Saturday, October 29, 2011

NANO Midnight Write-In

How many of you are doing NANO this year? How many of you  (the ones jumping up and down in their computer chairs, wriggling their hands in the know who you are) are hoping, wishing, craving a good start? How many of you are willing to give up your regular sleep schedule for the first night of NANO?

I mean, come on. It's Halloween. You're probably going to be up anyway. Just put down the candy and coctails and do some writing with other members of your friendly online writing community. Or hell, don't put down the candy and cocktails. Who could write a better story than you, writer/Jessica Rabbit-costume-wearer,  all bedecked in your slinky red sequin gown and purple faux velvet gloves you got from that weird little vintage store in the hippy part of town, cocktail and candy in hand (or rather, beside your pen and keyboard)?

Image courtesy of

Cuz that's the perfect getup for a midnight write-in. Very conducive to creativity, you see. It's the sequins.

Anywhosers, I'm going to begin writing at Midnight, November 1st, CST. I will not stop until at least 2 a.m. Midnight write-in participants will get a prize---a shiny star designed in Paint by me! Very high tech, I know. Please take a moment to catch your breath from the spectacularness of the prize.

Be sure to include your first line or completed word count or the like in the comments below so I can give you your shiny, shiny prize!

Shoo-woop! Happy writing!

Friday Fave:HALLOWEEN!

Halloween, to a costume-loving dork like your's truly, is one of the three most awesomest holidays of the year, one of the three Holiest of Holies. (*laugh*) What are my other two? Wouldn't you like to know....tee he heee.

So here, in honor of that Halloween holiday awesomeness, are some random facts. Some of them you probably know, some of them you might not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

TCE 43--The Bone Song

Something completely different this week, and hopefully in keeping with holiday creepiness. The prompt was "She was like a sponge, he mused."


The Bone Songs
The moon shined through the trees and onto our earth in cool shafts of almost-light. This time of year, the branches of even the oldest trees are nearly finished with their die-back. They wear their last leaves like old human women wear jewels, clutching them, rattling them, banging them against one another in a garish attempt to outshow one other. The sound of the rattling only served to cover our breaths, our steps, as we stole through the wood at night. Not that any who need fear us could hear us. We tend to be silent as our namesake.
Our namesake, you see, is Death. We are the Death Wights.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Have I mentioned lately...

That I'm a holiday wh*re?  'Cuz I am. I love the holidays. Halloween?!?!? Get out of town!

I love Halloween so much I couldn't resist redoing the entire blog... yet again, this time with a uber spooky picture! *cough* lol. I coded this myself, which is saying something because I'm not exactly tech savvy, as some of you know, so, err, I'm still ironing out the kinks.

Which brings me to my next point: The text for the gadgets and for the posts have decided they want to be centered too, just like my spooky picture background. (I wanted the background centered, just not all my text.)

Until I figure out a way around that minor issue, the best I can do is manually change the posts back to their original justifications. And I'm not gonna lie, I won't do that for all of 'em, and even if I did, it still wouldn't fix the centered gadget text.

So instead, I ask you noteworthy bloggers who've messed with the Google Template CSS, how exactly do I get around this issue? Any ideas?  I'll keep tweaking tonight with the hopes of fixing it, and in the mean time, sit tight for me to get all the text back to the way it was.


In other news...NANO!!!

Whoa, it's in, what, 4 days? Exciting. How many of you are participating this year? Details too, please.

Pasta with Butternut Squash in Alfredo

First: YUM. I love squash. Squashie squash squash. Squash in my mouth. Down into my belly. Nom nom nom.

I foresee plenty of you non squashers to be wrinkling your noses right now. Don't. I repeat: DON'T! I've found butternut squash to be the most squash hater-friendly of all squashes, shorty followed by spaghetti squash, which you can sneak into lasanga and nobody will be the wiser. Butternut squash is extremely sweet, but it's a mellow, nice sweet. Tasty sweet. Tasty, period. You can doctor it up a thousand different ways, either ignoring the sweet back flavor and going for herbal or salty, or you can coat it with honey and coconut oil and brown sugar and go to town that way. It's just damn delicious.

Alright, enough. Here's the recipe:

Pasta w/ Butternut Squash in [Cheater's Beschamel] Alfredo

Difficulty: Moderately easy

Prepping time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

I almost forgot! Here's this week's Tuesday Teaser, an exerpt from a fun kid's series, 100 Cupboards. These lines are from a letter to one of the character's daughters, as it is expected they will never be in the same world or the same time period ever again. *sniffle, sniffle*

"If you grow old someplace without me and find some man who's my better, tuck some tumbleweed into your bouquet for me. I'm nothing pretty, and I've always been out of place, but something of me belongs there."--N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire, Book 2 of the 100 Cupboards series.


Hiking and Epic Falls

This weekend dear old mumsy and I went hiking. The weather was high and fair, the sky high and blue, the, err, uh, football scores low and dreary....errr...well, enough with that. You get the point!

Here's a pic of where we went a-walking:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prime Time: Platform Challenge 3

Bust out your bugles, everyone, because the last Platform Building Campaign challenge deadline has arrived ... and I'm just barely gonna make it! This time, the focus was on the classic idea of showing vs. telling.

"Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning,
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise." (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them)."

And here's my pansting write-up:

Prime Time

Luann dug her fingers into the sand on both sides of her, still damp from the high tide. The grains rolled under her fingernails. What a long night, waiting for the morning. She’d begun to hate time. It always took so long to get it where she wanted it, took so long to get the synabatec rays of post-dawn light to fall into her studio just so. Deep in the sand, her fingers grew cool, calm. But there was no way to do with her mind what she did with her hands, no way to tacise it into stillness.

Even on the beach, with its salt-bleached driftwood and the sea still awash with muted ceruleans and viridians, she still hated the wait. She twiddled her toes, shifting her weight from one side to the other.

Ughh. What was that? Suddenly the colors around her seemed tinged with an ochre gone all sorts of wrong, awful and rotten like the pears still in her fruit bowl, on the counter in her cottage. Accidental splashes of black and orange, stale tasting, putrid. She looked over her shoulder, up the embankment’s sharp ridge of ferns. Nothing. Nothing she could see, anyways.


Luann toppled with the joyful impact of her spaniel, Mister Bierstadt, who continued to bark, rolling clumsily onto Luann. A mess of legs, paws and tongue, the sick, rotten-ombre-colored smell rolled off him in waves; dead fish and wet dog.

“Now I stink too,” she laughed, pushing herself upright. Bierstadt jumped the embankment, disappearing. Guess she’d shower while she waited.

Soon the sun would be risen, and the world might be primed. Might be. Then she could finish the experimental wastopaneer she’d spent so long developing into the painting it needed to be. Smiling finally, Luann walked back to the cottage.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

TCE-WIP. Aaaack, I'm so behind!

Okay, so I'm not done yet, but I want to get this one posted so I can guilt myself into finishing it. Still untitled, still not sure where I'm going with it yet. But a start is a start. The prompt was "You can have seconds, if you want."

The non-sound of snow.

I rolled in the blanket, stretching against the car seat. Even it was cold where I hadn’t been sleeping. Freezing, in fact. Each time I blinked it got a little easier to see, even though my breath fogged up the interior of the car and the windows were opaque with ice. White and gray; white and gray. I rolled again, towards the driver seat. Saul was hunched over the console, face hidden.



“Saul. Saul. Wake up.”

“Whaa? Where? Whaa?” The Browning's chamber aimed through his foggy breath. Saul always woke like that, glaring and brandishing a gun. Said if you didn’t wake up ready to kill, you’d wake up dead. Only his glare was visible from his gaiter.

“Easy, now. It got cold; we need some heat.” As soon as he unearthed the keys, I nabbed them and started the car so he could put down the gun. There was a rumble, then the glow of headlights against snow and the mountain face. We’d parked base of the drive, just behind a nice edge of trees that ran parallel to the main road. Out of sight, out of mind. At this elevation, the snow stole the nighttime and even with the headlights, it was all still white and gray, just splashed with two bright beams. Saul flicked the headlights off, curled over the steering wheel, then straightened.

“O-2-hundred,” he mumbled, jerking his muffled head at the clock. “Storm wasn’t supposed to be here until near breakfast.”

I nodded. It was cold. My brain felt heavy and sharp in my head.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Fave: Buttermilk Scones

I love to bake. Love, love, love. And one of my all time favorite things to bake — and eat, of course — are scones. NOT those hard, dire concoctions you find in popular coffee chains; I’m talking about real scones. You know, the kind you actually want to eat. And eat. And eat … In fact, I would have a picture included in this post, but they're already gone, lol, no joke.

I had planned to save this for later in the year, because it’s great for getting the kids involved during holiday get-togethers, but after making that batch realized I couldn’t wait.

By the way, you’re gonna want an apron for this.

The Best Scones Ever

Difficulty: Moderately Easy (but messy)

Prep time: 30 minutes?

Cook time: 8 minutes

Glaze time: 2 minutes


3 cups Self-Rising flour
2/3 cup table sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cold stick of butter
4 tbsp buttermilk powder
1 cup H20

Cereal bowl of powdered sugar
Splash of milk

First, pop the butter into the freezer, and cover your work space with wax paper (when finished, just fold up the wax paper, and viola! The mess is gone!). Preheat oven to 450.

In a large glass mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Remove the butter from freezer and cut into tablespoons; cut each tablespoons into fourths. Add butter to dry ingredients and cut (smash and crumble) together with hands until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Make a well in the center; pour in the H20. Stir with fork until combined and the dough is pliable. *

Spread a generous layer of flour on the wax-papered counter space, and turn dough onto surface. Knead for approximately 2 minutes, until the dough is smooth (if dough feels too wet, don’t worry, just add more flour and knead). Pat into a ball and flatten until approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick. Use the medicine cup to cut bite-sized scones; place on non-stick cookie sheet. Re-knead and re-ball the edges and continue cutting until all dough is gone. Bake for 8 minutes, watching closely as they burn easily. When scones have light golden tops, they’re done.

While dough is baking, prepare glaze by combining the powdered sugar with splashes of milk until the consistency of slightly runny icing. Remove scones from oven; coat with glaze. Serve with clotted cream and curds/jam. And of course, a fat pot of tea. Yum!

* If you chose to add dry ingredients, such as fruit, poppy seeds, nuts or mini-chocolate chips, do so at this point. Just eyeball it, maybe a couple tablespoons or so. Classic combinations include strawberry-poppyseed, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip, cranberry-chocolate, lavender or cherry-almond.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday? Is it Thursday?

"Did you say Thursday? Thursday, oh no it can't be Thursday, it's too gruesome!"

--"What's so gruesome about Thursdays?"

"Nothing generally, except I can never remember when they're coming up! And they're so particular about the schedules... Do me a favor, will you, and look for the other aligator shoe."

~~ Breakfast at Tiffany's

Okay, well I missed a couple of lines in there, but yeah. What a crazy week! I'm so behind in all the fun stuff, lol. Lot's of partially started and partially finished stuff pending...