Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s finally Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget about the Writing Prompts Crew and our Christmas giveaway which is going on now and ends December 13th! I think you’re going to like this year’s celebration! We’re giving away a basket full of goodies! Three blessed winners will receive prizes that include gift cards and books—among other things—just our way of thanking you for visiting our blog.

We’ll be using RaffleCopter this year and by using it, you’ll be able to enter by leaving a comment on a blog post, and following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Prizes include:
$25 Barnes & Noble gift card
$25 Subway gift card
$10 StarBucks gift card
Print books
E-books
Jewelry and more

After you finish eating turkey and pumpkin pie, find a place on the couch, whip out your phone, and take a moment to enter our contest. This might be your year to win big!

3 Questions Wednesday with Gail Kittleson

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Author Gail Kittleson loves interacting with her readersSo, let’s see how she answers our latest 3 Questions–

Question: What inspires you?

Gail: I love quotes. Years ago, I discovered a certain brand of tea that has a quote hanging from each and every richly flavored and scented bag. The tea itself tastes wonderful—I look forward to a cup about mid-morning every day. But anticipating what the quote will say has become part of that little personal ritual.

Sometimes the message can be a tad hokey…some bland, over-used sentiment. But often, real truth awaits me. For example, short pithy statements from the likes of President Abraham Lincoln. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Or this one from Steve Jobs—“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice.” Oh boy… if I’d only followed that one decades ago.

Of course, powerful quotes from the Bible have inspired me through many a pitfall, along with many others from various poets and authors. What would the world be like without powerful words?

 Powerful words take writing to another level. And I love the Steve Jobs quote. 🙂

Next question–You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Gail: A new color in the crayon box…I think I’d be yellow. While wearing yellow makes my skin look jaundiced, I use as much of this vibrant color as possible in our home. With encouragement from our artist daughter, I painted our dining room a deep shade, and sunshine literally dances on the walls from the room’s south window a good share of the day.

Yellow for brightness, yellow for joy, yellow for passion…yep, I’d choose to be yellow.

Good choice. Yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Final Question–As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Gail: Actually, I don’t recall pondering what I’d be some day when I was a child. Back then, you had three choices—housewife, secretary, or teacher. Well, maybe nurse, too. Nursing attracted my “rescuing and fixing” nature, but my favorite subjects were English and history. As a teen, I embraced the dream of writing, but it took a loooong time to truly make it a priority. Teaching others to write and cheering them on in their endeavors brought me a lot of satisfaction, but deep down, I still recalled that dream.

And finally, here I am, doing World War II research and interacting with fictional characters more than with the people around me at times. It’s never too late.

It’s never too late to follow your dreams! Thanks, Gail, for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday. READERS – See below for a chance to win an e-book copy of Gail’s latest book, A Purpose True. And take a moment to watch the trailer for her book, With Each New Dawn, below:

Click to tweet: What inspires Gail Kittleson? Find out on today’s 3 Questions Wednesday @InspiredPrompt #3QW


A Purpose True

Southern France – Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?

Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion

Buy here


About Gail:

A late-blooming author, Iowa farm girl Gail Kittleson’s characters contribute to the World War II effort against great odds. Her Women of the Heartland series includes In Times Like These, With Each New Dawn, and A Purpose True, which releases on December 7th, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The best compliment her writing has received? “Thanks for not giving your heroine easy ways out, and for avoiding pat answers, no matter how complicated the struggle.”

When Gail’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing and facilitates writing and creativity workshops. In  winter, she and her husband spend time hiking in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim.

Gail’s loves interacting with readers.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Carlton Hughes

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday.

Carlton Hughes

Today’s guest is a familiar one, a member of the Writing Prompts Crew. Among other things, he’s a communications professor, a children’s pastor, and an all-around great guy. Our readers know him for his warm, humorous posts.

So, let’s see how he answers our 3 Questions–

Question: Carlton, what inspires you?

Carlton:  Many things inspire me, but I’ve narrowed it down a bit. (1) I live in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and you truly witness the creativity of God here. Right now the colors of autumn are vivid, and nature inspires me. (2) I’m also inspired by the people in my life—my family, friends, students, and co-workers. There are always good stories floating around! (3) This one may sound strange, but I love classic sitcoms and get inspiration from them. When I’m feeling down, I’ll watch an episode or two of I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, etc. I love to write humor, and what better way to learn than to watch the best.

Sounds like you’re inspired by life. And you’re right–stories are everywhere. For humor writers, those classic shows are the best.

Next question–You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Carlton: This question is hard, but I’d have to say a vibrant royal blue, mostly because I bleed Kentucky blue!

The color blue indicates patience and calm, and also fealty (loyalty), and you are certainly loyal to your Kentucky Wildcats!

Final Question–As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Carlton: For a long time, I wanted to be an architect—I think it was the “Mike Brady Effect.” When I realized you had to take a lot of math to be an architect, I changed my mind quickly. I developed an interest in journalism starting in junior high and wanted to be a broadcast news anchor—I even double-majored in broadcasting and print journalism in college. God had other plans, though, and I became a professor and a freelance writer. However, I use the skills from my broadcast journalism classes in my writing all the time. Math? Not so much.

Good choice! This is a perfect example of how God uses our gifts to be a blessing to others.

Thanks, Carlton, for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday, and giving our readers the chance to get to know you better. Readers, besides here on our blog, you can find Carlton on Almost an Author (blog).

Click to tweet: Carlton Hughes bleeds blue! #Kentucky #3QuestionsWednesday #InspiredPrompt


Carlton W. Hughes is a communications professor at Southeast Kentucky Community College and coordinates the Dual Credit Program at Harlan County High School, where he also teaches part-time. He is children’s pastor at Lynch Church of God and won the 2013 Shepherd’s Cup Award, the highest honor for children’s pastors in the Church of God denomination. Hughes is also a year-round volunteer and Relay Center Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child. As a writer, his works have been featured in numerous publications, including the books Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game and Simple Little Words. Hughes is a two-time first-place winner in the “Dramas/ Plays/Scripts” category in the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Writers Contest. He resides in Cumberland, Kentucky, and he and his wife Kathy have two sons, Noah and Ethan. He is a fan of chocolate, good books, basketball, and classic television shows like “I Love Lucy.”


And don’t forget to enter our “Once Upon a Christmas Giveaway III” — you’ll see a “click-meme” in the sidebar on the right, or if you’re on your phone, you can click here to enter: Rafflecopter Giveaway

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My Grandmother’s Kitchen: Homemade Pancakes

I love the title for this month’s blog post. I had different relationships with both of my grandmothers. They each taught me so much in the precious time I had with them. After our family moved from the city, I used to spend a few weeks each summer with my Grandma Milem.

She lived in a cul-de-sac with other homes filled with folks much like herself; elderly, with grown children. There were very few kids my age living, or visiting in that semi-circle of homes; so I ended up spending a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa. This is the place where I learned to sew, embroider, and watch Grandma cook. A favorite family memory: she loved to whistle while she worked.

There was always fresh produce on Grandma’s table. Tomatoes sliced on a plate, cucumbers bathed in vinegar, or swimming in sour cream with dill, and onion stalks with their greenery spilling out of the top of a glass of water. She taught my mother how to can the benefits from our garden, her bread and butter pickles were the best! We had jars and jars of corn, green beans and tomatoes. Grandma would take zucchini home and come back to visit with loaves of zucchini bread!

I have fond memories of holiday gatherings. Wonderful smells would fill the house. There were no store bought pies here, no sir. Everything was made by hand, and if you went home hungry it was your fault.

By the time I became a teenager, Grandpa had passed away and their home had been sold. Grandma called herself a vagabond; she lived from place to place. Mostly with her grown children in different parts of the country. She would visit us in southern California for a couple of months, she would then divide the rest of the year between Arizona, South Carolina, or Ohio.

In 1999, we were all called to my Uncle’s home in Ohio to say our good-byes. Hospice had advised that Grandma would be leaving us soon. A memory from that time, so precious to me  was when my Uncle’s home lost power, and there was no air conditioning. My cousins and I took newspaper and made fans. Then we went into the bedroom where Grandma rested and fanned her while singing hymns. If you listened real close you could hear her humming along.

When asking my cousins which recipe they remembered most from Grandma’s Kitchen our memories varied.  But we all think of her as a constant reminder of our childhood, and her great cooking abilities. I just found out recently that one of my cousins had  snagged her recipe box! Oh what a treasure! She then proceeded to send me a picture of all of those recipes. So, per her request, I am happily sharing Grandma Milem’s pancake recipe.

 

Grandma Milem’s Pancakes

1 Egg
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup of Baking soda
1 1/4 Cups of Flour
1 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbs. Soft shortening
1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt

Mix the dry ingredients together well. The shortening should be soft like butter at room temperature. Add shortening, and  buttermilk; stir well. Let batter rest for a minute or two before pouring on hot griddle.

Click to Tweet: My Grandma’s Kitchen: Homemade Pancakes #holiday #memories .@InspiredPrompts

From Grandmother’s Kitchen: Pecan Pie

The holidays have always been a favorite time of year around my house. Not because of presents, but the time spent in the kitchen sharing memories as we bake. At the end of October, the cookbooks fly off the shelves as everyone searches for new recipes to try during the coming weeks. Pies, cakes, candy, and rolls. No matter how many new ones we add, there is always room for the familiar and beloved recipes of yesteryear from Mom’s and Grandma’s kitchen.

One of my favorites is Pecan Pie. Not too sweet. Just ooey gooey goodness. Did I tell you it’s great with a piping-hot cup of coffee? Yummy.

pecan-pie inspired prompts gail johnson

Click to Tweet: There is always room for the familiar and beloved recipes of yesteryear. #recipes #holidays

Pecan Pie

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
4 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla
½ stick of butter, room temperature
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon of flour
2-9 inch regular shells

In a large bowl mix sugar, syrup, beaten eggs, vanilla, and butter. Add flour and pecans. Pour into piecrusts. Bake for 1 hour or until firm on top. Let cool before slicing. 🙂 Enjoy

Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite holiday memories? Do you have a favorite recipe book? Feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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