Let’s talk about fried cornbread, shall we? I have a recipe that was passed down to me from one of my favorite people, so let’s get to it.
½ c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
Dash of salt and enough water to make the mixture runny
Take oil and put in the bottom of a skillet, filling it ¼ of an inch full. When the oil is hot, spoon in 3 tbsp. of mixture into the skillet separating each one, so there is enough room to make 3 or 4 fried cornbread at a time. When the middle of each one stops bubbling, flip the cornbread and let it cook on the other side until brown. When both sides are brown the fried cornbread is done. After removing each one from the skillet, set them on a paper towel to wipe away excess oil. Let cool and serve either.
Is there a song or songs that inspire you when it feels like the world is against you? I’m talking about those moments when it feels like things are at their lowest and you’d give anything to hear words of inspiration, or to have your own group of cheerleaders cheering you on, shouting words of encouragement. When that happens to me, and I’ve had more of those moments while trying to write my book than I care to share, there were 3 songs that brought me back to reality and reminded me that I’m strong enough to do what I set out to do. Those songs that helped lift me up and encouraged me to keep going are “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, “Roar” by Katy Perry and “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. So, what’s your song or songs?
I was remembering a conversation that Bob and I had many years ago when I first started researching and writing The Notorious Texas Swindler, and I want to set the record straight. Many are under the impression that Bob, at one time or another, has buried money that has never been claimed; that he just has it stashed somewhere. I cannot tell you how many people have tried to dig in parts all over the state of Texas looking for that unclaimed money that they claim he has put up for safe keeping.
During one of our many visits, he told me this, and as much as it infuriated me, I knew that someday someone would take him seriously, just as many others in the past have. Just as our visit had ended and he was getting up to leave, I told him, ‘You quit telling everybody you have money buried somewhere. Some fool is going to write that someday if you don’t stop it,’ and I’ll be damned if somebody didn’t. Folks, if something sounds too good to be true, please listen to your gut and know that it probably is.
I have to admit I read a lot of different genres, so I’m not stuck on just one. I bought my own copy of Spare by Prince Harry and I am halfway through it. I’m curious to know if anyone else is reading it and if so, what your thoughts are about it.
Let’s talk editors, can we? I can’t tell you how important it is to have an editor or beta reader who will listen to your ideas, someone you can collaborate with; in a nutshell, find someone who has the same passion for your book as you do.
My editor has been with me from the very beginning and I consider him a dear friend. I am so thankful to have him in my corner. No matter what genre you choose to write, you have a vision for your story and you are the only one who can breathe life into it like no one else can, so if you have someone not listening to your dream, dump them and fast.
Treat your writing like you do your guest list for Thanksgiving, don’t let just anyone sit at your table, unless you want them there and don’t let just anyone read your writing until you’re ready. Protect your work until you don’t have to anymore.
Flipping through my recipes I came across another one from my Grandma Viola and thought I’d share it with anybody who had a hankering for Swiss steak. Here goes.
Spread a large piece of heavy foil with ½ tbsp. of butter. Arrange on foil 4 servings (overlap) of 1” chuck steak (2 lb.). Sprinkle over the steak 1 envelope of onion soup mix, ½ lb. mushrooms sliced, ½ green pepper, 1 lb. can of drained chopped tomatoes (set the juice aside), ¼ tsp. of salt and a dash of pepper.
Mix ½ c. of tomato juice with 1 tbsp. of A-1 sauce and 1 tbsp. of cornstarch and pour over steak. Bring foil over top of steak and close tight. Bake for 2 hours in a 375 oven.
One of my favorite pastimes is sitting on the front porch, sipping hot coffee while rocking in one of my favorite rockers, and reflecting on events going on in my life.
I am looking forward to the springtime and the outdoor bbq’s, gathering with friends and family and going to the local nursery to pick out flowers and herbs to plant. My little bun Luce is certainly looking forward to all the new herbs that will be introduced into his diet too. Come on spring, we’re ready for ya!
Bob’s first letter that he wrote to me dated Aug. 17, 2011, sums up just how much work I knew I would have ahead of me when he wrote, "I don’t know if you know or not, but I was in GQ magazine in 2005." I didn’t, but after I read the article he was referring to, I was so mad that I knew if proving that Bob Harold was not the only one who should be sitting behind bars and that law enforcement were in fact not keystone cops, as the author of that article referred to them as, then that was my mission to prove him and others wrong.
Folks, I’ve interviewed every branch of law enforcement possible tied to this story, spoke with each one personally and I can assure you, keystone cops is not how I would describe them, nowhere near it. Every man, woman and K9 in uniform worked tirelessly to capture these five fugitives who escaped from the Grayson County Jail. There was no rest for these brave officers and the author of this article should have done his research before sending his work to print.
Every Friday I'm going to have something fun for us all to do! This week we're going to have a true crime crossword. I found this one at https://crimereads.com/a-crossword-puzzle-for-crime-and-mystery-lovers/#
When we found out that James Brydon—author of The Moment Before Drowning, one of our picks for the season’s best debut crime novels—is also an acclaimed crossword setter, we had to ask: could a CrimeReads crossword puzzle be made, a puzzle specially designed for crime and mystery lovers, with surprising and erudite clues that also contain a hidden message or pattern of some kind? A very particular request, to be sure.
Generous man that he is, Brydon agreed and was more than up to the challenge. You can find his crosswords every month in The Guardian. You can read his novel—a brooding noir set between postwar France and Algeria—now out in the States from Akashic Books. And, as of today, you can lock horns with his newest puzzle, custom made for crime and mystery lovers. Can you complete the puzzle and find the hidden pattern?