Oklahoma!

Jan. 11th, 2012 04:28 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I traveled back to Oklahoma over the Christmas holidays to visit with family and friends. This was the first time we had been back since 2009, and [livejournal.com profile] careswen had the lovely idea that I should do some public readings and storytelling events in our old home state. It was a great idea. None of our family or friends in Oklahoma had been to one of my readings, and I was incorporating my storytelling-as-performance into what I was doing.

Long Entry With Pictures )

Oklahoma!

Jan. 11th, 2012 04:28 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I traveled back to Oklahoma over the Christmas holidays to visit with family and friends. This was the first time we had been back since 2009, and [livejournal.com profile] careswen had the lovely idea that I should do some public readings and storytelling events in our old home state. It was a great idea. None of our family or friends in Oklahoma had been to one of my readings, and I was incorporating my storytelling-as-performance into what I was doing.

Long Entry With Pictures )
mmerriam: (Default)
Because I know some of you got eReaders of one type or another for the holidays. And because as much I love writing, I also have to eat and pay bills. So here is my post-holidays marketing sales pitch for all my available books, both print and electronic.

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul: Urban Fantasy Short Story

It came to the diner looking for a soul to devour.

At a late-night diner, the manager finds himself faced with a nightmare from his past: The Nalusachita, a mythical-creature of his Choctaw ancestors.

Determined to protect his customers from the shape-changing soul-stealer but unsure how, the manager sets out to clear the restaurant at closing time.

What neither manager or monster counted on was the eccentric patrons of the diner, and how they would react to the mythical creature…

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul is available in ebook at Musa Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

#

The Horror at Cold Springs: Steampunk / Supernatural Western Novella

When a disparate group of travelers find themselves stranded in a ghost town on the western Nebraska frontier, will they unravel the mystery of the missing townsfolk and survive to tell the tale?

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.

#

Last Car to Annwn Station: Urban Fantasy Novel / Paranormal Romance - Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women's Fiction Blog pick for Top Ten Books, 2011.

“The fare is ten cents, miss.”

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she’s surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.
But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

“Your transfer, miss. You’ll need that.”

Mae’s life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child…

Last Car to Annwn Station is available in ebook format at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and in audio format at Audible.

#

Shimmers & Shadows: Short Story Collection

These diverse short stories unfold where the faery realm intersects with the mundane world of the Twin Cities, in the spacefaring future of exploration and adventure, and in a mythical land of sorcery and danger. Here you will find tales of adventure, horror, enchantment, humor, tragedy, and romance where:
…a young outcast strikes a hard bargain with the Muddy River
…two very different spirits find sanctuary in a historic shopping mall
…a space transport captain makes a difficult choice and falls headlong into the middle of a conspiracy
…a fallen Seelie champion is caught between his dark past and unusual mortal friends
…estranged lovers discover whether science or magic will save their dying Earth
…death is not the end, time does not always run in a straight line, and the rain blesses both mortals and fae.

Shimmers & Shadows is available at Lulu and in ebook for Kindle from Amazon.

#

Should We Drown In Feathered Sleep: Near-Future Post-Apocalypse Fantasy Novella -- Long Listed for the 2010 Nebula Award.

A New Order

A new world is emerging years after war destroyed society. In a Minnesota lake, the last surviving loons, direct descendants of the legendary First Pair, await the one who can help heal the earth. Each year a human sacrifice is brought to them to be endowed with special gifts, but they come at a terrible price.

A Free Spirit

Even as the rest of the world rebuilds, Grace Kriske’s life is shattered. Unable to walk, she feels utterly dependent on her family and trapped in a community that disapproves of her rebellious ways. Grace’s only solace is her lover, David Tvedt, a trader who wants to take her away with him—if she’d let him.

An Impossible Choice

Yet something else calls to Grace—the loons. They haunt her dreams, lurking in her mind as if part of her deepest primal self. But when Grace is chosen as the new sacrifice, she’s afraid. Will she risk everything to help the community that shuns her, or will she choose her own path?

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in ebook at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N. and in audio format at Audible.
mmerriam: (Default)
Because I know some of you got eReaders of one type or another for the holidays. And because as much I love writing, I also have to eat and pay bills. So here is my post-holidays marketing sales pitch for all my available books, both print and electronic.

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul: Urban Fantasy Short Story

It came to the diner looking for a soul to devour.

At a late-night diner, the manager finds himself faced with a nightmare from his past: The Nalusachita, a mythical-creature of his Choctaw ancestors.

Determined to protect his customers from the shape-changing soul-stealer but unsure how, the manager sets out to clear the restaurant at closing time.

What neither manager or monster counted on was the eccentric patrons of the diner, and how they would react to the mythical creature…

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul is available in ebook Musa Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

#

The Horror at Cold Springs: Steampunk / Supernatural Western Novella

When a disparate group of travelers find themselves stranded in a ghost town on the western Nebraska frontier, will they unravel the mystery of the missing townsfolk and survive to tell the tale?

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.

#

Last Car to Annwn Station: Urban Fantasy Novel

“The fare is ten cents, miss.”

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she’s surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.
But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

“Your transfer, miss. You’ll need that.”

Mae’s life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child…

Last Car to Annwn Station is available in ebook format at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and in audio format at Audible.

#

Shimmers & Shadows: Short Story Collection

These diverse short stories unfold where the faery realm intersects with the mundane world of the Twin Cities, in the spacefaring future of exploration and adventure, and in a mythical land of sorcery and danger. Here you will find tales of adventure, horror, enchantment, humor, tragedy, and romance where:
…a young outcast strikes a hard bargain with the Muddy River
…two very different spirits find sanctuary in a historic shopping mall
…a space transport captain makes a difficult choice and falls headlong into the middle of a conspiracy
…a fallen Seelie champion is caught between his dark past and unusual mortal friends
…estranged lovers discover whether science or magic will save their dying Earth
…death is not the end, time does not always run in a straight line, and the rain blesses both mortals and fae.

Shimmers & Shadows is available at Lulu and in ebook for Kindle from Amazon.

#

Should We Drown In Feathered Sleep: Near-Future Post-Apocalypse Fantasy

A New Order

A new world is emerging years after war destroyed society. In a Minnesota lake, the last surviving loons, direct descendants of the legendary First Pair, await the one who can help heal the earth. Each year a human sacrifice is brought to them to be endowed with special gifts, but they come at a terrible price.

A Free Spirit

Even as the rest of the world rebuilds, Grace Kriske’s life is shattered. Unable to walk, she feels utterly dependent on her family and trapped in a community that disapproves of her rebellious ways. Grace’s only solace is her lover, David Tvedt, a trader who wants to take her away with him—if she’d let him.

An Impossible Choice

Yet something else calls to Grace—the loons. They haunt her dreams, lurking in her mind as if part of her deepest primal self. But when Grace is chosen as the new sacrifice, she’s afraid. Will she risk everything to help the community that shuns her, or will she choose her own path?

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in ebook at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N. and in audio format at Audible.
mmerriam: (Default)
Year before I posted an entry here on Live Journal. I suspect, nay, I know, that it is the holiday crush. We have been busy: family visit, visiting friends, New Year's Eve, having a belated birthday get together. Much fun has been had, as well as food consumed and alcohol imbibed, all good things to help push back against the darkness of winter.

The Christmas decorations are taken down and put back into storage. Tomorrow, I shall start to reset the house back to normal, or at least what passes for normal around here. [livejournal.com profile] careswen starts her final class of graduate school this week. We are working on financial things, trying to get ready for her to finish school and make the jump into her career. Things are moving forward all around me.

I'll make a post about what cons and such I will be at this year later this week. I will say that it looks to be a busy year. I have a cool sounding MinnSpec meeting coming up on two weeks, one of our members giving a presentation about a seminar focused on story construction he attended last autumn. I am taking part in a self-editing seminar being run on a forum by the Editor-in-Chief of Carina Press for Carina Press authors for the next three weeks. This can only help me as a writer, moving forward.

I saw the ophthalmologist last week. Still blind. No surprise, really.

The Reverend Selena is very fuzzy still.
mmerriam: (Default)
Year before I posted an entry here on Live Journal. I suspect, nay, I know, that it is the holiday crush. We have been busy: family visit, visiting friends, New Year's Eve, having a belated birthday get together. Much fun has been had, as well as food consumed and alcohol imbibed, all good things to help push back against the darkness of winter.

The Christmas decorations are taken down and put back into storage. Tomorrow, I shall start to reset the house back to normal, or at least what passes for normal around here. [livejournal.com profile] careswen starts her final class of graduate school this week. We are working on financial things, trying to get ready for her to finish school and make the jump into her career. Things are moving forward all around me.

I'll make a post about what cons and such I will be at this year later this week. I will say that it looks to be a busy year. I have a cool sounding MinnSpec meeting coming up on two weeks, one of our members giving a presentation about a seminar focused on story construction he attended last autumn. I am taking part in a self-editing seminar being run on a forum by the Editor-in-Chief of Carina Press for Carina Press authors for the next three weeks. This can only help me as a writer, moving forward.

I saw the ophthalmologist last week. Still blind. No surprise, really.

The Reverend Selena is very fuzzy still.
mmerriam: (Old Lynx)
Family visit continues. We went out to the casino last night (a holiday tradition) and came back with lighter wallets. We also took Brother-in-Law to see HP7.1. We've been watching a lot of football.

Gifts were exchanged today, the Reverend Selena making out like a bandit, though everyone else got nice gifts as well. I love my new stainless steel cookware. Christmas dinner came off with only a couple of minor hitches, so it's good to know I still have my touch in the kitchen.

Now, I plan to have a nice, quiet afternoon and evening hanging out with the family and relaxing. I'm not sure what we are doing tomorrow.
mmerriam: (Old Lynx)
Family visit continues. We went out to the casino last night (a holiday tradition) and came back with lighter wallets. We also took Brother-in-Law to see HP7.1. We've been watching a lot of football.

Gifts were exchanged today, the Reverend Selena making out like a bandit, though everyone else got nice gifts as well. I love my new stainless steel cookware. Christmas dinner came off with only a couple of minor hitches, so it's good to know I still have my touch in the kitchen.

Now, I plan to have a nice, quiet afternoon and evening hanging out with the family and relaxing. I'm not sure what we are doing tomorrow.
mmerriam: (Default)
I've had my head down and pushing hard trying to complete this draft of Dead Brew, aka The Monster-Hunting Barista novel. It is still too short for comfort, coming in at 77,000 words, but it is what it is and I have no idea how to add more to it at this point. Even short of the industry more or less standard 85K to 100K for an UF novel, I think I can polish it down and sell it.

While I wait for Dead Brew to spend a little time on the back burner, I plan to return to the Steampunk Spy-Thriller, tentatively titled The Curious Case of the Jeweled Horn, and finish the rewrites which has been percolating in the back of my mind for the last few weeks.

I really wanted to finish this rewrite pass on Dead Brew now, because we have family coming up from Oklahoma for Christmas, arriving this Wednesday and leaving next Monday morning, so I figure I won't get a lot of time to work. Which may translate into more blogging over the holidays, but no promises. Of course, I say that, so something will mug me and demand to be written.

I re-signed up for services with MN State Services for the Blind. I'm still looking for part-time work, something 15 to 24 hours a week to help bring in a little extra income while [livejournal.com profile] careswen finishes graduate school, completes her licensure requirements, and spins up her practice. That means after the first of the year, I am going to have to devote a little more energy to the job hunting, but SSB will be assigning me a service that specializes in placement of people with disabilities in the workforce. I am cautiously optimistic on this front.

Now, I shall make a list of the things I need to get done around the house over the next two days.
mmerriam: (Default)
I've had my head down and pushing hard trying to complete this draft of Dead Brew, aka The Monster-Hunting Barista novel. It is still too short for comfort, coming in at 77,000 words, but it is what it is and I have no idea how to add more to it at this point. Even short of the industry more or less standard 85K to 100K for an UF novel, I think I can polish it down and sell it.

While I wait for Dead Brew to spend a little time on the back burner, I plan to return to the Steampunk Spy-Thriller, tentatively titled The Curious Case of the Jeweled Horn, and finish the rewrites which has been percolating in the back of my mind for the last few weeks.

I really wanted to finish this rewrite pass on Dead Brew now, because we have family coming up from Oklahoma for Christmas, arriving this Wednesday and leaving next Monday morning, so I figure I won't get a lot of time to work. Which may translate into more blogging over the holidays, but no promises. Of course, I say that, so something will mug me and demand to be written.

I re-signed up for services with MN State Services for the Blind. I'm still looking for part-time work, something 15 to 24 hours a week to help bring in a little extra income while [livejournal.com profile] careswen finishes graduate school, completes her licensure requirements, and spins up her practice. That means after the first of the year, I am going to have to devote a little more energy to the job hunting, but SSB will be assigning me a service that specializes in placement of people with disabilities in the workforce. I am cautiously optimistic on this front.

Now, I shall make a list of the things I need to get done around the house over the next two days.

Home

Dec. 30th, 2009 11:11 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
Tired. Safe. Ready for Bed. [livejournal.com profile] greykev was a champion and picked up the Reverend Selena from the vet's and brought her home this afternoon.

Arrived

Dec. 23rd, 2009 09:00 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
In Weatherford, Oklahoma. Reasonably smooth flight. No bad weather yet.
mmerriam: (Default)
The street sounds to the soldiers' tread,
     And out we troop to see:
A single redcoat turns his head,
     He turns and looks at me.

My man, from sky to sky's so far,
    We never crossed before;
Such leagues apart the world's ends are,
    We're like to meet no more;

What thoughts at heart have you and I
    We cannot stop to tell;
But dead or living, drunk or dry,
    Soldier, I wish you well.

-- A. E. Housman

Balance

Feb. 13th, 2009 03:56 pm
mmerriam: (Born)
I'm celebrating the new One Year Closer to Balance holiday by casting aside my (admittedly already trashed) internet sabbatical, because my (almost non-existent) sabbatical was, it turns out, mostly about finding balance. It was about balancing the time I spend on the internet against writing, housework, and other personal needs.

Although I did not completely withdraw from the internet, I did cut back enough to make some serious realizations. The first thing I discovered was that, after being away from them for a couple of days or more, there were places on the internet--networking sites, webcomics, blogs, and others--that I did not miss. After consideration, I realized I was still visiting these sites out of habit and nothing more. I had once enjoyed them, but now they are just time-sucking wastes of my day. They have been set aside.

I found that I had become compulsive in checking Gmail / Live Journal / Facebook / MinnSpec Forums: So much so that it was interfering with my writing time. I've decided next week to start a schedule (schedules, it seems, are becoming a very important part of my life) where I will visit these places for an hour in the morning, an half-hour over lunch, and an hour in the evening. That's still 2.5 hours allotted for these sites, which I think is more than enough time. I did find that I missed LJ, and when things became difficult this week with Reverend Selena's situation it was nice to come here and get some extra emotional support from my friends. Live Journal has been very good to me, and I won't give it up. I will, however modify my usage of it to better manage my time. Balance. It's all about balance.

I'm also working on balancing the needs of my writing life against the needs of my personal life against the needs of my own sanity. I'm going to talk more about this latter in another post, but I think one of the reasons I've slowed down in my writing is, I've let too much of the noise on the writing-related blogs, forums, and websites I frequent get into my head. Too much snark, and too much anger. Too much snobbery and tearing down. Too many otherwise fine writers, editors, and agents forgetting where they came from, and that we all had to start somewhere. Too much forgetting that everyone begins as a beginner. Too much of me worrying about what other people think and being told what a story should and shouldn't be, what it is and isn't. Just…too much. I lost my way for a time, let those self-appointed arbitrators of what is and is not "Good Fiction / Writing" get into my head, which is one of the dangers of being deeply immersed in these writing-related places. I had to get away, reset, and remember why I write. I had to remember that at the core of it all, I write for myself.

I find myself trying to mentally balance the cold hard truth that--no matter how hard I work--it is quite likely I will never ever never find even a little success (financial or otherwise) in this business against the deep pathological need to write, to tell stories, to create (hopefully) entertaining fictions for the amusement of readers. And I'm searching to find a good balance between my desire to pursue writing as a career and the needs of my family. Despite some decent sales, I'm making no money to speak of, and [livejournal.com profile] careswen is going to need to start her internship soon. Given my physical limitations and the current economic climate, I've pretty much come to the hard realization that finding employ in a "classic" workplace environment is unlikely, so I need to focus on finding more freelance work. I've been doing blurb and copy writing coupled with a little freelance editing, and found I enjoy it. I'd like to find more work like this, maybe add in some freelance researcher / fact checker-for-hire work as well. Add in the situation with the Reverend Selena, and finding a way to balance my nascent writing career against my personal responsibilities in order to maintain a stable home life is paramount.

There could be more to this, but I think you get the idea. Now, I'm going to go have dinner and then I'm going to work on a story. Thus ends the (greatly abbreviated) sabbatical.

Balance

Feb. 13th, 2009 03:56 pm
mmerriam: (Born)
I'm celebrating the new One Year Closer to Balance holiday by casting aside my (admittedly already trashed) internet sabbatical, because my (almost non-existent) sabbatical was, it turns out, mostly about finding balance. It was about balancing the time I spend on the internet against writing, housework, and other personal needs.

Although I did not completely withdraw from the internet, I did cut back enough to make some serious realizations. The first thing I discovered was that, after being away from them for a couple of days or more, there were places on the internet--networking sites, webcomics, blogs, and others--that I did not miss. After consideration, I realized I was still visiting these sites out of habit and nothing more. I had once enjoyed them, but now they are just time-sucking wastes of my day. They have been set aside.

I found that I had become compulsive in checking Gmail / Live Journal / Facebook / MinnSpec Forums: So much so that it was interfering with my writing time. I've decided next week to start a schedule (schedules, it seems, are becoming a very important part of my life) where I will visit these places for an hour in the morning, an half-hour over lunch, and an hour in the evening. That's still 2.5 hours allotted for these sites, which I think is more than enough time. I did find that I missed LJ, and when things became difficult this week with Reverend Selena's situation it was nice to come here and get some extra emotional support from my friends. Live Journal has been very good to me, and I won't give it up. I will, however modify my usage of it to better manage my time. Balance. It's all about balance.

I'm also working on balancing the needs of my writing life against the needs of my personal life against the needs of my own sanity. I'm going to talk more about this latter in another post, but I think one of the reasons I've slowed down in my writing is, I've let too much of the noise on the writing-related blogs, forums, and websites I frequent get into my head. Too much snark, and too much anger. Too much snobbery and tearing down. Too many otherwise fine writers, editors, and agents forgetting where they came from, and that we all had to start somewhere. Too much forgetting that everyone begins as a beginner. Too much of me worrying about what other people think and being told what a story should and shouldn't be, what it is and isn't. Just…too much. I lost my way for a time, let those self-appointed arbitrators of what is and is not "Good Fiction / Writing" get into my head, which is one of the dangers of being deeply immersed in these writing-related places. I had to get away, reset, and remember why I write. I had to remember that at the core of it all, I write for myself.

I find myself trying to mentally balance the cold hard truth that--no matter how hard I work--it is quite likely I will never ever never find even a little success (financial or otherwise) in this business against the deep pathological need to write, to tell stories, to create (hopefully) entertaining fictions for the amusement of readers. And I'm searching to find a good balance between my desire to pursue writing as a career and the needs of my family. Despite some decent sales, I'm making no money to speak of, and [livejournal.com profile] careswen is going to need to start her internship soon. Given my physical limitations and the current economic climate, I've pretty much come to the hard realization that finding employ in a "classic" workplace environment is unlikely, so I need to focus on finding more freelance work. I've been doing blurb and copy writing coupled with a little freelance editing, and found I enjoy it. I'd like to find more work like this, maybe add in some freelance researcher / fact checker-for-hire work as well. Add in the situation with the Reverend Selena, and finding a way to balance my nascent writing career against my personal responsibilities in order to maintain a stable home life is paramount.

There could be more to this, but I think you get the idea. Now, I'm going to go have dinner and then I'm going to work on a story. Thus ends the (greatly abbreviated) sabbatical.
mmerriam: (Sitting Lynx)
This one always get me in the holiday spirit!



Sleigh Ride - Squirrel Nut Zippers
mmerriam: (Default)
Since there is nothing else I can do about the wiring situation today, I'm going to cheer myself up by committing Holiday Baking!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Cookies cut in squirrel and lobster shapes. [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, [livejournal.com profile] markgritter, and [livejournal.com profile] timprov know why.
Chocolate Fudge
Fudge Brownies
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Key Lime Bars
Cheese Balls
Cherry Pie (but that will be baked Christmas Day, actually).

ETA: 11:35am: Chocolate Chip Cookies are cooling. Fudge is about to go into the fridge to set. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars in oven. Next up: Brownies and Key Lime Bars.

ETA II: High Noon (Calling Tex Ritter. Will Mr. Ritter please come to the microphone) CCPB Bars out and cooling. Brownies and Key Lime bars in oven. First round of dishes done. Resting before Sugar Cookies and Cheese Balls.

ETA III: 12:41pm: Sugar Cookies in Oven. Brownies and Key Lime bars cooling.

I should point out that I'm not really making all that much. Both sets of bars are made in an 8X8 pan. The Brownies and Fudge in a 12x9. 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies and a dozen sugar cookies. 1 softball-size cheese ball. The pie will be a standard 9 inches. It's enough for us and to contribute to a couple of smallish Christmas parties. I want to enjoy baked goods, but I don't necessarily want to gain 10 pounds.

ETA IV: 12:53pm: Sugar Cookie Fail! How do you screw-up sugar cookies? Why did they expand so much! They are not cute shapes at all, but large sugary blobs.

ETA V: 1:25pm: Cheese Ball success! It made two, one softball and one baseball. Everything else is cooling for at least another 30 minutes. I am done until then.

ETA VI: 4:37pm: Brownie win! Key Lime Bars, well, they are not perfect, but they'll work. I may, sadly, have Fudge Fail. It should have set by now and has not. I'll leave it in the fridge overnight and see what happens.
mmerriam: (Default)
Since there is nothing else I can do about the wiring situation today, I'm going to cheer myself up by committing Holiday Baking!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Cookies cut in squirrel and lobster shapes. [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, [livejournal.com profile] markgritter, and [livejournal.com profile] timprov know why.
Chocolate Fudge
Fudge Brownies
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Key Lime Bars
Cheese Balls
Cherry Pie (but that will be baked Christmas Day, actually).

ETA: 11:35am: Chocolate Chip Cookies are cooling. Fudge is about to go into the fridge to set. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars in oven. Next up: Brownies and Key Lime Bars.

ETA II: High Noon (Calling Tex Ritter. Will Mr. Ritter please come to the microphone) CCPB Bars out and cooling. Brownies and Key Lime bars in oven. First round of dishes done. Resting before Sugar Cookies and Cheese Balls.

ETA III: 12:41pm: Sugar Cookies in Oven. Brownies and Key Lime bars cooling.

I should point out that I'm not really making all that much. Both sets of bars are made in an 8X8 pan. The Brownies and Fudge in a 12x9. 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies and a dozen sugar cookies. 1 softball-size cheese ball. The pie will be a standard 9 inches. It's enough for us and to contribute to a couple of smallish Christmas parties. I want to enjoy baked goods, but I don't necessarily want to gain 10 pounds.

ETA IV: 12:53pm: Sugar Cookie Fail! How do you screw-up sugar cookies? Why did they expand so much! They are not cute shapes at all, but large sugary blobs.

ETA V: 1:25pm: Cheese Ball success! It made two, one softball and one baseball. Everything else is cooling for at least another 30 minutes. I am done until then.

ETA VI: 4:37pm: Brownie win! Key Lime Bars, well, they are not perfect, but they'll work. I may, sadly, have Fudge Fail. It should have set by now and has not. I'll leave it in the fridge overnight and see what happens.
mmerriam: (Default)
It is cold. Really, saying anything else is just adding emphasize to how utterly cold it is. So, it is cold. Yeah.

Also, we have snow. This should come as no surprise, what with living in Minnesota, but it occurred to me that this will only be our second "White Christmas" since moving north from Oklahoma. We had a white Christmas the first year we lived here (1999), but have gone back to Oklahoma every year since, except for 2003 when the family came here and it didn't snow. So yeah, white Christmas, looking forward to it.

We still have no power in the garage. Neither does my immediate neighbor, but we can't find a tripped breaker or GFI anywhere, so tomorrow the electrician is coming out to take a look. If it involves more than mine or the neighbors townhome (or terraced house, depending on your part of the world) and garage, I may have to send them over to the association office to discuss what shall be done. I'm supposed to be doing my holiday baking tomorrow. We shall see how this turns out, with the possibility of having no power for part of the day. The electrician will be here at 7:30 in the morning, so I'm hopeful.

I reset my workspace, moving all the stuff that will be going to Goodwill or disbursed among friends into the study closet until such a time as we can have friends over to take what they want before loading up the rest and taking it away. I have the Dell laptop (the one with broken lid hinges) on a docking port and acting as a desktop. It's running like a champ, but this is also the machine that burped and crashed and lost everything a couple of years ago (fortunately I had backed-up most everything on CD, so I only lost a few pictures and a couple of days worth of writing). Right now it's still running Windows XP and MS Office 2003, but if (when) it crashes again, I'm wiping it clean and installing Linux and Open Office. In the meantime, I'll make sure to back up any documents I work on every night. I bought a little 2GB Cruzer Micro for just this purpose.

I'm working on Rija's Tale, moving along at a reasonable clip. All the short stories have stalled, which means they still are not ready. I add a sentence or two here and there to them from time to time, or make some notes, but I guess things need more time to percolate in my brain before they're ready to be real stories. In the meantime, we've reached the "Torture Rija" part of the novel. I'm sure my poor character is not looking forward to this (I'm not either, really). Of course, later she gets to bite someone on the nose, so hey. As a character, Rija is really starting to grow, going from reacting to having developed enough experience and confidence to act first in a tight spot. I'm also seeing a darkening of her character as she become less naive and angrier at her situation. Eventually I may have to work her away from the darkness and anger, but she is a somewhat amoral character to being with, and life's hard knocks are not making her any softer or kinder. We shall see where she goes from here.

Rija's Tale
mmerriam: (Default)
It is cold. Really, saying anything else is just adding emphasize to how utterly cold it is. So, it is cold. Yeah.

Also, we have snow. This should come as no surprise, what with living in Minnesota, but it occurred to me that this will only be our second "White Christmas" since moving north from Oklahoma. We had a white Christmas the first year we lived here (1999), but have gone back to Oklahoma every year since, except for 2003 when the family came here and it didn't snow. So yeah, white Christmas, looking forward to it.

We still have no power in the garage. Neither does my immediate neighbor, but we can't find a tripped breaker or GFI anywhere, so tomorrow the electrician is coming out to take a look. If it involves more than mine or the neighbors townhome (or terraced house, depending on your part of the world) and garage, I may have to send them over to the association office to discuss what shall be done. I'm supposed to be doing my holiday baking tomorrow. We shall see how this turns out, with the possibility of having no power for part of the day. The electrician will be here at 7:30 in the morning, so I'm hopeful.

I reset my workspace, moving all the stuff that will be going to Goodwill or disbursed among friends into the study closet until such a time as we can have friends over to take what they want before loading up the rest and taking it away. I have the Dell laptop (the one with broken lid hinges) on a docking port and acting as a desktop. It's running like a champ, but this is also the machine that burped and crashed and lost everything a couple of years ago (fortunately I had backed-up most everything on CD, so I only lost a few pictures and a couple of days worth of writing). Right now it's still running Windows XP and MS Office 2003, but if (when) it crashes again, I'm wiping it clean and installing Linux and Open Office. In the meantime, I'll make sure to back up any documents I work on every night. I bought a little 2GB Cruzer Micro for just this purpose.

I'm working on Rija's Tale, moving along at a reasonable clip. All the short stories have stalled, which means they still are not ready. I add a sentence or two here and there to them from time to time, or make some notes, but I guess things need more time to percolate in my brain before they're ready to be real stories. In the meantime, we've reached the "Torture Rija" part of the novel. I'm sure my poor character is not looking forward to this (I'm not either, really). Of course, later she gets to bite someone on the nose, so hey. As a character, Rija is really starting to grow, going from reacting to having developed enough experience and confidence to act first in a tight spot. I'm also seeing a darkening of her character as she become less naive and angrier at her situation. Eventually I may have to work her away from the darkness and anger, but she is a somewhat amoral character to being with, and life's hard knocks are not making her any softer or kinder. We shall see where she goes from here.

Rija's Tale

April 2017

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