Friday, November 5, 2010

Seven Unrelated Items, but there is beer

I haven't really blogged in a bit, so you're getting a witch's cauldron full of spicy ingredients here! Don't worry, I'll number them. I'm quite organized.

In random order:

1. I've now caught up reading over at Erin Cole's 13 Days of Horror, and the scariest story is: Chris Allinote, Frosted Glass. Tightly written, controlled, and fucking scary as hell. I haven't been that -- yes -- horrified in ages. Less than a thousand words, I'd say, so give it a read. Chris is a great writer. I may have to stalk follow.

2. A new, fun little writing exercise: Lily Childs's Friday Prediction. The prompts are three words, your piece must be under a hundred words, and it must be written in the comments. Mine's up. First good thing I've written in two weeks, if not longer.

3. Speaking of writing: today is zombie day! I've got the day off (back tomorrow, though), and first I'm going to catch up on reading the graphic novel, The Walking Dead. Then I'm going to finish the last two thousand words of my already-8,000 word "short" story, untitled zombie fic. Later tonight, I'm watching the series premiere of The Walking Dead, which first aired this past Sunday on AMC. It's been called a "blockbuster" for the network, and people everywhere in the blogosphere seem to be talking about it. I've been avoiding the talk for now, but I'm sure I'll be ready with both book review and a review of the tv show sometime this weekend.

4. Earlier this week, I attempted eggplant again using A.S.'s tips. B and I LOVE LOVE LOVED it, so hearty thanks to A.S., and here is what we did: cut off ends and outer skin of eggplant. Sliced into strips, about the width/thickness of a ruler. Drizzled olive oil on a baking sheet. Dipped eggplant slices first in egg, then dredged through the following mixture: panko (Japanese bread crumbs), red and black ground pepper, oregano, sea salt. Placed strips on sheet, baked for about half an hour at 350, mostly because I was doing other things and didn't pay attention to them except to flip about halfway through and used a spray olive oil to keep them slightly moist. They came out wicked crispy and delicious, and we put them on pasta with marinara. We ate all of them, even after we ran out of marinara sauce. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Thanks, A.S.!!!!!

5. Bryan Russel, aka Ink, over at Alchemy of Writing has an interesting post today: the one-pass manuscript revision. His post is based on this quote:

“Doing a seventeenth revision on a project does not make a writer an artist or move him above the writer hoi polloi any more than dressing entirely in black or wearing tweed jackets with leather elbow patches or big, black drover coats. These are all affectations, and smack of dilettantism. Real writers, and real artists, finish books and move on to the next project.”

                   -- Holly Lisle, Vision: A Resource for Writers, May-June 2002

Hallelujah for this. I can't tell you the number of writers I've seen who wrote something last year, two years ago, three... and they're still querying agents and revising. Again and again and again. Stop revising! Write something new! Hey, maybe your ms is truly a gem and no one else is seeing it, or maybe you're just polishing a turd (a lovely phrase I've heard so much in the last week on writer's forums). How do you know which is which? You don't. So move on.

Better, more intelligent, thinky-thoughts on Alchemy of Writing. Bryan is a master of the essay and creative non-fiction; I highly rec this blog.

6. Why I have not answered your email or written much in the last week:

Gryff, laptop monster. "Oh, u no want to pay attention to me? I fix that."

Okay, also, I did have the constant pain and headache. It lessened each day, and I feel pretty good today, hence the blogging at great length and plans to write zombie fic.

7. Another pic from my trip, and then I'm signing off FOR REAL:

We go to Disney this time of year specifically for the Food and Wine Festival. In the World Showcase section of Epcot, they have arrayed a number of free-standing little pavilions, all from different countries, and each has a couple of different entrees, desserts and drinks from their country, all served in small sample portions and usually less than $5. New this year to the festival was Belgium, which had the best freakin' little mini-waffles with a fresh berry compote on top. OMG OMG OMG. And this is a pic of me in front of Germany, because I am of half-German descent (the Bohn part).

The U.K., for those wondering, was represented by a "fisherman's pie," which was supposed to be like shepherd's pie in that it was a saucy little stew of lobster and fish topped by mashed potatoes. Quite nice, not spectacular. I had it with a Guiness -- and why do they think that only Guiness represents the beers of the U.K.? I do not know -- and then we had a plate of Irish cheeses and brown bread. I don't care for cheese, so have no idea if they were any good, but the bread was rather hearty and nom nom nom with delicious Irish butter.

"America", btw, was represented by a selection of Sam Adams beer (HELL YES BEST BEER IN THE WORLD), a passable lobster roll, and chocolate cake. I have loved Sam Adams since I was old enough to drink and they were fairly new and specific to the New England region, where I grew up. Their lager is still the best I've had, and their Octoberfest is really, really good. But most amazing of all is that Sam Adams Lite actually tastes wonderful. There's not another lite beer that can compete.

That is all! I'm going zombie! Once you go undead, you can't go back!


  1. Okay...I am a total beer snob. Yes, I am. Portland has the second most breweries per capita in the world, next to Germany - Summer Brewers Festival wasn't enough for us, so now we have the Winter Brewers Festival too, and I'm voting for both Equinoxes to be added as well.

    Following Chris Allinotte's blog is a smart thing—he really is an awesome writer and a good guy.

    The eggplant recipe sounds scary, so I might try it.

    And now I'm heading over to Bryan's Alchemy of Writing.

    Thanks, Rebecca!

  2. I can so not take cred for the eggplant success, I´m going to try them panko style - seems yummy! Great recs, enjoyed (sorta!)"Frosted Glass". Food and Wine Festival - win! T. and I always say that if we were rich we´d spend our days eating our way through the world, ah, happy thought =)

    I´m so glad you´re feeling better!

  3. LOVE hearing about your trip! So fun!!! We are talking about going back next summer... *crosses fingers* Although the Festival sounds nummy...

    Gryff is awesome.

    I hope you get back to 100% soon. ... and sure hope that roller coaster was worth it!! :)

    Will have to try that way of cooking the eggplant. In true southern fashion, I typically fry it, but this sounds delish!

    I hold in my hands my VERY OWN COPY of Letters. I love it so much. I have yet to finish all of them... thank you, children... but I am loving them all. The first one made me LOL from both the joy at actually reading your published work and the content itself. So you.

    Memory touched me.

    Auction is fantastic and the one that makes me smile most so far...

    And congrats on the nomination!!!!!! SO.COOL.

  4. Hope the cat's helping with the writing exercise - jkhdkajshdfuiasdaeukhrukfhkdufhauikrulf.

  5. @Erin: Beer snob! Say it ain't so! LOL. Did we have this conversation before? Maybe I know a lot of beer lovers. So tell me your favorite and I'll find it. I love to try new ones. BTW, I lived for two years in the Pacific NW, outside of Seattle. I traveled a lot throughout the state and some into Oregon. That was easily the most beautiful place I've ever lived. You're so lucky.

    @Asuqi: Take credit! I never would've tried it if not for you. The panko gives them wonderful texture. And I know what you mean about traveling the world for its food -- we'd do the same.

    @Sara: I tried frying the eggplant before, but this was not only tastier (we thought), but my kitchen didn't smell like fried stuff the next day. :)

    You have a copy? For real? OMG, I don't know what to say! I'm kind of freaking out! Thank you! I hope you like it! My next one will be BIGGER.

    @Joanne Casey: HOW DO YOU KNOW THE SEKRIT CAT MESSAGE. NOW I WILL HAVE TO KILL YOU. <--- from Gryff. We think he's a former Russian spy. But I wouldn't take him seriously. He'd just happy feet you to death.


  6. Guinness. Is. NOT. From. The. UK.

    It's from Ireland. Which is not part of the UK. Except Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, but which is not where Guinness is from.

    Also, Guinness is awful. The UK brews countless truly unique beers and Disney picked some bland corporate STOUT that isn't even from the UK to represent the UK??

    Although if they also gave you Irish cheeses to represent the UK, they obviously haven't got a clue...