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, August 29, 2010

Tasty Bits, A Memorial and Wah Battle

A Tasty Saturday

I was feeling pretty good once free of the Borg chemo machine, but I wasn't certain that I was up to the really fancy cooking. And yet, I was hungry for something new. Enter Cooking Channel's Laura Calder and her addictive French Food at Home. This episode, Lazy Daze featured her super simple Basil Beef was just the ticket as I had a small tenderloin roast in my freezer and what is becoming a basil tree on my window sill. I hear you now. You have a tenderloin roast in the freezer? Well, la di da, ms megabucks. Au contraire! I learned from one of my very favorites Food Network gurus, Alton Brown, that tenderloin is an very affordable luxury. Follow the edicts in Tender is the Loin pt 1 Video clip One and Video Clip Two and you'll see. I bought a PISMO of tenderloin at my local Costco for about $50. I cut it down myself. After making my Well-zones and cutting the rest into steaks or roasts, the price per serving came to $2.00. I've acquired seafood at similar savings (lobster tails and king crab legs can go on incredible sales), but you have to be able to use them the day your buy them or within a couple days at most. Tenderloin even as a roast cooks super fast and it is very, very lean. It's a great protein for me especially when I'm not up to heavy cooking. The Basil beef recipe was just lovely seared then marinated slices over a lovely green salad. All that was missing was a hunk of French bread. Just awesome! So, when you get a little flush, buy a PISMO and follow Alton's advice. You will have much freezer goodness at your finger tips.

In Memorial - Satoshi Kon

The anime journey that began for me when Wee Willy Webber introduced me to Astro Boy and Speed Racer, reached it's maturity when I discovered Paranoia Agent and the work of Satoshi Kon . He had a way of looking at the underside of society, families or even pop culture that was as enlightening as it was humorous and compelling. Kon died on august 24th from Pancreatic Cancer at age 47. It is a horrific loss to anime. I strongly recommend taking a long look at his body of work and pass along that recommendation to others. Paranoia Agent -- See the trailer HERE ran on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network but is also available on DVD. It is a tale of pop culture horror in which one episode, Mellow Maromi (the first one I happened to see) posits that working in the entertainment industry can result in death. The most frightening aspect of that episode was how reasonable that supposition is. Though I love Paranoia Agent, my favorite of Kon's works is Tokyo Godfathers . See the trailer HERE . It is a joyfully crazy, scary and touching film that has taken a place beside the Alistair Sim Chistmas Carol, Scrooge as part of our Christmas tradition. It is tragic that we will not have anything more from this tremendously talented man, but we can spread the word about this incredible body of work.

Kon's family posted his final thoughts on his blog which was translated HERE .

Demon Under Glass Update

The reaction to the trailers has been interesting. I've lost count of how many TV shows, books and films the web series is being compared to. Though some comparisons perplex me – as I understand the premise of the CW series, Supernatural, I don't get where we fit. Most of them are favorable, so we can't complain. I'm very pleased about the reaction to Owen Szabo as Simon Molinar. It's not just because he is a very good looking young man – though I have fielded a number of inquiries at how often we will have him in states of undress – it's also been a positive reaction to his innocent face. Even his co-star, Garett Maggart has noted that this Simon will be harder to read for Joe because he isn't obviously dangerous. He said that Joe would have to be on egg shells to figure out when Simon is reacting badly to something. And that when Simon does something horrible, it will be all the creepier with that innocent, young face. And that's what we are looking for from Owen, thus we're pleased with the reactions so far.

The Battle with Wah

I'm still in the midst of a writing frenzy, and while it has been really satisfying, I'm struggling to find a balance between getting the superstructure of the book down versus capturing the finer details. Jon has defined the details as wah, a Japanese term for the moment just before a pitcher releases the ball – the moment a fan is most present in the game. In a romance, which the Soldiers books are despite all the high tech mayhem, there should be a lot of wah moments. This is especially true for the love scenes. While I was very happy with the one I posted last week [warning – it's still yaoi and it has spoilers], I consider it very much a draft as there is much in the way of fine detail and hanging in the moment that is missing. It looks like this battle will wage while the jag rages. I'm really pleased with how much I'm getting down and that there is actually a good bit of detail to the plot and the underpinnings. I've been really pleased at the ease I've had in writing the fight scenes. I've almost always struggled with those. This time, I've been able to write them without battle music. The last one was written while listening to Petula Clark's Downtown and the Bangle's Manic Monday though I'm writing the current one to Yoko Kanno's Get 9 from Ghost in the Shell. I love this video from this not only because a character throws Catcher in the Rye off a balcony(the strange smiley faces relate to that accursed book) but also because it captures the show's funky, hip violence. But I digress. It's not that I'm having trouble spinning wah moments from the action, it's that I'm being more strongly compelled to write action at present. And given that on chemo days and just after, I barely have the presence of mind to read, I think I should get as much of the book down while I have the energy. So, what I'm doing is making one word notes on the finer detail that I'd like to add later. Yes, one word is enough of a trigger. The word hair next to Vincent's name brings fourth all sorts of descriptive phrases about how cool his hair feels on naked skin; what torture it is to not be able to touch his hair or his skin. Before you know it, there's the wah. I think the main thing is to not let the superstructure of the book get too far ahead of the wah. Hopefully, it's a balance I'll be able to strike.

Stay tuned!

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