Friday, June 28, 2013

Food For Thought Friday: Current Events

I have emerged from deep within the hermit cave to post some food for thought and an update on current events.  It's been so long!  I've been working hard on my manuscript and haven't had much time for reality lately.  A few exciting things have happened since I dug in to the last act of my book:

First of all, I had a mind-blowing epiphany about the POV in my story and after changing it, I've found the story is not only telling itself, but it's much more crisp and clear this way.  Hooray for clarity!

Second, my little 11 month-old monster started WALKING!  Very exciting stuff here, people.  My husband and I both were of the mind that she would likely crawl until she was middle-aged, but she has proven us wrong, once again.  Since she took her first steps and proudly smiled at me, she seems to have no desire whatsoever to do it again and gets exceedingly disgruntled when I try to get her to perform on command in front of other people.  Alas, I fear she will not have the successful performance career we had hoped for.

Third, my eldest has turned the ripe old age of 6 and I am in complete denial about it.  I swear he was just my sweet baby boy when I put him to bed the night before his birthday.  When he woke up the morning of the big day, it was like a scene right out of the movie "Big".  A grown little man emerged from his bedroom and proceeded to say grown little man things like, "I'm 6 now, mama... I'm too OLD for that."  Excuse me???  Where in the parenting contract does it state that your little ones will grow so fast?  It must be somewhere in the fine print, along with 'Hobbies will be a thing of the past,' and 'Don't expect to be able to go to the bathroom by yourself until you're 40.'

So that's what's going on in our neck of the woods.  While I continue to blubber about my babies not being babies anymore, why don't you enjoy this super delicious recipe, courtesy of Mountain Mama Cooks.  Her blog is awesome and has provided me with oodles of yummy recipes adapted for high-altitude baking.  This is one of my favorites:




Blueberry Poppy Seed Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Prepare two standard loaf size pans with butter and flour or cooking spray.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  4. Beat milk, vegetable oil, eggs, poppy seeds, and almond and vanilla extracts in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until well combined. Fold the blueberries into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the two pans and bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Transfer the pans to a rack and let cool about 10 minutes before removing the bread to the rack to cool completely. 

(P.S. Remember, this recipe is suited best for high-altitude kitchens.  For the regular recipe, go here.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

RTW: Superhuman Skills

We're trekking along on the YA Highway again for Road Trip Wednesday.  So buckle up and enjoy the ride!  This week's question asks:

This Week's Topic: In our Bookmobile selection this month, Amy Tintera's REBOOT, the main character has died and been reborn as a robot-like soldier. If you were reborn faster, stronger, and quicker healing, what's the first thing you'd do?
The idea of being reborn into a superhuman version of myself is one I haven't thought of since I was a kid.  I can remember wishing I was faster, stronger, and quicker healing many times as a kid, particularly when my older brother was chasing me, tying me to trees, and otherwise picking on his annoying little sister.  Now, I'm not sure I would even know what to do with superhuman skills. 

There are the menial tasks that my superhuman quickness could accomplish in a matter of minutes, like cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, cooking dinner, and things like that.  I could probably be in and out of the grocery store in under five minutes and carry all the groceries in one trip.  I could actually open the monstrous jar of pickles all by myself. 

Sure, there are a lot of things I could do with my new-found superhuman skills.  But I think before I tackled all that, I would want to do something fun to challenge myself.  How cool would it be to be able to just flat out run until your legs can't run anymore and wind up in Brazil or somewhere far, far away?  Then go for a light swim and voila; you wash up on the beach in Casablanca.  I think that's what I would do first: travel the world on my own two feet.  The super-speedy house cleaning and butt-kicking action would come later. 

What would you do with superhuman skills?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RTW: What's in Your Post-Apocalyptic Carry-On?

Road Trip Wednesday... on a Tuesday???  Yep, we're bending rules on the blog, today.  Good thing, too, because my writer-hermit brain needed a jumpstart this morning.  Last week's question at YA Highway asked:

If you time-traveled to a post-apocalyptic future, what would you bring?

 Everyone fortunate enough to know me knows that I am a notorious over-packer.  For some reason, I feel the need to prepare for various catastrophic events every time my family and I travel.  Everyone knows the one time you don't bring the winter parka is the time you will need it.  Never mind that it's July and going to be eighty degrees the whole trip, just bring it anyway.

But traveling to a post-apocalyptic future might actually be a simple thing for me.  The worst has already happened, so there isn't really much to be prepared for. 

I would definitely need to bring some fresh produce since I'm guessing there won't be much available post-apocalypse;  some fresh fruit and veggies ought to perk up the ashen gray scene. 

I would also have to bring a few books, because who knows how many would survive the apocalypse?

I think a jar of peanut butter would also be in order.  Maybe an extra jar to barter with; I would think peanut butter would be a pretty hot commodity in a world of canned sardines and stale crackers. 

Also, some batteries.  Doesn't it always seem like the people that survive apocalyptic catastrophes are in serious need of batteries? 

And the most important thing inside my duffel would have to be seeds.  I would bring copious amounts of seeds.  Watermelon, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots; you name it, I'll grow it.  Now let's just hope I can find some sort of fresh, non-zombie-virus-infested water source...

What would your bag include?