Good day folks. We’re back to yet another Monday. Time stands still for no one. We’re still roasting away here in our summer heat wave. Looking at the wonderful guest post Janel Gradowski, author of Doughnuts and Deadly Schemes (my review – I loved it!), has written for us I have to say that coffee is by far my favorite beverage but right now I’m seriously considering making it iced instead of hot! I hope you enjoy the guest post from Janel and be sure to enter the giveaway for some summer beverages and sweet chocolate!
Essential Beverages for Writing by Janel Gradowski
When I am working on a writing project I stay well hydrated. Not because I make a conscious effort to drink a lot of fluids. No, part of my creative process involves incessantly sipping whatever beverage is near my computer. I guess it’s a sort of drinking meditation for mulling over plot problems. I’ve seen other writers talk about red licorice, chocolate and various other snacks as essentials for their writing. Me…I’m an obsessive sipper instead of snacker. So here is my list of favorites:
Coffee – Judging from the amount of coffee shops now, I’m sure I’m not alone in my undying love for this caffeinated brew. I’m lost without my programmable coffee maker, which has hot coffee ready and waiting when I get up every morning. That jolt of caffeine is a great way to jumpstart a sluggish writing muse who just wants to go back to sleep.
Tea – I’m not as obsessed with tea, like I am with coffee, but I still love it. I adore the aroma of Earl Gray so much I once bought perfume in that scent. Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer blend is my favorite herbal variety. While I’ll drink it hot or cold, I don’t use sweetener or cream/milk. Straight up, please. The one exception is an Arnold Palmer, half tea, half lemonade – a perfect drink for summer.
CitrusAde – I make single servings with whatever citrus I have on hand, usually limes. Squeeze the juice of one lime or half of a lemon into the bottom of a glass. Add liquid sweetener – stevia, agave nectar or simple sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves). Add cold still or sparkling water. Gently stir and check to see if it needs any more sweetener. Tip: I buy cans of LaCroix flavored sparkling water. They’re the perfect size to make these drinks and there is no excess to go flat. Plus you can add another layer of flavor to your drink. Lime juice with coconut LaCroix is my favorite.
Water + Mint Every summer I plant a big pot of mint that lives near my back door. An area herb farm always has a variety of flavored mints, so I try a new one every year. There is chocolate, pineapple, apple and orange mint to name a few. It’s a great way to make water a bit more appealing. Just pick a small sprig with 3 or 4 leaves. Rinse, put in a glass, bruise leaves a bit with a spoon to release the flavor, then fill the glass with water. The longer it sits the stronger it will taste.
Water Kefir – This is a probiotic (similar to the live and active cultures in yogurt that makes it good for your digestive system) beverage made out of sugar water. It’s sort of like kombucha – if you are familiar with that, but without the tea. I have just been making water kefir for about a month, but I love it. It’s sort of like weak lemonade on its own, but when juice is added and it’s allowed to ferment a second time the kefir turns fizzy. A kind of natural soda pop that’s good for you.
Rum – I rarely imbibe in alcohol when I’m writing, but I do love a good rum cocktail sometimes when I’ve finished my work for the day. My favorite spirit is rum, especially the dark or spiced varieties. Excellent in a Dark & Stormy – rum, ginger beer (like gingerale, but with a stronger ginger flavor) and a squeeze of lime. If you replace the rum with vodka, then you have a basic Moscow Mule.
So that’s the list of beverages that I usually cycle through while I’m writing. I do have soda pop once in a while, I love Faygo Rock & Rye or Cream Soda, but I try to stay away from so much sugar.
Is there anything you think I should add to my list of drinks? What is your favorite beverage?
About Doughnuts and Deadly Schemes
Amy Ridley’s best friend, Carla, is getting married, and Amy is delighted to be recruited as the head wedding planner—even if Carla’s demands are less than conventional. Case in point: Carla insists on a tower of doughnuts in place of a wedding cake. But navigating the world of nuptials becomes the least of Amy’s problems when the owner of a menswear shop is found dead, and Carla’s fiancé is assigned to the case. With the honeymoon in jeopardy, Amy and Carla vow to help track down the killer…but they soon discover there are even more sinister happenings affecting the businesses in downtown Kellerton, Michigan. If Amy doesn’t figure out who is behind the deadly schemes, the nearly newlywed detective may just be solving another murder—hers!
About the Author
There are hundreds of fictional characters living in my mind. I love to let them out to play in my stories. I have written about everything from an insane ghost to a jealous wife with an explosive personality. Over the past few years many of my flash fiction and short stories have been published both online and in print. I have also been designing and publishing beadwork patterns for over 10 years. In 2012 I began publishing ebooks in my 6:1 Series. Each volume has six stories based on one theme. In 2013 I will begin publishing a culinary fiction series based in my home state of Michigan. While I love writing flash fiction, this new series will include novellas, novelettes and longer short stories as well as flash fiction pieces.
My favorite place to write is in my recliner, nestled into the corner of the living room. I can glance over my laptop screen and watch the wildlife perusing the field across the road. Everything from deer to turkeys and pheasants pass by as I wrestle the characters out of my head and onto the page. My almost constant companion and writing buddy is my beloved Golden Retriever, Cooper. He’s a great listener and always reminds to get up a stretch once in awhile, on the way to his treat jar. Besides my fur baby my family consists of two wonderful children and a fantastic husband.
GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
1 Summer Drinks Prize Pack up for giveaway! (includes a bag of Donut Store Blend ground coffee, lemon & ginseng green tea, liquid stevia and a package of milk chocolate bars)
(click on the photo for a closeup view)
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date July 15/15