Terry Odell's Blog, page 3

April 6, 2016

A neighbor brought this to our monthly community pot luck, and agreed to share his recipe. Thanks, Rich DeLuca

Mexican Chicken Quinoa

Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
kosher salt
2 c. quinoa (rinsed per package directions)
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded *
1 16-oz. jar salsa verde
1 c. corn (fresh or frozen)
1 c. red bell pepper, chopped
6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
Sour cream, for serving

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Published on April 06, 2016 00:05 • 2 views

April 5, 2016

Rae JamesToday I welcome Rae James to Terry’s Place. Writing as R. Franklin James, Rae authors the Hollis Morgan Mystery Series, a former ex-con turned amateur sleuth.

What’s your biggest distraction when you should be writing?
It’s reading, hands down. When I satisfy my daily word count I can’t wait to get into whatever book I’m reading. Thank goodness, I’m pretty self-disciplined.

Plotter or Pantser?
I’m a 50% plotter. I outline in rough scenes the first 140 pages or so, then I write the ending. I g...

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Published on April 05, 2016 00:05 • 3 views

April 4, 2016

SuperHeroI picked up a romantic suspense book by a NYT best selling author recently, and I’m at the halfway point, wondering why I should keep reading. Why? The storyline/plot seemed interesting, but I’m ready to throw the hero over the ship he commands and hope the sharks eat him. It’s not that he’s an antihero. He’s just plain unlikable.

It’s been said that strong characters can make up for a weak plot, but even the strongest plot won’t engage readers if they don’t like the characters. Of course, th...

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Published on April 04, 2016 00:05 • 5 views

April 1, 2016

April 1

The Internet will be teeming with all kinds of reports today. Before you believe anything you read, don’t forget what day it is.

Here are a few links for you.

Origins and Customs

100 Top Hoaxes

Pranks you can play.

Whatever today brings, have a great weekend, everyone.


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Published on April 01, 2016 00:05 • 7 views

March 31, 2016

monkey wrenchWhen I first started writing, a critique group leader gave me perhaps the worst writing advice out there. I was writing Finding Sarah (my first attempt and an original novel), and about all I knew was that it was supposed to be a romance. (That’s another story, since at the time, I’d never read a romance and thought I was writing a mystery.)

About all I knew at the time was that I needed to keep my hero and heroine from resolving their relationship until the end of the book, so I continued to...

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Published on March 31, 2016 00:05 • 2 views

March 30, 2016

Hubster was down in the Springs dog-sitting and dined on this while he was there. He brought home a little bit to share.

Crock Pot Taco Chicken Chili

Taco Chicken Chili

1 small onion, chopped
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans
1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
10 oz package frozen corn kernels
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
4 oz can chopped green chili peppers, chopped
1 packet taco seasoning
1T cumin
1 T chili powder
24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
Optional to...

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Published on March 30, 2016 00:05 • 2 views

March 29, 2016

Mary MarvellaPlease welcome Mary Marvella, romantic suspense author. She retired from teaching and writes full time. She has a PDF of Protective Instincts to one luck commenter. Also, she has coupons for a FREE copy of The Gift, a paranormal novella, for everyone. Code and link at the end of this post.

What’s your biggest distraction when you should be writing?
Actually tutoring and editing freelance get in the way. I suck at making schedules!

Plotter or Pantser?
I plot in my head enough to know where I...

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Published on March 29, 2016 00:05 • 2 views

March 28, 2016

Resist the Urge to ExplainWhen I recapped the SleuthFest session on writing suspense, one of the tips mentioned R.U.E., or Resist the Urge to Explain. I promised I’d address that topic by revisiting a blog post I wrote back in 2010.

Anyone who’s undertaken writing has heard “Show, Don’t Tell”—probably more times than they’ve wanted. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, because often telling is more efficient than showing, and done well, gets the point across. But too much telling, especially when it comes across as author...

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Published on March 28, 2016 00:05 • 3 views

March 25, 2016

March 20th was the first day of Spring. In Colorado, especially in the mountains, that can mean anything.

Here’s the thermometer reading from our deck that morning.


It warmed up, and we had a visitor in our front yard.

Mule deer buck, photo by Terry Odell

On Wednesday, things changed.

Spring Storm, Divide CO, photo by Terry OdellHubster thought he’d clear the driveway.

Clearing the snow

The birds need to be fed, too.

Ice accumulates on the eaves.

Ice on the eaves

The next day, the sun is out again.

The day after the storm

And a visitor is checking to see if the birds dropped any seeds from the feeder.

Deer in the snow, photo by Terry OdellHave a great week...

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Published on March 25, 2016 00:05 • 2 views

March 24, 2016

Sleuthfest 2016This will be my final recap from SleuthFest, and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my posts. In this session, Kris Montee (half of the PJ Parrish writing team) threw questions at editor/publisher Neil Nyren of G.P Putnam’s Sons (a division of Penguin Random House) and author CJ Box.

The first question, obviously enough was “What is a mid list author?” and the answer was “it’s someone in between being a best seller and low seller.” Nyren addressed how they as publishers worked to make CJ Box the b...

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Published on March 24, 2016 00:05 • 3 views