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!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Month of Fun Musings on Groupons, Insane Hobos, and Novel Updates

The Month of Fun begins on Sunday! We have some plans for films to see (the BL film, Doukysei http://doukyuseimovie.com/) and Ratchet and Clank. Where's Captain America: Civil Wars, you ask. I'm not sure I want to see it. The reasons are very personal and reflect how I tend to write stories. I may see it after I read every single plot twist (spoilers do not bother me).I watched Jon play the first four Ratchet and Clank games. They had a really twisted sense of humor. I laughed during all of the trailers, so we should have a pretty good time. I don't have any major plans like some of the MoFs of the past. I'm also not physically up for any major trips or fabulous events.

I do, however, have some plans for having a present every day. A lot of them revolve around physical maintenance. I've let a lot of things go over the years. I think I have my hair regimen down well enough to get the other routines back up to snuff. You wouldn't believe how much is involved in the 'natural' hair look (photo). I have the minimum amount of supplies, mind you. Seriously, there are a lot more I could – some would argue should – be using. One of the problems with pitch meetings or any of the other Industry encounters is putting a bit of polish to my look. Even the least bit seems to take hours longer than it once did. And women can't get away without being polished in these meetings – even if she never plans on being anywhere near the front end of a camera. Guys can look like insane hobos. They often do. Usually, I turn to Groupon for my massage, facial or manicure needs. Sadly, that service isn't showing any love for May. And that is odd as there are usually a whole lot of Mother's Day deals to be found. I'm not a Mom, but I've seen a lot of little ones through to adulthood as an Auntie (both officially and not). So, why not?

At any rate, with no decent Groupons in my immediate area, I will have to rely on my own devices. I can then spend the money on supplies for the future instead of on services that are one time only. It will also take less time for me to do the facial and mani-pedi at home. There will be no travel and waiting involved. I do enjoy researching new procedures. I already have some dandy ones for facials that I haven't used in far too long. My favorite involves looking very much like Claude Rains in The Invisible Man. It's a very good treatment to remove blackheads and whiteheads. It ends with a very nice moisturizing masque. I must find some good instructions for the mani-pedi. I'm not sure what I can do about the massage. The spinal stimulator may make that a problem. I will have to consult my manual. My back now comes with a manual!

Speaking of physical things, I really need to figure out what I did to strain my shin muscles. Shins!

Writing Updates! - Warning course language and erotica ahead!

The new Vampire Rent Boy, Sex Ninjas Must Die, is out. You can buy the book here:  http://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Rent-Boy-Ninjas-Must-ebook/dp/B01EQMKUZW This story includes a link to the recipes Tristan uses for cocktails, infused vodka and orange bitters. You can find those at this link: http://fuckarealvampire.com/recipes.htm.

This coming week is all about Ensnared. The plan is to finish the next installment along with its cover. I've done a rough for the cover of the print book for Ensnared Volume 3. This is more difficult than the installment covers as it is a full wrap around cover. I plan to finish it for color and ink this week. Since the calendar will be leaving for the printers tomorrow, Jon will have the time for the cover.

That's it for now. The Month of Fun is nigh! Stay Tuned!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Strange Baking and Clever Concoctions

This weekend was about strange baking and creating concoctions. The baking involved helping a
middle-schooler create a cookie in the shape of Washington State. He came up with the ideas on how to geographically decorate the cookie with the mountains and rivers, etc. But the young lad was at a loss on making a cookie big enough for a school demo. I've had him as a cooking student before. We made a variety of wings for his Grandfather's Super Bowl party. We were happy to help. Jon is the kind of foam core templates. Meanwhile, I had a lot of cookie recipes. All he needed was a sugar cookie dough that was formulated for heavy decorations. I had some that I've used for Christmas cookies. The big problem was rolling it to an even thickness on the back of a cookie sheet (we needed a baking surface that we could slide the end product from onto a cooling rack then into a box. He was lucky to not have gotten a harder shaped state. Strangely, that isn't the oddest thing Jon and I have ever created in a kitchen. It takes a lot of food to get through a scene involving actors eating. And you should never let the owner of the location permit her dog to be in the vicinity of food props.

Clever Concoctions

In the upcoming title for Vampire Rent Boy, my lead character makes a number of tasty cocktails. I've always been one to share recipes I find. I'm especially fond of cocktail recipes as I was a bartender through graduate school. The setup and breakdown of a commercial bar came back as easily as if I had done it yesterday. My feet and back ache from the memories. Anyway, the two of the four recipes I did (they will appear on the book's webpage tomorrow) are liquids I never made when I tended bar. It was not fashionable at the time. One was an infused vodka (cucumber) and the others was a flavored bitters (orange). One of the drinks I made and consumed was a green tea hot toddy. It was really delightful. I've made many a toddy with hot water, but the tea gave the drink a really mellow taste that was quite lovely. The simple syrups used behind the bar aren't nearly as interesting as recipes, so I didn't bother making those – for now. They are integral to making sweet tea and lemonade, and Summer is coming soon!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Insomnia, MoF Preview, Bi-Lingual Shopping and Updates

It's clear that I'm not in the habit of writing the blog. The big issue has been that I'm not in the habit of being consistent about anything. It's still something that I'm struggling with as we come up on five years since the MOAS and chemo. I don't write on a regular basis...or cook or swim. It's all very distressing. And it's nothing new. I'm muddling along as best I can but never as well as I'd like. I suppose I can take some solace that the momentum is generally forward.

Life in our tiny, luxury adjacent (though far from luxurious) abode has been a bit too exciting of late. Jon had a bad health scare (he's fine) that launched me into the most serious bout of insomnia I've had since the early days of my illness. I went for three straight days without sleep at the worst part of it. Fortunately, I have friends on the interwebs in all time zones to chat with though mostly I was up trying to be productive. Then, I was feeling terrible for not being very productive at all. This is nothing unusual for these sorts of bouts. The TV options are better, but that's about it. I have a sleep study scheduled for the first week in June.

Speaking of my illness, Friday, April 22nd will be the sixth anniversary of the MOAS (Mother of All Surgeries), the only known treatment for the kind of Appendix Cancer I had. As always, I will celebrate. I'd love to kick my heels up with a certain group of gorgeous Cosplayers I know, but that will have to wait for September. Cosplay Bishies, you all owe me a dance!

Month of Fun 2016

As this is April, next month will be the annual Month of Fun. For those new to the blog, I celebrate my birthday for a month. I don't do anything extravagant. I try to give myself – in the words of Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks – a little present every day. That can be as small as a 'damn fine cup of coffee.' The plan is to continue the practice throughout the year. I've been less than successful with that, but the Month of Fun has always been a grand time. My usual plan involves seeing what Groupon has to offer as far as facials or massages go. Perhaps, I can grab and early discount seating at a restaurant I've had my eye on for a while. There is usually a big new film coming out during the month. I know for sure there will be a special screening of an Anime Film that we have tickets for. I almost always try some sort of new recipe. Hopefully, there will be presents from kind friends. Last year, I didn't celebrate the Month of Fun. I was in the midst of a fight with Social Security and that depressed me quite deeply. This year, I plan to make up for that. Nothing will keep me from my enjoyment this year. I'll try to keep you posted on how that goes.

Bi-Lingual Shopping

Speaking of recipes, I was doing a bit of shopping at Mitsuwa Marketplace. I like to keep my pantry
stocked with proper Japanese ingredients. I really enjoy shopping there for produce there. Only Gelson's has prettier fruits and veggies, but the ones at Mistuwa are priced for normal people. ($5 for a bunch of collards my rear end. I don't care how beautiful the leaves are). I'm strangely attracted to the vast array of mushrooms. The mixture of varieties really tastes great as a duxelles or a coup. The enoki (long, thin white ones are awesome in a Ramen soup. And then, there was the mackerel. I was so excited to see it, I sent the photo to my father. He's a big fisherman of mackerel. He uses it for fertilizer in his vegetable gardens and loves to eat it. I enjoy it broiled with onions on top the way he makes it. The cooking isn't helping with my Japanese language skills as much as interacting with the market staff, but it is helping me understand the culture.

Erotica will be discussed. Fair warning!


Now that I've finished the latest Vampire Rent Boy, Hopefully, that will publish this week. I will move onto sketching the covers for the print Version of Ensnared Volume Three and the ebook version of the first installment of Ensnared Volume Four. I now know what I want to do for both of them. I'll start work on that as soon as I get back from swimming tomorrow. I made sure that I got all of my errands done over the weekend, so I just have to head home afterward...and state at a large, white piece of paper instead of a laptop screen. It's a similar creative process.

I've also finished an online course in creating comics in preparation for the webcomic I'm planning. It will be a prequel to my Soldiers novels. I've been acquiring images for backgrounds to various locations. At some point after finishing the next two covers, I plan on doing the model sheets for the characters. My hope is to begin publishing it on or shortly before Yaoicon, but that all hangs on my being able to do something more consistently than I am now. Hope springs eternal.

Stay tuned!