It’s summer, and I’ve been to the farmers’ market today. Got some early corn! Corn, corn, corn, corn, corn, corn!

Made this totally delish sammich the other day. Actually, I made it last year by accident, but I made it this year on purpose.

PLT Sammich

  • Sliced dill pickle
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Fresh bread, toasted
  • mayonnaise

Make a sammich. Eat it.

I made that last year by accident, as I say: I said, “This is the best bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sammich I ever ate!” Then I found the bacon was still in the microwave.

We’re not having much luck with our garden this year. The potatoes have scale, the green beans didn’t even come up, and something is eating on the cucumbers.

Here is a picture of the cucumbers with just a few bites taken out of each of them. That’s the aggravating thing: if the critter would chow down on ONE, that would be okay, but it takes a couple of bites of one and then a couple of bites of ANOTHER one! Charlie says it’s a little shit, but I’m pretty sure it’s a turtle.

A Good Salad

  • fresh cucumbers, sliced
  • fresh tomatos, diced

Mix them and eat them.

I just put salt on, but Charlie likes blue cheese dressing. Also good with mayonnaise or–well–just about any kind of dressing, but I eats it nude. The veg, not me. Dear lord, the very thought sends shudders through the blogosphere!


writing prompt: Have a character leave an “essential” ingredient out of a recipe. Does it turn out good or nasty? How does the character react? How do/does the people/person for whom the dish is made react?

There are so many fascinating blogs out there–makes me kindasorta glad I don’t have high-speed internet service; if I did, I don’t know how I’d force myself to stop surfing. As it is, the freaking, everloving BOREDOM and IRRITATION of waiting fifteen minutes for a page to load sends me shrieking off to pound some bread dough or pull a weed or something.

One blog I enjoy, I’m lucky enough to be part of: The Write Type – Multi-Author Musings, run by Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif. Her post yesterday was about a novelette she has on Smashwords and Amazon. I left a comment so I would be entered in a drawing for an e-copy of her critically acclaimed novel, WHALE SONG–AND I WON! I love it when I win. 🙂

I bought a copy of the novelette, REMOTE CONTROL, and I’ll download it and my prize the next time I’m in town with a high-speed connection.

Visit Cheryl’s website to see how awesome she is and for links to her books!


writing prompt: Have a character win a prize, then have difficulty collecting it. Does he/she persist? Give up? Go Librarian-poo or Bursar (Terry Pratchett fans, you know what I mean!)?

Not a recipe.

We did go pick blueberries yesterday at a U-Pick-It place. We got there at 8:30. A. M. There were already a considerable number of people there, some of them checking OUT as we were checking in.

Charlie wore his Fathers Day hat and called the daughters who chipped in for it to thank them expressly for “a great blueberry-picking hat”.

We each picked a gallon of blueberries, and shared them with the girls. Didn’t share any with Mom, because she went with us, as did our friend Ardis, and they each picked a gallon, too. I think we each ate a gallon, while we were at it.

We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast–more honestly, we had fried blueberries held together with a little batter. I didn’t even use syrup; the blueberries were sweet enough by themselves. I don’t generally care for just plain blueberries, but these are SO SWEET!

I had many weird dreams last night. In one of them, I was in a car, backing up and turning, repeatedly and successfully, in a street packed with cars and trucks. I don’t know what that signifies, but it has to be good. In another one, I was walking through a restaurant and a rap song was blasting about the craziness of the American gun culture. When I got outside, a guy was holding up a family including a baby in the baby-seat of a grocery cart. Even the baby had its little hands up. It came out okay, but I don’t remember how. Maybe I backed into him, I don’t know.

Blueberry Dreams would be a great name for a recipe, wouldn’t it? Or a soft-rock singing group? Actually, I was thinking of calling this post Blueberries and Guns, which sounds like a heavy metal band headed by Violet Beauregarde and Mike TV from “Willy Wonka“. OMG–Check out this “where are they now” article!


writing prompt: Send a character to a u-pick-it place where he/she runs into someone or something unexpected amongst the crowd or in a lonely row.

Actually, it’s what I saw today, since I’m writing this on Tuesday at 3:26pm and scheduling it to go up Wednesday at 11:00am. We’re getting up early early in the morning to go blueberry picking, and I’ll probably be too tired when we get back to post anything, though we’ll probably be home before 11.

So Mom and I went into Corydon to the grocery today, and here are some of the things I saw:

I saw man mounted on his auspicious luminosity, in the form of a cherry picker, in this case. He was above a tree that had been shaved so close it looked like it was joining the Marines, but he was about ten feet above it and far from any trees or power lines. I don’t know what he was doing way up there. Mom said, “Maybe he lives around here, and his wife was going to hang a red handkerchief out the window when lunch was ready.” May be.

I saw a bunch of kids, maybe from a day care center, playing Red Rover on the courthouse square.

I saw lots of beautiful flowers, but Mom was walking too fast for me to take any snappies. When she reads this, she’ll say, “Why didn’t you just tell me to wait while you took your pictures?” I don’t know, I just didn’t. It doesn’t reflect badly on you; I know you would have stopped if I’d asked you to. HUGS!

We also went to the farmers’ market. Only Mr. Hambley was there. On Tuesday mornings, the market is on the square, and nobody ever comes except Mr. Hambley, who has the best tomatoes, peppers and eggplant EVAR!!!!!, and the peach man, who won’t be there until later. I know the peach man’s name, but I can’t think of it right now. He’s Joy’s cousin. Anyway, he wasn’t there. Mr. Hambley had some AWESOME tomatoes and I got a bunch of ’em, but he forgot to bring the little eggplants. He grows these wonderful small eggplants, not seedy or bitter, and just big enough for Charlie and me.

Then we went to Harmony and Health and I got some Tofutti cream cheese substitute and sour cream substitute and some organic family-farmed butter. No mayonnaise, so you know what that means: I HAVE TO TRY TO MAKE IT AGAIN. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa!!!


writing prompt: Go walk around and SEE things.

I was unable to sucker any chumps line up a writer to provide me with Actual Content on this Actual Content Tuesday, so you’ll have to make do with me.

This is something I haven’t tried yet–not because I’m cheap. Okay, yeah, it’s because I’m cheap. I know it works, though, because I know other writers who send out postcards to announce their appearances and signings, and they’re usually very successful, so I’m collecting information.

Here are some web sites and their advice for your postcards–indeed, for any sales pitch.

  1. Offer
  2. Call to Action
  3. Response/contact information

1. Make a Big First Impression
2. Get Right to the Point
3. Sell the Right Thing
4. Be Clear and Direct
5. Stimulate Fast Action

All-around good general marketing mini-course on one page!

I was given a copy of DUCT TAPE MARKETING at one of these sites, which is bristling with bookmarks (the book, not the site) and which I highly recommend.


writing prompt: Write a marketing postcard that spurs your main character and/or villain to action.

Actually, it isn’t Amazon’s fault. It states clearly (though in very small print) that Author’s Name should be put thusly: Lastname, Firstname. And what did I do on my first two Kindle publications? Yeah, that’s right: Marian Allen, when I should have done Allen, Marian. What a maroon.

So I had to go back into the production files, or whatever they call them, and fix it. And then you know what? Then I had to click Publish again. Not Update, not Correct, but Publish. So now the poor Amazon reviewers have to look at the files again and approve them again when all I freaking did was change the freaking order of my freaking names. Tarsome!

I’ve put excerpts of all the stories in LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL and in THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK up at my pro site, in case anybody is interested. Bud is ticked because HOUND is selling better than he (KING) is. I told him he ought to get a dog, and maybe his sales would pick up, and you should have seen the dirty look he gave me! If Bud had a dog, he’d probably eat it.

Those of you who’ve read any of my Bud Blossom stories, what kind of dog do you think he’d get and like (not to eat)?


writing prompt: Give a dog to a character who doesn’t have one. Is it a good thing for the character or a bad thing? How about for the dog?

Today, I most likely will NOT be vegetarian….

Most of us in our family have gone pretty far along the continuum from carnivore to herbivore, some farther than others. One daughter is working her way into veganism, and Charlie and I are struggling along behind her.

Why? For her, it’s an intense compassion for the lives and deaths of animals–any deaths of animals, vertebrate or invertebrate, for the purpose of feeding humans and any lives made miserable to serve the same purpose. For us, it’s the unnatural and environmentally unsound practices of “factory” meat and dairy industries. So we should be okay with local, family-farm meat and dairy, shouldn’t we?

I dunno. We kind of slide back and forth on that continuum daily. Grocery-store cheese, organic small-farm cheese or cheese substitute? Or no kind of cheesy stuff at all? –I tell you plainly: Dairy is harder for us to give up than meat, for some reason. Luckily, for me, cooking is like having a Gilbert Chemistry Lab that usually doesn’t blow up. I like messing around with alternatives and substitutes. Sure, sometimes you end up with a stink-bomb, but usually it’s more-or-less cool.

Anyway, I’m going to a pig roast today. It’s a fund-raiser for something-or-other.

Tell you the truth, I’m actually ambivalent about it. I do love roast pork. But…. There’s just something so Lord of the Flies about a pig roast, you know? So I’m not sure whether I’ll dig in (which is what I expect), or hesitate, or go ewwwwwww!

Maybe it’ll be like smoking. I was talking to our #4 daughter about smoking last night, about how I loved smoking–YES, I mean TOBACCO–and would love to light one up now and then, but that I don’t because I know it would make me sick as a dog after all these years. I told her I’m just not willing to smoke for a month in order to work my system down to where I can enjoy one cigarette.

So that’ll be my challenge today–to see how far along that slippery slope I’ve slid. Have I lost my predatory instincts? Have I been reduced to stalking the wild asparagus? Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?


writing prompt: Write a character who has lost the will, taste or capacity for something that he/she used to enjoy–something good or something bad or something questionable.

I tried to make mayonnaise again, and failed again. It didn’t “set” into mayonnaise, but just, you know, sat there looking like cake batter. So I got the previous failed batch out of the refrigerator and mixed it with the current failed batch.

Then I thought, “I’m not gonna totally waste all this. I’ll heat it up and give it to the dog–sucks to be a dog.”

So I put it into the microwave for a minute and took it out and stirred it up…and the heat had thickened it. I tasted it and found it good. I thought, “Sorry, dog–sucks to be a dog.” And I put it back into the refrigerator.

Our cucumbers are producing, so I cut one up into salted water with some dill weed in it and refrigerated it until supper. Then I drained the slices, put them into little bowls and topped them with the sauce.

It was quite good, actually, though tart because of the lemon juice in the first batch and vinegar in the second batch, and peppery from the white pepper I put into the second batch with, perhaps, rather too heavy a hand.

Now, mayonnaise is a cold sauce. Hollandaise, which is a cooked sauce, is made with butter and this was made with olive and canola oils. So what have I made? Maholla Sauce sounds nice.

Does anyone know of an officially known and named cooked sauce made with egg, oil and acidic liquid? If not, I just invented Maholla Sauce! Gonna have some on hard-boiled eggs for lunch!


writing prompt: Write a scene where a person eats food he/she prepared for a dog. Why does he/she do it?

I saw a post about a contest at Spinetingler Magazine and I decided to send something in. The catch: I don’t have anything that fits the guidelines. The solution: WRITE SOMETHING, DUH.

So I started:

It should be about revenge. It should be 500-1500 words. I can do that standing on my head.

Trouble is, it’s growing. It’s already 500 words and it’s barely started.

Two answers to that:

  1. Write it until it’s finished, then cut.
  2. Write it until it’s finished, then send it somewhere else.

A corollary to 2 is: Put it on hold and try again for a shorty and THEN write this one until it’s finished. That may be what I’ll do. I have some 100-word revenge stories I could flesh out, and I may try that.

Anybody have any two-cents’-worth to put in on the subject?


writing prompt: Is revenge sweet, or is it ashes in your mouth? What about various characters you’ve created? Write a character who ALWAYS relishes revenge. Now make him/her experience remorse over one triumph.

So yesterday, I got all industrious and Earth-Mother and decided to make fresh mayonnaise. We have fresh eggs from local chickens, so I thought, “Why not make fresh mayo and know what goes into it?”

I have a cookbook that tells how to do it. Unfortunately, the cookbook doesn’t have pictures. “Beat it until it goes into emulsion” is all well and good, and I know what that means, but I didn’t know what it was supposed to look like. I’ll tell you something for free: It isn’t supposed to look like cake batter. I kept adding oil a drop at a time and adding oil and adding oil and then adding lemon juice and then oil and then lemon juice and then oil, and I just got more cake batter. Cake batter that smelled like lemon and olive oil. It would probably make a pretty good floor polish but mayonnaise, not so much.

Today, I got wise and looked it up on the internet and found several sites that had pictures of every step. It should have gone all mayonnaisey right away. I guess when they say, “it will go out of emulsion and separate” they don’t mean “you will be able to tell the oil from the egg yolk”, they mean “it will look like cake batter.”

One site suggested using an immersion blender, which I have, so I may try it again. There’s only so much oil in the world, so I won’t do this particular fail too many times before I decided to just go to Rainbow Blossom and get organic mayo. Or I might use the recipe I found for “mayo” made with mashed potatoes. I’m all about carbs, anyway.


writing prompt: What would your main character do if he/she ran out of a condiment he/she considers essential?


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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