You Procrastinate Your Way, I Procrastinate Mine

**Note: This entry was supposed to be posted Sunday, but I put it off until today. Sorry

Heck yeah, I've got loads to do! Tis the season, isn't it? Gifts to wrap. Suitcases to pack. Messages to return. Cards to send. Oh yeah, and writing . . .  

In 2 days I'm leaving Trinidad for the month. First to California for the Big Sur Writing Workshop.  Workshop means preparation. Make copies of projects to focus on. Decide which projects those are. Gather my tools.  Instead . . . 

The Big Sur Workshop is the delicious carrot I'd been dangling   just beyond  , ever since September, when I quit writing to focus on L&R's wedding. I'll refocus on my writing, then, I'd promised myself. I'll commit to finding a new agent. Polish my stories. Finish revisions on my chapter books. 

The Big Sur Workshop is the delicious carrot I'd been dangling just beyond, ever since September, when I quit writing to focus on L&R's wedding. I'll refocus on my writing, then, I'd promised myself. I'll commit to finding a new agent. Polish my stories. Finish revisions on my chapter books. 

After the workshop, I'll fly to Reno to visit my mom and brother's family. Reno means cold, not Trinidad tropical.  After Reno, I'll fly to Westhampton Beach, more cold. I need to dig out my woolies. Instead . . .  

We'll spend the holidays in Westhampton Beach with M&M, L&R and Baby B.

Latest Baby B news: he's flipping front to back and sometimes back to front. And surprise, surprise, like his father before him, loves to be held...all the time!

Latest Baby B news: he's flipping front to back and sometimes back to front. And surprise, surprise, like his father before him, loves to be held...all the time!

Holidays means sorting out gifts I've already bought. Wrapping for folks here. Thank you envelopes. Cards. Packing my suitcases. Instead . . . 

Reno in Winter means dressing like this  Curtis loves his woolies!

Reno in Winter means dressing like this

Curtis loves his woolies!

Trinidad means dressing like this:  Me and John ready for the beach!

Trinidad means dressing like this:

Me and John ready for the beach!

After packing and hauling this mound of baggage for L&R's wedding, I was not excited about packing all over again . . . 

After packing and hauling this mound of baggage for L&R's wedding, I was not excited about packing all over again . . . 

I could have, should have, tackled this To-do List last week--or at least made a stab at it. But last week was Thanksgiving. And cooking a  Thanksgiving Feast seemed more pressing. And more in keeping with my 2013 resolution "Live in the Moment" which I haven't been especially good at keeping.

My post Thanksgiving Feast plans has been for us to continue eating our way through the leftovers while I sorted, wrapped, packed today & tomorrow.  (No hardship; "leftovers" is our favorite part of Thanksgiving.)  Post dinner, Tuesday, I'd sort the fridge, freeze, repackage whatever remained of the feast.

This morning, pouring rain stopped me from keeping my other 2013 resolution "Exercise Regularly," too.

Maybe if I had said "yes" when Curtis asked if I'd like some coffee, I would have stuck to my plan.

Maybe if freibor, Brian, hadn't sent those recipes on ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers, it wouldn't have been on my mind. 

But somehow, when I opened the fridge to pour milk into my coffee, the bowls and platters of leftovers called to me. 

"Take us out!"

"Don't leave us like this!"

 "We want to be used!"

"Mixed!

Blended!

Baked!

Transform us . . . PLEASE!"

And so, leftover mashed potatoes, chopped onion & parsley, butter & fresh grated Parmesan became "Potato Puffs

Leftover marinated mushrooms, picky-platter pickles & olives and a couple of cans of beans--kidney, garbanzo & pinto--became "Bean Salad".

Leftover turkey, green beans, broth, gravy and the rest of the mashed potatoes became "Turkey Shepherd's Pie"

Leftover cranberry sauce, chopped pecans, and milky whipped cream became batter for "Cranberry Pecan Oat & Buckwheat Muffins", some of which I dropped into mini-muffin tins for now, the rest of which--thanks to a quick Internet surfing and instructions from Heavenly Homemakers.comI froze for later. 

Potatoe Puffs, Turkey Shepherd's Pie, Cranberry Oat Pecan Muffins, Marinated Bean Salad (not shown)

Potatoe Puffs, Turkey Shepherd's Pie, Cranberry Oat Pecan Muffins, Marinated Bean Salad (not shown)

The Tupperware saleslady from The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarity would be so proud!

The Tupperware saleslady from The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarity would be so proud!

And everything else that remained of our Thanksgiving 2013 feast was sorted into tidy plastic containers. 

Then, because all the freezing muffin batter postings--I did say Internet Surfing as in ongoing activity and instructions, plural--suggested freezing them as muffin blogs, either in cupcake papers or directly in the tin, and I got to thinking "wouldn't it work to freeze the batter en mass?" I decided an experiment was in order. I spooned half the leftover muffin batter into a greased tin, as directed, and poured the rest into a small contain and froze it that way. My thought is semi-thawed I should work just fine. Procrastination? Ney, I have another work for it: Experimentation. 

Oh yeah! And then, because I was so excited to share this brilliant frozen muffin batter idea here, I left the heaps of crusty feast dishes, pans, bowls, mixing and measuring utensils--not soaking--and raced over to my computer to type up this blog entry. I'll wash the dishes later. Right now, I better get started on that to-do list . . . 

You procrastinate your way; I'll procrastinate mine. . . . 

Lucky #13 Vampire Baby Play List

After 4 years of piano lessons, my teacher finally told me one day "If you aren't willing to try playing chord progressions, maybe you'd better quit." (And yes, I did want to bite her for that...) So I can't play a few bars. But my head is stuffed with music. Say pretty much anything and a song pops into my head. 

So, of course Vampire Baby has a play list. 

Music soothes the savage beast!

Music soothes the savage beast!

Music Playlist for Vampire Baby:

            The No Bite! Song (by Tootie’s Brother)

            Another One Bites the Dust

            Crocodile Rock

            The First Cut is the Deepest

            Monster Mash

            Little Vampire

            Once Bitten, Twice Shy

            Dracula Disco

            All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

Any other songs you think should be on the list? Hum a few bars . . .  

Just a few more days left to enter the "I Vant My Vampire Baby" Book Trailer Contest--is NOW!!! 

Here's how: View the Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett book trailer on Youtube. Leave a comment. You're entered to win you're very own authographed copy of the book. It's that easy! 

Here are the Contest Details

 

#10: Confessions of a Vampire Dog!

 Paul Meisel, VAMPIRE BABY's illustrator, the Dr. Frankenstein of our illustrator/writer partnership--in that he brings our creations to life--is a dog lover. He's never told me this directly, but I added dog + dog + dog together:

he sneaked a dog into the illustration for our other book together, DAD AND POP

Flip thorugh the pages and count how many dogs Paul sneaked into the illustrations! If you comment with the correct number, I'll throw you a bone!

Flip thorugh the pages and count how many dogs Paul sneaked into the illustrations! If you comment with the correct number, I'll throw you a bone!

Do the math: Dog Lover!

Do the math: Dog Lover!

his author photo shows him hugging not his wife . . . not his kids . . . . His dog; 

 

 and after illustrating 70 some books, he burst onto the author scene with an easy-reader SEE ME RUN that earns the coveted ALA Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor. 

 

The Geisel Award is given for "Most Distinguished Beginning Reader"

The Geisel Award is given for "Most Distinguished Beginning Reader"

No surprise then, that when I asked Paul to share some biting story--vampire or otherwise, he writes about a vampire dog: 

 

"Well, we had the craziest biting dog [Rusty]*. He was a Brittany, and from the moment we got him he did nothing but go into a frenzy for no reason, which was odd as he was most of the time a loving dog who even smiled at us (full teeth smile!). We thought he had rage syndrome so we took him to a dog trainer who specialized in aggressive dogs. She said he was "fearful", but fine. Turned out she was wrong too. . . . 

Other than all of my children having torn pants at the cuffs, there was one particularly amusing story relating to his biting.

One day while still a puppy, he went into one of his fits. I was walking him on the leash. He suddenly jumped up and grabbed hold of my jeans back pocket and pulled the pocket down, ripping my pants. Later that day I had to go to Petco and had forgotten about the rather large hole exposing my underwear until I reached the counter and went for my wallet, which I had of course had to put in my other back pocket."

Spoiler Alert: Turns out Rusty wasn't a Vampire Dog. Paul went onto explain: "As he aged, he [Rusty] mellowed a bit (and stopped biting us), and at around two and a half he went blind and couldn't stop drinking water. The vet guessed that he was born with a tumor on his pituitary which accounted for the rage syndrome symptoms as well as the drinking and blindness. His drinking obsession was stabilized with a drug that humans get (desmopressin), and he went on to live 7 more years as a happy, blind dog. (He only really had trouble getting around in the snow, when all scents were covered up.) 

(You've got to admit, my Vampire Dog theory makes for a better story...) 

The "I Vant My Vampire Baby" Book Trailer Contest--is NOW!!! 

Here's how: View the Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett book trailer on Youtube. Leave a comment. You're entered to win you're very own authographed copy of the book. It's that easy! 

Here are the Contest Details!