Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mama's Had Enough

Remember the banty hen and her one chick? She is trying very hard to cast off the mother/child relationship. That large  white bird at the rear is the chick. The banty is the little one on the right, looking harried,

Trying to make an escape while baby is eating . . .

"Wait for Baby!"


 "Hey, Ma, whatcha doing? Where ya goin'? Can I come too?"

Baby gets distracted and joins the other chickens. That's Baby's dad on the right -- you can see the resemblance. 

Meanwhile the little mama tiptoes away . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What New Adventure?

September and time for another class. In my years of teaching with Great Smokies Writing Program, I've had the pleasure of reading works in progress of all kinds -- speculative fiction, chick lit, cozies, westerns, military thrillers, mysteries of every ilk, Appalachian, historical, alternative, humor, and quite a few other types of fiction, some of which I'd be hard-pressed to put a name to.  The writers have ranged from very experienced to rank beginners. But, and this is the amazing thing, all of them have something to teach me and the other class members. And we always have fun. 

There are still a few places available this semester -- if this sounds like something for you, check out the GSWP site HERE. And you are welcome to message me here on FB if you have  questions. (About the course, that is. The meaning of life, the existence of God, and the stock market are right out of my area of competence.)

Bring me your space-opera, your coming of age story, your quirky mystery, your sweet romance, your scary tale of horror -- whatever you're working on that's longing for the light of day will be welcome. 

September 15 (First meeting) 6-8:30 pm at the Riverlink offices in Asheville.

Forty Pages -- a class through the Great Smokies Writing Program on UNC-Asheville
This ten session workshop is for those writers with a novel in progress, almost completed, or completed but in need of a final polish. Each student will submit up to forty pages (half at the beginning of the course, the rest during the sixth week) of his work in progress for discussion and critique by the class and close editing with written comments by the instructor. We will focus on the effective use of key techniques such as creating an intriguing opening line and compelling chapters, creating a likable and/or engaging protagonist, weaving in back story in small, manageable doses, writing realistic dialogue, setting up a dilemma that begs to be resolved, making the most of each scene and, in general, producing a page-turner. We will attempt to weed out the mistakes that mark the amateur writer and turn each student into a discerning editor of his own work. The suggested text is the highly acclaimed Don't Sabotage Your Submission by career manuscript editor Chris Roerden (Bella Rosa books --ISBN 978-1-933523-31-6.) 

An Abundance of Eggses

The chickens have gone into high gear and we have many eggs. I concocted this non-authentic Egg and Vegetable Vindaloo to use up some of the bounty. Like most of what I cook, it's not from a recipe and the ingredients are what's on hand. But it turned out so tasty that I thought I'd share it -- especially for my vegetarian or gluten-free friends. Heck, leave out the eggs, maybe throw in cauliflower instead, and it's vegan.

Put some butter and oil (I used canola) in a pan. Saute one diced red potato, add sliced red sweet pepper, one chopped red onion, and a yellow squash, cut in thick slices.

 Now throw in a heaping tablespoon of vindaloo curry powder (or whatever kind you prefer.) Stir and let curry mix release its fragrance. Add some cut up juicy tomatoes (or canned tomatoes -- about one cup.) Or, and this is what I did, use some salsa from the fridge -- the curry will totally arm wrestle the Mexican flavor into submission.

Finish with some coconut milk -- I had only a half a can leftover in the fridge -- if I'd had a whole can, I'd have used it.

Add some peeled hard boiled eggs and let simmer till the potatoes are soft -- maybe a half an hour.

I served it atop black rice -- which I love for the look and the different taste. I garnished it with cut up fresh basil (cilantro would be nice too.)  Salad greens with sliced mango, gorgonzola, and vinaigrette were a nice, cooling accompaniment (the vindaloo is hottish and the salsa I used added another level of heat.) An icy mug of beer completed the meal.

And then on another night we had Eggs Florentine -- creamed spinach over a toasted bagel, topped with a poached egg, and (and this was something new for me) crispy, crumbles of baked prosciutto -- which just might be better than bacon.  The recipe inspiration is HERE.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Whole Lot of Sniffin' Going On

The folks in our rent house have two charming dogs -- Jerry 

and Khaleesi.

Our dogs are enchanted with them and take every opportunity to visit.

Each visit requires extensive research as to what the others have been doing since the previous encounter.

Wouldn't you love to know what they say to each other?