Monday, October 31, 2011

THIS IS HALLOWEEN

My son (three) advised that, for Halloween, he wanted to be the Dread Pirate Roberts, from The Princess Bride. Actually, what he said was that he wanted to be "the hero" from "The Bride Princess". He said I should be a pirate too, to which I replied, "as you wish".

And then I discovered that there are no pirate costumes available in the greater Anchorage area for undersized three year-olds, and no pirate costumes at all for adult women that aren't implicitly slutty. Still we made do.

Behold, the (tiny) Dread Pirate Roberts and his loyal ally, Inigo Montoya:


 First we re-enact Inigo and Westley's first meeting and acrobatic fight.


Then we become friends.


Then we pose like pirate homeys.

The End

Saturday, October 29, 2011

THE STATUS, IT IS QUO

And, in case you cared, I'm at about 65,000 on my Cyberpunk WIP. The story is misbehaving. The male MC wants it to be a romance, a male side character wants it to be a romance, and the female MC is unconvinced. It's like a love triangle with one side facing away and shouting "la la la, can't hear you motherfuckers". No idea how it's going to end.

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS WHITER

My twitter feed is full of grumbling over the cold temperatures and snow. How dare it freeze and fall, twitter laments, in October!? October is apparently still summer for some people.

I'm feeling a little left out up here. I don't remember the last time we didn't have snow before Halloween, but it remains camped up on the mountains, growing thicker and developing an attitude of permanence while we crunch across our frosted, withering lawns beneath naked tree boughs. What I'd give for a blanket of white to soften the land and reflect the streetlights, making our nights as bright as our days.

 Please do not remind me I said that come, say, February.

EDIT: We now have snow. *looks smug, then sad, then flops onto the ground*

Sunday, October 23, 2011

NO GO ON NaNo

I'm not going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. My active and backlogged projects just aren't going to line up with the Nano timeline. And who do I have to thank for that? Why, NaNo, of course.

I completed my first novel thanks to NaNo several years ago. I was astounded, both that I could actually write an entire novel and that I wanted to do it again. And again. And again. NaNo opened the door to a supportive writing community but it also opened up something inside of me, an amalgamation of confidence and ambition, delight and resolve.

Since I first participated in NaNo, I've:

  • Finished and edited two novels, and I'm about to finish Draft One of another
  • Started and temporarily shelved one novel
  • Finished and sold one novella
  • Finished five short stories, one of which has sold, two of which are currently making submission rounds
  • Finished one flash fiction piece, which is making submission rounds
  • Engaged with five excellent beta readers
  • Partnered with a literary agent
None of this would have been possible without that first NaNo. So, no, I'm not participating in this particular campaign. But I am, year-round, using the energy and drive I learned during that first manic month. And I'll be rooting for all this year's participants. Good luck. Have fun. And don't forget to shower and stand up and move every once in awhile. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

TRICK OR TREAT (RECESSION-STYLE)

We usually have snow on Halloween. Except when it's too cold, but usually there's at least a crusty dusting on the ground when the kids march stubbornly up the drive, trying to show off as much of their costumes as they can around the puffy coats and boots. The older kids - some of them with five o'clock shadow - try to tough it out. Maybe a long-sleeved shirt under their costume, sometimes bare arms against the twenty-five degree wind. They'll burn through more calories than the collected candy contains if they're out long enough. Mother Nature's holding back this year, saving it for when she really needs it.

We seem to have a mustache shortage up here this year, as well. Not the real ones. We have plenty, too many maybe, of the real ones. But my friendly local costume shop, which supplies me year-round with fine faux mustaches, is nearly out. Just a few joke-sized black handlebars and some raggedy old muttonchops hang now on the pegs.

Not my style.

I guess it's cutbacks, the pretend facial hair industry scaling back on low-selling items like everybody else. Some day, sitting around the campfire, we'll sing songs about the days of yore, when we had snow on Halloween, and mustaches were sold on every corner.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

CUPCAKE QUEST 2011 - I

I recently had the distinct pleasure of eating a pumpkin citrus cupcake. I didn't get the recipe from the bakery, mostly because I was focused on that bakery box like Frodo on his ring toward the end of book three. The cupcake was delicious. Light but well-flavored. Satisfying without being too heavy.

I'm trying to replicate the recipe. Tonight I baked iteration #1. It wasn't close, but it was good in a different way. Closer to a pumpkin citrus muffin than a cupcake, partially because the recipe I tore apart and stuffed with pumpkin required more moisture (I've attempted to correct that in the following recipe). This version is denser, less sweet, and high in fiber and vitamin A! The toddler loved it, and it was pretty easy. Recipe to follow.

Lemon Pumpkin Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop baking cups into cupcake sheet. Makes about two dozen.

1 1/2 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t allspice
2 eggs
1 C granulated sugar
1 C pumpkin puree
1 t vanilla
1 T lemon juice
1 t lemon zest
1/4 C vegetable oil

Sift all the dry ingredients except sugar together. Set aside.
Stir the pumpkin, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and vegetable oil together until just mixed. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium until well-mixed. Beat in the sugar until creamy.
Mix in the dry and wet ingredients alternately until incorporated, scraping sides when necessary.
Spoon into paper cups, filling just over half full.
Bake. They're done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Enjoy!

And, as a bonus to LOTR lovers, below is what I believe to be the root system of a resting Ent. See how it's not really attached to the earth?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

WALKING ON BROKEN DREAMS

I spent a couple of hours yesterday standing still in dirty, dirty alleys while local denizens strolled and bicycled past. And by that I mean they stood and stared from uncomfortably close distances, saying nothing as they smoked or drank from their paper bag-wrapped bottles.

Why, you ask? Was I on some sort of pigeon flu and hepatitis investigative mission? No, or, only incidentally.

That's just what a photo session looks like when you tell the photographer you write urban fantasy and that urban fantasy tends to happen in urban environments and he decides that nothing says "urban" like busted drug vials stuck to the soles of your flip-flops.

It's all very glamorous.

So, we've got dozens of photos to sort through. The general theme is that I tend to look either suspicious or angry most of the time, which of course is just what people want to see staring back at them from the back of a book they've just finished.

We'll see if we can't sort something out, maybe photoshop me a smile or something. And then it will be time to build a website on which to paste said altered photo. So much to do, so many things I'd rather be doing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

SATURDAY

Saturday wasn't as Caturday as I would have liked.


Caught a flight at 12: 20 a.m.. Landed in Minneapolis, MN at 12:20 p.m. Proceeded to drive north, hunting coffee and foliage. Barely found either, but did have a lovely time at Gooseberry Falls.


 Lower Falls - the only area not overrun with peoples.



Pond below the falls. The leaves are a little behind in changing this year, but they're going to be spectacular when they go.


If I lived in Minnesota, I'd hang out here with my kids for days. Lovely spot.