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, March 16, 2008

Killer Boyfriends, Jigs and Beer

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Soldier’s Fate Excerpt

My apologies for taking such a long while to upload it. I had a very difficult time just choosing something that wouldn’t give any spoilers. Then, I had a harder time getting access to the PC when I wasn’t falling asleep. Jon was editing The Gunslinger Trailer from almost the moment I posted last week’s blog until last night. He’s still not finished, but he was far enough along to take a break. Enjoy! The full novel will be on schedule for next month.


I’ve received comments noting that I never revealed how the apple pie and other creations of two weeks ago turned out. Boy, am I ever distracted. The apple pie was amazing. The crust was flaky, and I’ve never had pieces that were that picture perfect. Jon ate two pieces as soon as it was ready. The whole pie was gone by Wednesday. I am heartened by the results and will definitely make another apple pie soon. I may also switch to home made pie crusts for the sweet potato pies I make during the big holidays. Yes, I was using store bought. It’s an acceptable time saver when making really big meals, but the result of the crust with the apple pie was so good, that I have to make my own when baking my signature dessert. I made passable veal stock and demi-glace, but I’d like to try it again. I don’t think I strained it enough. I tried the poulet roti (roast chicken) complete with herbed butter. That really turned out well. I’ll try out some of the big recipes toward the end of the month. I’ll pass along the result. I’ll even remember. I’ve been asked about a food blog. I won’t be doing that, but we will be putting up a web site for our families where I’ll have a lot of cooking antics with photos and such.

Holi-daze – March Madness Edition

There are two this month which is unusual. Easter is early this year. The first celebration up is for St. Patrick’s Day. Now, I’ve often had the question about me celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The comment ‘funny, you don’t look Irish’ often comes up. I would go through the history of slave ownership and wealthy Irish in the US and point out the Irish last names on my mother’s side of the family along with a lot of fair skin and red hair to end the line of inquiry quickly and finally. There are a lot of Irishmen in our family tree. I once joked with a writer friend from there about looking up my ancestors. She said that the shenanigans by her countrymen in the colonies were well known and she doubted anyone would be surprised to find me on their doorstep.

Beyond lineage as a reason, I have another for celebrating St. Patrick. It’s my Mother’s Feast Day. Her name was Patricia, and she loved any reason for celebrating. Yes, Feast Day. Can’t you tell I’ve had twelve years of Catholic school? It should have been apparent. In addition to all that, I grew up in a predominately Irish neighborhood. I learned to do a real Irish jig in High school, for goodness sake. I also learned to square dance. Neither has come up in the decades since graduation. But I digress. The first Sunday dinner I ever made solo for my family was corned beef and cabbage. Thus, I am making one today. I also have Killian’s Red ale, because I can’t find the wonderful red ale I had in an Irish Pub in Paris. Yeah, that seemed odd to me, too. But it was a neat place. And it wasn’t nearly as odd as the gay Australian pub across the street. The only thing that will be missing, aside from Mom, is our favorite film to watch on St. Patrick’s Day, The Quiet Man. It’s one of my favorite films, actually.

I’ll save the Easter zaniness of past and hopefully present for next week. At that time, we will discuss and inexplicable favorite film, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. I know you can’t wait.

Romance and Jeopardy

Warning: Spoiler alert for the Bourne films and others.

Jon and I had a debate this week that caused me to look at a certain type of dramatic situation that occurs in romance novels or films with a romance theme. When you have a protagonist who is in a dangerous line of work or embroiled in a dangerous circumstance, how can they hope to keep a lover? The discussion was prompted by my obsession with the Bourne Films. In particular, Jon was arguing that Nicky Parsons, one of Bourne’s handlers who ends up on the run with him in the third film, wouldn’t be interested in Bourne as a lover because he scared the crap out of her in the second film. He was a little homicidal at the time. I disagreed. It was clear in the third film that they had a romantic past and that she was still attracted to him. There’s something about a good-looking, vulnerable but deadly man that really attracts the girls (no, I can’t explain it). However, I thought it was more likely that Bourne wouldn’t allow an affair with Nicky even if he weren’t still mourning Marie. He knows that involvement with him is likely to result in death. He would be extremely reluctant to risk it. I generally don’t write this sort of character. I like my couples to stay together and fight the outside world. That’s true for The Gift of Surrender and its sequel and for A Soldier’s Choice and its sequel. However, that kind of antagonist is in The Gunslinger. Shadow Smith is a killer. And even as he is falling for KD Delaney, he knows that he is putting her in grave danger. His past looms largely in their present and would definitely impact whatever future they can have. He is very sensitive to that. Shadow has a very difficult decision in front of him – stay and hope for the best, grabbing whatever happiness he can have or protect the woman he loves and leave. I won’t reveal anything, I promise. And yes, it looks like the Gunslinger will be a novel as well. I don’t need to sleep.

Conversations I’ve Had – Gunslinger Edition

I don’t think about things I say on the phone until I see the expressions on the faces of people surrounding me at the time. Even Jon has looked at me sideways when I’m on the phone. These are some of the questions and statements that came up in the weeks before we shot the Gunslinger trailer.

“Just how hairy are you?”

“All those buttons seemed liked a good idea at the time, but I don’t see how he can get them undone.”

“You really don’t need to shave that far down.”

“I forgot to ask about tattoos there.”

“The rain barrel will keep that out of view, I think.”

“We can pick up bullets on the say to subway.”

“If they don’t stop, we’ll just keep shooting.”

All of this was totally innocent, I assure you. Really. Here’s an uncorrected screen grab. There are more on the Hidden Passions Myspace page.

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