Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

'Cheesesteaks', Mutants and Strangulation

The So-Called Philly Cheesesteak

I begin with a rant of sorts. Jon and I are from Philadelphia which is home to the steak sandwich, known to the rest of the country as the Philly cheese steak. We learned to live with that slightly incorrect usage. In Philly, it’s a steak sandwich and it doesn’t necessarily come with cheese. You have to ask for that. So, first the term is wrong. Then, there are the increasingly strange variant on this sandwich that are puzzling. The last ones are outright annoying. Philly steak sandwich meat is never put on a hamburger like Dominos Pizza.

While the products are really appalling, the advertising features a Philly accent that neither of us has ever heard south of Brooklyn are worse. I’ve only seen an outsider get that strange, nasal tone right twice. Once was in the Jack in the Box ads for their odd variant on the steak sandwich. The other was from Toni Collette, an Australian actress who played Haley Joel Osment’s mom in The Sixth Sense. I could have sworn she was from south Philly. And the last thing, for those restaurants out here or places other than Philly who manage to get the steak sandwich in the ballpark, they shouldn’t cost more than $6.99. It’s made from the cheapest meat on the planet or it should be if it’s authentic, and is supposed to be a cheap meal option. I’ve seen it for as high as 10.95 in other states. Ridiculous! We’re lucky enough to live near Markie D’s, owned by a man who hails from our fair hometown. He does a good job at a fair price AND he has Tastykakes. Joy! The first time we went there, he asked us what part of Philly we came from. I asked how he knew. He said we knew how to order one, and we called it a ‘so-called’ steak sandwich when we ordered. That meant we knew what a real one was supposed to me. The only thing they need to have is Federal Pretzels and Habersett’s scrapple (it’s sound awful, but them’s good eats) and I’d be in nirvana.

On the food topic, I’ve been having fun with recipes for the sequel to ‘A Soldier’s Choice.’ One of the sub plots involves food, and one character is nearly obsessed with it. Thus, there are already a lot of recipes in this novel. I’ll have to another bonus cookbook. I’ll be attempting two of them this week as part of my continuing birthday celebration. They are more elaborate than my usual efforts, but they are worth the try. I’ll reveal how I did next week.
Mutants, Vampires and Atlereds

The sequel is going well. I was worried that I was getting too involved with the inner workings of the Foundation for Altered Development and it’s headquarters. It is, after all, erotica. Those details weren’t any where near being erotic. However, I hit upon a very valid reason for the characters’ behavior early in the book that causes a crisis in their relationship. This relationship problem flowed organically from the details of the job and the organization they work for. That was one of those unexpected and magical moments that sometimes happens to a writer. It gave the conflict more depth and edge than I’d imagined. Now I’m struggling to keep up with the characters as the scenario are moving forward in my head. It’s a lot of fun. And the erotica is fitting in seamlessly which pleases me as well.

The other surprisingly seamless element in the sequel is the explanation of how Altereds happened. I am fusing a futuristic story with a vampire story. However, at the heart of Demon Under Glass is science. WARNING: Geeky Stuff follows. The Vampire, Simon Molinar, is not of the undead. He is an altered human. We proposed that a virus caused a genetic mutation. The Delphi Project was formed to research how he worked and if the mutation could be generated in other humans. What we figured out is that the results of the Delphi Project’s research was used on dozens of subjects over a number of years, primarily in this country. The descendants of the experimental subjects who really developed Molinar’s traits manifests one or more of them (speed, strength, senses, etc) as children. The military uses the Delphi Project’s old research to further Alter the subject and enhance those traits and cause others to manifest. None of the Altereds have the thirst for blood. Molinar’s real identity of a vampire has been concealed in the years since Delphi was shut down though rumors persist. The sanitized version was that he was a genetic oddity who came to believe he was a vampire. The report calls him a sociopathic serial killer who eventually escaped the facility to an unknown fate. I had to figure out all of this because Bobby hears the rumors told to call new Altereds. Also, in trying to change how Altereds are treated through the medical procedure, Rik and Vincent discover that the practices dates back to the original experiments on Molinar. This sounds very techy and geeky, but it was fun to work it all out as a writer. You can check out the trailer for the film which really covers how the experiments works, and is fun to watch this link.
Month of fun update

Yesterday, I treated myself to a manicure and a dinner with one of the actors who did the voice of Vincent on the website for A Soldier’s Choice. An outing with an actor is always fun, but usually exhausting. We had a rollicking good time though there was some hubbub when Vic found out that I’m doing panels with Travis (the voice of Rik on the website) at conventions. They have some sort of rivalry that they claim is friendly see this link. And I’m in the middle getting strangled. They are both way cute, so the consternation they cause is well worth it.
More to come...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG TASTYKAKES ^.^ i'm from up north, we don't see them much (actually i saw some in the grocery store last time i went home to MA but they seem to have bypassed the quaint little island of manhattan)

it has always been my dream to start a porn company called Tastykakes Productions. one day...