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.