Chock-full of Goodness Cookies

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I came up with these quick, easy,  healthy-ish (at least I’d like to believe that – haha) cookies on the fly today to satisfy a sweet tooth.  This recipe falls under the category of  “Use What You Have”, but I’m very pleased with the way they turned out.  Not too sweet, a little chocolate, a little tart from the cranberries and a nice texture from the coconut and rolled oats.  I used dark chocolate and pecans, but milk chocolate, white chocolate, walnuts or macadamia nuts would be tasty too!

 

Chock-full of Goodness Cookies

½ c. shortening
½ c. butter
1 c. to 1 ½ c. of packed brown sugar (I used 1 c. which made a moderately sweet cookie)
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 ¾ c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. coconut flakes
1 c. pecans
1 c. dried cranberries
½ c. chocolate chips or chunks

Cream butter and shortening together.  Add brown sugar, and mix.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  In a small bowl combine salt, baking soda and flour. Slowly add to egg / sugar mixture.  Mix until incorporated.  Add oats, mix well.  Continue adding the rest of the ingredients, mixing after each addition.

Drop by teaspoonful on to baking sheet (I use parchment paper lined baking sheets), and flatten each dough ball slightly.   Bake at 350° F for 8 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 3 – 4 dozen.

2018 WORD of the YEAR

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Happy New Year! It has become a tradition for me that, as we start another trip around the sun, I choose a word to guide me through the coming year. I started this back in 2015 with the word Emergent, and then Resilient in 2016.  Both proved to be prophetic. 2015 was the year that I really started coming into my own. I stopped trying to fit or judge myself by conventional standards and just let myself be. I kept my eyes and heart open and let the universe guide me. I was not led astray.  To continue, CLICK HERE

2018 WORD of the YEAR

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Happy New Year! It has become a tradition for me that, as we start another trip around the sun, I choose a word to guide me through the coming year. I started this back in 2015 with the word Emergent, and then Resilient in 2016.  Both proved to be prophetic. 2015 was the year that I really started coming into my own. I stopped trying to fit or judge myself by conventional standards and just let myself be. I kept my eyes and heart open and let the universe guide me. I was not led astray.

In 2016 I continued pushing forward, learning more about myself and continuing to shed layers of preconceived notions and insecurities that I had heaped upon myself.  I focused on developing and harnessing my creativity towards a goal.  I stayed the course and wrote a book.

The whirlwind that started in 2016, picked up speed at the beginning of 2017 with the launch of The Empire on January 6th, and continued gaining strength throughout most of the year with a brand new learning curve of  marketing campaigns, book signings and sales. Picking a word for 2017 got lost in that storm, but if I would have, I would say that the word Development would have defined the year.

This year, I will continue to use the words I’ve picked so far and add BALANCE. One of the challenges last year was finding a way to keep everything moving forward. I learned that writing a book is not necessarily the hardest part of being an author. As an indie published author, I also had to learn how to market and sell a book. That’s a whole new skillset and a continual learning process. I also found out that it can be very time consuming. Most of the time, it felt like I could only successfully focus on one aspect at a time – either writing or marketing.

Balance, throughout all parts of my life, will be my goal for 2018.

Wishing you a happy, balanced and successful year!

Recap: My First Maine Lobster Festival

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For me, the Maine Lobster Festival has always signaled the beginning of the end of summer.  Folks are wrapping up their summer vacations and getting kids ready to go back to school. This year, being a part of the 70th, was the biggest professional event so far of my new writing career and it was a fantastic experience!  I was there Saturday and Sunday from 12p.m. to 4p.m.  Thousands of people walked by my table during those hours, some stopped, some didn’t.

My table was along the center line of the tent, with walkways in front and behind me.  There were several authors and book vendors in the tent as well as a man who demonstrated modern lobster trap building, vendors who sold handmade Maine crafts, Maine themed t-shirts among others. One of the biggest draws, however, was the marine life touch tank situated at the far end of the tent on the water side. This, for many, was the main attraction of the tent.  Kids and adults alike love the touch tank where you can get an up close look at small marine life and even pick some of it up if you dare.  The challenge of being a vendor before the touch tank is getting people to stop at your table.  This takes some skill, and there was definitely a learning curve for me.  What saved me most of the time was the swag, and the candy.  With the help of  Dave Dailey, my graphic designer extraordinaire, we designed a commemorative magnet to give away , and I also had a free raffle to give away a couple limited edition The Empire / Maine Lobster Festival t-shirts. The bowl of vintage type candy – mini rolls of Necco Wafers, Tootsie Rolls, salt water taffy and lollipops also attracted people.

There was a lot of trial and error in learning to get people’s attention, but I feel like by midway I had developed a pretty good spiel. My swag consisted of a postcard that has the book cover on one side and on the back is a quick biography of me, and a condensed blurb about the book, all my social media contact info, as well as QR code and where online the book can be purchased. I would stand with a postcard and magnet in my hand and try to make eye contact, or I’d yell “free raffle!” which sometimes helped slow people down as they walked by. Once that happened I’d hand them the swag and go into a quick speech about the book.  Sometimes it ended in a sale, but either way they walked off with information about the book and where to buy it.

It was a whirlwind couple of days!  I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time.  It was really cool to meet a few authors and some really nice people from all over the world.  The photo gallery above has some pictures I took and that were taken.  I wish I’d taken more, but the days flew by…

A month has gone by since the festival, and now summer really is coming to a close. Labor Day weekend 2017 is in the books, kids are back to school. Soon the weather will start to cool and we’ll start dreaming of next summer.  In the meantime, I have book 2 to finish writing and new swag to design for Maine Lobster Festival 2018. Hope to see you there!

Book Signing At The 70th Maine Lobster Festival

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It’s opening day of the 70th Maine Lobster Festival  in Rockland Maine. A tradition ingrained in the lives and memories of Rockland residents for generations. Every year, the festival welcomes thousands of people from around the world to the coastal town of Rockland; an industrial town turned art and culture community. The Festival offers something for everyone – carnival rides, games, live entertainment, fine art and crafts, and educational exhibits about living and working on and off  the rocky shores of the Maine coast.  One of the biggest draws, however, is the fresh lobster and seafood. Thousands of pounds of fresh Maine lobster are cooked daily in a ginormous lobster cooker and served in a traditional style with lots of melted butter, a dinner roll and corn on the cob.

This year I’m so excited that I’ve been asked to be a part of all the fun! Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 4pm, I’ll be in the Marine tent signing copies of my book, The Empire. For me, what makes this such an honor is that the book is set in a fictional town inspired by Rockland and the MidCoast area.  If you know the area and have read the book, you’ll have noticed that there are places in Shoreton that seem very similar to places in the Rockland area. The story is an homage to Rockland and also to small town America.  The book centers around the real struggles that many quaint New England towns face – how to remain relevant in an ever-changing world while still honoring the past. I love Maine and the MidCoast area and I’m delighted that I get to be a part of this annual tradition.

Stay tuned for more photos and updates about all the fun and excitement I encounter at the 70th Maine Lobster Festival!

 

Summer Is Here!

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Shelby at the Beach

It’s the first day of summer.  Time to load up the cooler, stock up on summer reading material and sunblock, and head to your favorite outdoor destination.  Whether it’s lounging at the beach, at the lake, or poolside, nothing beats a comfortable spot, a cool drink, and a good book!

LIVE! From the Historic STRAND THEATRE

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I’m EXCITED to announce the first book signing for The Empire will be in Rockland, Maine at the Strand Theatre! It seems appropriate that MY  FIRST book signing will be at a theater that is very special to me, as well as one of the main inspirations for The Empire.   Rockland and the MidCoast area also inspired the location of the story. Please join us!

BOOKS, GIVEAWAYS, and a RAFFLE!

For more details please visit the EVENT page on Facebook:  HERE

Dec 31

Happy New Year!

As I sit here in the last hours of 2016, I look back on a year that continued in the arc that was started in 2015.  I continued to nurture and grow my creativity. I finished my first novel, The Empire, that will be published next week, and had one of the happiest and fulfilling years ever. I feel really lucky. For me, 2016 was a fantastic year!

When I started thinking about my Word for 2017, it occurred to me that I’d forgotten what my 2016 word was. 2015 was Emergent, and it fit perfectly with the year I had in 2015 and really 2016. I’ve continued to learn and grow.  After searching this site and then my entire computer, I found a post I never published. My word for 2016 was RESILIENT and once again it proved to be prophetic. Being resilient has served me well this year, when I started to doubt myself and my path. Staying my course, believing in myself, giving myself the chance to find what makes me happy has paid off.

Below is my lost 2016 Word of the Year post.  Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you lots of love, laughter and happiness!!

My 2016 word of the year is RESILIENT  I picked this word for many reasons, as a reminder, a touchstone, a charm.  After the progress of my emergent year, a year that pushed me, stretched my creative and personal development and began the process of molding me and developing me creatively, and on other levels as well – all the change, progress and growth that I created for myself has in many ways strengthened me but has also left me tender and exposed. I am still emerging. That process will continue on for awhile I hope. I have learned so much about myself, about my creative process, about who I am and who I want to be, that I can’t see that journey, that lesson, ending anytime soon. I am still discovering who I am, where I’m going, what I want.

The word resilient will remind me to stand tough when I feel the sting of rejection, disapproval or doubt about what I am doing, what I am creating, what I am putting out there.