I’ve officially decided: I’m going to be doing all my blogging over at Marian Allen’s Fiction Site. I tried to keep it professional over there, I really did, but I just can’t.

As I’ve said before, everything is writing, so everything fits the theme of a Writing Blog.

I will have three Actual Content Days over there:

Monday: Writing information and advice

Wednesday: Food writing, information and recipes

Friday: Grab Bag–One of my passions explored, or something.

I’ll probably continue to post there just about every day, in addition to these categories. The posts can be sorted by categories, so people looking for just one kind can find that one kind, including Uncategorized.

Still posting at Fatal Foodies on Tuesdays, Echelon Explorations on the 14th of the month, The Write Type once a month, Goodreads and other places now and then.

This blog will remain up for the archives, which I plan to mine for useful posts, and for the fanfic, which will remain here.

See you at http://MarianAllen.com — I hope!


On Mondays, I’ll be posting at my web site on writery things. Today’s post is Writer’s Tools: PhotographY.

On Tuesdays, I post at Fatal Foodies. This week will be about Ogden Nash and Martinis.

On Wednesdays, I’ll post at my web site on Foodie things. This week, Victor J. Banis will guest with his thoughts on Martinis. (Hmm… do I sense a pattern here?)

This will also be the 14th of the month, when I post at Echelon Explorations. This month, I answer the question: Why is the bad guy bad?

Thursday, I’ll catch up here.

Friday, I’ll be posting at my web site about…well, I call it Grab Bag Friday, so who knows?

Meanwhile, I just published “Line of Descent” a FREE short story set in the world of EEL’S REVERENCE, also including Chapter 1 of the novel. Check it out! It’s FREE!


Mom and Charlie and I went to a concert on the Jeffersonville waterfront last night. The Louisville Orchestra was on RiverStage, a barge made into a stage on the Ohio River. There’s an amphitheater of grassy terraces from the river up to street level, where people can sit on the ground or set up chairs. We set up chairs.

On the way, I saw: two yearling deer standing by the expressway, then frolicking off into the woods (good choice of direction, Bambi); a flock of ducks on a pond; big snaggly bits of tree sticking out of the river; a honking great tree trunk washed up at the river’s edge with all its bark worn off by the water–the biggest piece of driftwood I’ve ever seen; LOADS of awesome houses. I’ll probably be posting some of those pictures.

I also saw this historical marker. You may not know some of this stuff: that free and enslaved black people were the major parts of “the underground railroad”, with indispensable help from sympathetic non-black people; and that the Emancipation Proclamation did NOT “free the slaves”. It only freed those in the states officially in rebellion.

The concert was most pleasant, but I can’t go farther than that. The music was not the best for that venue: the music was lyrical and the ambient noise was major. Between boat traffic on the river, street traffic on the street and the Forecastle rock festival across the river in Louisville, we could have been listening to “Pop Goes the Weasel” and we wouldn’t have known it.

But it was a beautiful evening, and it was most pleasant to be out in it, watching people play with their children off to the side, and appreciating the bits of music that made it through the competition.

Please visit my pro site for a daily writing prompt.


Writing prompt at Marian Allen’s Fiction Site.

I’m at the library today, reveling in high-speed internet access, but it was a

Not Him

near thing. I went out to the car and the air smelled SO SWEET, I just wanted to stay home and breathe deeply through my nose all day. Don’t know what it is–I don’t see anything in bloom, and it sure ain’t Joe.

That’s one of the wonderful things about living in the country: the sweet smells of growing things. 🙂 I’ll be singing a different tune, when the manure goes on the fields, but meanwhile….

One of the wonderful things about living in a small town is meeting new people. I went to the grocery before I came here, and talked to the lady in front of me in the line, telling her about the Friends of the Library‘s Book Box (used book sale building), open the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Mom is working there this morning, and I’m going to relieve her in a bit. I came back to the Book Box to check in with Mom before I came over here, and the lady from the grocery pulled into the parking lot right behind me. 🙂

Then I came to the library, and there’s a woman at the computer next to me with her grandbaby, and we got to talk about kids, teens, grown kids, grandkids and Girl Stuff, all the while the baby and I made funny faces at each other. 🙂


Okay, I know I said I wouldn’t be posting here any more, but I was wrong. I can’t stop!

I really am going to start updating my professional blog, though. I hope you’ll visit and subscribe and stuff. I’ll be moving the writing prompts over there, as well as Actual Content Tuesday, which will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday over there!

In other “news”, I went to visit Mom and found a guy who looked just like this guy on her doormat. Apparently, he came across the carport, up the back ramp, through the bird seed on the side porch, and around to the front. No way he was going to get down the steps, so I carried him down. He might be a her, now that I think of it: Mom and I each had to discourage a turtle very like this one from digging egg holes in the driveway.


I’m working on updating my pro site, where I look all professional and stuff, and that means some updating to this one, too, I guess….

I’m thinking about moving my blogging over to the pro site and providing Actual Content more than once a week–not sure if I’m up to that! Here’s kind of what I’m thinking:

On Writing

As always, I’ll be posting on Tuesday at Fatal Foodies


Catch up on Goodreads, MySpace, LinkedIn and LiveJournal

Grab bag

I’ll still be posting once a month on The Write Type and Echelon Explorations, and I’ll still haunt Twitter and FaceBook.

I would keep this blog open for the fanfic and the archives.

Whaddya think? Please comment here if you have any thoughts or feelings about it, one way or another. If I don’t get any comments on this post, I guess that’ll tell me something, right there! 🙂 I’m open to suggestions. Shut up–not THAT kind of suggestion. Be nice.


writing prompt: Have a character decide whether to double up on work or discard something he/she enjoys for the sake of a more professional profile.

The Blog Book Tour class started Monday, and I’m already behind with my homework…. And Dani says class REALLY starts next week…. help meeee….

I’ve already added the stat counter to the bottom of the posts on this blahg, and I’ll do the same on Marian Allen’s Fiction Site. I have a tab from this site to the pro site, so they’re integrated. Scratching my head over changing the header–do I change it to reflect whatever my most current book is, or only change the header at the pro site, or have a special header for the book’s pages or what?

Work! Work!

Posts may be sparse and/or terse, as I struggle to use dial-up to make high-speed changes. 🙂


writing prompt: Send an adult character to school. Make it difficult.

I’ve had this discussion with people recently and I’ve read discussions in various fora (plural of forum is fora, not forums. You’re welcome.) lately.

YES, an engrossing story and compelling characters are important. Being able to tell a story with impact and heart cannot be taught, and is the soul of moving and memorable writing.

But that thing somebody told you about, “Don’t worry about the spelling and punctuation and stuff–that’s what editors are for”–you know, that thing? NOT! Let me put that another way: WAY NOT!!!!!

I’m currently doing line edits of EEL’S REVERENCE. That means, my children, that I have to go through the copy, embarassed about how many technical errors I didn’t catch the first sebbenty-lebben times I went through it. Punctuation errors, spelling errors, words left out (or left in, after I changed part of a sentence)…. I’ve been SO irritated, when reading a published book, to find sloppy editing, and I’ve growled at the “editor” about it. Now I find that I’M supposed to be the one to catch those things!

So remember: If you should buy a copy of EEL’S REVERENCE, and if you should find any technical errors in it…. Um, yeah, um, BLAME MY EDITOR! Gosh, why didn’t he catch that stuff? Yeah, yeah, I have been ill served. Not my fault. Totally.

The good news is, spelling, punctuation, word choice, grammar–all the technical skills–CAN be taught.

Get yourself a good current style book or book about writing. Look on the internet. Here are some good sites I found in a few minutes of Googling:









Do your best, but write with heart and clarity and you’ll carry most of your readers with you.


writing prompt: Have a character write another character a note which has a different meaning than intended because of a spelling, grammatical or punctuation error. The classic example might be a note from your wife, who has left to visit her mother: love you leaving you turkey. “Love you? Leaving you, Turkey!” is quite a bit different from “Love you! Leaving you turkey.”

Today is the first day of school for me. I signed up for Dani Greer’s Blog Book Tour class. It’s a bit late for EEL’S REVERENCE, since that comes out this month, but I’ll be loaded for bear when FORCE OF HABIT and SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING hit the virtual stands.

One of the things the class will do is critique members’ blogs so, if you’ve ever thought about leaving a comment on one of the posts here or on a page at my pro blog, this would be a jolly good month to do it.

I’m amazed at the rush of physical sensations I’ve had over this. As the first day of school approached, I started getting antsy. I had an almost uncontrollable urge to rush out and buy a box of crayons–not one of those sad little eight-color things, that are to a REAL box of crayons as a popgun is to an anti-aircraft missle. (See? See how I did one of those SAT comparison question things? School!) What was I talking about? Oh–crayons. I had the urge to rush out and buy a box with so many different colors I would have to hire two strong young men to carry it, which is not a bad idea, in itself….

Anyway, you know the school’s-coming feeling I’m talking about: that sense of new beginnings and endless possibilities, of a new start and of outfitting oneself for the first day of the future.

But then it was almost the day, and my stomach started to clench. I even put some of it into emails to the class: that gnawing fear that you (notice how I avoid putting myself into this scenario, even though it was All About Me)–that you would walk into the wrong class or would have the wrong books or would be dressed too differently from the other kids or…. Oh, there were SO many things that could go wrong and could mark you lower in the pecking order than you could bear.

Well, this could go on and on, but this post is too long already, and I have to make my lunch. Is it too geeky to take raw veg on home-made bread, or should I swing by the store and pick up a Lunchable?


writing prompt: Write about an adult character on the first day of some sort of class or instructional course.

Yes, I did it, I really did it! I’m posting the secret, which no recipe I found anywhere told, so take notes.

This recipe was at the Hellman’s site and is listed elsewhere as the Fanny Farmer recipe. I did it a leetle bit differently, and I’ll do it a little bit more differently the next time I make it–or maybe I won’t: Charlie has commented twice that it’s really good.

As we all know, emulsions are colloids, heterogeneous mixtures composed of tiny particles suspended in another immiscible (unmixable) material.

Easy Blender Mayonnaise

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (can use white vinegar)
  • 1 cup salad oil (some say 1 1/4 cup–I used 1 1/4 cup)

Break egg into blender container. Add mustard, salt and vinegar. Add 1/4 cup of the oil. Cover and blend on low speed. Immediately uncover and add remaining oil in a steady stream. Makes 1 1/4 cup.


So many other recipes said to add the first of the oil drop by drop, I didn’t put the oil into the food processor (I don’t have a blender) with the eggs; I added 1/4 cup of it drop by drop, by taking a spoonful and feeding it drop by drop through the hole in the top of the food processor (yes, it spit on me and I had to wash my glasses twice during the process). When the 1/4 cup of oil was nearly gone, I started drizzling in the rest of the oil. All this time, the motor has to be going.

Here’s the secret: Keep adding the oil, slowly, even though the mixture keeps looking like cake batter. All of a sudden–POOF!–it gets thick. It’s amazing. The more oil you add, the thicker it gets. That’s–what’s the word?–counter-intuitive.

When I make it again, I’ll try it the way they say to do it, and I’ll add less oil, because it’s thicker than I’d like. I could thin it with more lemon juice or a bit of water, but I’ll try less oil.

This mayonnaise has a personality of its own–not just something to keep the bologna from sticking to the roof of your mouth. I’m told one can flavor it with herbs, and I’m like, “Really? Ya think?” Okay, that was snotty, but that’s like saying you can actually BOIL stuff in WATER and make SOUP!!!!

If you prefer “salad dressing” (ICK), you may add powdered sugar until the resulting mess is as sweet as you like (YUCK). Just sayin’.

Anyway, I’m singing the Mr. Rogers Proud Of You song. 🙂


writing prompt: Have a character master some technique he/she has been trying to master. Have him/her have nobody with whom to share it. Is that the end of the story?


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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