Adele in concert, Toronto, Oct. 6, 2016

 

And once again…another month goes by without a post here. But see? I do get out! The picture above was from the Adele concert we saw in Toronto on October 6th. Awww….we had such good seats, didn’t we? And it was an AMAZING night. It was a privilege to be in the same room with her.

 

 

One of the most interesting things about Adele is that she talks a lot about the reasons behind her songs, her inspiration, and how she felt about them then vs. how she feels now. That really stuck with me. I’m sure it’s the same for people doing any type of creative thing. You remember what you were feeling when you created that “thing”, what inspired it, and how it affected you to make it. Songs can always bring about a memory, but is it the same for books? Maybe for the author, but maybe for the reader as well.

 

 

I can tell you clearly why I wrote each of the books I’ve completed. For some, I was in a good place, and they were exciting to write. For others, it has been more of a struggle, full of doubt and heartache. But since it usually takes me a year or more to write a book, the feelings can change. So, if I started something in a good place, excited to write, but the year went downhill, the feelings behind the book can be quite different for me once I’m finished. A story really does take on the moods of the author, which is the same for songwriting.

 

 

But I can also tell you what books I was reading during specific times in my life. I remember one long, miserable summer when I read Barbara Kingsolver’s THE POISONWOOD BIBLE, and how the heat that year really made the book’s Congo setting come to life for me. I remember reading THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston during a flight that I was particularly nervous about, but the story engulfed me so quickly, I hardly noticed the passage of time. And I remember a book my mother brought to me (I can’t remember the title, but can clearly see the cover…..black with white lettering and a gun…..oh, the librarian struggles are real, people!), when I was in the hospital for several days recovering from near-pneumonia. THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG by Andre Dubus III will always be the story I think of when I go back to the earliest days of the relationship with the man who would become my husband. All of these books have become much more than their stories—they are intertwined with the feelings and thoughts I was having during those times when I was reading them.

 

 

In fact, I’m sure we can all recapture bits of our past simply by picking up a book we read during those times, all the way back to childhood. So, while music might put us in a certain time or place in our lives, most of us can probably still hold a loved book in our hands and time-travel. I guess that’s something I hope my books will do for someone else one day.

 

 

Do you have a particular book you recall reading during an important time in your life? How did it affect you? If you’ve re-read it, do you still feel the same way? I’d love to know!  Leave me a comment…..

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in My Life, Reading | Tagged , Comment

cinnamonbuns

 

 

 

It’s September. Where did the summer go? It seems that sometime in mid-May, I must have been abducted and taken to a world where time stopped. I don’t remember going there, and I don’t remember the trip home. I just remember it was hot–endlessly, restlessly hot, and very close to the sun. Also, I think there were bees, but I can’t be sure.

 

 

A week or so ago, I found myself back here, slightly stunned from the trip and completely overwhelmed by my loss of time. I have so much to catch up on! So, I started by baking, because there’s nothing more centering than a house that smells like homemade sweetness. I baked oodles of these amazing Browned Butter Cinnamon Buns (I’ll include the recipe at the end of this post), and we ate them for days. Of course, now my pants are a little bit angry that I could be so foolish, but do I regret it? Not even for a second. I needed to come home, to center myself, and figure out where to pick things up.

 

 

Technically, this was the last weekend of summer, which should mean cool days and chilly nights, lots of Pumpkin Spice everything, and plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas running around in my wee, confused little brain. But summer didn’t get the memo this year, apparently, and we’re in for at least another few weeks of the hotness. Which also means a few more weeks of frizzy hair, sweaters in the morning and t-shirts in the afternoon, and ice cream in the freezer. I can’t wait for fall to really arrive.

 

 

In the meantime, I’ll be revisioning up a storm on a new project, plotting out something new, writing a pitch and synopsis, and digging back in to all of those words just waiting to be spilled out on the page. Until then, catch me on Instagram. It’s my favourite hangout lately.

 

 

What have you been up to?? Any good book suggestions?

 

 

BROWNED BUTTER CINNAMON BUNS WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING

 

 

Dough:

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

3 1/4 cups flour

1 pkg yeast

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

1 egg

 

FILLING:

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup + 1tbsp butter

 

  1. Heat milk until it bubbles in a small saucepan, then remove from heat. Mix in butter and stir until melted. Let cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, yeast, sugar & salt. Whisk together. Add water, egg, and milk mixture from above. Beat well with an electric or stand mixer. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, using a wooden spoon. Dough will be really thick. (If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Do not use the electric mixer on this step.)
  3. When dough has just pulled together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. It should spring back when pressed.
  4. Cover with a damp cloth and rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Brown butter. (Put butter in a saucepan on medium, and stir until it turns a deep golden brown.)  When it cools, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Roll dough back onto floured surface until it is as large as your 9 x 13 baking pan, or larger. Slather the dough with the browned butter, sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar mix, and press down into the dough. Roll up and pinch the seams on the ends and across the center. Cut into 12 equal rolls and put in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Cover, and let rise in a WARM place for about 30 minutes, or until rolls have doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls 17-20 minutes or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes.

 

FROSTING:

 

2 tbsp softened butter

4 oz softened cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 -3 cups icing sugar

 

Whip together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in vanilla, then SLOWLY add icing sugar until you have a creamy frosting.  Spread over warm cinnamon buns and eat immediately! (You can store leftovers in the fridge for a few days if you need to, and then reheat in the microwave for about 20 – 30 seconds before eating….but you probably won’t have any leftovers……..)

 

 

Happy baking!!

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

Posted in food, Instagram, My Life | Tagged Comment

Cover-Reveal-Summer-Of-Sloane-Large

 

 

Today is the day!!!! My wonderful friend and fabulous critique partner’s debut YA releases into the world today. Happy Book Birthday, Erin L. Schneider! SUMMER OF SLOANE is going to be THE book of summer, I can feel it now!

 

 

If you haven’t already bought a copy, go right now and get one. SUMMER OF SLOANE is such a fun read, but it will tear your heart out at the same time. I’ve read this book so many times–in all of its various forms–and the story never gets old. Sloane is every girl…sweet, funny, sharp-witted…who has a bomb dropped on her right before she is to leave for Hawaii for the summer. She goes into flight mode (after a quick bout of fight mode, I must add), and decides that the only thing she can do to make herself feel better is to drop into her summer vacation and think of herself for once. She doesn’t count on falling for someone while she’s there, but it’s an added complication that helps Sloane to figure out who she really is, and what she really wants. You’ll have to read the book to find out more.

 

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy and thrilled I am for Erin’s journey to begin. It was a long bitter road to this point, but she deserves great things, and this book is just the beginning. If you want to know more about Erin and SLOANE, pop on over to Erin’s website.

 

 

Happy Book Birthday, my friend. I hope the world is ready for you, ’cause you’re about to explode onto the scene! 🙂

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in Contemporary YA, Writing, Young Adult | Tagged , Comment

Over at the YA Buccaneers, it’s Spring Writing Bootcamp again! You may be hot off Camp NaNo and just need some helping finishing up your first draft of the project. Or maybe you’ve been knee-deep in a WIP for a while and just need some support. Whatever your reasons, the YA Buccaneers have got your back. Sign up for the Spring Writing Bootcamp today, and participate in word sprints, fun writing challenges, inspirational posts to keep you moving forward, and much more. Best of all? It’s free!

 

 

YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp

 

 

It starts this week, and will run for the next two months, from May 1st until June 30th, 2016.  You set your own goals, and we’ll help you make it happen. Have you participated before? Then you’ll know how much fun it is, and how the team will get you writing every day. The wonderful Dread Pirate B. has created some amazing worksheets, a printable weekly progress tracker, and much more. What’s the more?  PRIZES, of course!  But you’ll have to sign up to find out just what’s happening. Go and do it now!

 

 

I’m going to be writing this month. Will you?

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in Spring Writing Bootcamp, YA Buccaneers | Tagged Comment

I'm reading PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken.

 

I’m just starting this little beauty after a long month of prepping programs for work, so this is a much appreciated reward! But I have a feeling this might be one of my favourites for 2016….and it’s so early in the year! I’ll post a review a little later.

 

 

But this month, I’m totally obsessed with something I came across by accident, and I can’t even explain why.  It all started with this ridiculous YouTube video of a hairstylist who calls himself “Switchscissors”.  If you watch anything today, at least make it through the first five minutes of this…

 

HEAD & SHAMPOO MASSAGE

HEAD & SHAMPOO MASSAGE

 

 

Okay…did you watch it?  Seriously, is this guy for real??? (Um, yes, apparently.  But it gets better. You have to watch his hair cutting videos…..I mean, people actually applaud, and he’s like a cross between Neo from the Matrix and Edward Scissorhands….oh boy…just click this link to watch.)

 

 

Anyway, back to the head massage thing. If you made it through five minutes without bursting into laughter, I don’t know how you did it.  I’m pretty sure his hands get caught at one point in her hair, and he just has to figure out how to make it look like it’s part of the video, but…wow. All I could think was, “Someone is paying him to do this? For 25+ minutes??”  I couldn’t imagine going for a hair cut and having my stylist do this (look out Sue, I’m expecting this performance from you now!).

 

 

But what really startled me was the fact that all of the comments to the video are FABULOUS comments! People are into this guy! I was scrolling to see other comments about how crazy this was, and how funny it was….and just…..nothing. People dig this guy and what he does.

 

 

So, then I started really paying attention. He’s so focused and serious about what he does!  He really believes in this head massage (every single one is just as intense….yes, I’ve watched many), and how it is good for his client. He doesn’t laugh, snicker, or do a throw away. Nope, every single one is as intense from the beginning to end. I don’t know how he keeps it up…..my arms would be aching.

 

 

It got me to thinking…..am I this serious about anything in my life?  Anything???  I thought I was serious about my writing, until I saw Switchscissors wash someone’s hair.  And if he can pour everything he’s got into a sink full of hot water, I can do that with my writing. Switchscissors is my new idol!!

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in My Life, Ridiculousness, Writing | Tagged Comment