Monday, June 23, 2008

So You Want to Write a Book 8,9,10 and Weird Chocolate Recipe

Good Afternoon Greetings,

What did you do this weekend? (I started this on Monday. Got sidetracked.) Something to write about? I'll bet you did. Think about it. Can you remember last weekend? If not, just make up something and write about that.

Saturday I visited Holy Trinity Orthodox Church where I spoke to a small group about Five Fun Ways to Write Your Life Story. From what my friend, Betty, told me, and from the church website, I learned the following: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church was settled in 1917 by Russian immigrants in the Kansas City, Kansas neighborhood known as Russian Hill. Over the last 85 years, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church has grown from a small Russian-speaking parish to one whose members are primarily American-born, English-speaking converts to Orthodoxy. The growth of the parish mandated the sale of the small Russian Hill church, and a much larger temple was built a few years ago in Overland Park, Kansas at 119th Street and Pflumm Road.

This history is wonderfully documented in photographs lining a downstairs hallway. The heading over the photo collection perfectly captured our mission in exploring life story. The heading read: Respecting the Past . . . Embracing the Future.

Thank you Betty and the women and men of the church who were such a a warm and interested audience Saturday.

Now, let me ask you -- Are you tired of this dragging on? Let's do it! Here are the last three items on the Ten Things You Need to Know if You Want to Write/Publish a Book:

8. How is your book unlike other books in its category? Show how your book is even better than other similar books and will be even more successful and fits a more compelling need. (Remember -- Number 7 was how is your book like other books in its category.)
9. How many chapters/sections/divisions will your book have? Is it long enough to be a book? Do all the chapters stick closely to the subject?
10. How are you uniquely qualified to write this book? Don’t worry if you don’t have an advanced college degree or publishing credits. If you are writing about how you were mother to a handicapped child who lived 22 years longer than doctors predicted, who better than you to write about such a subject? If you are writing your life as you are living with Stage IV cancer, who better than you to write about it? Your life experience qualifies you. If necessary, you can hire someone to help you with the mechanics. Publishers are looking for compelling stories told by the people who lived them.

Our chocolate recipe for today was found under the heading of weird desserts. Actually, it is only the name that is weird -- Barking Crackers. Let's change it to Chocolate Bark Crackers or better yet, Chocolate Toffee Crackers. (You know my love of all things toffee.)

Anyway, this recipe is from Carroll Pellegrinelli, the dessert authority at When I read it, I realized I had tasted this a couple of years ago at a party. I think it was this recipe. I kept asking, "What is this? What is this?" Everyone else seemed to know and had the recipe so all I got was that it was "Oh, it's that cracker toffee." Salt, chocolate, crunch, nuts. This recipe has it all.

Barking Crackers

40 (plus) soda crackers

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

12 ounce package (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jell roll (15 x 10-inch with sides) pan with foil and grease lightly. Completely line pan with crackers. Boil butter and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Stir constantly. Pour mixture over crackers. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle chips over pan. Let chips soften so they can be evenly spread. Spread nuts over top. Refrigerate for 1 hour and then break apart into bite-sized pieces. Store in refrigerator.

If you would like to schedule Five Fun Ways to Write Your Life Story for your group, contact me at: Scheduling now for fall.

Meanwhile, find writing tips and other fun stuff at my website -- (updated monthly)