Who Cares About Romance? A Book a Day? Who Does That?

I may not seem shy about my writing but I am. Especially my romance stories. But the publisher in me is telling me to hit the road and promote it. “You just published a new story. Go out and tell the world! Get on the radio, do an interview, irritate your friends and family, stick flyers on cars, spam your email list!”

I can’t do any of that. I just can’t. I’ve had my share of radio interviews, I can talk about eating acorns until the cows come home but Civil War Era romance, who wants to hear about that? Well, apparently, some people do. They love reading romance. My friend told me that when her daughter was a teenager, she “gobbled those things up.” Some women finish a book a day. Wow. That’s some heavy reading.

It’s raining again today. It’s been raining on and off for about six months. I spent many a rainy day trailing Kate Holcomb, Ashcroft Duncan and Mattie O’Brien, the stars of Mississippi Wild Blue. I enjoyed getting to know them. I hope you do too.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

The Expression “Trailer Trash” is Unfair

For years I’ve been hearing the expression, “trailer trash.” It’s absolutely, positively unfair to the millions of good, honest, hard-working people who make a home out of a mobile home. One family I know of, runs a thriving business and sent their son to Stanford. His success at college had a lot to do with the money they saved by living in a mobile home. Buying a standard home has become expensive and out of reach for many families. Especially young families. Living in a mobile home can be a financially wise choice. My husband and I lived in a converted school bus for two-and-a-half years while we built a little house. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the money we saved living in that bus. It was a fun time.

Mobile homes range from deluxe to modest and people in every state live in them. It is a pity, if their children are made to feel ashamed, because someone coined the phrase, “trailer trash.” Most people probably laugh it off. Their homes are nice and they know it. It does not make someone “trashy” just because they live in a mobile home. The next time you hear someone use that expression, remind them it’s misleading and offensive. We should all be so lucky.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

Making Gravy Out of Acorns

My father taught me how to make gravy. Growing up in New Orleans, he worked as a chef around a lot of French cooking. He had plenty of praise for “browning flour.” He called browned flour “roux.” Browning flour takes a little skill because it burns easily. The best skillet to use is cast iron, along with a metal spatula to scrape the flour so it doesn’t burn. A quarter cup of flour is all you need. More finesse is needed to add liquid to the flour but hang in there. You can get the lumps out. Add the liquid slowly and make sure it’s not hot. Cold is best. It will become a paste and with more liquid, it will become the desired gravy consistency. The liquid should be flavorful. Soup stock is preferable, the tastier the better. You can either make your own or purchase it. To turn it into acorn gravy, you only need to add a quarter cup of acorns that has gone through the leaching process I explain in my book.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Allergies… Why Do We Say Gesundheit When Someone Sneezes?

It’s easy to forget that oak trees are like a big broccoli floret. This year in California, we’ve had so much rain, the trees are not just bursting forth their greenery, many are bursting with pollen. The timing of the rains, interspersed with intervals of beautiful weather, have enabled pollen and flowers on the trees to remain intact, bringing better assurance that the trees will bear fruit. Whether it’s fig, apricot, almond or oak, the trees in my neck of the woods are the healthiest I’ve ever seen them. Let’s hope there will be an abundance of acorns. I’m hungry for some acorn chocolate cake and there are several squirrels with big bushy tails that are probably eyeing them too. Don’t worry little fellas, I will only take a few.

Beware of the beauty of oak trees in full pollen mode. Even if you don’t regularly have allergies, this year might be different. After several years of drought, mother nature is making up for lost time. Gesundheit!

Why do we say that after someone sneezes? Gesundheit is a German word that means health.  Auf ihre gesundheit means, “to your health.” A sneeze might be a reaction to dust or pollen but it can also be a sign that someone is coming down with a cold. In office environments, it has become almost an obsession to say, “bless you” or “gesundheit” after someone sneezes.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973