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, April 05, 2009

Spring Musings, Easter Cooking and Writing Frenzy

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.

This will be a very short blog. I've got a lot of work to finish today.

It is Spring in Los Angeles. That means that there are lovely young men jogging about barely wearing clothes. And the weather is really nice, too. It’s been an odd Spring, weather wise. Usually, sometime after Valentine’s Day, things go from a little chilly to blazing hot. It’s been a lot cooler for a lot longer this year. I’m still wearing my full- length coat in the mornings (it’s been in the 40s f – 9c when we leave for work). It’s usually much warmer by the time we leave. Last, wear, I’d ditched the coat before the beginning of March. Still, the young don’t mind a little chill. It’s spring, so they must shed their layers. I certainly don’t mind. The flowers are blooming beautifully. LA blooms in very strong colors which I prefer to pastels. And despite the havoc all of this flora is reeking upon my sinuses, I’m enjoying the scents.

Cooking Frenzy

Meanwhile, the next big holiday, Easter, looms. My plans for making stocks were thwarted this weekend. Silly me thought that chain supermarkets would carry the same kinds of poultry at each store. Oh, no. Now, I’ll have to wait until Friday to get the turkey wings I like to use to make stock for various Easter related dishes. It’s not so bad though. Now, that we’re working the day shift, I have the whole evening on Friday to get a lot of the prep out of the way. I can do things like make pie dough a few days in advance of Friday, so there won’t be a lot of rushing around on Saturday. I’m not sure who, if anyone, is attending the dinner, but I always like to be prepared for surprises.

I haven’t been talking about it very much lately, but I’m still doing a lot of cooking that is getting more and more involved each year. I diligently record cooking shows on The Food Network and PBS every weekend. I watch them for new ideas and re-watch them to make sure I understand the techniques. One thing that has been a challenge for me is that most of the shows have recipes that must be served immediately after they are finished. That’s not an option for a person who tries to make most of the meals for the week during the weekend. Sometimes, I don’t even have the energy to make 30 Minute Meals when I get home. I need something I can throw in the oven or on the stovetop and is on the plate in fifteen minutes. So, my big food project, aside from the ever growing Vincent Greven Cookbook and sneaking more veggies into Jon’s diet, has been figuring out where I can stop a recipe to freeze it so that it tastes the same when I make it later in the week. Generally, I’ve found that blanching the veggies and freezing them separate from the meat an sauce in stews keeps them from being mushy when I put it all together. I actually make all my sauces and freeze them separately. Each night, I defrost the meal in the fridge and put it together when I get home. I’m also getting more confident with complicated dishes. But I find cooking very peaceful. That’s probably because I can control most aspects of it. And, as Jon says, there is much yumminess at the end.

Back to Basics

For our own sanity, Jon and I are working on projects close to home and leaving the meetings about high finance and brinksmanship to Ralph. All of the stopping and starting and rushing about had been making us both cranky. I have been much happier working on the scripts for the Blood Oath pitch, and Jon really grooves on editing. Thus, we’ve both been happier this week than we had been in a while. I’ve had a number of influences elevating my mood lately – and none of them involve copious amounts of wine. In the wake of Harry’s passing, I’ve been in contact with a number of old and dear friends. Jon and I each joined Facebook where they were all hanging out. Some folks from way back in grade school have turned up. It’s been wild. Anyway, the lovely women from grad school and the writers’ group we had there have worked wonders on my state of mind, but then, they always did. It was refreshing to look at our work out here in terms of what we have accomplished thus far rather than what has yet to happen. It sounds corny, but a positive outlook works wonders on the disposition. I even feel better physically than I have in a while. At this rate, I may have an absolutely fabulous month of fun. Jon’s reconnected with some of his film school colleagues. Their experiences have given him a lot of perspective and a more positive outlook as well. In this arena, friends are important. They often keep us sane.

On the writing front, I’ve been having fun with Rik and Vincent. It took me all the way to nearly the end of episode three to get to the first love scene. That’s nearly 120 pages of script and a great deal of restraint on my part. It’s been a lot of fun though. There is a whole different way of interacting between the men before and after they get together. Their body language is different, and Vincent is much more formal in the way he speaks to Rik before they become lovers. I’m definitely going to do short stories or a novella from these pages for the web page. With me, writing begets more writing. I’m getting new ideas for the Soldiers sequels and the third installment of the Surrender novels. I’ve even re-started research on a long dormant project and the memoir about my mother. I’m happiest when my mind is full of characters and storylines. Everything is better when I’m actually creating.

Well, I must be off to put on Hawaii Five-O and input the rest of the pilot and get ready for the week.

Next week – Craig vs Cecil B. DeMille and an Easter feast!

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