Lemon Jelly Cat-urday

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Relax. Sleep in. Spend an extra minute in the bath, have another cup of coffee, enjoy that book you’ve been wanting to sit down and read… Today is a good day to give yourself a little more time. It could even be the day you sit down and start that book you’ve been wanting to write!

Enjoy!

~KSilva

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Hello 2016! January Update!

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That’s right. We’re looking at you…

HAPPY NEW YEAR (a bit late) and welcome to the Monstrum Chronicles blog! Here’s hoping you all had a fun and festive holiday season and a wonderful start to the new year. 2016 promises to be an exciting year! I’m looking forward to making a few changes in my writing career as well as here at the blog and in my personal life as well.

First off, I would honestly like to be able to attend a few more shows this year in lieu of the fact that they are the best way to get my books into reader’s hands. 2nd, I’d like to focus on trying to market my books to a few more brick and mortar businesses here in Maine. I’ve been a salesperson for several years and yet it’s always so much harder when you are trying to sell something you’ve created yourself. This fear has made it difficult for me to take those steps forward. Not this year though. I’m going to give it my all here.

Read on to find out what 2016 has in store for the Monstrum Chronicles blog!

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Angry Em-pie-nada

COOKING ADVENTURE #86: Chicken Enchilada Empanadas

Chicken Enchilada Empenada

What I learned this week is that no matter how cathartic cooking may be for some, for me, it isn’t a good idea to attempt if I’m in a bad mood. There are sharp objects, often hot pots and pans, and little space available to spread everything out. After having a particularly bad day, I decided “What the hell? What more could possibly go wrong?” It’s best not to ask those questions. I had found a pretty spectacular recipe that was just calling my name. I’ve been craving Mexican food for a couple weeks and this seemed like just the thing to take care of that hankering. Well, it would have been if I’d paid a little more attention to what I was doing. But we all know what it’s like, to be so angry that you’re trapped in your head and can’t step away from it. I tried a number of times. My declaration of “I AM NOT GOING TO LET THIS EMPANADA BEAT ME!” is what finally made me put my rear in gear and pound these things out. And now, the terrible tale…

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Yolk Overboard!

Blueberry Trifle

Ah, 2014! Another prospective year for Cooking Adventures. I got way off base last year and didn’t keep up with my expected blog posts; one new recipe a week. I’m hoping to keep myself up to my first year’s standards of telling entertaining kitchen stories as I learn to cook and bake on my own. This week, my challenge was to tackle a trifle. Not literally. That would be rather messy. Now, I’m all for layering desserts. They just mean some of the best little desserts being combined together into a mega dessert. This time, I decided I was going to make almost everything from scratch (with exception of the blueberry muffins–I’ll explain why). This means homemade lemon custard and whipped cream. Devilish and delicious, those two are… Never did I think I’d spend my evening saving drowning egg yolks and wrangling with a possessed hand-mixer. Every day is a new adventure in the kitchen…

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An Ode to the Morning

There are three things that I wake up to nearly every morning.

The first is that I often get to enjoy mornings like this.

The sun is just beginning to rise on the horizon and the sky bathes in a pink hue. Lavender clouds float by, blissfully unaware that the sun will soon climb higher and their color will drain to white. When the sun does rise, a slanted ray careens in through my window, slapping down on my table and my heater. It works its way around the room as the hours goes by, warming everything in its path.

The second is my sacred cup of hot coffee.

I wake up at six sharp every morning. I put the coffee on and go back to bed, listening to it brew in the kitchen. By the time I’ve gotten up again twenty minutes later, the coffee is ready. A spoonful of sugar (Mary Poppins much?), and a splash of milk. I go and sit in the dulcet sunshine, letting the light soak into my skin as I take my first sip of coffee. Any sluggish thoughts I may have had are neatly organized, the snarls of sleep are banished to their darkened corners, and the smooth taste of french roast and vanilla blends on my palette delightfully.

The third thing that I wake up to, always, is the lemon-eyed demon.

Always conniving, mischievous, and silly, the lemon-eyed demon has become the master of the apartment. He beats on my bedroom door at six o’clock when my alarm goes off. Even when my alarm doesn’t go off, he ensures that I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for work. He’s an intelligent little bugger. He plays fetch, opens doors, kills plants (including cacti), lies in wait in the unlikeliest of places to spring an attack, moves his toys and boxes around, and sabotages any and all attempts to take him to the vet’s office. He does, however, have positive points.

Lemon Jelly is aware of my emotions and feelings always. It’s like we’re psychically linked. He loves to snuggle in the late morning hours when the sun is just hitting his preferred spot on the pull-out computer mouse board for my desk. It gives me a chance to concentrate on my writing without having to chase him around. He’ll follow me from room to room, making sure that I always have company (and that he’s always paid attention to) and he will occasionally curl up and sleep at the end of my bed at night. The animal shelter that I got him from told me he’d never be a lap kitty. Guess what? He’s proved them wrong. If I’ve got a movie on, he’ll flop down on my legs and watch it with me.

His sobriquets include Jelly Belly, Demon Jelly, Squeaker, and the much preferred, Grey Goose. He is, more often than not, a wonderful pet and friend to wake up to everyday.

~KSilva

Goodbye 2011! Hello 2012!

Good morning, readers!

Today marks the end of 2011. And though this year was a year of wonderful opportunities and many crazy happenstances, I can happily say that I’m ready to see it go.

2011 was a year of many firsts for me. First book signing, first time having a book on Kindle, first book-reading… etc. All of these experiences have opened my eyes to how truly great the world of self-publishing really is. It’s the latest and greatest thing. A few years ago, I never would have dreamed of being an author or having the opportunity to get my book out there, not only in paperback form but digitally as well. I couldn’t have done this though, without help from my friends, family, and fans of the series!

In the last two weeks, The Monstrum Chronicles has grown by leaps and bounds. On December 14th, when I posted the infamous I Need a Christmas Miracle post, I had 108 fans on Facebook. I had 26 Twitter followers. 1 review on Amazon and no likes. ‘Vox was in 672,oooth place on the Kindle best-sellers market. ‘And I had 2 subscribers on the blog.

Since then, here are the stats: On the facebook page, there are 115 fans. I have 70 followers on Twitter. There are 5 reviews for the Kindle version of “Vox” and 2 for the paperback. There are 4 likes for the book (and two for me!) “Vox” is now at 234,194th place on the Kindle best-sellers market. (At one point, it was at 97,000!) I have 5 subscribers (but several other readers) on my blog. I’m absolutely ecstatic! Thank you all so much for everything you’ve done in the last couple of weeks! You truly are some awesome people!

In 2012, I’d like to take it up a notch! (Sorry, Emeril, not trying to take your catch phrase or anything.)

My New Years Resolutions for 2012!

  1. Better management of time: There aren’t enough hours in one day, to be true. So I need to learn how to organize all of my activities better so that I can do more without stressing. (Such as blog before work!)
  2. Money management: In order to really market “Vox” and its upcoming sequel, “Aequitas”, I’m going to need to crack down on the way that I spend money and lay out a budget for buying ads and such.
  3. Read more!: I don’t read enough. In the last couple months, I’ve gotten back into it and would love to get to a point where I can fly through research books while gleaning valuable information from them as well as enjoying genre and literary fiction without taking 6 months to get through a book.
  4. Write more!: It’s true. I say I write in all of my spare time but more often than not, I’m so tired that I just sleep! Or slip into a vegetative state on my couch, while staring out my window. This fits in with my “time management” resolution as well. I hope to write more short stories and upload them to Kindle next year in addition to finally finishing “Aequitas” and uploading that, too!
  5. Exercise program: This is about energy! I collapse when I get home from work every night. In the mornings, I never want to get up. At night, I’m so restless I can’t sleep. My solution? Exercise. It will tire me out before bed, invigorate me in the morning, and keep my muscles from feeling like goo.
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things!: Yes. I am a homebody. I don’t go out much and yes, I am hesitant when approaching things I’ve never done before. I’d like to try and come out of my shell more this year and do things I’ve never done before! (okay, a bit dramatic, I apologize.)
  7. Try cooking different recipes!: Here’s a secret: I practically cook the same stuff every week. Its easy and it’s usually cheaper. But its also boring. I’d like to do a new recipe once every two weeks, if I can. And definitely try some international dishes. Any endeavors I take in that area, I’ll post here. And if it’s not too much trouble, I’d love to learn how to bake. Oh yes, some of you know how I excel in crumbling cakes, creating “grunge cakes” (the long-lost, black sheep cousin of the cupcake) and burning cookies. I’ll be working on this.
  8. Lastly, I’d like to put away some of my resentments, turn the burner down on my anger, and attempt to leave the past in the past. Everyone holds onto unnecessary bad mojo. It’s time I said “Au revior!” to mine.

And I need to figure out how to tame the wild, demon that I live with; Lemon Jelly.

He may look all cute and fuzzy... but...

He’s actually mellowed out quite a bit over the last year. However, he’s still capable of douchey things. Last night, one happened to be leaping across my laptop, while I was holding a mug of tea and making me spill it on the keyboard. He did the same thing with a cupcake I was holding at the beginning of the month when I was having a particularly bad day.

And my time is up for the morning. To one and all, have a Happy New Years!

~KSilva

Pass it on!

Good morning, readers!

Today is my day off and I intend on finally getting some writing done while also trying to re-coup. Christmas week has been hectic. I was up until midnight on Tuesday wrapping presents, worked a long shift at work yesterday, and I feel like I could just use a bit of relaxation today.

I have a youtube video to share with you that makes me feel pretty warm and fuzzy inside. It’s a little Pay-It-Forward kind of video that should be passed on to as many people as you can think of this holiday season. I know I needed to see something like this this morning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc8ZbVcdHpg

 

Have a wonderful day and pay it forward!

~KSilva

P.S. I intended on relaxing but Lemon Jelly apparently won’t allow me to do so. He’s trying to pull down picture frames and chew on folders. Silly cat.

"I will eat your soul!"

VACATION!

Good evening all,

Yes, you read that title correctly. On Wednesday this week, my vacation begins. I’ll be heading out to Upstate New York to spend Thanksgiving with my family and plan to do some serious relaxing while I’m there. But I also plan on working on some new material for the four short stories I’m now working on. What? Am I crazy? Did I just say four? Yes. I did.

All four short stories are completely different from one another so I should be able to at least work on one no matter what kind of mood I’m in! I’ve mentioned a couple of them in earlier blogs so I won’t go back over them. And I want to keep them a surprise!

The only thing that I’m a bit sad about is that my wonderful bud, Lemon Jelly, won’t be able to come with me out there.

Lemon Jelly

Let's face it. There's trouble written all over this face.

No worries, though. He’s in the care of one of my good friends. I know she’ll take very good care of him. Still, it is the longest that I’ve ever been away from him. I worry about him stressing out and potentially doing something like this to my apartment.

 

Hopefully it won’t look like this…

When I return, I will make sure to blog about my adventures out there as well as update you on the status of ‘Aequitas’ and the short stories.

Until next time…

Happy Thanksgiving and happy writing!

~KSilva