How to Self-Edit

Self-editing is a task that I absolutely have a love-hate relationship. I love knowing that at the end of the process, I will have a much better story. And of course, my main aim is to produce quality work. I despise it because it is tedious and, at times, seeming impossible. It can be a daunting job to tackle. In fact, some writers get so entangled in editing that it is the sole reason for them never completing their novel.

I need to stop here and point out that there are different types of edits and different styles of editing. There is no right or wrong other than omitting it completely. That’s a no-no. Some writers choose to edit as they go. Some choose to edit at the end. Some do a hybrid. What I’m writing about today is the process of self-editing. Self-editing should not be the only editing that a writer does. I realize that hiring an editor is expensive, but think of it along the line of having your car serviced. There’s nothing that says a person cannot change his/her own car oil. Having a professional do it is simpler in many ways. For shorter works, only doing self-edits may be feasible or even wise. However, professional editing versus self-editing is a controversial discussion for another day.

I’ve previously written posts about editing. Those have been some time in the past. I’m sure that much of the information may be repeated, but I’m sure that new stuff is included here. Also, a refresher never hurts.

Briefly, let’s discuss the type of book editing. (NOTE: The types of editing are listed in alphabetical order and not necessarily in the order that most writers do them. It also should be noted that some will argue that there is no order for these edits to be conducted or that all of them are necessary. However, it makes practical sense that some types of edits occur before other types of edits. Otherwise, the writer will waste time doing double work. For example, what is the point of doing line edits when the entire section of work needs to be deleted/omitted?) Furthermore, the following list of types of edits are not exhaustive. However, these are some of the most common ones.

  1. Copy Editing/Text Editing: This type of edits focuses on ensuring clarity and consistency by looking at issues such as capitalization errors, filler words, grammar, dangling participles, dialogue tags, industry-standard writing style (APA, CMoS, MLA, etc.), pacing, passive voice punctuation, sentence structure/parallelism, spelling, story inconsistencies, typos, verb tense, and word usage. This list is not exhaustive.
  2. Developmental Editing. This also is commonly referred to as structure editing. Developmental editing usually occurs at the onset of a writing project. This heavily focuses on plot and direction an idea to help shape it into an organized story.
  3. Fact-Checking: This is exactly what it sounds like. This type of editing may be covered in other types of edits, but sometimes, it is good to do this as a separate edit. When a writer focuses on one aspect, he/she is likely to find more errors or items that need to be corrected. Quick aside: I once was working on two manuscripts at the same time. In the process, I accidentally mixed up a character’s age. It seemed to be a small thing, only the error caused another aspect of the story to be factually inaccurate. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have caught this error, but I’m sure readers would have. It was a significant goof on my part. Luckily, my fact-checker caught this.
  4. Formatting: Again, this is self-explanatory. A formatting edit focuses on the manuscript looking the way it should. This edit is especially important when a manuscript has been edited by multiple people. It is easy for a tab to be hit or button click that causes a formation error. A tip I use to assist with formatting issues since I write in MS Word is that I turn on formatting symbols. At first, I found this feature to be annoying. But as I advanced in my writing, I’ve come to appreciate that it helps me quickly see extra spaces, inadvertent page breaks, and other formatting problems. For example, if I’m having difficulty with a section, I may put it in red or bold. When I get ready to turn it off, I may not select everything. Then, when it prints or I add something, it’s the wrong color or font.
  5. Line Editing: This is very detailed work that examines a story’s content and flow in-depth the content. This carefully scrutinizes characterization, pacing, and the point of view from which the story is told. A line edit is an equivalent to a microcopy edit. If this edit is done properly, it can elevate a story from good to great.
  6. Proofreading: Proofreading is the last edit that is performed typically. This occurs when the manuscript has been finished and is about to be submitted for publication. The purpose of a proofread is to identify any typos, inconsistencies, and/or formatting issues before the novel is printed. Consider this the last call of writing that ensures that every possible mistake is found and corrected.

Now, that the type of edits has been identified, it’s time to look at how to go about self-editing. The best way I know how to do this is to discuss my self-editing process. Editing is one of those things that is very personalized. Each writer will need to determine what works best for him/her.

Keep in mind that I’m a panster. That makes a difference in the order and how I edit. For me, a developmental edit isn’t something that I do initially. I write the first draft. Most times, I write scenes as they come to me which means the first draft usually isn’t in the order it needs to be. So, it’s only until I have the complete first rough, rough draft to I attempt a structure edit.

I do light copy edits as I write. For example, if I complete a chapter, I may read through it and correct typos, grammatical errors, or note errors in pacing or plot. I also write notes about what needs to be added or deleted or something to keep in mind. Something I recently started to do is to write down the characters’ names. I have this habit of changing a character name, and when I get to the end, I may have multiple names for the same character. I also do this for location. By having this list, in the end, I can do a search and replace. It makes life easier.

By this stage, I do another structure edit. This time I’m looking for pacing and if I created new plot holes after shifting around the text. I look at flow and chapter transitions. I check to ensure that I’ve included all key elements that I want to be included and be sure that I have all the necessary story beats. I don’t have to have any of this perfected at this point. I only need it to be workable. At this point, I’m still working in sections, and I’m noting any problem areas that I don’t have an immediate solution. By the end of this, I should have a true first draft.

Here is where I differ from many writers. Now, would be the time for my first read through. If the structure is good, I do a very heavy-handed copy edit. I refer to this as a line-by-line edit. Basically, I look at everything. I clean up as much as I find, whether it be grammatical mistakes, formatting issues, plot holes, character development, or whatever. This is the version that I will use as the foundation. I won’t make major changes to the structure or the characters. If I were a plotter, this would be my outline. All essential elements will be in this draft. I critique every sentence. This perhaps is the most brutal of all of my edits. But I don’t do just one line-by-line read through. I make several passes, evaluating if the changes that I made work. My line-by-lines tend to be in some people’s opinions as “obsessive.” I usually make more than a dozen passes, each pass focusing specifically on a certain aspect. For example, one pass I may be looking closely at the dialogue. Another pass I may be focused on location descriptions. Here is when I stop counting my draft numbers.

After the line-by-line, I do another overall structure edit. This is to ensure that I didn’t accidentally shift or delete something crucial to the overall plot while being nitty-gritty with everything else. I check for inconsistencies and most of all fluff and flow. If I’ve done everything as I should, this is the easiest of my editing, and I am able to quickly move on.

The next step for me is fact-checking and polishing. I refer to my notes and reach out to critique partners to ask questions. For example, I wrote a story that the protagonist was a firefighter. I contacted someone I knew who worked at the fire department to double-check if what I had written sounded authentic. Polishing, as I like to call it, is when I go in with my personal touches. This is when I make the writing sound like me. It’s getting deep into character and breathing life into the words on paper. This is the most fun of the edits.

After the polishing, I do several more line by line. For these, I use a check sheet. There are some errors that I make no matter what I do. I specifically check for those mistakes as well looking to pick up any others. (Search and replace is my friend!)

Finally, I tackle formatting, but I need to be honest. I’m probably very loose on this. I mean, I do clean it up as best as I can, but generally, by this time, I’m sick of looking at my manuscript. I can’t see any errors because my mind is allowing me to see what I want to see whether it is there or not. In short, I’m incapable of seeing my mistakes. I’m more relaxed on this edit, only because I know it will be heading to a professional editor at the publisher.

I’m traditionally published, and my manuscript will go through several professional edits by different editors. Typically, it will have a structure edit, two copies (at minimal), one fact (usually mixed in with the structure), one formatting, and two proofs (one from the editor and the final from me.)

Hopefully, reading my editing process will help other writers discover a writing process that works best for them. Again, editing is very personalized. So many writer friends have told me that my way of editing would never work for them. A plotter friend told me that if I outlined, I wouldn’t need to do so many passes. WHATEVER! I say to him, “Mind your business.”

Let me know in the comment section about your editing process. Was this post helpful?

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

IG GC AN

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

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Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

Creole Meal from Start to Finish

This week, I’m going back to one of the basic topics of Creole Bayou, and that is some good ol’ down-home cooking for today’s blog. It’s been a minute since I posted a recipe, and I intend to make up for it today by shelling out several in this post.

Everyone knows bayou eating is some of the best eating in the world. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. Granted, it’s a very biased fact. But this here is Creole Bayou where all things Creole (including the food) is discussed. Here are several recipes that will create an entire meal (from advertisers to dessert and after-dinner cocktails). Not all of these recipes originated from Creole culture, they all have a creole twist to them. Most do not require much effort, feeds a family on a budget, and are yummy to the tummy.

Fruity Fruit Punch

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup peaches
  • 1 cup strawberries (diced)
  • 1 cup sliced oranges (with peal)
  • 1 cup diced kiwi (peeled)
  • 1 cup Mountain Dew (chilled)
  • 1 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 green tea bags

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  2. Add tea bags and allow to steep for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the teabag and squeeze into the saucepan with the boiled water.
  4. Add sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add the orange juice, apple juice, and pineapple juice. Stir.
  6. Pour the liquid into a large bowl and place into the refrigerator.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes then add strawberries, oranges, peaches, and kiwi.
  8. Allow it to chill for an additional thirty minutes. (NOTE: the longer allowed to chill, the more flavorful the punch)

 

Not an Ordinary Green Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp basil
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs orange juice
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 cup kale (chopped)
  • 1 cup raw spinach (chopped)
  • 2 avocados (diced)
  • 2 cucumbers (diced)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, soak the diced onion in water for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the onion and pat the onion dry.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, and honey.
  4. Add kale, spinach, lettuce, avocados, and cucumbers.
  5. Season with paprika, cayenne pepper, basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper.

 

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 6 tbs butter (unsalted)
  • ¾ cup panko
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 ½ cups French’s French Fried Onions
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 cups green beans (cooked)
  • 1 can (10 ½ oz) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 2 cans (10 ½ oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
  3. Fill a large pot with water. Salt the water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the green beans and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the beans are slightly tender.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, dip the beans out of the water and transfer to the baking sheet.
  6. Add broccoli to the boiling water and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until tender.
  7. Using the slotted spoon, remove the broccoli from the boiling water and transfer to the baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  8. Pat all the vegetables dry.
  9. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tbs of butter over medium heat.
  10. Add the panko and cook. Cook for approximately 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  11. Season the panko with salt and black pepper.
  12. Transfer the panko to a bowl and allow it to cool.
  13. Add the Colby cheese to the panko. Toss well and set aside.
  14. Using the same saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat.
  15. Add and sauté garlic until soft.
  16. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half.
  17. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Whisk until the mixture thickens.
  18. Add the parmesan, mustard, cayenne, and 2 tsp salt. Stir and cook until the parmesan is melted.
  19. In a 3-quart casserole dish, add cream of mushroom, cream of celery, soy sauce, and ½ cup of French’s French onions.
  20. Add the green beans and broccoli and stir gently.
  21. Sprinkle with the panko-Colby cheese mixture and the remaining onions.
  22. Bake at 350°F for30 minutes or until the Colby cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

 

Flank Steak with Roasted Tomatoes and Peppers

Ingredients:

  • ¼ tsp garlic
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbs virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pitted olives
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper strips
  • ½ cup parsley (fresh)
  • 1 cup roasted tomatoes
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In the preheated oven, place a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Using a meat mallet, tenderize the flank steak to ½ inch thickness.
  4. Half the steak crosswise and lengthwise.
  5. Rub the steak with paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  6. In a medium bowl, slice the celery.
  7. Add the red wine vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  8. Chop the roasted red peppers, olives, and parsley and add to the bowl. Toss.
  9. Add to the celery and 2 tbs olive oil. Toss.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss.
  11. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining olive oil.
  12. Add the flank steak and cook (on each side) until browned (approximately 5 minutes).
  13. Remove the steak from the skillet, and transfer to a cutting board.
  14. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes.
  15. Slice the steak being sure to cut against the grain.
  16. Spoon red peppers and roasted tomatoes on top.

 

Crème Brûlée

 Ingredients:

  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ almond extract
  • ¼ tsp rum extract
  • ½ tsp maple extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 5 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Boil 4 cups of water.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring vanilla extract and cream to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Remove mixture from the heat and allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk maple syrup, sugar, maple extract, almond extract, rum extract, egg yolks, and salt.
  6. While continuously whisking, gradually add ½ cup of warm cream mixture. Whisk until well mixed.
  7. Once mixed, whisk in another ½ cup of the warm cream mixture. Whisk until well mixed.
  8. Once mixed, whisk in the remaining warm cream mixture. Whisk until well mixed.
  9. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a large liquid measuring cup.
  10. In a large roasting pan, place four 6-ounce ramekins.
  11. Divide equal amounts of the custard into each ramekin.
  12. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water to the halfway point of the ramekins, creating a water bath for the ramekins.
  13. Cover the entire roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  14. Place in the preheated oven.
  15. Bake the custard for approximately 30 minutes or until the custard is set but the center remains slightly jiggly.
  16. Remove the foil and remove the ramekins from the water bath.
  17. Place each ramekin on a baking sheet.
  18. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  19. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (NOTE: For best results, allow to chill overnight.)
  20. Sprinkle sugar atop each custard.
  21. Using a kitchen torch, move flame rigorously across the custard until the sugar melts
  22. Allow it to harden for about 5 minutes.

 

Adult Old-Fashioned

Ingredients:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 oz bourbon
  • 1 splash club soda
  • 1 splash Benedictine
  • Ice
  • Orange peel (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. In a rocks glass, muddle the Angostura bitters and sugar.
  2. Add a splash of club soda and Benedictine.
  3. Add ice.
  4. Pour bourbon over ice and stir.
  5. Garnish with an orange peel.

So, what do you think? Will you try making one or more of these recipes? Let me know your opinions in the comments. Also, let me know if there’s a topic you would like for me to blog.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

IG GC AN

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

2777b4e8-45db-46a1-b4ac-257a218ff424

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

The Gay Side of Mardi Gras: Take Pride

Ever heard of Yuga. If you are like me, for many years, I had not. When I did, I thought people were mispronouncing yoga and was somewhat confused by why yoga would be in a Mardi Gras parade. I was even more confused as to how that looked. Before I get into it, thank you for being here to help me celebrate the upcoming release of my sports romance, Ice Gladiators, on 02/15/20. I will be making random bonus posts until the release date as well as hosting giveaways and other special surprises. Please read to the end to find out more about the giveaway.

If you have been following along, I released two posts earlier today, both about Valentine’s Day. But there is another holiday coming up that I am excited about, and that, of course, is Mardi Gras. I could not have a celebration without talking about my favorite holiday of the year. Since the characters in Ice Gladiators, live in Louisiana, celebrate Mardi Gras, and are gay men, this discussion of Yuga seems fitting. So, away we go with Yuga, and it has nothing to do with Star Wars or Yoda.

This would not be a complete celebration if I did not mention Mardi Gras. Mostly, I will be using the terms Mardi Gras and Carnival interchangeably, although, that is not technically correct. Most people have come to use the term Mardi Gras to refer to all of Carnival or the entire celebratory period. However, Mardi Gras specifically refers to Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday (i.e., the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent). Fat Tuesday is the last day of Carnival. I will refrain from discussing it here because I have discussed it at length in several other posts. I will link those posts at the end in case you are interested in learning the history of Mardi Gras and the significance of events or customs.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a krewe (krōō)is defined as a private organization staging festivities (such as parades) during Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

The Krewe of Yuga was the first “official” gay krewe and/or ball of Mardi Gras. It was formed in the late 1950s; however, underground and/or secretive gay krewes had been in existence long before then. The difference between Yuga and its predecessors is that Yuga was recognized as being an authentic krewe. Today, the krewe is no longer in existence, but it is credited as being the grandfather to modern gay krewes, including the Krewe of Amon-Ra and the Krewe of Petronius and a vital force in the Gay Rights Movement. Originally, Krewe of Yuga acted as a parody of traditional (heterosexual) Mardi Gras krewes and allow people who were gay an opportunity to socialize during Carnival. Its Carnival court consisted of a Captain, King, Queen, maids, and debutantes clad in outrageously handmade costumes. As is the tradition with modern Carnival courts, the Yuga court was presented at a Mardi Gras ball. Many gay Carnival balls exist today. Some of the better knows ones are Krewe of Amon-Ra, Krewe of Armeinius, Lords of Leather, Krewe of Mwindo, Krewe of Stars, and Mystic Krewe of Satyricon.

  1. Amon-Ra, founded in 1965, takes its name from the Egyptian god of the sun. It is a non-profit corporation, gay social Mardi Gras krewe. Attendance to their Mardi Gras ball is by invitation only. Initially, the Amon-Ra ball had to be kept secret in order to prevent being raided and shut down by the police.
  2. Armeinius was established in 1969, and its bylaws state that its ball must be held on the Saturday before Mardi Gras Day. Its ball is prestigious and to receive a table invitation indicates that a person is acknowledged by the New Orleans gay society. According to the Krewe of Armeinius, one of its main purposes is to preserve the history and pass down the tradition of the craft of creating and/or making Mardi Gras costumes. The organization also aims to archive gay memorabilia (e.g., historical documents and photographs). In fact, it is one of the largest gay historical archives in the United States.
  3. The name gives away the key feature of Lords of Leather. This krewe is the only leather-oriented krewe in the nation. Their balls consist of medieval themes and traditions. They host a Mardi Gras Bal Masque. To find them, look no further than The Phoenix, which is their “home bar.”
  4. The Krewe of Petronius has a founding date of 1961 and has nothing to do with J.K Rowling’s patronus charm or the wizarding world; although, the Petronius is quite magical. The krewe’s name derives from Gaius Petronius Arbiter, an ancient Rome gay writer and courtier during Emperor Nero’s reign. Gaius Petronius Arbiter was a member of the senatorial class who lavished in a life of pleasure. This krewe is known for hosting some of the most lavish and creative Carnival balls.
  5. In 1998, the Krewe of Mwindo was formed. It is one of the newest gay krewes. What makes this organization unique is its devotion to including persons who were excluded from traditional celebrations. Let me mention an aside here. All of the gay krewes seek for inclusivity of the gay community into Carnival as well as into society. This always has been a goal. However, the formulation of having specific gay krewes is similar to the inclusion of masks for persons of color and of lower economic status. (I go into greater details about Mardi Gras masks in previous posts. See the link below if you’re interested to learn more.)
  6. Even newer than Mwindo is the Krewe of Stars. It was organized in 2017. This Krewe is committed to underscoring the citizens of local communities. Additionally, they heavily support the theater and the performing arts. At their hosted Mardi Gras Tableau Ball, they recognize members of the community for their contribution and excellence in the arts, media, music, and theater.
  7. One of the largest gay krewes is the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon.

All of the mentioned Krewes have websites, and they appreciate donations. Please visit them to learn more or help them continue their traditions and/or philanthropies or to become a part of their organizations. They would appreciate any love shown.

There is one other feature of Mardi Gras that embraces and places a spotlight on gay culture and that is the Bourbon Street Awards. The Bourbon Street Awards are held annually on the morning of Fat Tuesday. To say that it is the ultimate costume contest of Carnival is an understatement. Categories for awards include Best Drag, Best Group, Best Leather, and Best Overall Costume. Celebrities emcee the contest.

This year, Fat Tuesday is February 25. For Mardi Gras packages and parade schedules in New Orleans, visit Mardi Gras New Orleans.

Please share your Mardi Gras/Carnival Experience in the comments below. What is your favorite parade or ball? Have you ever participated in court? Have you ever danced the night away at a Carnival ball? Have you ever attended one of the gay parades? What has been your favorite Carnival costume?

If you enjoyed this post and are interested in me writing more along these lines, please let me know in the comment section below. Also, if learning more about Mardi Gras strikes you fancy, visits my previous posts Mardi Gras From the Bayou or Mardi Gras Exposed and get some real tea.

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Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

2777b4e8-45db-46a1-b4ac-257a218ff424

DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way sponsored or affiliated by any person, brand, or product mentioned herein. I make no money or obtain any sort of financial gain or gifts from the mentioned brands. If you are interested in any person, brand, or product listed, please visit the brand or product website and learn more about their products and services to make an informed decision for yourself.

Resources

Lafayette Ice Water Moccasins

Agkistrodon piscivorus, (ag·’ki·strə·dän pə·‘si·və·rəs) better known as water moccasin, is a species of pit viper and endemic to the southeastern United States. Agkistrodon piscivorus (Isn’t that just a mouthful?) loosely translated means hooked-tooth fish eater. Another common name for this snake is cottonmouth, deriving from the white lining of its mouth which it opens wide when attacking. They grow between 2½ to 6 feet in length, weigh up to as much as ten pounds, and a have triangular head. These aren’t tiny snakes. Their habitat is in or near bodies of waters (e.g., streams, bayous, swamps, marshes, ponds, lakes, and drainage ditches), as they are semiaquatic. In fact, water moccasins are the only semiaquatic vipers in the world. These snakes are venomous, and a bite from one of them can be fatal. The venom prevents the body’s blood from clotting. Even if a bite is not fatal, it is serious and may cause internal bleeding, temporary and/or permanent muscle or tissue damage, or loss of an extremity/limb. Now, there is some debate about the degree of aggressiveness from these snakes. Many experts will say these snakes only attack when cornered, threatened, or provoked and make every attempt to avoid confrontations—or whatever the reptilian form of that is. Fine, if that’s the story they want to tell.

From personal experience growing up in the wooded bayous and encountering these belly-crawling creatures, I’ve seen these snakes stop and wait for humans to approach and even chase. They don’t retreat in fear. I’ve only seen these snakes in aggressive mode and never all lovey-dovie and cuddly. Even by trained snake handlers, at best, I’ve witnessed cottonmouths to be semi-docile—in a burlap sack! I’ve never had an experience with one that hasn’t been heart-stopping or made me want to adopt one as a pet. And I don’t care about their role or importance in the ecosystem. And as aside, when these things give birth, they don’t hatch from eggs. No, these are live births, and about ten to twenty of these snake babies make up a litter, which is probably why the bayous have so many of them. So, that’s my personal BIASED and UNPROFESSIONAL OPINION. Feel free to blast me in the comments. But for the sake of this post, I’ll pretend that I agree with the experts. According to the experts, water moccasins get a bad rep and rarely bite people. They just coil up and open their large mouths to scare away people or animals. They do not pursue fleeing people and if left alone will slink away. Uh-huh. (Okay, my pretending skills need some working on. Report me to PETA.)

My new sports romance, Ice Gladiators, being released on 02/15/20, is set in Louisiana. Anyone familiar with the area knows it rarely sleets or snows there. However, there is an abundance of snakes, especially water moccasins. And what would you expect from a state with cities below sea level and trenched with bayous? So, when I was considering names for the hockey team in the story, water moccasin was the first name that popped into my head. Not only that, some characters do seem a bit snaky, at least, at times. Besides, what would I look like naming them the Lafayette Bunnies or Louisiana Shrimps?

I chose Lafayette as the Water Moccasins’ home for no other reason than it is a beautiful city, rich in culture. It also happens to be the fourth largest city in the state, making it more than large enough to home a professional sporting team. Lafayette’s population is approximately 130,000. If you haven’t visited there, I encourage you to put it on your bucket list.

The Lafayette Ice Water Moccasins are an affiliate and/or development hockey for the Saint Anne Civets. As with any other professional hockey team, the Water Moccasins have a roster of twenty-three players, comprised of twenty-one skaters and two goaltenders. Their colors are black, vermilion, and purple. Black represents the color of adult water moccasins. Not all adults are black, but they are dark. Vermilion was chosen as the color for several reasons. One common association made with Louisiana is the Creole and Cajun food, which use lots of spices. Traditional Creole and Cajun spice are a reddish-brown/russet color. The function of spice is to add relish or zest to food. Each character brings a different enthusiasm and/or attitude to both the team and story. Purple is one of the trio colors of Mardi Gras, a celebration in Louisiana that rivals the commercialism and celebration of Christmas. It is not an understatement to say Mardi Gras is a big deal. Most businesses and schools close the week of Carnival. In the past, I’ve written several posts about Mardi Gras/Carnival (which, btw, is fast approaching) and the significance of the colors. I’ll list the links below. While some may associate the color purple with royalty, with regards to Mardi Gras, it typically is associated with justice. Without giving away spoilers, this color choice was the most logical.

The Water Moccasin team is owned by the Whittle, Darbonne, & Shaw Corporation, and the head coach is Randell Pernell. The team was founded in 1971 and became an affiliate of the Civets in 1977. Overall, the team has many talented players. However, this is not reflected in the statistics. The team struggles financially because very little investment has been put into it by the owners and also due to hockey not being as popular in the south as other sports. As a result, the team works with dated equipment and in a substandard arena. Players join and remain on the team because they love the sport.

Just as an aside, I know some may be wondering why in the world would an ice hockey team be based in a state known to be hotter than Hades—Hades is the Greek god of the dead and the underworld. Believe it or not, it does occasionally (as in every couple of years or so) sleet and/or snow in Louisiana. The annual snowfall is approximately 0.2 inches, which is enough to shut down entire cities. Don’t be snickering about our frozen precipitation challenges. One can’t learn to maneuver in what doesn’t occur. However, there is a market; although nowhere close to the market for football, baseball, and basketball, for ice hockey here. In fact, there have been several professional and semi-professional hockey teams in Louisiana including Alexandria Warthogs, Baton Rouge Kingfish, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Cajun Catahoulas, Lake Chares Ice Pirates, Louisiana Ice Gators, Monroe, Moccasins, and New Orleans Brass.

What is your opinion on water moccasins or snakes in general? Are you a lover, hater, or indifferent? Have you ever encountered or had an experience with a cottonmouth? Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by one? I would apologize for my prejudice towards water moccasins, only, I’m not sorry. I’m not a snake person, and my animosity towards water moccasins is personal and stems from almost being bitten as a kid. It was in a tree on a branch above my head where I was playing. I have friends and associates that are fond of reptiles, but I’m just not that girl. And while I dislike snakes, I do not advocate for their gratuitous or unnecessary slaughter. Again, I stress that I not a zoologist, veterinarian, or any other type of animal expert and cannot attest a professional opinion on water moccasin behavior. All I have is an individual, subjective opinion.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more like this, please like, comment, and follow. Also, spread the word so your friends can enjoy it, too. As the expression goes, sharing is caring.

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Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

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Saint Anne, Louisana

Bienvenue en Louisiane! Welcome to Saint Anne!

Where? What? Why? If you’re asking these questions, sit back, grab a cool one, and let me explain.

My new sports romance, Ice Gladiators, mainly takes place in fictional Saint Anne, as did my previous sports romances, Out of the Penalty Box and Defending the Net. But Saint Anne is more than just a made-up name. It has a backstory that some may find interesting. I presented some of the history in a previous blog post prior to the release of DTN. It focused on the origins of the city. You can read that post, entitled “Saint Anne, Louisiana,” at https://bit.ly/315NmUe. Today’s post, however, will focus on the current city and not so much the history. So, take with me, if you will, a brief excursion to this historical Dixieland of my imagination. One may note some similarities to another very popular city in Louisiana, and this is no accident. Inspiration was drawn from that other city.

So, where exactly is Saint Anne? Well, pull out your map, and I’ll show you. Saint Anne is a consolidated parish-city cozied in southeast Louisiana along the scenic Mississippi River in western Jefferson Parish near New Orleans and founded in 1726 by the great step-nephew of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, Roche d’Iberville. As with many of the locations in Louisiana, names of many cities, streets, rivers/bayous, and establishments bear the name of Catholic saints, monarchs, and persons of the French aristocracy. Saint Anne is no different. Named after Saint Anne of David’s house, mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus, Saint Anne has a population of approximately 97,000 residents. Stacked with cafés specializing in lavish, authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine, scrumptious beignets and pastries, and other extravagant foods, Saint Anne is the hub of a buzzing food scene prepared by world-renown chefs.

Take a stroll along some of Saint Anne’s oldest streets and marvel at the glorious mansions of the old world and era gone past—from the lavishness of plantations to the hipped roofed double-gallery houses to the simplicity of renovated shotgun homes. The city is filled with beautiful cathedrals with steeples that tower in the skyline and intricately detailed statues. See the influences of the Caribbean, Creole, French, and Spanish in the designs. While marveling at the rich opulence of centuries of architecture, indulge in the ambiance of beautiful gardens of colorful blooms and sweet aromas or lounge in one of the private courtyards and watch the golden sunset over the bayous. For nature buffs, the Saint Anne wetlands are rich with wildlife, and there is no shortage of river tours. Just don’t dangle any appendages too close to the water. It would be most unfortunate to have one snapped off suddenly for a reptilian dinner.

If learning about culture is your thing, have an evening constitution is the Historic District lined with museums, but be cautious walking the boulevards that sporadically branch into seventeenth-century alleyways and lead to haunted cemeteries where one might catch sight of a spirt or two. That shiver down your spine, while you creep past one of the above-ground tombs, may not be just the wind tickling your neck. Those regaled stories hold much truth. The best part is that natives won’t give weird or suspicious stares if one tells the story of such an encounter. For a less ethereal “interaction”, visit a parlor and listen to old wives orate tantalizing tales of voodoo and ghost stories. Or maybe just have your fortune read.

New York may be said to be a melting pot, but Saint Anne is not to be ignored. Saint Anne is a gem of culture—a city that has never lost its roots—and it holds its own with the best metropolitan areas. It maintains a working streetcar transit system throughout the downtown districts, which has been in operation since the early 1900s. In fact, the oldest car had been running since 1906 and still ran with a top speed exceeded no more than twenty-five miles per hour. The speed cap is strictly enforced by the Saint Anne Regional Transit Authority (SARTA). For most patrons and visitors of the downtown area, streetcars are the preferred mode of travel due to the narrow streets, lack of parking, crows of people, and traffic congestion. Cars are parked in garages on the outskirts of the Square. This system also is convenient for those who indulge in adult beverages and need a safe transport home. (BTW, Saint Anne has local brewery and wineries in addition to the numerous bars and pubs. And open-container is allowed in the downtown area.)

One can immerse in Zydeco music, swanky blues, or the jazzy nightlife. The bar scene also is popping with aged booze and hot bodies. Not only is it the home to the Saint Anne Civets, but it is also home to the Saint Anne Hounds football team. (Psst. Who’s up for a little touch football in the future? There’s a certain quarterback who has a story to tell.)

Speaking of diversity, Saint Anne’s has one of the most diverse populations in the United States. That is why often my stories contain languages other than English (which are translated) and characters from other countries. I truly believe diversity is the spice of life, and the spicier, the better.

Why do a post on a fictional city? That’s simple to answer. Saint Anne is the backdrop in all of my sports romances and is mentioned in several of my published short stories. Sometimes, I get asked questions as to why something is, especially about the transit system. It may seem odd that characters drive to a building but later get on a streetcar. This is not unusual, though, in Saint Anne or that other city with the famous Square. Or should I say, Quarter?

I also enjoy showing readers my writing process. Saint Anne, in my mind, is very well mapped. I decided to create a fictional city because I wanted the liberty to have the layout as I desired. If I had simply set the characters in another town, I undoubtedly would have been dragged for having locations in the wrong place. I’d hear, “that bar isn’t on that street,” or “that area isn’t zoned for that type of establishment.” I know. It’s called creative license. However, some readers prefer accurate descriptions of locations, and it is jarring to them when an author begins to switch things up. To avoid this situation, I created Saint Anne where everything is where I need and want it to be. Basically, it is how I would reroute that other city if I had the choice—not that I don’t love that place. In fact, I adore it, and that is why I used it as my muse location. Besides, it is fun to create a new city. It’s a type of worldbuilding on a much smaller scale.

That concludes all that I wanted to discuss today. Thank you for reading along and entering my world of Saint Anne and Ice Gladiators. If you would like to read more about the city of Saint Anne, please comment and let me know. I would enjoy sharing it with you. Please tell me about your favorite city or hometown in the comment below. Or just leave a comment on what city you live in. Also, in the future, would you like to read more about the other cities that I have created? If you found this article interesting, please feel free to share it with family and friends. And be sure to keep a lookout for more bonus posts and giveaways that are happening this month. Read to the end to get details.

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Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

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Play That Zydeco Again

Play that what? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, thank you for visiting today’s bonus post, which comes a part of my month-long celebration of the upcoming release of my new sports romance novel, Ice Gladiators. Ice Gladiators is being released on 02/15/20. I’ll link details at the bottom of this page. I’m so thrilled about sharing Ice Gladiators that I’m writing posts on anything related to the story, and you guessed it. Music is in the story. And since this is Creole Bayou, where everything Creole, Cajun, and Louisiana are on tap, and Ice Gladiators is set in Louisiana, there’s no better music than to talk about than zydeco. Anyone who’s ever walked in the French Quarter knows music is big in Louisiana. And anyone who has ever attended a sporting event knows how the important role music plays there as well. Therefore, this topic as a bonus post had to happen.

Okay, let’s start with a discussion about the name: Zydeco ( ̍zī·də·ˌkō). Most cultural anthropologists and Louisiana historians agree that the name originates from the French term les haricots, which when spoken phonetically sounds similar to zydeco. Some variations of zydeco are zologo, zodico, zordico, and zarico. Les haricots translate to mean “beans.” However, there are other theories floating out there, one being that it originates from the African language word zari. Zari means dance. I will stick with this one since it is the most accepted But what do beans have to do with music one may wonder. The popular answer to this question is that the name derives from “Les haricots sont pas sale.”

Les haricots sont pas salés is a common Creole phrase that translates to, “The snap beans aren’t salty.” The expression is used to express hard economic and financial times. This stemmed from the practice using salted meat to season many Creole dishes. During the era that zydeco music was first played and became popular, times were hard for many Creoles. Their day consisted of long hours of manual labor (e.g., working in cotton or sugarcane fields). There were times when many Creoles could not afford to buy salted meat; hence, their food was less seasoned or not seasoned. Common themes of much zydeco music are ill-fated love, injustice, loneliness, being poor, and death (a.k.a., hard times, just like the expression). Additionally, many Creole songs used this phrase as part of the lyrics. Zydeco was feel-good dance music that lyrically expressed what people felt at the time while allowing them a temporary mode of escape through dance.

Zydeco is characterized by the “typical” flow of rhythm or music that is interrupted by displaced accents or beats. The origins of zydeco can be traced to what is known as jure music—an a cappella (originally in Creole dialect), hand-clapping, foot-stomping religious music that black field hands sang to give thanks and pray. This largely was because the black field hands did not own and/or could not afford instruments. Furthermore, if they did own instruments, it would have been inconvenient for them to have them in the fields. Eventually, jure songs were converted and transformed to have secular subjects, and this became known as la musique creole or LaLa. Amédé Ardoin (03/11/1898 – 11/03/1942) is credited with having made the first recordings of zydeco in 1928. (Note, there is some discrepancy about the year of his recording. What in Creole culture isn’t disputed? Some experts say the year was 1929. I don’t know because I wasn’t born, and I found two very good sources, both in disagreement. Therefore, I will say, the first recording was either in 1928 or 1929. If any reader discovers a definitive answer, please write it in the comments below with the link.) One of his most popular songs is titled, Mama, I’ll Be Long Gone. As an aside, a life-sized statue of Amédé Ardoin is erected at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Center.

In the earliest forms, zydeco mainly was musicians playing washboards and accordions. It expanded to include pianos, guitars, basses, drums, fiddles/violins, and vest frottoirs. A vest frottoir, also called rubboards, is a type of American invented percussion instrument constructed of compressed, crenelated stainless steel that is worn over the shoulders and extends downs the abdomen. The wearer plays it by stroking spoons or bottle opens on the ridges. The French word frottoir translates to mean “friction strip.” Today, Zydeco is a lively, syncopated dance music genre that blends jazz, blues, spiritual/gospel, and R&B.

So, how does a person dance to zydeco music? The simple answer is, however you like. There is no set rule of how one is supposed to dance to a specific song or type of music. People in love can be seen slow-dancing, barely swaying side-to-side in the middle of a mosh pit to angry metal music. Okay, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my gist. Interestingly, traditionally zydeco dancing is similar to an in-place, side-to-side swing dance. The footwork is done in an eight-count and would look similar to the following: slow (step pause)/ quick (step)/ quick (step), slow (step pause)/ quick (step)/ quick(step). Of course, there are variations of this, but this is the basic. Most people agree that zydeco invokes a feeling that innately goads a person on how to move or dance to it. Honestly, as long as a person is having fun and not getting into anyone else’s space (unless invited), it does not matter how he/she dances to the beat.

The most common dancer attire for zydeco is jeans/denim and cowboy boots. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule. What is a hard and fast rule is that whatever clothing worn should be comfortable and allow one to move freely and unrestrictedly. It also should be lightweight to avoid becoming overheated. This includes shoes. Nothing will ruin an evening faster than having shoes pinch your feet all night or rub blisters.

By now, you may have noticed that I keep using the term Creole and not Cajun. That is because zydeco is not Cajun in origin. On the contrary, it is indigenous to the Creoles of Louisiana. In previous posts, I’ve discussed the difference between Creole and Cajun; therefore, I won’t discuss it again here other than to say the two are not the same. If you’re interested in more on the differences between the two cultures, visit The Difference Between Creole & Cajun, Creole FAQ, Cane River Culture, and Say What? Creole Language. These are just a few of the posts I’ve made covering the subject. Browse around the bayou to find a lot more.

Additionally, I have also written a post on zydeco music previously. While some of the information is the same here (history can’t be rewritten, at least, not with conviction by sane and rational people with a moral core), my previous post only gave a short overview. However, in that previous post, I did list some of the most popular musicians who play zydeco, and it is fitting that I list them here as well. I did update this list; so, it’s not exactly the same. (Disclaimer, I am not affiliated with or sponsored by any person, product, or brands listed herein.) This list is created for informational purposes only and not exhaustive. However, it is a good starting point for anyone wanting to hear some authentic zydeco. Most of the musicians listed have sites where their music can be downloaded. They are listed in no particular order. I’ve included their links whenever possible.

That wraps up this post for today. Do you enjoy zydeco music? Who is your favorite zydeco musician? Have you ever been zydeco dancing? If yes, what was your experience? What is your favorite type of music? Tell me your opinions below. Also, if you would like to read more posts of this nature, leave a comment.

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Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

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Trivia, Trivia, Trivia: Creole and Cajun Style

One request that I get a lot of is for Louisiana, Cajun, and Creole trivia. I do my best, but my readers are getting a little too good for me. But as you all know, if you ask, you shall receive. Since this post comes as part of my celebration of the release of Ice Gladiators, I’ve decided to shake it up a bit and add some hockey and romance trivia to the mix.

  1. The Myrtles Plantation, which is now a hotel, is often called the most haunted house in America. It was constructed in 1796 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, by General David Bradford, a revolutionary war general. At the time, the area was a Spanish colony. It received its name from the Crepe Myrtles that were on the property. Legend holds that over the years, ten murders have occurred in the house, and the ghosts of the murdered have been sighted frequently. The most famous of these murdered ghosts is named Chloe. Reportedly, she was a slave who had a sexual relationship (either voluntarily, coerced, or forced—it is unclear which) with the master of the home, Clarke Woodruff. After allegedly being caught eavesdropping, the master ordered that her ear be severed as punishment. As a retaliation, Chloe allegedly poisoned the master’s family while he was away. (Some allege it was Woodruff’s wife and three kids. Some say he only had two kids. It doesn’t matter how many really. She killed them all.) For this, she was lynched on the property. Some say she was lynched by other slaves who feared the master would find out what she’d done and punish them all. Others say the master order it. It doesn’t matter about that either because she’s dead now, too. Only…maybe…she doesn’t know that since she’s still hanging around. You would think she would be bored by now. Or maybe she’s learned how to play X-Box.
  2. Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love, has two U.S. cities named after him: Valentine, Texas and Valentine, Nebraska. One would think in there would be more.
  3. Dale Hawerchuck of the Winnipeg Jets was the youngest player 100-point hockey player. Dale was just shy of his nineteenth birthday when he set the record in the 1981-1982 season.
  4. Despite French and Spanish legal bans on racial mixing, during the American colonial era (1492-1763), it was common practice and culturally acceptable for plantation owners and farmers to enter into lengthy relationships with enslaved Africans and American Indians. The offspring of these relationships frequently were granted freedom (“gens de couleur libres“-or “free people of color”). This helped to form an influential class of people who blended aspects of African, Indian, Spanish, French, and American cultures. The descendants of these free people of color in the Cane River region became known as Cane River Creoles.
  5. During the American Civil War, beer was taxed to help the union fund the war against the confederate.
  6. Many of the old homes in Louisiana are referred to as shotgun house. While this term has come to mean a small home or a house in need of repair, shotgun home originally referred to a house’s layout. A shotgun house is one that is narrow and every room is in a straight line from the front entrance to the rear of the home with no hallways as separation. They received the name shotgun home because a person could stand in the front entrance, aim at the rear entrance, fire a shotgun, and never hit a wall. Now, you know someone had to try this to come up with this. Better bet this deterred some burglaries and extramarital affairs. Just saying.
  7. The first record diamond engagement ring was presented to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximillian of Austria in 1477.
  8. In 1980, while celebrating an Olympic win over the Soviets, the U.S. team forgot the words to God Bless America. How embarrassing. That’s one of those side-eyed moments.
  9. What is known as “The Holy Trinity” in Cajun cuisine (onion, celery, and bell pepper) frequently serve as the base for many Cajun dishes. Other common spices found in Cajun cuisine are green onions, thyme, garlic, paprika, and sassafras. Cajuns cuisine also is known to have simpler recipes with fewer ingredients, a medley of veggies, and shorter cooking time. Creole cuisine, on the other hand, is sometimes referred to as “city” food and is known for its richness, sauces, roux, and contained more ingredients (e.g., remoulade sauce). Many Creole dishes include seafood and tomatoes. This is not to say that Cajun dishes exclude these ingredients or that the inclusion of these ingredients makes a dish Creole. However, history speak, Creole kitchens had access to more “exotic” ingredients. Partially, although not without controversy, this is thought to be linked to the wider diversity in Creole culture than Cajun culture.
  10. Louisiana has four state songs. The names of the songs are: “Give Me Louisiana,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “State March Song,” and “Gifts of the Earth.” Why choose one when you can have four, right?
  11. During the 1928-1929 season, George Hainsworth or the Montreal Canadiens was the first goaltender to have twenty or more shutouts in a single season. He also set another record of playing 270 minutes and 8 seconds without allowing a goal during the playoffs. Hainsworth also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Saskatoon Sheiks.
  12. The term Creole originally was used to describe a person born in or indigenous to Louisiana. This included both white colonists and African slaves who were “native-born”. Over time, the term has been used to refer to persons of mixed European and black descent. To further muddy the water, more distinctions were made: French Creole (European ancestry), Black Creole (primarily African ancestry), Creole of Color (mixed-race ancestry), and to describe persons whose ancestry are from Francophone and Hispanic communities. The term is also used to refer to as blended French, African, Russian, Italian, German, Chinese, Spanish, and Native American. Then, others used the term to refer to only free people of color. Sometimes, the term is used to refer to anything “pertaining to New Orleans”. Confused yet?
  13. One of the most popular Mardi Gras parades is Rex. The first Rex parade occurred in 1872 as an entertainment for Alexis Romanoff, the Grand Duke of Russia, who was visiting Louisiana. The Krewe of Rex is now one of the oldest participating groups in Mardi Gras and consists of 600 male riders. The Rex Organization is credited for starting the tradition of naming a parading carnival king.
  14. Remember years ago when a popular magazine wrote an article the likelihood of women over 30 getting married was less than getting hit by a bus or some neurotic crap like that? Well, heads up older women. The age of the oldest bride document is Minnie Munro was 102 years young when she got hitched on 05/31/91. And she married a younger man. The groom was only 83. You go, girl.
  15. Wild cabbage traditionally was considered to be a homeopathic aphrodisiac. Scoot over J.K. Rowling’s Amortentia. There’s a new potion in town.
  16. The largest Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans is Endymion, and it occurs the Saturday prior to Fat Tuesday. The parade consists of over 50 marching bands and 70 floats.
  17. There are nine designated faceoff spots on a hockey rink.
  18. The French Quarters is referred to as Vieux Carre, which translates to mean Old Square. The French Quarters is the oldest part of New Orleans and consists of 78 square blocks.
  19. The oldest sex manuals were published in China more than 5,000 years ago. Well, now.
  20. And since the number 5,000 came up, beer dates back to at least 5000 BC.

Thanks for reading along. I hope that you enjoyed today’s trivia. If you like these types of posts and would like to see more of them, please leave me a comment below. Keep a lookout for more bonus posts during my celebratory month, and keep reading for details about my giveaway and where you can get your copy of Ice Gladiators. If you know anyone who would enjoy this post, please share.

Coming February 2020… Ice Gladiators… Hockey so hot it melts the ice.

Preorder: www.books2read.com/icegladiators

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Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

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