Tag: Word Count


Friday Favorites: Seven Stones Book Tour!

Going on TOUR!

Going on TOUR!

Another awesome week filled with delicious food, friends, and maybe even a little writing. So many cool things happened that it is hard to choose just a few favorites! One of the big highlights was getting to interview Candace Simar, of course, but the biggest is coming up on Saturday. That’s right, folks! The next stop on the Seven Stones book tour is at Caribou Coffee in Baxter, Minnesota. I’ll be selling & signing books, drinking coffee, and visiting with old friends and new readers! Grab a latte and join me from 1-3pm. šŸ™‚

So, those are the BIG highlights, but here are some otherĀ great things about this weekĀ that made the list for this Friday Favorites:

Our First CSA Share!

Shane and I are officially registered for our very first CSA half-share! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and means that we get our produce directly from a local family farm. How it works is you pay the farm a specific amount of money prior to the season–think of it as an investment in the farm. The farmers take that money and use it to buy seed, machinery, updates or whatever else they need to make their farms amazing. In return, you get a delivery of whatever they are growing every week.

The farm we have chosen is Northern Lights farm in Solway, Minnesota. They are an organic farm that also offers truly free range eggs, grass fed Highland beef, honey, a variety of seasonal produce, and bread in their weekly shares. The season beginsĀ during the last weekend inĀ June and runs for 18 weeks. The total cost of the half-share (big enough for a family of 2-4, or in Shane and my case, two rabbit spouses šŸ™‚ ) comes out to be about $16.00/week. How cool is that?! For $16.00/week we are going to have super fresh, healthy, organic produce right from our community. I’m SO excited!

I am passionate about everything CSA’s stand for: supporting local agriculture, organic farming & food, and eating tons of delicious, fresh produce. Everyone I know who has participated in CSA loves it, and I’ve wanted to try being a part of it for years! Northern Lights is just such a perfect fit, and the share will definitely save us money while supporting great causes. I’ll be posting pictures of our weekly CSA haul as soon as it begins!


Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

You heard me. Chocolate melt-in-your-mouth heaven coating thick, rich peanut butter. Whipped together in a matter of minutes. The best part? These mini-cupcake sized treats are totally devoid of refined oils, sugars, wax (yup, that’s an ingredient in Reese’s) or artificial anything. And did I mention that they are FREAKING DELICIOUS?!

One of my favorite cooking blogs posted a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups a while back, but I was a little intimidated to make candy. Turns out, I had nothing to fear! All you need is a microwave to melt the coconut oil, a whisk, two bowls, a muffin tin (cupcake liners optional), and a freezer.

This recipe from Detoxinista is a new staple in the house of Lee. Seriously, why WOULDN’T you try it? Go make some. Right now. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.


Book of the Week: Persuasion by Jane Austen

If you couldn’t tell from my Jane Austen Tea Party, I am a pretty big fan of her novels. Jane has always been one of my absolute favorite authors, and such an inspiration for me. She was a feminist back when women were regarded as little more than property, and her witty, funny, and clever writing style charms and endears me. The woman’s got it all.

I’ve almost read all the Austen novels: I’ve just got Persuasion and Lady Susan left to go. So far, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility have been my favs, but they might have to make room for Persuasion to join the list. While Lizzy Bennett will always be my favorite heroine, I dig the story between Anne and Captain Wentworth. Grab a cup of tea, a homemade peanut butter cup, and settle into some classic English literature!

Word Count

Drum roll please…1,315. Still off the mark from 2,000, but I’m going to try again next week. It’s more than last week, so PROGRESS! I think my main word count limitation is not having a steady writing schedule. I’m going to try to implement one this next week and see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Happy Friday!


Friday Favorites: Minnesota Authors!

This pretty much sums up how I feel about this week

I sit here writing this on a gorgeous sunny Friday morning with a mug of Irish breakfast tea. Not a bad way to end a week, and Holy Cats, what a WEEK! Some pretty cool stuff has happened the last five days, and here are my favorites:

Meeting Beth Hautala!

I was fortunate enough to meet Middle Grade author Beth Hautala this past Monday at the very first Brown Bag Lunch at the Brainerd Public Library. Beth kicked off the Brown Bag Lunch Author Series by talking about her wonderful debut novel, Waiting for Unicorns. Her novel is a heartfelt tale about 12-year-oldĀ Talia who, having just lost her mother to cancer, goes on a trip to the Artic with her whale-researcher father. In the ice and snow of Manitoba, Talia learns the truth about love, wishing, and saying goodbye through the magic of the “Artic unicorn”–the narwhal.

I loved Beth’s lyrical writing style and beautiful characters. Meeting her was fantastic, and I wish her much fun and success!

(And don’t forget I’ll be at the Brainerd Public Library on July 13th from 12-1 as a part of the Brown Bag Author Series! End of shameless plug)



Of course, this was one of my absolute FAVORITES of the week. If you haven’t seenĀ the trailerĀ yet (and I don’t know how you couldn’t have with so many amazing people sharing, liking, posting, and retweeting the video. THANK YOU!), here it is in all it’s literary glory!!! šŸ˜€


Book of the Week: Shelterbelts by Candace Simar

I’ve been waiting to read this book, and the wait was TOTALLY worth it. Candance Simar–author of the award-winning Abercrombie Trail series–is known for her love ofĀ historical fiction based on the Norwegian immigrants ofĀ Minnesota. While Abercrombie Trails focused on the pioneers and Sioux Uprising, Shelterbelts takes place just as World War II is ending.

Tia Fiskum, the old maid of Tolga Township, yearns to retain her hold on the family farm after her shell-shocked brother returns from World War II. The neighbor she hopes to marry chooses a town girl for his new wife.The Potato King listens to the radio preacher and prays for a miracle. Eddy Root fears a return to the asylum. A German war bride struggles to find acceptance in this tight-knit Scandinavian community. Woven throughout is the man who walks lizards, a grieving father, a disillusioned pastor, and the neighborhood gossipmonger. Shelterbelts chronicles the life of a community struggling to return to normal after war. This is a story true to history of those difficult times while rich in the complications of the human spirit.

Candace isĀ one of those authors whose characters take hold of you and don’t let go. I am really enjoying the novel, and learning a ton about the time period and Norwegian cultureĀ (being Irish and Scottish in Northern Minnesota is a bit of an oddity. I’dĀ never even heard ofĀ lefsa before we moved up hereĀ šŸ˜‰ ).

Even more exciting: Candace has graciously accepted an invitation to be interviewed right here on The Open Book! Stay tuned for the first-ever guest star on my blog! šŸ™‚


Word Count

Drum roll please…979. Poop. I was shooting for 2,000. While I didn’t reach my word count goal, I do feel like all 979 of those words are keepers. I feel pretty good about what I wrote, and spent a lot of time reworking the chapter I scrapped last week. So, by next week, I should have two new chapters. Yay!

I’m going to keep my word goal at 2,000 words for next week. I am NOT one of those super-fast writers like my friend, Katie. She can whiz through chapters at lighting speed. I’m more like George R. R. Martin. It’s gonna take a while. But that’s the point of my keeping count of my words: to increase how much I write every week. Wish me luck!

Happy Friday!