One Recipe...For Success as a Writer...and For a Treat.

When I meet fellow writers who aren't published yet, I'm often asked how did it happen.  How did I get a book published?  Just like there are many "recipes" for fruit bars (see below), there is more than one path to getting a book published.

But whether you choose to self-publish or go the traditional route, there is one thing I've learned to appreciate as an author...the power of persistence.  The old addage..."if at first you don't succeed...try, try again" holds true.  Learn from rejections, hone your skills as a writer with editing and learning craft, and get back on the writing horse and try again.  If you are serious about improving and really work to make your novel or story shine, you will get published...eventually. 

So while you're working on the new NaNoRiMo draft or something else, fortify your soul with some yummy DATE BARS.   And Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Filling:  I C. of dried fruit. (I used dates.  You can also use cherries, apricots or raisins.)
½ C.  granulated sugar.     1 C. water.    1-1/2 tsp grated lemon peel.
Crust:  1 ½ C. flour ( I used whole wheat and regular)
2/3 C dark brown sugar.      1 ½ C. old fashioned or quick cook oatmeal (not instant).
½ C. chopped walnuts.     2 sticks melted butter ( or you can use 1 stick butter and ½ C canola oil)

1.       Heat oven to 350 degrees.   Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with foil.  Grease or spray foil with non-stick spray.
2.       Filling: Place diced fruit, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat (NOTE:  parents should assist children with this step).  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 12-15 minutes, until thick.  Watch carefully toward the end; mixture may bubble and splash!  Stir in lemon peel.  Cool to lukewarm.
3.       Crust: Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Stir in melted butter until well blended.
4.       Remove one C. of crust mixture for later.  Press the remaining amount evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Spread the fruit mixture over this.  Then Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping evenly.  Press gently into an even layer.
5.       Bake 40-45 minutes or until bubbles form around the edges of the pan.  Cool on a rack 45 minutes, then cover and cool in refrigerator at least 4 hours. 
6.       Turn onto a cutting board.  Peel off foil.  Cut into bars with a sharp knife.  These bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a couple weeks.   


  1. That's what I've always said, too. Persistence! If you can get published by being persistent (or stubborn), then I feel that some day my day will come. But, there are always those days when you just want to quit. I am participating in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) this November!

  2. Good for you Janet. And keep at it. My book was passed by 36 agents before #37 said yes. Persistence!


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