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, June 26, 2011

Living Big, Fighting Flour and Some Updates

The past week was an interesting one. As always with me, it is full of duality. On the one hand, I am coping with the 'new normal' of my body after cancer and chemo. On the other hand, I must find a way to make the most of my clean bill of health. I was told by a caregiver of an appendix cancer patient who did not have the advantage of finding treatment that works that I should be living big in all things. His mother would have done incredible things with the reprieve I have been granted. He was right about his mother. She would have done extraordinary things with more time. His was an admonishment that I could not ignore. But how does one live big in all things when walking is often painful and other problems sometimes keep one housebound altogether? I think I have a solution. At least, it worked for me this week. One day, I will go out and walk or do some exploring or do an errand. On those days, I will push myself physically. The next day, I will rest, but I will do something mentally that pushes me or hones an existing skill. Or I'll work on a more rote tasks like those involved in cooking as a meditative thing.

So, each day involves some sort of betterment – even the days where I don't stray far from my sofa. I have decided to work on my French language skills on my non-outing days. To that end, I am watching French news and what television shows I can find on Youtube. For example, the French version of Law and Order: Criminal intent is Paris EnquĂȘtes Criminelles. Very interesting. Watching cooking shows really helps because I can follow along more easily. And to really keep my mind nimble, I'm also learning Japanese. Slowly. Cooking videos help there. As does anime. Luckily, I have a Japanese supermarket close by with staff to practice on. For French practice, I have an international calling plan and a certain someone I can call! And the language study is not just to keep my mind sharp. I have business in both countries. So, I am striving to live big in every way.

Oh, thank you for the kind words of support over the insurance insanity. I realized on Monday that since July was only a week away, I didn't need to go through getting a referral for the B-12 shot. I just changed the date of the appointment. The oncology clinic nurses were very understanding about it. They, too, felt the extra appointment was a little crazy. Thus, the one phone call saved me a considerable amount of consternation last week.

Deb Versus Puff Pastry

When I noticed Martha Stewart gently repairing part of her dough were the butter had seeped through her dough during the first rolling, I knew that I could succeed. I had been very concerned about the bit of butter that was on my rolling pin after I wrapped the dough to let it rest after the first and second turns [after the butter is incorporated the dough is rolled out to about 19 inches length wise. Then, it's folded in thirds like a letter and turned 45 degrees and rolled out again or wrapped to rest]. The other thing I had to watch was that the dough didn't get covered in too much flour. Between each turn, it had do be carefully and thoroughly dusted off. That was difficult as there was flour everywhere There was so much flour in the air that I wondered about explosions. There was a lot of flour about. That photo was taken after I had cleaned things up a little bit. All the while between rolling out the dough with each turn, I worked on the blog or some other writings. It was a pleasant way to pass the time. Once the dough was finished, I had to let it rest a couple of hours before attempting the palmiers. They were remarkably simple to make. The dough is rolled out onto a surface coated with sugar. Then the edges on either side are rolled toward the middle. Then, the dough is sliced and baked. They were delicious. I was very pleased at how the recipes turned out. I believe that I will try to make croissants this coming week.

Book Updates

I've given this a lot of thought. Since we're planning on new covers and revisions and all sorts of things like new artwork and book trailers, I'm going to wait on excerpts until the books are ready to be published. I want to encourage readers to buy the book after reading the excerpts. I've also had to accept the fact that whatever excerpt I put up will have some sort of spoiler in it. I'll try to keep it to minor ones and I'll give a lot of warning.

There are no film or web series updates this week.

Stay tuned.

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