Here You Go-My Contest Entry-Crave-able Kimchi

So, I decided to share with you all my contest entry for the new monthly Writing Cooperative contest.  We were to write a story from a different perspective than our own on any subject, not to exceed 600 words. I hope you enjoy it and can tell me if I accomplished my goal.

Crave-able Kimchi

The moment I landed in Dongducheon, Korea just north of Seoul back in 1981, I knew I was in for an epic adventure of sights, sounds, and tastes. Stepping off the plane the strange smells of the country assaulted my nose. I had landed at what is lovingly known as “the turtle farm” which smelled like a combination of feces, earth, and dead fish. Even though this was not the tour of duty I planned on (I wanted Germany), I was going to make the most of it, but I soon discovered that the “Army’s best-kept secret” was the birthplace of my now most craved delicacy!

Even before I had left my beloved San Antonio where I was learning about becoming a lab technician, my friends had taught me some of the language so I would more easily get around once safely ensconced at Camp Red Cloud. Of course, the words they taught me were all the wrong ones. They did get one right though, and that was how to order a Coke. Once I learned those words I could substitute almost anything else to get started ordering food in the “ville.” (village off base)

Now, the loose translation for “Can I have a Coke please?” is “kolla jusayo butakamnida,” and “Hello” is “yeoboseyo.” It took me months to stop answering the phone that way when I came home! I’m sure I am remembering the slang I used to get around, so nobody quote me on the literal translations please.

I remember the first time I was introduced to kimchi, my Army buddies and I had been drinking at a bar close to the base and one of the cute little waitresses (also named Kim) offered me a bite after I asked her what she was eating. The second the pungent, tangy, spicy, cabbage touched my tongue I was in love! I wanted more and further, I wanted to understand how to make it. That’s when she told me it was fermented in the ground! I had never heard of such a thing and the very next day, I went to museum in Pusan to see how it was done. (I was stationed in Uijongbu)

After they showed me the earthen pots they would put the cabbage mixture in once it was ready to lower into the ground, they then explained the process of “pickling” the cabbage. They explained how the cabbage was soaked, salted, and made ready for the “porridge” that was later spread on each leaf. A combination of red pepper flakes, garlic, fish sauce, salted shrimp, ginger, and glutinous rice paste mixed with water was basically made into a paste and spread on each leaf before covering in the pot. Then it was buried in the cold ground for five weeks and a shelter was built around it to prevent drastic temperature changes. These days it is ripened in the refrigerator, which is all the better for me!

The smell of kimchi can be off-putting for some, yet it doesn’t bother me and I crave the peppery, sour treat. Some people compare it to sauerkraut, but kimchi is saltier where sauerkraut is tart. Plus, the red pepper flakes make it hot enough to get your sweat glands activated! Thinking back on it now makes me long for the time I spent eating, drinking, and hanging out with the special people of South Korea as well as my military friends, in a country where shared food is the very best kind.

My goal with this story was to show from the perspective of someone who adored kimchi-which I do not! I would appreciate it if you could find my story on Medium or Facebook and then clap for it, the person with the most claps at the end of each month wins. (only clap if you liked the story 🙂 )

(For whatever reason, Medium won’t let me link the story on here, so I just copy/pasted it. )

View at Medium.com

What My Busy Week Produced

*This post may contain affiliate links, please read my disclosure.

Good morning everyone and how is your Friday shaping up? Man, it’s been a busy and somewhat productive week for me, I thought I’d share a few reasons why with you today and also see if I could possibly broaden your reading horizons a bit by directing you to a couple of great places for reading and learning.

First, though, I want to thank those kind hearted people that contributed to the North Texas Walk for PKD in my name, I appreciate it more than you know! Like I said, I realize there are many causes out there that need donations (especially this year) so I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you helped with mine.

Next, I have been revising and reworking my writer’s website and it still needs a lot more work, but it’s good enough to make me stop procrastinating and I went ahead and launched/re-launched (whatever you want to say) it to the public, I even shared it on Facebook. It’s very scary when you’re not sure it’s right, but you have to start somewhere, right? Anyway, I named it Write Where You Are but in hindsight, maybe that should have been the tagline and I should just use my name. I’ll let yall check it out and give me some feedback if you would be so kind.

By the way, I just have to keep giving a shout out to Grammarly for constantly correcting my desire to put commas where they don’t go. Thanks!

Before I get to the writing/learning stuff I want to share, I was also going to mention that I have been playing around in the kitchen this week, tweaking recipes from an online cookbook by The Coconut Mama, and since I can’t share any part of the book, I’ll tell you how a mistake turned into something tasty (not pretty) and show you a cool thing I found and purchased last night at of all places, Burlington. So, I wanted to make her chocolate chip cookies (this cookbook is all about cooking with coconut flour, click the link and get yourself a free copy) and I screwed up and ended up with chocolate pecan coconut cookies. Not bad, kinda tasty in fact.

I told you, not pretty

What happened is, I mixed up all the ingredients like the recipe said, then realized it called for 3 Tbs of coconut flour, not  2. So I tried to add it in… didn’t work, so I microwaved it and, you guessed it, the chocolate chips melted and made my whole cookie base chocolate. So I threw in some of my recently shelled pecans-from-my-Dad’s-yard and voila!

The end result, still not pretty, but good enough to eat

I will admit, there’s a bit of a learning curve while working with coconut flour, if you don’t do everything right, you get a dry product. Still, with a nice glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee, they are just fine. Just a little bite to satisfy your sweet tooth and perfectly Paleo because the only sweetener in them is raw honey.

Speaking of little bites, here is my Burlington find, something I’ve been wanting/looking for for a while.

My new mini-cupcake pan!

Bonus…it even comes with the silicone liners!!! And it was only $6.99!! Cool Beans!!!

Now the next time I’m called to host Bunco, I can make enough muffins/candy/fat bombs or whatever to feed the crowd! Yea!!

Ok, on to the good stuff. We all know what a time suck is right? Think Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest…I could go on. But sometimes a timesuck can be that in a good way. For learning purposes, entertainment value, or a combination of those. I’m talking about Medium and all of the wonderful writers there. I could spend all day reading and learning because there are so many publications to choose from. If you are a writer, you can become a part of this wonderful community, gain a following, and help people all at the same time. (I myself write on a few of their publications as some of you know.) The Weekly Knob, 100 Naked Words, The Creative Cafe are some that are well worth following. The more I interact with other writers though, the more pubs I learn about, like The Mission, The Junction and so much more. Today I was entertained by my favorite cartoonist, Thunderpuff, with her post Scary Movies I Watched As a Kid (And a Few I Didn’t). I tried to link to the story, but all I know is you can download the Medium app, then search for her or find her on The Junction and you will not be sorry. I did share it to Facebook, so if you follow me there, you can see it.

The next timesuck that turns into something productive (for me anyway) is Skillshare. Here with a free membership, you can access 1000+ classes on everything from web design to cooking pasta. It’s crazy how many classes there are so why not challenge yourself to learn something new?! You can learn more about creative writing, technical writing, copywriting, or something completely different. And you can also learn how to teach your own classes which will earn you a following and money! I’ve been contemplating that idea myself but I would not have a clue how to do it. That’s ok though because when I’m ready, they will guide me every step of the way!

Well, That’s all I have for today, If I find some extra energy, I will try to write a story for Flash Fiction Friday. I have much to do yet, and also, this is the birthday weekend!! My Dad’s, Chris (my baby is not a baby anymore :(), and my friend Kaye’s birthdays are all coming up. The 21st, 23rd, and 24th respectfully. My father-in-laws was on the 22nd and my aunt Connie’s was also the 24th, making October the busiest birthday month in my family. Please pray with me that Chris’s present arrives before his birthday does. That has always been important to me. He knows what it is but still. I want him to get it on or before his actual birthday. Call me silly.

One more thing, I guess some of you might notice the lettuce growing in the background of the cupcake pan picture, that is a new one, lol. While pretty, they don’t ever get really full like a true head of lettuce but its fun to watch them grow anyway. See you later, I’ll be watching, reading, learning and writing on the patio!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust

 

Day 174-Free Days-Trying Something New

My game room window sill, a bright and sunny spot for the new Primroses!
My game room window sill, a bright and sunny spot for the new Primroses!

Good morning!  This morning I’m trying something different. My pain has gotten to a point where I am forced to do something new. I’m  writing by speaking because I’m not going to quit, or give it a break, as my husband suggested. I have  to honor my promise to write for 365 days.  I figured that it must have something to do with the way I was sitting when I write, so I’m sitting in a recliner, with my puppies by my side, speaking what I want to have written.  I’ve also decided that I need to relax and to that end I jumped on the Netflix train and plan to binge watch Orange is the New Black,  every chance I get.  If I massage was in the cards, I  would go get one, but that’s probably not gonna happen. So wine and Netflix it is! I still plan  to “write”  on Medium,  and I invite you to check out today’s story at The Weekly Knob. Hopefully, this way of “writing” will work as well there, it’s a bit of a learning curve for me, but I’ll get it eventually. I’m also using the wonderful Christmas present Miss Stephanie gave me called Sore No More, it works really well and has all natural ingredients!  I hope everyone has a good weekend see you tomorrow from a soon to be very chilled out patio! 😉

PS-check out my new Primroses that I mistook for African Violets…still pretty, and I had the perfect spot for them!

Current Events-I Apologize

Good morning fellow bloggers! I’m writing a second post this morning to apologize for concentrating so much on the IBMC challenge that I haven’t been keeping up with all the latest events like Veteran’s Day, the election results, the super moon, my new grand baby…oh wait, I did tell y’all about that!

It’s been hard to get anything done around here, what with a gaping hole in my kitchen, the thought of writing 24/7 to keep my word count high for NaNoWriMo and the impending birth (now arrival) of the new grand baby, that I’ve found it difficult to focus on anything else. Not to mention the medical events that have been happening like my dad’s and husband’s recent surgeries.

A very comfy looking Rayven
A very comfy looking Rayven

I wrote a piece on Medium this morning about getting up early every day to fit the bulk of my writing in, and how that is the only way I can manage it. The earlier I get up, the more I can get done, especially on the days I work my part time job with Stephanie-M-T-F are those days. So, this morning I started around five, got my first blog post done and my piece for 100 Naked Words on Medium.

Now, I’m writing this post to update you on my thoughts of the above mentioned events that just sort of slipped past my addled brain. Yesterday, during church, I was again reminded of Veteran’s Day as they showed all the veterans in our congregation up on the big screen. I didn’t know they were going to do that, or I would have submitted my picture, since I am a veteran also. Of course I was aware of the fact that it was Veteran’s Day on the actual day, I just didn’t remember to write a post about it. Seeing all the vets in church always makes me emotional, because I realize how important the sacrifice to our country is, and I’m proud to say I had a part in it as well. My husband also served, as did my dad, his dad, and many other members of our family.

As far as the election results, I will only say that I was one of the people happy with the results, and I will hope and pray that I was right and he does a stand up job for our country. I’m already tired of the hate speak, the protests, and nasty comments and finally took some time to stream the interview on 60 minutes last night while Dave was watching a different channel. I’ve just been doing my best to ignore the negative and focus on the positive aspects and just try to move forward with what’s going on in my world.

I heard about the super moon but did not venture outside last night to see it. I also heard that Tuesday will be the best night for viewing it. Is this true, is that what y’all have heard? I will try to view it then, but probably not at two in the morning-the projected best time to see it. I don’t get enough sleep as it is!

So, my point with all this is, yes, I still know what’s going on around me, I just have to make a concerted effort to write extra posts if I want to keep the blog up to date…which I do. Not that y’all are sitting around with baited breath, waiting on the latest news from me, but I like to think you are somewhat interested in my opinions, pictures of the new baby, or tidbits I happen to whip up in a jiffy to keep things fresh and new.

Oh, did I forget to mention, I also have a new do- I need to get someone to take a good picture, I don’t take selfies, but most of my friends and family seem to think it looks good on me. It is short and dark, it works with my short stature and I think it makes me look taller. The hairdresser did an excellent job and my best friend actually said I looked sexy…what?? Anyway, I’m very happy with the results and I think it is going to be way easier to take care of.

One more thing before I go, I need your help with this week’s word prompt for The Weekly Knob on Medium- hairbrush. Any thoughts or ideas, beginning sentences you can share would be of great help. I don’t think it is cheating to get a little push from my fellow writers out there, so lend me a hand if you can. I would appreciate it! Now go and have a great Monday everybody!

Day 98-Free Days-How I'm Making NaNoWriMo Work For Me

If you are a writer, you’ve most likely heard that this is the month for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month.

My personal page showing my word count before today
My personal page showing my word count before today

As I’ve expressed here on my blog before, I’ve joined the challenge again this year as a Rebel, someone doing the challenge for word count only. I am also doing it to increase my speed and in the process, learn a bit more about story telling.

I’m proud of my word count so far, even though I am consumed by thoughts of what I should be doing to increase my word count all the time, to the point my dear hubby is probably annoyed with me. It is hard not to though, I have to write 50,000 words by the end of the month and this is my strategy:

  1. Using my blog
  2. Writing my daily post for 100 Naked Words on Medium
  3. Writing a story every week for submission to The Weekly Knob on  Medium
  4. Writing notes while working on a class I’m taking from Shaunta Grimes called How to Develop and Test a Story Idea
  5. Writing articles or essays for paid publications (in hopes of getting paid, lol)

Yes, it would be nice to get paid eventually for some of my writing, that is one thing I aim to accomplish after a year (or have I been writing for two?) of being on this journey. I’m learning a lot, and anything I write can be counted as part of my word total for NaNoWriMo. I’m sure that some people count everything, comments they make on other people’s posts, lists they make, whatever. Not me, just the above mentioned and anything else lengthy-even a long email.

If I’m doing it wrong, no one has pointed it out yet-and this challenge is based on an honesty policy, you don’t cheat anyone but yourself if you lie about your word count. So I’m shorting myself, if anything, by not including every single word I write. For me, it’s not about that, I want to hone my skills as a blogger, storyteller, writer of all forms and that is why I’ve taken the challenge again this year.

I was already doing the 365 day project on this here blog, so it’s a given that I would add my blog posts every day. The new writing I’m doing on Medium for various publications and the daily one, add even more. Then I discovered that I could learn some valuable lessons in storytelling from Shaunta’s class and up my word count in the process. Then, on Tuesdays-my designated writing day, I can really turn on the burners and do all of that and try to make money writing for paid publications. It all adds up, rather quickly in fact. So wish me luck and join in on the fun yourself, if you’re up to the challenge.

I wonder how many of you are doing the challenge, in secret, or in public- I don’t hear of as many bloggers, as I do people who write in other areas on other platforms. If you are, tell me about it in the comments as well as sharing your thoughts on my strategy. Do you hole yourself up in a room for hours or days at a time? Are you also driving your family nuts with what you call “this writing thing” as I am? Do you feel verified as a writer? I want to know. I sometimes feel like my family and friends don’t understand the passion I feel, or how important it is to me to make it as a writer. It isn’t a hobby to me. It’s becoming a true love.

 

Day 94-Meeting New Blogger Buddies

Wow, Nov 2 and our high here in the DFW metroplex will be 87! I’m sure that will change with the thunderstorms slowly moving in overnight. Not that I’m complaining about warm weather, I am a summer girl-a water baby-hey, I’m a Pisces after all!

Just an illustration of the possible weather change
Just an illustration of the possible weather change

I had a record day yesterday with my writing, accomplishing all the goals I set for myself and surpassing the word count I thought was possible! Yea! I started my day with the blog, moved on to a post for my daily writing assignment on 100 Naked Words, and then did an essay for a magazine that I hope will get published (and pay me). By the time I was through, I had racked up a word count of 2,645 and that went in my NaNoWriMo total for the day. Not bad I thought for the first day, if I could keep up that pace, I would be well on my way to the goal of 50,000 words for the month. Thing is, I had all day (with breaks of course) and I don’t have that luxury every day. Girl’s gotta work ya know, and there’s all the other stuff in the middle, but hey, that’s part of the challenge! You have to learn to fit it all in, make it work somehow, lots of other writers have a heck of a lot busier schedule than me. Later on, in the evening, I started composing my story for my post in The Weekly Knob, and that added some more to my word count, add in a couple of emails, and by 10pm it was up to 3,045! Woop!

Official Site NaNoWriMo.org
Official Site
NaNoWriMo.org

So, I didn’t get much feedback on the post from yesterday, thanks to those who did though. 🙂 Since one of the comments was how she liked to see the pictures of my family or project updates with accompanying photos, I thought I’d share a pic of our temporary spot our dish ware is living in until we finish (gotta start first, lol) the cabinets.

My dishes in their temporary location
My dishes in their temporary location

My hubby has been too tired after work to mess with the kitchen, hopefully, he won’t feel too bad this weekend following Thursday’s surgery, and we can go shopping for some. (cabinets, that is)! Yes, the dishes, glasses and cutlery had to go somewhere out of the way, so Dave built a temporary shelving unit in the dining room to house them for now. Luckily, I’m very adaptable to change and have already got used to their new location.

If you have some extra time on your hands and want to check out my little story from yesterday I posted on Medium/100 Naked Words called Fighting The Monsters, please do, it’s good for a chuckle. Also, while perusing other folk’s blogs last night, I came across one that had my crying from laughing so hard-that girl is cra cra!!! Her name is Suze and she blogs over at Obsolete Childhood– just read her intro page and you will be begging for more! I read two more posts in and had to stop for fear I’d wake my husband with all my tears and giggles. Then, check out her friend Cyranny for more amusement of a different sort, she posted a pic on Cyranny’s Cove in response to an award question that had me laughing so hard, I was shaking the bed and tears were flowing down my face! Go-check them both out, make some new friends and enjoy laughing for awhile, it sure beats crying or worrying about this upcoming election. (Though, it is a circus in it’s own right. ;)) Happy reading!

Day 93- Help Me Help You-Writing With A Purpose

How my dogs can tell time is a mystery to me, yet, there was Whiskey, licking me in the face at exactly 7am this morning-the time I try to be up on my off day, the day I have earmarked for writing. To which I rolled over, glanced at my IPad, saw the time and leaped out of bed, because, of course I have that and a million other things to do on my “off” day.

I needed to take my “new” car in to the dealership, since there were existing issues from the moment we got it. The good news is, my husband purchased on a lease agreement, therefore, the dealership was prompt with service and a loaner-I simply took it in, and drove out with my exact replica loaner vehicle! No muss or fuss, I didn’t even have to sign any paperwork. He even had the radio tuned to my favorite sirius/xm station-Octane! What a super guy!!

Next on the list of course, is all of my writing assignments, which I have decided I need to figure out the best way to allocate time for. But first, there was laundry to start, dogs to feed, wait-I haven’t even fed myself, but there was coffee! Yes, that was first out of the starting gate! Anyway, I have taken on quite a bit more than I ever have, so now I need to create a schedule of sorts, to be able to fit it all in. I started with the simple list, what they are and how often they need to be written. Now, I have to set a schedule to get them all done.

The other thing that has been on my mind is, how I can make my blog better for my audience/followers, and that means, how can I be of service to you? I need to know what you want to read about, or what problems I can solve- in other words- I feel like my blog needs more purpose. I’ve been trying to market myself as an expert on alternative health, yet my blog has become more of a place to simply hang out with you guys, share my day, post my updates on our renovations, tell you about my family, and every once in a while, I’ve stuck in tidbits here and there about my Paleo lifestyle. The question is, what do you all want to see more of, or, what is there that I can write about that would interest you more? I don’t want to be another blogger that writes about writing-they are everywhere. I read stuff from lots of them, which is where I get my inspiration, and instructions on how and what to write. I have to admit though, this also creates confusion and chaos in my mind, what is my purpose?

Like I wrote in my piece for 100 Naked Words on Medium last night, I started out wanting a way to make money when I began my career as a writer over a year ago. The fact that I have not made a penny is not lost on me. My writing has improved, as well as the speed that I write, and those are huge improvements on accomplishing my goal, however, my true aim is to help people, which is why I picked the niche I did. Truth is, I am not sure I have been doing that, so now, I need to hear from you all. Another thing I’ve discovered since starting my journey as a writer is that I like the creative side of writing and that is why I’ve taken on more assignments. I want to learn more about the storytelling aspect of writing, this can also be a huge help if I ever really get into copywriting, which is what my goal was in the first place. (and to help people in the process)

To wrap all this up, I will ask you all to help me help you. Wish me luck in attaining my goal to fulfill my daily writing assignments, as well as my weekly ones, and please, tell me what I can do to be of service to you. If you want information, I can write more posts relating to my paleo lifestyle or something else you want to know more about. If you want entertainment, I could write about the music I am so passionate about, or my favorite TV shows I am convinced I can’t miss, lol. I could write about crafts, plants, whatever-the list is endless, but what do y’all want to read more about?  Yes, the goal right now is to write for 365 days consecutively, but I feel like I should be doing all that and more. When I write articles for magazines in the hopes of earning money, I write to inform, educate and hopefully help someone live a healthier life. When I write for publications like Medium, it is more of a creative outlet, a place to hone my storytelling skills. If I take on the NaNoWriMo challenge, it is a place to achieve the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. Yes, that’s a lot of writing, however, if I ever hope to make a living from my writing, I need to be able to meet deadlines, so all of this writing is practice for me. Ok, I realize I am rambling now. Your turn, tell me what you want to see, and I will do my best to make it happen. I value my relationship with you and don’t want to lose you, so feel free to comment below with your suggestions, advice, and words of wisdom! I’m off to finally eat some breakfast, which will probably be something fast and easy like an omelet-in-a-mug, since my kitchen is in shambles! See you all tomorrow on the patio 😉

Day 57- What If…. Week-

Today I decided to turn back to creative writing this week because of a seemingly brilliant idea that came to me just as I was falling asleep last night, I thought of having a week of scenario type stories focusing on What if…..

I had a lovely story almost written in my mind, then I fell asleep-and you know what they say. That is a disaster, now I can’t recall the particular story except the very beginning, or what my point was, or the direction it was supposed to go. Lesson here, always keep a notepad by the bed to jot these ideas down, but what if my husband is asleep? I don’t want to wake him once the light is off, so some ideas that I had to remedy this was to use a lighted pen, or a small flashlight, or at the very least, I could get up and take my iPad into the other room.

Why I can’t fall asleep on Sunday nights is a mystery to me, maybe because the weekend is over and I know I’m working Monday, so I start mentally preparing myself with to-do lists or writing projects come unbidden into my head. I had 3-4 of these such projects back to back racing in my mind last night, now I can only recall bits and pieces.

But now I have an idea.

After reading the word prompt on Medium for this week’s edition of The Weekly Knob, I am inspired to write a little on the subject of  Light up Medium, Light up the World. The word prompt is “candle”,  while I can’t write the same story in the both places, I can write a “what if” story. So here goes:

What if we, as a nation, lit a candle every day at a certain time in solidarity to end the madness and bring some positivity and light into the world? What do you think it would change? Would we be so busy lighting candles and thinking of our individual reasons for doing so that we would forget the hate and negativity going on in all the dark corners of the world today? Would we for once, get caught up in the action of doing something as a group to bring happiness and peace to the world that we ignore all the ignorant and inane things in the mainstream media today? What if we also said a prayer for peace and unity every time we lit that candle? Would the nation be healed? Maybe not, maybe so, I bet we’d have more of a fighting chance by coming together in this action than not. I say we try it for a week. I say, if the nation lit a candle and prayed everyday for a week, say, at 7:11, the healing would begin. What if we shared the news we were doing it, like we do every other insignificant thing we plaster all over Facebook and Instagram and Twitter? Spread the news, make it happen. Don’t you want the madness to stop? All the shootings, the press about the shootings, the riots, the protests. Light. It. Up. Light the candle, say a prayer and spread the word. I’m going to, because I really do. I want it to end and light to come back into the world. The light of Jesus. The light of God. The light of peace. I pray you do too.

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