Vintage Girl In Tree

15 Authors That Influenced My Life

A new article, and a new front page web design! Check it out. I'm starting to add sneaky easter eggs to the front page, so stay sharp and overlook nothing.

My Influential Authors

This article was in response to a meme. If you are inclined to spin it off to your most influental authors, I'd be delighted to learn who they are.
Vintage Girl Pirate

Petticoats, Coffee Beans and Superheroes

In the midst of the dust storm that is my life, I've managed a puttery evening after work. I flopped on the bed with the Kindle and the cat for a full hour! My huge muslin petticoats was also heaped on the bed awaiting the washer, and Chives LOVES that hunka foof, so he crawled right in and made a nest. Happy cat. Spent a couple hours in the kitchen after that, polishing antique canning jars, grinding coffee beans, making a vanilla and chocolate pudding layered dessert, and listening to a chocolate documentary on the iPad. Soon it'll be BLTs for dinner while finishing up editing "A Life Invented", an 8,000ish romp for kids about the childhood of Gerard Liddle, who was featured as an adult in "The Flight To Brassbright" novel. And I THINK that will be the last of my short stories for a while. I was having fun rounding up extra snippets from past NaNoWriMos and converting them to little books. Back to the novelthings starting tomorrow.

Also just finally read this article, from my saved links of "stuff I'll read later". Now you can read it too. If you have not met the Red Panda, he'd love to make your acquaintance, even if you are not Canadian.

Dynamic Duo-Radio and Superheroes
Foodie:  BBQ Girl

Red Hair and Red Meat

Last night after work I got my hair cut VERY short all over (and shaved up around my ear curves) I blame the sweltering heat for this decision. Afterward, I lamented the newly revealed mousey blonde-grey hair. Time to henna! I'm wearing a large amount of Lush Mama Caca henna on my noggin right now. I love the cut, and once it is paprika red again I will be very happy.  PS: I add paprika to my henna.  ;)

And now it's time for another thrilling episode of What's In My Crockpot! This down-the-barrel view shows my pot filled with, from the bottom layer up, chopped white sweet onions, a handful of dehydrated green and red peppers (I dehydrated them last season), 4 huge garlic cloves, 4 quartered tomatoes from the garden, and a pile of venison chops. I'll add cracked pepper, sea salt and cowhorn pepper flakes, plus a cup of water so it doesn't burn. Late tonight this will be a lovely mess which I can hand-shred for tacos! Mmm. Think I will make a corn salsa to go with them.

Hot today innit?

Rain Rain Come To Stay

It's hot. And dry. And HOT. Did I mention it's hot?  Yard work has been difficult this year, with the lack of rain, the excessive heat, and the wasp nest in the crabapple tree. It's the size of a 1948 Studebaker, I SWEAR I am not exaggerating. Much.

On the happy side, after three years of lobbying for one, our department is finally getting a Intranet. We're probably the last department on campus to get one, but FINALLY. And guess who gets to play with it and make it shiny and fill it with all good stuff?  Yeah, I basically spent the entire day yesterday ignoring all my other work so I could play with that. I can get so lost in Wordpress setups, they are so fun.

Oh and I finally finished my recap of Motor City Steam Con out at my bookish site. Most fun con EVER!
Vintage Amazing Hat

When In Doubt, Cook

I spent yesterday unwinding from Motor City Steam Con. This is how I unwind, your mileage may vary. My mileage insists on a few hours of kitchen therapy. It grounds me and makes me happy. So this happened:

Crunched up a huge bowl of my homegrown Greek oregano, which was dry and ready for storage in a vintage blue glass canning jar.

Ground 2 pounds of fresh coffee beans. One pound is for the office, one is for here at home.

Reorganized all my herbs and spices, pitched the unviable ones, moved many into better glass containers. (Have I mentioned I am addicted to lovely glass containers and antique canning jars?)

Made a huge pot of chili. Huuuuuge. Will be dinner tonight!

Blended up some greek yogurt with honey, flax seeds and roasted fresh blueberries.

Sorted and stored garlic pearls (those little round seeds in the flower atop a garlic scape) for planting later in the year.

Made a weed salad. There was a lot of purslane growing wild where it shouldn't be. The stuff is healthy and full of omega 3 fatty acids. Washed and chopped it, added halved cherrry tomatoes and thin sliced radishes, with poppy seed dressing. Yum.

Got my sourdough starter out, fed it and let it bubble on the countertop. Later, got two large loaves of sourdough bread rising.

I'm working on a comprehensive post about the con, which will be first-posted at, but I'll share it here too! Should be done, eh,either tonight or sometime tomorrow. I'm still relaxing. :) Today's my last day of this little vacation.
Vintage Girl Pirate

Motor City Steam Con, Day One

Had fun at Motor City Steam Con yesterday! The opening ceremonies were quite spectactular, with a theatrical dance number backed up by a choir. Then the airship crews (lots of them) paraded through, flags waving proudly. Finally, the Gabriel Brass Band entertained us for a good long while. I quite enjoyed it all. Oh and con organizer Salathiel Palland was given her very own handcrafted airship by her grateful con volunteers. That was neat!

I got my books arranged in the Writer's Block, a cozy little bookshop run by con volunteers. Instead of writer's tables, we all left our books on shelves in here - the volunteers keep an inventory of who's books are here and what the prices are, and sell them for us! This way, writers are free to roam about and aren't tethered to a table. We'll have the chance to do public readings and engage with our hopefully-future-readers. This took some getting used to, but after I realized 'no, I don't need to decorate a table!', I grew to love the idea. And I did get a full shelf to myself, so I could do a little display (I have new cast iron book-props and wanted to use them!). A side table was for swag, so my bookmarks went there. Well thought out. Right now I'm at home, but thoeretically my books are flying off the shelves. :)

My only event this day was the Character Creation Challenge. Too much fun! Four authors gang up on a costumed con-goer and together they make up a backstory for the character. We took turns giving the opening concept, then just handed the microphone back and forth to keep adding details. We're a diverse enough bunch that the stories really took off. We had a great time and so did the audience! I'd love to do that again sometime. The authors were myself, Tee Morris, Patty Templeton and Kevin Steil. Emmy Jackson was our host/herder. Such great company.

Today! We'll arrive around noonish. I have a panel on Circus in the Age of Steam at 1, an author reading/book signing at 7, and the author slumber party from 8-10pm. STEAMPUNKS IN JAMMIES.

I love this con.
Hot today innit?

Might as well be walking on the sun

It's hot.

It's been a challenging couple of weeks - work is making me utterly crazy, just a huge assortment of stupid challenges and dealing with idiots. I swear I am no rocket scientist but I think I am surrounded by human shaped bags of hammers.

Anyway. No one wants all those details.  And looking ahead, I have a six day weekend coming soon and nestled into the middle of it is Motor City Steam Con!  This will be the second con that I've been at as a panelist and featured author, so I'm feeling a lot more relaxed than I was for the first. Rookie jitters are interesting critters but let's move ahead.  According to the UPS tracker text I got this afternoon, a box of 60 books is waiting for me. I ordered 20 each of what I've got published, which is WAY overly optimistic, but I like to have extras around for selling out of my desk, trunk of my car, inner lining of my trenchcoat... as indie writers do, you know.

Have amused myself watching Pokey Hunters tromping past my cubicle window all day. Catch them all!