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Now my feelings are hurt. I post about God and my stats tank? What’s up with that? I have like four people who read this blog and you all ditch me at once? Boo hoo for me. huh

Anyway, I’ve just traded Twitter following with M.R.Sellars. He writes about serial killers and stuff so dark it scares me just to look at his dimples. But he also has all kinds of witches, good ones as well as bad ones, and I like that. I know there are bad ones, but all the witches I know personally are great folks. It was one of my dear witch friends who sent me back to Christianity, telling me that there was nothing lacking in it, the lack was in me, and that I would find everything I needed in Christianity if I dug deeper and became a better practitioner.

Darryl just came into the coffee shop wearing several strings of Mardi Gras beads. He said he’d been trying to give them away, but nobody was willing to earn them. heh

Went to a GREAT Mardi Gras dinner at the Corydon Presbyterian Church yesterday and posted about it today on Fatal Foodies.

Hungry. Must…eat…. Otherwise… no… good….

MA

writing prompt: Read something about a religion you consider wrong or bad. Let some of what you read be written by someone in favor of that religion or at least impartial about it.

I set this up yesterday to post today so I could devote as much of today as possible to watching the inauguration. I did, however, do my Tuesday post on Fatal Foodies. This week, I interviewed Carol Preflatish on her wonderful cook/anecdote book, MASTERS & DISASTERS OF COOKING.

Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we went to the Leora Brown School in Corydon. Community Unity, a local group that works for diversity awareness and non-violent problem solving, sponsored an event there–They played live recordings of Dr. King giving five of his speeches with discussion time between them. It was stirring and moving to hear his prophetic words in his own voice again.

We were all asked to bring cookies, so I brought these. The basic recipe is the one on the Quaker Oatmeal box. I added raisins, walnuts and chocolate chips, because that was the favorite combination of our late friend, Mary Garcia, who was overcome by lung cancer several years ago, but who did not go down without putting up one helluva fight. She’ll always be one of my heroes, and this will always be one of my favorite cookies, just because she loved them so.

OATMEAL COOKIES PLUS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 cups Quaker-type rolled oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
  • raisins, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and/or chopped pitted dates to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and goodies; mix well.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.
Makes at least 4 dozen, depending on amount of goodies you add.

For bars: Bake 30 to 35 minutes in ungreased 13 x 9 metal baking pan.

MA

Writing prompt: Who is the first president you remember? Who is the first you remember hearing about? The first who made an impact on your life that you were aware of?

I posted an interview this morning on Fatal Foodies with mystery author Sunny Frazier, in which she talked about her work in progress about pirates and the spice trade. Sunny’s a bundle of energy. After interviewing her by email, I think I’ll lie down and rest for a while.spikes

Mom and I went out and got our hairs cut this morning. I am posting a picture, which I call Self-Portrait With Spikes, Bags, Trifocals and Smirk. Not my best picture. This, in case you were wondering, is why my blavatar is out-of-focus.

This afternoon is Womans’ Literary Club of Corydon, which is always a blast.

Oh, rats! I’m out of time and my laundry is still wet.

“No rest for the wicked,” as my grandfather would say.

MA

Writing prompt: Send a character out into the freezing cold in wet socks.

Southern Indiana Writers had our Christmas party last night. Sadly, not all could be there, but the ones who made it had a blast! I made more Alu Mattar and Polenta Casserole. The basic recipe came from Dana Fredsti’s post on Fatal Foodies (where I post on Tuesdays). I didn’t know where to get Polenta, but she told me Corn Meal Mush is pretty much the exact same thing, so I used corn meal mush. I also didn’t have any spaghetti sauce, since Charlie doesn’t much like it, and would always much rather have basil pesto, so I made my own. Here’s how:

MomGoth’s Spaghetti Sauce

  • one can diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano
  • diced onion
  • olive oil
  • tomato paste

I always whack a clove of garlic and put it into a bottle of olive oil (you can pop the plastic pour top off with a can opener, insert the garlic, and put the pour top back on), so that’s the olive oil I always use. So heat a little olive oil in a saucepan. Put the diced onion in and cook it, stirring almost constantly, at a moderate heat until the onions are sort of pale gold. Dump in the diced tomatoes and cook, breaking up the tomatoes as much as you like, until they’re soft. Add about a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken it and remove from heat.

Put the rest of the tomato paste in roughly tablespoon-sized glops on a sheet of waxed paper and put it in the freezer. When the glops are frozen, put them all into a plastic bag and store it in the freezer. Instant glops–YAY!

small-casseroleOkay, so I was cooking for vegetarians (some of the members), so I didn’t use sausage, I used slicedlarge-casserole zucchini and green olives. I made a little one for Charlie, who wasn’t coming to the meeting, and a bigger one for the meeting. I cooked his in the toaster oven and then I cooked ours also in the toaster oven. Covered them, so the cheese wouldn’t burn. Charlie didn’t care a lot for it, but the group gobbled it up.

I was going to post something else, but I’ve forgotten what it was. If I think of it, I’ll write it down in hopes I won’t forget where I put the note.

MA

Writing prompt: Make your character go to a party he/she doesn’t want to go to. Does he/she have fun after all, or does the experience vindicate his/her wanting to miss it?

Free! I’m free! Okay, so I was part of the Trick or Treat contest at Fatal Foodies where people who posted to this blog during the last week of October through the first week of November got entered to win a free download of their choice of an anthology by the Southern Indiana Writers. Well, the winner–kinda sorta–was Charlene Burke. I say kinda sorta because her choice was GROUNDS FOR SUSPICION and what she got was a paper copy of ITS ALWAYS SOMETHING.

Here’s what happened. I emailed her to tell her she had won. She emailed back to tell me which one she wanted. I saw that she only lives and works about 15 minutes from Corydon. I offered to meet her and give her a paper copy instead. She agreed. I found I didn’t have a paper copy. Not a problem–I could pick one up at the SIW meeting on Thursday and give it to her on Monday. My back went out. I didn’t go to the SIW meeting on Thursday. Okay, so I would give her a paper copy I did have and apologize. Better yet, I would give her a paper copy of what I did have AND give her a download of the book she chose. I logged onto Lulu, where the anthologies are available for download. The file is a bazillion kilobites big… and we have dial-up at my house. Okay. So I would go into town to meet her and download the PDF file on the Cafe on the Square high-speed connection. Oh, but wait…my laptop doesn’t have a CD burner.

Fortunately, Charlene is a VERY nice person and graciously accepted the book she didn’t choose. Butchie was playing guitar in the coffee house window, so that would have mellowed things out, even if Charlene weren’t a naturally kind and generous person. Nathan came in while we were talking and they discussed the — they didn’t actually use the word “idiocy” — of someone who writes a food column being unable to read a recipe for making cherry wine while I tried to pretend they were talking about somebody else.

I asked Darryl to take our picture. He refused so I said, “Okay, right, you’re going on the blog,” and snapped this of him.refusal

He didn’t quite block his face, but you can see he’s had a lot of practice with Paparazzi. It’s tough living the glamour life.

Anyway, he reconsidered, and here is the picture he kindly took of Charlene and MA at Cafe on the Square, Charlene holding her winnings, such as it is.

charlene

So then we went to lunch at Joy’z Diner and saw Linda of Ozzie’s, the greatest gift shop anywhere ever–even better than Sister Dragonfly, if that’s possible. Pastor Jeff came in and I got to wish him well on his coming move.

So Charlene and I had a wonderful visit. I feel as if I’ve made a new friend. She’d better run fast and far or I might just rope her into Friends of the Library and Woman’s Literary Club and Community Unity. Ha!

And now I’m in the library, supposedly working on my word count for NaNoWriMo but actually taking advantage of the fast connection to PLAY on the internet. –splash, splash–

Okay, back to work.

MA

writing prompt: How would various of your characters react to a “bait and switch”?

I’ve seen people on email lists and blog sites complain because they don’t get comments on their posts. Goodness knows I’m guilty of reading blogs and not commenting. The only blog I comment on regularly is FatalFoodies, because I post there myself and want other people to comment on my posts, self-serving back-scratcher that I am.

So here I am, back in town. I’m becoming addicted to high-speed internet. If I could get my husband to start jonesing for it, too (Is that term out of style now? If people my age are using it, it probably is), we might get it at home. But then what excuse could I have to hitch up the buckboard and drive into town? I’d have to collect a raft of errands to justify it. Love the luxury of being at the library (or the coffee shop) with the sound of traffic all around and folks wandering in and out of my view. One of the many nice things about living in a small town is how often you see people you know–and usually like–anywhere you go.

Fatal Foodies is having an open mic night tonight. I’ll be accessing it on my dial-up, which disconnects itself erratically, so it’s liable to be spotty for me, at best. It used to happen when I went to chats with the Patrick Bauchau fans, and I would return and be advised to fasten myself onto the list with duct tape. Didn’t work.

Although no one reads this blog–and why should anyone read it–it’s BORING–I’m going to post a writing exercise, just in case anybody stumbles in by accident and actually reads this far:

You are sitting in the library and someone passes the window. You’re working on your laptop, which is plugged into the wall socket. The door is at the other end of the building. The person who passes is going away from the door. This is someone from your past, someone you never thought you would see again, someone you very much want or need to speak to. Who is it, what’s the backstory, what do you do?

I came into town and met our #3 daughter–well, when I say “town”, I mean this small town. It isn’t what we used to call a “one-horse” town, it’s way too cool for that, but it’s really small. It was sort of a 1 1/2 horse town, but then somebody opened a coffee house with live entertainment and free wi-fi access, so now it’s more 1 3/4.

Anyway, I have another meeting to go to later, and I didn’t want to drive in from the country, drive back home and drive out again, so I made a sammich and I’m sitting in the coffee shop eating it and drinking Peach Mango Fuze (mmmmmmm….) and contemplating a cream cheese cranberry muffin as big as my head. Tough life.

I’m blogging on a group blog called Fatal Foodies. We write about mysteries and food, not necessarily in that order of importance. We’re having an “open mic” night on Tuesday, July 15 at 8:45pm Eastern time and giving away books to the first four guests.

I finished my ghost story. It’s called Elinir, and it’ll be in the Southern Indiana Writers’ SPIRITS ON THE SQUARE–AND ELSEWHERE anthology, out by this October. I’m taking it to the meeting tonight to read for critique. Pray for me.

Oh!–I made a store at CafePress! I write a tiny little flash fiction story every month for my web site, and I put a year’s worth together and put them on the back of shirts. And on a barbeque apron, tote bags and a mouse pad. it’s at the MA’s Flashbacks 2007 store. Wheeee!

WELCOME TO MY BLAHG

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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