Posts Tagged ‘rhonda carpetner’

Blog this week is short but very sweet and early!

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

As cookie madness descends on the house I find the need for Christmas music in is order. The tree will be on early and the oven running for 3 days, almost straight. The gals will bake and talk. We’ll share coffee with Baileys and test run each batch, while the guys will watch football and sit on their a$$es. Snow will fall and the house will smell great. So I say to you all, gather them close, enjoy your differences and hug them when ever they allow it. We are here for such a finite time in this incarnation, cherish the day!

Now cookie sheets and muffin tins, Now loaf pans and cooling rakes. On flour! On sugar! On icing and sprinkles! With a dash of this an a little of that, sweets will be made and assembled in packs, for delivery next week by hand and by mail. Now Bake away Bake away, Bake away, All!

As a gift here is our favorite Chocolate chip cookie recipe~

Chocolate Chippers
½ cup shorting
½ cup granulated Sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 6-oz package semi sweet chocolate pieces
½ broken nut (optional I don’t put in nuts)

Cream shorting, sugars, egg and vanilla till light and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture; blend well/ Add chips and nuts .
Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake in a moderate oven 375 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet after about 2 minutes cook on racks if they last that long! LOL. Makes 3 dozen.
And for Arlene congrats on your books release on Amazon!
Scottish Shortbread! YUM!
• 2 cups butter
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour. Mix well. Sprinkle board with the remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 3×1 inch strips. Prick with fork and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.
Merry Christmas folks and have a great next week!
Back next week with all three blogs and another new episode of The Mark of a Druid. And watch Twitter for cookie updates this weekend!
Rhonda Carpenter

Critiquing groups are they helpful?

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers!



After writing the first rough and I mean rough draft of The Mark of a Druid, I searched all over for a group that would be right for me as an aspiring author. I found that group on compuserve’s literary forum. Now since I joined, the group some almost 5 years ago it has had its membership ups and downs. For several years we were housed in another location on a Forums America site. Not too long ago the forum moved back to compuserve and into a much larger community setting. Lots of the old folks are there and a ton of new ones.


One of the things I liked about our little group was that there wasn’t anyone who felt it necessary to cut you to pieces to make a point about what you could do better in your story. The crits were not only content considerate but line editing as well. (for me extremely helpful) If you saw a mistake that was an obvious typo or grammatical help were also offered as well as plot and character development.


It was an easy system. Once granted access to the library of file you picked something that caught your eye and started critiquing. After you critiqued 5 pieces, you could upload 1. Pieces usually consisted of a complete short story or a chapter or chunk from a WIP (work in progress). From then on it is 3 to 1 and trust me you would build a cash of crits to use for your uploads fast if you put any effort into the group.

The diversity of the group was wonderful, people from all over the world joining together and helped each other out. The benefits to me as an author were worth every minute I spent with these people. Now I am not going to tell you that I agreed with all of the suggestions but if I didn’t incorporate something I thought long and hard about the readers experience.


Now there are plenty or writing groups online and in your local communities as well. I like the online groups because I can get more out of them, the volume of participants is higher and more diverse. While I am not active in the compuserve forum at this time because I am in a different phase, pre-publication and podcasting, I do recommend the group. Here is a link to them the membership is free and once your work is posted it is copywrited so it is actually a way to protect your work although others say it is not safe I just don’t agree. No one writes in the same way I do. They may be able to take what is there but they would never be able to complete the work like I would have, so I don’t worry about it. And from what I know this has not happened in this place. There is also a research and craft area that can be very helpful.


I found my time in a critiquing group extremely rewarding and I hope as I move into book two in the series I will find the group as helpful again. I met many wonderful people there and one of my dearest friends and I actually met there and we talk almost every day.


Keep Writing, I know I will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter