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 12, 2011

New Tests, New Recipes and Familiar Foibles

This week has been very difficult. There are a number of reasons for this. The biggest reason is that I was going through a routine that I haven't had to do for three months. It was back to the lab for blood tests. And then it was back to radiology for the CT scan. And this time, I had to go to the appointments without Jon. He's got a cool new day job that has many things that he enjoys. It is connected to the visual arts. It has a lot of varied detail work that he enjoys. And there are even office cats to occasionally stand on his keyboard and head butt him. The job is a fantastic thing to have happened for both of us. Still, it was daunting to have to go to these appointments on my own again. The CT scan was really a fast appointment, at least. I barely had time to choke down the contrast drink – this time it was 'banana' smoothie flavored – before I was called in. I was out in a never heard of two hours! There was also the scintillating company of Ray Proscia who was kindly shuttling me about. All of that offset the ordeal of having the tests. Now, I have to figure out who not to worry myself into a frenzy before I get the results.

Christmas in June

It's more than six months to the next holiday baking season, but it is time to start planning! I have been watching some new dessert themed TV shows of late, and I believe I may have found a sugar cookie recipe that I like. This one doesn't require rolling the dough and cutting out cookies! The search for a durable but tender chocolate cookie continues, but I think we're going to do sample batches of the sugar cookies. I also think the time has come to try puff pastry. Martha Stewart made a batch and made it look even simpler than the last demo I watched. I want to be able to make this to make Palmiers as a Christmas treat among many other things. The Martha recipe produces three pounds of dough which is enough to make tons of Palmiers, cheese straws and en croute anything that isn't moving. I also want to make croissants. It's a similar recipe to puff pastry, but the dough has yeast in it and needs an extra day to proof. While I also feel that trying that recipe is inevitable, I think I should try the puff pastry. There will be some 'lucky' locals who will get to sample the results. I don't like to ship the goods unless I know they're really good. No worries, non LA peeps, I may ship some out to a few folks for more opinions.

Accidental Genius and Other Writing Foibles

Some of the constants in my genre fiction are very deliberate. The oddest – and the funniest to me – is that in all of the worlds I write in whether they are in some strange future or a fantasy past, the weather is almost always in the fall or winter. Spring and summer fly past in a blink, but I luxuriate in the crispness of fall and the biting cold of winter. The reason for this is not because I like those seasons above others. I actually prefer the spring. Basically, I've lived with the Hubs for far too long. He likes even the most far flung scifi fantasy to make sense in every day moments. Knowing what I know about men, I realized that they would never lounge about in their homes wearing the beautiful silk knit pajamas I often imagine them wearing. Jon has often told me that if I didn't object, he'd be in his boxers or less at his PC. Thus, I couldn't make that work in my head even as fiction. So, I made the environment cold most of the time. Cold environments also require fireplaces and cuddling. Genius!

Other constants are by products of my own interests but have been thought of as a brilliant, deliberate choice. My obsession with food has become a constant in whatever I'm writing. Relationships are forged and shaped around meals, in my opinion. A character's relationship with food says a lot about who they are. In my romances, the first sign of a sensual nature is an appreciation for all aspects of food – taste, texture, smell. Recently, some of my fiction has attracted attention in Japan. I may have my titles published in Japanese! But that is a very long story for another day. One of the things I was praised about was the focus on meals and cooking. Did I know that made my work seem very Japanese. Of course, I did, I replied. Yeah...sure. (The image is from an anime based on a very popular Japanese romance. This would be breakfast.). There is also an appreciation for my twisted sense of humor there that some critics have felt was out of place in a romance. Obviously, those critics have had much more orderly romances in their lives than I've had. Or my friends have had. At any rate, those aspects of my writing were much less planned. I'm really pleased that they work, or I'd be in trouble.


I don't really have any on the film and web series fronts. I've been a bit distracted last week with the medical tests and panicking about them. I've been taking refuge in my fiction and the latest script. And a shameless amount of anime. I don't expect that to change much until mid-week when I get my results.

Stay tuned.

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