Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

I have ‘unfollowed’ a lot of friends on Facebook. (No, not you, of course!) But my newsfeed can be pretty slim some days because of it. On a good day, there might be a few vacation photos, someone might announce an engagement or baby news, and there are always the tried and true news reports and weather posts. Mostly, though, there are motivational quotes.

Why not unfollow those people who post motivational quotes, you might ask? Because honestly, I’d have nothing left to look at. But what exactly are those uplifting, witty, wise snippets of prose supposed to accomplish? Should I suddenly feel better about myself and the world? Does the person who posts them feel inspired? Will I soon be inundated with more of these words of wisdom until I rise up off the couch and launch into song? Nope, nope, and nope. More likely, it means I’ll scroll past those posts as fast as I can so that I can find out what the forecast is going to be.  I know. Just unfollow.

 

 

But why do people post motivational quotes? Come on! Most times, they aren’t even motivated enough to actually find the quote, create a unique display, take a nice photo, and tag a few people who could really use some support. Most of the time, people just Google and post.  Or worse–they just repost. (Isn’t that the opposite of what they’re trying to accomplish??)

 

 

For this post, I didn’t even have to make an effort to find a quote. I went to Unsplash (my favourite photo stop), and searched for ‘quotes’. Someone did all the work for me. Easy, peasy. No motivation at all required! It’s beautiful, and it reminds me to stop and smell the roses. I guess it worked. I didn’t have to waste a lot of time finding the nonsense quote, and was able to fully get on with my life with very little hassle.

 

 

I want to stop and ask my friends why they’re posting drivel like this.

 

 

And then…I realize something. The reason I’ve unfollowed so many people on Facebook is because they rant, or they brag, or they post every single thought and action all day long, until I lose the will to live. But maybe these regular motivational posts–inspired or not–are the bright lights that someone has chosen to shine on the world. These days, there is too much of the dark stuff. We don’t need hatred. We need positivity. We need motivation to do good when everything around us seems bad. We need a reminder on a coffee mug to love each other.

 

 

So go ahead and post. Fill up my newsfeed with jaunty little coffee mugs, and ice cream coloured cookies, and babies dressed in adorable clothes. I want to see them all. And I promise I won’t unfollow any of you who do so. (I’m really tired of the weather….)

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

Posted in creativity, My Life | Tagged , Comment

 

 

I’m obsessed with Ruth. I know “Ozark” doesn’t revolve around her, but it might as well. She’s one of the strongest young female characters I’ve seen in a while, and certainly one of the most interesting on a show that doesn’t revolve around teens or young adults. And seriously, where did they find an actress who could play her so convincingly? Julia Garner scares the life out of me–in a good way.

 

 

If you haven’t been glued to Netflix and their latest breakout show “Ozark”, sit yourself down in front of the TV right now and start streaming. I’m serious. Why are you even still here? Go catch up!

 

 

All right. Back to Ruth. Wait–first I should tell you a little about the show, if you’re not into watching. Ozark is this crazy American dream run amok. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star as Marty and Wendy Byrde, a seriously messed up couple whose lives implode when the money laundering scheme Marty has been a part of suddenly takes a wrong turn. Not that Wendy is innocent in the state of their affairs, but that’s another story altogether. In a bargain with his terrifying drug-running boss, Marty and Wendy take off for the Ozarks in a last-ditch effort to save their lives.

 

 

It doesn’t exactly work. But I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched the first season yet. (Um…Netflix…..get working on Season 2 please.)

 

 

Their Ozarks are filled with mix of colourful locals, brainy back-country rebels, FBI, and druglords, to name only a few. (I’m sure it’s a very stereotypical representation of the Ozarks, but it works for the show.) And what they go through to stay alive, well, it would probably mean the end for most of us.

 

 

But the writers/producers of Ozark got one incredibly weird part exactly right—Ruth Langmore. On paper, Ruth is a spunky 19-year-old who has lived an incredibly tough life, and who wants more for herself and her family. Seems like it might be an easy part to fill, right? Casting Julia Garner was brilliant. She’s a tiny spark with crazy wild hair and the meanest stare you could ever imagine. She looks like a cherub who has had her wings plucked off, and now is gunning for the one who did it. And she’s the first person Marty Byrde encounters when they arrive.

 

 

Ruth is a brilliant, young female character. But she’s not only fearsome—she’s kind to those she loves, and really sees people for who they are, regardless of how she would LIKE to treat them.  I wish more characters were written like this, both for TV and books. While she doesn’t always make the “right” decisions, she always stands by her own beliefs, and never waivers, even in the face of extreme danger. I can’t wait to see what they do with her in season 2, and how Garner will evolve in this impossible role.

 

More Ozark, please. And more roles like Ruth Langmore.

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider in paperback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my lovely critique partner’s debut was released. But here we are, rounding out April 2017, and the paperback version of Erin L. Schneider’s SUMMER OF SLOANE is about to hit the shelves. If you haven’t read this book, it’s a terrific read for summer especially, but it’ll make you feel all the warmth of Hawaii anytime of year. From Goodreads:

 

 

 

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

 

 

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

 

 

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

 

 

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to come by as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

 

 

 

I loved reading the original drafts, as well as the final product. Sloane is a character that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. I almost wonder what she’s up to this summer…

 

 

If you’d like to know more about Erin and her journey to publication, drop by her website and plan to spend a few minutes. It’s just a gorgeous as the book.

 

 

Congratulations, Erin, on your paperback release! On sale May 2, 2017.

 

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in Contemporary YA, Young Adult | Tagged Comment

butter squares recipe

 

 

Yes, it’s true. I’ve been baking as a form of stress relief. But wow…isn’t it nice to have something delicious to eat when you’re caught up in the craziness of life? Seems to make things a little bit better.

 

 

I found this yummy and easy recipe last weekend…and I’ve made it three times. Yes. Three. Times. But you’ll probably have everything in your pantry, so you should make this for dessert today, too. Who doesn’t need a mid-week pick me up?

 

 

BUTTER SQUARES

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Flour or spray a 10 inch pan.

 

 

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter

1 tbsp flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

 

 

Combine these ingredients until well mixed. Press into the prepared pan until crust looks smooth. Bake at 300 degrees until slightly golden. Remove from oven. Raise temperature in oven to 350 degrees.

 

 

Combine 1 can condensed milk and 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut until well mixed.  Pour over warm graham cracker crust and smooth out until the entire surface is covered. Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden all over.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

 

 

Combine 3/4 cup softened butter with 2 cups icing sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled bars and pop into the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden the icing somewhat. Cut into bars and serve.

 

Now….go make another batch. This one will disappear!

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in food | Tagged 2 Comments

candy canes

 

 

 

 

 

2016 has been a good year…and a tough year. I know this is true of many, and while I’m expecting some hardships in the new year, I also hope it brings with it a renewed sense of purpose, lots of creativity, and happy times.

 

 

What did I love about 2016? Here’s my list:

 

 

 

Springsteen Concerts      Train trips with my sweetie   ♥   Creativity courses

Movenpick      Adele Concerts     My Library Writers’ Group   ♥   Chalkboards

Instagram      Baking      Papa Jack Salt & Vinegar Popcorn      eSalon

Saving      My new creativity space      My Mom      My YAB family

 

 

I have lots up in 2017….new programs at the library, a library conference (my writing group was short-listed for a prestigious award), a new book to give to my agent, and a week off to start the year right.

 

 

I wish all of you a wonderful New Year, and I hope that it is filled with the most important things of all….health, family, and happiness.  Thank you for visiting as often as you did!

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in My Life | Tagged Comment