Sunday, May 21, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
This has been a long journey, and for the most part, quite satisfying. The best part is reading the comments left by people on the various posts. And of course, those who have read the book saying they enjoyed it.
Did it help sales? Some, probably not a whole lot, I won't know for sure until I get my first royalty check.
Putting together a blog tour is arduous--finding the people willing to host you, writing something different for each post, sending them off, checking each day to see if the post has appeared (sometimes they don't), through the day looking to see if someone has commented and leaving a reply.
I'm sure some of you may wonder why I do it, since it is so much work. I have several answers. I love writing, and thinking up new topics and writing them is fun for me. I don't do book tours, in fact never have done much of that because all the nearby bookstores have disappeared. In fact, I'm more inclined to give library talks--because the people who come are there to hear you.
The main reason I do blog tours because it's a way to let a lot of people know about my latest book.
If you haven't had a chance yet, go take a look at it on Amazon, Unresolved, by F. M. Meredith. And if you've already read it, and liked it, please leave a review.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
I used to be a good cook, praised for my skills in the kitchen, my willingness to tackle complicated recipes like Coquilles St. Jacques, and my ability to serve large dinner parties and even larger cocktail parties. Today I am cooking from a wheelchair in a postage-stamp kitchen with standard-height counters and no stove or oven. My stove is one of those new-fangled hot plates that operate by magnetism—it heats hot and fast, often too much of both.
I burn food, I scorch the pans, I singe myself. I have spilled, dropped, and splashed. When I chop celery or onions, the floor is littered with bits of green, bits even the dogs won’t eat. The most used tool in my kitchen is not a spatula or a measuring cup but the grabber I can use to retrieve things from the floor or high up kitchen shelves.
What happened? Two things: severe hip pain prevented me from walking and then the doctor advised against even trying to walk; complicated hip surgery and a long recovery followed. For six weeks I could put no more than one-quarter my weight on my left foot, and even today I am strongly advised against bending at the hip. I can stand for a while, with the chair close behind, to stir or chop or wash dishes but that’s it. I didn’t cook for probably six months, and I guess the memory—or skills—grow rusty.
I also moved from my 1800-square foot house to a 600-square foot cottage. Talk about downsizing! People ask what I miss and I reply, “My kitchen utensils.” I thought I took what I needed, but not so. I was in pain, not thinking clearly, and my children cleaned out the kitchen for me, taking what they wanted of what I left behind. For weeks recently I didn’t have a metal spatula, only a rubber-coated one, and any cook knows you can’t get under something and get a good crust with a coated spatula. I missed slotted spoons, tongs, ladles, good knives, and a host of other things. For my birthday this year, I plan to register at Target.
There’s an upside to all this. I put some old bad habits behind me and began to do some things a better way. I’ve found for instance that my unmeasured proportions are off—my dishes based on a roux carry too much of a hint of flour, and my recent hot potato salad didn’t have enough vinegar—I tried to increase the recipe by guess. Usually I follow recipes more carefully.
I’ve had success with such out-of-the-ordinary dishes as a mushroom ragout and failed miserably with everyday things like grilled cheese sandwiches. But every time I cook I get a little better. I’m proud that I recently engineered a dinner for six.
I used to wish I were a chef but by the time I reached this decision my back, knees and feet were too old for the rigorous hours on your feet. Barring a career calling for a toque, I thought I’d like to be a food writer. I did publish three food books: Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids and Books, Texas is Chili Country, and the slim Extraordinary Teas Chef, and as this blog and my own Judy’s Stew demonstrate, I still like to write about food and cooking.
Now my goal is to get my cooking skills back up to their original level. I recognize that I may never again cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family of sixteen or host a cocktail party for sixty, but those Coquille St. Jacques? I’d like to serve them to you someday.
Judy Alter's Bio:
An award-winning novelist, Judy Alter is the author of several fictional biographies of women of the American West. In The Gilded Cage she has turned her attention to the late nineteenth century in her home town, Chicago, to tell the story of the lives of Potter and Cissy Palmer, a high society couple with differing views on philanthropy and workers’ right. She is also the author of six books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries series. With the 2014 publication of The Perfect Coed, she introduced the Oak Grove Mysteries.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
We've always taken in folks who needed a home--even if we didn't really have room for them.
We raised a grandson there, had two others for different periods of time, and a granddaughter who stayed with us during the school week.
A son while he was suffering from cancer during the times his wife had to work.
There was another small house on the property.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
- Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X3Z8VLB
- Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunters-quest-karen-mccullough/1125808779?ean=2940157500979
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70503
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Friday, May 5, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017
Saturday, April 29, 2017
I loved this book. From the beginning words I was hooked. This is the story of a missing woman and so much more. The main character, Virginia Knightly, is a TV news producer, as such she begins an investigation into the missing woman’s disappearance. Set in Washington, there’s a hint of both political and perhaps even police involvement in a major cover-up. What’s so great about this book, is how realistic it is.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
On June 24th at 11, I'll be over at the Paso Robles Library talking about Best Sellers again.
I have five Fresno Library visits at 11 a.m, I'll be at the Gillis Library, June 17, the Fowler Library on July 22, the Selma Library, July 29, the Kingsburg Library August 8, and the Caruthers Library August 12.