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!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Chicken Destiny, NaNoWriMo and Updates

Thanks for all of the messages of well wishes. It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Considering the impressive list of what could be going on with side effects, I'm still getting off relatively easily, so I'm focusing on that – when I'm awake enough to focus.

Chicken Destiny

I seem to be destined to roast a chicken today. This was the subject of many of the cooking programs last week. I was told on one that Julia Child could judge how good a cook someone was by their roast chicken. That's sort of normal as it is a kitchen basic. But roasting chickens were turning up in the books I was reading last week. That was a little weird. And then chickens were on sale at my favorite market for $.67 a pound. At that point, the cosmos is telling me to roast a chicken. Of course, while I'm massaging a chicken with a big wad of soft butter, you get a lot of phone calls. I had to do the big, surgeon level hand wash about a half a dozen times before I got the bird into the oven..Incidentally, I found that chicken fat and butter leave the hands very soft even after frequent hand washings. I'm not sure of how Julia would judge my chicken, but it and the gravy were quite tasty.

I'm still planning on making big things like croissants and puff pastry, but I have no idea when. It's taking me longer to bounce back after a chemo cycle. And in a couple of weeks, I'll have to do my ramp up to Thanksgiving dinner (turkey stock must be made and I do pies a few days in advance). So, what I've done is make sure that I have all the ingredients on hand for a high energy day when I can have a whack at one of the recipes. And I mean whack literally. In both recipes, one has to beat a mound of butter into a thin square before incorporating it into the dough. Hopefully, I won't alarm the neighbors. And on the cookie front, we have one more cookie we need to experiment with. Our attempt at oatmeal failed miserably last year. I'm still puzzled as to why. We have some new recipes that we're going to try. Meanwhile, all the cookie packaging I ordered is here.

Deb vs NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is upon us again. And this year, I simply must speak up. While my number one bit of advice to people who aspire to be writers is to write, I have deeply conflicted feelings about this effort. The Wiki on the project is very upbeat and talks about how many words are written. My experience is through the people on the professional writing list I'm on and the fanfiction lists I still haunt. I'm seeing dozens of writers torturing themselves over what they aren't getting done. By the end of the month, many are so demoralized that they don't write at all for weeks. This doesn't strike me as a positive exercise. The only way a writer should be subject to that kind of hard deadline is if they're being paid. If a writer insists on doing this, ignore the deadline and just enjoy the experience of workshopping with a bunch of writers in the same both. He, see what you have at the end and build on it. Only compete with yourself – don't use other writer's progress as a yardstick. Meanwhile, I'm staying off all of my writing lists until mid-December.


Speaking of writing, I'm working on the things that require the least amount of energy, the novels. There are two that I'm bouncing between using the path of leas resistance. I hadn't planned on doing two. The second one sort of sprung from nowhere and wouldn't go away. So my Soldiers have some competition. I'll go into who they are and why they popped into my brain when I'm closer to finishing. I hope to have another Soldier's excerpt soon. As for the shoots, everyone involved is quite understanding and ready to move forward when I am.

Stay Tuned.

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