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Monday, April 30, 2012

My Other Hobby


Maybe. A little. BUT I HAVE IT UNDER CONTROL, GUYS. I can totally stop WHENEVER I WANT TO.


Anyway. I thought about writing something inspirational about finishing outlines today (I finished the outline for Ghost Book 2. Did I mention that? I did? On Twitter? Oh, well. I FINISHED THE OUTLINE. *dances*), but then I decided, no, I don't want to do that. I'd rather blog about cooking.

This is due in no small part to the watching of Julie and Julia that the Boyfriend and I undertook this past week. And now an even smaller part of me hopes that in blogging about cooking, I too will come home from work one day to 65 voice mails from various editors/agents going I MUST HAVE YOU. Hey, dream big, yo.

So thus begins my first attempt at posting a recipe for one of my Famous Homemade Dishes. I concocted this recipe this past weekend when I got the desperate urge to bake something fluffy and we had a few containers of frozen plums in the freezer. Thus, Meringue Plum Pie was born, a tarty-yet-mellowed hybrid child of Lemon Meringue Pie and Plum Pudding.

Firstly, a photo, because recipes without photos are SNEAKY SNEAKY recipes.

Now, the recipe.


3 cups plums (or whatever tarty fruit your heart desires)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
Cinnamon and Cloves to taste (I know some people don't like these flavors, so add them or don't -- your choice)


3 tablespoons ice water
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar


I used a pre-made crust (I know, CHEATER), but you can of course make your own.


Combine ingredients for plum filling -- let stand in fridge overnight (I did this for gelatinous/flavor purposes, but it is not necessary).

Bake crust according to instructions on box. Let cool. Add plum filling.

To make meringue: mix egg whites and cold water until frothy. Slowly add sugar and baking soda and continue beating with an electric mixer (trust me, you do NOT want to do this by hand) until glossy and stiff. You can tell it is stiff when you stop mixing, hold the mixer up, and the peak stays up instead of falling over.

Spread meringue over plum mixture on crust, being sure to get meringue to touch all crust sides (this keeps it from shrinking).

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes (or until golden brown).

The plum filling is also REALLY good as an ice cream syrup.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

World Domination

I have this friend, see. And she's an evil genius who writes about dark and twisty things and has a terrifying World Domination Plot that makes me shudder in my sleep (in an equally twisted, excited way). And this friend has just unleashed Phase 3 of her World Domination Plot:

Taking over the US of A.

Now, I know what you're thinking: HOW WILL WE SURVIVE HER APOCALYPSE? But fear not -- once you accept her inevitable and undeniable Awesomeness, things look a whole lot brighter. Take, for instance, her OFFICIAL PUBLISHERS MARKETPLACE NOTIFICATION:

J.R. Johansson's INSOMNIA, about a teen boy who thought spending every night trapped in other people's dreams was bad, but discovers that losing control of his own body and mind is so much worse, to Brian Farrey at Flux, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2013, by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (NA).

Might I also add that this is the same friend who already had Germany and Italy fighting over her. World Domination, see? Totally wasn't lying.

We all knew Germany and Italy rocked -- now we know that the US rocks equally hard. And in the Spring/Summer of 2013, ALL THREE COUNTRIES will be shuddering in their sleep from reading JR Johansson's INSOMNIA. So join the dark side. Because we will, at least, have cupcakes whilst shuddering in our sleep (in a twisted, excited way, of course).


Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th (and other things you should ignore)

Thanks to a random news blurb, I was reminded that today is Friday the 13th. *cue dramatic music*

I find it kind of ironic that this week houses the ever-terrifying Friday the 13th, because The Boyfriend and I watched The Da Vinci Code on Tuesday night, and in it they have that whole fantastically blasphemous scene in which Ian McKellen goes on an explanation/rant about the origins of Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and Friday the 13th. (Granted, Friday the 13th wasn't a huge part of his speech, but it WAS mentioned in there. I promise.) His explanation for why we remember Friday the 13th as a day of horror: on October 13, 1307 (a Friday), members of the Knights Templar were rounded up, charged with heinous crimes, and subsequently tortured/murdered.

Whether or not this is the real origin of our freakish obsession with Fridays and 13s, I don't know, but Ian McKellen sounds so ominous when he says it that you just have to believe him. Then again, he is also capable of convincing us to abandon our comfy homes in the Shire and embark on a perilous journey across Middle Earth, so maybe he can't be 100% trusted. But whatever the origins of Friday the 13th, there is one truth that we cannot deny:

This "holiday" doesn't really matter. At all. And is totally okay with being ignored.

This, of course, links up quite nicely with a certain aspect of writing that should also be ignored. The certain aspect that I've been struggling with whilst plotting out Sci-Fi Novel. The aspect that starts with a "se" and ends with "lf doubt."

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. That little voice that silently chirps away at every good idea you have. That little voice that sits back in its big comfy armchair going, "That plot twist is so cliche. That character name is so ORDINARY. That world-trait is so obvious. You're horrible." And, if you let it get to you, it can make you crumble into a tiny ball of saddened-writer-goo and throw away all your notes and cry yourself to sleep.

Holidays like Friday the 13th could do the same thing. We could (and I'm sure some people do) let the superstitions and horror get to us and force us into comatose states whenever this poor little day rolls around. Or, as most of us do, we could totally forget that today is a day of supposed "horror" and all things evil and ignore what is, ultimately, quite an average day.

If it's so easy to ignore supposed days of Ultimate Terror, why can't we ignore those silly little self-doubts just as easily?

So I hereby move to make Friday the 13th a day of Ignoring -- ignoring those stupid little voices, ignoring those pings of self-doubt, and plunging ahead with whatever plot twist, character name, or world-trait you want. Because if we let go of most of the negative things we cling to, we often find they weren't really that important to begin with.


Thursday, April 5, 2012


I feel like posting interesting inspirational news articles is a bit of a cop-out, because I'm letting someone else write my blog post for me. But I'm not proud enough to not do it.

So I have three words for you:

Liquid body armor.

Yeah. I know you're interested now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Outlines Bring May Panic Attacks

As you may have guessed, I am in the midst of outlining. Ghost Book 2: Revenge of the Ghosts (working title), to be exact. Why, you may ask, am I outlining Ghost Book 2 when I was smack-dab in the middle of writing Dystopian Book?

Because I'm a horrible person. But that's beside the point.

So in honor of outlining (or as it's been: staring blankly at my scribbled notes while screaming internally "THIS DOESNT MAKE SENSE. NONE OF IT MAKES SENSE. Ah, to hell with it. 'And a meteor came crashing to earth and killed everyone. The End.' " Which is sounding like a very good twist ending. NO ONE WOULD SEE IT COMING.), I have decided to change the subject.

What (if anything) are you making for Easter Dinner? Or what is your favorite Easter food dish? And if you don't celebrate Easter: do you still eat the candy? Because I'd totally do that -- take advantage of other religions' holidays. Gotta work the system to your advantage, especially when chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies are involved.

Chocolate. Mmm.