Friday, October 26, 2012

Motivational Juices

I have been in the mood for Whiskey lately.

I'm not sure if it's because it's been getting colder lately. Or if it's because it's just been that kind of, well, month. But really. Whiskey makes things so much smoother.

Yes. I'm a huge snob when it comes to this sort of thing. There are some things that you can buy cheaply and be fine with. Wine...you can get a decent bottle of wine for 5, 10 bucks. But Spirits. It's hard to buy good hard Spirits for under 20. Unless you're just getting them to mix with other crap. Then yah. Go ahead and buy crap. But if you're like me, and just want it to drink straight up, or with one rock. Gotta get the good stuff. Otherwise it's like licking the underside of a used band-aid.

Personally. The cheapest/best Combo that I've found is Tullamore Dew. It's an Irish Whiskey (Hence the 'ey'). It's a smooth whiskey. Great for sipping. Quite malty, yet not overwhelmingly so. It's a good whiskey for those that are just starting to try whiskey I think. Normally, I can find a bottle of this for around 25 bucks.  It's been my 'go to' whiskey for a good solid 2 years now. Which is saying something. Since I'm a major Whiskey Snob.


Speaking of which. I really should get stocked up, by the sounds of this storm heading our way! Shnikeys!

My reason for being such a spirit snob is simple. My introduction to this world was access to the best of the best, and the worst of the worst. I very quickly came to understand the difference.

Early on in my career I was bought a shot of whisky, Scottish origin, hence the lack of 'e', which I do not remember the name of, as it was many moons ago. I know it began with a "Ge..." and it cost over $200 a bottle. And it was amazing. Like liquid firey toasty peaty oakyness. Yet it was smooth, silky. Almost spicy. With just the right hint of citrus. I was hooked.

Bad cheap whisky, and whiskey, can taste like iodine. I'm not sure if it's a filler ingredient...but it's amazing how much like band-aids it tastes. Not comforting on a cold winter night at All!

Anyway. I'm on the hunt tomorrow to restock my spirit cupboard. As I'm out. Tragedy! Maybe I'll splurge and get a nice Scottish Single malt.

Probably not as I only have a limited budget.... damn.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Confessions of a *cough*Middle Age*cough* Blogger

I have Road Rage.

Oh baby. And let me tell you. Living in the Mid Coast Maine? Lincoln County is the Oldest (age wise) County in this state. Joy. And no, I don't have ANYTHING against the elderly driving. I know several elderly people that are speed demons. You know. 45, 50 miles per hour. Wicked fast.

sigh.

Anyway. See. I was driving along Rt. 1, which for those that don't know is the main corridor in this area. The. Main. Corridor. As in really the only way to get from point A to point B in any realistic length of time. The speed limit on Rt. 1 is 55. Not 33. Not 40. FIFTY FIVE.

Sigh.

Also. There is a breakdown lane that is about as wide as the traveling lane. This is good for merging into if you are going to be making a right hand turn. OR if there is a car in the traveling lane stopped to make a left hand turn, you can keep traveling at speed, into the breakdown lane, and just go around them. It's called Maintaining the Flow of Traffic! You do NOT STOP in the traveling lane and then Turn Right! As well...you do not sit behind a car waiting to turn left. Waiting. Waiting. As I sit behind you. And then three cars sit behind me. And suddenly there is a WHOLE LINE of traffic that can't go anywhere because you didn't just go AROUND them in the first place.

Sigh.

And since WHEN did the whole "Slower Traffic Pull to the Right" when going up hills thing go out of vogue? There is a pretty long hill right as you come into town. It's two lanes going up so that slower mini-van traffic can pull over and let faster, better Subaru drivers (ie: Me) go by and get to their appointments on time. However. This only works if people play by the rules. Which they don't. What the hell is going on? I'm not laying on my horn! Maybe I should! I'm not flashing my lights! Maybe I should! I'm probably cursing at you quite vociferously and pirate like as I crawl ever slower up the hill. Because your silly little 1.2 liter automatic mini-van engine can't handle being hauled up that MASSIVE hill. Lately I've been tempting fate and passing them on the right. But it's only a matter of time before that all goes badly.

Sigh.

And can we all please...Please. PLEASE. Please. Just agree when going through the light down here at the end of  my road to just wait for me to go first. You know the one. The one that you don't know how to turn left at because you've never quite figured out that if there is another car, from the other direction turning left as well...you don't need to go around each other. Really? How. The. Hell. Does that even happen??? ??? Holy Mother of GOD!  It's simple. Really. It's a HUGE intersection people. You cross in Front of each other. Get it?! Yikes.

Sigh.

Anyway. I was driving along Rt. 1...looked down at my speedometer and realized that I was going 25. Looked in my rear view and saw a LINE of cars...at least nine...behind me. The car in front of me? A Buick from Florida with a veteran plate. Seriously. Not to sound 'age-ist'. But if you cannot maintain the speed limit, which right there was 55, I would argue that you should not be driving. I am all for elder rights, and them having their freedom and all of that. But obviously, if he's (and yes it was a he, cause I passed him) going that slow, he obviously doesn't feel comfortable or safe driving anymore.

Sigh.
And No. I don't have a solution to this. Feel free to school me. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing!

What a lovely day for a Blog Hop! Marcy over at Mainewords clued me into this one so make sure you go over there and check out here lovely blog...

Meanwhile...I have some questions that needs be answering!

What is the working title of your book?

It's laboring under the title of "The Machination's of Jekyll"
 
Where did the idea come from for the book?
My BRAAAAAINS! Ha. Honestly...I wanted to simply write a character driven book that was dark, yet humorous...and had a twisty plot. So I started asking myself a lot of 'what if...' questions. And writing the answers down. My plot map on my story board is a wreck. I swear. If the Secret Service ever breaks into my house, they're gonna lock me away for a long time.

What genre does your book fall under?
Steampunk Horror Detective. Hmm. Is that a genre? It is NOW dammit!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Yeesh. Umm. The Detective. Owen Straff. I would have him played by the guy that played Dresden on the TV show all those years ago. He's just the right amount of scruffy and beat up. Yet smart and conniving. Jekyll needs to be a slightly insane person, though very charming at the first. You know. Your average sociopath. I'd also need someone British. Christopher Walkin would have been great in his earlier years. Not sure now. Anthony Hopkins. The guy that played Moriarty on Sherlock. I need a no name for the woman lead. For my own personal reasons. And on to the next question!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Private Detective First Class Owen Straff has sworn to protect Queen and country though this is made harder when Dr. Jekyll starts rampaging about England in an Undetectable Dirigible backed by an army of half biological half clockwork monsters of his own creation.
 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully Represented by an Agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on the first draft. I'm very much a plotter. So every detail is planned out...pretty slow going. Plus I'm pretty new to this "serious writing" thing. :) I've only been doing it for about a year. And I totally ditched my first WIP after reading "Hooked".

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Huh. Well. I've come to realize that I've not read a whole lot of Steampunk. I THOUGHT I had...but on further research...I'm woefully behind. Pathetic really. I have a list. Working on it now. But I think the horror is somewhat Lovecraftian a bit. Quite dark. But I try to balance it out with snarky humor. Not over the top. Just dry wit. What I like to read. Maybe like Butcher? I don't know though.

Who or What inspired you to write this book
That's a hard one. I really can't say. It was weird when I Really started writing I kept it kinda secret. And I still don't let a whole lot of people read my writing. (Confidence?) But I'm getting better. My inspiration came mostly from within. Just needing to write. Something. Anything. Be heard. Which is ironic as I rarely let anyone read what I write.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
The difference between my book and your average Detective Mystery book is the characters. They're flawed. They don't fall in your perfect little square boxes. They have issues. And the plot twists. I know that every writer wants to believe their story has that killer plot that just gonna make the reader's jaw drop and really who's does? I don't know. But I'm working to try to break out of the stereotypes. Trying to find different ways to bring these characters together, pull them apart, I want my readers to really believe the horror Straff feels when he discovers Jekyll's lab and the atrocities therein. Yet, also the sence of wonder. Because isn't it amazing that a person could still be breathing, yet have had his heart replaced with gears and levers! Amazing! 


So there you have it. My Next Big Thing! Hopefully I didn't forget anything!  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Blog My Rules.

So I've been thinking about this for a bit.

But every time I go to write the post I shy away from the topic, and consequently..end up not writing anything. Hence the lack of posts for a span here in Saffron Wine world.

And honestly it's not even really a huge topic. Its just one that kinda makes me feel a bit, well, annoyed with myself.

I'm bored with my own blog.

There. I've said it out loud. Writing about writing on a daily basis...gah! And I think it's because I'm not confident enough to really speak with any knowledge on the subject. I don't know enough in this field (yet) to really go at it with any authority. Or have much of a base to work from. So when I'm trying to come up with post ideas...generally I come up blank. And that annoys me.

Yes. Time is a factor in lack of posts as well. I've been busy lately doing a bunch of projects that needed doing. But that's beside the point. Every time I sat down to Write The Blog. Nothing. And worse...I would get this tired feeling between my eyes. I hate that. Then, flipping through other blogs, reading other posts...which are all great! Man. What have I got to offer this world of blogging?

Which is the question. Right?

What are other people going to come to my blog to read. What can I write that's interesting? And really...there's only one thing that I can honestly come up with. Well. Two. But it's all one subject.

Food and Wine.

So. If you're not interested in reading about food and wine. Run away now. Cause that's what I'll be writing about from here on out, kiddo's!
Maybe some writing too...cause I do do the writing and all....But it's not the Main focus by any stretch.

And it's not gonna be your average food porn pictures either. (Mostly cause I have a hard time getting my phone to talk to my chromebook...help..anyone?)  It's gonna be a hardcore, ingredient driven, make this or die trying talk about food that people feel in their souls...wine that makes you close your eyes and stop breathing for a second it tastes so good. That type of blog.

So.

Well.

I feel better!

And on that note. Hopefully I see a few of you around!

Thanks!

Up Next...Where my Blog Name came from...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Goin's On's

This week I am over at Unicorn Bell posting about how we write culture into our stories.

Which sounds way more snobby then it really will be.

Mainly I'll be discussing the background noise that goes into the writing of a book. The 'stuff' the reader doesn't notice, but will if it's wrong.

I'll also be discussing the interesting phenomenon that happens along with this when readers bring their Own culture to your story. When they assume they know what the 'rules' are. But don't. I read a very quick snippet of an article on this in Writers Digest (I think) about how readers will Assume your world is male dominated, unless otherwise specified. How your readers will assume a pregnant woman has a husband, unless otherwise specified. How your readers will assume all sorts of things. It was rather interesting. And frustrating. And explained the old way of doing 'info dumps' at the beginning of fantasy and sci-fi books. Problem is. We don't do that now. So how do we get the rules of our worlds across without boring the pants off our readers?

Head over to Unicorn Bell! :) This is what we'll be exploring this week! Politics! Art! Religion! Weapons! All sorts of fun stuff.

Meanwhile...

WRiTE CLUB is still going on! Don't forget to head over there and vote! Vote! Vote!

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Favorite Things


Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a blogfest today! And it's an interesting one. Favorite Genre of Movie, Book, and Music. Then a Guilty Pleasure of any of the 3....Hmmm.

Favorite Genre of Movie. That's pretty simple. Sci-Fi. I'm pretty sure it's because these movies have it all. Thrill, plot, romance, explosions, comedy...everything. Yes. They can be terrible. But Serenity? Amazing.  Aliens. Star Wars (of course). I would even argue that the way TV is going now, it's becoming better then movies. The Walking Dead! C'MON! Firefly. Nuff said.

Favorite Genre of Book. That's harder. It would be such an easy thing to say fantasy/sci-fi. But honestly, I don't know. I read a hell of a lot of murder mysteries. I have a ton of historical fiction on my shelves. But yes. The books I buy are epic fantasy. Rothfuss. Rawn. Orson Scott Card. I love getting lost in the world. Getting immersed in the different culture.

Music. Simple. Jazz. Hands down. Something about the chaos of the music. It's visceral. Earthy. Hot. Painful. Everything you need music to be. Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitz, Billie Holiday. Music today wouldn't be what it is now without these amazing musicians.

Guilty pleasure...hmmm. Probably in Movies, Period Dramas. I love sitting down and watching movies set in Victorian times! The Drama! The Beheadings! The Clothing! The Angry Church-Guys! Seriously...they were all so ...Angry...Awesome.

That's it for me! Check out Alex's Linky List for more participating in this Wicked Fun Blogfest!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Daisy Chains


Thank you Marcy for the award! Sounds like a fun one too. All I have to do is list 7 interesting, weird facts about myself...and off we go!

1. I was invited to try out for the Olympic track team.

2. I (stupidly) turned down the opportunity to cook for Dave Matthew's Band thinking I wasn't 'ready' yet.

3. I love quilting, but don't do well with math.

4. I once spilled a cambro of cold coffee on Itzhak Perlman. 

5. I'm not a big fan of baked things like cake, but I love sour candy.

6. I could eat my weight in Bing Cherries. Seriously. I cannot stop.

7. I have an essay buried in a time capsule at the Blaine House in Augusta, Maine. I can't remember when it's going to be dug up.

Now I need to tag three people!

Three blogs I really enjoy, so I hope you do too!







  

Monday, September 3, 2012

And the Verdict is...

For those of you who hang on my every word and whim...

No. I didn't make it into the Anthology.

Poop.

BUT! I DID get my very first Rejection E-mail! Sweeeeet!

And! It said some pretty interesting things about my story. Such as the fact that the editor thought that my story was "enjoyable" and had "very strong characters".  So that was good!

From what I understand they had a huge number of submissions for this anthology, and the competition was fierce. I'm very happy knowing that I write strong characters and enjoyable stories.

Now.

To make them Longer. Stronger. and Less able to Resist...

(That sounded way less dirty in my head...)



PS!  Everyone should go to White Cat Publications and check out their website. It's got loads of stuff! I was trying to get into the Airships & Automatons book... There is something for everyone there!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Writers and Superstitions

As the  anticipated day approcheth I was wondering...do writers, of which I am a fairly novice newbee one, have superstitious rituals they go through? Things that they feel might possibly give their story that certain...edge...over another story.

I don't know. I'm fairly sure writers, as a whole, are creatures of habit. We like to write at specific times. Be it morning, or night. Preferably all day if you are (luckily) able to! We like to have our writing "areas" set up in specific ways. The dictionary here, the pens there, twizzlers piled up there.

But Superstitious? Do we have little shrines set up in a corner of our desks where we burn a bit of incense every time we hit 'send'?  Do we cross ourselves three times and run around the room clockwise, naked, chanting in tongues?

Or is the obsessive checking of our e-mail. "If I only check it THREE times a day...and he hasn't replied by Thursday by Noon, NO, by FOUR...that's a good sign!" Is this our own brand of superstition?

I'm crossing into the "Zen" stage of waiting. I'm lucky though. I know the end date. And I know that either way, ToC or not, I will get a response. And, honestly, if I don't make it in...it's been such an interesting experience, I can't wait to find another "Call to Arms"!

Not to say I didn't make the proper sacrifices to the four elements....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bio of Mono


Inciting Incident: It was dark. The twin size bed creaked as they both leaned in, closer. The music of Nine Inch Nails making their hearts race. Their lips met and the searing fire devoured them both.

In a plague of Mono.

Story Worthy Problem (Hollywood Style): She had to abandon her life long dream of becoming a chef due to the length of her illness. When she finally recovers, four years later, she is so consumed with rage over the loss of her career that she sets out to hunt down all the boys she kissed in college. One by one. Infecting them with incurable diseases. Like eczema! Or food poisoning! Or celiac disease!!

She is Avenged.

What really happened.

I kissed some guy in college. Who doesn't! (Well...maybe lesbians don't...) He gave me mono. LAME! Problem was I was so burned out from the intense program I was in I got crazy sick from it...Had to drop out of culinary for four years, though I did go back and finish. By the time I got better the virus had settled in my joints. I now have arthritis in my hands. Thanks random guy in college!

Today, my hands feel like shards of glass held together with rusty staples.

But wouldn't it be cool if we could live our lives like Hollywood?!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Days and Wine

I had this really good wine last night.

It wasn't amazing or life changing or anything. But it was really good. One thing I truly enjoyed about it was that it was a red and it didn't make me stuff up and go running for the allergy meds. YAY! This has been happening lately, not sure why. Doesn't seem to have much bearing on the sulfide content, so who knows.

It was good to enjoy a wine. Really breathe it in. Taste the cherry, and raspberry (of which there seemed to be a bit). It was a surprising wine. Most Cabernet Sauvignon's aren't so fruity. They generally have a more, well, dusty, or tobacco-y flavor to them. Something more earthy. This one felt brighter. Less from the Dark Side, if you will.

I also enjoyed the label.

Now, most wineries are being very clever with their labels and naming their wines and wineries. Makes it rather fun to go get a decent bottle of wine and plunk it down on your table and have a giggle about the name. But this one was made me snort. Because you could tell they'd kinda had it up to 'here' with the snobbery that maybe they've had to put up with in their industry. Maybe they're biting their thumbs a bit at some people...possibly? I'd like to think so.

It's a very clever label.


Get it?  Get it?! HA!

They KNOW that people really know nothing about picking wine out and that the best you can do is an educated guess...! Love it.

Now...I could go on and draw all sorts of connections to my writing and how I'm just making educated guesses with that as well. But...well. A) I'm out of time, gotta get to work! And B) WAY too easy...




Saturday, August 11, 2012

Impatience

Here I am.

Sitting here.

Waiting.  doot de do.

Till September. gah.

I know. It's only my first time.  But really. I may seriously lose my mind.

I try not to think about it. Which works.

For about a week. Or was that a day? Maybe I woke up in the middle of the night and checked my e-mail again...I can't remember...lack of sleep you know. Makes you kinda fuzzy about the edges.

SEPTEMBER!

Though I do have other things I need to do.

Like pick the bush beans. Cause that takes about 20 minutes. A day. Yup. *cough*

Or. Um. *checks e-mail* Pick the zucchini. Every 10 minutes. Then fling said zucchini across the road into the woods. My record is the big oak...which is a pretty hefty distance.

OO!  Pick and fling hornworms into the road so the cars can squish them! That's always pretty fun. *Checks e-mail*

Yah....I won't be getting a whole lot of writing done till I hear about the ToC for this anthology in September.

Why don't they prescribe valium anymore? Good lord.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oh Summer!

This is my week over at Unicorn Bell...so hop on over there and check me out! I may even come up with a theme between now and tomorrow!  Oi...

Crazyness and Chaos!

Let's see. I have Family Lallapaloozarama Weekends Three weekends in a row. The first one was this past weekend. Awesome time was had by all, but now we're back to the grind. Until Friday. Then I head North. To the County. The Northern wilds of Maine. To the land of the Moose and Potato. Wow. I'm capitalizing a whole lot tonight. Things are very important. Apparently.

I'm also teaching a great class every Wednesday night for the next 6 nights. It's all about learning how to cook healthy foods, from scratch, on a budget. Awesome! Oh wait. 5 nights. Had the first one last week. It was good. My only problem is that I'm better with the one on one. Not so much the groups. Plus it was the First Class! *insert Carmina Burana music here*. It went kinda like this....

So! Who here has used a knife?
*Crickets*

Hmmm. Ok. (Goes over basic knife safety skills...)  Alright..! Who here has heard of Ratatouille!?
*Crickets with disgusted expressions*

Really? Huh. Ok. How about Zucchini. Ever seen a Zucchini?
*Crickets who have gone to get their cousins cause their legs are getting so tired*

Sigh.

Oh well. It'll get better.  First Classes are always hard.

And now I'm off! Must rest up. Have lots to do. I have to figure out what amazing words of wisdom I'm going to impart on the world for the week over at UB.

There is always the revealing of my diabolical master plan....but no...I still haven't figured out how to get the bunnies to hold still while I glitter glue their tails....

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Challenges

DL Hammons over at Cruising Altitude 2.0 is going to be running his WRiTE CLUB again!

To that I say...sweeeet.

I'm in! And it looks like it is going to be one Massive Competition...so Head over and Claim your spot on the ropes! Seriously. When I signed up earlier today I was number 89 on the linky list! whoa...

Check out the Rules and Regs and Challenge yourself! Huge opportunity for quality feedback. And who doesn't love a writing challenge?

Must talk about WRiTE CLUB!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Unicorn Bell News

Those of you that follow regularly...

GET A GOLD STAR!  WOO!

Ha!  Well...you can have a gold star..but! You also get first dibs on some very exciting news going on at Unicorn Bell in August!

Check out This Post for all the very exciting details.

Make sure you have your completed manuscript in hand...

And that you are sitting down...

Which I suppose you would be as most people surf the web from a chair....  ...

GO! I can't stand the suspense!

Monday, July 16, 2012

In Defence of it All

I happened to be wandering about the blogosphere the other day and stumbled upon the tumbler blog of a friend of mine. Well. By friend I mean friend of a friend. That sort of person. We've met. He's nice. I like him. Very intelligent well spoken individual. Which is why what I read surprised the hell out of me.

LONG story short...due to some experiences he had he said, "I have already declared that none of my children will be allowed to work in the restaurant industry when that time of their life comes around."

I'm Hoping that he was saying this with his tongue firmly in cheek.

I'm Hoping that he was being more than a little sarcastic. As he's prone to be. And I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here...because this statement was so out of character for him. On so many levels.

But I'm going to approach it on why it upset me.

If someone, namely my parents had said to me, you're Forbidden to work in the restaurant industry I would have missed out on a huge part of my self. And because of this world I worked in I learned skills that I was able to carry over into every other job I have had since.

Waitress: The organization needed to maintain 12 tables of hungry people, all at different stages of their meals. You learn to move quickly. You learn efficiency. You learn customer service or you don't pay your rent.

Line Chef: Again. Organization. Time management. Taking your day and breaking it down by tasks. And you'd better have your mis en place right or you are fucked for the night. Just like any other job. If you don't have your shit together for that meeting? Yah. And working as a team. Huge with this one. Learning how to take my 'stuff', leave it at the door and get the job done. Which was interesting, because generally, by the time the job was done...my 'stuff' had worked itself out. We didn't need umpteen different meetings and write-ups about it to discuss it.

Catering Chef: This can possibly be summed up with the title of my forth coming book "101 Uses for a Latex Glove". From Tourniquet to piping bag, I've seen and done pretty much everything with these handy buggers. But the underlying lesson? Creativity. Being able to look at an object and see dozens of uses for it. Who doesn't need to know how to McGyver their way through life?

The biggest lesson I carried away from my years in The Industry? Customer Service. Dealing with the public. Not just, 'Meh, customer service...'. Doing it well. Getting the details right. Understanding that when you fake it people can tell. And understanding that when you are on that side of the desk, or the kitchen, you have the ability to make, or ruin, someone's day. Yes. People suck sometimes. Hungry people with screaming kids in a foreign land with jet lag? Good times. But a genuine smile, followed by laughter and a box of crayons will get you quite far in this world.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is quite a bit wrong with The Industry. It is one of the most abusive, sexist, drug and alcohol infested work environments that I know of. I saw, heard, and experienced more shit then I care to remember.

But.

It is also one of the most diverse, accepting, hard-working and creatively inspiring professions I've ever been involved in.

So, please, my friend. If you were possibly even remotely at all serious about barring your children from this avenue of profession. Reconsider. I managed to make it through 13 years without being scarred for life. We aren't all degenerate psychos.

And Yes. My knife skills come in handy...but they seemed to be frowned upon at the offices I worked in...


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Down The Rabbit Hole

Is it possible to give yourself writers block?

There I was...doot de doo...writing along at a decent clip when WHAM! No literally...WHAM! My character slams his head into low wooden cross beam in the ceiling. Now, anyone who has ever done this knows the first word out of your mouth is not "Dang" or "Gosh darn it!"

My problem in this situation is that I'm writing in Victorian times (Kinda). So the crude language would come from then. However. I'm having a hard time finding anything on this whole topic. I hesitate to create my own just because I have a feeling it would ring kind of false. But man! I want to shake him and have him just say SOMETHING. Unfortunately, unlike myself. He's too 'proper' to just yell out the f word. Stupid git.

For now, I've settled on Cripes! but that's just not strong enough. You go slam your head full force into a support beam, yell Cripes and tell me how satisfying it is for YOU!

So now all I can focus on is Victorian Swear Words. Where do I find them?? How do I research them? Victorian Slang? Possibly...I had a decent web page for that, but it was just that, slang...as in what they would call money (Chink), or a detective (jack) which is useful to know. Unfortunately...nothing for "expletive when one smashes one's head into a wooden beam or the like".

Maybe he'll get over his Victorian sensibilities and just swear properly for once in his life.


PS...I have a new Page on the top bar introducing my new character to the world! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The New Guy

Man. Blogger is being a moody bitch lately. Yak. Hopefully people aren't having trouble with the comments...if you are, I'm sorry. I've tried everything on my end. Patience Young grasshopper!

Anyway...

I'm still waiting on pins and needles to find out if my story was accepted by Writer and White Cat! I'm being very VERY patient. Very Patient. I'm not sure how it's going to be when I end up sending out an actual full fledged manuscript! To SEVERAL places. My mind may implode. Most days I'm fine. And then, randomly, I'll be checking my e-mail, or I'll wake up out of a dead sleep and go WTF! Why haven't I heard? Why haven't I gotten that e-mail that says "Holy Cow! That was the most amazingest story I have read in, well, since Hemingway! You're definitely IN! We want MORE!"

Yah. Where is That e-mail??  HA!

Then I regain my sanity and realize it's only been a month. Which...isn't really that long considering all the story submissions I'm sure he has to go through. I'll give him two more weeks. Then I'll e-mail him to make sure things haven't been lost or misplaced or the building hasn't been beamed up by aliens or anything!

MEANWHILE! *dramatic music here*

Made a major decision with my writing. Totally scrapped the WIP I was working on. Which would make it my Non-WIP? hmm.  The short I wrote for Writer and White Cat was, in a word, inspiring. (wow...that doesn't sound ego-maniacal at ALL!) And my original WIP had stalled. It was a great idea. And honestly, I think it may work better with this new character I've developed as the main. But something about it (the original WIP) never really worked. It was always a struggle to put the pieces in place. Which..if I felt that way as a writer...imagine reading it? gak.

This new character/story line. Much better. The voice flows. The plot is much easier to lay down. The characters interact in a believable way. And I can incorporate some of my characters from my original WIP to this one. YAY!

It was a surprisingly easy decision. Maybe because I was only about 4 chapters in with my first WIP. Even though I had it plotted out entirely. Even though I knew the background of most every player in the story. Maybe I'm not too sad about it because I'm still using the characters in my new story.

So my intent was to add a page to my blog with an excerpt of my short that I submitted to Writer and White Cat. But for some reason Blogger is being disagreeable to that idea...not sure why. I'll figure it out later. Suffice to say, even if White Cat doesn't grab my story...that's ok. Because of the challenge I created a new character that I'm having an awesome time writing.

Steampunk. Detective. Horror.  Can't get much better then that! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thunderstorms a'brewin'

Oh the audacity! The Nerve! I can't even...*splutter* ...it's....humph...

*Rant ahead*

Not much gets under my skin more then people who bully. People who assume their situation is the only space in the universe that matters. I know I don't usually (ever) talk about my job here...but I had a very frustrating phone call happen the other day and I needed to clear the air.

First of all. Is it even conceivable, in this, for lack of a better term, Day and Age, that someone NOT have access to a computer with internet capability? Seriously? If all else fails, the Library? But I get ahead of myself.

There was a "person of interest" quick article of me, in a local here. :) Just a quick bit. On the last page the story gave my contact info for my business. (This is important, trust me.) My phone number, email, and webpage. All good information to have! Yay!

I get a phone call, while I'm driving, from a woman who wanted information about the type of massage I do. Easy enough. She had read the article but couldn't find the FIRST PAGE of the article. The Second page was where all the contact information was so I told her about the webpage. She interrupts me and says very annoyed that she won't be going on to a computer to get any information about my business. Not that she doesn't have access but almost like she won't be bothered. Then she asks me to send her information about my business to her through the mail.  Um, ok? Now I'm confused a bit. So I told her I was driving and could I please call her back in a bit. Sure no problem. She was fine with that.

A couple of hours later, in the midst of a big thunderstorm, which I didn't think anything about, I tried calling her back.

Call 1: Her: Hello!! Yes! Do you have a piece of paper you can write on?
Me: (I'm catching about every other word of this...) I'm sorry you're breaking up...Did you say you needed information on the type of massage I do? (I'm thinking I can just simply answer her questions over the phone...)
Her: Yes! You need to mail it to me!
Me: I need to...
Disconnected

Call 2: Her: Hello? Hello! Yes you need to write my address down. I need you to send me information about your business.
Me: I can just answer your...
Disconnected

Call 3: Me: Are you on a cell phone?
Her: I don't understand why you keep hanging up on me. Do you have a pen and paper there to take down my address?
Me: *Sigh* Sure. Go ahead.
Her: It...Disconnected.

At this point I thought maybe it was my phone so I called my mother in law had a great perfectly crystal clear conversation with her for about 5 minutes . Then put my big girl panties on and called this...person...back.

Call 4: Her: Yes. I'm sorry this is NOT a good time for ME right now. And Obviously you are having a really hard time taking my information down so...good by. *Hang up*.

I had a really REALLY hard time not calling her right back and saying something not very pleasant to this woman.

Oi. People. Sometimes. Sometimes it's just a thunderstorm, you know?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Of Basil and Tomatoes

I was thinking today. Beside the fact that I'm still rather pissed that I can't figure out a way to grow mozzarella on a vine in my garden...

Summer is probably the season that I most look forward to Eating in.

The fresh fruits. Cherries in particular. Little nuggets of amazingness. I could literally eat my weight in them.

Fresh greens, from mustard to sweet spinach. Just walk out your door, mow your lawn and you have salad!

I love raw vegetables, or just slightly cooked...sauted, or steamed. And this time of year is when things are just starting to come alive. I so look forward to fresh peas, bush beans, and corn...oh the sweet corn. Raw on the cob! Or steamed with just the right amount of butter and salt. Lord help the person that tells me I have high blood pressure...

But the thing I look forward to the most...the thing that I covet...The One Dish I will NOT sacrifice, no matter how broke, homeless, or infested with zombies this world may get?

Caprese Salad. So simple. Six ingredients. That's it. But each ingredient is equally important. There is such a balance...that only the freshest will do. I will not eat this dish in the winter. As it will be crap. Tomatoes aren't in season in the winter. But Summer. There are dozens if not hundreds of varieties to play with.
So very hungry...

Personally, I love Brandywine. There's something remarkably fruity, yet very rich about this heirloom breed of tomato. And you have to get local mozzarella. Which, in Maine, is simple. Fresh fresh fresh. I try to pull my Basil right before I use it...so it's still warm from the garden. People don't seem to understand that when they keep herbs, like basil in the fridge they lose their potency. I have both black and Italian basil this year. But to be honest, I much prefer the Italian for Caprese.

Plating is very important for this type of salad. Traditionally Caprese salad is sliced tomato with sliced mozzarella, and chiffonade of basil. Layered. Visually it's stunning. But it also serves a purpose. You get every flavor in every mouthful. And if the chef has done her job and sliced things properly...the tomato and mozz to the proper thickness...nothing will overwhelm. Simple. Yet not so much.

Salt must be kosher. It has to stand up to the juiciness of the tomatoes, as well as the blandness of the mozz. Pepper will always be fresh ground. Olive Oil is personal preference. Myself, I go for the peppery ones. Something with a little backbone. And Vinegar. If you put vinegar on this salad. I would fire you. Gone. What do you need vinegar for? There's acid in the tomatoes. The salt will bring it out, the oil will blend, the basil will mellow and you have the perfect vinaigrette! Perfection!

Six ingredients. Probably one of the healthiest meals out there. Those Italians...they know how to eat.

Seriously. Why can't I grow mozzarella on some vine in my garden?

So...what seasonal dish are you willing to fight zombie infestation for?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brain Harvests

Blargh!

It seems that, of late, I only have so much brain to go around. Which means that my blog suffers a great deal. Sorry followers. As I know that you hang on to my Every Word!

The fun and exciting things that I am up to?

We are putting in no less then 8 raised beds so that we will not starve to death (a la Romantic Medieval Style) in the middle of the brutal Maine Winter. Hopefully the veggies behave better then they have been the past couple of weeks. I'm going to have to re-plant the spinach, beets, and other such greens as the weather we've had lately hasn't really allowed them to grow.

I'm also watching our Thirty tomato plants like a hawk because I have a sinking suspicion that they have The Blight. We've tried planting tomatoes for the past 4 years. We were successful once. The other three. Blight. This year I think is the last year. It's frustrating and time consuming and really just insulting to put all that work in...then BAM.  Blight.  Stupid Tomatoes.

We've put in grapes, strawberries, a kiwi vine, buttercup squash, cucumbers (which the army of slugs that I feed on a regular basis immediately destroyed...), and bush beans. We have yet to plant potatoes and shallots. Those will go in around the 4th of July or so. According to my Grandfather, that's the best time.

So.

What with all that stuff going on. All my 'free' time is put into writing! Priorities! I haven't forgotten you My Blog Followers! It will all calm down soon. Soon my time will be a bit more...um...well...that's a lie.

Ok. I'll be here! Sporadically! I promise! How's that?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Writing Wordless Recipes

I've been thinking about this "wordyness" problem that I seem to have.

I find it amusing.

In my previous life I was the exact opposite of wordy. In fact the more words I used the more of a detriment it was to my job.  I became pretty proficient at reading between the lines.

"Make the Risotto."
There is a whole lot buried in that simple three word sentence. But I don't need the whole spiel on how the stock is made. Or how to dice the onions. Or how long to keep the rice on the burner.

So how to channel that type of succinctness into my writing. How do I say...simply...what I want to say? Get to the meat of the issue, so to speak?

Is it possible to write a story without writing a full on step by step recipe?

Mushrooms, Rice, Herbs, Wine, Bacon...Can you taste it?
   

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prettyful

In case you didn't notice...I made some changes.

This is more in line with what I wanted my layout to look like when I first started this whole endeavor. So I'm pretty psyched! Hopefully people won't run screaming for the hills. I'll be putting new "pages" on the top Bar for easier access to things like Blog Fests and the like as that is the one thing that this new layout falls somewhat short on. But, for the most part, I like the clean look.

There's a cool, pop out mouse over tabby thingy (Yes, that's the technical term) over on the right where all the rest of the normal gadgets went. So Never Fear! Just click about! Oh, and funnily enough. If this is anything like the one that I stumbled upon in my wanderings in the blogosphere...You can actually change the layout! In the top bar where it says CLASSIC...pull that menu down and play around. Cool huh?

Ok...Busy day today...back to waiting anxiously to see if my story got accepted. Power of positive thinking!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Submission of Major Proportions

What a ride!

Being over at Unicorn Bell all week...Whoa. I feel like my brain was scrubbed clean.

But in a good way.

Hopefully everyone was patient with my totally lack of any sort of posting here..and I still have *some* semblance of an audience.

Because I have a question. Stemming from a dilemma born of total newbie dumbassery.

So. Here's what I did.

I submitted a short story for an Anthology call from Writer and White Cat. (YAY! Stress!) Very exciting. However...all the link says is "Standard Manuscript Format" which, go ahead. Google that. I dare you. Yah. I haven't a clue what that means either.

So I asked the ladies that I moderate with over at Unicorn Bell and the consensus was 1" margins, indent the paragraphs, double spaced, Title and name on top of first page and a header on every page of page number/Story title/author name.

Easy enough, right? Right. So I did that. No problem. Worked all the formatting into the document. Then scrolled up to the top of the first page, and thought that the header of page number/title/author name looked redundant right above the section that I had centered the Title and written by on the first page. So I manually deleted it off the first page. Then immediately went into Send as Word Doc. And e-mailed it. Done! Whew! Felt great for all of about 3 seconds when I scrolled down and realized that when I had deleted the page number off the first page, it had taken the page number/etc.. header off ALL the pages. For the LOVE OF GOD! WHY!?!?! Sigh.  So I had just e-mailed a story with no page numbers. Great. Smoooooooth.

My question is this. What now? My gut says that I have to let it go, and hope for the best. But I honestly don't know. I would LIKE to send him a quick e-mail explaining what I did. But I also don't want to sound like a moron. I just want to get rejected solely on the basis of bad writing alone. Not because I 'forgot' to number my pages.

What's the opinions out there?

If anything. What NOT to do...and something I will remember to NEVER do again! HA!
 


 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

So Many Blogs

This week I'm over At Unicorn Bell talking about the Characters in your heads.

Making you feel all sane and stuff.

Hopefully I will stick to some semblance of a schedule, and go with what I have planned...

Monday: Character Naming
Tuesday: Party!
Wednesday: Descriptions
Thursday: Getting inside THEIR heads
Friday : Wrap Up. Possible Critique.

Wish me Luck!

Hope to see you all over there...I'll be pretty lax here as I have a screaming busy week work wise and will probably have all I can handle keeping up with the HUNDREDS of comments I will be getting over at UB! (Hint!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Up Next

So I just conditioned my hair with my leg shaving creme.

In my defense, I'm totally blind without my glasses on and they come in similar containers. They don't however smell anything alike...which is when I caught on. We'll see how it goes! Maybe I'm on to something!

But what I really wanted to talk about is the fact that Next week I'm going to be over at Unicorn Bell all week! Following in the considerable footsteps of L. Blakenship from Notes from the Jovian frontier. Yikes!

I'll be posting on Character. From the simple things like naming them (which may not really be that simple!) to the more in-depth stuff like getting inside their heads.

And even bigger news! My birthday falls on that week so I'll be declaring that day a national holiday! Make sure to check in to see what fun project I have planned for that day!

Hopefully I'll see you all there!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Enough Vacation

This weekend we did so many random things it was ridiculous. It's partly why I've been offline with the blogging for so long. I have this mammoth pile of dirt sitting in my yard to turn into vegetables.
So many things to do with the gardening. I shouldn't starve to death anyway. That's always a good thing.
We shall feed the WORLD! Mwahahaha!

The other thing I'm working on, besides my ongoing WIP,  is a short story..hopefully wrapping up in the next day or so...of 5000 words that will be sent out to Writer and White Cat for their Steampunk anthology call they sent out a bit back.  (Whoa..run-on sentence much!?)

Maybe I've lost my ability to multi-task. Maybe I've just gotten Really Bad at splitting my mind into a million directions. MAYBE there just needs to be more hours in the day! There! I solved that problem! HA!

I think I shall submit that bill to congress. See how far I get with that! More Hours in the day? Any takers? Yah. I can't imagine how That could go badly...

Regardless.

Writing two stories at once has been an interesting experience I have to say.

First and foremost..the Time! I need a Tardis. Barring that...maybe more coffee. Oi! I do enjoy this new character I've developed. I'm even thinking that he might possibly fit into my main WIP. Which would be cool. I've always loved writers that do that. Huge elaborate cast of characters. Well developed characters, mind you!  And they bring in this minor character from some obscure part of one of their books, and BAM! Major story line! Love it. Anne Perry was brilliant with this. Though, Anne Perry is brilliant at character development in general.

Anyway. I have huge plans for this character beyond this short story. HUGE I tell you! But, my main WIP is stalled. Be it the gardens. Be it work. Be it this new story. SOMETHING seems to be pulling me in a different direction lately.

I can see the space/time continuum...it's broken.
My problem is not What to Write for my WIP...is more that right now...as silly as it sounds. I'm frankly more interested in this new character! Uh oh. Or. Maybe that's not exactly what I mean. Because I love my story. I love the characters. I love what I'm going to do with it. I believe entirely in it. However. Right now. Now? Now it's summer. (well. Spring...) The garden needs to be put in. And taken care of. I have approximately 2 or 4 extra clients a week due to summer people that breeze through the Coast of Maine.  Lots of family stuff in the summer. Am I a seasonal writer? Is that a thing? Do others struggle with this? Do others find that you write far less in the beautiful months of spring and summer? Or do you carve out time Regardless?

I know what my answer "Should" be for this question. And I honestly try, every day, to sit down and write something.

And the result of that would lead to a whole NEW blog post on the difference between QUALITY writing time vs. QUANTITY of writing time. Because generally...if I'm pressed for time, or only have an hour or so...It all gets deleted later. Cause it's Crap!

Oi. And now. Enough Vacation! It was exhausting. Back to work!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Disturbingly Oily

I had a very disturbing day a few days ago.

Disturbing because I thought, all innocent like, that we had moved beyond this issue. I truly thought it was something that I could put my culinary mind at rest about. But, alas. Apparently not. People still do not understand the different uses for the variety of oils out there. They, amazingly, still think getting one "EVOO" (May you burn in a bath of it Rachael Ray) is perfectly acceptable for all uses in the kitchen.

Sigh.

Stop it! Just STOP!
Ok. First of all. No self respecting Chef goes about in the kitchen saying "EVOO". They just don't. I think they would probably be taken to the walk-in and stabbed quietly a few times if they did. So Stop it. Now. It's a redundancy. If you have Olive Oil in your kitchen. It better be extra virgin. Or you lose your chef card.

Moving On.

There are SO Many different Oils to cook with it's ridiculous. Nut oils. Grape Seed oils. Different Olive oils. All dependent on what you want to do. How high of a temp you want to cook with.

Quick run down of a very few...

Nut Oils:  Great for high high temp cooking. Like Saute. They have a very high temp burn point. Meaning that you can get them up to a really high temperature before your pan bursts into flames if you forget to put something (like the food you're cooking) into it. You can see the burn point of an oil by carefully watching for the slight shimmer of the oil in the pan, then it starts to smoke a little. That's the burn point.  Nut Oils get really hot before they do this. They're great for seasoning cast iron pans for just this reason. However. If you have a nut allergy. DO NOT USE! Grape seed Oils are the next best thing.

Grape Seed Oils: Again. High Burn Point. Lighter flavor then nut oils. They don't have the allergy issues. Some people feel they are too fruity.

Coconut Oil: This has a med burn point. But it's great for baking. You can use it for sauteing, because it does impart a wonderful flavor, but you have to be careful. Quick. Have your prep done.


Mmmm. Tasty...
Olive Oil: Extra Virgin. The workhorse of the kitchen. However. The Beauty of Olive Oil is the surprising depth of flavor in the small 'vineyard' offerings. Much like wine, olive oil has different flavors if it is handled and stored differently. So this is a great way to have a cheap, healthy salad oil on hand for the summer. Find a local Co-op, or Specialty store. Do an olive oil tasting. I'm not kidding. You will be amazed at the range of flavors.

Also. Light and heat are not a great way to store your oils. So right out there by your stove top? Bad. Unless you use them at a rapid rate. I generally get a big can of Olive Oil, and transfer to a more useable container that I keep by my stove top. But the main can is kept in a cool dark place. You know your oil, Any type of oil, has gone bad when it smells rancid. Smell it. Does it smell like car oil? Or Gasoline? Or Vaseline? It's gone bad. Throw it away. There is nothing you can do. No secret culinary tricks. Just throw it away.

And not down the sink, idiot. That will clog your drain.

So the guy next to me in line at the grocery store said, "Just get the Crisco Brand Olive Oil, we can put that on the salads. It all tastes the same."

First of all. Crisco makes an Olive Oil?! Second of all, CRISCO MAKES AN OLIVE OIL!?

Kill me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Plague of Awards

A short while ago I was given an award! (yay!)

Part of the fun of this award is in recognizing other Great Bloggers and spreading the Wealth, so to speak. So, now that I finally have seven and a half seconds to breathe...I shall do this!

Without further ado...I would like to Recognize for services in the field of Kreative Blogging:



Katie Mills at Creepy Query Girl Her posts are fun, insightful, and it's rare that I don't get something out of them. Thank you Katie!

L. Blankenship over at Notes from the Jovian frontier I love how she's able to put a concept down so my brain goes...Oh...RIGHT! Exactly! Her post about Plot v. Story is very interesting.

Ru at And then she was like blah blah blah is hysterical. It's good to know life isn't so serious all the time.

Shaun at Valleys ShutterBug Amazing amazing photography. Seriously. He makes a telephone pole interesting to look at for crying out loud.

And Finally....

Sean. Blogging at Civil War Horror. Always interesting. I always learn something new about our great nation, and the little bits and pieces of history that we're built on. Things we shouldn't forget.

You may notice that I didn't answer the Questions that apparently come with these Blogger Awards. That is my Right as an award recipient! I find them a bit silly...sorry. :P So enjoy your award and pass it on! Or not... I've enjoyed your blogs regardless!

Have a wondrous day

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'd like to thank...

Squeeeel!

I got my first blog award! It's very exciting!

It's this one:

I was nominated by the lovely Amanda from 

Very cool! Thank you! I shall be paying it forward within the next couple of days...as soon as my schedule calms down enough for me to spend more then 5 seconds on here. I just wanted to make sure I said thank you!

SO Thank you! Now...back to work...tomorrow's a killer..gah!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cheating Bastard

I'm having a crisis.

I'm cheating on my WIP.
I feel like I should be sending it flowers, with a card, and chocolates. Maybe a diamond bracelet.

Mainly because I have left it all alone for so long, it must be wondering what the hell is going on.

But see. There's this Anthology thing going on that I really want to get in on so off I went like the writing slut I am. Creating a whole new character. And a whole new world.

When I first read about this over at Alex's blog I knew I wanted to try, but wondered how I would come up with something to write about. Should I just write a short with the characters I have and use it as an exercise in 'getting to know my characters better'? Or write something entirely new?

Oddly enough, while working at a chair massage gig, into my head waltzed this character. Oh hello. Then a (quasi) plot. Followed by a couple of secondary characters and and a few other things I won't get into. Now, normally, when my mind wanders at work I'm plotting out my current wip...trying to work out the next step, fixing glitches, coming up with twists, etc. So I was a bit surprised when this happened.

And now I feel guilty. I've never had two stories going for any length of time. And, if I work this new "short" right it could be a major story. I'm not sure if there's enough space in my brain to HOLD two major stories!

Part of this guilt could be my Catholic upbringing. We're trained to feel guilty for crazy random stuff. (Like, apparently it's bad to throw scissors at your sister's head. Who knew?)

Now I'm REALLY going to get behind on Sherlock. And there's only three episodes!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stuff and Things

So technology.

Good lord. As a writer don't you just want to have it all just be ok? Don't you want to simply just push a button and have your e-mail open. Don't you want to be able to type your document and then hit save? (Or in my case, because I'm sane and DON'T use Word...Just put it on the Cloud). And that's it. That't all. Go about your everyday life...maybe blog a bit, read a book, work at your job, call a few people...pat your dog, feed your kids...you know. Life.

It's craziness now. Craziness.

Platform Building. Something I'm just now starting to touch my big toe into the lukewarm waters of. It's a massively overwhelming place. First off, seriously, who in all honesty has the freaking TIME?

They're all crazy...
I have been adamant in my total refusal to get on twitter. The twitter world to me, Honestly...it looks like the cyborgs are truly taking over and are speaking directly through the computer screens, what with all the # and@ and !# and who knows what all. Either that or everyone on Twitter is Really Angry all the time. I understand that I just simply don't "speak twitter" yet, but man...it's just ridiculous. And I do understand, at some point, this will have to change. Maybe not today...maybe not tomorrow. But soon. (heheh)

I have a Facebook account. But I'll have to get an author one. And then somehow manage two! Actually, THREE (as I have one for my personal business as well.) Oi. *Note to self: hire minion to manage facebook accounts and say clever and wondrous things about me. Must be willing to take payment in form of garden herb such as mint.*
Wait...what's this logo for?


Tumbler? Pintrest? Sigh. Honestly. Right now. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my phone to load the pictures it has onto my chromebook I just got because my other computer just shit the bed. Tricksey. Though, the only tricksey thing I've encountered about this computer thus far.

I have a goodreads account. Never go on there. Don't have time. Really. Just. Don't. Have. Time. I would rather be married, thank you, then spend half an hour trolling about gr doing god knows what there. What are you supposed to DO on gr? Other then put your books in that you've read. Good lord that could take DAYS!

And Blogging. I love it. I'm Finding that I'm not as consistent as I'd like to BE with it...but hey! I'm new! I'm learning the ropes. A - Z taught me a ton. I had no trouble keeping up with the posts. But then I got the plague and couldn't reply or visit as much as I wanted to. And when I stopped visiting, I noticed that people stopped visiting me. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think maybe not. Oh well. Ya live and learn! I enjoyed the A-Z. Not sure I'll do it again as my WIP suffered a huge deal.

Bad ass Blogger!
And my final STUFF...and it's a biggie...I was gonna sit on it, but this post is long and rambly and if you've made it through this far..well... NEWS!

I am now a Moderator over at Unicorn Bell! Very Exciting! I'm thrilled! *happy dance*
So go over there and check out what we're all about. It's a great place!

(Wow...whiny post...I blame it on my sunburn and overload of fresh air.)



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dominatrix Character Writing

No. Not that type of character! Sheesh!

Though that might work...

See. I have this scene. And it's giving me fits. I know what I want to accomplish. My MC needs to be given a tour of her new surroundings. Oooo. Thrilling I know. But it kinda is given that her new surroundings consist of an underground steampunk lair complete with dorms, engineering, a lab for 'experiments', kitchen, and a huge observation/dirigible landing deck. That last is, of course, above ground. But I'm not telling you how they get there.

My Problem is the character giving the tour. She's driving me nuts. And I'm not sure why. I don't know why her personality isn't coming through right. She and my MC aren't supposed to hit it off for a while...and they aren't. But she's just coming off as a scene killer. Dialogue killer. Just plain...ugh.

Bitch.

Me. Lounging about. Thinking about my story...
Control my story. I think not.

So I did a background check on her, re-read the character interview I had done for her. Turns out she has some issues of her own. But still, it didn't really answer why she was being so reluctant to be the tour guide. Why it simply wasn't working. So I re-re-read the character interview. This time without the wine...And there it was. What I had been missing all along. Only not missing, as technically on some level I knew.

There is, in my WIP, a political faction that kidnaps people for genetic and biological "experiments". All in the name of Scientific advancement. This character was one such person, kidnapped, and then rescued (I'm not giving anything away...just her background). But it turns out that she's ultimately a tribal leader where she originally comes from. So it would be far beneath her to lead my MC about and show her the ropes. Insulting even. Ah.

Crap.

Though knowing this bit, that technically I already knew, I was just trying to tell myself (god my head hurts!)...makes it much easier (hopefully) as all I have to do now is decide between two options. 1) Create a new character. Hmmm. Tempting. Though the 'good?' side is getting character heavy right now. or 2) Use one of my already created already busy with other things characters. Decisions.

We shall see! News At 8!



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ahh Spring

In Maine this means several things all at once.

Mud. Mud comes to mind immediately. Black flies. Mosquitoes...

But for me...The Farm Stand is open! Thank what ever freaking deity you may hold holy!
Seriously.

Or sauteed. Or grilled. Or baked. Tasty goodness!
Don't get me wrong. I love Winter Squash and baked potatoes. Hell. I grew up in The County of Maine. I think they'd probably 'disappear' me quietly if I stopped eating potatoes. But a girl can only take so much. I need the fresh, warmed by the sun veggies. Granted, the pickings are slim right now. But I don't really care! Salad is back on the menu! With Fiddleheads! Steamed to perfection then just a dash of freshly ground pepper, kosher salt and a bit of cider vinegar.

Oh. And another thing that I'm very super excited about. The Winery's are opening! Sweet. Around here there is an abundance of local winery's. Some good, some great, some...lets call them young. Two of my absolute favorites are The Cellardoor. Beautiful place in Lincolnville, ME. Looks very much like Italy. And their wines are done quite well. They have a white called Perfect Stranger that goes with absolutely everything. Meats, fish, desserts, breakfast. Turkey. It's amazing.

The other place, opening on Mother's Day...very apropos...is Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery. This one I'm more excited for their Distillery then their Winery, to be honest. Their Three Crow Rum is amazing. It tastes like melted, toasted brown sugar. The Peach Smash is a perfect end to a summer's evening. And I cannot say enough about the Back River Gin. Stellar. They even make their own bitters! Just incredible.

Go. Taste. You will wonder why you haven't before! Bring your student driver with you to drive you around...




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Lashings

Welcome to May! Which is not April! Which means....*dramatic pause*...the A - Z blogfest is over! Phew. As fun as it was, and I did have fun...ah the memories...I'm glad it's over so I can get back to my regularly scheduled crazy.

That being said. I have the first page of my current WIP, or more honestly my only WIP being critiqued over at mainewords by Marcy, as well as at In High Spirits by Dianne. Scary stuff!
Blogfest hangover

There's a lot of useful stuff being said in the critique and comments so go over to their sites and check it out!

Also...wanted to say hi and thank you to all my new followers! Welcome!

And...that's about all I have time for...silly work...getting in the way of my writing..Blast. Go over to one, or both, of those other sites and leave me some helpful suggestions. Any comment is a good comment!

Unless it's for penile enlargements.  I really don't need those. Thanks though.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z - Zabaglione

Do you have eggs, sugar, Marsala wine, a pinch of salt and some fresh berries?  If so then YOU could possibly be capable of making one of THE most fantabulous desserts ever to grace the taste buds of your tongue.

Make this! Now! It's low fat...I Promise...
It's so simple. I've always been curious to know if this was one of those dishes that came from a "Panic" state. Where the chef at the time had Nothing...and a certain someone super important, say the King of France, was coming for dinner...and Crap! There's a war on! Can't just go out to the local Whole Foods and get me some Tiramisu. Ooo! But I've got some giant ass eggs, a bunch of sugar, and more Marsala wine then God. Hmmmm.  Ambrosia was Created! You do need the berries though. It's kinda too much without the berries. Oh. And Champagne. I've found real Champagne actually does taste better with this. Not the Sparkling Wine. I have no idea why.

Could be that the first time I made Zabaglione was for a very crazy, full on, no -holds- barred wedding. For 300. I tried to talk them out of it because this is a dessert that has to be made on the fly. You *Can* have it cold...but they wanted it old school. (Of course). Warm. Fresh. "The way Gramma used to do it!" And when you're shelling out over $200,000 for your big day...who was I to say no. So the crew and I made Zabaglione for 300 crazy drunken French and Italian wedding revelers. Over a mix of fresh black berries, black raspberries, red raspberries, strawberries and brunoised kiwi fruit. Kill me. It was beautiful. And Hell.  But, they served it with Real Champagne. Which they also served to the kitchen staff. (These clients were not assholes :) And I'm telling you now. If you ever get the chance...This is one of the finer things in life.

Zabaglione. Warm over fresh, seasonal berries.  With a Real Champagne Kicker.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y - You

Where would we as writers be without You, our audience? 

I know it sounds rather corny. Or maybe too "Deep Thought". But seriously. What are we writing for? I know for me, personally, there's a mix of reasons. The main one being simply that I must. But if I'm honest...I want to entertain. I want to have my story be told. I want someone, anyone, to pick up my book, read it and say "Huh! That was good! Where's the next one?" Just like I do with Jim Butcher. God Forbid that man ever stop writing...

Steampunk Dirigible...AWESOME!
I can't imagine ever Not writing. It's interesting the different reactions of people when they discover I write. Though I think that may be partly the fault of the genre in which I've chosen to write. Try explaining Steampunk to someone who doesn't even like Fantasy..."So, it's like if Tesla...you know who Tesla is? No? Hmmm. Do you know what a Tesla Coil is? No? Oh yes, they're still on Earth. They travel back and forth between 2012 and 1922.  But the 1922 is a different reality. It's as if a bunch of evil scientists had escaped and run rampant and taken over the world with their experiments. Oh, and there's dirigibles. No. Not everyone is an Evil Scientist. No the dirigibles don't all crash and burn like the... Look. It's Science Fiction. Not Real. TIME TRAVEL doesn't happen. That I know of. Ever seen the show Warehouse 13? YES?! That's Steampunk!! Good Christ...I need a whiskey..."

Yes. I did basically have this conversation. I doubt this will be my audience.

But I did want to take a few moments and welcome all my New Followers from the A - Z Blogfest!! Thank you for joining my craziness! I hope you enjoy my world!

Friday, April 27, 2012

X - oXtail

Please tell me you have had braised Oxtail.

This is a little different then Osso Buco, which most people have had...hopefully. Oxtail is, as you could surmise, Beef. *duh*. Osso Buco is Veal. Yes. The age matters. Quite a lot.

My main point here, though, is the whole dish. The Braised Oxtail. The beauty behind what it's like to take something that is quite literally a piece of Tail (!) and turn it into one of the most glorious most complex (aside from consomme) flavor stories (god I hate that term, but there it is) in the whole culinary world.

I Love Staub.
It's so deceptively simple. You sear the meat in a cast iron pan. You know the kind, Le Cruset or Staub make beautiful pots for this. You have to sear in the flavor. And then build from there. Every level adding on from the one below it. The onions and bacon. The tomatoes and wine. The Herbs and garlic. Everything added at just the right moment, to create a balance yet add their interest.

And then you slow braise the hell out of it. Pushing the flavor into the meat for hours on end. Forcing one of the cheapest cuts of meat to taste like gods gift to kings. So hearty. So fulfilling. So wonderful with either a beautiful Bordeaux or a zippy Gewurztraminer.

This kind of food is what I could happily eat every day of my life.

And weigh a whole lot more then I do.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W - Whoops

So. Totally forgot about W. Even though I had gotten way far ahead in my planning for this fest I was writing the week ahead on the weekend. And last week I got the Alien Death Plague. So this week I've been playing Catch Up. Thought I was doing pretty darn good. Stupid W.

Looking back in my notes I think I had a blog planned for Whiskey, which can't be right because this is my "Writing" day. So you know what. I'm calling it! I got nothing. Mainly cause I'm still kinda stupid from being sick. And secondly, stupid W.

So here's some pictures of some Wombats! First a cute cuddly baby one! Awwww. Don't you just want one of your very own!
I want to snuggle with your brains!
But then you find out that they grow into THIS......!
Wombats are taking over your Couches!!
I love Wombats. Though you gotta wonder about who named the poor things. Were they drunk?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

V - Vino

Ah. Wine. The nectar of the gods.

I was going to write a post about what wines go with what foods...but that's really all a matter of taste. And far too pretentious. Bah.

Then I thought...I really want to write about my first experience with wine. Boring! Class in Culinary school. Yawn. It was really just "This is a red wine" *taste* "This is a white wine" *taste*. "Don't screw them up."

I think most people get their education about wine through just simply experiencing it. And there is simply no rule book that accounts for taste. You can enjoy a $2 bottle just as much as you can a $120 bottle.  In fact. When I had just graduated culinary school Bon Appetite did an article about Wine and wine tasting. They got 10 of the most renowned sommeliers in the country to do a blind taste test of something like 20 wines ranging from $5 to $150 a bottle. The results were kind of earth shattering. First off, some were having a hard time telling the difference between red and white. And then, across the board there was a bottle of 15$ Cote de Rhone that everyone absolutely LOVED. Above all else. Just goes to show. You never can judge by price.
I love stemless wineglasses even though they're kinda not 'right'

I love wine. The only thing I get snobby about is that it's not Merlot. Or White Zin. I've yet to have a good Merlot. White Zin is a candy wine only good to have with popcorn. (I'm not even kidding a little...try it...)  Other then that. I'll try anything once.

Corks Vs. Screw Caps? Meh. Screw Caps are gonna happen folks. They actually preserve the wine better then the cork used to. You get less 'corked' wine. So if you see the screw caps, it doesn't mean cheap wine anymore! Though I do miss using a corkscrew...something very satisfying about that whole ritual.

So just try wine. Don't be afraid. It's true what they say that wine can enhance the flavors of food. It's kind of amazing what happens when you find the right pairing. A great Zinfandel with just the right steak. A beautiful Viognier with an amazing bouillabaisse.

And hey, if you don't like it to drink it...you can always cook with it! Poach pears! Jellies and Jams! Pasta Sauce! The options are endless!

 Everyone should drink more wine...there would be less war.

**BTW...I have the first 400 of my WIP being critted over at Unicorn Bell today! Hop on over and check it out!**

U - Universe Creation

So I’m writing a book where reality is just a little bit, well, bent. I’m still on Earth. I’m still in a real city. But the things that are possible in my book aren’t possible in ‘Real Life’. And isn’t that cool?
Being able to conceive of an entirely different reality? 

Granted, there are masters of this universe creation thing. Orson Scott Card. Patrick Rothfuss. Brandon Sanderson. All these people created places with laws of existence that are different then our daily reality. Yet. Yet we just accept them as truth. They wrote their worlds with such skill that it was just a given that Ender existed with Bug Aliens. Rothfuss is a master of storytelling and world building. You don’t question for a second that the type of magic in his books exists. In fact, he makes it so real you start to wonder if it IS real and just simply forgotten about.
Even if you don't like fantasy, READ THIS!
 
Anyway. The point I’m trying to make is that in writing it’s hard to decide what path to take when introducing our audience to Our World. Personally, I like to just be thrown in, head first. Learn the rules as I go, rather then have it all spelled out at the beginning. It also feels more real to discover the world along with your character, more organic.

 One of the most useful pieces of advice in writing I ever got came from a college professor way back in the day. I was busy writing some novel or another where I had just given the audience All the information about the ‘world’ I had created in the first chapter. Tolkien style. YAWN. But it seemed so important that the reader UNDERSTAND where they were! You know? He said to me, “What are you in such a hurry for?” That statement changed my writing style in a huge way. It was like a bolt to the brain. No idea what I was in such a hurry for. And because of that statement, my Universe Creation...my pacing, if you will, has gotten so much better. Not to say it can’t still use some help! Can’t we all...But that’s what World Building is all about. Pacing. 

Finding the right balance between letting your reader into your secret and giving away the family jewels.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T - Taste


*commence rant*
Something I do not miss from my Cheffing days?
Special orders. Holy Crap. What the hell is up with people going to a fine dining restaurant, looking over the menu and saying to themselves. “Gee. It all looks so good! Except I’m really in the mood for just some steamed haddock and a couple of blanched carrots. You can do that right? You don’t mind?” Yes. Yes I do mind! 

Why did you come out to eat if you just wanted something so ridiculous? And I’m not just randomly choosing something as an example.  Nine times out of ten, a special order would be a piece of poached or steamed white fish with some sauteed veggies on the side. No starch please! Oh, and just a little bit of lemon if you could. ARGH. 

I just liked the design of this...Never eaten here.
How about this. How about you look at the menu. Go ahead. Look at it. I know you can read. Now. See all those things listed on it? Those are the choices! Choose one of those! These were put together after many hours of testing and research. They represent long nights spent after the restaurant closes trying to figure out new dishes that work well together. Foods that pair well with wines, that pair well with the appetizers, and the desserts. And in you come with your “simple little request”. It may seem like a minor little thing to you, and if I hear one more person spout off about the customer always being right I may lose it...But it’s not a minor little thing. And I’m not talking about food allergies, obviously that’s a different beast. This is just pure, in my opinion, ridiculousness. 

Who spends time choosing a restaurant for the food that they make...and then basically blows the whole restaurant's persona out of the water by telling the chef what and how to cook. It’s insulting. Don’t do it. I beg you. 
*end rant*

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