Life Get’s in the Way

Been a busy week or so. Work, family, and generally life intervened to shut things down creatively. A little over a week ago the Fiancee lost a very good friend and she had to deal with a lot of personal things. This meant that I had to step up and ensure she was taken care of physically, mentally, and emotionally. What I have signed on for so no big deal.

Next, work. This was our busiest week in the department I am working in so extra hours and lots of baking was needed to be done. It’s a 24 hour store, except on holidays. And the days it’s opened people tend to go a little nuts. Of course there are a lot of family dinners over the Easter weekend and lots of bread products and sweets are also desired. I had a couple later half shifts where I showed up and was diving into the mixer and setting up product for the next open day and that shift.

There were a few days that I dragged my sorry ass home and dealt with the general day to day stuff like dinner and the Squire. As of Monday, things will return to that level of craziness that we call normal around here.

So, plans and stuff. I have a book to finish, and stories to get proofed and edited for publishing. I aim to start pumping out some of my shorter works to the distribution channel soon. If I can manage it maybe one story or two stories a month. I have no time line for the book that comes after “A Fall of Dust”, just that it’s almost completely written. Working title is “Drifts of Snow”. All I will say about it at the moment. All the characters are clamoring in my head for their share in the spot light.

I will be looking as well what I need to get it set up as a dead tree edition. That’s going to take more work. So, that’s where things stand and I hope to be out here more often. Enjoy your Sunday.

Educating…

Last night was date night. Typically me and the fiancee have one night every two weeks when the Squire is away with his mother where we just have us time. The past few months we were watching “Fear The Walking Dead” (which I am really disliking for numerous reasons). Last night though I figured I needed something different.

Well a week or so ago I saw a mention of a documentary that caught my attention. “In the Shadow of the Moon” about the race to and landings on our closest celestial neighbor. I bookmarked it on Amazon Prime for later viewing. And last night we sat down to watch it.

I just have to say, it was the best three hours I have spent watching the TV with her in my life. Yes, I know, it’s only an hour and a half long. I had to pause it a lot to stop and explain things or expand on stuff that I have read or learned in my years. You see, I lived and breathed space stuff. I have a copy of a a newspaper with the first space shuttle landing. It’s been kept in decent shape over the past 30+ years since I first bought it.

My fiancee is a bit uneducated about this aspect of modern history. Well compared to me that is. It was fun to stop and explain stuff about rockets, gravity, orbits and well, “Buck Rogers” dreams. It also helped listening to these astronauts and moon walkers describe their fantastic journey with wonder and awe. I mean it was beautiful listening to them describe small little details that you wouldn’t think of.

Anyway, it’s coming up on the 50th anniversary of the first landing. So there’s a lot of stuff to watch now and rediscover on my part with her. I went to Amazon and bought a bunch of DVD’s since my local Library doesn’t carry any of them. First will be “The Right Stuff”, and them the “Earth to the Moon” miniseries. After that? Well, I will think of something. Rediscovering the wonder of early space race is a thing that I can’t wait to share with my young son. I hope there are a ton of firsts that we will get to watch and share.

 

Rant Time

Sorry, have to vent my spleen a bit. Nothing serious and it’s all just my opinion here.

We have been watching “American Gods” on Amazon Prime. At the end of Season One we were looking forward to what would happen next in this screen adaption of the book by Neil Gaiman. I read it back when it first came out and enjoyed it immensely. Most things written my Mr. Gaiman intrigue me and I enjoy them. So I was looking forward to sitting down to see this.

The first season departed a fair bit from the book, which is to be expected I guess. It at least was fairly close in this season. Aside from making Mad Sweeney more of a character then a walk on role in the book. Then there was more focus on Laura Moon than in the book. I was willing to ignore those changes.

No in the second season I am getting angry with a lot of the sub text going on. It’s becoming less a journey of Shadow Moon and more a look at the injustices of American history and culture. A lot of the characters are angry and nasty. There’s very little enjoyable or whimsical like I found in the book.

Anansi almost seems like a vengeful good rather then the trickster god that he’s supposed to be. Perhaps I missed something in the original, and I will have to go back to read just to be sure (the first printing, NOT the enhanced version. If I can find it). Some of the other gods are just… I don’t know, they seem a little off.

Now another thing that irritates me is the gratuitious sex, nudity, and whatever else they throw in. It’s almost like they are trying to “improve” the story to the lowest common denominator.

One good thing, I guess, is the foreshadowing  about Shadow and his eventual role in the whole universe. Those that have read the book, will understand what I am talking about. On the other hand the show is being a little heavy handed in it. The Fiancee is enjoying it still, so we will be watching it a little longer. I just hope I don’t get frustrated and bail on her.

Why can’t Hollywood just do a faithful adaption of any books anymore? Well that’s my opinion for what it’s worth.

 

Just the Baked Goods Ma’am

Promised an update with pictures yesterday so here they are.

First, the regular loaf of bread:

Typical Bread

Next, the caraway rye loaf in the foreground: Caraway Rye and Regular Bread

I used the recipe from this site. Next time I will be using a lower temperature then the one they recommended.

Finally the peanut butter cookies:

Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe found here with the modifications suggested by reviewers (extra 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of flour and a teaspoon of vanilla extract)

I really enjoy the baking process and it gives me a little bit to think things through and get some plotting done in my head.

As well, it gave me a little more quality time with my son. Get them started early with the cooking and eventually they will be able to do it themselves.
Helping Hand

So, I guess I should get back to writing and stuff. Until next time.

In the Meantime…

It’s a quiet day. Weather is improving from the frigid cold of winter and showing signs of spring, which means rain and damp. The antidote? Baking of course. This means a typical weekend thing with me actually. I am the chief cook at home, it happens to be something I enjoy and put as much or as little thought into it as I need to. And when I say as little thought, I mean somethings are practically memorized so I don’t have to pore over a recipe book all the time.

On the agenda today is regular bread, rye bread with caraway seeds, and later peanut butter cookies. I will be enlisting the Squire when I do the cookies. The lovely lady in my life requested them and her wish is my demand in this case. A lot of work goes into properly planning things.

Regular bread is easy, just through the ingredients together in the bowl and turn on the mixer. When fully done, let it rise before putting it in the loaf pan and rising again before baking. Rye bread is a little trickier. Sponges, mixes, lots of rising and kneading. Probably be ready around dinner time I think. After lunch when the butter has softened enough will be cookies.

This is what I do to relax and to get other things percolating on the mental back burner. Food is important to all manner of things. The most important thing is the aroma’s that fill the house when everything is baking and cooking. It makes a house a home.

I will try to update this post later today with pictures of everything as well. So until then. Enjoy your Saturday.

It’s Alive!

Well, I have finally done it. Waffling around has ended and I have pushed the big shiny button to publish my first novel. That’s right, “A Fall of Dust” is now live on almost all ebook platforms. After much research, biting of nails, and worrying about things in general I just did it.

 

I am going wide rather than just sticking with one platform. From some of my research and readings I figured that it would be best if I didn’t tie myself to one company. I am using the company Draft 2 Digital which makes things mostly easy. I messed up and didn’t get something done before hitting the publish button so I have been awaiting Amazon links to go live.

 

Now, I just have to sit down and do something else again and release again. Back to the grindstone and keep doing it.

Keeping Organized

Well, I have managed to kick the writers block over and have started writing some stuff again. I was about three quarters of the way through Book 2 which is a sequel to “Fall of Dust” before I ran into life and other issues. Luckily I had stopped at a good point, unfortunately I had to figure out some things before I could get back on the horse.

Now, I have run into a couple other issues. Luckily I had some things I had set up previously. Keeping track of characters and personalities is difficult. Especially if you have some minor conflict between a bunch of them. A program I ran across a couple years ago was “Zim Wiki“. Think of it as a wikipedia for your computer. I have several story universes mapped out in mine already. Not to mention plot points, characters, settings and what have you. Which reminds me, I have to update it a bit. Organizing a story bible as you go makes things easier when you are writing into the dark.

Another thing is maps. Do you need maps? Well it depends I guess. Some locations and settings don’t really need much of maps and action and story can cover very little ground. Other times though, where the hell did I leave my characters again? It’s hard when they are lost, it’s even worse when you lose them and try to find them. If you are dealing with a made up world, quick sketches could help out as you flesh things out. Maybe, and probably a good thing. Nothing needs to be concrete or cartographer level approach. Just a basic guideline to track travels.

Luckily for me “FoD” takes place in the real world so I can use online maps. Google Maps has a “My Maps” app that you can create routes, place points of interest, or even set boundaries of where your action is. This is something I did over a year ago. Now I have to go into it and set up routes and locations for actions and plot points. Will I share it to the wild? Most likely not, or if I do, a highly bawlderized version.

Anyway, Fall of Dust is out to the beta readers and I should be hearing back from them soon. After that, publication will happen soon. Now to finish book two and start working on book three. I have that many ideas for the series so far. Will there be more after that? Well, muse willing…..