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Showing posts from October, 2012

Teaching Flash and Trying to Stay Cool

Sandy is currently working her way along the East Coast, and she's angry. She's scaring people, shutting down public transit, sending some into survival mode. If I had stocks, I'd increase in shares in companies that manufacture toilet paper and canned soups.

I have family in Massachusetts and friends scattered all over the East Coast. I am thinking of you all right now. I am thinking about how, here in S. Texas, everything is quiet and a little cooler than usual, but drought conditions are the same. The balance of nature is not always obvious. I wish we could take some of that weather for you all; I wish you all well.

This week, my creative writing class began, and I was thrilled to begin with a lesson on flash fiction. I linked to some of my favorite flash fiction sites: Smokelong, Wigleaf, Booth, and other journals that feature stories that are 1,000 words or less. I asked students to read three flash pieces and post responses, what worked and what didn't. Though I …

Realism and pseudo cheese

I will not post mush about writing today because I have no news from the week. Even my reading this week has been all business, but I do have a hefty (maybe hefty isn't the right word) amount of books that I've been compulsively buying on my Kindle recently. Amazon, you know my weaknesses and you've done well to entice and cash in. Kudos for such a swift-acting Buy Now button! Genius.

Well, in my desire to improve my dietary habits, I found myself trying a sort of raw, vegan cheese at a restaurant in San Antonio, Vegeria. I had to be convinced by a friend to go because I don't eat soy (it raises estrogen levels), and this restriction usually takes my vegetarian options at restaurants from one or two items to none. But, this sweetly-decorated, health-conscious diner was awesome! I highly recommend it, especially if you tend toward a generally healthy lifestyle already, or a strictly vegan lifestyle, or (and man, I'm impressed) a raw lifestyle. Well that, or you are w…

Too much sometimes

Personal Stuff:
I ran too far this morning. I woke up feeling a little slow. Figuring it was just allergies, I went for a long run, and 2.5 hours later, I felt like sleeping for a week. Only I couldn't sleep.  
In my stupor, I decided to watch Homeland. I just started watching it, and given the fact that the political climate is ripe and schizophrenia is a subject that I often write about, I was rapt. It's a good show. Claire Danes has been a favorite of mine since My So-Called Life, and she executes the role beautifully. And, I love Damian Lewis's range of expressions--killer smile lines!
Now, I'm slowly pulling away from my marathon TV day with a gateway show: Sons of Anarchy, another good one. This is holding my attention just enough so that I can write this as it plays. I feel better now (strong argument for allergies), but it's taken all day, and now my weekend is almost over. I want it back; it feels wasted, albeit pleasantly. Why do some of us have to feel si…

And... the recipe

Anita's Turtle Fudge Brownies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 box of chocolate cake mix and subsequent ingredients
1 bag of Kraft caramels
2/3 cup of evaporated milk
Chocolate chips

Unwrap caramel, melt with evaporated milk over low heat stirring frequently. Meanwhile, mix the chocolate cake as directed on the box.

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and pour half the cake mix in pan and bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, till the top is firm-ish, then pour the caramel mixture over the top, sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel, pour the rest of the cake mix over it and bake until it springs back when you touch it (12-15 minutes).

When completely cool, ice lightly with chocolate frosting.  If you want, you can sprinkle chopped nuts into the cake mix or on top.

*Warning: These are ridiculously good, but you cannot be a calorie counter and eat them. I made the brownies for Chris, and I'm pretty sure I got diabetes from licking the knife after I cut him a piece. That said, anythin…

Week End: Yes!

I am so tired I can barely stand. And yes, I stand to type. Odd, I know. I have a high-ish table that I stand at to do most of my at-home work and writing, but right now, I'm tempted to sit. Nah, I'll just keep this short.

Writing News: 

I wrote "Order Up" and submitted it to NPR's Three-Minute Fiction Contest a few weeks ago. The prompt was to write a scene that has the president in it (either the current president, a past president, or a fictional president). I went with a fictional president, forgot about the story, and then early this morning I saw it was one of the staff picks and is up at NPR's site:

I'm pretty excited just to be up on the site and to know that Brad Meltzer will be even considering my piece for the win. I won't know until November, and I doubt I'll be able to forget about it again, but I'll try because this is the way to be mentally healthy--to not dwell.

Also, I wrote and r…

And then

I should be reading instead of writing this as Dexter plays in the background. I'm not paying attention to Dexter, which means I'll have to watch it again later. Oh, and I shouldn't be writing. Not now. I should be reading because I'm currently two stories into the divine collection Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman. Let me just say, I read a lot. And though I review many books briefly on Goodreads, I rarely feel compelled to mention the merit of a single book, especially by an author I do not know and have not heard of, outside of this one venue. But wow. If you are a fan of literary fiction, read this book. Read it. Read it. Read it. That is all.

Tomorrow, I am meeting (virtually) with a class of Lone Star College students who are reading To Begin Again for their creative writing course. I am excited to speak with these students but I also find it always a little strange, delightfully so, to discuss my book as a text. I've done it a few times before and though i…