Things I Love Thursday

  • Crazy inspiration dreams that get me jacked up on writing and cause me to pelt out 40k in an afternoon. I made a story that scares me a bit. It’s a weird feeling, creating something that you’re not comfortable with. Thankfully I have incredibly smart and supportive writery friends on livejournal who ‘talked me down’ from my panic that I was a horrible person and inherently sick and wrong.
  • Lovecraft. I finally finished the omnibus that Mike loaned to me, you can’t say that his prose is perfect but he can really deliver the twist/horror/reveal. I am looking forward to reading the next book of
  • Burger Fuel. They’re fresh, they have salad in them, they’re delicious. Love the burgers.
  • Baking even when it goes a bit badly, it’s quite delicious.

Honourable Mentions: The Pretty Prince of Parties, friends, cheese, weddings of friends, skype chatting with my Giffy, pretty art and my heart shaped sunglasses.

Baking on the web

I found this lusciously illustrated blog Cake on the brain by googling for a recipe for white chocolate cupcakes. Check these babies out. Must try the recipe. Plus she has a handy link on the side bar to all her recipe posts. Neato.

Also stolen from the side bar is this gadget which should be pretty darn useful to me in the future:

This website is also a handy conversion reference.

I’m sure I’ve linked it before but I’m always impressed with the cake blog, a professional American cake maker, specialising in wedding cakes. The Portal inspired companion cube cake they posted recently makes me pretty happy.

Two graphic novels

Robin: The Big Leagues by Adam Beechen.
Let me get this out of my system first. Ahem. What the hell is up with the new Robin costume? Click here, first panel to see what I mean. I think they’ve retconned it in the comics to match the outfit in the anime Teen Titans and although I think it works in the show I hate it in comic/realistic form. It just looks like he’s dressed as Mr Incredible. And badly, I mean, he added a cape! Also, I need there to be green on Robin’s costume, ok?

Ok. The comic itself was very good. Robin comics tend to have good action and this one had a lot of great fight sequences as well as some humour and geeky teenage stuff that was very endearing. Tim and Bruce’s loving father/son relationship was a but too gooey for me. Having seen countless examples of Bruce being a terrible father to Dick Grayson I can’t quite buy into this stuff with Tim. I am aware though that I miss huge chunks of canon by only reading random graphic novels that the library has but still. It was jarring. That said I really liked the whole first part where Tim is trying to get a father’s day present to Bruce and is waylaid by villains. That was cute.

It’s a Bird by Steven T Seagle
I can’t get over how awesome this comic is. It’s (mostly) autobiographical, or at least, it appears to be. Steve is a comics writer who is offered the chance to write Superman. Instead of being thrilled at the chance to write such an iconic character he becomes angry and depressed. Superman is tied into traumatic event in his childhood when his grandmother dies of Huntinton’s Disease and that brings up the whole can of worms: Huntinton’s is a genetic disease. Steve may come down with it some day.

The story follows Steve failing to deal with these issues, interspersed with little two-three page Superman vignettes relating to what he’s thinking. The art is stunning, really sketchy and real and the emotions are raw and confronting.

I can’t recommend this book and expect people to read it. Autobiographical graphic novels are a particular taste after all, but I did love this and if it sounds at all appealing to you then go ahead and get it. Wellington City Libraries has it.

PoF: slackah
CO: got paid time and a half today

Sunday freezy Sunday

There’s a couple more pictures up on Tasty baking, although I need to take a better picture of the ginger crunch. It’s hard because the ginger crunch topping is so squooshy.

The last time I made ginger crunch was using the Edmond’s cookbook recipe and it was a disaster. I must have messed up the amount of butter in the base or something. Anyway it was inedible. The ginger crunch recipe in Ladies, a plate is dead simple and came out amazing. Super crunchy base and I doubled the icing amount so there would be plenty. It is tasty and delicious. Lee also gave it the seal of approval.

I went to Briscoes on Friday night because I got antsy after work and it’s like….a block away. I bought a slice pan, a silicon foldy bakeware loaf pan and a silicone foldy bakeware muffin tray. I also got a neat ‘umbrella’ fly screen thing for putting over baking. It was about $5.00 and it sproings up and down very pleasingly.

I am on a low level hunt for a gem iron (cast iron). There are a few listed on Trade Me but the one I liked went for $62 and I’m just not feeling that rich. Mum used to have one but she doesn’t know where it went. It’s a weirdly consuming desire I have for a gem iron, given that I only want to make ginger gems and I don’t even know if I will want to do that more than once. I think it’s the fact that they are difficult to get that is making me want them more.

I also wish to make myself a new apron. Possibly out of canteen bandannas. I’m not sure if this will actually happen, but in my head it looks very nice.

In non-baking news I managed to do a good two hours of editing work yesterday, moving from making notes with pen on printouts to actually updating the manuscript digitally when I got bored of that. I am working exclusively on Kiki at the moment, just because it is clear that there is a lot that needs changing as I look at it again and also to give WtWTCh? a chance to rest.

I am still desirous of writing more short stories….just in case I am successful with my first one and they ask for more. They’re a nice quick form to write obviously, I just need that kicker of an idea.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of using characters I have invented for roleplaying games, making stories around them. I don’t though, because I feel like those characters don’t belong just to me. Even if I used just my character Sam from The Other Side I feel like I am, well, stealing almost, from the creativity of my roleplaying group. I don’t know how justified that really is, but I can’t help feeling that way anyway.

It’s freezing cold today. If I don’t warm up soon I’m going to have a mid-afternoon bath. Actually, I might just do that anyway. Lee wants to watch The Fellowship of the Ring so I’ll have to close the blinds soon anyway.

PoF: emo bear
CO: baking and writing, clearly. I should write about baking. Hmmmmm.

Satyrday

Things that have made me laugh this week include:
This comic.
Natalie Portman talking about the Global economic crisis video. (Link via Meg Cabot).
An extra big Bwah hah hah! for this Robin Hallowe’en costume, in case you couldn’t tell, it’s for girls.
Improv Everywhere’s latest MP3 experiment looks like it was fun. Basically everyone downloads the same MP3, goes to a meet up place wearing a red, green, blue or yellow shirt and then presses play at the same time. The MP3 gives them instructions.
Baby huskies, especially the nose biting one.
Oh and the awesome dream I had that Lee and I were in a community theatre production of Hamlet where I was Ophelia, Lee was recast from Horatio to Hamlet so that we could make out on stage and Stoozle played the zombie lizard.

PoF: Gala Darling
CO: getting up energy to close the door.
Late addition: Thanks Hot Topic, for encouraging the creepy stalkerness of Twilight in teenagers. *shudders more than laughs at that one.*

Things I Love Thursday

  • The stars, specifically standing on a deck out Kapiti way and staring at the multitudes of stars while wrapped in two mink blankets and one warm husband. I love that they are familiar, even though I live in the light polluted, frequently cloudy city. I love seeing the milky way.
  • A clean house, which I should really make an effort to have more often, given how much it pleases me. Ever since the party on Saturday it has been relatively clean and tidy.
  • Eating the tasty baking that I have been producing, although I do not love the price of butter right now. Not at all.
  • Pushing Daisies. It’s cute, whimsical, funny, colourful, retro and full of delightful characters.
  • Books. Specifically having a stack of books that you are looking forward to reading. I have new and old books I am keen to read. I think I will make some time on the weekend be just for reading for a few hours.
  • The weekend is coming! I had a super-awesome weekend last week and this week, well, I don’t have as much planned but that’s no reason why it can’t be just as awesome. I can mooch around, get editing done, bake some more goodies, whatever I like.

Honourable Mentions: still loving the wonder woman hoodie (even more since I got a compliment on it today), laughing with my co-workers over silliness, “Troublemaker” by Weezer, hugs, presents, chocolate, new magazines, going out for dinner and my Mum, who turns 60 today. Happy birthday Mum!

PoF: tracksuit fantastic
CO: pizza for tea, please?

Weezerday Writing Wupdate

Today I is sleepy. I is sleepy and distracted by t’internets. Despite both of these debilitating conditions I managed to savagely attack about 15 pages of Kiki, striking out whole paragraphs and clarifying certain points, making it flow a but better, giving my leads a bit more character….it’s pretty shocking how much I feel I can just remove to make a better story but I suppose that’s the whole entire point of the process.

Stephen King recommends letting drafts of things ‘sit’ for about 6 months before you go back and look at them, and I think there is real merit in that now. I remember back last year when I was doing this exact same thing (going through the printed manuscript with a pen) and I feel that I am doing better this time. I have emotional distance from the words and I can’t clearly remember how it felt to write them. I am approaching them this time with an editor’s eyes and I think this is a Good Thing Indeed.

On the other hand, my sleepiness has meant I had to have a nap during the process but whatever. The good thing about this stage of the process is that it’s easy to do, so I can do it more often. Hopefully.
Awesomely funny article about how to care for the writer in your life made me smile.

Reading-wise, I finished both of the Allie Finkle books and I really enjoyed them. I want more!
I bought some more baking supplies from the supermarket, but I forgot butter. Baking uses up butter at an alarming rate. That is why it is so delicious I think.

PoF: warmly
CO: Trouble maker

Chewsday

Love this article from The Discomfort Zone about being more open minded, basically teaching yourself to think like a child again.

I am so musical-geeky excited that Starlight express, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical about trains in which all the cast is on rollerskates and has races….is coming to Wellington! Eeeee I am so going to it. If anyone else is keen let me know because if we get a group of 10 there’s a discount.

I started a food image set on flickr, because I must copy what Giffy does…but very slowly. You can see it here tasty baking. So far there’s just cupcakes and afghans up there but I will add more as I bake them.

During my lunch break and when I got home from work I made ‘spice crisps’ which are kind of like a home-made version of gingernuts and very very good. Seriously…kind of sinfully good. I sent a package of afghans and spice crisps with Lee to quiz night to give to his dad and got quite a lovely text message of thanks.

PoF: Forgot to post this on actual Tuesday
CO: what else can I bake that will turn out awesome?

Moanday

I have been frightfully busy.

Being on holiday, having two birthday celebrations in one day followed by brunch, balcony lounging and then dinner out makes for a fantastically fun weekend, but not one with a lot of blogging time.

Awesome things I got for my birthday (in list form, to please Karen 😉 )
– Books, books, books. On the Road, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Last Unicorn(special edition, with signature of author made out to me!) Notebooks too.
– A very special handmade writing muse doll and painted skull picture from the marvelously talented and woefully absent-from-my-life Amphigori.
– Tasty strawberry wine, personalised home brew blonde ale.
– Lush goodies and amazing pink Lolita (read: heart shaped) sunglasses, ‘tooth picks’, a quilt fabric ‘lollipop’, pink jewelery box and heaps more. I feel so lucky and spoiled.
Awesome things I have eaten recently:
– Breakfast burrito at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen. I wasn’t hung over on Sunday morning but I hadn’t got enough sleep. This was the perfectest food I could have ordered, especially when combined with perky nana milkshake. Om nom nom.
– Dinner at Kazu restaurant. Best takoyaki and miso in forever. Realised, talking with the girl-Seraph that miso makes me calm. Need more miso in my life.
– Brandy snaps and warm Mississippi mudcake with chocolate syrup at Lakota on Paraparaumu Beach. So retro and so right. Not so into the Bailey’s Creme brulee, because I don’t like the taste of Bailey’s.
– Ice cream cake at the family October birthday celebrations. Strawberry, banana and bubblegum strata of good creamy icecream. I am also impressed with how I managed to get all four birthday people’s names on there with the edible letters.

Awesome Stuff I have read lately:
– More H.P. Lovecraft stories At the Mountains of Madness, The testimony of Randolph Carter, Dreams in the Witch House. Good and spooky. It’s also really nice to learn all the actual mythos that I have been blithely referring to for all these years. Also giant albino penguins = win.
Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving day Meg Cabot’s first book for younger readers is really really good. Her style is perfectly suited to it actually. It’s also made me rethink how I have my girls speak to each other in Kiki so that’s useful too.
Violet and Clare another Francesca Lia Block re-read, I can never remember how this one ends for some reason. I loved reading it again. The characters of both leads are so well rounded and real to me. The end made me cry as it turned out.
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 a beautifully artsy looking graphic novel about mice fighting wars against predators and each other. There are mouse cities, you see, and the Mouse Guard are like the police/army keeping the order. Great characerisation and impressive expression from minimal facial details. Looking forward to reading the Winter installment. Official site. I agree with Mike, the roleplaying game should be awesome.
Ladies, a Plate turns out to be fascinating reading. The history of each recipe really makes it for me. I have actually baked from it now, made afghans when I got home from work today. After dinner I will try the fancy fudgey icing that she recommends. Om nom nom the second.

PoF: slobby
CO: hungry for tea and afghans!

Errr woops.

I just realised I completely missed my five year blog-o-versary. I am a terrible blog mother. It was back on the 4th of September, and I didn’t even post that day…it’s just a blank space in between other days.
If my blog was a person I would be sending it to school now. It is scary to me to think that I have been writing on this little Talula blog for that long. It’s longer than I spent at high school.

So happy birthday Talula! I’m sorry it’s so belated.

Time to think about some things. My blogging direction has always been pretty wishy washy: a bit of food, books and films, lately there’s been a lot about writing and less about my day to day life.
I would like to encourage more visitors which means providing more content that people want to read.
So the question falls to my delightful readers: why do you read this blog? Is it for an update on my life? Is it for reviews of stuff? Is it for the RPG content or the things I am learning about writing? Is it for the links I mention? Basically, what would make this more interesting for you?
…..
TiLT super tiny edition:
The ocean out the window, cuddles, mink blankies, birthday presents, kind friends, giving things away, warm clothes and good food.

PoF: wonder woman
CO: head muzzy, too much napping