Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls

I don’t like cinnamon rolls. However, my kids do, and they keep telling me I make very good cinnamon rolls. Others have asked me for the recipe, so here it is with the instructions on how I do it. If you don’t make your rolls this way, don’t worry. I’m sure there are more than a dozen ways to make them. This is what works for me, and since everyone who has eaten mine wants more, I might be doing something right.

What You Will Need

1 cup of milk. I use 2% but whole will work just fine. I’m sure skim will also work.

1/2 cup of margarine. You can also use butter or shortening. They’ll turn out slightly different, but use what you have.

1/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon of salt. I use sea salt. The original recipe had 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but I thought that was a little too much.

3 teaspoons of dry yeast. That’s 1 envelope.

1 teaspoon of white sugar. This will go with the yeast and warm water.

1/2 cup of warm water

1 egg, well beaten

4 1/2 cups of white flour. I used unbleached but any regular all-purpose flour will do.

Making the Dough

Step 1: Put milk, margarine, 1/3 cup of sugar and salt in a sauce pan and warm until the margarine is melted. Stir to mix ingredients. Then remove from heat and let cool. It’s vital that this is only lukewarm, not hot, or it will kill the yeast.

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Familiar Sayings From Home

Have you ever been far from home, swimming in a sea of people you have little in common with? Then, out of the blue, you hear someone say something so familiar, your head turns. It might be a familiar accent, the same as yours, or it might be a saying from your hometown.

This is how Cormac, one of the main characters in Dragons in the Dungeon, finds Nimble, who is a prisoner in the dungeon he is thrown into.


Cursing the guards, Cormac yelled at them, “Take a long walk on a short drawbridge!”

Nimble turned to him and said, “Pier.”

He glared at her, the fire of the fight still blazing in his eyes. Giving her the once over, the fire dwindled. “What?”

“Isn’t it pier? Long walk on a short pier?”

His expression grew curious. “Yeah. But…” He considered her for longer than she’d have liked, then spoke in a calm voice. “Where’d you hear that?”

Cormac questions her further. He’s desperate to find someone from his world without letting the other prisoners know where he’s from.

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Publishing Deadline for New Fantasy Novel

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Before I go any further writing this fantasy novel, I’ve set myself a deadline. I love deadlines. They commit me. They inspire me. They light a fire under me. I hate missing them, and I’ll do whatever I can to keep them.

On a scrap piece of paper, I scribbled down realistic deadlines for the process of getting this fantasy novel launched. I discussed it with my publishing team, and they are on board. My goal is to have the first draft completed by July 19, 2022. I’ll complete the revisions over summer and get it to the editor by September 15th. The Advanced Reading Copies will go out in November. In January, the book will go out to reviewers. That leaves two months until…

LAUNCH DATE: Thursday March 23, 2023.

Currently, I have 35,264 words written for the fantasy novel that will receive a title soon.

Reminiscing with Classic Christmas Programs

The past few days, I’ve been listening to classic Christmas shows from my childhood. I had stumbled upon the collection on YouTube. I don’t need to watch them, just glance at them now and then as I work around the kitchen. I’ve seen them so many times over 50 years, I know what the scenes look like.

These classics are the best. They’re not technically wonderful, but the memories they stir of sitting with my brothers and sisters watching these makes them perfect. It doesn’t matter if they’ve remade these shows; they won’t be as good as the original.

If you want to reminisce, too, check out Classic Christmas Movies. The line up is Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and The Little Drummer Boy.

The year they first appeared on TV is . . .

  • Frosty the Snowman 1969
  • Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer 1964
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town 1970
  • The Little Drummer Boy 1968

Now Available: “Natural Selection”

My first dystopian novel is now available in eBook form. The paperback is coming soon.

Today is bathed in the shadow of yesterday.

The year is 2051. Almost three decades have passed since the Devastation destroyed civilization. Only the strong and wise survived; the weak and intellects perished. New societies emerged, forging a future with skills from the distant past.

In Green Wood, Eloise has lived in seclusion with her uncle for 12 years. While they receive visitors to Larkspur Cottage, the number of friends they have can be counted on one hand. When strangers arrive and capture her uncle, she is forced to run, but who can she turn to when she doesn’t know the land outside Green Wood or where her friends live?

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Connecting the End of Summer to My Disconnect

For the past few months, I’ve been disconnected with the movement of the world. I didn’t know what caused this lack of grounding, so I passed the days tackling the large list of projects I have on the go. Some days, I felt disorientated. It was like I was lost, a drift at sea with no land in sight and no sails to propel me forward.

This inspired a trip to a medium to see if I could find the source of the disconnect. Coincidentally, before I sat down, she had a vision of me walking the beach searching for people to save from a ship wreck. Apparently, I had feared my light was not bright enough to guide the ship to safety. However, my job was to save those who managed to crawl from the sea and to gather the bodies that drifted in.

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Garlic Update for 2021

On my journey to be self-sufficient with garlic – I mean Queen of Garlic – I have met with success in the summer of 2021. If you haven’t read about the garlic growing in my garden, check out this post: In the Garden: Growing Garlic.

While the garlic donated from my sister and nephew grew well, the garlic that has grown in my garden since November 2019, which I dubbed Midgarden Garlic, did amazing. I expected three cloves per bulb, but instead I got four or five cloves.

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Diving into Book 2 of the Mystical Series

With Seeds of Life buried in the backyard to ripen over the next four months, I’m diving into my next project: Book 2 in the Mystical epic fantasy series. More than 20,000 words have already been written, and the first scene of the first chapter has been posted to the book’s page: Within the Myst.

This book picks up three weeks after Beyond the Myst ended. It opens with Ob Ryder Somerled in his cell and being summoned to meet with the Elders. The characters who will tell the story include:

  • Willow Asuwish – daughter of Floriana (nee Kintale) and Jack Asuwish
  • Acacia (nee Asuwish) Elrick – Willow’s sister
  • Wynter Storm – servant at Castle Cothromach, friend of Willow
  • Ob Ryder Somerled – a picket who lives at Muighland
  • Sigwin Darroch – sailman at Argosy Sails on Nautics Path, Cothromach, who befriended Willow
  • Gloriana Kintale – Willow’s aunt

This story will

  • follow Willow into the Land of Ath-o’Lea, the place she entered when she passed through the Myst.
  • follow the Asuwish family as they discover the true history of their home Cothromach
  • follow Gloriana as she searches for her life mate

The story will reveal some of the secrets of the Myst and the motives behind the green dragon attacks. Updates to word counts will appear in the right-hand margin.

Characters Playing Cards in an Epic Fantasy Story

I’ve played cards all my life, first as a child playing simple games like Go Fish, then as a teen playing Rummy and Poker. I’ve taught my kids a few games, Playing Cardsbut they aren’t the player I used to be. We didn’t have electronic equipment to occupy our minds when I was a kid, so if we were inside and wanted entertainment, cards or a board game was it.

Cards fit easily into a back pocket, so they travelled everywhere with us: to school, the playground, the camp, the woods. Everyone knew how to play at least one game, and most of my family and friends could play a dozen.

The characters in my epic fantasy series are often travelling. The most mobile entertainment for them is a deck of cards. Cards didn’t appear in my first two books, but they did in the third. With four teens gathered around the fire in book 4, Healing Stones, there’s going to be more card playing because it feels natural.

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