Five Fun Facts about Me

1. I have zip-lined through jungle and along the beach on the island of Guam.
2. When the hired singer for my sister’s wedding came down with the flu at the last minute, I sang the entire mass including Schubert’s Ave Maria without any rehearsal.
3. I can sing Joy to the World to the tune of Amazing Grace and vice versa– this is way harder than you think: try it now. Probably the most fun thing I learned getting my MA in Liturgical Music (yes, there is such a thing.)
4. When I am mad at someone, I imagine them karaoke singing a sappy disco ballad, poorly. It makes me smile again.
5. Sometimes I roller skate backwards in my head, to relax. I can feel the tension disappear from my shoulders and I feel like am fifteen again.

Have you been zip-lining?

Did you try to sing #3? 

Leave a comment to let us know!

PSA: Don’t Leave your Girl Scout Cookies in the Car

The following is a true story.

Girl Scout Cookies come out this time, every year.  In California, we start to see the sun again, around this time, also.  Once I had forgotten that I had Thin Mints in the trunk of my car.  I went to retrieve them in the afternoon, but they had already melted. That’s okay, I thought, I’ll just put them in the freezer at work. Thin Mints taste extra good when frozen, right?

The thing was, as the chocolate icing had already melted, it was now frozen into a log.

I tried slicing the log with the plastic knives available at work.  Nope.  Broke the knife.

I started whacking the sleeve on the side of my desk at work.  Nope.  People started looking at me funny.

I really wanted my cookies now, Dammit!

I brought them home. Using a steak knife, I separated the log into four chunks.

Put them in my Magic Bullet blender, and enjoyed the cookie crumbles over ice cream.

Because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Am I Right?

mints

 

Denise Dwyer D’Errico is the author of Dee’s Dishes, stories and recipes, now available on Amazon.com

Wednesday Wellness: Writing

Happy Wednesday, Dear Friends!

I started writing on Wellness topics on Wednesdays as I noticed so many of my creative friends struggle with balance and wellness, as do I.  Join me on my journey and let’s explore wellness together!

You guys!  I wrote a book!

I am so excited to share it with you!  It’s called Dee’s Dishes– and it’s a collection of stories and recipes.  You can buy it on Amazon.  I have some exciting activities coming up- including social media promotion, blog tour, Facebook party, a Headtalker campaign, and some giveaways.

Join me as I reflect on my grandparents and share their recipes.  I’ll take you to my favorite restaurants and show you how to make copycat dishes.  Heck, I’ll take you to my mother’s tropical island and show you around, and share some island dishes.

Here is the official blurb:

Dee’s Dishes is a Cookbook…and So Much More

How many times have you had Pepsi dumped on you? I’m talking completely-out-of-the-blue, shocking-and-sticky, all-over dumped on you. Well, it’s happened to me…more than once!

But, that’s actually not what this book is about…well, kind of. Sit down, grab yourself a coffee, tea, or wine, and dive into my personal stories about food, music, Guam culture, family, and how these elements have intertwined and danced throughout my life, resulting in some AH-MAZING recipes that I’ll share with you.

With easy-to-follow organization grouped by Sweet and Savory, I know you’re going to love these dishes! Like Pepsi Brownies, Coconut Candy, Titiyas (flatbread from Guam), Caprese Denisi, my one-pot pasta dish (that I call Seconds Pasta) and more.

zdeedees-dishes

Writing is one way I manage the relative un-wellness and chaos and transform it into something resembling goodness.  I read a book that was short personal stories and recipes, and I thought “HEY!  I could do that!”

It is my hope that if you read my book, you might discover that you have a book inside you, too.

 

Peace,

Denise

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wellness: Happy New Year!

My friends, Happy New Year!   Have you survived the Darkness of Winter and are you rejoicing in the return of the Light?

Something about the turn of the calendar and I am inclined to reflect.  Does this happen to you?

This year I am beginning with my Shining Year planner by Leonie Dawson.  I happened  to discover it last year after I had already purchased a planner. But I finally bought one mid-year, as her followers were just so enthusiastic about how the workbooks helped them lead happier lives, reaching their goals. Even now, I wonder if I should have purchased one of the bigger planners, as the workbook enthusiasts are posting their success stories and swear by the planners.

My kids are still on Winter Break, so we have been able to enjoy doing things together just a bit longer, it seems.  Although it is the same number of days off as they usually get, somehow returning on the 9th of January just seems more relaxing, doesn’t it?  We are enjoying watching movies and going to bookstores and redeeming our giftcards and reading and playing music. My crafty daughter and I are starting a keepsake quilt made from her favorite tee shirts.  Hmm maybe we will make a video  tutorial!

It’s been a year since my Manifesting Money post, and I’m happy to report that even after all those DVDs I traded in for cash last year, I STILL HAVE MORE.  And the stack I kept in case the kids wanted to watch them sometime, well seeing as they haven’t in A YEAR, I’m trading them in! CD’s, too, as I kept a ton just in case, but my new car doesn’t even have a cd player in it, so. Bye, Bye, Bye, BYE BYE!

The best thing I did for myself last year was find like-minded friends in groups.  Two of my online friends have started groups this week, and that made me think maybe I could do the same.  Stay tuned.

After the shocking deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, I decided to schedule a routine physical with my doctor.  My heart and blood pressure are fine. My new doctor gave me some reading on relaxation techniques.  And I found that the maker of one of my favorite supplements also makes a blended product containing something new I wanted to try.  #PracticingHealth

And the most exciting news: I finished writing my book!  I am so excited to share it with the world! We have finished editing, and it is now with the formatter.  I would expect to launch in about two weeks.

Dee’s Dishes is a collection of stories, reflections, and recipes.  Have you ever had Pepsi thrown on you?  For me, more than once.  Wouldn’t you like to find out more about that?  And then there’s my recipe for Pepsi Brownies.  Sounds good, right?

Stay tuned, my friends!

What are you doing in this New Year?

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wellness: Prepare Ye

Happy #WellnessWednesday! (Or is it Wednesday Wellness? I can never remember.) I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I notice many of my friends who are creative types struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my humble journey to wellness.
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Having just survived that family ordeal which we call Thanksgiving, we are now entering my birth month, otherwise known as that month which always has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off, run over by a train. (Writing run-on sentences and mixing metaphors, apparently, too.)

Let’s just all take a moment to acknowledge the winter holiday struggle and invisible illnesses, shall we?  Here’s “Unwell” by Matchbox 20.

Sing it, Rob

Here are a few things I am doing this year to help me find the light and keep the darkness at bay.

Honor Advent.
Many world religions celebrate the winter solstice. Read this. http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_conflict1.htm I have a book of meditations that I like to read at this time of year- part Christian, part Zen. I am also singing at church on the second and fourth Sundays.

Practice Self-Care.
I listen to guided visualizations on my phone before bed. After some basic yoga and maybe the plank challenge.
https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Yoga-Workout-Dummies-Ivanhoe/dp/B00005LQ08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480533014&sr=8-1&keywords=basic+yoga+for+dummies
http://gettinmyhealthyon.com/2013/09/20/30-day-plank-challenge/
Organize.
I am near done purchasing my holiday gifts, and just have to wrap them. Thanks to my handy dandy historical gift-giving spreadsheet, which I have kept up since 2004. I also search online for lists of books containing characters with my children’s and nieces’ and nephew’s names.

Give.
Tis the Season of giving. Many social justice organizations need your help now more than ever. Feels good to donate even just a little. If you are a homeowner, your charitable donation may have tax benefits, as well. There are many ways to give, starting with collecting unneeded clothes, books and toys in your home to donate to a local charity, many which swing by your neighborhood on a regular basis. Your old glasses could give someone the gift of sight. You can also donate your time. Sign up to volunteer with a local food bank or charity organization to sort or distribute donations. Sign up with a friend or family member and share the experience.

Write.
I do want to journal and blog more. Right now I am working on self-editing my new book, so hopefully I can return to regular writing in just a bit.

Calendar.
Maintaining the family calendar of all our events. We have orthodontist appointments, church, religious instruction, pageants, school, band practices, band performance, the Nutcracker, recitals, and three family birthdays. Still it’s all manageable with clever calendaring. I’m so excited that my 2017 Diary Planner has already arrived! https://shiningacademy.com/2017-workbooks/

Say No.
Even though singing with a volunteer choir sounds fun, I don’t have time for all the rehearsals. So, Ive learned to say “No, Thank you. Maybe next year.” Try it.

Read my other posts on Advent here.

Advent Calendar

Peace,
Denise

Friday Friends: Cee Streetlights & Black Sheep Rising

img_5493Friday Friends: Cee Streetlights

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img_5495After writing and illustrating her first bestseller in second grade, “The Lovely Unicorn”, C. Streetlights took twenty years to decide if she wanted to continue writing. In the time known as growing up she became a teacher, a wife, and mother. Retired from teaching, C. Streetlights now lives with her family in the mountains along with their dog that eats Kleenex. Her memoir, Tea and Madness, won honorable mention for memoir in the Los Angeles Book Fair (2016) and is available for purchase on Amazon.

C. Streetlights is represented by Lisa Hagan Books and published by Shadow Teams NYC. For all press interviews and other inquiries, please contact Ms. Hagan directly.

You can connect with C. Streetlights on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon Author Central, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

Guest Post: Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie

Happy Friday, Friends!  I love to spotlight authors and bloggers and readers on Fridays!  Today I am featuring Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie. Read on for her Guest Post below! I particularly appreciate her reference to reviews and chicken pox.  I’m downloading this book today!  Are you? 


love-literary-style-book-tour-bannerLove Literary Style Book Tour
By author Karin Gillespie
Tour Date: November 1st-8th, 2016

Blurb:

Low brow meets high brow in a literary love story.

Can an emotionally-stunted literary novelist and a vivacious romance writer find their happily-ever after? Even when she becomes more successful than he? Love Literary Style spoofs romantic comedy tropes, winks at literary pretensions and pokes fun at book publishing.

Like Legally Blonde only in the literary world.

Inspired by the author’s New York Times article “Masters in Chick Lit.” A sparkling romantic comedy for fans of the Rosie Project.

Buy the Book:

AmazonUS
AmazonUK

About the Author:

2c93bc_f568288f57544254b991cfe17add7d80-mv2Karin Gillespie

Bio:

Karin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Visit All the Stops:

November 1st

Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Promo/Excerpt

November 2nd

Bookish Lifestyle – Book Promo
Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Q&A
Steamy Book Momma – Book Promo

November 3rd

Jena Books – Book Review/Promo
Emmathelittlebookworm – Book Promo

November 4th

Live Laugh & Love Books – Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post

November 5th

Bookaholic Babe – Book Promo
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt/Promo
Anonymisses – Book Review

November 6th

The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet – Book Review
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post

November 7th

Novelgossip– Book Review/Promo
Chick Lit Central – Book Promo

November 8th

Elysium Bibliotheque – Book Promo
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt

Tour Arranged by:

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Coping with Crappy Reviews

 By Karin Gillespie

I’ll never forget it so long as I live. I was about to embark on my very first ten-city book tour when I went to Amazon and, lying in wait like a black widow spider, was my first customer review.
“Karin Gillespie should be boiled in oil for writing such a terrible book. I will NEVER get back the four precious hours of my life I spend slogging through her deathless prose. Was her publisher on crack? Burning’s not good enough for this book. I want to tear it to pieces, page by abysmal page, and then feed it to an alligator.”
Perhaps I exaggerate. The review wasn’t quite that scathing but it was bad enough that I wanted to call in sick for my book tour, fearing I’d be met by torch-carrying, pitchfork waving, angry mobs. Obviously I’d managed to write the world’s worst book.
Never mind that I’d gotten a starred Kirkus just a few weeks earlier. Clearly my crack-crazed publisher had bribed the reviewer. All of the praise and kudos I’d received up until then had been expunged from my mind. All I cared about was what Edna Cranky from Backwater N.C. had to say about my book, and Edna, bless her pea-picking heart, hated it.
How to Man Up
That was almost ten years ago. Ten years ago and a slew of bad reviews later, I’m actually grateful to dear old Edna. If I ever ran into her, instead of wringing her neck, I might actually hug it. Looking back on it, I actually appreciated a little skin-thickening right out of the gate. Bad reviews are like chicken pox: Best to get ‘em over with early in the game less they turn into shingles. I know some writers that published two or three books before they had an encounter with their own Ednas, and it wasn’t pretty.
I’ve never responded to a bad review, much as I’ve been tempted. Nor do I ever read a bad review more than once. (Good reviews, on the other hand, I read hundreds of times and recently had an especially good one tattooed on my bicep.)
I’ve learned to completely ignore the mean-spirited reviews. People who attack the author just aren’t worth spilling tears or swilling whiskey over. I’ve even got to the point where I welcome the occasional poor review so long as the criticism is constructive, and if you believe that I’ve got some swampland I’d like to sell you.
Actually, every bad review stings for a little while but I do occasionally learn from them, and I’m grateful to anyone who has taken the time to read the book and comment on it. Authors might not like bad reviews but there’s something even worse: No reviews whatsoever.