Sunday, December 26, 2010
So, between Christmas shopping and festivities and a very sick dog, I didn't get any writing done this week. Hopefully, I'll be able to get more written in the coming week. And even more hopefully, I hope my dog gets to come home from the Animal hospital in the next few days.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
This recipe was an absolute hit with the family and is being posted by special request of a family friend.
Mushroom and Steak Stroganoff
(from Slow Cooker Recipe Cards, Taste of Home December 2010)
- 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1-3/4 lbs round steak, cut into 1-1/2 inch strips
- 1 can, 10-3/4 oz condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup onion soup mix
- 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 TBSP minced fresh parsley
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika. Add the meat and shake to coat.
Transfer the meat to the crock pot. In a medium bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, water, and soup mix. Pour over the meat. Cook on low for six or seven hours.
Stir in the mushrooms, sour cream and parsley. Cook for fifteen minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Serve with noodles, if desired
Due to an convoluted chain of events we ended up with an extra string and a half of colored lights for our Christmas Tree. As a result, there are now Christmas Lights on our lime tree and the piano. As a bonus, the good old Klingon Bird of Prey ornament doesn't fit into the new lights; so there's a Bird of Prey in the Christmas Lime Tree.
Here's a detailed shot of the Bird of Prey:
Found via a discussion on Yehoodi
Here's a Toy Story 3 Short featuring Woody and Jesse swinging out.
And here's the lindy hop clip from ULHS 2006 that probably inspired the Toy Story Short. Watch the first phrase from Todd and Frida!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
With Christmas each year comes the Doctor Who Christmas Special which is enough to make just about any geek squeal with glee! For your viewing pleasure, I present the teaser for this year's Christmas Special.
"The Circus of Brass and Bone" is an online Steampunk serial story about a circus traveling through the collapse of civilization. "The Circus of Brass and Bone" is being written to help raise money for the cancer treatments of the author's mother. The story is updated every other week and is an exciting Steampunk story. I've been really enjoying the anticipation of waiting for the story to unfold.
I definitely recommend checking out this story!
Here's a short excerpt:
I definitely recommend checking out this story!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I haven't been as good about writing regularly as I would like but I'm still really excited about writing. I've got a new project to play around with in addition to my current projects. I'm hoping to get a piece written for the Steampunk Shakespeare Anthology. That will require some brushing up on Shakespeare's play for inspiration but I'm excited about it.
I've finally gotten my Steampunk murder mystery entirely plotted out. At the moment, it looks like there will be a prologue, seven chapters and six interludes. I may have to do some character work before I get too much writing done on the first draft.
That is one very understanding Cat! I kept waiting for the cat to shred the paper and turn into a very angry cat.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Another variation on the twelve days of Christmas, this time with terrible cakes! Jen over at Cake Wrecks clearly had a great time with the Christmas wrecks!
On the First day of Christmas my True Love gave to me; a chocking hazard in a tree!
For the rest of the song, you should wander over to Cake Wrecks!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This is a favorite winter drink in my family. In fact, I currently have a mug of Spiced cider sitting next to me.
Hot Spiced Cider
You will need:
- A Crockpot/Slow Cooker
- 8-10 inches of Cheesecloth
- A ladle
- Apple Cider (A gallon of store bought apple cider pretty well fills our mid to large sized Crockpot)
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 tsp Whole Cloves
- 2 tsp Whole Allspice
Lay out the cheesecloth on your counter. Measure out the Cloves and Allspice into the center of the cheesecloth. Break the sticks of cinnamon into smaller pieces. I generally break them into three pieces each and place them in the center of the cheesecloth. To tie the cheesecloth, I generally wrap the cheesecloth around the spices to create a long tube and tie the ends of the tube together. That generally forms a nice sized packet of spices that won't come undone.
Pour the cider into the Crockpot and place the packet of spices in. Cover and turn the Crockpot on high. Once the cider is heated all the way through you can turn the Crockpot down to low and ladle the cider into mugs to serve.
For an adult twist you can splash a bit of brandy into your mug of hot spiced cider.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Fun little Mash-up with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Roxanne.
This clip is the Final at the Harvest Moon Ball from Killer Dillers Weekend up in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. I love the leap frog sequence at 3:12 and the tandem Charleston bit at 4:07. It was also interesting how different dancers covered up little bobbles and mistakes, it's most noticeable when they are coming out of air steps.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
An annual family tradition is the decoration of the Christmas cookies. This is the final stage of our first batch of sugar cookies. I am especially happy with the snowman and the ornament. So naturally someone else has already eaten both of them.
Out of last Friday's Steampunk Twitter Chat (using #steampunkchat) comes a call for Steampunk short stories inspired by William Shakespeare.
Flying Pen Press will be producing an anthology of Steampunk adaptions of Shakespeare called: The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter.
For anyone interested, here is the details:
I, myself, definitely feel the need to brush up on my Shakespeare!
Monday, December 13, 2010
A fun little mix of Doctor Who clips assembled to go with the 12 Pains of Christmas. It definitely made me want to watch all of the Doctor Who Christmas Specials again!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Found on STEAMED!
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
12 Air Pirates
11 Painted Ladies
10 Clock Hands
9 Ray Guns
8 Pairs Brass Goggles
7 Aviator Caps
6 Cogs and Gears
5 Mad Scientists
4 Flying Cars
3 Top Hats
And an Airship in a Pear Tree!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Hurrah for Geeky Christmas Songs!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
- Clementine by Cherie Priest (I will probably have to breakdown and acquire an electronic copy)
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
- The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C Hines
- Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton
- Heartless by Gail Carriger
- Ganymede by Cherie Priest
- Bloodshot by Cherie Priest
- Kraken by China Mieville
- Steampunk edited by Jeff Vandermeer
- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
- Sequels of any of the above books
- Older Science Fiction Classics
After the first half of November, you may have noticed that my daily wrap-ups evaporated. It probably doesn't come as a surprise that so did my daily writing sessions. I won NaNoWriMo by the skin of my teeth with a crazy 10K word day plus several larger than average word days. I finished with a total word count of 50681 words! My Novel has a long way to go to reach it's finished state including a whole plot line and crazy amounts of character development.
Things I learned along the way:
- The sense of community really makes a difference: Large numbers of write-ins make the difference between 7K and 50K
- Scrivener is Amazing! I discovered it too late to make full use of its feature with my NaNo novel but it is definitely making the editing process smoother.
- I am definitely a plotter, not a pantser! I went into NaNoWriMo this year with an outline for probably a third of my novel and a general-specific idea about the rest. Yes, my ideas evolved during the writing process but a clear guide and destination made the process go a lot smoother.
- Writing seriously on one idea makes the creative energy flow better and generates even more story ideas to try and distract you.
- Attending two conventions in a month is terrible for trying to write consistently, but it was tons of fun!
- Despite my best efforts to the contrary, my novel is not going to be a standalone.
- I'm putting away my NaNo Novel until January at which time I will attack it with the full force of my editing skills. Plus, you know, writing the bits I forgot, connecting all the plot points with filler, and fleshing out the point of view characters so that the reader cares. Not to mention removing all the extra words that NaNoWriMo forced me to leave in. All very important stuff.
- Come up with a real title for my NaNoWriMo project.
- Keep Writing!
- Over the course of November, several story ideas burst into mind. I'll be working on plotting them out and starting in on first draft
- Short Story (Keeps Growing Longer): Zombies vs Unicorns
- Novel: Steampunk Murder Mystery, 1920's Airship Speakeasy
- Novel: Sequel to NaNoWriMo Novel
- Novel: Science Fiction, Viral Outbreak, experimenting with POV change
- Graduate School Applications- an important next step in my life that has been feeling slightly neglected during NaNoWriMo
- Catching up on Blogging: New Reviews, New Recipes, OryCon, SteamCon, Costume Updates
- Rescuing Pictures from my Camera
- Making Pop-up Christmas Cards