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Monday, December 19, 2016

On the Road Again

It's interesting how my office can change from - serious office at home to on the road office - or holiday office.  The last few months have been a small office with the desk being a TV table.  I meant to upgrade that but somehow, it never happened.  I wasn't ready to put out the money for the short-term investment.  But in that office I finished a book, and the edits on two others, never mind some ideas for future projects.

We were in Arizona for the fall, enjoying a break from the dreary prairie fall weather that can be rain, sleet or full out winter weather and back again.   But now it's time to head home where my real office awaits - with reference books and space - yes, there's benefits to going home.

Today we headed through New Mexico after an overnight in Albuquerque.  I love the feel and look of New Mexico.  What I don't like is the endless stream of semis heading to and
from Albuquerque.  That aside, the New Mexico landscape is vast, wild and oddly prehistoric.  The towering cliffs and red rock, the wind swept plans, all of it seems to hold a story.  It's a place, I often think I'd like to stay for awhile, maybe enough time to write a book.  We'll see what the future brings.

In the meantime, it's further north and to Colorado where we meet what I've avoided right until the last days of fall - snow.  Snow arrives much earlier than the official date of winter, still a few days away but for today, the snow cover is minimal and the roads are clear.  Although the mountains looked glorious under a fresh coat of snow.  But then, a mountain is kind of like the best looking girl in the room - they can wear anything and still look spectacular.

Castle Rock is today's stop.  It is part of the urban sprawl leading into Denver.  Urban sprawl is an ugly word but Castle Rock is saved from that by the backdrop of snowcapped mountains that surrounds it.  Castle Rock is an easy stop before hitting Denver and then on to one of my favourite places, Fort Collins.  But Denver and Fort Collins are tomorrow - for today there's a little bar I can see from my window.  A cold glass of beer after a tiring day where I got to be the backseat driver (how tiring is that) and I sat in the front seat (confusing yet?).

Tomorrow, it's on to Wyoming.  I've travelled this route before but there's always something new on the open road.  Fingers crossed the weather holds.




Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com





Friday, December 16, 2016

Road Trip - Life Through A Different Lens

Our trip south is winding to a close and its soon time to head north and home where wishing for snow isn't part of my reality.  Christmas, except for one strange year, is always white.  The escape south has  been a good time.  It's a vacation but not really - more like a change of view from my office window.  My work day has been flexed around having fun.  That means getting up well before sunrise, which I regularly do but now it's just a bit earlier on almost every morning.  By the time the lights on neighbouring houses go on, I've already gone through a cup of coffee and a few hours of work.

The other day was different.  I was up early, the other houses, as usual, were in darkness.  But  I wasn't up early for work but for a road trip.  And as we pulled out of the driveway with the other houses in darkness excitement ran through me.


Our first stop was the Desert Museum just outside of Tucson.  This is a place we've wanted to see since our first trip down here over a handful of years ago when our trips south began.  They began because we were feeling landlocked as our Irish Terrier, Rourke,  was no longer young and we couldn't hit the road without him.  That limited our choices and had us come up with the plan for a road trip south.  Year one we arrived at the Desert Museum with the temperature perfect to leave him in the car for a short period of time.  We always made sure that we checked on him regularly and only left him when the temperature was well below seventy - and of course warm enough in the other direction.  But the signs clearly stated that no dogs should be left in the car no matter what the temperature - they'd break the glass to get them out, or so the sign threatened.  Frightening that such drastic measures had to be considered.  Who would leave their dog in hot weather - and no matter the weather, for any length of time?  Anyway, sometimes they have temporary kennels on such tourist sites but there was none of that.  The Desert Museum was a go no that year  and in a number of years that followed.  Until this year.  Sadly - we lost Rourke last fall.

So this year we arrive - me with a bit of trepidation.  I know there are animals here and i'm not sure how or what they're living conditions will be.  I'll be truthful, I don't like zoos.  So I was a little hesitant about what this might be about.  And while there were aspects of it I didn't like, what I did was that the animals all came there because they were injured and required rehab.  Once that was complete they remained there in habitats where a lot of effort had been made to make them as natural as possible.  Here, the mountain lion was majestically relaxed and clearly in his element.

The high point was the raptor demonstration
where the birds flew free on the command of their trainer.  It was amazing to see these birds flying just over our heads, catching prey and then returning to their handler on command.


Then it was on to Tubac, Arizona population 1,191 in the 2010 census.  The size alone and the few reviews had us expecting not a whole lot but it was on the way.  We were completely blown over - there was so much more than the little we'd expected.  The place was small but so eclectic and filled with artists and their work along with boutique shops bringing in unique and good quality crafts, clothing and accessories.  It was a shoppers dream  There wasn't enough time and one day I'm going to have to go back.  An hour and a half was all we had.  Way more in the day than hours in the day allowed - this will be a place marked as check it out again, spend an overnight.  Check out the funky cafes, the amazing art and the culture that ran like a live wire through this small town.

Next, we had planned
Tumacacori
to see San Xavier del Bac but there wasn't enough time before it closed at five.  So there was another heritage site right outside town - Tumac├ícori is an older but smaller site.  We headed there.

By the time we left the site, it was dark but the freeway was crowded with rush hour traffic as
Peas and carrots from a can - winter memories!
we reached downtown Tucson.  After an hour of bumper to bumper traffic we hit open road once again and stopped in Coolidge in a little cafe - best described as a hole in the wall.  The counter and stools were not only reminiscent of fifties or sixties era but the worn linoleum confirmed that this cafe had aged in place.  The chicken fried steak and huge clot of gravy only completed the whole ambience.  Add to that, that it's been a long time since I've had canned peas.  I remember now, as a child, why I disliked peas that didn't come straight from the garden and was reminded of winter and canned peas.  But despite that small gripe, it and all the experiences of that day were invaluable.  They are what paint the layers on life and make it a rich and intense experience.  It might not have been a good meal but it was filling and the ambience was priceless rather like road trips!

Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com





Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winslow, Arizona

I'm still playing catchup and moving backward to the last night on the road.

Waiting area for the train.
We spent that night in Winslow, Arizona in an old railway hotel that was turn of the century cool.  Not being a fan of the Eagles' song that has seemed to make Winslow famous, I was definitely a fan of that hotel.  And update, I came away a fan of the song too - somehow knowing something about the origins of a song makes you appreciate it that much more.  But back to the hotel, again wasn't sure what to expect.  A single room in an old hotel with no elevator is not something that comes with high expectations.  I envisioned lugging my suitcase up stairs - I was right there, in a dark and dingy - wrong on that one.

Very wrong...

The room was a comfortable size and old world elegance with furnishings that were both funky and old.  Full bookcases in the room and out.  A writer's dream!  Outside the room, the common areas were spacious and decorated with everything from art displays and reading nooks - even a memorial table for what I assume were once the resident dogs.  The hotel was an amazing place.  It's still is a drop off and pick up place for the railroad and there's a waiting area outside where you can sit comfortably waiting for the next train.  There was part of two floors that held entertainment for the guests From the funky grand piano to the paintings depicting stories behind each of the women who have been the United State's first ladies.  That was fascinating

stuff in the odd facts that were revealed and how the artist made the emotion real on the canvas.  And my favourite part - each room was dedicated to a famous person and a one page write up of their life was on the door - from the Doublemint twins to Betty Grable, if someone had opened their door they would have caught me lurking outside as I moved from door to door reading each of the write ups.  Fascinating stuff - too many to read them all though and I was feeling just a little creepy standing outside someone's door like that - even though it was really an innocent activity, really.

Then there was the reason for being here - we'd just missed the Take it Easy convention.  Yes, there is such a thing.  So the crowds have moved on but I still needed the picture.  The one beside the truck and of course then there were the requisite souvenirs.  Did I mention I'm not much into the song?  But once you're here you just fall into the mood of it all with Take it Easy and everything Eagles belting out from every store bracketing the area, the mood has been laid.

Well, I’m a standing on a corner 
in Winslow, Arizona, 
and such a fine sight to see. 
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Fordslowin’ down to take a look at me. 
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe. 
I gotta know if your sweet love is 
gonna save me. 
We may lose and we may winthough we will never be here again. 
So open up, I’m climbin’ in, 
so take it easy.

Excerpt from the Washington Post





And in other news!

There's a sale on!  If you haven't read my first two books, From the Dust and Ring of Desire, head on over to your fave online bookstore where they're on sale for 99 cents!  

Stay on top of what's going on in my writing world by signing up for my newsletter, The Walkabout.  Just click here.


Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

Going Backwards - The Grand Canyon

It's Black Friday and other than shopping, although I did a bit of that too - how could I not, it's time to relax after a busy week.  Giving thanks is tiring work!  Now, it's time to catch up on my trip from the Canadian prairies to Arizona.  On the road there was less time than I thought and once we arrived I was hit with a run of edits on the upcoming series.  Desert Justice - next spring... so excited!

But all that aside, I still want to finish up the highlights of the trip that finally brought me here to Arizona and a little haven from the cold winds of fall in the Saskatchewan run up to winter.

I last left you on the trip at Page, Arizona where we went through the amazing Antelope Canyon that is part of the Navajo Nation.

I was rather looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon because I'd been there once before and had seen a whole lot of nothing.  Don't get me wrong.  It wasn't that I was unimpressed, it was that I could see literally nothing.  The year I graduated high school was the first and last time I saw the Grand Canyon until last month. Actually, that long ago trip couldn't really be classified as seeing much of anything except a foggy drizzle that settled over the canyon and allowed little to be seen.

I wrote my first travel journal all those years ago.  And it looked something like this - never mind, it looked exactly like this.  In fact, this is it - yes, I kept it.

Excerpt (disclaimer:  I even then fancied myself a writer, but I still had a long ways to go):

"The Grand Canyon really wasn't that great.  Zion was miles and miles better.  I think Grand Canyon would have been just as nice if we'd had time to take the mule trip, but as it was there was only one lookout view and you could walk to the edge of the trees and see it.  There was only one souvenir shop, food place and groups of cabins.  Couldn't see much of the canyon."

And while that was what my seventeen year old self thought of the Grand Canyon on that long ago family trip, times have changed.  I remember it was a rainy, foggy day.  The tail end of the day and dad had driven for hours.  He wasn't in the best of moods and I'm betting that he only wanted to get to the hotel and call it a day.  But you can hardly just skip past the Grand Canyon.

But that day, maybe we could have.  I remember that we couldn't see even halfway into the canyon because of the fog.
And after a rather disappointing stop we climbed back into the station wagon and headed off with a sigh of relief I'm betting on my father's part and one of disappointment on my mother's.  I remember writing about what I saw in the backseat while worrying about the pimple that had unexpectedly appeared the day before.

So this time around I was really looking forward to actually seeing the Grand Canyon.  And I was really impressed with the fact that yes, there is now more than one lookout.  Although, I'm sure then, there was as well.  What I do know, is that there was a lot more to see this time.  The weather cooperated and it was a glorious day.  The chances to get close to all that beauty were everywhere.  I loved the history of the canyon and those incredibly brave people that actually attempted to first scale it.  Then there was the heart wrenching story of the plane crash knitted amongst all the natural beauty.  It was an awe inspiring place.  I'm glad I finally made it back.

So now the Grand Canyon is behind me and so is thanksgiving.  But I can still give a bit of thanks.  So here goes.  I'm thankful for so many things.  But this time, I'm going to pick one little thing - that journal.  I'm thankful that on that long ago trip, I kept my first travel journal that has reminded me in the years that followed to hang on to the dream.  That journal reminded me to keep believing that one day I would be a writer.  I suppose what I didn't know back then was that I was aways a writer, it would just take me awhile to grow into being an author.

What did your teenage self have to say?  What would they tell you now?

Want to keep up with the latest news?  Check out the latest contests?  The last issue had three separate contests for a variety of prizes.  Sign up for my newsletter The Walkabout:  Click here.  
  
Ryshia

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Deal On Black Friday? - You Bet!


Seriously, I know there's a lot of deals out there but this Black Friday event is fantastic because there's more than one.  Good enough reason?  I think so.  So here are two deals and a contest that has a lot of deals...  Beginning with the deals that end soon.

Today only, Legacy of Fear is on sale for 99 cents.

A lost woman’s language, a deadly secret and passion neither can escape. In the heart of China, linguists, Max and Andra are on borrowed time as they race death to save lives and a treasure that is impossibly rare.



Hurry before the sale ends.

Click at any of the online stores below to  check out the sale at online bookstores including:


Amazon             Barnes &Noble           Kobo                 




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For just a few more days, my romantic suspense, Fatal Intent is on sale for only 99 cents.

When a scientific expedition into the Borneo jungle goes horribly wrong, Garrett turns to the one man who may help them.  Instead, she finds unexpected solace in his arms.  But faced with death and betrayal, in a battle of wits that puts lives on the edge, can anyone be trusted?



Hurry before the sale ends.

Click at any of the online stores below to  check out the sale at online bookstores including:


Amazon             Barnes &Noble           Kobo                 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Kindle Book Review presents the Amazon $400 Shopping Spree.  Sponsored by authors featuring their bargain great reads including Fatal Intent.


Enter to win an Amazon Shopping Spree worth $400.


Contest ends November 23, 2016.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Desert Justice is available for pre-order!

Four powerful young Sheiks...
Four compelling stories

The Al-Nassar brothers have it all - power and wealth and a successful security agency that mitigates danger by providing investigative and protective services to its clients.  Follow the daring brothers across the globe from Morocco to Wyoming as in case after case these young men take it to the edge and back.

The first and second in the series - Sheik's Rule and Sheik's Rescue are available for pre-order at online bookstores including:

Sheik's Rule:
Amazon       Barnes & Noble     Kobo      

Sheik's Rescue:
Amazon      Barnes & Noble      Kobo      







Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Journey Continues - The Road Goes Backwards

I'm still on the road heading south.  At least that's how it is on the blog.  I didn't finish writing about the trip even though I did arrive at my destination.  So, bear with me, I have to go backwards because my on the road diary snagged on that thing called "life."  I thought I'd catch up on all the sights of my journey when I got to my destination and instead I no sooner pulled my suitcase through the door before deadlines began.  Apparently, writing a series means that there's not just one book that needs a bit of love and attention, but three others.  I'm learning, I really am.  And the series - more on that later...  Or if you'd like a play by play on what's happening, where it's all at and yes, contests and giveaways, sign up for my newsletter, The Walkabout.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes
There's some irony in travelling backwards with my blog post because part of this trip was revisiting the past.  Soon, you'll see, the route will take us to a place I haven't been since I was a teenager.  I'm rather looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon as that trip was where I wrote my first travel journal  But that's another post - we're not there yet.  Now, the
road stretches ahead of us.  On this leg of the journey, Utah is behind us and we're headed to Page, Arizona.  There, the Grand Canyon isn't a thought as there's canyons galore and lots of height related, stomach churning sights to keep anyone with a fear of heights in a continual state of fright.  But it's beautiful too. And, along the route we stumble on a sign for the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.  Almost drove by, and I'm so glad we didn't.  



The days end, is Page, Arizona.  The next day it's on to the Antelope Canyon.  The Canyon is on land that belongs to the Navajo Nation.  So the tour is run by the Navajo and our guide is a young Navajo man who is anxious to head to England to study music and is also an avid traveller.  There's a young couple from Slovenia and another couple from Belgium, someone from China and another couple from Japan.  I might be a foreigner too but in this group, Canada is looking pretty ordinary.  Meantime, our guide continued on about travel and his love of it and fills in all that with bits about the canyon which is looking not at all inspiring.   At this point I'm not sure why we need a guide except to tell us about the fascinating Navajo aspect and maybe a bit about the fauna.  But then it gets interesting.  We're going down - way down!

Our guide looks back at us, reaches over to help one woman who just fell down a stretch of sloping, foot polished rock and leads the way to narrow metal stairs that disappear into the earth.  ""If you're scared of heights just go up."  Up?  I look down, way down.  It's a metal narrow ladder with a bevy of people in front and now behind as we begin the journey.  There's no way anyone is going back up.  Instead we're heading down and the irony is that this canyon stretches deep into the earth, deep enough that if any of us slip on this treacherous ladder someone or many someones could die.  Yes, such thoughts run through my head.
More height - we visited a dam

Did I mention I hate heights?

And I really didn't need the story of the tourist who didn't follow instructions not to take pictures while on the stairs and fell who knows how many feet to his, I assume death.  That part of the story gets glossed over.  Maybe our guide realized that the graphic story might have been a bit too much.

All of that aside, it was worth it.  The canyon is awe inspiring.  If you're ever in Page, it's a must see.


Tomorrow, yes tomorrow.  I'm not done yet.  There's more, much more!  I'm still going backwards on the road - the road that's coming forward, to here, the now.  So more travel stories.

In the heart Borneo death & passion collide

But speaking of more - My romantic suspense set in the heart of the Borneo jungle, Fatal Intent, is on sale for 99 cents!  Check it out here on Amazon or any of your fave online bookstores!


That's not all - Fatal Intent will be part of a sponsorship for an incredible $400 Amazon Shopping Spree prize on the Black Friday Giveaway.  The chance for $400 Amazon shopping spree is  happening tomorrow.  So check back here, the prizes, the trip, it all continues - or in the case of the Black Friday giveaway, it begins.




Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com



Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Rearview Mirror




The rear view mirror reflects home but an adventure lays ahead.  Day two has us travelling from Bozeman, Montana to Springville, Utah.   But first we head up into ski country.  It's hard to get a good picture out of a moving vehicle but in mountain country it's still an awesome shot.



Breakfast is on the road and a stop at the Blue Moon Bakery where there were fantastic scones and funky ambiance.  Nestled in the mountains this was a sleepy little town poised to come to life with the upcoming ski season.  Sadly the ambiance was quickly left behind as the road and more gorgeous scenery called.  

A small glitch where the GPS was just not cooperating and the falling apart paper map had to be consulted.

What are the odds?

Arrived in Salt Lake City and on a spur of the moment decision decided to risk driving in the dark and see the Tabernacle.  Everything was crazy busy and not a parking spot in sight.  Although in the second lap around the area there was enough time to appreciate the gorgeous historic houses that line one street.  The busyness?  Turns out they were having one of their yearly conventions.  What are the odds?

So it was off to Springville, Utah where an old bank building with marble columns and soaring ceiling now houses a restaurant.  The smile of the day was with the waiter who offered lemonade or soda as a beverage.  Expecting this, it's Utah after all, my husband asked hopefully if there was any beer.  The young man who was our waiter lit up like we'd given him a present.  "Lots of good beer," he raved.  "I know beer."  He smiled and I noticed the hole under his lip where the earring had been removed and the tattoo peaking from beneath his shirt sleeve.  Not everything is as it seems.


And the road rolls on.




In the meantime, if you haven't read about it yet, I'm hanging with some fabulous authors.  This is a fantastic chance to have some fun, find some great reads and enter for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate.  Need more books?  Want some fun picking covers and blurbs?  Check it out here:  



Safe Travels!

Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com

Monday, October 3, 2016

Meet Your Next Fave Book! And Win...Win!





I'm on the road and enjoying the sights and there'll be more of that in the next few posts.  But while I'm tripping along and looking forward to standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona, here's what else is going on...


 It's a romantic intrigue extravaganza!

A chance to discover some great stories while entering for a chance to win a fabulous prize!

Not only that but I'm participating in this amazing contest.  Quick, pinch me!  Or better yet, just go to the site, have some fun checking out and voting for best cover and blurb, and enter to win a prize to make any book lover drool. 



Seriously, you won't want to miss this!  The prizes and the fun are completely worth checking this out.  Really!

It's all here at:

 https://www.prizesforreaders.com/ 


Here's the thing, not only is this a great chance to have some fun by voting for covers and blurbs, it's also an opportunity to enter a fantastic contest that could see you winning a $100 gift certificate from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (your choice).   I don't know about you, but I love simple and this is a super easy one-click entry, no Rafflecopter or anything complicated. Winner will be announced on Oct. 18th.



Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Place Is A State Of Mind

Today is the beginning of journey south.  It's a vacation to get away from it all although I'm still taking work with me.  What I bring with though, isn't really work, at least it doesn't feel like that.  When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work.   This vacation is mostly about getting away from the usual, the mundane- the common place and the obligations for a time.  But all that is a post for another time.

In the meantime, let's state the obvious.  I love fiction and I especially love unique settings, places where I learn about people foreign to me and as I learn about them, they give me inspiration to give breath to their fictional lives.

So let's get to some places...

First stop - US customs that was slightly longer than anticipated.  Five minutes turned into fifteen, but finally we were on our way.

A few hours later, the outskirts of Sidney, Montana came into view.  Sidney is a welcoming little town, one that if we were further into our journey, would be a great place to stay but today is about making miles.  So after a slice of pizza and a coffee my husband and I head off.  Pizza and coffee, a strange combination but it worked!


Now it's off down the road and the deeper we get, unlike our shared border which is really a mirage that has you wondering if you left the country, it is so much the same.  Here though, the differences between Canada and our neighbour become clearer.  It is evident in the housing styles, in the crops and in so many other ways.  But that's travel and that's what makes it fun and enjoyable - the differences.

The differences run as shallow as they are deep.  Hours from the Canadian/American border,  we stop for gas and see - what would be a 911 call in Canada -  the armed man with the gun on his belt heading into the gas/convenience store.  Here, I take a step back and let him enter the story well ahead of me.


Inside the store, I find myself behind what I would call a cowboy, typical maybe to one born a hundred years ago but still, one born and bred to the land.  His cowboy hat is so stiff with dirt and shiny with grease that it makes me think that he was either born with it in his hand and he's worn it all his life or he inherited it.  His dirt encrusted boots indicate a life on the land and far form soap or maybe an equipment breakdown and a panicked trip to town.   Ether way, he's a character and it makes it all so deliciously foreign.

It's all intriguing and different from home, even here, these few miles over the border.   But it's all good because you know,  this is someone else's life and someone else's culture and as a writer, I greedily make a note of it all.

Seeing new sights, talking to new people, it all makes for another character, another situation and hopefully, another story.

And this is only the beginning...

Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com
...a world you never imagined



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Without A Backwards Glance...

It's that time of year on the prairies.  Fall hit hard this year and summer went away without even a backwards glance.  But autumn has its moments.  I remember as a kid the dread of the end of summer followed by the excitement of getting new school supplies.   The autumn really is a time of endings and beginning.

On the writing front, a lot of things have been happening.  I'm gearing up for the release of my series.  Beginning in April 2017 when the first of my Sheik series is released followed by three more.  Four hot brothers, all Sheiks and each with their own story.  Journey with me into the heart of Marrakech in the first of the series as Emir Al-Nassar meets his match and then some.

In the meantime, there's Suspect Witness, released this year and the happy dance goes on.  I've got a giveaway going on Goodreads - at least it will be going beginning September 11 and ending on the 19th.  Be sure to check it out.
I'm giving away a signed hard cover version of Suspect Witness that you won't easily find.

Check out the contest here:
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/202753-suspect-witness

 New issues of my newsletter, The Walkabout will soon be out to subscribers - don't miss out on news and giveaways.  There's some announcements pending.  Click The Walkabout above to receive my newsletter.

Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Revving Up The Creativity

I used to cook quite a bit but that cooking was a little different.  Our dog ate home not commercial - well balanced, scrutinized by a vet, but home cooked just the same.  Since Rourke passed after a happy fifteen years, I haven't cooked much of anything, my husband is a great cook so I eat well.  But even though I don't cook, or didn't - we're not sure how this is going to go, don't get me wrong, I do other things, like - clean the house - yuck.  Ok and a bunch of other stuff I won't bore anyone with.  But none of it including and especially, the cleaning, take any creativity and sometimes you need something creative that isn't writing fiction just to get back to the writing with fresh enthusiasm.

So today I had the urge to cook.  It was time to get down to basics and I'm not being literal here.  I hauled out my well-worn copy of a Betty Crocker recipe book that a friend gave me for my nineteenth birthday - and no, I'm not going to say how long ago that was.  But I will say it's holding together nicely all things considered.  So with book on the counter, I turned to a blast from the past, a one skillet recipe - a past favourite - not favourite to eat, although it will suffice, favourite to cook - translation, relatively easy.

Then, I ran into a problem, the bluetooth wasn't working.  I had to listen to my music through the speakers of my phone.  I know, I could have fiddled and fixed it but my tomato sauce was already in one hand and the music is important.  When I cook, I listen to music and yes, I'll admit it, I dance.  To be fair, I'm alone in the kitchen, there's no one to be traumatized by me waving a wooden spoon in the air or even me dancing out of synch although I swear I'm completely in step.  Yes, stay clear of the kitchen when I'm cooking, you might be whacked with a wooden spoon while I'm doing a spin - accidentally, of course.

Back to the cooking, when the majority of your creativity is pored into writing the latest story, the fourth and last in my Al-Nassar brothers' series,  it's refreshing to do something else that doesn't involve writing to rejuvenate and breathe new fire into your story.  Now after making a batch of skillet spaghetti - one of my specialties and no, in case you were wondering - restaurants will not be knocking on my door to get that well and time-worn recipe.  But they won't go away hungry and they will appreciate the glass of wine
that came with that dish.  That is provided they agreed to stay and give an extra hand with the mess that followed.

Cooking, knitting, painting - what sparks your creativity?

Ryshia