"...everything in life is writable...if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."..... Sylvia Plath

Monday, April 17, 2017

Author's Update

My publisher let me know a couple of days ago that my book cover has been sent to the printer for the final printing...pretty exciting. I'm  spending a lot of time promoting the book and working on a flyer to mail out announcing its' launching, which will be June 13 at Phoenix Book Stores in Essex Junction in Vermont, near where I live. I will be talking about the book, maybe reading from a couple of chapters, and signing new copies.

I have begun to work on my second memoir. The working title is Roxie and Alfred. It tells how my grand parents moved from a small, bucolic farm in North Carolina with their family to the booming, sometimes dangerous town of Detroit, Michigan during the roaring twenties when prohibition was in full swing. They were courageous, hard working, and amazingly able to cope with what their new lives in the big city brought to them.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Check out my Author's site

I am no longer posting on this site on a regular basis. You can now find me on my author's site at: www.nancyhinchliff.com/ I left this site up because there is a lot of entertaining and interesting information here (written over many years), including recipes and food comments.

I published my first memoir this year, the one I've been writing about for the past few years on this site. I had been running my own bed and breakfast in Louisville Kentucky and writing at the same time. I finally closed down my business, after twenty years, and moved to Essex, Vermont to be closer to part of my family and to write full time.

My book will be released June 6th and is available for pre-order now at Amazon. I am spending most of my time promoting it on social media.

  New Old Louisville Book
  Coming Out

"For anyone who has ever thought aboutrunning a bed & breakfast, Operatic Divas and Naked Irishman: An Innkeeper's Tale by Nancy Hinchliff offers a hilarious birds-eye view behind the Victorian curtains.  With mouth-watering recipes woven throughout, the author shows just how much you can do with a little daring tenacity in the face of a lonely retirement." -Katharine Hollister, editor, Beatdom Books. 

This new book was written in Old Louisville about one of our neighborhood’s former bed and breakfast inns:  the Aleksander House.  In 1994 at the age of 64 and with no business experience and little start-up money, Nancy Hinchliff buys a turn-of-the-century mansion at 1213 S. First St. and turns it into a charming bed and breakfast.  Through her collected stories, Hinchliff gives readers a personal, in-depth, and honest look at what it’s like to be an innkeeper and still keep your sense of humor.  It will be available June 6 but can be pre-ordered at Operatic Divas.  After June 6, look for it at Carmichael’s and other outlets.

Friday, May 20, 2016

In Retrospect

 I wrote the following partly in 2012 when I first decided to write a memoir, and partly in the fall of 2010.  And, here I am in 2016, living in a different city, Essex Junction, Vt., no longer an innkeeper in Louisville, KY, and having that memoir published at this very moment

 Moving On

    Written in 2012: Owning the bed and breakfast has been a wonderful experience and taught me a lot about myself. Although it was a risk, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. To me, taking risks is what life is all about. And without that attitude, I would have missed so much. My life has been very full...with lots of ups and downs.
    This memoir is a result of the many changes I went through in the past sixteen years and has prepared me to share my life with whomever...When I think about who might be reading it right now; it gives me chills and fills me with excitement.  I am thankful that I have come to the point where I willingly and honestly am able to open up and do so. This was not always the case. 

     Written in October, 2010:  It is almost fall, my favorite time of year. My birthday is in the fall and, as it happens, this is the fall of my life. I will be 80 on October 9th. I say fall instead of winter because there will be no winter for me. I shall forever remain on the cusp of winter...too busy to go there.
    I love to work. I’m not exactly sure where I picked up such a strong work ethic, but it seems like I've always been driven by it.  By the time I was 12, I was running my own neighborhood baby-sitting agency. This went on for a couple of years, then I got my first real job at age 14 in a local grocery store. At that time, many places hired 14 year-olds as there were not stringent labor laws for children. At 16, I was working for J L Hudson Department stores in Detroit, Michigan for the credit department. Later, I worked at a bank, a Vacuum Sweeper Co, doing PR, and at a General Motors plant, testing newly hired employees. I was always working.
    By the time I graduated from high school and decided to go to college, I was working summers at a local swimming pool, behind the towel counter. I spent five years at Wayne State University, first studying Art for a year and then switching to a more practical undergrad degree with a double major in English composition and Education. After that, more education and working all sorts of short-term jobs, too many to mention here. I ended up with a Master's in Music and Special Education, and certification to teach music, English, Social Studies, ESL, and students with learning problems.
    And what about retirement and that winter-of-your life thing? In my mind, life is a continual re-inventing of who you are, at least for me it has been. And who I am includes work. This is the way it has gone so far. And, if I have anything to say about it, this is the way it will continue to go until my last day.
Career #1
     I was prepared to do a lot of things. I was organized and had good planning skills and I loved to work. So it was feasible that I could actually have more than one career. And that's exactly what I have done. I was a teacher in the high schools of Chicago and simultaneously a teacher of English as a Second Language in a local college night school. After leaving the high schools, I taught at the University of Illinois and worked on a PhD in Education at the same time.

Career #2
     Now let me ask you, do you think a workaholic, type A, perfectionist could retire happily? Of course not. Well, she sort of retired, for a couple of months that is. But soon reinvented herself as an Innkeeper and started career #2.
  Opening a bed and breakfast was challenging, fun, and cost a hell of a lot of money; more than I ever anticipated. Being a risk-taker, I went into it not knowing a thing about business, in retrospect; not too bright an idea. I made it work though, with a lot of tenacity, blood, sweat, and a few tears and have been a successful Innkeeper for 16 years,

Career #3
  It's been a great ride, but I am ready for a change now. I am ready for Career #3. Retirement you ask? Maybe I never will retire, because in my next career I plan to write. With bones aching and arthritis creeping up into every joint, I can thankfully still type on my computer. I will sit in a lovely overstuffed leather desk chair and happily document my life as an Innkeeper and write articles for Hub Pages and the other sites where I will continue to earn a little chump change and still feel productive. Retire?......I don't think so.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Update on the publishing of: Operatic Divas and Naked Irishmen

I finally finished reviewing my publisher's edits and have returned my manuscript to her. I'm waiting for the final clean-up, at which time I think we will start on the the interior design of the book and the cover.

I did include a recipe in each chapter, related to the story. I've picked one to include here (below) with an image of the final product. We actually had to leave this recipe out, as we had too many to include it. But I do tell the story of how my mom used to can jams and sauces in our basement when I was growing up in Detroit. (see Chapter 7)

Mom’s Easy Plum Jam
3 pounds firm plums, cut into eighths, seeds discarded
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
7-1/2 cups sugar
1 (3-ounce) package commercial pectin


Place plums,  water, and lemon juice in a large non-aluminum stockpot. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. You should end up with about 4-1/2 cups.

Stir in sugar. Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while constantly stirring. Add pectin and return to a boil while stirring. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam.

Pour even amounts into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch of space at the top. Wipe rims and seal with sterilized lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool, and label jars. Store plum jam in a cool, dry place.


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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Memorabilia: Group project

In 2008, I was part of a group of innkeepers who were asked by the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky to produce a hard back recipe book to raise funds for the organization. The project was successful and we sold many books.
(Marsha Burton, tech person, Nancy Hinchliff, Nancy Swartzel, Carol Stenbeck and Devona Porter)
We traveled throughout Kentucky visiting the various bed and breakfasts across the country in an effort to bring as many of them on board as possible. Those who were interested were asked to submit four to six recipes, to be tested by the committee, for publication in the book. We hired a professional photographer to take pictures of their inns, which would run with the recipes.

The project was work intensive, as we did all the designing and writing, as well as assisting the photographer in setting up the photographs. It took us over a year to complete. We ended up with a beautiful book which is still available on Amazon and other book sites.       


The cookbook is filled with delicious gourmet recipes and beautiful photographs of prepared dishes, featured Inns, and extraordinary landscapes of Kentucky.

The new cookbook is filled with delicious gourmet recipes and beautiful photographs of prepared dishes, featured Inns, and extraordinary landscapes of Kentucky. It may be purchased at the Aleksander House

- See more at: http://www.innnotes.blogspot.com/#sthash.USmRd3Um.dpuf

The new cookbook is filled with delicious gourmet recipes and beautiful photographs of prepared dishes, featured Inns, and extraordinary landscapes of Kentucky. It may be purchased at the Aleksander House

- See more at: http://www.innnotes.blogspot.com/#sthash.USmRd3Um.dpuf

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Update on publishing my book

For those of you who have been to the Aleksander House or who have been interested in what went on there for the past twenty years, you will probably enjoy the book. It chronicles activity there from the time I purchased the Victorian mansion and turned it into a bed and breakfast to the time I sold it, had a huge estate sale, and moved to Vermont.

From time to time, I will post some excerpts and describe how the process is going. Feel free to ask questions about the process. The copy editing has begun and looks like it will take some time. I really like my editor. I think she has a handle on my writing style and what I wanted to say in the book.

When I bought the house in 1994, it was covered in Ivy. I left it that way until I decided to sell. This is how it looked after we removed all the Ivy in 2015. (see image).

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pushing forward

 For the past few days I've been getting my manuscript ready to send to the publisher for copy editing. It looks fairly clean to me, but I'm sure there are some structural and content issues I will have to grapple with. It's not that long, just under 70,000 words. But I have 27 chapters.

I'm planning on commenting here as the copy editing moves along. I hope I can use you as a sounding board. Please make comments. Don't know how I'll react to proposed changes. You know how we writers get when someone tries to mess with our ideas.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It finally happened

 I received an email yesterday that just may change my life. It was from a publishing company that wants to publish my first memoir, Operatic Divas and Naked Irishmen: An innkeeper's tale. It's taken me four years to finally submit to the right place. In that time, I've done a lot of editing and three or four re-writes. I decided to go with an Indie publisher who would give me more input into the project.

So far, they have been extremely transparent and helpful. I am beginning the project with a thorough copy edit, something I have not done before. I've had lots of readers and a little editing here and there, but have relied mostly on myself to do the editing.

One of the parts of this process is somewhat off-putting to me. That being, the publicity part. I am now 85 years old and do not have the energy to carry on a proper publicity campaign on my own. Nor, do I have the money to hire a professional publicist. I am willing to set up a book-signing event (there's a great bookstore nearby), construct an author's page, and update my blog. Also, I can get a list of potential buyers together. But anything more than that, may be a problem.

The publisher is willing to do some work on this but, generally speaking, they really want their authors to become involved. It's probably a good idea all the way around, but it will certainly be
hard for me.

I am in hopes that I can resurrect this site and bring back the loyal following I had, with the promise that they can experience along with me the excitement and fulfillment in my journey to authorship. This certainly a great way to start the new year!

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