Saturday, April 17, 2010

CHEESE AND WRITING

I asked my husband for a blog topic and he gave me this title (subtle with his dinner hints, isn't he?). He dared me to come up with something creative.

So, NOW that I have your attention with a yummy title that has nothing to do with writing (but a little to do with this blog), I’m putting out a shout to our members. We have so many Southern Magic members who often can’t make the meetings due to family, work, or deadlines. I’d love it if everyone could check in. Just a quick (or long) comment to let us know what you’re working on, how many submissions you have out there, and one thing you've recently learned about publishing and/or your favorite, easiest, kick-ass cheese recipe (after committing to 40k words this month, I’m looking for a few new and easy recipes).

Me? I’m slogging through my YA paranormal with an entire choir of writers on another blog who have been “guilting” me (yeah, it’s my new word this month) into writing when I seriously don't think I can write another word. It’s actually a lot of fun. I also have three full submissions still out in publishing land (or quite possibly in a dumpster somewhere).

Let’s see… what did I learn about publishing this month? I realized that agents are very much like romance writers. They’re super supportive of each other, even though in all actuality, they're competitors. How cool is that?

I have an easy sour cream chicken enchilada recipe (lots of cheese!) if anyone’s interested. I’m off to go make it.

21 comments:

Marie Campbell said...

Good Morning, Callie,
Your recipe sounds delicious and I'm definitely interested! And I love the fact that you're writing YA now, getting so much accomplished, and have works out being considered even as we blog. Good Luck with them all! I have just finished a long stretch at both hospitals and am so looking forward to switching gears from medicine to writing. Here's hoping that my gears switch without jamming and I get something out soon as well!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Hey, Callie. I couldn't resist the cheese; it's one of my favorite foods. ;-) I was going to suggest layered cheese enchiladas, but since you're already doing enchiladas, I'll just tell you about my new favorite cheese: Dubliner. It's like a cross between cheddar, parmesan and swiss. Delicious.

I'm working on revs for my 1st romantic suspense and am about 10K into my 2nd RS. I just finally got my last rejection for my contemporary, and will be letting that one go (not as interested in that genre anyway).

I plan to start submitting RS #1 this summer after we move, and will try to pitch it at Nationals (OMG).

Your point about agents was interesting. I've noticed that on Twitter. I've learned to think of interviewing agents much like interviewing for a job. You should be interviewing them for correct fit just as much as trying to impress them with your work.

Good luck with the writing!

JoAnn said...

Here's a easy cheesy dish: Twice-Baked Potatoes! Cut a baked potato in half. Scrape out all the potato into a bowl. Add a little cream cheese, a little butter, lotsa shredded Cheddar cheese, some chives, and a little milk. Stir it all up. Scoop it back into the potato halves and bake again til firm. You can even top it with chopped cooked chicken or broccoli for a simple, complete meal.

What I'm doing: Desperately trying to finish my first draft by the end of April so I can revise during May and June -- and pitch at Nationals. (I echo your OMG, Gwen.)

Heather said...

Cheese is at the top of my food pyramid. One of my favorite cheese appetizers is Bacon Swiss Dip - mix a package of cream cheese, half a cup of mayo, and a cup of grated Swiss cheese. Put the mixture in a shallow casserole dish, cover the mixture with crumbled bacon and Ritz crackers and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (until it looks bubbly). I think a cardiologist's number is good to have on hand.

I am trying to find a way to get my day job done while finding time to write. Right now, the day job is winning the battle for my time, but isn't that how it always goes?

Carla Swafford said...

Oh, my gawd! JoAnn's going to Nationals! ::Dancing and stirring it up:: Hey, roommate!

I just recently found out I LOVE gouda cheese. When I want a snack and can't think of anything I 'really' want, I get a slice and I'm in heaven.

Callie, I'm so with you on having fun with Jennifer on her blog (http://jenniferechols.livejournal.com/). It certainly makes me write a I hate to whine. In fact, when I saw CHEESE AND WRITING, I thought you would have a little 'whine' with it. LOL!

Though I go to meetings, I will say I'm presently working on a romantic suspense. Though my paranormal is screaming for attention. I would like to have it ready for National. That is the paranormal as the romantic suspense has too far to go and I would like to sell the RS before it anyway. I have two full sitting out there and hoping for the best on either one as they're two different books. I do need to send more out.

Paula said...

I'm waiting to hear from my three book proposal, although it's gotten past my editor and it's sitting with the senior editor at Intrigue, so that's good news. Meanwhile, since it's looking good for the proposal, and because my deadlines are going to be so very tight, I'm about thirteen chapters into a the first book (only two or three chapters to go, depending on how the end susses out).

Then I'll have to work on the synopsis for the Intrigue continuity I contracted to write recently.

Hmm, cheese recipes. Well, I'm still on Weight Watchers, so I'll share an easy fish recipe I love that incorporates simple grated parmesan cheese right out of the green plastic can. ;)

Take any fillet of firm, delicately-flavored fish (tilapia, cod, catfish, bream, crappie or mahi mahi), spray it lightly with cooking spray, then coat each fillet with a mixture of crumbled potato chips (I use the Pringles Light--about six or seven chips), two tablespoons of grated parmesan, and spices to taste--I use a special blend I made up using adobo powder, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and a dash of cinnamon sugar. Lay the coated fish in a square or rectangular dish, bake in the oven at 380 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes and the topping is lightly browned.

It's so simple but so yummy. The cheese and potato chips give the fish a light, crunchy and very tasty crust, which helps you forget it's baked and not fried.

Jeanie said...

Yum, y'all are making me hungry! We should start a RM cookbook.

I'm working on a 30,000 word novella that's due in July. The theme is 'I Married A Demon Slayer.' My goal is to write 10,000 words this month. Eight thousand into that goal now! I'm so excited to hear that people are planning to pitch at RWA. Whoo hoo!

Callie James said...

Oh, Marie, I'm so happy to hear you're getting time again for writing.

Yes, writing YA paranormal first person has been QUITE the switch, but a lot of fun. I have to say it's odd not focusing on romance (I have it in there but it's not the focus). I still have paranormal romance work to do, but one project at a time. :)

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (easiest recipe out there)

3 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
½ cup diced onion
2 cans (4 oz) green chilies
¼ cup of salsa
16 oz sour cream
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2-3 cups shredded cheddar CHEESE glorious CHEESE
10 flour tortillas

Using only one cup of the cheese, combine everything but tortillas. Mix well. Spoon into tortilla, fold, and place seam down in greased 9 x 13 pan (I use glass). Use all ten tortillas. Cover with 2 cups of shredded cheddar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with salsa.

This is one of those recipes you can make up early in the morning, refrigerator, and bake later. I also use light sour cream and light cream of chicken soup, although with all that cheese, it’s pointless, isn’t it?

Callie James said...

Hey, Gwen! Mmm, Dubliner. Sounds great. Where did you find it?

Sounds like a lot of us are trying to finish and polish for nationals. Here's hoping we all do it!

Sorry about the contemporary. I've read those are difficult to sell right now so maybe that's part of it too.

Hope to see you at Nationals!

Callie James said...

I love twiced baked potatoes, JoAnn! My hubby and son would love it if I made those more but I usually get lazy and change my mind halfway through.

Good luck with the pitches at National. Hope to see you there!

Callie James said...

Heather, that dip sounds wonderful. My husband and I thank you. ;)

Yes, that job gets in the way all the time. I know I'm almost worthless Wednesday through Friday (so tired when I get home), so I leave those days for editing only, which takes less energy for me than coming up with new scenes.

Callie James said...

I agree on the gouda, Carla. Delicious.

I think it's great that you've got different books out there. I love having one or two circulating while I'm working on something else. Makes me feel like I'm moving forward (whether I am or not).

Sounds like most of us are going to Nationals. This is so exciting!

Callie James said...

Wow, Paula. Thanks for that recipe. Sounds delicious. I'm always looking for a new fish dish. Although, what is adobo powder? I've never heard of that.

I don't know how you have a day job. My eyes would be crossed if I had your schedule. And you design ads for us on the side too!

It's truly inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to hear the novella is coming along, Jeanie.

Are you going to National or too busy meeting your new deadlines?

(Such a sacrifice!) :)

Callie James said...

Okay, that anonymous comment is from me. I'm logged in so go figure. Snafu!

Callie

Paula said...

Callie, you can find adobo powder in the spice aisle just about everywhere. It's a spice blend. I use Goya brand.

Oh, I forgot to mention the cumen and chili powder I also add to my spice mix. It's kind of spicy, kind of sweet, kind of savory--yummy.

Cari Hislop said...

(a friend just sent me this, thought a few of you might be interested!)
Blue Leaf Publications is currently open to queries for completed novels in the genres of:

* science fiction
* fantasy: urban/shapeshifter
* romance: science fiction/futuristic
* romance: paranormal/werewolf

Print and electronic formats. Length: 30000-85000 words. Strong female characters highly desired. Contemporary or futuristic settings preferred. Stories that do not have a "happy ever after" will be considered.

For full guidelines visit http://www.blueleafpub.com

P.S. BLP is also taking applications for proofreaders and cover artists. See FAQs for more information.

Gwen Hernandez said...

What yummy cheese ideas, everyone. And great goals! Callie, I first tried the Dubliner at my MIL's house. You can get it at most grocery stores in the deli section, and if you like it, Costco sells huge blocks of it at a great price. I just eat it by the slice or on Triscuits, but I'm sure there are other things you could do with it.

Louisa Cornell said...

Jeanie had better be going to Nationals! She is one of the Three Musketeers - me, Tammy and Jeanie! And we will be joined at Nationals by the fourth Musketeer, my CP, Erin!! Erin and I have been CPs for over four years, but have never met in person. We talk every day by IM and phone, but this year's Nationals is going to be a great trip!

I am finishing the final polish on my third book The Deceit of Desire and have already started my fourth book, The Nightingale's Song.

And everyone send up a prayer or two as I am out on submission next week !! Let the nail-biting begin!!

Love these recipes!! Here is one that is quick, easy and cheap from my grad school days.

Hamburger Garbage

1 pound ground beef
1 can Van Camps pork-n-beans
ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce to taste
1 can of biscuits
As much shredded cheese as you like

Brown the ground beef, drain. Add beans. Stir together over low heat. Add condiments to taste. (Keep tasting it until you like the taste!) Pour concoction into a casserole dish. Cover the top with the biscuits. Cover the biscuits with shredded cheese. Cook at the temperature indicated on the biscuit can long enough to cook the biscuits. Voila !

Christine said...

Hi there--cheese is my second vice. I just made a great salsa dip that was easy that I'll share:

4oz goat cheese
1 8oz block cream cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts or other nuts like pecans chopped
1 cup salsa
cilantro, fresh for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pine nuts for about 8 minutes till fragrant. Meanwhile, soften cheeses. Pour nuts into medium sized bowl, add cheeses and mix till well blended. Take out of bowl and press into a disk shape onto a decorative, oven proof dish or pie dish. Pour cup of salsa over it, bake for about 15 minutes till heated through and a bit bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve with chips or crackers.

Easy peasy lemon squeasy.

Okay, what have I been up to? Have two queries out and waiting to hear back from the agents, judged the Sheila, didn't final in the Sheila myself and am waiting for feedback on the current WIP that has already changed LOL, got back my FAB 5 contest and did very well/56 out 60, but didn't final. However the judges confirmed my new revision's direction and loved my voice so there you go--got what I needed there. I also went to an author critique workshop where I learned a bit about how to fix the WIP re: tone. Then I attended a wonderful workshop in Atlanta this past weekend and am back home working on digesting the info. I also critted a friend's inspirational MS, brainstormed my YA series and continue to angst over my WIP because I don't know if I'll be ready to pitch it by Nationals!

But I can't wait for Nationals-- so many friends and so many celebrations to look forward to!

M.V.Freeman said...

LOL! You are hilarious Callie!

First: Cheese recipe:
Just get flour or corn tortillas,
slap what ever cheese you want in the middle of two tortillas, (and meat or better yet sliced tomatoes) and brown them (both sides)in olive oil in a pan until cheese is melted, serve with a salad.

Easy!

As for me--Got a good idea of how to deal with my MS, and revising involving hooks and analyzing scenes.

I'm working on my maggie entry...and I hope to start querying here by the end of the summer. That is my goal.

I just move slow is all!

Great going Callie about writing the 40K--one day you have to tell me how to write so fast!!!