Vision Board

Authors’ Billboard Blog Traci Hall Jan 6th 2023

Holy smokes—2023!!

Boy, 2022 was a lot of ups and downs—we got married, we got Covid, I turned in 6 books, and stayed in California for almost a month to babysit my granddaughter since my daughter is in the Navy. There were fourteen-hour days, and then some time to chill out and recover.

Instead of goals, I dusted off my vision board skills for 2023. I used to do them all the time—I am a fulltime author ready to go to the next level…what does that mean? I don’t know exactly but a streaming series would sure be nice, lol. I am open to what comes next.

Last year I tried to write a gratitude journal—I can’t read my sloppy handwriting, so I decided to type instead and now I spend five minutes with my coffee in the morning, saying thank you and sending out loving vibes to my family and friends. It’s amazing how this small exercise warms me up for the day.

Want to do a vision board? It’s fun and easy!

Things you need:

Poster board

Old magazines

Pictures that mean something to you

Scissors

Tape

Glue

I added feathers to mine this year because I read that they are a sign from the angels giving you a wink that you’re on the right path.

Here is a page on Pinterest that has quotes and other things if you want to print out your own and skip the magazine! Or blend it with your magazine—it’s totally up to you how want to create it.

I cranked music I love and set my supplies out, really feeling the joy of creating and visualizing what I’d love most. Why not a house on the beach? As you cut out each thing, feel the happiness it gives you.

Now, you can’t just put some pictures on a page and wait for your ship to come in, lol. You still have to do the baby steps toward those dreams.

Example? I want a streaming contract, so what does that mean?

I’m watching videos on how to write a screenplay. I’m a busy woman, so I found a guy who teaches a 55-page pitch. I can write that, and it is nowhere as intimidating as the 120 pager.

Next, I’ll send it to my agent. Hoping for the best, the whole way.

If he says no? Well, there are places you can pitch that don’t require an agent. Also, I plan on attending conferences this year where they will teach screenplay writing and have contacts in the industry. I am a big believer in networking.

This is how I followed my dream to be a published author, so why not see if it works toward a streaming series?

Whatever your dreams are, I wish you the luck and fortitude to go after them, no matter what!

The ladies here at Authors’ Billboard write stories to take your breath away—I am so pleased to be part of the latest Christmas boxed set, Unforgettable Christmas Miracles.

Be sure to get your copy now!

Happy New Year,

Xoxo

Traci

Spice Cookies

Here’s a late Christmas present–the recipe for my favorite spice cookies, called Rocks. I discovered them long ago in Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook, the kitchen bible I used to teach myself to cook when I first got married. It’s bound like a ring notebook, and I’ve given it such hard use that the spine is completely cracked, and half the index is missing.

The Rocks, which were listed under “Cookies Grandma used to make,” instantly appealed to me, because I liked the combination of spices plus the raisins and nuts. I’ve been making them ever since. If you try them, you’ll find they are both easy and very tasty. I’m guessing the only ingredient you don’t have on hand is brown sugar since leftovers harden up so quickly. As always, I’ve added my own touches to the recipe. Since I hate making a mess with flour, I always measure it into a bowl in the sink.

1 cup softened butter
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

Putting the cookies into the oven
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed until well combined, or combine by hand.
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a separate bowl.
  4. Combine dry ingredients with wet mixture and beat on medium speed to mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until puffed up and just browned at edges. Cool on a wire rack. When cooled, store in tightly closed containers. Cookies will keep for several weeks at room temperature.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Rebecca York’s latest book is Marissa Unbound, now on preorder on Amazon.

Subscribe to her newsletter at wwwrebeccayork.com to learn about her latest releases and be eligible to win prizes in her reader contests.

Happy New Year Treats for everyone!

I don’t know about you but in my family, it’s not all about the gifts we get at Christmas. Or the parties on New Year’s Eve. It’s about friends and family spending special occasions together. Of course, when I know I’ll be having visitors, a pastime I most enjoy is the baking I do for that time of the year.

I guess a favorite recipe in my house is what we call “German Buns”. They are wonderful treats in the morning with breakfast or at any time during the day. The company, I serve these little goodies to, love them. Best of all, they’re extremely easy to bake. And… they make 24 which is a nice size recipe.

Now I don’t know if they originate in Germany or…  at some time in my youth a lady gave me the recipe who was German and so I named the buns after her. To be sure it isn’t a familiar recipe because I checked German Buns on Google and all I saw were regular yeast-type ones that are in no way like these.

As you’ll see by the photo, they’re more like a cinnamon bun kind of indulgence. The difference is that rather than having cinnamon in the center, they’re filled with coconut and brown sugar. Trust me, I’ve had so many compliments on these treats that I can vouch for the taste.

German Buns

4 cups of flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp soda

1 cup sugar

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup margarine

1 egg beaten

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp almond flavoring

Mix the dry ingredients together. Blend the marg. with the dry ingredients until crumbly. Add egg, almond flavoring, and milk together and then to the flour mixture. Work the dough and form a ball. Cut into two equal pieces and roll out to approx. 1 inch,  spread ½ the filling, roll up, and cut into 12 parts. Bake at 350 oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Filling:

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup coconut

May you all have a wonderful New Year’s weekend and all the best possible in 2023.

Love and hugs from the Authors at the Billboard.

LOTS OF HUGS AND BEST WISHES

Odd Facts: What is it about the Number Twelve?

Happy midweek between Christmas and the New Year! For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about the number twelve today. For example, The Twelve Days of Christmas and how at twelve o’clock midnight this Saturday, the world will begin a new journey around the sun which will hopefully bring us into a clean year with more ups than downs –

Earlier while browsing through my memories on social media, I saw a few significant life changes that happened twelve years ago today: I became engaged to the love of my life, my brother and his lady came to visit me and, the four of us took the train to New York City for a few days to celebrate the new year.

During the trip, my brother took his lady for a carriage ride in Central Park and at twelve o’clock noon, proposed to her.

All this got me wondering why it seemed certain aspects of life seem to revolve around the number twelve, and this is what I discovered on the net:

“The number 12 is strongly associated with the heavens—the 12 months, the 12 signs of the zodiac, and the 12 stations of the Moon and of the Sun. The ancients recognized 12 main northern stars and 12 main southern stars.”

Also: “Number 12 spiritually is associated with reaching a higher consciousness and experiencing spiritual growth. and Angel number 12 is a sign from our angels that good things are on the way to those who are positively focused and trust in the universe.”

Not to mention this number’s significance in The Bible. “Number 12 typically means perfection or authority—and is often used in the context of government. For instance, because Jacob has 12 sons, they form the 12 tribes of Israel. Then we see Jesus chose 12 disciples, and the disciples later replaced Judas Iscariot with Matthias to keep the number at 12.”

I also thought it a cool coincidence I’d recently finished writing my twelfth Christmas book, and it’s available on pre-order now:

“A nanosecond changes the lives of two strangers from the same town forever when they connect during vacation half a world away.

From the moment Dagger sets eyes on Jinx, her image is eternally embedded in his heart and mind – luckily for him, her mutual feelings are sultry and hot.” Only 99 cents! https://www.amazon.com/Double-Lead-Susan-Jean-Ricci-ebook/dp/B0BQ7NV5HF

Thanks for reading and may the New Year bring you nothing but joy and contentment. Until next year…