Saturday, January 29, 2011

Duck eggs

Had to go to Baltimore for work for a few days and decided it was a good excuse to take a few weeks off from writing. Do more reading, less writing, a bit of replenishing. I reread the third volume of the Ring Trilogy. It was harder to follow than I remembered. Trying to track the geography on the map is slow going.

But that's not what this blog entry is about. Instead, I figured I'd spend some time blathering on about what I've been cooking and eating. In case my vast readership of three subscribers is interested.

I found duck eggs at the new bakery at Lynnwood Center on Bainbridge Island. They looked enormous and delicious and worth every cent of the 75 cents apiece that I paid for them. (Is that a good price? It seems reasonable enough for humanely raised eggs from a species other than chicken.)

Several friends on Facebook pointed out how important it is to keep the yolk runny. It's very rich. You may read some ambiguous (or downright negative) words about the yolks on the Internet. I suppose it depends on what the ducks have been eating. But these yolks were delicious, and yes, I cooked them runny. Here is the recipe:

It is so easy, and it gives a very precise time suggestion for cooking the eggs (based on size). So it's fairly fool proof. And very amusing to read, as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Journal Entry 08/10/06

At the Island recycling Center this weekend, I observed a remarkably handsome man (though not nearly as handsome, of course, as my hunky partner Kurt). This man was tall, bald (with blond hair on the sides) and a plain white camp shirt unbuttoned part way down. It showed the hair on his chest, not that I was looking. He flashed a sexy smile, which of course was disconcerting since I was conscientiously not looking, due to the fact that I'm a happily married man. I wondered what Kurt thought of him and made a mental note to ask him when we got back into the car.

When I got my bin of recyclables out of the back of the car, he was gone, and his car was gone--and yet, no car had left the parking area during that time. So clearly, he was never there in a physical, bodily sense. I can't help wondering, therefore, what he actually was--a ghost? An elemental of some sort? A spirit? Or just a figment of my imagination?

I don't think he was a spirit, because he exuded some kind of sexual magnetism, whereas a spirit I think of as something more heady, abstract. I think I'd probably go with a ghost. But I'm positive he was there--and then, he wasn't. Makes you want to read A.S. Byatt, doesn't it? Rather disconcerting, to be truthful.

Big Lies

Yeah, okay, I haven't been writing and I haven't been blogging. Just working, Gawd help me. And that doesn't bring us any closer to publication, does it? And how do you write a novel when you can't work on it every day and consequently can't get as intimate with your characters as you would if you spent time with them every day. So what's the solution? Switching to poetry? Short-short stories? Read more and forget about writing? Or keep trying to squeeze more time out of the day? Anyway, I'm sorry I lied in December and said I would start writing and blogging again.
But I'm saying it again, and hoping that, this time, it'll be true.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Okay so I lied

I wasn't back in the saddle, I was just pretending to be. Now here I am again. Will things get any better? Will I actually do any writing now? Hard to say, no promises.

The thing is, I got this job, and it is really, really intense. Not bad, just intense. But that kind of environment burns you down, and when you have to travel and get faced with a family emergency or two, and then the holidays, well, it definitely cuts into the energy that you would use for writing novels.

The upshot is, no novels are being written at this time.

As an aid to myself, I've been wanting to list the ideas I've been working on, either to keep from forgetting anything or as a prioritization tool. So I'll do that. In a day or two. Right now, the real priority is to have a martini and unwind after another very intense week.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Hell yeah, I'm a writer. I tell myself that every day. The problem is, I can't seem to get anyone to buy my wares. Outside of my day job, that is.

And that's at the heart of the matter. A two-hour commute from the island to the city, then eight and a half hours editing instructional materials for a very wonderful and upstanding organization, then two and a half hours home again, then getting dinner on the table, dishes washed, kitties fed, etc. And a freelance project on the side, and an occasional teaching gig. And the "aging parent problem" too. So where does the writing get done? Not on the commute--that's where the freelance project project gets worked on.

So why am I telling you this, all the nonexistent readers of this blog? Because at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association in July, an agent advised us to establish a platform for putting our work out there...a blog, in other words. To write about the travails of being as aspiring writer and my encounters with the natural, the praeternatural, and the supernatural... to say nothing of the crazy humans of this planet.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Werewolf Manifesto?

When I started blogging about writing a werewolf novel, I thought they were fictitious creatures, but I've been amazed at some of the werewolves I've met online. Seems like there's some movement going on in their packs. I think they might be plotting something.

This morning, I found a sheet of paper slid under my door. This is what it said:

For thirty centuries you have harbored a prejudice against our kind. You have hunted us, driven us into the forest, shot us, beheaded us, burned us at the stake. You have slandered us and libeled us, accused us of hunting you, killing your children, feeding off you and your livestock. You have made us silent and invisible, even as you exploit our images and our wisdom by forcing us to serve you while we pretend to be human.

The days of your ascendance are over.

From now on, we will not be your victims. We will not let you tell your lies.

We will not hunt you for prey, but we will make sure justice is done.

Remember this: We exist. We are in your towns and farms, and we are in your cities. We are watching. And we do not forget.

What do you think? A cyne manifesto?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chapter I (continued)

I love my kids. I do, I love all my kids, from the biggest down to the smallest. This last one, I don’t know, I can’t help thinking I should have been a little more, what’s the word, engaged. Not that there’s anything wrong. He seems to be turning out okay, inasmuch as anybody can be okay given the uncertainty in the world. He plays sports, he gets decent grades, he’s got friends, he’s got a girlfriend, all the signs are okay. What’s to worry about?Still, I wonder sometimes if I should have paid more attention. Played with the Legos, built forts in the backyard, that sort of thing.

I did that with the first two, Tom and Jason. Then we had the two girls, Elsa and Jonna. And I made an honest effort with the dolls and the tea sets. But really, I was running out of juice as a parent by that time. Seven years zoomed by, and then we were pregnant once again. Of course we were thrilled. But he was a bit of a surprise, was Mikey.That was fifteen, almost sixteen years ago. So there’ve been kids in the house for over twenty-five years. And I love that, I really do. But every so often, I’d like a little peace and quiet. A little me-time, as the ladies say. Not that that translates into a bubble bath with scented candles, the whole nine yards, but it is a chance to breathe and relax and not listen to anybody. And not meet anybody’s expectations. It’s a time to eat a hot dog on a bun with mustard and ketchup, but no plate underneath, nothing but a paper napkin between it and the carpet. Darlene’s at knitting class, and what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

So here I am, walking in the door, just a little bit late, but that’s okay. I stopped at the store for a couple of things, some of that Bleak Abbey Ale and a jar of hamburger relish. That’s the red kind of relish, the kind with ketchup mixed in. And, believe it or not, a jar of kimchee. I like hamburger relish and kimchee on my hot dog, something you just can’t get at the ballpark. I walk in the door, set my briefcase on the stool and the paper bag on the counter. I let my arms drop to my sides, hanging at the waist, and I breathe. So quiet. Just the ticking of the kitchen clock and the bubbling of the fish tank in the hall. Heaven.

Dinner can wait. The first order of business is to crack open a beer and plop down in front of the TV set. I’d like to be watching the Sonics game, but they aren’t here anymore so I’ll settle for the Sounders. Soccer moves fast enough. I made the JV basketball team in high school but I wasn’t tall enough for varsity. As for my kids, none of them was really interested, except the youngest, Mikey, and Lord knows he’s too short.

I sit on the couch, kick my shoes off, put my feet up on the coffee table. Pick up the remote and start channel surfing. I take a swig of beer and switch to ESPN. A few minutes go by. I start to feel that someone’s watching. The hair on the back of my neck stands up. I turn my head to the left, slowly. Nobody there. I turn my head to the right, but before my chin is pointing the same direction as my shoulder, I hear a yell. “Hyaar!” it goes, and there’s a light karate chop to my shoulder.

Instantly I’m up and turning to the back of the couch, and there’s my kid, Mikey, halfway over the back of the couch, laughing at me. “You little shit,” I say. We shadow box, then I try to grab him, but he’s too quick for his old man. So there’s a chase around the living room. Finally, I grab him by the shoulders of his denim jacket and drag him over the couch onto the floor.

He bangs his shin on the coffee table. “Shit,” he laughs. “That hurt.”Then he gives a kick that glances off the table surface, just enough to knock the table to the side and knock the beer over.

“You little pisser,” I say. “You’re gonna pay for that.” I grab him in a headlock and hold him for about thirty seconds. But he’s the wrestler, I’m just the middle-aged dad, so, even though I’m bigger and—supposedly—stronger, he wriggles out and jumps up. “Clean that up, kid,” I say. He runs into the guest bathroom down the hall, grabs Darlene’s nice towels, and thows them on the beer that’s collecting in a puddle on the carpet. “Uh oh,” I say. “You really screwed up now... Everybody knows we’re not supposed to use those towels.”

“Hey, this is an emergency.”

“Maybe it is,” I say. “You better scram. Let me handle your mom.”

“Okay, I’m out of here.”

“Not so fast, kid. What time you coming home?”

“Midnight.” I make the game show wrong-answer noise. “Errh. Try again.”


“Make it ten thirty. And don’t be late.”

“Okay dad. See you.”And he was gone, leaving me on my hands and knees, mopping up beer with Darlene’s guest towels. Empty nest, remember? Just hold out til then.