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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, Halloween, NaNoWriMo, and BOOze

Trick or Treat! I thought the BOOze might get your attention, LOL! Exciting week with #Halloween today (have a great time scary ones) and the start of the NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) challenge for all you writer fiends tomorrow, November 1.

The lights are up (not quite up to the Christmas level but we’re getting there), candy secured (I personally never want to see another Snickers bar or Ghirardelli chocolate mint square again…I have OD’d), and costume ready (the wicked witch of the west rides again). It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

writer sign

Edits/revisions, edits/revisions, and NaNoWriMo?

The good news is things are progressing nicely with the edits and revisions that will continue through the end of the week. I’m still amazed at how many items are caught through each round—it’s enough to scare the bones out of this witch. I can not stress how important it is to get a second, third, or fourth set of eyes to help you through this process. It really is money well spent in my opinion, and will help to deliver a better product at the end (but will it ever end???).

NaNoWriMo starts November 1 and runs through the 30th. The challenge is to write 50,000 words—a novel quest! I won’t be formally participating this go around since I’m trying to finish off book 3, but I will be using the time to finalize my giveaway storyline and start the outline of book 4. When I first started writing I thought this challenge would be impossible, but to my surprise, it’s actually very doable as long as you allocate the time, have a concept and commit. I’m excited to see what gets posted on social media the next few weeks—there are so many talented writers, I’ll be taking notes for sure!

go away reading

So excited to have carved out some time to read this week…

Author C.A. Asbrey’s The Innocents, 5 STARS

Author C. A. Asbrey delivers a tale of mystery in the old west with Pinkerton agent Abigail MacKay. Being a female agent in a man’s wild west isn’t easy as she sets out to gather information to catch Nat Quinn and Jake Conroy, leaders of the train robbing gang known as The Innocents. Abi’s world collides with those she hopes to bring to justice, taking the reader on an unexpected, suspense filled journey filled with twists and turns (and a little romance). I loved the characters of this story and am so excited to be able to continue the journey with them in the next books of the series. This is a great read, highly recommended!

Up next in the reading queue, authors Ken Stark and Luna Selas:

stephen king on amazing

From the Twitterverse….this caught my eye, guilty!

After going through my edit process the past month, I get what Mr. King is saying. I know I used many words and phrases a billion times in book 3 and got called out on it by the editor and beta readers. I think the best advice I received was to slow down–take your time in describing a scene or event. The more descriptive you can be the better the image is for the reader, and it makes for a more interesting read. You want your readers to take their time and enjoy the experience, not sprint through and forget about it.

Savoy American bar

Halloween BOOze cocktails inspired by the American Bar at the Savoy….

I could have sat here all day and sampled these lovely drinks (well at 20+ pounds each, maybe not all day…). I loved the cocktail descriptions–they have to have a writer coming up with the titles and recipes! (I had to look up many of the  ingredients, umesho/yuzu wine, who knew?) They didn’t provide the measurements of each ingredient in the menu–but I think this would be a perfect opportunity to host some experimental sessions with the ingredients in the company of  friends (did someone mention cocktails?). Here’s a few of my favorites—I did enjoy the one at the end I must admit:

The Googly 

Hendrick’s gin, Lillet, dessert wine, lemon, apple, raspberry, sugar, cucumber and watermelon soda

Club Rags

Patron tequila, pickled orange, lime, Hibiscus agave


Grey Goose vodka, apricot liqueur, floral tea infused Muscat, Champagne syrup, lavender

Behind Closed Doors

Redistilled Grey Goose vodka with El Diablo spice mix, clarified tomato water

Curtain Call

Star of Bombay gin washed with sesame oil, Mr. Black Coffee Amaro, Figaro fig liqueur, Dom Perignon Champagne

Back to Reality

Tanqueray No. TEN gin, Martini Rubino vermouth, umesho, lemon, tea tincture, egg white, Champagne

First Impressions

Bombay Sapphire gin, yuzu wine, white pepper St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Champagne cordial, jasmine oil (2 drops, who knew?)

savoy first impression martini

Reese inspired food

And some yummies inspired by Reese Witherspoon…

I am so enjoying reading Reese’s Whiskey in a Teacup, What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Biscuits book that is filled with yummy recipes (including those of the alcohol kind), party and holiday planning, attire, and just plain good ole Southern gal truisms. Reese does an excellent job of welcoming y’all in to read all about it. Love the pictures too. A great gift for the holidays… #JustSayin 🙂

I will be serving the Baked Brie at the Rusty Pig tonight: 1 whole Brie round, 2 tablespoons peach preserves, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon dried apricots–chopped, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 teaspoons whiskey (my kind of gal), 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Combine all ingredients and spread on top of Brie, bake 5-10 minutes at 350 degree oven. Can’t wait to try this! Yummy 🙂

Welcome to my world this week. I hope you have a wonderfully ghoulish Halloween and a spectacular start to NaNoWriMo if you are going for it. Have a good one!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. Have a safe Halloween, watch out for those little ones! Gemma would approve 🙂

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