Photo by Leila Thiel on Flickr
Wild Ginger is now available in paper and ebook from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. It's getting some great reviews.
Here's a sampling:
Dana Burgess - "I loved Tara Woolpy's first novel, Releasing Gillian's Wolves and her second offering, Raising Wild Ginger, solidifies Tara's place as one of my favorite authors. "
Literary R&R - "Emotional and touching, Raising Wild Ginger needs to be added to all fiction-lovers' bookshelves. Even though it's the second book in a series, this book can be read and understood on its own merits."
Lori Caswell - "Woolpy has penned a sensational sequel to her outstanding debut novel Releasing Gillian’s Wolves."
Find it here on Amazon.It's part of the Kindle Direct program, so if you're an Amazon prime member you can borrow it for free. If you have some other sort of ereader, you'll need to convert the book. Try using Calibre, it's free and works well.Also - check out this amazing review from Let's Book It.
Raising Wild Ginger - the next Lacland book should be out in ebook next month and paper by some time in June. Check out the lovely cover
Pat Bickner put together for this one.
Raising Wild Ginger is the story of Edward and Sam as they struggle with trying to parent a troubled young girl.
Hey, it's blog hop time!
To celebrate I'm going to share my recipe for rocks and mud cookies AND offer an ebook copy of Releasing Gillian's Wolves to one lucky commenter on this blog post (the contest will be open through April 18th)
Rocks and mud cookies are a great spring treat - they don't look or sound all that good, but they're yummy, gluten free and even kosher for Passover!
They're also easy. In an electric mixer froth up 6 eggs, add 1 and a half cups sugar, two cups almond or peanut butter, and 1 cup powdered cocoa. Beat until smooth. Fork mix in 1 and a half cups slivered almonds. That's all there is to the batter.
Drop teaspoons of batter onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Let them cool and Enjoy!
My assigned phrase for the blog hop is Line 45: But if they were chosen to be displayed like a trophy…then no.Here are all the authors on the hop
Feel free to follow me on twitter @TaraWoolpy
Here's a treat from Gillian to make your v-day sweeter (oh, and the recipe is in Releasing Gillian's Wolves)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Melt nine ounces of bittersweet chocolate and seven tablespoons unsalted butter (most of a stick). Chop and cut the chocolate and butter so they melt easily in a double boiler (if you’re like me and don’t want a big double boiler cluttering the kitchen, use a four cup Pyrex measuring cup placed in the middle of a pot half-filled with boiling water). Some people melt chocolate in microwaves. You could try that.
Use a spatula to keep the mixture from gunking up the sides, stir continually and when it’s completely soupy set aside to cool. Beat three eggs in a large bowl at medium-high speed until thick and pale, it takes a few minutes.
Add two teaspoons vanilla extract, two tablespoons coffee (whatever’s left in the pot), a halfcup milk and a cup of sour cream (use real sour cream!). Beat until fully mixed (just seconds). Reduce speed to low, add chocolate mixture. Don’t lick the spatula yet.
Whisk one and a half cups all-purpose flour, a half-teaspoon baking powder and a half-teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Fold in the flour mixture. Add a bag or so of semisweet chocolate chips (this can vary depending on what you’re surviving).
Grease the sides of a ten by fourteen inch cake pan, using the lopped off end of the butter stick. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Cover with batter and smooth it out. Now you can lick the spatula. Bake until cooked through, about a half hour (test with a toothpick to make sure). Allow brownies to cool before cutting. Eat, share and repeat until everything’s okay.
Photo by Luis Argerich from Flickr
“Any man who knows a thing knows he knows not a damn damn thing at all.” K’naan
We’re into 2012 now, our resolutions already fading as we come back to our real selves, flawed as they are. There’s something very valuable about the self-evaluation forced on us by calendar dates, New Years, Yom Kippur or the day swimming suits hit the department store racks. Our lives tend to be overly busy, filled with the minutia of survival, so opportunities to pause and reflect make us better simply by their existence.
And yet, there’s a danger in resolutions because when we overshoot, our sometimes fragile sense of our own goodness and worth can take a beating. We live in a society that says that our value lies in how well we fit the ideal of thin, beautiful and rich. So when we fall off our diet or mess up the budget, it’s proof that we’re unworthy.
And yet, our true measure has nothing to do with the scale or bank account but with our hearts and minds, which are all the more beautiful for being full and large.
May 2012 be for us a good year and may we be gentle on ourselves and each other as we stumble through. We are already better than we think.
Photo by jeffreyw at flickr
The daily beast had a long post about the Cain marriage. No doubt Gloria has had her share of heartache in their 43 years of marriage. My heart goes out to her and I sincerely hope she learned about Ginger White's 13 year affair with her husband before it became national news.
I have to admit that Ginger's confession was refreshingly honest. I like a woman who can admit to a strictly sexual affair, although it's a shame that others got hurt in the process. Of course, she hadn't made any vows to Gloria Cain. And evidently there are an infinite number of people who could come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain. Infinite. Hmmm. That's a lot of groping.
According to CBS news, when asked by the New Hampshire Union Leader if he would drop out of the race if Gloria asked him to he said,"Yes. But my wife wouldn't ask me to get out. She wouldn't ask me to get out. I would make a decision based upon how all of this stuff is affecting her. Because I will put her first. But she is not the type to say: you ought to get out."I wonder if she'll say it to herself.
So Cain has stepped down and another serial adulterer, Newt Gingrich, has stepped up to fill his shoes. It's a crazy world. All I can say is, don't marry a politician.
Photo by Alexkerhead on Flickr
November is almost here and I'm aquiver with excitement because it's almost Nanowrimo time! For those of you who haven't tried it, Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month ) happens every November.
Scores of people sign up hoping they'll write a novel (or at least 50,000 somewhat related words) in 30 days – that's 1667 words/day.
This will be my 4th year as a Nano participant and so far I've "won" each year, meaning that I managed to get to 50K by midnight November 30th. Releasing Gillian's Wolves was my 2008 Nano novel. That year I managed almost 70K in a month of fevered writing. I hope to bring out Midnight Supper at the Rise and Shine, my 2009 Nano, sometime next year.
Here are three reasons I love the Nanowrimo.
1) Writing fast and every day is a great discipline. Of course, that November novel, written in a headlong rush, is the epitome of a rough draft. But as Louis Brandeis said, “There is no great writing, only great rewriting." And there's no rewriting without the huge clunky finished body of the rough draft.
2) I get to prioritize my writing time and everyone in my life understands. I clear the decks before November 1st, finishing the garden and yard work, trying to get ahead in my day job so there's some slack in my schedule and telling my friends and long suffering spouse that I really won't be available for the next month. If I was a full time writer maybe I'd do this every month, but I'm not, so carving out this single slice of a year seems miraculous.
3) A wonderful virtual writers community develops during Nanowrimo. It always takes me back to my school days, when day or night I could always find someone interested in talking about plot, character, syntax or the life of the mind. In my small northern town we have a tiny writers community and we certainly speak of these things, exchange work, go to each other's readings and support other writers as much as we can. But we also have jobs and lives that limit our availability to one another. During Nanowrimo I have twenty-four hour access to a community of thousands, all struggling to pound out a story at breakneck speed.
If you've done the Nanowrimo or you're interested in doing it this year, I'd love to hear from you. And feel free to "buddy" me – I'm tlwoolpy on the Nano site.
See you there!
Oh, and I won't be around here much this next month because….well, I guess you know what I'll be doing.
Those of you who have read Releasing Gillian's Wolves know that coming out wasn't an easy thing for either Sam or Edward. Sam's parents disowned him and Edward's mother still struggles with her middle aged gay son. But both of them would tell you that coming out was worth the drama (and in my dream world there would be no drama). It got better for both of them, and even better once they found each other. Their story is the next Lacland book. Look for it this spring. In the meantime, may you be happy and healthy and free.
Photo by Emma Redfern
It may be, as Tolstoy said, that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own unique way, but in my experience, holidays are universally hard for families in distress. Gillian Wolf Sach, the narrator of my novel, Releasing Gillian’s Wolves, is married to a philandering congressman. The marriage is strained, their grown children are conflicted and her friends are begging her to leave. But in public, everyone pretends it’s all okay.
Most of us don’t have Gillian’s busy Labor Day schedule – there are campaign events to smile through, a picnic or parade to endure and lots of volunteers to feed. Fortunately, it’s the end of summer, so there is abundant garden produce to sooth frayed nerves. Her favorite Labor Day menu includes steamed corn and green beans, both with plenty of butter, sliced cucumbers spattered with olive oil and salt, her famous Survive Anything Double Chocolate Brownies (the recipe for those is in the book) and If It’s Too Hot in the Kitchen Chicken (recipe below). Food may not be love, but it can certainly be a solace.
Since the book came out I’ve had a chance to talk with lots of people about the plight of betrayed political wives. Their marital problems play out like medieval morality plays and we all have opinions about what constitutes adultery (is a picture the same as a touch?) and what the wronged spouse should do (kick him out, take him to the cleaners, Bobbit?). If she decides to take our advice, Gillian will have plenty of time to plan while the chicken bakes. Or she could get out of that hot kitchen and take an hour for herself, something we could all use over the holiday weekend.
If It’s Too Hot in the Kitchen Chicken:
The ingredients are simple, as many chicken thighs as you need (about 2 per person), salt and hot pepper sauce (I like Franks but any of those sauces made mostly from chili peppers and vinegar will do nicely). Preheat the oven to 420. Dry the chicken thighs. Place them skin side up, in a single layer along the bottom of a roasting pan or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle on some salt. Bake for an hour and ten minutes, until the skin is nice and crispy. Take them out of the oven, drizzle on the hot pepper sauce, stir so that the hot sauce and the juice in the bottom of the pan mix together and coat the chicken. Serve. Easy stuff for a hard weekend.