Thursday, December 3, 2009


Tis the season to get baking. I love to bake but I don't have much time to do it  these days. I miss baking but it's nearly Christmas and that means I need to get my bake on.

You see we give baked goods as presents for all our friends and neighbours. We pack them all up in baskets wrapped in cello and a beautiful bow. The baskets are loaded with all sorts of cookies, sweets and cakes. The girls and I put Santa hats on and load up the wagon and hit the neighbourhood delivering our baked baskets.

I start thinking about what I am going to bake in November. I try to take notice of great recipes that look easy and tasty. Recipes that are kid friendly are also important to me. I have two little helpers, one that is really into cooking and baking. She wants to be a pastry chef when she grows up. If I have a couple of recipes that are easy for the girls to help with then things go a lot smoother in the kitchen.

Last year we made a few of our regulars. My grandmothers famous no-bake cookies, they are called Queenie's Quickies. They are quick to make, hence the name. I also did chocolate dipped pretzel sticks. Another one that was no-bake but easy for the kids to do almost entirely on their own. We had a great apple cake, another family favourite. And a couple of other cookies.

This year I am hoping to make a few of our traditional favourites, along with a few new finds. I am still looking for some great cookie recipes. If you have any I would love to see them.

I hope to get some baking done in the next week or so.  I promise to post pictures of our baking session, the finished product and as we head off to deliver.


So I have been absent lately. There is a reason, it isn't because I was being lazy, just the opposite actually. I found out about this thing, it is a writing challenge. November was dubbed National Novel Writing Month. I have long dreamed of writing books, novels, children's books, you name it. I have spent my working career writing but nothing as interesting as a novel. I write news. So when I heard about this writing challenge I was intrigued. So I registered.

What did I register for you ask? Well, the challenge was to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. It is considered the equivalanet of a small novel. A whopping 50,000 words. A lot right. Right! It is a lot of words for anyone but when you factor in the fact that I am a Mom to two little girls, a wife and a full time radio news journalist and freelance magazine writer it is a seriously huge amount of words. I wasn't sure how I was going to find the time to write but I committed to doing it. I was up for a challenge. I love to write and heck I needed to put my money where my mouth was. I have long said I wanted to write a book, so what was stopping me. NOTHING. So, I just started to write.

It was hard. I found it difficult to get things going but once things got rolling the story just flowed. For a while anyway and then real life started to creep in. The writing stalled as my other responsibilties were calling. As the month continued I realized I was quickly running out of time. There was a deadline that was fast approaching, 50,000 words by midnight EST November 30th.
The last week of November was on top of me and I was no where near being done. I was only at about 20,000 words. I needed to haul ass. And I did. I got to work and just let the ideas flow, I would have to worry about quality later. It was all about quantity. I was worried that I wouldn't get it done but I did. Thirty thousand words in a week. Amazing.

It was hard. There were days that I struggled with what to say, or what to write rather. It was hard to make the time to just sit at the computer, uninterupted and just write. I loved doing it but there is no doubt that writing a novel is work. There are a lot of people who say they have always wanted to write a book, but that is certainly easier said than done. It is hard work.

What now? Well, I have a few other things that need my attention, things that I was ignoring while taking on this writing challenge. And then? I will revisit what I wrote and continue on the journey to write a novel. I will keep you posted