Simplicity, Writing, and Peanut Butter Cookies


Hi everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by. How did I do this week in my ROW80 author goals? Well, the lesson learned seems to be simplicity. Let’s take a look!

My goals:

1. Post twice per week on my blog: a ROW80 check-in on Sundays, and an original post mid-week. During my blog tour, my total weekly count will actually be three times per week, as I’m scheduled to guest post twice a week through the beginning of March.

Done! Last week I posted Fine Dining, Mashup Style at Misterio Press. Martha Stewart and 19th century household expert Isabella Beeton, meeting through the magic of the internet. 😉 I’ve also been writing my advance guest posts – my blog tour starts this week! Gack, still have to write the sidebar widget for that.

2. Send out five new email requests per week to book reviewers who have indicated they are available and interested in reviewing books in my genre (mystery).

It was three this week, through Facebook and emails. The Goodreads sign-up doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, with only one request for a review copy. Disappointing. I haven’t gone back to the Amazon top reviewer lists yet, because they take so dang long to wade through. I’ve decided to revise this goal to 3 per week.

3. Visit, comment on, and tweet posts from ten bloggers each week.


4. Write and publish three SocialIn posts during this 80-day period.

Published a SocialIn post a week ago about 19th century sledding. That’s 38 sites! Lots of copying and pasting. I’m still getting the hang of it.  Will shoot for another SocialIn post in mid-February.

5. Exclusively dedicate four hours each weekday (probably in 2-hour increments) to writing the second draft of Unseemly Secrets.

This week was a bust, unfortunately. Had minor oral surgery, and the weather (insanely cold, and some snow) disrupted the kids’ school schedules again. But I have to get back to my draft, no matter what. In fact, I think I’m going through writer withdrawal…

I read a lot of advice blogs and articles about the craft and business of writing, and it can become a confusing mire. I got caught up in some of that this week. But I had an epiphany of sorts today (see? writing these ROW80 updates are super-beneficial!). Business cards, giveaways, promos, social media, reviews, Amazon sales rankings…yep, these are important, but they won’t make any difference at all if I don’t WRITE! I only have two books published right now. That isn’t much to promote or giveaway. Once I have more books out there, then I can tinker with giveaways and such, but right now the real business of writing has to be FIRST. It’s simple. I know – duh, Kathy. 😉

This week will be a real test of that, since it’s the end of the school quarter and the kids have a four-day weekend coming up. But I hope that by next Sunday, I’ll be able to report that I found a way to make it work.

So there you have it – my progress this week, if you can call it that. 😉

While we’re on the topic of simplicity, I’ll leave you with one of my fave super-easy cookie recipes. And it’s gluten-free, too. I know it seems weird that this could be a cookie when there’s no flour in it. But it really does work! And it’s delicious. I made it again this week when the weather had us cooped up.

Simpler Than Sin Peanut Chocolate Cookies (makes about 30 cookies)

(recipe from the The Cookie Bible)

pic by K.B. Owen
pic by K.B. Owen
1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
6oz bar of dark or milk chocolate, broken into squares




Preheat oven to 350 deg F
In medium bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla; mix well.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 minutes, remove from oven and place a chocolate square in center of each cookie.
Bake an additional 5-7 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden around edges.
Cool 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

pic by K.B. Owen
pic by K.B. Owen

A couple of notes:

  • It is very important that the egg be room temp; the cookie dough doesn’t set up as well if the egg is cold (a good rule-of-thumb for most recipes, actually).
  • I like to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper first (I hate washing dishes, and I’m paranoid about cookies sticking to the tray).
  • The cookie dough is very sticky, so I’d advise using food prep gloves or just a cookie scoop (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray). Thanks to my friend Deb for this tip!
  • It’s okay for the chocolate square to mush the cookie when you place it; the additional baking time will fix that.

How’s your January going? Do you have a favorite comfort food you like to make when the weather outside is awful? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,


P.S. – This Tuesday, I’ll be over at Spann of Time, historical mystery writer Susan Spann’s blog. It’s the official “kick-off” to my Unseemly Pursuits blog tour. Susan has some interesting questions for me. I believe food, socks, and pets are involved. And oh, yeah, some questions about writing, too. 😉 Hope to see you there!

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19 thoughts on “Simplicity, Writing, and Peanut Butter Cookies”

  1. Cindy ScottCindy Scott

    Most excellent to hear of your progress. I am also dealing with the cold (damn Polar Vortex). I understand about writing is the primary goal. That’s been my biggest pursuit since well before I started AROW80. I have to write to that I can have something have people read, so that I am revise and improve, and then get published. I do love a good mystery, if you are needing a reviewer. I would most certainly love to help. Also, I am going to have to try this cookie recipe. 🙂 Have a great week!

  2. Julie GloverJulie Glover

    I know that feeling of the kids’ schedules throwing things for a loop. Our weather wasn’t too bad, but enough for our Southeast Texas schools to delay start times — which makes my kids pump their fists with glee and me expect to fall short with my goal list for that day. Oh well! That happens.

    Looking forward to your blog tour! Best wishes getting back into the book draft. Here’s hoping you have lots of progress to share next Sunday! Have a great week.

  3. S.J. MayleeS.J. Maylee

    What a fabulous epiphany. I have two books out too. Aw. 🙂 You’re absolutely right. Now that we can finally promote our books we can’t lose site of the most important thing, more great books. In the end, they will be the best promotion tool.

    You’re doing really well with your list. Keep it up. Those cookies sounds awesome. I love to bake. Thanks for the great tips. I’ve heard that about the eggs, but so often forget. Hope you have a great week.

  4. KellyKelly

    Go Kathy! Go Kathy! Great job with your goals and ROW80.

    I’m really enjoying Dangerous & Unseemly. I’m 3/4 finished and I’m dying to find out what happens!

    Ooh! These cookies are super yummy! I’ve had the pleasure of receiving and eating some you made. I need to see if I can try to make them at least half as good as yours.

    I like to make chili on snow days. And it’s super easy to make. Sometimes, I’m good at planning and use dried beans. But sometimes, I just want to get it made quickly so that I can eat it! Then, I resort to canned beans. My favorite easy chili recipe is from the Southern Living’s Easy Weeknight Favorites cookbook.

  5. Margot KinbergMargot Kinberg

    Kathy – Thanks for that cookie recipe. It looks both easy and delicious; can’t ask for more than that! And about simplicity? I’m becoming a big fan of keeping everything streamlined and simple. To me, that’s the only way to get through it all without losing focus. The more complicated you make your life, the less gets done.

  6. celeste schillerceleste schiller

    I’ve taken to wearing foam ear plugs with a sportsman shooting noise cancelling headset over top of my ears while reading my textbooks and writing. No kid noise here but I’ve found that auditory interruptions at just the wrong moment can evaporate a perfectly ingenious thought.
    My Nursing Theories instructor pulled me aside after class to tell me that she thinks my excellent writing shows that I should pursue my doctorate! This is of course only my FIRST Master’s class, and I’ve yet to begin my scholarly paper due 2/13…. so, I need to research and write as well! Love you Kath!♡ Always, Ce

  7. Penelope Ann MayesPenelope Ann Mayes

    I am new to comment!! I just finished your second creation Kathy and absolutely loved every word. This is my second ‘Concordia’ book to read and I must say it takes me away from the everyday. I love the characters and am so surprised how easily I can come to know them and enjoy what they will do next. You have such a wonderful gift. I hope ‘Concordia’ has many more adventures to come. I love your website and enjoy the comments written by all of your friends. And of course the recipes……..marvelous and fun to try. I hope the New Year has started out grand for you and I look forward to what lies ahead!! From ‘No Winter Yet’ in California……………Penelope!!

  8. Denise D. YoungDenise D. Young

    I’ve been wanting to make peanut butter cookies, so I’ll have to try this recipe. It sounds similar to another one I came across that just includes one egg, one cup of peanut butter, and one cup of sugar. Have you tried that one?

    It’s hard to balance the writing and blogging/social media aspects of a writer’s life. I’m still working to strike up a balance. It doesn’t make much sense to put so much time into the “platform” side that we run out of time to write. On the other hand, I could easily get lost in my own worlds and my characters’ lives, and I learn so much from interacting with other writers that I don’t want to neglect that side either. I’ve tried creating a writing schedule; we’ll see if that sticks this year. 🙂

    Have a great week!

  9. PatriciaPatricia

    Yum! Gonna try those cookies.

    Nice job on your goals. You’re trying and sometimes that all we can ask.

    Stay warm.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


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