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, December 12, 2010

Serendipity, Mutant Marshmallows and Rebounding

Cake Walk No More

Methinks the blog may be every other week until the end of my treatments. If you don't see it up by 5pm Pacific time, I'm likely not posting that week. I'm beginning to feel the full force of the fatigue and the less pleasant side effects from the chemo. It took every bit of a week to feel normal. I wasn't in any danger, and there was no thought of going to an ER. It just took time, a lot of sleep and fluids to rebound. I really appreciate the inquiries and kind words. Keep those and the prayers coming, but please don't worry. According to the Docs, I'm weathering this as I should be. Truth be told, nothing I've gone through with chemo was as bad as it was for me last year when I first went into the hospital. The only real drag were the days when I was too tired and fuzzy headed to do anything but actually watch daytime TV. Usually, I'm writing or reading or cooking with the TV as background noise. I found that it's just as bad as it was last year when I was in the hospital. Thankfully, this year, Tiger Woods isn't in the news and on every channel. This week I was most grateful for two food channels to bounce between.

Mutant Marshmallows and Baking Adventures

By mid-week, I was up and about enough to indulge in some baking and gift assembly. That meant taking on the marshmallows. I've been making these for at least four years now, and they turn out very well. They are amazing in a nice cup of hot cocoa. Still, they remain a challenge to make. I'm still not an expert with candy thermometers. I suspect that my sugar mixture is not precisely 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This time, instead of mixing beautifully in the bottom of the bowl the way they do for Food Network folks like Ina Garten, mine was one ball of white, sticky fluff encasing the mixer's wire whisk. I had three spatulas stuck in the ball before I figured out a way to get the stuff into the pan. I would have taken a photo, but I worried about the mixture hardening and losing the wire whisk forever. I should have tried for a photo. It looked like a piece of modern art. I suppose that's what I could have done if I didn't get the ball smoothed out – sold it as a bit of modern sculpting. Once that was finally over, I had to battle clouds of Dutch processed cocoa floating through the room as I mixed the ingredients for my instant hot cocoa mix. Have you ever breathed in a cloud of Dutch processed cocoa? It tingles.

Strangely, despite all the comedy surrounding the gift assembling, the cookie baking happened with a great deal of efficiency. Perhaps that was because Jon was home at the time. This was the first wave of cookie baking. Those get shipped out hither and yon. I managed to package those without serous mishap. Though, truth be told, I'm glad we don't have a cat. With my current luck, I would have shipped it as well. Still, I'm really pleased to be able to really participate in the holiday season this year. It felt really wrong not doing anything baking-wise last year. I know that it was a major miracle that I was home and walking around, but it still felt wrong. Now, the apartment is filled with the smells of vanilla and cinnamon and other spices. It's just wonderful.

Serendipity Lives

I haven't talked about the film projects much here not because there was nothing going on, but because I was only loosely keeping track of the strange machinations going on around them. I know that things are going on when Ralph asks me for the odd file or to re-write something for a onesheet. I think that Ralph is trying to spare me the emotional highs and lows of the film funding roller coaster by only bringing things to my attention as they become really solid leads. And sometimes he clues me in when I'm feeling down about things. This week was not a stellar one career wise on top of my physical difficulties. I must have sounded bummed on the phone with Ralph, because he let me know the crazy things going on in the background with some of the film projects. Ralph's strategy is to mind his own business and let the random connections come his way. it's a surprisingly effective strategy. Then, he is open and polite to everyone expressing interest is a script. Then, you get them copious amounts of information and wait. What was exciting was the type of connections the randomness brought this time. Our scripts have found their way onto some pretty impressive desks (I can't say whose right now), and it's been flattering that there is real interest in them. I don't know how any of this will turn out which is typical of the process, but the news was what I needed to hear at that time. I had been having trouble focusing enough to write. It's interesting that praise from a well placed stranger would cure that. Whatever the reason, I'm producing pages again. That also makes me feel good.

This week involves an encounter with Craig and a visit to the studio amidst my various appointments. I'm certain that hilarity will ensue.

Stay tuned.

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