odds, struggling to find success under the bleakest of circumstances. Who wouldn’t cheer for the little guy? Think David vs. Goliath.

Example: Despite being an amateur boxer, Andrew is nervous but optimistic before his match against the world champion.

Give Your Characters Idealistic Qualities. Readers love characters that embody qualities and ideals they also aspire to. Even if your character is a scoundrel, make him or her a soft-hearted scoundrel. Characters that exemplify the best of humanity entice the reader to stay engaged and keep reading.

Example: Dan may be a pirate, but he will use his ship to run the blockade and bring food to the starving orphans.

Give Your Characters Formidable Foes. Heroes are only as good as the villains who oppose them. Giving your main character adversaries who present challenging obstacles will bring out the best (and sometimes the worst) in your characters. As daunting as that sounds, the journey to overcome these obstacles will further endear your characters to the reader.

Example: Iago has created a web of lies designed to test Othello’s resolve.

Empathetic Characters Don’t Always Have To Be Good Guys

Creating characters that evoke empathy in the reader can be challenging, but these five methods will ensure that your efforts are successful. And keep in mind that empathetic characters don’t always have to be likable. Try your hand at writing an unlikable (or even villainous) character that exudes empathetic qualities. Think Patrick Bateman in American Psycho or Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series.”