2013 Goals: September Status Report


September is the month where I dug deep and found some courage . . .

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

I am still in the middle of re-reading the edited draft of Novel #2. So far, I’m happy to find it’s a pretty clean draft.

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I wish had a better excuse for completely ignoring this goal for the bulk of 2013, but my muse has been very stubborn and single-minded. Apparently, I am only allowed to work on Novel #2, it’s sequel, and lines of poetry!

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

This is the goal where my courage showed up in a big way.  After such a positive experience with WriteOnCon, I decided it was time to send out my query letter.  I made a list of five agents that might be interested in my work and personalized my query letter to their specific preferences. Then, I took a deep breath and sent three queries into the wild!

With this little surge of courage, I can proudly say I’ve achieved my goal of sending out three query letters!

Better still, I’ve already received a response for one of my query letters. While it was a rejection, it was still encouraging to receive a response! Anything is better than being totally ignored.

5) Continue building author platform

Work has been a little crazy, so I’ve been a bit absent for social media and even blogging. I apologize for my lack of participation on other blogs, but I will make up for it in October!

My Facebook Page has grown from  330 to 335

On Twitter, my followers have grown from 541 to 546

Thanks so much to all my followers on social networks and on this blog. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

Maisie Dobbs and an awesome history book are currently stealing my attention away from this goal! On the up side, I am one book shy of completing my 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

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How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

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c.b.w. 2013


Favorite Thing Friday: Best Ever Cookies


On the last Friday of every month, I like to bake for my co-workers. My usual specialty is frosted brownies that can give you a stomach ache with one small square (and it’s totally worth it!), but this month I decided to pull out my treasured chocolate chip cookie recipe.

For years, I trusted the recipe on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip bag, but I could never get those cookies to turn out quite right. My sister, on the other hand, is a true master of that recipe. Her cookies are crispy and perfectly sweet! After some soul searching I realized I can’t make cookies like that because I like my cookies to have more of a European coffee shop taste. Sweet, but not too sweet. Crispy, yet soft. The Toll House recipe is good, but it can never achieve the taste ratio I love.

Last year I was cruising through yahoo.com when I came across a link that read, “Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.” The first thing through my head was yeah, right, but I clicked on it anyway.  Little did I know I’d end up at my cookie mecca.  I had finally found a cookie recipe inspired by a European coffee cafe and bakery!

After making several batches, I can attest that they are indeed the best ever chocolate chip cookies. That being said, I still love my sister’s cookies. Rather than claiming the best cookie title, I’d say we are masters of our own cookie domains!

Go ahead and try out the recipe!


  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tbsp) European style unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (or chunks)


  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate, larger bowl mix butter and sugar until creamy (light and fluffy).
  3. Mix in eggs one at a time.
  4. Mix in vanilla extract.
  5. On low speed, mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix!
  6. Stir in chocolate chips until just incorporated. Do not over mix!
  7. Use an ice cream scoop to make dough balls.
  8. Place dough balls on cookie sheets prepared with parchment paper. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Preheat over 375º with rack in the center.
  10. Make sure cookie sheets are lined with parchment paper and space out dough balls with 2″ between.
  11. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and puffy on top.
  12. Cool on wire rack.

I put my dough in a covered cake pan for their overnight chill. Don’t forget the parchment paper for chilling and baking!


Freshly baked cookies cooling on the rack!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2013

Just Be


Life is never constant.

Shifting, phasing, changing, moving, wandering . . .

Ignorance is born from refusing the inevitable.

What was never leaves us, as it never should.

What is must consume us –

But, not to destroy or overshadow

Now is now.

It is all we have.

Dreams push forward to a place where hope lives.

Treasure the possibilities, but be mindful of your grip.

Hold on, but let go.

Let the moment be.

Detail view of Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chest, (2008)

Big picture view of Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chest, (2008)

A series of wooden “chests” stand in a line across an entire room. Each chest has a strategically cut hole, so when the viewer looks through one end of the installation, the phases of the moon take shape.

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Words by: c.b.w. 2013

Photograph captured at an exhibition entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

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c.b.w. 2013



Stilled regard,
absent cure
Hidden harm,
lost my face
Little cracks,
broke the glass
Carved from ice,
silent voice

There’s nothing left to do, but look up.
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

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Last week was pretty rough. Though it feels like life is constantly kicking me (even when I’m down), I realize I still have much to be grateful for. As challenges continue to test me, the warmth of family and friends has given me the strength I need to keep going.  You are all so amazing and I’m so lucky to have you in my life.

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c.b.w. 2013