One Girl’s Charcoal Grilling Adventure

How to Grill a Burger Without Your Guy, But Still Show Him You Love Him

Last night I lit a charcoal grill and cooked burgers for the first time ever. Now, I’ve helped with prep work before. But, the hubby has always been the one to get the grilling honors. In fact, he’s a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to his charcoal grilling or smoking techniques. Whenever we’re at parties or at the in-laws he’ll regale everyone in sight about his most recent grillin’ adventure.

This works out for me as I love to eat. He cooks. I clean. It’s a good arrangement as I’m OCD and he’s not. Sadly, however, my chef has been away on a business trip all week. Tuesday was the perfect weather for grilling. I thought about it, but didn’t. You ever have those days? Then, when Wednesday night turned out just as nice, I decided it must be a sign from the grillin gods.

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The Unexpected Rewards Gained From Crossing the NaNoWriMo Finish Line

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always wanted to give National Novel Writing Month a try. However, life just keeps getting in the way. Work. School. Family. To-Do lists. Vacuuming. Facebook.

Nanowrimo winner badgeThis year, I decided enough was enough. I gave myself permission to put writing first for 30 days. Five days ago, I crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line with 3 hours to spare and 1,214 words above my target.

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In the Interest of Fairness

I have decided over the past couple years that working a day job in Corporate America will better prepare you for rejection as an aspiring author. Especially if you’re a woman.

Last night, I watched a Season 3 House marathon while doing a marathon of dirty laundry and folding. The gist of House is basic: somebody gets sick, then House cures them while being a jerk. To keep the story interesting there’s always a subplot that runs over multiple episodes. The subplot over these episodes was a quarrel between Dr. Cameron and Dr. Foreman.

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My MWG Interview with Author Susan McBride

In case you missed it, I did a blog interview with St. Louis author Susan McBride over at the Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference Blog last Thursday. Susan will be one of the speakers at the Guild’s 2012 “Write Time! Write Place! Write Now!” Conference.

With that interview, Susan graciously donated a copy of her most recent book LITTLE BLACK DRESS to give away to one lucky commenter. Commenting closes tonight, so you still have a chance to win.

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9 Simple Solutions for Procrastinators

Sarah’s Note: Today, I’m featuring a guest post from Christine Kane, my favorite motivational speaker who helps primarily women get motivated about “up-leveling” their lives, as she calls it. Procrastination is something I struggle with on a regular basis, so this article really spoke to me, and I hope by sharing it with you, it will help you overcome your own procrastination fears.

Nine Simple Solutions for Procrastinators

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Killing the Parent in Young Adult Lit

Parents are always a sticky problem for young adult writers. Your protagonist can’t have exciting adventures if her parents are continuously blocking her fun – a feeling, I’m sure, many kids relate to. However, sitting in time out doesn’t make for a good story. Unless that story is based at a detention camp where your protagonist has to dig Holes all day. But even, in Louis Sachar’s story Holes, his main character’s parents are MIA for all but the first and final chapters of the book.

The problem with parents as characters is that most parents in real life are buying the book for their children. Most parents don’t like buying books, especially for younger readers, that don’t display parents in a good light. Figuring out how to develop characters that are acceptable to parents, librarians, teachers and other adult figures AND their children and students can be a daunting task.

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JettRiders stop in St. Charles County on cross-country trip

Earlier this month, I spent time with the King Family who live in Weldon Spring, Mo. Their son, Tyler, has been diagnosed with Duchenne Musular Dystrophy. Through my day job, I’m constantly writing about mesothelioma, so I understand how frustrating it can be for families like the Kings who have been impacted by a rare disease that doesn’t receive much media attention.

This is why I spent four hours at their home and even hitched a ride with the cyclists’ caravan down Highway 94. Just to make sure I had all the information to write the best story I could.

The final article took me three hours to write. It was a hard topic to write about – to stay honest about the fact that DMD has no cure, but, also, present the optimism and hope, I observed from everyone there that day. I hope I succeed. You can click here to read the article or I’ve pasted it below.

From Cali to the Jersey Shore
Cyclists spanning the country for a cause stop in Weldon Spring

By Sarah Whitney, For the Journal
Saturday, August 14, 2010 3:05 AM CDT

Just after 2 o’clock in the afternoon Aug. 7, 14-year-old Tyler King pushed the joystick on his motorized wheelchair forward and raced toward “heaven.”

But the parade of cyclists whizzing down his street in Weldon Spring beat him there.

“I couldn’t go any faster. The chair only goes so fast,” Tyler said later.

Once they dismounted, each cyclist shook hands with Tyler and introduced themselves.

The cyclists, called the JettRiders, are a group of teenagers and adult leaders biking across the United States to raise money for research and awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy – the disease Tyler lives with.

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Free word processor for writers

I use Microsoft Word just as much as the next person, but when it comes to writing a novel it couldn’t keep up with me.

I’m a planner. I pre-write like a movie star pops pills. It’s a messy business, but fun. I could have eight documents each containing one chapter. But five alternate chapters or three of those eight would have a character’s name spelled a different way. I’d spend more time opening and closing documents trying to figure out what’d I exactly I’d previously written instead of writing new words.

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Writing muscles

As of Sunday, I will officially be a free lance writer. A story I wrote about a ground breaking event Mother’s Day weekend for a Habitat for Humanity home is slated to run Sunday, provided no news breaks at the last minute.

The story was around 550 words. I was worried it would be too short, so the first comment I asked editor Jamie Quagliata when I visited the office yesterday, was how many inches it was.

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