Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: West Coast Inspiration


My Current NaNoWriMo Word Count
Yes, I'm at it again. Last year I reached the coveted 50,000 words. That novel is currently being edited by yours truly. Meanwhile, November first arrived again. This year, I was in California on a Senior Adults Association excursion with my mom. An East Coast girl rises mighty early on the West Coast. The jet lag worked to my advantage as I began #NaNoWriMo2014 by squeezing in my daily word count goal before breakfast. 

Lake Tahoe | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

The sights and sounds of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are much sweeter knowing my daily writing goal was met before the group met for continental breakfast. 

Alcatraz | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

The inspiration for this year's NaNoWriMo novel was Alcatraz and San Francisco. I look forward to returning to this beautiful part of our country someday. In the meantime, I'll stay connected through Benjamin, my main character. He grew up alone on the streets of San Francisco. Bad decisions land him in federal prison in Atlanta. We're five days in and the novel has already taken on a life of its own. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2014 Michele Bare 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pumpkin Breakfast


Pumpkin Cooking | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Add pumpkin to just about anything
for tasty, healthy, autumn cuisine.
It's that time of year during which pumpkin puree is combined with most anything to give snacks, beverages, and meals an autumn flair. I do not mind this pumpkin craze, because for a month or two, I can add a healthy ingredient to indulgent foods and my family excitedly devours the festive cuisine. If I simply announced I added antioxidants, B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, and fiber to my famous, buttery biscuits, my family would suddenly be too busy for the most important meal of the day. But when they smell the aroma of pumpkin biscuits wafting throughout the house, and then enter the dining room and see a plate of festively orange, soft, fluffy biscuits, they grab a plate and sit for a few minutes.

One can of pumpkin puree not only provides our family enough pumpkin for a pile of pumpkin biscuits, but also for a batch of pecan pumpkin pancakes. 

Pumpkin Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 stick softened butter
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 a stick of melted butter to brush over biscuits before and after baking

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
450-degree oven | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Combine the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl. 
Spices and Flour | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Using a fork, cut in the softened butter until the mixture resembles small pea gravel. 
Butter in Flour | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients.
Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, and honey. 
Milk Pumpkin Honey | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Add the milk mixture to the hole in the middle of the dry mixture all at once. 
Blending Wet & Dry Ingredients | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Thoroughly mix everything together by hand.
Turn the mixture out onto a well floured surface. Knead a few times with floured hands. It may be a bit goopy at first. That's okay, it should be. 
Pat out or roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick. 
Cut your biscuits. You can use a biscuit cutter, a drinking glass, cookie cutters, or anything shaped the way you want your biscuits shaped. Just generously flour whatever you use to cut them out.
Cutting Out Biscuits | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Arrange the biscuits next to each other on a baking sheet or stone. They should be touching.
Brush the biscuits with melted butter. 
Brushing Butter | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Bake on the top rack at 450 degrees until the biscuits rise and edges become golden brown. This can take 10 to 25 minutes depending on the size of your biscuits and the type of oven.
Remove from oven, brush with melted butter again.
Brush Again After Baking | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare

Let the biscuits sit on the stone or pan for about 10 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Biscuits | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare


You will have leftover pumpkin puree. Use it to make pecan pumpkin pancakes the next day or, if you have a big crowd, in addition to the biscuits. For that recipe, CLICK HERE to visit The Courier-Tribune online, where it was published on September 26, 2014.


Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2014 Michele Bare 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Interplanetary Traffic & Parking Considerations


With a Mars Rover preparing to head to our neighboring planet in 2020, we really should discuss the elephants in the room: Traffic and Parking. 
Landing Rovers | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Image via wikipedia.org


These are important issues. NASA is working on determining where to land another Mars Rover. They sought input from scientists around the world. Our world. 

Someday, another planet's space program might want to land a data-gathering rover on Earth. While they will probably consult their own scientists, input from Earthlings could only make landing here less stressful for our galactic neighbors. That is why I put together my top five list, in no particular order, of considerations for dealing with traffic and parking on Earth:

1. HOLIDAYS
Any alien visitor will want a full calendar of Earthly holidays. Why? Have you ever tried to park at the mall during the month of December? Or try to get home for Thanksgiving? All religious holidays from every denomination of every world religion must be listed as well as all national holidays from the nearly 200 countries established on Earth. These observances and celebrations have a tendency to increase traffic and absorb all parking spaces everywhere for extended periods of time.

2. RUSH HOUR
Aliens must consider the working habits of Earthlings. Even small towns, like Asheboro, have congested roadways before and after typical workdays. If I go out of my way to avoid Salisbury Street, Fayetteville Street, and Dixie Drive for large blocks of time during the work week, space aliens just might want to avoid the same for their rovers.

3. POPULATION
Outgoing Atlanta Traffic | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Do we really want THIS to be the
first image sent back to another
planet via their Earth Rover?
There are places on Earth that experience traffic congestion as well as lack of parking regardless of the day or time. In the US, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington DC come to mind. I'm sure the same is true of other bigs cities, such as London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, Moscow, and Buenos Aires. These are all places I would rather use public transportation than try to drive around and have to park my car, let alone a rover.

4. SCHOOL ZONES
Space aliens sending rovers will want to know where the zones are and when laws are in effect. Imagine their surprise when they land their data-gathering vehicle and expect to move it from point A to point B at 75 m.p.h. (converted to Earth speeds) at 3:15 p.m. near Plainville Township Elementary? All their calculations will have to be refigured because of the 25 m.p.h. speed limit in effect until 4:20 p.m. This, in turn, could throw off the entire mission. Also, no one wants Bernie's little two-year-old brother to grab parts of a high-tech rover and start putting them in his mouth and slobbering all over them while Bernie's mom is talking to his teacher about missing spelling homework.

5. CONSTRUCTION
Our need to continuously fix, upgrade, widen, and otherwise improve roadways is bound to have an impact. Once other life forms from distant galaxies receive data on all the construction zone alerts that are active on any given day all over our planet, they might actually be deterred from sending a rover. Eureka! Now that I think about it, maybe the governments of Earth already know construction zones are a deterrent to space aliens. Maybe that is precisely why there are so many active construction projects all over the world all the time. 


Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2014 Michele Bare