Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day of the Dead Tour with Gail Martin!

For this Writer Wednesday post, I would like to direct you to my friend & colleague, Gail Z. Martin, author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer. I've enjoyed all the wonderful snippets she shares during Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings, as well as her videoblogging & her podcast.

To celebrate Hallowe'en and el Dia de los Muertos, Gail is doing an International Blog Tour. J She extends an invitation out to everyone to join her!

As part of the party, she has brand new content and giveaways posting on her partner sites all week long, leading up to Halloween, starting with the tour home page at Look for Gail’s blog tour on these sites:
Solaris Books
Orbit Books (new stuff in 2 places)
Pat's Vampire Notes
Double Dragon
Fantasy Book Spot
Midnight Syndicate
Ghost in the Machine Podcast
The Winter Kingdoms (bonus download pre-order)
Gail's Twitter Page at


Monday, October 26, 2009

Hallowe'en Week!

It's good to feel productive!

Even when you have a week ahead of you with 2 deadlines and stuff happening every day of the week.

And a Hallowe'en party for which you still haven't finished your costume. oops!

It will work out, I'm sure of it.

Some neat things: is sharing a paranormal event I actually experienced at 6PM ET today! Please check it out!

All the writing for our Newsletter is done… I just need to put it together and send it to Chris for a final proof.

I get to meet my friend, Aimee, for the first time in-person this week! Wheeeee!! She's back home from Tokyo.

I've mostly nailed down a production plan for the Broad Universe Broad Pod that I intend to make happen….by hook or by crook!

Critiques: I'm catching up! All of the notes I've received on "Manipulation" have been reviewed and addressed accordingly. Same for "Hero's Heart" and "Martian Time Traveller." If I have the time this week: "Cemetery Angels!"

Just under the wire, I managed to send a submission to the Tweet the Meat Jerky Contest! Husband-of-Awesome did too. I will let you know if we win! So far, that is my only contribution to the Broad Universe Mailing Party that's going on this week… but I thoroughly intend on changing that.

The bedroom is mostly clean now! It needs a little more work with H-of-A's clothes and some bookshelf assembly, but I'm rather happy with the progress.

And finally, even more info for you Bad-Ass Faerie lovers. Info on the re-releases of 1 and 2 are here and here! Gorgeous covers!

So, now I need to head to bed so I can be up to meet Aimee tomorrow…


Friday, October 23, 2009

Foodie Fail: Grilled Tilapia

The tilapia was delicious, actually.

I'm the one who gets the fail.

You see, I call myself a foodie; I get paid to write about food. I cook for fun. I blog about cooking and eating. I think the Food Channel is wonderful…

In fact, it's because of Food TV (and the Husband-of-Awesome, who's also a foodie), that I realize the extent of my failure.

I can't stand food that looks at me… that looks like it might be alive.

Raw doesn't bother me; I can scarf down most sushi with the best of them (except tentacles… but that's a different story. Prawns that still have heads, though… that fits this blog post). I love raw oysters (they don't have eyes). I can do tartar and carpaccio.

And then I had to review this African restaurant last night. My meal included "grilled tilapia," which I imagined would be a grilled filet.

Nope. It was a full fish, head and tail hanging off my plate. It had an eye. It was looking at me.

In most countries, the more alive the food looks the better. It means the food is fresh and high quality. I get it, I really do.

Husband-of-Awesome refused to trade plates with me. I had to face this fear.

Fish are ugly mother-frakkers, too…

"Can I eat the skin?" I asked, wrinkling my nose. I do hope the staff - if they were watching - found me more amusing than offensive.

Dearest didn’t care. He wore an evil grin and laughed at my discomfort. "Yes, you can eat the skin!"

Poke. Poke.

"Just eat it!"

Mind you, I'm also one of those horrible New Englanders who likes Lazy Man's Lobster… or baked lobster… or lobster tails…

So I don't have to actually face off with the cockroach of the sea as I indulge in its succulent flesh.

I cautiously poked pieces of the fish off in bits. As I said, it was delicious and extremely moist and tender. The flavoring of ginger and tamarind and other spices I didn't recognize was excellent!

It still felt like biology class as I carefully picked out the bones, fins, spine… delicately manipulating my fork prongs to salvage the meat from around the pointy and icky bones.

Dearest Hubby grabbed the cheek meat off one side of that perpetually frowny fishy face… right below the eye. I flipped the head over and tried the other side. Not bad, but I'm also not a fan of fish-oil flavor. (Probably another foodie-fail on my part).

I finally finished - and enjoyed - the taste of success in overcoming this fear of eating food that looked at me. Until… until my beloved gouged his fork into the eye… and ate it!

As he swallowed, he informed me fish eyes are a delicacy.


At least it wasn't looking at me anymore.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


No writing blog tonight: Sprained achilles tendon. Major eff-effing-eff-eff - screw that, FUCKING, pain.On meds that would make House envious... plus beer from the (good part of my day at) Worcester's Downtown Womens Club...I suppose a blog might be... interesting... in this state, but I just want to go to bed.Well-wishes welcome!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rocking and Shocking

Yay "duh" headline! But, seriously, this was my first Worcester Rock & Shock (yeah, a convention 5 minutes from my house I haven't attended!), and it totally kicked ass.

I finally met more of the awesome folks who are part of New England Horror Writers, I learned a whole lot about the horror & comic markets, and I sold a few books. Also, Jack Ketchum joined us for dinner on Saturday - *raises "Rock On!" devil horns* - and he is also a bit of a foodie! I, like, had some awesome conversation with someone the Husband-of-Awesome (of all people) was worried about fanboying over.

Just sitting at our table and talking with everyone was just so much fun and educational, though, I can't say enough about the group… so check them out:

And, make sure you mark your calendars for next year's Rock & Shock. I'll remind you here, because I absolutely plan on returning. J

It's been a busy night since Rock & Shock… and I am still behind on many things… and I have a deadline this week (sooner rather than later so my interviewee can look it over). Well, 2 deadlines, w/ my regular review, too.

What am I doing? Asking if the Broads want a Mailing Party because there is no other time I can see that happening this year.

Yep, I see the insanity of the rest of the year already. NaNo=> November. December=> Various holidays & family events. And MORE SNOW, which is ick-tacular. ;)

I'm likely going to cheat this Food blog too and post my stuffed pumpkin recipe… but it's worth it if you try and make it. It's just that good.

And its 4:30AM… so here's to the continued disorganization movement on my organization posts.

OH! And before I forget, Phibble Media, Light House Rocks radio show will be sharing my a paranormal event that actually happened to me (yes, ME, not my brother's friend's who-not). Tune in to hear it on October 26 at 6PM! Also, it will be available on the website. Mwahahhahaha!

Wish me luck - and I wish you all luck too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Food + Writing

My beer post is still brewing in my head, and my apples are only half-baked at the moment… and stuffed pumpkin requires a lot of prep and baking time (would have had hyperlink to this particular blog post, except MySpace doesn't have a way to link to individual posts. Ugh… I may just reprint it next week.)

But I do have a foodie response to Danielle's journal here. And it's a good match of food and writing… regardless of my respectful disagreement & re-metaphoring of her point. She wrote a good article.

Food makes a great metaphor for writing. One of my favorites is "reducing a sauce." Granted, there are some sauces you DO NOT want to reduce (like those made with beer), but most times, you really need to reduce a sauce to get the full flavor impact. Fiction is like that, too. I write big. Christy writes big. We usually need to reduce our word counts by 30% or more - often more - for our work to shine. I see this with most of the writers I work with, too. Seriously, check your word count, then challenge yourself to reduce it by 10%. Then do it again. For me and Chris, we immediately make it a goal to reduce our word count by 25% after our first draft - but we know we need to. It really lets the nuances and flavors shine - and cooks away any "raw" or "off" flavors - if done right.

Another favorite food metaphor of mine is not to let your side-dishes outshine your main course. If your sub-plots are more interesting than your main plot… you should be writing the story behind the sub-plot.

And, to go back to popcorn, which is the metaphor Danielle started out with, the best piece of business/productivity advice I ever got was from Kevin J. Anderson - who used a popcorn metaphor. I heard it at Dragon*Con 2 or 3 years ago, so I'm paraphrasing it from memory. A writer can throw one piece of popcorn in oil on the pan and fuss over it until it pops - or doesn't pop, because it could be one of those kernels that never pops. Or, you can throw a whole scoop of popcorn into oil - and then know SOMETHING will have to pop. I like popcorn, so that works for me. J

What's your favorite food + writing = metaphor?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Demographics and Your Writing: How are you affected?

When I did magazine advertising, we'd highlight reader demographics to potential advertisers: age of readers, income of readers, geography of readers, gender of readers, political stance of readers, religious stance of readers…

Our advertisers wanted to know if their money would be well-spent marketing to our audience.

As a writer marketing your work, you need to be aware of your audience demographics. We all love to think everyone wants to read our work, but the truth is otherwise. Your ideal reader is someone like you.

Can you pinpoint your demographic?

I recently had a few good lessons in demographics through critique sessions.

Cynics, Women, and Angels

I have a short story, "Cemetery Angels," where a plot point is that some guys, high on drugs, are planning to rob a mother and daughter in a cemetery during the middle of the day. They want money for drugs - and who expects to be robbed in a cemetery of all places?! (Outside of my mother and me, that is.) I was a little worried that someone might question this, even though it's based on stories I was familiar with - I don't recall if they were news or common urban legends - of druggies doing just such an act.

The first and second persons who gave me feedback didn’t question this point at all. Feeling comfortable, I shared this with one of my in-person critique groups (I have a lot of critique people & groups - which actually gives me a good spread of demographics). No one in my in-person critique group understood this plot point - and some had very specific ideas of what those "crazy kids on drugs" ought to be doing in a graveyard ("Perhaps show them defacing gravestones?")

What was the difference?


The first two people who reviewed my story had a certain level of urban experience and were deeply cynical.

My in-person writing group hasn't a person who is half as cynical as either of the first two readers, and most of them are used to living in suburban, country, or otherwise low-population areas.

Another point:

The mother in this story makes sure to check the back seat of the car - something that was emphasized all my life. All of the men who reviewed my story asked how the mother knew to check there. None of the women questioned this.


Your Mama! (Not mine)

Different story, similar vein: In my correspondence writing group, a woman sent out a story about motherhood. It was a moving story, but had a harsh outlook on "society's" treatment of mothers. She mentioned that her story evoked either a lot of love or a lot of hate from the other readers. When I read it, I was deeply moved, but had to step back. I loved the story - but an awful lot bothered me. In many places, I was saying, "But this isn't how it is! Not for my family or anyone I know!"


My colleague was describing a detailed slice-of-life from the demographic of upper-middle class, mostly white, mostly well-educated and white-collar, mostly Protestant, suburban-upon-urban, middle-aged-and-older women.

My family was blue-collar and regular middle class, but deeply Catholic and, in my mom's case, child of Polish immigrants. I'm also a generation-and-a-half below this writer; my friends are all having children during this recession, so our treatment of our mothers is very different than how mid-generational or older generations treat/ed their mothers. For many of my group, mothers are vital to childcare and survival. On the other hand, I do see a difference in my friends & mothers' relationships who are in higher income brackets as opposed to those in lower income brackets… and those who live in more suburban areas as opposed to those in urban areas.

The critiquers who didn't step back and consider demographics had a gut reaction if my colleague's story hit home or didn't hit home (i.e. "was wrong") for them.

Demographics Affect Perception

What demographics will favor your story? Who will understand and relate to it? This is important not only in regards to readers, but agents and editors. Who are you marketing your writing to? This is where looking at the likes & dislikes of agents and editors - and meeting them at conventions and conferences when you can - makes a big difference.

Before you spend your time and resources in marketing, do what the smart advertisers do: check your audience demographics.

What demographics will most likely buy your product: your writing? Where is it worth spending your resources?

Monday, October 12, 2009


I am not superwoman. Not tonight. I have no desire to wear a red cape and goggles while blogging…

So, this past week I've accomplished:

4 blogs (rather than 3 - did you see my writing & $ guestblog at
Novel Chapter synopses for NaNoWriMo with Christy
Officially signed up for NaNoWriMo (novelfriend)
2 deadlines
Most of my cleaning goals
Using all 5 of my extra Lead hours to try to catch up on team evals & new trainee
Few more updates to my website done with my webmistress
lugged & stacked a flipping car-full of tree for NEXT winter (green => needs to cure for a year)
Made some $ and donations for Bay State Equine Rescue at the East Meets West Holistic Happenings today.
Got a mini-massage, Reiki healing, and Angel Card reading also.
I also won a free consultation with this wonderful therapist I met. Maybe I can learn some better behaviors regarding procrastination, organization… oh, and exercise.
Edited one friend's short story who is on a very tight deadline.
Caught up on my analog writer's group critiques & submissions

What I didn't do:

Maintain my 1 market research/market submission each day (Not trying to make up my backlog. Totally doing a "Start over on this one!)
My beer blog with the research from the article from a couple weeks ago
Finish cleaning around my desk
Address any critique on my work that I've received & have piled
Make it to the rescue
Manage any exercise outside of cleaning and wood moving/stacking
Make any edits to Kyra
Write anything new on anything
Keep a reasonable sleep schedule.

And I'm starting off this week in the sleep hole again… so… there's my blog.

I gave a reading to a woman that said sometimes, you have to let yourself fail and be ok with it.

I need to take my own advice sometimes.

Maybe we all need to be okay with letting ourselves fail sometimes?

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Job on the Italian

Long before people started paying me for reviews, I made up my mind that the best judge of a deli or sandwich shop was their Italian.

I quickly realized a lot of places weren't worth their snuff as sandwich shops.

Warning: This blog is going to lean towards the "rant" end of the spectrum.

Firstly, TURKEY IS NOT ITALIAN. Sooo, all you sandwich shops who are stuffing your Italian grinders, hoagies, sandwiches or subs with turkey - STOP RIGHT NOW. Turkey was almost the National Bird of the United States. It is not domestic to Italy, it doesn't come from Italy.

Now… before anyone goes all, "But the Italian Sub is an American blah blah blah - " I did some history research. (True foodies research. Eat that!)

There are a lot of places that claim origin of Italians and Italian Subs. You can find the stories about them here, here, here, and here. A Google search for "Italian Sub origin" gets even more hits. In fact there's even a great debate on what you put on an Italian Sub here. Enjoy!

So… no turkey.* First rule. A close Second Rule is proper Provolone cheese, or at least a good, semi-hard sliced cheese FROM ITALY. American Provolone, from all I have eaten, is bland and rubbery. Generic "American" cheese is almost as bad, only more like soft chewy silicon. Just. Don't. Do. It.

Third Rule: Kill all Mayo, Mustard or other such condiments. Ick! Oil, or oil and vinegar, mixed with Italian herbs, like oregano and basil. You can throw in cracked red pepper or thyme or parsley. Those are all fine. But that's all you need for a dressing.

Fourth Rule: Italian freaking Meat! Salami ought to be a given - that was the original Italian sub meat in almost all the stories. Another good one is Capicola - hot or sweet. Both are good Italian hams. (Speaking of ham - make it an ITALIAN ham!) Some newer, spicier recipes include pepperoni. I'm all for that too. It's still Italian. Even pastrami, Italian roast beef, works well.

Fifth Rule: Bread. Italian bread should be the obvious choice. And there are plenty of choices there, too.

While the main reasoning of my judgment for a deli is their choice in high quality Italian meats, cheeses, dressing, and bread, toppings can make a big difference, too, but, unless they use "Bread and Butter" pickles (seriously - ew! And totally not Italian!), there is room for a lot of fun. Red onions are almost a given, especially if they are Italian red onions or sweet Italian reds. However, any large white onion with a good balance of "hot" and "sweet" isn't bad. Italian hot peppers are one of my favorites, as well as chopped & pitted olives. Shredded lettuce, preferably Romaine, is good for texture. Tomatoes are also good, because, even though they are native to North America, Italy has entirely embraced them in their food culture.

Now… for fun part (for me). How I Make My Italian.

Get sub-sized rolls from one of the local Italian bakeries. (If you don't have a local Italian bakery, most higher end chain stores' bakeries do decent imitations).

My favorite Italian meats: hot capicola, sweet capicola, peppered Italian ham, Genoa salami… and if I'm feeling really indulgent, prosciutto.

Cheese: Imported Provolone - I taste-test whatever the deli has to get the sharpest & driest. (If your deli is worth its salt, they should let you get a taste of whatever you're buying.)

Dressing: I use my own Italian olive oil, put a few tablespoons in a small glass bowl, add oregano, basil, thyme, fresh cracked black pepper, and cracked red pepper, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds to infuse the oil and bring out the herb's flavors, whisk it well.

Toppings: Shredded Romaine, red onion slices, fresh tomato, Italian hot peppers (pickled).

I drizzle the herbed oil and a few splashes of white Balsamic vinegar over the top, and sit down to enjoy the sandwich.

Is it really so hard, people?

*One of the places where I had turkey included is forgivable because they appropriately named their sandwich an "Italian Club," and a Club Sandwich often includes turkey. Bacon, too. I liked this particular Italian Club, but it should have included bacon because bacon makes things better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Value in Lies AND Truth

Writers know that all good fiction is a pack of lies that tells the truth.

However, the truth about fiction is not an easy way to pay bills - for many, it's damn near impossible!

But you want to be a professional writer! An Author!

Try your hand at some non-fiction.

Non-fiction writing not only makes money, but it helps you write better and better sell your fiction.


Writing non-fiction articles is what has afforded me to write speculative fiction. There are far more markets for non-fiction, and the pay is better.

Most magazines average a dollar a word - a DOLLAR! - some as much as $2 per word… though some as low as 20 cents per word. But 20 cents is four times the average fiction professional rate! Trade magazines can average between 20 cents to $2 per word, depending on how much experience you have in the trade.

But what about novels, you ask? From every convention I've gone to and the many agent & editor blogs I peruse, Firsttime Novelist, gets less than $5,000 for an advance (often much less) If you’re a first time, it's also probably taken years of work to write, polish, sell, and get this published.

Now, time for word problems. (Didn't you just love those in school?) If magazine writer writes mostly 1200 to 2000-word articles at the average magazine rate, how soon can s/he make that? If they also pepper their main income magazines with smaller pieces from smaller publications (see my guest blog tomorrow at for more on this), how quickly will s/he make that $5k? And if some months, they sell articles to the really high end magazines?

'Nuff said.

Better Writer

Writing non-fiction articles teaches you research and interview. Every writer should know how to do this. Every book should have some level of research, and in almost every book you'll have a character looking to get information from another character. I've got more articles planned that go into both these things in more detail… but know that you need these skills.

Non-fiction writing also imposes word counts and deadlines. Copy space is vanishing real estate due to advertising and short attention spans, so writers need to make their point clearly and quickly… and ON TIME! Professional authors need to meet editorial deadlines, so get used to it.

Working with an editor and getting used to changing things - or having things changed for publication - is also an important skill. It's a business. Like with children, other people will change and mold and criticize your "baby." It is never entirely yours, nor will it be - unless you only plan to write for yourself and share with no one.

Selling Better

If you can attach your name to several established magazines or newspapers, people know you can write, meet deadlines, and work with an editor - and that's a good thing.

I'm not saying this necessarily belongs on a query letter - or even a cover letter… there are much better blogs and resources that give you query/cover letter tips. However, if you get a chance to speak with other professionals in publishing and they ask you what you do - mentioning the best places you've been published gives you credentials above someone who's never been published anywhere. If you get a request to send your work, you can re-identify yourself as the person who writes for "____"

More globally, writing freelance non-fiction helps you hone your overall query and selling ability. You need to pitch articles to your non-fic editors, first of all. You should also be able to make your point in few words, which helps you write a better synopsis or blurb (in theory, at least - I'll let you know when I sell a novel). And the research and interviewing experience helps you find and screen which agents and editors would be the best matches.

Non-Fiction Markets

Have I convinced you to look more into selling non-fiction? Cool! Where do you start?

What magazines & newspapers do you enjoy reading? What do you pay to receive? Start with their submission guidelines.

Next: What interests you? Do an Internet search for your favorite things to see if there is a magazine dedicated to any of them. Writing is your life, you say? There are plenty of writing magazines that pay - but keep in mind competition is stiff.

Exhausted all those options? One of my favorite one-stop-shop places is C. Hope Clark is a fabulous resource for markets and advice. I also highly recommend her regular newsletters. The paid subscription always makes its money back for me, but the free ones are still great. You can also peruse, but there are a lot of people there who expect free writing there. You may need to do a few free non-fiction pieces (blog entries do NOT count) to get "clips," but once you've got some pay pieces, don't work for free (that's what blogs are for). There are even more tips and hyperlinks at my website,

Now, get out there and start earning money for your writing!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mania for this Coming Week

This Manic Monday is brought to you by an AWESOME ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND!

Despite a bout of some illness on Thursday & Friday, Husband-of-Awesome & I went up to Kittery on Saturday, did some shopping, had a fab lobster dinner, and walked down the beach under a full moon that managed to peak out from the clouds for just a bit. Sunday was sleeping in, Pumpkin Bread French Toast, then a run to the Solomon Pond Mall for more necessities (like better business pants for all my networking meetings)

So, for this week:

I have a mystery lunch with my friend Sery at 11AM today. It's a mystery because we were supposed to touch base BEFORE today and say where. I just sent him an e-mail reminding him of this… hopefully he calls at a reasonable time.

I owe Christy a response to our chapter-by-chapter project… which I won't name because I think we had planned on pen-naming this one. We need to talk about that pen-name thing, too… since this one is going to be YA. Just… some religious parents may want to ban it.

Thursday, I'm meeting with my local food editor at Armsby Abby - which I'm looking forward to because my editor is cool and we've both been looking to try this place.

I'll also be guest blogging on Danielle Ackley-McPhail's blog on Thursday, too. J The article will be using small markets and small jobs to augment your pay.

Friday has me meeting with my comic collaborator, Stef, about Aurelio. That means I need to organize my notes for her before then.

I also need to get that Beer Blog for Worcester Magazine, as well as my regular assignment.

Last week:

I attended the Downtown Women's Club in Worcester. It was great! I met some really cool women.

Note: Oh yeah… FOLLOW UP!!

My book club kind of fell apart for this meeting. We may reschedule to talk about the The Alchemist, but we have picked Stardust as our next book! Whee!

Set up my next interview for Massachusetts Horse. J But that's next week.

Ongoing goals:

This is the third week I'll have maintained my 3x per week blog.

I caught up on my 1 market-a-day schedule tonight by researching 4 extra markets for the 3 I slacked on last week. ;) Of that research: 1 submission, which was actually submitted by Aimee Weinstein who I wrote "Facebook Faery Tale" with. She sent it out to the New Yorker. Let's see if they like it better than Fantasy & Science Fiction did.

Addendum to that: I need to finish implementing advice in the critiques sent to me for some of the markets I noted would be good matches for these particular stories.

The bedroom is almost entirely clean except for some heavy trash & H-of-A's clothes… which he swears simply cannot be done until we get a new bureau. Right… to find a new bureau we can afford now…

The desk still has its right hand "pile" that needs going through, but I can still see wood upon the desk itself.

I still need to send off the last 4 from my pile of snail-mail critiques - as well as my submission to the rest of my group. Let's see if I can get that ready between Monday and Tuesday so they can go out in the mail on Wednesday.

I have 2 other Writers' Group subs that desperately need attention from… er… March.

Things I need to stop Procrastinating on:

Kyra Starbard - the YA that just needs some editing & polishing before I send her off into the cruel world of agent-searching.

Hypothesis of a Soul - the android story my live writer's group asked about - even after my 2-month hiatus for convention insanity.

Synopsis for… new ideas. I had another attack me.

Editing per received feedback. I have a big pile of this - some that I may have found a home for.

That's a taste of my plan for the week. Wednesday, I'll be blogging about networking for writers outside of conventions/conferences and Friday… perhaps beer or apples. And don't forget to catch my special Thursday blog about Small Markets over at

Friday, October 2, 2009

Copping out

I am sick…

My original plan was to talk apples, as its apple picking season.

Then, I wanted to write what I couldn't fit about beer from the beer & wine article I did for Worcester Magazine.

Then I ended up being sick today (Thursday). I didn't even make it to the rescue barn as I planned as… um… I didn't want to infect anyone and couldn't just duck behind a tree for what I was doing.

I did keep nummy ham soup down. After a 3 hour long nap under 5 blankets and in winter flannel pjs.

Oh - and I finally got my checks from the trade food magazines that I work for! That's food news.

But… something foodie for you:

Crock Pot Ham Soup (Italian-ish Style)

(There are many styles of this soup, from barbeque to southwestern to southern. It's one of those cupboard cleansing soups.)

1 Ham Steak
Leftover pepperoni slices, quartered
1 (14oz) can Campbells tomato soup
1 (14oz) can vegetable broth
1 (27 oz) can seasoned Kale
1 (16 oz) can black beans
1 chopped onion
4-5 smashed garlic cloves
oregano, basil, thyme, salt, pepper to season

Change around the greens and seasoning and beans, and you get your different versions. Yay creativity.

Throw everything in the crock pot on High while you take a nap to get over your illness. Serves 4. Enjoy.

Now… good night… I have a review that I will type tomorrow. (I promise, Doreen!)

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