competition between women: boardwalk empire edition

boardwalk_empire-1024x682I might perpetually be a bit late to the party, but this week we’ve been watching Boardwalk Empire. I have thoughts, of course.

Season 1, Episode 4: Anastasia.

There’s an unspoken competition going on between two female characters. Spoilers will abound, so look for my thoughts under the cut.

Continue reading

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survival strategies: boardwalk empire edition

The women of Boardwalk Empire employ different survival strategies to keep themselves safe.

It’s easy to dismiss Lucy and Gillian because they use their sexuality and are upfront about that. It’s easy to loathe Gillian because of how she handles men.

But…

Spoilers and more under the cut, discussing Season 1 and the first half of Season 2. Continue reading

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germ farts

Food is so weird.

I mean, it’s not. We eat other living things that our bodies process as energy, blah blah blah. All organisms ‘eat’ in one form or another.

But the process of food… how did we get here from there?

Take grass. We grow some grass, we pop off the seeds, then take the shells off of those seeds, and we dry them. Oh, and pulverize those seeds into powder.

We’re not done yet! At some indeterminate time later, we add water to the grass seed powder and mix until it’s this gooey, elastic ball. And we add bacteria, too, because hey–bacteria.

Those bacteria eat tiny bits of the gooey, elastic ball and fart out air. We throw the whole ball–germ farts and hydrated seed powder–over or into a fire to give the ball structure.

It’s so weird. Who thought, hey, these seeds are nice and chewy but let’s start doing all this weird stuff to them. Shelling and drying make logical survival sense–grains and legumes alike last longer if they’re properly preserved–but I really want to know the story of yeast. Was it a happy accident? A poisoning attempt gone awry? Aliens? The obligatory ‘invention’ of a time traveler who just really wanted a sandwich, anachronisms be damned?

I think I might stop calling it bread. Germ farts in hydrated seed powder has a much better ring to it, right?

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self-pub seminar II–covers and promotion

I’m pleased to announce the Self-Publishing Seminar I hosted earlier this month was a success. We had a great turnout and covered a lot of ground.

Of course, there was a lot of ground we couldn’t cover. Three hours is just not enough to dig deep! Because I had to gloss over cover art, book packaging, and social media in the first seminar, I’ve scheduled another on September 12th, same time, same place. We’ll delve into promotion and all sorts of post-press ‘I hit publish, what now?’ kind of stuff. A lot of it is new territory for me, too, so I’m trying new methods and doing tons of research to make sure I’m ready for some great discussions.

If you missed the first seminar, don’t worry! I haven’t set a date yet, but I’ll be hosting that one again sometime this winter (when it’s too cold to be doing anything but reading and writing, anyway!). So keep writing, and we can hit the ground running in 2016 with the workshop that helps you choose service providers, format your book, and get published.

PS Self-Publishing II: Book Packaging, Social Media, Promotion, and Author Branding is by registration only and there’s only one spot left. Please sign up ASAP if you want to come, or put yourself on the waiting list.

Happy writing!

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candy-filled cookies

image

imageI didn’t realize the ticket to perfect M&M cookies would be going gluten-free, but apparently it is.

Seriously–I struggled for years to create an M&M cookie that looked as good as it tasted. They always spread way too much, unless I used more shortening than butter, but then they didn’t taste good.

These aren’t the yellow-golden babies I used to long for, but I bet with granulated sugar and white rice flours, they’ll turn out (looks like I have an assignment for another day!), but they are so thick and don’t have that crazy spread I dislike so vehemently.

Candy Cookies

1/3 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 c cookie flour *
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 c candy-coated chocolates **
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar. Add cookie flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt–mix until crumbly. Add vanilla and egg. Beat until dough comes together and is sticky. Add candies and chocolates. Mix well. Scoop onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

*Cookie flour is a really fancy way of saying I mixed equal parts of brown rice flour and sweet brown rice flour with xantham gum, baking powder, and vanilla powder. Since I have a cookie problem, I keep a canister of this stuff in my freezer. If you do not have a cookie problem (and I commend you!), try this: 1/2 c rice or other grain flour, 1/2 sweet rice flour or other starch/starchy flour, 1/2 tsp xantham gum, 1/2 tsp baking powder.

**Live large and put in 2 cups of colorful chocolates instead of semi-sweet chips. I wanted to hoard the rest of my M&Ms for another baking spree.

Happy snacking!

 

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newsletter!

I have a newsletter!

I’m pretty excited. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but I didn’t have much to talk about. Except I do (I always manage to keep posting, right?). My next book is coming out soon–hopefully before summer’s done. And I also have some super-secret side projects that will pop up now and then, stuff I’ll want to tell you all about once there’s announcements to be make and stories to share.

So sign up! Button’s on my sidebar, but you can also click the lovely link here: Barb Rude’s newsletter.

Look for my email right around the season change. It sounds like a good a time as any to talk about what’s past and look ahead. That means my first issue is just around the corner.

Happy Reading!

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new writerly stuff

I’ve been busy writing about writing and self-publishing for the library, and it just now occurred to me that I could share this fun stuff with you.

Apparently, I’m really good at compiling information and listening to myself talk for three hours. I hope these workshop handouts and resources are as helpful to you as they are to the participants.

Happy writing!

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