10 things authors should know about Twitter

1. When you start your tweet with the @ symbol, your whole tweet stream doesn’t see what you’re tweeting.

Starting with the @ creates a reply. Not a broadcast to your tweetstream. So only the person you “replied” to and those who follow both of you will see it. In other words: starting a promotional tweet with an @ is ineffective and wrong.

@angelajames taught me something new about Twitter today (only I and people following both of us will see this tweet. Sad. I want people to know how awesome I am!)

If you absolutely want to start with that person’s name, you can get around this by simply adding a period at the beginning of the tweet.

Ie: .@angelajames taught me something new about Twitter today.

Nathan Bransford wrote a great blog post about this more in depth.

2. If you have your tweets protected, and you tweet me, and I’m not following you, I do not see you tweeting me.

Here’s the thing: By locking your twitter account, you’ve told Twitter you don’t want people who aren’t following you to see your tweets. Twitter assumes you don’t want ANYONE who doesn’t follow you to see your tweets. Including people you’re trying to talk directly to. So if you follow me, and you see me tweet something you want to talk about with me, and you tweet me? I have no idea you’re tweeting me. I don’t see it. You don’t exist for me on Twitter.

Essentially, by locking your account, you’re creating a very small circle of people you can have a conversation with. If you’re an author, this makes Twitter a lot less effective as a promotional tool. How are you going to get new people to follow you if they can’t see you conversing with others? Also? A large percentage of people don’t want to follow you before they can see what your account is like. Is stopping a few spammers from entering your tweet stream really worth the promo effectiveness you’re giving up by locking your account?Also? A lot of people assume you must really think you’re someone special if you’re locking your account. It can give a negative impression, which is a bit counter-intuitive to the purposes of social media.

3. You should not, really ever, I mean never, query or pitch an editor or agent on Twitter, unless they’ve specifically said: “Please query me on Twitter.” and you have confirmed with them that it’s actually okay to query them on Twitter. 

Do I really need to explain any more about this? Please use each editor or agent’s individual submission guidelines and system to query.

4. Please don’t use Twitter DMs (or Facebook messages) to do business with an editor/agent unless they somehow initiate that with you.

If you want to ask an editor or agent a specific question about a business matter, please tell them that and ask if you could get their email address. People actually do business with me a lot via DMs and messages and, the truth is, I’d much rather have everything like that in my inbox. It allows the editor or agent time to absorb and think about their reply, as well as sort, forward, save the info and otherwise reply with full words and a professionally worded email rather than, “Not sure what U R asking. Can U give me more deets, plz?” because they only have 140 characters in which to reply. It also allows YOU to look more professional! Try not to think of Twitter or Facebook as a substitute for a professional email.

5. Just because the editor/agent is on Twitter at 11pm on a Friday night, it doesn’t mean they want to do work, think about work, or answer questions about work on Twitter at 11pm on a Friday night. Or 8am on a Sunday morning.

Twitter makes remembering there are boundaries more hard. Sometimes we editors and agents also make that hard to remember because we talk about more than just business, and sometimes we talk about business at odd hours of the day and night.

But still, do try not to tweet, message or DM us on the weekend or late at night about work. Of course it’s okay to say “I’m reading a book you edited and I love it!” But that’s a lot different than hearing “Your autoresponder isn’t working, what should I do?” at 5pm on a Saturday.

We actually already work pretty long hours, especially since most work reading and a lot of editing is done outside of normal work hours. And if you ask us a question when we’re obviously on Twitter, we’ll feel obligated to answer it so we don’t look like a douche. But it’s forcing us back into work mode during off-hours and we’d think you were awesome if you tried not to do that.

Remember, we might be “us” as editors and agents on Twitter, but we’re also just as often “us” as everyday people there too, and we use it for fun, so just because you see us there, don’t automatically think we should be available for work questions.

6. When we say you should “engage” on Twitter, we mean you should move outside your own tweetstream.

This one has a few parts. First, this means replying to the people who reply to you. Okay, not every tweet, but a good percentage of them. The more followers you have, the harder this will be. (trust me, I know this). Use your common sense about what you should respond to!

This also means moving outside your own tweets replies, and replying to others. Engaging people is a great way to get more followers. And it also makes you seem more interesting!

(as an aside: if you have a Facebook profile or page, you should be monitoring it. Don’t assume no one is posting there. Monitor and reply to reasonable things!)

7. You should be talking about other people’s books. Or other publishers’ books.

To be honest, I think there are a lot of people who can take this advice, not just authors. Editors and agents are guilty of only talking about their own stuff as well. But talking about other people’s work makes you look like more than just a promotional machine, it makes you look like a reader. You know, the people who make the industry go round? You appear more engaged with and interested in books when you talk about other people’s work, not just the stuff you have a direct connection to.

So don’t be afraid to talk about other people’s books, RT other authors’/publishers’ contests or info. You’ll look engaged with what’s going on with others in the industry and you’ll also spread goodwill!

8. And while we’re on the subject of promotion, you shouldn’t be going into someone’s tweetstream to promote to spam them.

Your promo should be done in your own stream, where people choose to follow you and read it. You shouldn’t be doing this:

@angelajames, My book, Circles of Hell, released to day. I KNOW you’ll love it. Buy it here:

Think of Twitter a bit like an email inbox: if someone didn’t invite you to send them a newsletter or promotional email, you shouldn’t be sending it (there are actually laws against this). Twitter isn’t regulated by law, but it should still be regulated by common courtesy: don’t go into someone else’s stream, where they don’t get to choose to read your tweets, and promote to them. Just. Don’t. Do it. You might find yourself in trouble with Twitter, for one thing, because if a lot of people block you and report you for spam (I do this if you promote to me uninvited) and your tweetstream shows a clear pattern of @’ing people with promotional messages, you can get your account shut down.

9. It’s a good idea to be mindful of what you’re tweeting.

If your bad days are the the norm, rather than the exception, you might want to disengage from talking about your personal life, or what’s going on with you, and keep your tweets related more to hobbies, reading, writing, etc.

If you tend to be sarcastic, or passive-aggressive, or find yourself being coy while complaining about something someone did, without naming names, try to keep in mind that this can create an overall negative impression of you if you do it often.

Have an opinion about politics, religion, the news, something having in the publishing industry but don’t be surprised if someone takes exception to it!

And if you feel really, really, really emotionally charged about something, type the tweet in a separate document, like Word or Notepad, and let it rest for a half hour, hour or half a day. If you still think it’s a good idea to post it after that, then go. Just remember, the internet is forever.

10. Twitter should be fun.

If it’s not fun for you, don’t do it. Find another social media or promotional vehicle. If you feel like you’re being forced to be on Twitter, and it’s sucking the life out of you, you’re likely not going to be effective at it. Go ahead and find a different thing that suits you better.

So you’re done with #nanowrimo? Now edit!

Here’s the thing: editors and agents know you’re really proud of the book you completed during NaNoWriMo. We think you SHOULD be proud of it. It’s not an easy task to complete a book, and especially not in a month. But please, do us a favor and don’t send it to us…yet. First, set it aside for a few weeks. No really. Distance gives you fresh eyes (and renewed love for the story). Go ahead and start writing the next book while you’re letting this one percolate on the back burner.

Once a few weeks–or even a month, maybe after the distraction of the holidays?–have passed, then it’s time for a step that’s just as important as the writing of the book–the self-editing and polishing. No editor, agent or reader should be seeing your book just after it’s written. It doesn’t do justice to your hard work, and it doesn’t show a respect for the reader, editor or agent’s time.

Yesterday I did a round of #editreport on Twitter, and if you’re wondering about that, you can read them on Storify. Essentially, this shows what an editor is thinking as they read the slush pile. The things we see and reject for are so very often things the author could catch in edits. Many of the reports I see from the editors say “this author needs to learn to self-edit.” Yes, story is more important than good writing, but to get either a reader or an editor/agent to read that great story, your writing still needs to be above average. A great story won’t overcome a manuscript full of errors, awkward sentences and bad grammar. It will only overcome a small portion of that!

So now that you’ve completed your NaNo book, no editor or agent should have seen it in their slush pile yet (or even worse, if it was a book you wrote to fulfill a contract obligation, don’t send that to your editor or agent either!) First, you have to self-edit.It shouldn’t be an optional step.

To support this, I’m offering all #nanowrimo participants a discount on my Before You Hit Send self-editing online workshop, which starts in January. For the month of December only, use code NANO on checkout and receive $9 (18%) off the workshop price.

 

Winners! Holiday giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the holiday contest and helped promote the holiday novella releases. I hope you also had a chance to pick them up and start reading!

Here’s a list of the winners from the contest. Please email me at angelajameseditor AT gmail.com to claim your prize as soon as possible!

(1) $28 gift vouchers to the Funky Monkey Metalwork Etsy store: Susan Saxx

(1) $21 gift voucher to Rebecca’s Whims: MGSunshine

(2) $37 gift vouchers to the Simply Willow Etsy store: Kare_bear83 and Eleanor_Anders

(1) $15 gift voucher to an online book etailer of your choice: brandy

Print copy: Holiday Kisses: FatLipGloss

Print copy: A Clockwork Christmas: antinmitchfield

Print copy: Men Under the Mistletoe: what_ever_for

Thanks again for participating!

S’mores brownies

S’mores brownies

I was supposed to post this recipe over a month ago, but as we can all tell, I haven’t been blogging much! I’ve made this s’mores brownie recipe twice now, and these brownies are amazing. I took them to the Toronto Harlequin office recently and they didn’t last more than a day. They sound really rich, and while they kind of are (I serve them in smaller than normal brownie pieces) they’re not any more rich than your average s’more or gooey brownie. And they’re just…so good There are a lot of s’mores brownie recipes out there. I took mine from Picky Palate (she has a lot of pictures of the process) but I changed it ever so slightly.

Ingredients:

1 box of brownie mix, prepared according to directions on box. I use Duncan Hines dark brownie mix because I’m a fan of dark chocolate.

1 sleeve plain graham crackers (this is not the time to get fancy with the cinnamon ones). It will take about 5 whole crackers.

4 plain full-size chocolate bars or 2 of the baking size bars. Again, I use dark chocolate.

Bag of large marshmallows, You’ll need around 10 or so, and I cut mine in half to make the marshmallow layer more manageable.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F while you’re preparing the brownie mix according to the box directions.

2. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil (the nonstick kind is good here). Line the entire pan and spray whole inside of pan, bottom and sides, with cooking spray.

3. Pour half the brownie batter into pan.

4. Layer graham crackers over brownie mix. Break them up only when you need to fill in small spaces.

5. Next layer chocolate on top of graham crackers.  Break chocolate up only when you need to fill in small spaces.

6. Last, put cut marshmallows (really, you can use whole if you want) on top of chocolate.

7.  Pour other half of brownie batter over marshmallows.

8. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Toothpick should be mostly clean (minus the gooey marshmallow) from center.

9. Remove from oven and cool completely.  No really, completely. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.

10. Using edges of foil, lift foil and brownies from pan.

11. Peel foil from away from edges and cut brownies into small squares.

   

 

Giveaway! In celebration of my holiday story releases!

Today marks the release of the second annual holiday collections. Unlike last year, I decided to edit all 12 of the holiday stories for the 2011 collections. First, I adore holiday novellas and second, I don’t get to edit much anymore, and this was a great opportunity (third, working with me actually seemed to be a draw for some authors. They’re crazy like that!).

You guys, words cannot express (because I’m not an author) the depth of my love for how these 3 collections of 4 stories each came together. The authors were a dream to work with, I loved each and every story, and I’m just kind of…giddy…with how awesome I think the collections are. Here’s all three of the collections (with links to the individual stories as well). Keep reading for info on my giveaway.

We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas

Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband’s love. A man learns that love isn’t always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.

Anthology includes:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail

This Winter Heart by PG Forte

Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz

Far From Broken by JK Coi

Stories also available for purchase separately. 117,000 words

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton

It’s Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon

Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

Stories also available for purchase separately. 103,000 words

 

Baby it’s Cold Outside

A man receives the gift of pleasure at the hands of two expert lovers. Boyhood sweethearts get a second chance at romance. Two very proper gentlemen indulge their forbidden desires. And a Christmas tree farmer has an epiphany. It may be cold outside but these four holiday novellas will warm you up.

Anthology includes:

My True Love Gave to Me by Ava March

Winter Knights by Harper Fox

Lone Star by Josh Lanyon

The Christmas Proposition by K.A. Mitchell

Stories also available for purchase separately. 116,000 words

The giveaway…

I have the following prizes up for grabs:

(2) $28 gift vouchers to the Funky Monkey Metalwork Etsy store

(2) $37 gift vouchers to the Simply Willow Etsy store

(1) $15 gift voucher to an online book etailer of your choice

All four of these vouchers are good towards any purchase in their respective Etsy stores.

I’m also giving away

(1) each special, limited edition print copy of each of the 3 holiday collections (Holiday Kisses, A Clockwork Christmas and Men Under the Mistletoe). These print editions are not for sale anywhere, but can only be won from either Carina Press or the collection authors!

You can enter to win up to 3 times. To enter, either tweet or post on Facebook using the hashtag #ajwin (the hashtag is the only way for me to track your entry). Do NOT comment here to enter.

Tweet or FB post, with the #ajwin hashtag, a link to each individual collection on the Carina Press website along with a promotional message for that collection. Yes, I’m using you to do promo. But look…stuff to win!

You get one entry per collection for a total of three entries. This contest is open to everyone over the age of 18, and is open to international participants. Contest closes at 11:59p Eastern December 6th, 2011. Winners will be chosen by random draw on December 7th and notified via Twitter/Facebook. Winners must collect their prizes by December 8th, 5:59p or new winners will be drawn.

Sample tweets/posts (and since you have more room on Facebook, feel free to say a bit more :P) You can tweet/post whatever you like as long as it’s (not rude) got the collection name, the hashtag and a link to the collection on the site!

A Clockwork Christmas, the steampunk holiday anthology is now available from Carina Press. Check it out here: http://ow.ly/7Phz8 #ajwin

A Clockwork Christmas is a good way to give the steampunk genre a try. Four novellas in one book! http://ow.ly/7Phz8 #ajwin

Holiday Kisses brings you 4 holiday contemporary novellas that will put you in the holiday spirit! http://ow.ly/7Pjx5 #ajwin

The contemporary novellas of Holiday Kisses bring together four bestselling contemporary authors in 1 book! http://ow.ly/7Pjx5 #ajwin

Take a break from the holiday madness with 4 m/m romance holiday novellas in Men Under the Mistletoe http://ow.ly/7PjUF #ajwin

The 4 m/m holiday novellas of Men Under the Mistletoe are a delightful mix of naughty and nice! http://ow.ly/7PjUF #ajwin

***

In addition to trying to win the prizes, I hope you’ll all check out the collections, and the individual novellas. I really believe they’re all fabulous reads and the perfect length for passing the time while you stand in long holiday lines, or just take a break at the end of the day. If you do read them, please let me know what you thought!

(reminder, do not comment here to enter to win. Those comments will be deleted. Thank you!)

Sunday cooking: Gumbo

Last week, I asked Twitter for a gumbo recipe and I got a bunch of responses and several very helpful people emailing me recipes. I think it’s safe to say that I looked at well over 30 different recipes. Eventually, I ended up going with this recipe from Paula Deen, with some of my own adaptations, because it had the exact ingredients I wanted to use, and very straightforward directions. I think if you follow Paula’s recipe, you can’t go wrong, but I did make some changes to suit it to my family’s tastes, so my recipe follows

Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Tony Chachere Instant roux mix
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish
  • 5 cups hot water
  • 2 Tbsp chicken base (combined with hot water, this creates chicken stock. You can substitute canned broth instead)
  • 1 (14-ounce can) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound small raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

1. Season the chicken with Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning (no set amount, be generous, about 2 Tbsp)

2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook cubed chicken until browned. Do not cook all the way through. Remove chicken from pot w/slotted spoon and reserve in bowl to side.

3. Add the sausage to oil and cook until browned, then remove to same bowl as chicken.

4. Sprinkle the flour and Tony Chachere Roux mix over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of margarine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let roux cool slightly. (Important note I learned in my reading: use margarine, not butter. Butter burns more easily and when you’re cooking something that needs to be cooked awhile, like roux, it’s easier if you don’t use butter.) Don’t panic if things seem to be sticking to the bottom of your dutch oven. This is totally normal. Once you add the butter, and then the hot water, most of this will integrate back into your dish for an amazing flavor!

5. Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt 3 tbsp butter with the roux. Add the onion, garlic and green pepper and cook for 10 minutes.

6. Add Worcestershire sauce, ground pepper and cayenne pepper, and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

7. During this 10 minute cook period, heat the 5 cups of water in a tea kettle.

8. Slowly add 5 cups hot water and chicken paste, whisking constantly as you add..

9. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

10. Add tomatoes (if you want to add okra, this would be the place to add it. My family doesn’t like it so I omitted). Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

11. Add shrimp and another 1/4 bunch chopped parsley. Simmer 1/2 hour.

12. Start rice when you add shrimp. At the end of half hour, dish rice into a bowl and serve gumbo over rice. Enjoy!

Notes: Paula’s original recipe called for celery (cooked celery = blech), okra (I omitted) and beef bouillon instead of chicken paste. Most gumbo recipes I saw used chicken stock, so I went with the chicken instead. And I always use paste, in place of broth/bouillon, because it’s easy and tasty.

I also added the Tony Chachere’s seasoning, roux and red pepper, so my version adds some spice and heat that hers otherwise wouldn’t have. If you wanted it more spicy, you could add more Chachere’s seasoning or red pepper. You could also use spicy sausage but the andouille sausage is pretty yummy. I chose to go with a moderate spice this time, as a baseline, and I was pretty happy with it.

I have to say, this gumbo was delicious!

Before You Hit Send, fall session…

The fall session of Before You Hit Send is starting next week. This looks like it will be a smaller, more intimate-sized class than previous sessions, so more opportunity to get my feedback on your work. I like that!

A few questions that I’ve gotten recently:

When is the next session?

The next session won’t be until late January 2012.

Do I have to have a finished manuscript to participate?

It’s not necessary to have a completed manuscript to work on, but it is helpful to have at least a partial manuscript to work on, so you can apply the lessons to a work-in-progress and see how they apply to and affect your writing.

I’m already published, will I learn anything?

Ahh, yes. Yes, you will. 3 intensive weeks of multiple lessons a day. I’d wager there’s still a lot left for many writers to learn about their craft!

I work as an editor/copy editor, can I take your course?

Yes, absolutely. We’ve used it for brushing up the skills of the freelance editors at Carina Press. Just like for authors, there’s always something new for editors to learn about their work (even me, I’m always learning!)

When’s the deadline to sign up?

I usually close sign up two days after the course starts, as I don’t want anyone to get too far behind.

Registration for the course is here

Official parent of a first grader

File under: Things I find impossible to believe. Especially when revisiting this post from the first day of kindergarten. Wasn’t that just yesterday? How can it be a year ago?

But in the tradition of all good parents, I took some pictures of her first day. She was really excited…and then suddenly really nervous. But she’s going to know all of the kids in her class, and her teacher seems extremely nice, so I know she’ll be fine. Really, I can’t wait to see what this year holds, even if it is hard to believe she’s in first grade (I’ll need to say it a few hundred more times before it sinks in). And I admit, when I texted Josh the picture of Brianna with her teacher, and said “here’s our baby” I suddenly got REALLY teary.

So, here she is. My first grader. *sniff* (the goofy faces were all her idea)

 

 

Isn’t she beautiful?

  

 

With her new teacher!

Honestly, I’m so excited for her, because I think she’s going to have a great year. But in the spirit of last year’s post, and the wee bit of melancholy I’m feeling, here I am (I’m blue…)

Are you in: Denver, Tucson, Las Vegas, Toronto or Seattle?

Those are all places I’ll be visiting and speaking at writer’s conferences or RWA chapter meetings in the next three months! In addition, I’ll also be near Tampa, Florida. If you’re in or near any of those places, and would be interested in attending, meeting me and hearing me talk about publishing, brand building, social media and the rise of digital, then read on! Also, I should note that I’m nearing the end of 2011 and the year of travel. In 2012, I’ll be traveling and doing far fewer appearances (for my own sanity, and the sake of all the other things I need to accomplish!)

September 9-11, Denver, Colorado. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference.

Join me as I offer critiques, pitches, a 2-hour workshop on brand building and participating in the editor panel.

Registration for the conference is still open here.

September 24, Tucson, Arizona. Saguaro Romance Writers.

Here I’ll be speaking to this chapter in a smaller environment. My agenda hasn’t been set by the chapter yet, but I’ll be there speaking for at least 4 hours on brand building, publishing Q&A, social media, etc. From their website, I understand that non-members are welcome to attend. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come and see me!

October 19-23, St. Pete Beach, Florida. Novelists Inc. conference.

This will be my third year attending the NINC conference and if last year is anything to go by, I think this will be an outstanding conference for authors. On Thursday, the conference gathers together a collection of industry professionals to sit on panels, asking some in-depth questions about the industry (only one panel at a time goes on). On Friday thru Sunday, there are writing workshops offered by a variety of authors, agents, editors and other experts. I believe I’ll be participating in both the Thursday panels, as well as offering a workshop that weekend (the schedule hasn’t yet been set).

I should also add that St. Pete was one of my favorite conference locations. The beach was beautiful (and I live near a beach, but I still enjoyed being right there) and the hotel rooms very comfortable. I’m so glad the conference is going to be there again.

Registration is open.

October 28-30, Seattle, Oregon Washington. Emerald City Writer’s Conference.

In Seattle, I’ll be taking pitches, drinking martinis, giving a workshop Q&A on the future of digital and future of publishing, and drinking martinis (okay, I threw the drinking martinis in this one just to change it up a bit, lol!)

This is a larger regional conference, and I encourage area authors to attend! For readers, there’s also a booksigning that you might want to check out!

Registration is open here.

November 12, Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Romance Writer Chapter.

The program for Toronto hasn’t been set yet, but I can tell you a few things: I’ll be doing a Q&A about publishing at the very least, and there are a number of Carina authors who belong to this chapter, as well as a number of published authors, so you’ll have a lot of people to meet and ask questions of.

Toronto is also where the Harlequin offices are located, so I’ll see what kind of goodies I can dig up for this event 😉

Guests/non-members are welcome at this chapter. Look for more information here.

November 19, Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas Romance Writer Chapter.

Even though this is the last appearance of the year, I already have the program for it! Here it is:

Building Your Brand (1hr)
Using Your Website to Support Your Brand (1hr)
Lunch Break (1hr)
Publishing in the Digital Age (1hr)
Kamikaze Cold Reads (1hr)

Yep, I’m doing all of those, so you get me for four hours of speaking! And, dude…Las Vegas. Even if you’re not close, maybe you want to come anyway?

Their website is here.

As I said above, this will be my last appearance until January 2012 (when I’ll be in both New Jersey, New York and California!) But that’s 2012…

Tell me, will I be seeing any of you at any of these last 2011 appearances?

Summer cooking: Deviled Eggs

So deviled eggs are actually a year-round side dish in our house, because it’s one thing that everyone will eat, amazingly enough. There’s something just so…yum about deviled eggs. What is it? I rarely follow a recipe when I make them, although I sometimes use this recipe as a starting point. But I don’t measure (anything) and I go simply by taste. Honestly, I think this is the best way!

Ingredients:

12 hard boiled eggs (I use this method of hard boiling), peeled and rinsed.

prepared horseradish

sweet relish

brown mustard

mayonnaise

celery salt

pepper

paprika

Directions:

1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, scoop out yolk into a bowl and put whites on a platter.

2. Using a fork, smoosh egg yolks until reasonably smooth. If you want really, really smooth deviled eggs, you could use a hand mixer, but really, who has that time and who cares about a few lumps?

3. Add in approximately 1/4 cup mayo to start, plus about a Tbsp of sweet relish and brown mustard each. Mix. Add more of each to your personal taste.You may want more mayo or mustard especially.

4. Toss in about a tsp of horseradish, mix and taste. Depending on how much heat you like, and how hot your horseradish is, you may want more.

5. Salt (celery salt) and pepper to taste. At this stage you may also want to add a squeeze of lemon juice, for something different.

6. Scrape mixture into a sandwich bag. Cut corner of sandwich bag off and pipe into egg whites (confession, when I’m in a hurry I just scoop it in with a spoon, rather than using a sandwich bag. Might not be pretty, but it tastes the same!)

7. Sprinkle lightly with smoky paprika and either chill or serve immediately.

There are a TON of variations of the deviled egg recipe out there. Really, it’s all about trial and error and getting it to your taste. There’s no right or wrong way.

And now I wish I had some deviled eggs. Writing this made me hungry!

 

 

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