My Sister’s Imaginary Friend “Siggy” (Contest Winners…New Contest!)

So, as you may or may not know, my sister and I are weird.  But in a good way…at least to my way of thinking.  But…well…let me start from the beginning:

When I was little I fell in love with a groovy little British boy named Jack Wild.  Now, you know Jack…he played the Artful Dodger in the 1968 movie version of Oliver!  (Stole the show, too, I might add.)  Anywho, I didn’t fall in love with Jack because of his Oliver! performance.  No siree!  I fell in love with Jack as Jimmy in the all time greatest TV series EVER, H.R. Puf N Stuf!  That’s right!  Though I realized many years later that WitchiePoo is the true wonder of the show, at age six I LOVED Jimmy!  I remember embarrassing my dad once in regard to my passion for Jimmy.  Understand MY dad is way way way hard to embarrass!  However, when at the grocery store with him once in good ol’ (somewhere near) Grace, ID…I begged and begged and begged him to purchase a teenager magazine for me with Jimmy’s picture on the front!  I mean I LOVED Jimmy!  LOVED him.

However, as we all know, even though I loved Jimmy, I loved Huckleberry Finn more…and Huck always won out and remained my imaginary friend for a couple of years following the My-Daughter-Embarrassed-Me-By-Begging-For-a-Movie-Start-Magazine-in-the-Middle-of-the-Grocery-Store incident with my dad in 1971.  Yes, it’s true.  I did have an imaginary friend for that long.  But hey…at least he was a human!

I mean, take my sister, Luanna, for example…my little sister also had an imaginary friend when she was approximately three or four years old.  She called him, “Siggy” and he was always there to play with her, sit down to dinner with the family, etc.  Ah yes, Siggy…I remember it well.  Siggy this and Siggy that.  It was adorable!

Furthermore, Siggy was also a ‘real’ entity of sorts.  Just as my Huckie was my imaginary proxy for the real Huckleberry Finn…Siggy was Luanna’s imaginary proxie for…of course…Sigmund the Sea Monster!  Yep!  It’s true!  (And at the moment I’m wondering how my sister and I would’ve survived our childhoods without the brilliant minds of Sid and Marty Kroft!)

Yep…good ol’ Siggy…or Sigmund the Sea Monster and you know him.  What a guy!  A little on the skiddish side, but with Luanna there by his side, he did all right.  I mean, his family was really mean to him (which you already know, if your familiar with the TV show Sigmund the Sea Monster).  Yes…Luanna and Siggy were quite the pair (as you can see by this photo of them together.  See him?  Right there next to her?  Oh, wait…that’s right…he’s imaginary so you probably can’t see him!  Sorry!)

Yep…good ol’ Siggy.  Good ol’ Luanna.  What a couple of mischief makers!  I’m telling you, you never saw such a pair!  (Reminiscent sigh of mechanically over childhood things.)

So last week it was Corn Worms, and this week it’s imaginary friends and sea monsters.  Hmmm…Am I sensing a blog theme in my brain here?  Eureeka!  October is upon me and Halloween at the end of it!  Yahoo!!!!!  Therefore, I think another spooky contest is in order, don’t you?

First of all, let’s talk about the winner (plus 1) of the Sandy’s Corn Worm blog from last week.  Now, as you know if you entered, our dearest friend “K. Lou” wrote that FANTASTIC poem, an “Ode to Sandy’s Corn Worm!”  AND I think you’ll agree she deserves an award for that!  HOWEVER, there were so many entries and all of them were sooooooo wonderful, that I’ve decided to choose 2 winners for this contest!  Of course, “K. Lou” is one winner, for her tender, empathetic poem “Ode to Sandy’s Corn Worm” and her insight into how forgiving one should be a husband who does dishes, whether or not he grinds up your pet Corn Worm in the garbage disposal!  K. Lou…winner #1…e-mail your address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can get your autumn/movie-themed prize package in the mail to you asap!

Now as for winner #2…there were so many many many fabulous entries that I’m just going to pull a name out of my hat as the winner…so hold on a second.  And the winner is…hold on…Chris Bails! Congratulations, Chris!  Please e-mail your snail mail address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can get YOUR autumn/movie-themed package in the mail as well!  Fun!  I LOVE doing contests!

Now, as for this week’s contest…oooo!  It’s another Autumn/October/Halloween-Themed contest, okay?  For this contest leave your comments on your favorite childhood TV show and you’ll be entered to win:  A “Monster House” DVD (I LOVE this movie), and appropriate Autumn/Halloween snacks to munch on while watching it!  Yummy!  Yep!  Another movie and snacks…I guess I’m not feeling too original today!  Still…movie?…snacks?…monsters?  Yep, an ode to Siggy…my sister’s imaginary friend!

Meanwhile, if you’re not familiar with Simund the Sea Monster…here’s the old 1970s opening credits!  LOVE it!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 27 Comments

The Sad Ending of Sandy’s “Corn Worm” (Contest Winners and New Contest!)

The other day my daughter Sandy and I plopped my grandson (Linkie Dink/Lincoln) in his car seat and meandered down to Wagner Farms in Corrales to see if we could pick up some peaches and apples.  We were hoping for pumpkins, too…though Wagner’s doesn’t usually put them out until the last weekend in September.

We arrived to find the delicious aroma of roasting green chili and the the beautiful autumn red of chili ristras hanging everywhere.  Mmmm!  Heaven!  Now, as Linkie Dink and I were choosing some perfectly juicy, fuzzy, delicious peaches, Sandy decided she was going to get  a few ears of sweet corn for supper.

Well, after Linkie Dink and I had chosen some peaches, some apples, some tomatoes…I noticed Sandy was still over by the corn.  So we strolled over (Lincoln ran, of course) to see what was up.  Well, what was up was this:  Sandy had never (to her memory) picked through organically grown ears of corn…which just might have had a caterpillar or two hiding inside.  Thus, she was very carefully and very slowly opening the husks to check to see if each ear was a good one or not.  At first, she was a little grossed out, but when I reminded her that half the fun of shucking corn was the eerie anticipation that you might come across a ‘worm’, she was suddenly overtaken by the sense of adventure, and actually chose a couple of ears that had ‘worm’ evidence.

When we got back to her house, her hunky husband began shucking the corn and did indeed come across a ‘worm’!  It was hysterical to watch, because as he continued shucking, he accidentally pulled some husk off the ear a little to quickly and the worm went flying off the ear of corn and onto Sandy’s arm!  She was screaming and laughing and Soren was laughing…even as he heroically removed the worm from her arm.

Well, to make a long story longer…when it was suggested that they put the worm down the garbage disposal I was mortified!  Therefore, naturally I turned into my mother (as we all do) and suggested they keep it as a pet!  I was reminded of the time I found a tomato worm in my mom’s garden and made a little habitat for it in a shoebox and kept it as a bet for quite some time.  Therefore, Sandy (also turning into her mother at that moment…it’s a generational thing) decided she would indeed keep the ‘corn worm’ as a pet. She put the tip of the ear of corn the worm had been munching on in a plastic leftovers container, dropped in some corn silk, and VOILA!…a new pet was born!

Well, the pet worm was doing very well.  Over the next couple of days he nearly doubled in size!  We were all amazed.  And then it happened…one night, just as I was getting ready for bed, I received the following text message:

“Soren killed my worm!!!”

Yes it’s true.  Having misunderstood a conversation Sandy and I had had in his presence earlier, Soren had thought Sandy was tired of the pet worm and…well…here’s Sandy’s blog that appeared the next morning:

Rest in Peace, Very Hungry Caterpillar

I had my very own Hungry Caterpillar.  But Soren killed him just now.  I found him in a corn husk while husking corn.  He looked like this:

I put him in a container to look at him that day. Soren said I was morbid.  I don’t think he had the right word down.  But after the weird egg incident I can blame him.  Then I put the bad end of the corn in their with my little hungry caterpillar and that’s when it began.  He started eating that corn like crazy…and he literally got fatter by the day!  Just like the very hungry caterpillar!  He was soooo fat today and I wanted to see if he would get fatter…but…that was after I had told Soren to get rid of it a few days ago…apparently he didn’t get the updated memo…that I wanted to either keep him to watch him get fatter or let him go in nature.

Therefore, I walked in to the kitchen just now only to find the container missing and Soren doing dishes.

“Where’s my caterpillar?” I exclaimed.  He looked at me with a guilty expression and pointed to the sink.

“Where is he??”

Finally he admitted to putting him in the garbage disposal.  “He isn’t dead yet.  He’s just in there.”  Soren pushed the disposal on for a split second then off.

I felt bad for the little caterpillar.  What an awful death.  I felt sick.  “Hurry up and finish him off!  I can’t think of him being partially cut up and in pain!”

And so I write this to the sound of the garbage disposal killing my caterpillar friend.  🙁  I know.  I am weird.

Poor Sandy!  I know how she feels!  I had some gerbils once that were brother and sister and had litter after litter of babies.  Eventually the little babies began to show signs of having severe birth defects so my dad put that litter in a brown paper lunch sack, took them out on the back porch and stomped on them to put them out of their misery.  (I sort of  lost my interest in gerbils after that.)  So to have your pet corn worm chewed up in the garbage disposal would be very traumatizing.

Therefore, as a homage to Sandy’s sad little corn worm experience (and yet, pets and their deaths do help children to learn to deal with loss), I’m having a blog contest this week!  Yep!  The contest is for not only a bag of yummy yummy candy corn, and some favorite popcorn treats, but also for a Fall/Halloween type movie (DVD) that is one of my favorites to watch this time of year…The Lady in White!  Ooo I have loved this movie for years!  I will warn you that it has some strong themes that I would NOT recommend for young children!  (It is PG-13.) However, our family really likes it because it’s so kind of creepy, nostalgic and autumn-ish!  SO just leave a comment here…let’s make it a message from you to Sandy about the loss of her corn worm, and you’ll be entered to win a care package which includes candy corn, popcorn treats and the DVD of The Lady in White, okay?  (And Sandy things she’s weird?)

Also, Megan E. and Lori Nelson…you two won contests!  (See yesterday’s blog!)  E-mail your addresses to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can get you prizes in the mail to you!  Fun Fun Fun!

 

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 41 Comments

Contests Winners!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I’m soooooooooo behind on everything!  I woke up this morning and thought, “Hey!  I never drew names out of the hat for the Tom Sawyer DVD and the cookie box!  Inconceivable!”

Therefore, before I write another pointless blog about anything…I figure we better get these two contests wrapped up!  Right?  So here’s the dirt:

Lori Nelson…you won the Tom Sawyer DVD!!!!  E-mail me and address and I’ll get it shipped off to you!  Congratulations!

As for the box of my favorite store-bought cookies (I’m salivating over here!):  Megan E….you won the cookie box!!!!  Let me know an address, via e-mail at www.marcialmcclure.com and I’ll get them shipped off to you!  Yummy Yum Yum!

Now…I’m off to write a little romance today!  Then I’ll think of another ridiculous blog and contest for us!  I love blog contests!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 1 Comment

Sharing Snacks to Lose Weight AND the winner of “Jesse Bryant’s” Raspberry Almonds!

So, I have a cherished friend named, Jeannette. (You may or may not have seen her photo on Facebook so here she is).  As you can see, Jeannette is way skinny and gorgeous, right.  I, on the other hand, struggle with the old “w” word (weight).  Now, a couple of years ago I began to notice something…every time I was over at Jeannette’s house and the evening rolled around to find us both sitting at her kitchen table chatting (one of my favorite pastimes, by the way), Jeannette always, always says, “Hey…do you want some candy?”  Not wanting to be rude, of course, I always say, “Sure!”  Each and every time this happens, Jeannette the proceeds to pull a giant bag of candy out of her cupboard (usually one of those mixed candy bags that has like mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, bite-sized Snickers, etc. in it).  She then tears the giant bag of candy open, plops it down in the center of the table, sits down across from me and we each choose a piece.

Now here’s where it gets interesting.  Jeannette will eat her one bite-sized snickers or her one mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, then as we sit at the table for several hour, she’ll watch me eat piece after piece and never, ever eat another one herself!  One night a few years ago, I realized something about this little routine.  It was like a light went on in my dark brain!  I think watching me eat candy satisfies Jeannette’s need to eat it somehow.

Upon the sudden realization of this I exclaimed, “Hey!  I know what you’re doing!  You get your jollies out of watching ME eat the candy and get fatter…that way YOU don’t eat it and gain any weight!”

Jeannette laughed and denied everything.  But here’s the deal…I think she really does do that…only it’s subconscious and not intentional.  I’m serious!  She would never sabotage me that way…but I do think she gets some weird sort of satisfaction out of watching me eat candy that helps her not to eat it.  So guess what?  I tried it myself!

The other night when Kevin’s parents, sister, niece, nephew and brother were over…as it started to get late and Kevin and I hadn’t had dinner yet…I started to get really really snacky feeling.  BUT I am trying to eat better and cut out things like super cheesy Twirly Cheetos, peanut butter and milk chocolate chips, BBQ Pringles, etc.  So here’s what I did…as part of my ‘eating better’ goal, I’ve gut out cheeses.  So I had all this delicious deli cheese in my fridge that I thought I should maybe give to my mother-in-law and father-in-law to take home and use.

Well, when I got the cheese out of the fridge, I noticed everyone wanted to taste the different kinds.  There was a package of pepperjack, some provolone and some white cheddar with horseradish (mmmm!).  But when everyone started sampling cheeses…well guess what…I sort of felt satisfied by their enjoyment of it and wasn’t as tempted as I had been when I was simply thinking about snacking.

I then went to the fridge and pulled out a new back of “Jesse Bryant’s” Raspberry Almonds.  I wanted my sister-in-law to try them and then found out that my nephew is a nut fan as well, so I opened the bag and watched as everybody went crazy over the raspberry almonds!  It helped!  I’m not kidding!  Watching everyone enjoy some of my favorite snacks really did give me some much needed satisfaction where the munching problem was concerned!  It’s a miracle!

Furthermore, I find that I can enjoy baking again!  All I do is bake a big old batch of cookies, brownies, etc. and then give them to my kids or take them to people as a random “cheer up” thingy!  It’s amazing!  Can you believe it?

Well, there is still one problem…and that is that all day long I’ve been thinking about nothing but my favorite store-bought cookies!  Mmmmm!  Here they are in order of favoritism:

1.  Keeblers’ Fudge Stripe Cookies (I’m salivating over here!)
2.  Nabisco’s Traditional Chips Ahoy (Aye Yi Yi!)
3.  Keebler’s Sandies Pecan Shortbread (OUCH!!)
4.  Nabicso’s Nutter Butter Bites (Gulp!  Delicious!)
5.  Nabisco’s Double Stuff Oreos (Help Me!  I’m Melting!)

AND…a couple of rather seasonal favorites are:

6.  Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies (Hallelujah!)
7.  Girl Scout Thin Mints (Naturally!)

So, now that I’ve already explained my theory of enjoying junk food through feeding it to others, today’s ridiculously Marcia-style contest is this…leave a comment (or email me) listing your favorite store-bought cookies and you’ll automatically be entered to win a care package stuffed with as many kinds of MY favorite store-bought cookies as I can find this time of year!  (I’m really only worried about the Girl Scout Thin Mints.)!  Okay?  Yep!  An entire box of cookies to share with others or sit down and eat yourself sick on!  What do you say?  I would LOVE to get a box of cookies in the mail!  It’s so…sort of something your grandma or favorite auntie would do back in the day, right?

Now, there’s one other item to address today…the winner of Jesse Bryant’s Raspberry Almonds!  I just picked a random entry and it is….Debbie Budge!  E-mail your address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com, Debbie and I’ll get your almonds in the mail!  I LOVE edible contest prized!  Bwah ha ha ha ha!

 

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 27 Comments

Finding Huckleberry Contest (AND re-posting the winner of The Transporter DVD!)

(Psst…Kacee? Did you miss that little announcement that you are the winner of The Transporter DVD? It was mixed in with the Pumpkin Cookie recipe blog! Ha ha!)

For years and years and years, I’ve wanted to write a sort of autobiographical book for you called Finding Huckleberry.  I just envisioned it as being a compilation of short stories (romantic stories)…you know…romance and drama experiences I lived through that eventually not only made me who I am now, and inspired me where my books are concerned…but that allowed the reader to follow my yellow brick road to finding my Mr. Perfectly Imperfect, Kevin!

However, with the demands of being a novelist and still putting my husband, kids, grandson and love for sugary desserts first…there just is never time for me to sit down and write that book.  As time has rolled on, I began to really, really worry that I’d never get to tell my story of Finding Huckleberry (a.k.a. Kevin) and it bothered me.  I finally just gave up on the idea and figured my kids would just have to try and remember the life experiences I’d shared with them and that you would just have to guess at which scenes, events, etc. in my books may have been inspired by actual events.

BUT…(and thank goodness my mind works best at 3 a.m.)…then I woke up one early morning with a little tickle of an idea.  If it worked, it would allow me the time to write my Finding Huckleberry memoirs thingy, AND not interfere too much with my regular fiction writing schedule.

Back in the olden days (like 1980-something) there used to be a thing called an Installment Publication.  (I even think Scott Card told me he did this with one of his novels a few years ago.  I think.  But I’m not sure.)  The type of Installment Publication I remember usually ran in the newspaper.  I remember when one of the Albuquerque newspapers ran part of the first Star Wars book this way…each day or week, there would be a new installment of a story or book in the newspaper.  Well, I don’t really like the word installment (it sounds like a money/loan/stress thing to me).  But I do like things that come in episodes…like TV series, trilogy books and movies, etc.

Therefore, at 3 a.m. that particular morning, I sat up in bed and thought, “Hey!  I could write Finding Huckleberry a chapter at a time and let the publisher release it as an “Episode Publication!”  That way I can still work on it without throwing off my current writing schedule AND I can share it with my friends/readers as I go so they get to read it, too!”

Furthermore, since I’ve been getting so many e-mails about “why can’t you write faster” and “I need something that you’ve written to read between books”…I thought this Finding Huckleberry project my serve as something silly, fun and romantic to read for you, too!  E-Books used to be the “Quick Fix” between novels…but obviously that was before the world caught on to the e-book thing, making e-books as a “Quick Fix” archaic and impractical.

And you know me…always nostalgic…always wishing things weren’t quite so fast-paced and techy!  So why not combine the best of both worlds and have an Episode Publication that is electronic, right?

Therefore, as you know, I have begun my writing adventure of Finding Huckleberry: Memoirs of a Romance Novelist for you, my family and myself!  The first episode is up and available and I want to thank you all for the great responses and encouragement!  I’m glad you’re enjoying it!  (Whew!)

And since I am starting at the very beginning with my Finding Huckleberry tales…I thought it might be just perfect to include a little blog contest this week that sort of relates!  If you’re read Finding Huckleberry:  Memoirs of a Romance Novelist (I’m so corny with titles), you’ll know that this little DVD is dear to my heart!  If you’ve never seen this old, classic, musical version of Tom Sawyer…you have really been missing out on life!  The music by John Williams and the Sherman Brothers is FANTASTIC!  The songs are ones my adult children still remember with delight…and my daughter and I can pretty much sing any song from this movie on demand!

Furthermore, Huck (played by Jeff East) is ADORABLE!  I was totally in love THIS very Huckleberry Finn for like EVER!  I still think Jeff East is the best ever Huckleberry Finn in movies!  So…whether or not you’ve read Finding Huckleberry:  Memoirs of a Goofy Romance Novelist, you will LOVE this movie!  It’s a great, fabulous, wonderful family film, too!  (Okay…there is one scene when Tom and Huck are ‘swimming in the nude’ where there little bums pop up out of the water for a second…just so you know.)  As usual, just leave your comment here as your entry!  You can also e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com or facebook me!

Thanks for encouraging me through my project of writing Finding Huckleberry!  It’s so important to me!  And I think it will be fun for your, too!  Can’t you just hear that song echoing through your mind now?  “Tom goes out with Huck, swimming in the nude?”

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 17 Comments

Updated Red Stuff and Noodles Recipe! (And Ginger Muffins Recipe, Too!)

Okay!  Okay!  It looks as though I need to post my famous “Red Stuff and Noodles” recipe again!  It is delicious!  Furthermore, my daughter pointed out to me that I make it a little differently than my original recipe states…so I’ve updated it, too!

My kids loved this when we were all home together and it still endures as a family favorite!  I usually serve it with fresh steamed broccoli spears and my mom’s “Ginger Muffins”…Mmmmm!  Hey!  Here’s a crazy idea from your ding-bat friend (moi)!  I’ll include my mom’s “Ginger Muffins” recipe today, too!  Yum, yum, super yummy!  Let me know what you think!

“Red Stuff and Noodles”

Ingredients:
2 lbs Stew Meat or Roast, cut into bite-size pieces.
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
2-3 cups Water
1-2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
¾ cup Ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup of Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons Paprika
2 Dashes of Cayenne Pepper
Extra Wide Egg Noodles

1. Melt butter in electric skillet and brown meat over medium heat.
2. Add onion and sauté until tender.
3. Add remaining ingredients (except noodles) and cover.  Simmer for 1-2 hours until meat is tender and sauce is thick.
4. Serve over hot noodles!

“Ginger Muffins”

Ingredients:
¼ cup Butter
¼ cup Sugar
1 Egg
½ cup Molasses
1 ½ cup Flour
¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ginger
¼ teaspoon Cloves
½ cup Hot Water

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Cream butter and sugar together.
3. Beat in egg and then molasses.
4. Mix in dry ingredients.
5. Gradually stir in hot water and beat until smooth.
6. Fill each muffing cup 2/3 full and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 5 Comments

Pumpkin Cookie Time! (AND Who Won Jason Statham?)

At last! Oh at long, long last! I’m nearly in tears with joy! I love autumn and it’s whispering through the morning air here in Albuquerque! Those subtle changes in the temperature…that feel that lets you know it’s on it’s way…the sound of hot air balloon burners to wake you in the morning! I LOVE it all!

To me, the first day of school is my official “pumpkin cookie day!” For years and years I’ve baked pumpkin cookies for my kids on the first day of school so that the warm, comforting aroma of pumpkin, spiced and milk chocolate chips is wafting through the house when they get home…delicious pumpkin cookies waiting to tantalized their taste buds after that stressful first day back! Oh, I love them! If I had to pick one recipe my mom gave to me that would be known as my favorite, it would be this pumpkin cookie recipe! I’ve made a few subtle changes over the years…but nothing too rash…and let me tell you, these cookies are delicious!

Now, I have shared this recipe publicly in past years, but in case you missed it along the way, I’m posting it here.  The original recipe makes a TON of cookies…so I’ve also shared a half batch recipe, okay?

Marcia’s Pumpkin Cookies
1 ½ c. Shortening (I use a butter…about 1 ¼ c.)
4 c. Sugar
3 Eggs
2 t. Salt
3 t. Nutmeg
3 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Ginger
1 t. Allspice
1 t. Cloves
1 29 oz. can of Libby’s Pumpkin
½ t. Baking Soda
3 t. Baking Powder
7 c. Flour
1 large package (3-4 cups) of Milk Chocolate Chips (Nestle’s)

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs.  Sift remaining dry ingredients together and add in.  Mix in pumpkin!  Mix in Milk Chocolate Chips.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 14-17 minutes until soft and cakey.

And the half batch recipe…

Marcia’s Pumpkin Cookies
¾ c. Shortening (I use a butter…about 1 ¼ c.)
2 c. Sugar
1 Egg and 1 Egg Yolk
1 t. Salt
1 ½ t. Nutmeg
1 ½ t. Cinnamon
½ t. Ginger
½ t. Allspice
½ t. Cloves
1 15 oz. can of Libby’s Pumpkin
¼ t. Baking Soda
1 ½ t. Baking Powder
3 ½ c. Flour
1 regular sized package (2 cups) of Milk Chocolate Chips (Nestle’s)

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs.  Sift remaining dry ingredients together and add in.  Mix in Pumpkin!  Mix in Milk Chocolate Chips.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 14-17 minutes until soft and cakey.

These are sooooooooo good!  In fact, now that we’ve been discussing them…I think I’ll whip up a batch today!  How about you?  Mmmmm!  I’m salivating!

Now as far as the Jason Statham in The Transporter CD is concerned…Kacee…I drew your name out of my hat as the winner!  Toss and e-mail out to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com and I’ll get it in the mail to you asap!

Shall we have another contest this week, ladies?  Hmmm…I think so!  How about…hmmm…let me think a minute!  Oh!  I know!  How about a one pound package of Jesse Bryant’s Raspberry Almonds?!  Yeah?  Let’s do it!  Just post here…let’s see…post your favorite thing about Take a Walk with Me and I’ll draw a name later this week!  The winner will receive a pound of the Raspberry Almonds that so so soooooo inspire me!  I only have a photo from one of last year’s contests to show you…but it gives you an idea of what the almonds look like!  They are sooooooooooooooooo delicious!  You’ll never be the same!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 33 Comments

Something Random to Share with the Man in Your Life!

As desperately as we girls love our romantic comedies, period dramas, and kissing scenes…boys love their action adventure movies, right?  Well, the truth is that I love action adventure movies, too!  (Especially if they have good running…i.e. Shia LaBeouf in the Transformer movies, Eagle Eye, etc.  He’s a great runner!)  And one of my favorite, favorite action movies (though it is admittedly considered a “B Movie”) is the first installment of Jason Statham’s Transporter films…The Transporter!

I LOVE The Transporter!  (I do have to sort of endure The Transporter’s romantic interest in this film…she’s not who I would’ve chosen for him…but it makes sense, considering the story line.)  Furthermore, my husband and sons love The Transporter, too!  The choreography of the fighting scenes is awesome!!!  AND I have a secret desire and wish…I totally wish I could drive the way The Transporter does!

Let’s veer of for a moment as I ramble about the importance of movie-fairness in couple relationships and family relationships.  As we all know, women will usually choose something light-hearted or romantic when it comes to a movie, while men prefer action most of the time.  I remember when my kids were all at home we always had a family movie night.  At first, I just picked all the movies because I was trying to make sure that both my daughter and my sons had a good, well-rounded exposure to different kinds of movies.  I didn’t want them growing up to be like so many people I knew who couldn’t sit through a movie and enjoy it if it wasn’t just the one kind they liked.  Therefore, the boys grew up learning to endure/enjoy musicals, period films, old black and white movies…and my daughter grew up learning to endure/enjoy things that the boys liked.  Naturally, as the kids got older, it became more difficult choose movies that everyone would enjoy.  So we started taking turns choosing.  All of us took a weekly movie night and chose whatever we wanted…keeping in mind, however, that it was for everyone to watch, so there needed to be that consideration.

This actually worked for quite awhile, until my daughter realized that there were three males in the family and only 2 females.  So the ratio of girl movies to boy movies was skewed.  But it was what it was and we continued this until the kids were grown (we still do this with our youngest son, Trent…being that he’s still at home).

However, it got me to thinking about the fact that even as adult couples we girls need to be willing to watch some action, and the man in our life should be able to make it through a Doris Day movie once in a while.  Right?  And after babbling on nonsensically here…I have to say that this is one reason I like The Transporter so much…we ALL love it in our family…girls and boys!  So I figure it’s a good couple pick, too!  Your husband, boyfriend, brother or teenage son should enjoy it because it’s totally action packed (and Jason Statham’s fight scenes are AWESOME!) and you might enjoy it because Jason Statham’s character is uber cool, suave and heroic!

Now that we’ve established the reasons why men AND women can enjoy The Transporter, let’s talk a little about The Transporter movie star himself.  We’ve established that Jason Statham plays the role of The Transporter (If you’ve ever seen The Italian Job (Love it!) he plays handsome Rob) and is perfect!  But Jason didn’t start out as The Transporter, however.  He was on the British Olympic Diving Team, and was ranked 12th in the world in diving in 1992.  (What is it with Hollywood and swimmers?)  BUT to me (and my family) he’s known simply as The Transporter.  He’s well known in the Men’s  Health arena, and in many physical fitness venues.  (That’s something he and I do NOT share, by the way.)  I find it interesting that, though he was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England…his accent doesn’t really sound English.  Hmmm.  But anyway…blah blah blah…

By the way, there are two other Transporter movies, but the first one…The Transporter…is the purest.  And by purest I mean that even though it obviously had a lower budget, it’s got more action and, in my opinion, a better story line.  And I don’t know why I chose The Transporter DVD as this week’s contest (probably to encourage us girls to sit down and watch something with our guys that they will really enjoy for a change), but I did.

So, Tiffany Deza…you won last week’s contest for the P & P soundtrack!  (E-mail your address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com please, and I’ll get your soundtrack dropped in the mail for you!)

Meanwhile, leave a comment here to enter this week’s contest for a DVD of The Transporter!  What should you comment about?  Hmmm.  How about other movies you’ve found that cross the barriers between chick flicks and guy films!  Fun!  And…just to pique your interest…here’s the original movie trailer for The Transporter!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 15 Comments

Oooo! “In the Mood to Write Romantic Scenes!” (and jumping beans winner!)

Ooo!  Yesterday I asked for more blog suggestions…and Heather Hilmer…you won the Jumping Beans!

Now, if you seen Heather’s suggestion yet, this was her blog suggestion for me…“I always wonder how you get in the mood for writing your passionate romantic scenes and/or how you think up your dreamy men!! Is there certain music you listen to when writing to get in a certain mood, or certain movies or shows that have inspired your writing?”  It’s a great prompt!  I just hope I can do justice to it!  Ahhhh!

I’ll start out by confessing something…when I’m writing romantic scenes (especially kissing parts) I have to close my office door…because I sit there at my computer and blush my guts out the entire time!  I’m not kidding!  I get all flustered and blushy and grinning and nervous…so I have to make sure no one’s going to wander past my office door, glance in and see me all goofy and blushing!

As far as how I “get in the mood” for writing my “passionate romantic scenes”…well, usually I start by literally announcing to my husband and son that I’m going to be working on a ‘difficult’ scene, so I’m closing my door.  I also put my cell phone in another room so that I don’t have anything close that might distract me.  Next I pull up my iTunes playlist that I have previously created for whichever book I’m currently working on.  My iTunes playlist for any given book always includes one, two or three songs that ‘put me in the mood’ so to speak for that particular hero and heroine’s romance.  For instance, I wrote the entire text to Saphyre Snow with only one musical track set on repeat.  It played any time I was working on that book and nearly drove my family nuts!  For Saphyre Snow, I listened to Track #15 (Your Hands are Cold) from the 2006 movie version of Pride and Prejudice.  Seriously!  I had that one piece of music on repeat the entire time!

But writing to only one song isn’t my normal habit.  As I said, I do make a playlist…but most of them include far more than one song.  Still, there is usually only one or two songs I listen to while writing the romance scenes.  During The Tide of the Mermaid Tears, I listened to recordings of Ocean Waves from some Sounds of Life CD most of the time.  But whenever I was writing the scenes between Ridge and Ember I had one song on repeat…Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron & Wine.  I’m not sure why that particular song was in my heart for Ember and Ridge (it really doesn’t fit the time period or anything), but it was.  To me it was there theme.  Does that make sense?  For The Trove of the Passion Room, I chose three songs for Maxim and Sharlamagne…I Remember You for certain scenes, as well as I Can Dream, Can’t I.  During the most romantic/passionate scenes, I listened to a song entitled Insatiable…but on a low volume because some of the lyrics are…um…well, the push the envelope if you know what I mean.  There are other songs on that “soundtrack,” too…All the Cats Join in by Benny Goodman, Casper’s Lullaby from the movie Casper, and The Gypsy by the Ink Spots.  The Look of Love by Diana Krall was Jagger and Tabby’s theme in A Better Reason to Fall in Love, The Lights of Albuquerque was one I listened to while writing The Time of Aspen Falls, and for hottie with a naughty body Sir Broderick Dougray (i.e. A Crimson Frost) I had a playlist packed with selections from Brian Crain!  FABULOUS soundtrack!  (Obviously, since he’s one of the people I dedicated the book to!)  Let’s see…to give you more info than you want or need…I’m Yours by The Script was Jesse and Cozy’s kissing theme and Hey There, Li’l Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs was Jesse’s ‘flirting/prowling’ song for me!  Ha ha!  I’m so weird!

Heather also asked how I think up my dreamy men.  Well, I hope it doesn’t disappoint anyway, but I draw from real life…my husband, sons, uncles, grandfather, my dad (I get a lot of smart aleck one-liners from my dad…though I have to change some of the…um…colorful metaphors here and there) and other wonderful husbands, fathers, boyfriends…good men I’ve known who are truly admirable, etc.  But admittedly…Kevin is my main inspiration.  So so so many of the romantic one-liners in my books, the humor, the flirtations and physical attributes of every hero come from a base of Kevin-ness.  It’s true!  It may seem corny, and you may wonder if I’ll ever run out of inspiration because Kevin is only one man…but I promise…the inspiration he gives me is boundless!

Now as far as “movies or shows” that influence me…well we cannot overlook her majesty, Jane Austen!  Or the Queen of Gothic Romance, Victoria Holt as far as authors and books-to-movies go.  I’m sure that Jane Austen BBC movies, etc. inspire me…more along the lines of just helping be to see the life-styles etc.  I like period pieces like that…westerns, etc.  They do assist me in capturing a ‘feeling’ of the era I’m writing in.  Even Anne of Green Gables and the spin off series Road to Avonlea have helped me to write some visual descriptions such as cloths, buildings, etc.

Did I answer your question thoroughly enough, Heather?  I hope so!  Send me your snail mail address so I can have your jumping beans sent to you!

And now…a new contest!  Leave a comment here and I’ll pull a name out of my hat next week as the winner for a CD of the soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice!  You’ll LOVE it!  It’s a gorgeous soundtrack!  Okay?  Want a sample?  Sure!  Here’s the infamous Track #15…my Saphyre Snow inspiration! It starts out very quietly…and it’s after the first crescendo that I really like it!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 15 Comments

Wah Whoooo! It’s Mexican Jumping Beans Season! (Win some!)

I’m soooooooo excited! It’s Mexican Jumping Bean season! I ordered by first “tin” of beans and received them last week! AND we are already loving them! I get such a kick out of sitting at the table during breakfast or dinner and hearing them click around in their little plastic house (one of those clear plastic boxes that push pins come in that I use to store them in)! My grandson is still a little wigged out about them…but mesmerized at the same time! He’s so cute to watch when we put them in his little hand!

So, if you’re in the mood for a little something fun, just leave a comment (your blog suggestion for me) here for the chance to win your own little family of Mexican Jumping Beans! If you want to skip the contest all together and go straight for your own beans…this is the place I order them from! My Pet Beans dot Com! The beans I get from this site are fresh, healthy, happy and almost all of them hatched into moths this last spring! I think I had one that didn’t hatch, that’s all! They’re awesome! I find the “Ten-in-a-Tin” are the best bang for your buck!  Though…I will admit…I do like to give them a little ‘house’ with a little more room to jump AND so I can hear them better!

Now…let’s do this…in your comment, leave a blog suggestion for me and I will randomly pick one to blog about!  That will be the winner of some fun, wonderful Mexican Jumping Beans from My Pet Beans!   Random fun!  AND if you have kids…they will LOVE them! Pssst…remember to take the lid off your bean house (whatever you decide to use) come February or March.  My daughter forgot to take hers off and all her bean moths died 🙁

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 10 Comments