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, July 18, 2010

Herbs, Chokes and Non-Passive Possessives

I have no news about Craig's farmland adventures with the ladybugs, the skunk and his harvest of corn. I'm hoping for a report this coming week. However, I can report that a quick chat with my father, a veteran urban gardener, solved my problem with the root bound basil plant. A coffee can, of course. I'm such a silly billy over thinking the problem. Now, my plant is happy, and I've made my first batch of basil oil. I have, in fact, almost put my kitchen in order. There are vats of stock chilling and waiting to be reduced. I've made chive butter and a compound herb butter in addition to the basil oil. By the time this posts, I'll have my Hollandaise. I have asparagus to put it on among other things. The therapy has been very helpful, but I have to refrain from having the oven on along with steaming pots during a heatwave. We had on the air conditioner and it was still warm enough in here to melt the butter in the dish on the counter. It took hours for the stocks to get to room temperature last night and longer still for it to be cool enough for me to sleep. That was very silly on my part. But my freezer is nearly stocked again.

Year of Fun – Deb versus the Artichoke

In last year's widely acclaimed blog, Deb vs the Oyster, my readers learned that I finally ended a shameful chapter in my life as a sybarite by having a plate full of raw oysters. Opening them almost involved medical intervention, but overall, I really enjoyed them. I'm desirous of another one soon. At any rate, another shameful secret I held until today is that I've never had an artichoke. It just wasn't anything my family cooked. As an adult, I'd watch people so carefully eating the tender part of the leaves that I worried about what would happen if one was careless. The heart seemed to be a huge effort to find for a very little bit of veg. I wasn't sure it was worth the effort, frankly. And then that danged Gaida DiLaurentiis and David Rocco were making them look so tasty, especially fried in olive oil. Rocco in particular was so deft in the way he whittled down the veg to the heart, that I thought I would take up the challenge. Forty minutes later and only two of the four gigantic things have been whittled enough to fry. They don't look as pretty as they did on TV. In fact, I believe I could hear Giada and David screaming at me as a mutilated the poor things. You see, I was worried about getting too much choke or fibrous stem or leaves. The whole thing scares me, okay. But I did it. The photo indicates one of the whole beasties versus two quarters of a heart. Now, I just have to fry it then see if I'll ever go through that again. There will be a mini blog reporting on who all this worked out.

In other food news, I actually made a papusa! It's filtered into the mainstream enough that the Food Network website had three recipes and a video on how to make them. The dough wasn't very cooperative and I forgot to add the queso Cotija that I managed to find. But it was really yummy and I have plenty of ingredients to make many more. And they freeze! I've been obsessed with papusas since working a temp job years ago that had a lot of Salvadorans on the factory floor. I'd look for them on the menu at every food truck I'd run into here. Two years ago, there were two odd recipes online. Now, there are over a dozen not including the Food Network. It's just bliss to have them for a ready snack.

Possessing Possessives

Food was not the only thing occupying my time this week. There was much in the way of hospital related unpleasantness that I won't get into. The now Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare continues with great vigor. I may be forced to make some very difficult choices next week. But there is not much to be gained in talking about that now either.

What has occupied my mind this week have been the possessive nature of characters in both Demon Under Glass and in A Soldier's Destiny. One of the things we wanted to make clear in the promo recorded for Demon Under Glass is that Simon's interest in Joe is more than the business of bringing down the Delphi Project. While that is clear, whether or not the interest is mutual on Joe's part is another matter That has to unfold over time one way or the other. It is quite clear that Joe is well aware of Simon's inclinations toward him. He is also aware that Simon tends to be possessive often in the guise of being protective. The element we're working into the scripts is a very subtle interplay between the two men. Joe must make it clear that he will be allowed to think for himself and act on his own when necessary while not giving Simon any inkling that he is trying to pull away. Meanwhile, Simon must keep Joe close to him to protect him while they work toward their mutual goals and while he works toward his ultimate agenda. There must be a balance between keeping Joe firmly within his grasp but not clutching too tightly. Joe knows what Simon can do, so he is disinclined to frighten or overtly coerce him. It's all very subtle but we have to make sure the audience see this interplay and know what the stakes are. Now, there will be flare ups of rebellion on Joe's part and of determination on Simon's part. Sometimes, the possessiveness seeps through when they are in an extreme situations. But Simon must never lose control, or he risks an escalation which will not get him a willing companion. It will be a challenge born mostly by the actors.

On a less tantalizing note, We are scheduling a formal photos shoot for reference photos the promo requires and for advanced publicity. It should happen in two weeks.

Back to the matter at hand, possessiveness is a big theme in A Soldier's Destiny. As more and more demands are made on Rik and Vincent, they tighten their hold on each other. It is apparent to anyone with a brain that trying to pry them apart would not only be futile but dangerous. This is a mutually obsessive/possessive relationship that works for the pair. Is it healthy, probably not for normals, but it's what they require to function. It's also really hot with all that claiming and reclaiming and dominating and submitting going on everywhere. Of course there are those who chance to observe some of their behavior and misinterpret it. That is that either man is prone to submit to someone stronger or someone who has been given an edge. The mayhem that ensues from those assaults puts everything Rik and Vincent have worked for in extreme jeopardy. I'm having a lot of fun with this.

Stay tuned.

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