The tasty bits.

9:52 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I wanted to share with you guys a few of the foods Tay and I have been eating. Forgive me if this post is full of typos, I'm doing it from my tablet. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, we're trying quinoa tonight. It cooks like rice but looks like couscous, which neither of us likes, but you can't ignore the potential benefits, we what the hell?

We went with this recipe, off the Whole Foods website.

It wasn't hard to make and we found all the ingredients without a problem. I didn't have time to make shredded chicken, so I just cut breasts into strips. I'd you do have the time, I'd recommend the shredded. I found myself missing the chicken after my chunks were gone.

All in all, I liked this. I'll give it an 8/10. It needed a little Season-All (the one staple I REFUSE to give up) and the quinoa took a minute to get used to, but I liked it.

The hubs said it "tasted fine. Wish it had more chicken." That's as good as it gets with him.



12:59 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

It's been forever since I've written posts, just to write them. My impossible goals list for this quarter is going to be a challenge, but I'm up for it. I'm not doing the Amazon contest after all. I know, I'm so wishy-washy, but what I did was get all excited about something without doing the proper research. I have, now, so I'll be sending out the very completed and very shiny Ash and Diamonds (it's with some readers right now, so we've got a couple of days to wait) to a few of my favorite agents. If it isn't picked up I know exactly where I want it to land, but that's already in the works.

Right now I'm tweaking Pedal to the Metal. I never really liked the title, but I've been using it for almost six months, so it's stuck. It's a novella, and M/M, so it shouldn't take too much time to iron out all of the little aspects I didn't like about it in the first place. It already has a solid query and a killer synopsis (if I do say so myself), so it's ready to go as soon as I'm satisfied.

 By the end of the week, I should have two projects subbed. As I said before: huzzah!


My baby.

3:14 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I like to think that I'm normal every once in a while. It's a farfetched little fantasy, but hey, it's mine. That's why when I think about my "baby" project, I always get these little warm fuzzies. Everyone has one of these projects. It's the story you've b een working on for so long. The one you're sure is going to be your "big break" in the industry.

I've had plenty of big breaks, all carefully cultivated with hard work and a ton of white-out, but Ash and Diamonds....Ash has always been my baby.

It's been finished since before my first publication. And by "finished" I mean...okay. It was an okay book. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was crap. It was just...okay. But I loved the concept and the world I'd created so much that I couldn't settle for "okay." So it's been sitting on my to-do list, being rewritten here and there for years. Now, there's this contest (my constant motivator) and I've thrown myself into reworking my baby.

It's a big contest and it deserves a big novel.

Today I finally finished it to my liking. I hate to toot my own horn (ha!) but it is really good. Like...I opened it to start editing and got lost in reading it for a couple hours. It's good! I'm so excited. Even if I don't win this contest, I have something amazing to sub. This is the start of my YEAR!

I can feel it.


Eating healthy, number 2.

7:33 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

A little while ago I posted about my husband and I deciding to eat healthy. I want to share with you guys, a few things I've learned in this short week.

1) Healthy food is expensive as all hell. 
I mean, don't get me wrong, it's totally worth it...but I can go to McDonalds and Tay and I can have lunch for $10-$16, depending on what we order. We're eating at Whole Foods now and it usually comes out to about $18. Which, yeah, is not THAT much more expensive, but it adds up. Buying free-range, grass-fed, organic, ect. ect. chicken is better for me, and at $7.99/lb, it's not bad compared to what I was getting at Vons in Organics packages ($8.99), but then I look at the non organic stuff and it's on sale for $1.49/lb in these big value packages and I want to shoot myself in the face. I'm a cheap person. I'm not afraid to admit it. Spending more than $8 on a t-shirt, when I can go to Walmart and get a whole slue of them frequently makes me want to vomit. I spent $150 on a juicer today. I just about passed out. Which actually brings me to point number....

2) You have to rethink everything about the way you eat.
This one may seem obvious, but I was really shocked about how it went down. I thought, "okay, I'll have to cook more at home. That's cool, no problem." But the fact of the matter is, today's busy schedules don't ALLOW for that shit. There is a REASON fast food is doing so well. Because we don't have time to spend thirty minutes to an hour at the store and then come home and make lunch, which could take another hour. That's two hours, every day, every meal (though you would already have what you need for dinner after your first trip). Yes, I realize that eventually my husband and I will stop being complete noobs and figure out how to shop for more than one day at a time. But right now, we're not used to that. What if we get the stuff for enchiladas today and want beef stew tomorrow? It's a total first world problem, but in our household, it's a real issue. That's the difference between eating food and having it go bad in our fridge because we're always buying something new and never have time to eat what we have. We suck. I know. But it's still an issue.

3) Not all "health food" is created equal.
There are always sources out there that will give you alternating information. Some studies say that organic food isn't any different than regular food. Commercials say that high fructose corn syrup isn't harmful. I'm not here to convince anyone otherwise, that is research we all have to do on our own and decisions we have to make. But one thing I have noticed is, just with foods in our "regular" grocery stores, just because the labels on these health foods say one thing, doesn't mean it's good for you. For instance, just because a food says it's organic, doesn't mean that it doesn't have questionable ingredients. I mean, some of the things that I am avoiding in my new-found health state come from bug products. They're not harmful, really, I'm just grossed out by the news that that shiny candy coating is made from boiling beetles. It doesn't hurt me in any way to eat it, and honestly, if I were out in the wilderness and my choices were: starve or eat some bugs, I would be walking around full of beetle-goodness.  But that's just a choice I made after I was burdened with the knowledge of where my food was coming from. That's just me.  It's all about personal preference.

4) Exercise is part of the deal.
Seriously. No matter how much we clean up our diets, we're not going to be healthy unless we get away from our screens. No if, and, or buts about it. It's just fact. Also, I'm going to add here: you shouldn't be hungry. Some people think that a "diet" (though I hate that word. I'm not dieting, I'm changing the way I eat) should leave you hungry. I've found that's not the case. If I'm hungry, I eat. I just eat something worth eating.

5) Food addiction is a real thing. And it sucks.
This picture pretty much sums up how I've felt all day. I've had this persistent, low grade headache for two days now and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what it was. Then we went to the mall (to buy the aforementioned juicer) and the smells....oh, sweet Gaea, the smells. Just a whiff of the Cinnabon counter and my headache let up a bit. I almost flipped out when I saw a bottle of Crush (strawberry, my favorite). I've been achy and sleepy (though that's not abnormal, because of the next thing on this list) and my insomnia is back in full force, despite my careful regulation of my sleep schedule. It wasn't until I remembered a conversation I had with a friend who was trying to kick her daily coffee fix that I realized what was going on. Withdrawal. Like kicking a damn drug, I was jonesing for an Auntie Anne's pretzel and considering violence in order to get one.

It's only been a couple days, but...yeah. I'm going to keep posting about it, in the hopes that I don't totally relapse but there's sooooo much temptation. There is a Krispy Kreme 9 minutes away from my house. I'm just saying.

This Deviation is by an artist that goes by ManueC. If you want to see more of her work, go here!

Coté, Manuella. Headache. 2008. DeviantArt, Canada. Web. 1 Jan 2013. <


My husband is a gamer.

1:19 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I'm convinced that my husband's copy of Far Cry 3 is trying to break us up. I know that sounds crazy, but just hear me out. There is a conspiracy going on and I am going to get to the bottom of it.

 I'm trying to talk to him all morning. I'm making plans and asking him what he thinks. He's agreeing with everything, which really, should have been my first clue. I asked the man if we could paint our bedroom for Goddess's sake. So, yeah, he's turned into a caveman video gamer and is answering me in grunts and nods.

Now, I'm a bit of a gamer myself, so I know how it is. Usually, I'd cut him some slack.  And, for the most part, Tay is attentive even while he's playing, so I rarely have to get uppity. But this particular game is zombie breeding material and we were supposed to go to the store.

Anywho, I finally turn into a crazed dancing-in-front-of-his-screen lunatic. This does nothing but make him laugh, since even as I'm dancing, I'm careful to stay out of the way of important things. I storm off to get my shoes and my man turns his head for half a second to tell me I'm cute.

He dies.

What does this tell my poor, sweet man? Even half a second is too much time to spare from Far Cry. This happens TWICE (I read him this blog post and he died when he stopped to grin at me). It's out to get me, I know it!

But knowing is half the battle. I'm on to you, Far Cry. I know where you live.