Good afternoon, campers! I've squirreled away yet another few hours watching World Cup soccer this afternoon, which is kind of bizarre considering I hadn't watched a soccer match start to finish in my life until a few weeks ago. Now I'm hooked!
Congrats to Spain on their victory over Germany. I was cheering for the Germs, and I'll be rooting for the Dutch in the finals. Nothing against Spain, I just like the other teams uniforms better. A futbol die-hard, I'm not ...
Speaking of bizarre things, my summer has kind of gone that way. I entered the hot season with a laundry list of projects I wanted to do or get done, and it seems that much of it is still on the table. I need to paint the trim on our house, plant some more things in our gardens, put up a back splash in our kitchen, and a bunch of other stuff. Oh yeah, and WRITE!!!!!
As far as my writing related goals, they go something like this:
- Finish the edits on my work in progress and have it ready to begin querying in the fall
PROGRESS - I'm way behind on my edit schedule, although I have pretty well nailed down what I need to do. I also purchased some of those giant Post It notes to hang on my walls, tons of markers, and other things to help me visually disect my manuscript.
- Find a couple of writing conferences to attend in the second half of the year
PROGRESS - I'm registered for the WriteOnCon online writers conference, but I had to miss a large conference being held close to home when I attended the wedding at the end of last month. I was disappointed, and hope to find something else.
- Continue to peck out a chapter a week on a new story I've been drafting
PROGRESS - As part of the Chapter Challenge I've gotten a couple of new chapters finished since May, but definitely not on a 1 a week pace.
- Write some short stories
PROGRESS - I've been brainstorming ideas for a series of short stories over the last few weeks, and actually cranked out the first 1,000 words last night. I'm really excited about them and will share details about my plans a little later on.
I've made some progress, but not quite done what I'd hoped. I've still got a few weeks left, so hopefully I'll get back on track.
How about you? Did you set goals for the summer? Have you met, or are on pace to meet, them?
Since this has been a summer kind of post, I thought it would be fun to do a review of one of my favorite summer time beverages iced tea!
REVIEW - Red Diamond Sweet Tea
If you grew up in the South, or currently reside there, you'll know that ice tea is the beverage of choice in the summer. It's really refreshing on those scorching hot days, and doesn't seem to make you more thirsty like the carbonated drinks do.
You should know that how a person takes their tea is a big deal. Some like TONS of sugar, others none. Some like to garnish it with lemon, others prefer mint. Some prefer lots of ice, some don't like any. Some people won't drink it unless its been made in the sun, which is basically accomplished by putting the teabags in water in a glass container and letting it steep outside for hours.
If you hang out in the South long enough, how you take your tea comes to be a very direct and important representation of who you are. Are you Democrat or Republican, Catholic or Protestant, sweet or unsweet?
Now, many Southerners will argue that unless it's sweetened, it's not truly the Southern way. I say that's nonsense, but will admit that sweetened is much more popular. Plus, when it's sweet it just goes that much better with fried chicken, BBQ, and the spicy peppers we eat here in south Texas. But I digress ...
A few years ago, to maintain my manish figure, I gave up drinking sweetened beverages. Since that time I've only had a few sips of non-diet sodas, full calorie juices, and the like. As a result, almost anything like that tastes like pure syrup to my dumbed down taste buds. In short, I hadn't had a glass of sweetened iced tea in ages. A few weeks ago that all changed.
Being the hospitable type, I like to have a few things that guest like to drink around the house when they show up. A visitor to my home listed Red Diamond Sweet Tea as a requested beverage. I went to the local supermarket and bought a gallon. When my guest arrived, I politely poured myself a glass when he offered to share. I've been hooked ever since.
It's not overly sweet (it checks in at 70 calories per 8 oz), and has a great earthy tea taste. Most of the sweet tea I've had in the past taste more like a little water mixed with lots of sugar as opposed to tea that has been sweetened. Red Diamond has the mixture just right. It's particularly good when poured over ice with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
If you can find it at a local store, and even remotely enjoy a glass of cold tea, I'd highly recommend it. If you need it, they do offer an unsweetened version, which you could probably dress it up with a packet of Splenda.
Here are a few pictures that make me think of summer - ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR WEEK!