Ask the Author and S’Mores

The water was a lot of dead algae and also a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

The water was a lot of dead algae and also (not pictured) a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

So, I missed the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference last weekend, and I feel pretty bad about that. I’ve been to the Colorado Gold only once, last year, but I really enjoyed the people I met there and the conference sessions themselves.

We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

Dead fish everywhere. We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

But I did get to spend a weekend at another (non-writing) event with friends, being eaten by mosquitos beside the highly questionable waters of Maumee Bay and Lake Erie, so that was some consolation. The tap water was officially safe again, but the lake water, not so much. I’ll let you know if the pollution-affected mutant mosquito bites turn out to have imbued me with superpowers. We can always hope. Continue reading

The TASTE of Montgomery County, a tasty fundraiser

Every year the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum hosts this fundraiser designed especially for people who like to eat. Like me. This was only my second year to attend, but wow, I wished I’d brought a couple of extra stomachs.

The TASTE features a lineup of nearly 20 local restaurants and caterers bringing their A-game to the study grounds. For very reasonable prices, you can buy little (and not so little) samples of fabulous foods. And by “reasonable,” I mean nothing costs more than $4, lots of items are $1, and many of those big-ticket items could be meals in themselves, if you didn’t need to save room to sample everything else. Continue reading

A FAE Fried Pork Tenderloin

the sign of the Steer-In restaurant, featuring a horned steer in a convertible

The Steer-In, east Indianapolis

So I didn’t get to have any special-occasion mead or chocolate or anything for the release of Fae two days ago, so when I was invited to lunch yesterday I wanted it to be slightly celebratory. My friend Emi hadn’t had a traditional Hoosier fried pork tenderloin sandwich as mentioned in the story, and Mark and Alena were willing, so we all headed to the Steer-In.

I’d been to the Steer-In only once, but it is of a type quite common in Indiana, and it’s a local classic. It’s often voted to the top of pork tenderloin lists, so it seemed a good choice. And for those who haven’t been to a traditional Indiana drive-in (many of which no longer serve to the car, or never did, but are still known as drive-ins), here’s a typical specimen. Continue reading

FAE releases today!

FaeToday’s the day! Fae officially releases, with my story “And Only the Eyes of Children.”

If you’ve got a few minutes, please drop by the online release party tonight, from 7-10 pm EDT. It’s easy — it’s right on Facebook, no additional sign-in or contact info required — and there will be a lot of fun stuff going on, from giveaways to real-life fairy doors to recipes to a short history of Hoosier cuisine. I’ll even be giving away two Kitsune Tales books!

And just in case you’ve somehow missed why I’m so excited about this…. Continue reading

A Writers’ Group Feast

This image shows a red wine glass.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My writers’ group had a cooler-than-usual meeting last month.

Writers’ groups are generally pretty cool. We don’t always sit around in black berets and drink coffee or wine and comment on existential truths in literature; that’s for special occasions only. Usually we have a few snacks and critique each other’s submissions. But this session was a special occasion of another kind; we had a fiction pitch-in. Continue reading

A Behaviorial Look at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...

photo by clickthing.blogspot.com/2008/10/tennish-anyone.html

So right now a lot of writing friends and I are stocking up on coffee, candy, and Prozac, building our bunkers for National Novel Writing Month (fondly known as NaNoWriMo). Only I don’t like coffee, so I make up for it with chocolate. To each her own.

NaNoWriMo is a blitz to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. (Of course, no, one isn’t writing a publishable book in 30 days, nor is 50,000 words a complete novel in nearly any genre. But that’s not exactly the point, either, so work with us here.)

Considering that at my sugar-and-caffeine-induced perfect zone, I peak at about 1000 words per hour, and that’s not really sustainable — I know a lot of professionals who are quite pleased with 250 words per hour — and considering that normal life doesn’t actually suspend for most of us, you can see the challenge here. So motivation and discipline are big concepts for the NaNo community.

There are lots of ways NaNo writers motivate themselves, but it boils down to several commonly-used terms — small incentives, big incentives, anti-incentives, and rituals.

Let’s look at them from a professional behavior perspective. Continue reading

I Dine with Ninja

Ninjutsu (Naruto) (246375091)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I talk a lot about Japanese folklore here on the blog, for obvious reasons, but I haven’t talked much about ninja. And ninja have certainly entered national pop culture and folklore, so they’re as valid a topic as any other.

Plus, I got to have dinner with some lately. I don’t mean I dined with students of Bujinkan Taijutsu or other martial arts heirs of ninjutsu skill, I mean the dressed-in-black, popping-out-of-ceilings legend of thousands of movies and cartoons and books. Those ninja. Continue reading

More Options for Guilt-Free Chocolate

Dove Chocolate Rainforest Alliance Certified

this caught my eye

Well, free of guilt from exploitation. You’re on your own for the calories. (But dark chocolate has important antioxidants and flavonoids and stuff. It’s good for you. That’s science.) Continue reading

The Fifth Day of Kitsune — Dining with the Daimyou

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables...

nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables (nukamiso) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we’re going to have a meal with the oyakata-sama and okugata-sama, the lord and lady of the household. Have you been practicing with your chopsticks? I hope you’re hungry! Continue reading