Raw Umber, Emerald Green and Dark Blue.

Hi Everyone. hope you had a great Easter break. I know I did. I enjoyed a visit to my daughter’s family in Ballina, N.S.W. Australia. It’s always lovely to see the grandchildren – they are growing up so quickly. This time, I was privileged to have my grand-daughter pick me up and then drive me to the bus when I left. She is still on her ‘L’s and was accompanied by a nervous father!L

The title of my blog post this week consists of artist’s paint colours and gives me the opportunity to introduce Mykel – an artist of rare talent.

Being an author myself, I recognize the difficulties of making a living from our craft. paintArtists, artisans and authors have a lot in common. People tend to consider our work as n This is in fact far from the truth, as not only do we put in a great many hours (in isolation), but we also add in part of our souls.

While I’m talking introductions, let me also mention Marguerite Wellbourne. She is my alter ego. Where Maureen writes children’s books and other types of books, Marguerite writes steamy novels not suitable for kids!

There is also Elizabeth Kempers and her blog ‘ http://www.lizseverest.com ‘ that writes about emotions and healing suggestions, about wholesome living and growing as individuals. You’re welcome to go and have a look.

Over the next few weeks, I will be organizing a ‘shop’ on my next page of this blog. At present it has a free children’s book  (soft cover – not ebook) that I will send if you email me your particulars. Until I have a ‘shopping cart’ available, if there are any items (including the wonderful original painting shown below) you would like to buy or know more about, please don’t hesitate to email me on maureenlarter@gmail.com and I will answer as soon as possible. Payment can be made through Paypal or direct payment to my bank account – the details will be available when I receive an email from you.

As well as my books, there will be ‘Sweetfield’ and ‘Mykelcee Designs‘ products for sale. Mykel’s original paintings will gradually come on line, and an online exhibition is on the way, too.

Please let me know what you think when I finally get something together.

Here is the first of Mykel’s original paintings.

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‘Jellybrain’ $700

ARTIST – Mykel

Sometimes it is amazing to see other peoples art and this Australian artist is one very talented man! His art can go from realistic to abstract, colourful to optical and hypnotizing.

Just imagine this painting in your lounge room – colours swirling and fracturing around you. Or perhaps in an optometrist’s office, exciting the eye and disturbing the brain.

All the art work of this artist is thought provoking and vibrant.

I love it – and there will be more examples to show soon.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the art work now and in the future – please contact me at maureenlarter@gmail.com

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‘Tarnished Gems’ by Marguerite Wellbourne is a story of 6 women and their interaction after an accident. (Some sex scenes) $20 plus postage.

Maureen Larter writes children’s books – as well as picture books for children. This is a children’s chapter book in a series of three, about fairies and elves: http://amzn.com/B00BLVP0KM

My fan page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eBooksByMaureenLarter
My author page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ISCNZ4U

Raving, Electricity and Dehydration

I’ve done it! I’ve found a way to get rid of all those humungous zucchinis you miss on the vine! I cut them up in thin slices and dehydrate them!

So? What’s so good about that, you ask?

Well, they can then be preserved – and I can add them to stews, casseroles and other slow-cooked meals in Winter. But, best of all – if I dehydrate them until they are crisp then they can be thrown into a blender with other dehydrated vegetables and blended into a powder! My very own vegetable stock powder to add to just about anything.

I love the dehydration process. I have dried all sorts of things, from making my own jerky that comes from marinated beef strips to Apples dowsed in lemon juice for a healthy snack.dehy

I was given a dehydrator as well as buying my own, so I when I use them, it is a use of electricity that I don’t mind. I will have to make my own dehydrator as well, so that I can make use of our powerful sun here in Australia.  A win/win situation – free power from the sun, and an easier way to preserve the harvest. Can any body tell me an easy way to make one?  I do have to tell you – I am hopeless with tools! Now – which way do you hold a hammer???

Coming back to the zucchini problem (and if you grow your own you know just how many zucchinis you will have!) – I add dried pumpkin, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and a little salt to my vegetable powder, and it can be added as a seasoning as well.zuccs

Years ago, I could buy mushroom stock and bacon stock – both of which are no longer available in my country town. Those are the next powders I am going to try. Onion salt, garlic salt and celery salt are other combinations I can try

Sorry to rave on about dehydrating this time, but I got all excited when I thought about the beauty of being able to bring down a huge vegetable into a small jar! I know … I’m strange! The old saying – small things please … well you can finish that saying for yourself!

Last week, I was given a large box of very soft tomatoes – too far gone to eat fresh. I cooked them down to make a passata/paste from them and ended up with 3 small jars of intense flavour. So much you can do without having to spend loads of money. I know my electricity bill will be higher, but with a solar dehydrator, that also will be solved.

All for now. Keep dreaming and acting on your dreams.

With Kindness.

Maureen

Another book that you might like to read to your children ( email me on maureenlarter@gmail.com if you want a ‘real’ book rather than an ebook.)

Arabella Front Page

Written by me and illustrated by Annie Gabriel, this book tells the story of the seasons and the changes in the forest.Anniemeprofile

Reminders, Emails and Doilies.

I really must go through my emails and clean out all the junk mail.garbage

Do you do that? How often have you thought that a particular site looked interesting, only to end up getting content that no longer interests you?

I have loved some blogs, but they are all in the northern hemisphere, and the reminders to plant seedlings, cook lovely warming stews and patterns for thick sweaters that come in your winter while I am sweltering in our summer here in Australia, can be somewhat of a  nuisance. When I want those articles, then winter is with us here, and you are all enjoying the lazy days of summer. Grrrr!!!!

In fact, how often do you read all your emails? Do you get annoyed as well?

What about the people who sell products – from expensive courses on how to make money (that’s a clever little idea if ever there was one!) to people selling every thing imaginable – from doilies to dogs, flowers to fairy gardens, toys to  tanning lotion and more. ‘I find ‘how to do’ articles often helpful. What about you?

But there remains a conundrum. How do you let people know what you have to sell? Can you let me know the secret? In order to let people know what I do, I’m advised to get an extensive email list! I can’t figure out how to win.

So this is my product -: the books I have written. And this is only a sample!

AlphacoversKathykoalafrontcoverBroken_wing_Coveramazon

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREHaha – did you know I was leading to this?

I love writing! I continue to churn out books, whether they be picture books for children, chapter books for middle school kids, garden guides for my semi-tropical area or adult novels (under a pen-name so the children don’t decide to read it!).

I write because I want to keep my brain active.

I write because I love to educate.

I write because I just love it, and I love the challenge of publishing my own work. If it sells – Yay! But if it doesn’t, that’s not a problem either.

Giving away books is a trap I don’t want to fall into – that only demeans me and all the work I do writing, designing and publishing my books. If you want to read a great article on that very topic, I suggest going to Paul Whites blog :- https://wp.me/p5nj7r-1fn

As a reader, though, I love the idea of getting free books – but surely that is what libraries are for? In my opinion, anlibrary-book-shelfy-one offering free books should first buy the book. But, it doesn’t seem to work that way. We, as authors, always dream of making a living from our writing, but it doesn’t happen often. Giving away books will not help in that regard. Even though others don’t realize it, authors  (as well as artists, and any creative person) put in a lot of work, sweat and their heart to create a book. To pay yourself for the time and effort is just not possible.I guess we have to be in the right place at the right time – more luck than management!

Anyway, while you are sitting at your computer, conjuring up the next ‘Harry Potter’ type franchise, divert yourself with a nice healthy snack. No – I’m not talking lettuce sandwiches on cucumber slices but these delicious little bites of bliss!

(with thanks to Coles Free magazine, January 2018) – these are mouth-watering!)img225a

And while you sit and dream of greatness, remember – the joy of writing has its own rewards – and tomorrow maybe the day you are ‘discovered’!

With kindness.

P.S. Even frogs dream!

‘Frank Frog Feels Foolish’ is one of the picture books for children in my ‘Alphabet Animals of Australia’ series. Feel free to email me ( maureenlarter@gmail.com ) for your copy.

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Remarks, Essay and Dogs

Unless you haven’t noticed yet, every blog post has a title with R, E and D initials – the same as Read, Eat and Dream. Trying to make a cohesive, interesting and educational article with the three words is never easy – but it makes my writing brain really work hard.

So … if you are a writer, that would be called ‘a prompt’ and it is a good way to get your ideas beginning to flow. Whether you just make remarks about your every day life, or sit at the keyboard and compose a serious essay, it makes no difference – once you start it is always easier to keep going.

In my experience, any writing you do should come from a place of passion, and mine is that  every child should have the opportunity to learn. I try to achieve that in all my children’s books, even if they are clothed in a fantasy story. For example, my picture book ‘Dorothy Dog and the Dangerous Dragonfly’ (in the Alphabet Animals of Australia series) is about a dog that gets lost. I have projects in the back of the book (and every picture book I write in this series) that helps young children to understand the dangers of leaving the safety of home, as well as giving them ideas to follow up on insects, dog breeds, traffic rules and more.                                                         ( getBook.at/DDDDE )Dotdogfront

However, that isn’t all my blog is about – that’s the ‘READ’ part – but what about the ‘EAT’?

One of my joys, is growing food and then harvesting, cooking and preserving that harvest.

Here is a favourite use of potatoes when you have a glut of them. And that happens often when you grow food. Next time remind me to tell you what you do with zucchinis (courgettes)

Boston Bun:

1 ½ cup mashed potatoes

1 cup SR flour

1 cup wholemeal flour

bun

¾ cup sugar

1 tspn salt

1 ½ cup mixed dried fruit/sultanas

1 cup milk.

Icing:

1 cup icing sugar

1 tspn vanilla essence

1-2 tblspns lemon juice and water

2-3 drops food colouring (optional)

  1. Pre heat oven to 180-200°C.
  2. Place mashed potatoes in a bowl and add sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add fruit.
  4. Sift flours and salt together.
  5. Add to potato mixture alternately with milk.
  6. Place in two greased loaf tins or one large cake tin.
  7. Bake for approx 45mins.
  8. Remove from pan/s and allow to cool slightly. Ice while still just warm.
  9. Icing: mix all ingredients until it is a stiff consistency.
  10. Cut into slices to serve. Maybe buttered if you desire. Serves 6-8.

And of course, then we have the DREAM part!

The most important thing about dreams – and I’m not talking about the sleep variety – is to follow them. Make your life a better place, and it will follow through to the world in general. My dreams are huge, but I try to spread knowledge, learning and peace throughout the world. Definitely big dreams – but you’ve got to start somewhere!

With Kindness

Maureen