Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Early Halloween Treats

for your next Halloween party... don't cheat - read it and THEN look at photo at bottom...c'mon, you can do it...monitor that self control...

Kitty Litter Cake


1 box spice or German chocolate cake
! mix1 box of white cake mix
1 package white sandwich cookies
1 large package vanilla instant pudding mix
A few drops green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls or equivalent


1 NEW cat-litter box
1 NEW cat-litter box liner
1 NEW pooper scooper

1) Prepare and bake cake mixes, according to directions, in any size pan. Prepare pudding and chill. Crumble cookies in small batches in blender or food processor. Add a few drops of green food coloring to 1 cup of cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork or shake in a jar. Set aside.

2) When cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Place liner in litter box and pour in mixture.

3) Unwrap 3 Tootsie Rolls and heat in a microwave until soft and pliable. Shape the blunt ends into slightly curved point s. Repeat with three more rolls. Bury the rolls decoratively in the cake mixture. Sprinkle remaining white cookie crumbs over the mixture, then scatter green crumbs lightly over top.

4) Heat 5 more Tootsie Rolls until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle with crumbs from the litter box. Heat the remaining Tootsie Roll until pliable an d hang it over the edge of the box. Place box on a sheet of newspaper and serve with scooper. Enjoy!

(I know - totally disgusting in appearance, but TELL ME this wouldn't make a hit with your kids and even a few adults!)

Where DO they come up with things like this, anyway? Is this something kids 'cook up', or are their parents this warped.

...makes me wish I'd thought of it when my son was younger - lol. Hm...but then...there are those social functions he has as an adult, and someday he'll have kids of his own, so Grandma could conceivably send the child to school with something like this.

an oldie but goodie from Kris Starr

A set of screwdrivers,
A cordless drill, and
A black lace bra..

One friend who
Always makes her Laugh...
And one
Who lets her cry...

A good piece of furniture
Not previously owned by
Anyone else in her family...

Eight matching plates,
Wine glasses with stems,
And a recipe for a meal that will
Make her guests feel honored.

A feeling of control over
Her destiny...

How to fall in love
Without losing herself...

How to quit a Job
Break up with a lover
And confront a friend without ruining the friendship

When to try harder... And

That she can't change
The length of her calves,
The width of her hips, or
The nature of her parents...

That her childhood
May not have been
Its over...

What she would and
Do for love or more...

How to live alone...
Even if
She doesn't like it...

Whom she can trust,
Whom she can't,
And why she shouldn't
Take it personally...

Where to go...
Be it to her best friend's kitchen table..
Or a charming inn in the woods...
When her soul needs soothing... !

What she can and can't accomplish
In a day...
A month..
And a year...

...thanks to Alexis Fleming for the cat photos

market news from Cynthia Sterling - this was in my newsletter (you can sign up for a weekly one from her):

November 1 is the deadline to enter the Writer's Digest popular fiction contest. The entry fee is $12.50 and stories of no more than 4000 words may be entered in the following categories: romance, mystery/crime fiction, science fiction/fantasy, thriller/suspense and horror. The grand prize is $2500. For more information, go to http://fwpubs. sparklist. com/t/2106134/ 3613268/1550/ 0/ or http://tinyurl. com/y8n8ae.

You can subscribe to Cynthia's newsletter at

...and how about this for inspiration?

Janet sent me a news clipping about a state writers' conference that was recently held. Seems the group, the Kansas Authors Club, had invited a special guest, a man believed to be the state's oldest living, working writer, R. Waldo McBurney, but the gentleman had already been invited to Washington, DC to be honored as the oldest living beekeeper. Check out one of his books, My First Hundred Years, A Look Back From the Finish Line.

Have a great weekened, everyone!



At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Lauren said...

What I love is how they have to specify to get a new kitty litter pan and scoop.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger April said...

That is too funny. It would be a great practical joke too. Could you imagine your friends faces if you just started eating the kitty litter without telling them? Bring out the straight jackets! :-)

At 4:22 AM, Blogger Cathie said...

Oh Lyn ROFL!!! I got to show this to my 20 year old daughter. She loves to cook and loves cat (but I won't let her have her cat back cuz it became mine LOL) but I was laughing the more I read!! Thanks for making my day!!

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

What I love is how they have to specify to get a new kitty litter pan and scoop. OMG - ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!

Glad ya'll enjoyed the 'recipe'. *snicker*

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Merry said...

To this day, my family refers to one of my recipes as "Cat-Poop Cookies." The recipe is the famous No-Bake cookies. Husband saw them cooling on the counter and thought the cat had pooped in little piles!

No-Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick oatmeal, uncooked
Boil sugar, butter, cocoa and milk for one minute (or a bit longer). Add vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal. Drop by teaspoonful onto wax paper to cool. Work quickly—mixture can harden in the pan!

They're really good and actually fairly healthy for ya.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

oh, I've been looking for this one! - THANKS! *ggg* cat poop cookies

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

OMG. That cake.

So why can't I just run the old litter pan and scoop through the dishwasher and use that?

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

LOL especially on what Lauren pointed out. I clean the litter box. Don't know if I could ever eat it. 'nuff said.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Doug, only you - lol. But it's logical, isn't it?

hehehe, Michele - I'm one of those who can gag if you just say the word, so...what do I know...

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Shesawriter said...

Gee, Lyn,

Just what I needed to see. Cat poop. LOL!


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Monday, October 16, 2006

PIcking My Battles

Hacker problem solved (you are more than welcome to hack the bitch back - all I know is that her initials are 'sd' and that she listed Ohio as her home state and zip code 25523, small town in West Virginia - but she left another email addy that I've turned over to authorities)...maybe she'll be shut down, and maybe not. My only advice to others is to change their passwords frequently and to make certain they copy and paste to a word doc all of their current into (and keep it current - lol). Oh, and she has to be a wanna-be writer, because writers' places are about the only ones where I hang out any more.

Thanks, Janet, for the photo of Rufus - isn't he a scream?

Cousin Shelly sent me a Cat in the Hat funny on aging - I think she's trying to tell me something, considering my birthday is in like 2 weeks.

Which brings up something else...time, or lack of. I've decided not to stress over all the deadlines I set for myself, that I'll work on what I want, finish as I can, and take my time so that what I produce will at least be to my liking. Health issues, not so much a problem (knock wood) as they were prior to the move. I'm really enjoying myself and have no complaints.

This morning I tried a new flavored coffee from Folger's called Chocolate Silk, so I sat outside on the front porch, just far enough out of the rain (a nice, autumn drizzle most times, but now and then it really kicks up speed and intensity). Thinking. I thought of what I'd really like to write out of all of these projects I had lined up. That's when I realized that like dear daughter-in-law-to-be, who has a cross-stitch project going as well as a crochet project, it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. If it's what calls to me, that's where I'll be, and it's OKAY.

Watched her working on the hummingbirds and flowers cross-stitch, and now and then she'd pick up the book on 'how to' crochet. Knew she'd cave in before the birds were done, despite her desire to complete one project. Then it hit me that she was so new to all of it, so eager to try her hand, see what she did best. Much like me with the writing. One revelation generally incites another, so that's when I let myself off the hook to write what I wanted.

Oh, one of the things I've written was an article for The Writing Playground. Here’s the article. I've had a ball corresponding with Marilyn (another Trues writer!).

As for world news? Anybody who reads this surprised? Part of me wishes I could do a book on this, but others before me have already done so and much better, so I'm back to picking my battles, and the next one's gonna be the garage. It needs organization.

Have a great day, everybody.



At 10:43 PM, Blogger April said...

Glad you got the hacker problem straightened out!

Happy early birthday. Just had one of those. Ack!

Working on what calls the most seems to be working for me right now. Otherwise I get nothing done. Good luck!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

Glad you got the problem sorted out. I hope they get her!

Happy early birthday!

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Lauren said...

That totally sucks but I'm glad you caught her.

Happy birthday sweetie and I hope your "hook" comes to you very soon.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Thanks, ladies! Appreciate you.


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Friday, October 13, 2006

Lyn's Got A Problem...

Hey Folks!

Some evil hacker person has done attacked our Lyn's yahoo account. (Although, to be fair, they could have just been after Yahoo) At any rate, if any of you get email from Lyn's ConfessionPays email (or IM), DON'T take it. She has a new email, but I'm a bit loathe to put it up here at the time being until I can hear from her on exact details.

So, double check things a bit before accepting anything from our lady, Lyn. :)

Big smooches!



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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Set-Up & Delivery

Set-Up (thanks, Mary Ellen)

Two old ladies are outside their nursing home, having a drink and a smoke, when it starts to rain. One of the old ladies pulls out a condom, cuts off the end, puts it over her cigarette, and continues smoking.

Maude: What in the hell is that?

Mabel: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn't get wet.

Maude: Where did you get it?

Mabel: You can get them at any drugstore.

The next day, Maude hobbles herself into the local drugstore and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms. The pharmacist, obviously embarrassed, looks at her kind of strangely (she is after all, over 80 years of age), but very delicately asks what brand of condom she prefers.

"Doesn't matter Sonny, as long as it fits on a Camel."

I've been thinking of elements of writing lately (haven't done much writing, so this makes me feel like I'm at least in the game), and one of the chief components of a good story is the set-up, another the delivery. Back when I was teaching, I'd tell my students to imagine visual shapes in order to get the story form they wanted, and the tornado and inverted tornado were simple to understand once they'd read the short stories or books I had on their lists. Take Southern women writers, for example.

Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" is the regular tornado, because she starts off with generalities, sucks you in with the small town atmosphere, and then delivers the goods as far as who is gonna die and live, and the strength of the story (all of it is great, IMO) is the center of the tornado, the eye of the storm, once she's set it up. Sagging middle? Not this gal.

Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, and Carson McCullers do the same thing - they take an ordinary person or situation then blow it out of proportion, giving us protagonists who are left in haylofts minus their wooden legs, stuck in post offices out of stubborness, or realizing by nightfall that they're not the weirdest person in the room after all. - On the other hand, they all do the opposite with great affect...these women had the ability to turn that tornado upside down and bring the reader so far into their stories that by the end of the tale, the reader felt a kinship with the primary characters, could see that there were certain elements in the fiction that moved from specific events to general shared qualities.

Lee's affect was to broaden our scope of understanding, make us more aware of bigotry, not just to see the world through a child's eyes. O'Connor's was that there are snakes in the grass no matter where we live, that there are unscrupulous people who take advantage for no other reason than that they can. Welty's characters reminded us of our own families and why we have a love/hate relationship and jealousy going with some of them. The latter women were more inverted tornadoes to me, simply because what you got at the end of the story wasn't foreshadowed as strongly as Lee's work.

If I told you I had a sexy boyfriend who was a businessman with a great sense of humor and that I met him at a costume party, you *might* think 'nerd', so guy wouldn't be too much of a shock to your system.

Set-up is best achieved when writing tight, making sure all loose ends are tied up before the delivery. Delivery is more potent when the set-up suggests that the end result is something it's not. Say a girlfriend is talking about her Sexy Boyfriend. The dialogue can be either a tornado-type visual, wide at top (generalities) that narrows to the small funnel at bottom, or it can be inverted, with minimal information that grows until the big picture is formed.

Delivery (thanks, Janet)

No cigarettes were lit, so no rose bushes set on fire and no Tootsie Roll penny banks squished during the construction of this blog post. Doesn't mean I'm not geeking, though. *grin* I did, however, find some photos of Sexy Boyfriends to share.

Oh, baby, oh, baby, oooh...

Set up? Maybe.

But I do try to deliver.



At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

OH, man, Lyn, that last photo. Makes me want to get my back and ass waxed just to be a jack o'lantern for my wife.

I actually asked about waxing, the last time I got my hair cut. The waxing gal came over and said, "Materials and time. A back is usually forty or fifty dollars." Then she looked at me and said, "Or sixty."

How ya been?

At 3:15 AM, Blogger Sam said...

I'll have the jack-O'Lantern for Halloween, Please.

LOL about the joke. Too cute!

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

I messed up on spelling, but gist was that Doug cracked me up and that I agreed with Sam. *grin*


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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Games Authors Play

Friend Alex was told by editor that her last heroine was TSTL (too stupid to live), so now she's having to go back and make the ditz more dazzling. I feel for her...both heroine & author, because I've known 'those people' who were so book smart they're scary but their social skills and polish are so rough they make Timothy Hutton appealing. (Anyone seen him in Queen Latifah's funfest, "Last Holiday"? - omg - F-U-N-N-Y - he plays the asshole employer).

The Kid rented a movie I have yet to see: Second Best, a Joe Pantoliano film (I love Joey Pants). The Kid is on a flight to Virginia (business), and I'm already missing him. *sigh* One of the things I promised I'd do while he's away is watch that movie, and a second promise was to WRITE. Somehow I've gotten off track. I have one manuscript I'm supposed to be re-keying (got lost when a hard drive went kaput - and the damn thing has been requested by a big NY house), two novellas for EC, and one for Samhain that were all promised...with deadlines...and somehow, the girl who was always ahead of the game the past two years is...well, about to fall behind. It's not too late, so WHY in the name of all that's holy can't I find my stride again? Moving...okay, moving twice in a six-month period...might have something to do with it. Friends fear it's burnout. I'm either too ditzy or blasé to be concerned or am just deluding myself.

I tell myself it's because I can't smoke inside, and I always write with a ciggie burning in the ashtray. Okay, yes, I know...nasty habit...awful for health...and I'm cutting back...just not out yet. But back to my whining...I tell myself I can't write without the nicotine nastying up the desk. I tried 'cheating' by opening the window, but there's no screen. Instead of writing, I wound up shooing out flies and mosquitoes and trying to hide the evidence from the rest of the house by burning candles and incense. Dropped the damn ashtray out the window once and nearly caught the rose bush on fire. Squished a Tootsie Roll bank trying to hold up the freaking window. And the candles and incense made my clothes stink.

I'll be moving my computer into the garage unless I can plant meat to seat long enough to create soon. Right now, I may be enjoying cool autumn mornings with my Starbucks on the patio, but come spring when no money is coming in, I'll be crying about not producing anything.

The ass-ripping by friends may now commence. Any advice on addictions and writing, giving up one without giving up the other? Saying the hell with it and just moving out to the garage until the snows start? (and it does snow here, I'm told...quite a bit)

Be kind......



At 7:40 PM, Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Suns, it might be a little bit o'burnout and a little bit o'life. God knows I've been there/am there myself.

I've kinda been waiting, with an evil pleasure, to see this happen to you, if only to confirm your humaness. Frankly, I'm glad you're human, cuz I had my doubts. And then we couldn't have been friends anymore 'cuz I'm prejudiced that way *gg*.

My two pennies? Take the time you need. If you're contracted, then you might have to pull a Nora and just BICHOK. But if you're not contracted (and that means no pen to paper--verbals don't count) take the time and recharge.

We all need it. I did. I took it and I'm back and IMHO what I'm writing is better than ever.

Enjoy the fall. Drink your lattes. Remember what life really is all about and then go write about it.

That's what I'm hitting you with.


Get going!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Michele said...

I have no advice. I'm a sputter/stutter with my writing. I was going well, then I got a new part time job after 6 1/2 yrs as a stay at home mom. I love it, but it is so challenging with so much to learn, I'm brain fried by the end of the day...and I've only been working for three weeks.

So, all the best to you and your muse ...
write when you can, if only a page here and there, never let it totally get away ... too easy to do.
Does blogging count? *grin*

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Michele, if blogging DOESN'T count, I'm in worse trouble than I'd originally thought - lol.

Ann, Lord love ya - you just opened up some daylight for me. Just hit me that I've lost some friends this year - some older than I am, one in particular quite a bit younger who 'shouldn't' have died, and I think I am doing exactly what you suggested without realizing it until now...taking the time while I've got it. You are so right - little bit of burnout and a little bit of life...maybe a whole lot of life.

Autumn is such a great season for forcing us to see color (at least in my corner of the world) - and it's the harvest. Maybe I'm harvesting emotions or something. Pulling together the abundance of life, culling what doesn't work, and storing up for bleaker times. Who knows? But you nailed it. THANK YOU. Sincerely. (Although you did make me laugh - lol - doubting I'm vulnerable.)

Jesus, the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm doing nothing. I think that's what's getting to me. I mean I obviously don't feel bad enough, or that friggin' book would be in the mail. just opened my eyes. Maybe the books can wait sometimes, but those precious minutes spent with The Kids, The Dogs, FRIENDS, learning from the elderly neighbor, or just stretching my physical boundaries can't be lost.

I hate writers who do nothing on their blogs but hawk themselves, but I feel a huge draft every time I drop my damn pants on my blog and really let my hair down - lol. Thanks for the feedback, for making it easier to 'be human'. *wink* Love you both...


At 10:28 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

p.s. - I just sold a Wild Winter Quickie (male/male, no less, as "Cash Cole") to Ellora's Cave - ROFLMAO!!!!!!! Is it okay to brag NOW, while I'm just posting a comment instead of making a big production of it? *teeheehee* I truly forgot to mention it until right now.

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Elisabeth Stewart said...

Lyn - I've been checking out your blog for months - whenever I need a good laugh or just a chuckle. I can also relate to some of your writing woes.

Confession. I also smoke. I spend way too much time making conditions "right" to minimize the smell/smoke before I actually begin to write. Why do I associate writing with having a cigarette going? Sick. I offer no solution to this problem - just thought I'd let you know you're not alone.

And congratulations of your latest sale. That will probably inspire you to get back at it...


At 1:07 PM, Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Very glad I could help in some way, Suns. Since last spring when I really hit a wall I've been feeling the same way--the opp of a lifetime and I'm pissing it all away. I ended up chucking everything and spending the whole summer with the girls, guilt free by my own orders.

It's the best thing I could've done. I got the chance to live again, to finish with the grieving, and act like a kid. You're still grieving, hon.

You also have to remember that even though we've only been published two years or so, we were working hard at getting there for many years. We all deserve a break, and taking a break ain't the same as pissing something away. Not the same at all.

Anyway, I know you already know all this *gg* But you know I can't keep my fat trap shut.

Love you too!

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Heather Rae Scott said...

I'm a smoker too, as you know and I too have been smoking in the house during the day in areas that are designated as nonsmoking and lighting candles and spraying Febreeze.

My best friend here, quit. She's been doing so darned good, but she just moved into a house that wasn't ever smoked in. I worry about the smells and all that other jazz and my biggest thing is, will not having that cig smoldering stifle my creativity?

And I agree with Ann--it's life.

Congrats on selling an M/M and hey...

Key in the damn book, already!


At 3:32 PM, Blogger Trace said...

I'm trying to find my stride again as well. I'm filled with self-doubt though, because it's been so long since I've really written anything. But at least I'm doing at least one scene a day lately. Better than nuttin'.

About smoking. I used to smoke and I'd have a cigarette burning beside me all the time too. I missed it when I quit, but I got one of those stress ball thingies for when I wanted something to do with my hands, and I'd have coffee or some other beverage near me for the hand to mouth thing. It helps.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Elisabeth, thanks for the support - and right back atcha. *sigh* My non-smoker friends (and family especially) are like "so just stop" - lol. I have no clue why I associate smoking with writing unless it's that many of my writer friends smoke, and that's where we hang out at conferences...sharing a drink, a smoke, and a chat.

Heather, happy for your friend - think she has one up on us for being in a house that's never had smoke. Maybe I'm just reaching, but... *wry grin*

You've all been very kind - almost makes me teary-eyed. Expected an ass-whoopin' and got a hug - lol. Ack. I hate procrastinating, and this doesn't feel like procrastination - feels more like 'don't give a shit yet but know I will later', if that makes any sense.

I have a few more hours left before I crash tonight, so maybe I'll manage to get a few pages in before that happens. Hugs to all of you - and I'm pastdue in visiting the rest of you, so thanks for popping in. Miss you when you're not here.

You also have to remember that even though we've only been published two years or so, we were working hard at getting there for many years. We all deserve a break, and taking a break ain't the same as pissing something away. Not the same at all. Okay, that does make sense. What? Like about 15 books between us in 2 years?! *faints*

Editor Angie wanted to know what's coming with my mainstream books, and Lord help me I have one that may get my arse in trouble - Real Women Authors - sort of a 'Same Time Next Year' scenario (Alan Alda, Ellen Burstyn - spelling?) only with writers. Already into it, just worried about getting sued - lol.

Okay, enough. Thanks again - will take time to catch up on reading and blogging later this evening. Storms coming tomorrow, so want to do this ASAP. hugs...

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Michele said...

Oooh, M/M book? Bet it's hot! *wink*
congrats on the sale.

Now, why would you ever think you'd get a whuppin'? Of COURSE you'd get a *hug*

You got more than one hug, and you deserve many more. All authors need to replenish the well, and real life with a loving family fits the bill just fine.
Don't feel guilty, wasted effort. You should be feelin' ALIVE!!!

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Charlene Teglia said...

If the problem is your window, go to the hardware store and get one of those one-size-fits-all adjustable screens and you'll be bug-free while smoke goes outside.

Ever read Julia Cameron? Her books on writing are full of tricks to get work done. Writing in 5 minute blocks. Switching around to work in different places throughout the day.

Hope you're enjoying your time when you're not writing. That's important.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Trace, I have stress squeezie things around here somewhere - Mom works for health dept, so they're in shape of carrots, fruit, etc, but that's a great idea that I haven't tried. Ditto the screen, Charlene.

Okay, no writing yesterday other than blogging - drizzling rain this morning (we weren't supposed to get rain until late afternoon), so I'm gonna do at least SOMETHING on the writing while I'm here at computer. Thanks, again, Michele, everyone...

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Amie Stuart said...

I"m so there =( and I have a contracted deadline but life is just ...not pretty right now.

Anyway there's this stuff called STOP IT Smoking by Natra Bio and it's a homeopathic chewable and it really does help with the physical side affects when you quit. It worked for me last time I quit. =(


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