I had a friend, recently, who celebrated a kinda important birthday, and I decided I wanted to make her some lovely grown-up themed Beauty & the Beast cupcakes. I also happen to have a pair of friends who think that they are good enough to go on Master Chef. What you now witness is the craziness that happened during the cupcake making with these two “helping” along the way.

DSCN5118I had to get up super-early (for me) at  7 A.M. simply because my niecelings were arriving at 9 A.M. These two beat me down to the kitchen and rounded up the supplies as I checked the cake  recipe. I haven’t made one in so long, I’d actually forgotten how things were suppose to go together. However, after I refreshed the ole’ memory I got right to work.  And, so did my helpers.

DSCN5122Here, the Assassin is assuring the Dragon that these are not “Dragon Eggs” and you can see by the look that he’s getting, the Dragon is not convinced. Not one bit, not at all.  I combined the ingredients in the mixer while the two of them hashed out what exactly constituted a non-dragon egg, and then I needed to add the eggs before the batter congealed around the beaters thick as cement.

DSCN5123“Yeah buddy, I checked, I watched her crack each one. They’re all chicken eggs, I promise. I know what dragon eggs look like. And dragon yokes.  Wasn’t any of your kin, I promise.” Said the Assassin. Now, I wanted to know how he became so knowledgeable about dragon eggs. And of course, neither of them are talking to me. You’ll understand why when we get to the end of this adventure.  After the batter was all mixed up I added jimmies to it (this makes a ‘funfetti batter like the kind you get in a box but  I was making it from scratch) or rather, I tried to add jimmies to it.

DSCN5127Apparently, the jimmies might have been marauding Irishmen bent on the destruction of a viking island town, and needed to be thoroughly inspected before I was finally allowed to add them to the batter.

DSCN5129I used a small scoop to get the proportion of batter to cupcake liner correct, and the guys were fascinated by the fact that I sprayed the liners with a small hit of cooking spray. If you don’t do that, the cupcake and the batter become wed to the point that it will take death to separate them from one another.  So, make sure to just hit them lightly with some cooking spray if you ever make cupcakes from scratch.

The recipe made 24 cupcakes,  but I’ve used it before to make two 9 inch layers or one 9×16 sheet cake. And I love the funfetties, they make everyone smile, and they don’t add any bitterness to the batter.

DSCN5133 However, after all the sprinkle inspecting, and otherwise “helping” I told the pair they needed to clean up. The Dragon in particular was skeptical of this assessment, but as you can see right there on his tail, is proof of bath-needed.

DSCN5134This is the moment that I realised I would be sleeping with one eye open for quite some time. To quote Icanhascheezburger “You has betrayed my tiny trust” and this of course with cats means one thing, but it means something like fiery death when dealing with Dragons.

DSCN5136Both of them cleaned up, and then hatched plans for how they were going to have one of the cupcakes for themselves.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story tomorrow, in “Let them Eat Cake”

Until then, Scribes, encourage one another!

all three ways

This week has been a busy one, both on and offline as I’m working on two book reviews (one completed, one underway) an interview, and outlining the short story There is Beauty in the Beast. It’s coming along quite well, and my main worry so far is keeping  the telling within the 20,000 word maximum.  It’s a brand new story world to me, or at least I think it is, and there are some very interesting  notes all ready sounding in the telling of the tale. To help me keep a visual catalog of ideas, I’ve turned to Pinterest. It’s much easier to go and look on my board there then to pull up the various pictures I’ve snipped from the internet and as a bonus, now you can see the ethereal beginnings of the story too (provided you’re interested of course) and take a peek into the gallery that is helping me flesh out the world and the characters.  If you want to check it out, click the rose.   Oh, and someone had asked on FB why I’m not linking the flowers and such to places  where I got them from. Well, because I took them, and so the person to credit is myself. If you want to use one, just please link with credit, and I’m very happy that I have friends who want to keep me honest and giving credit where credit is due.

Have any of you, Scribes, used Pinterest as an “idea board”?   Are you more likely to use one if you can keep the content private?  What do you think might be the down side of using one that is public?

Helpful Humpday

Posted: June 11, 2014 in Hump Day Help
Tags: , , ,

Hump Day

So, hopefully everyone enjoyed last week’s HumpDay Help, and has been making use of  The Phronontistery and delighting over the arcane and wondrous words there.  This weeks help, is not quite as extensive but definitely something that I’ve used time and again when I’m playing with rhyme and meter (neither of which I do well), is called  RhymeZone. What I love about the site, are its search settings.

Do you want a perfect match to your word? What if  there isn’t one?  Well then  RhymeZone can help you fool your audiences ear by getting a close match to the sound of the word. What if you want a word that rhymes with your word, but you want more it to have three syllables? RhymeZone’s search engine gives you that option too.  It will also search for synonyms, antonyms, and homophones.

It’s search engine doesn’t stop there though; it allows you to find out of Shakespeare used your word and tells you where, searches quotes for your word, checks the spelling of the word for you, and can even look for images of the word you’re working with.  It’s just an all in all amazing site and one you could spend hours and hours on, take it from me, and not get to the end of its usefulness.

So whether RhymeZone is an old friend, or a new discovery I hope that you go there this week and play with all the different things it can do. You never know when you might come up with your next huge idea.

Until next time Scribes,

Encourage one another!

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Caiti gave this to me for my birthday this past May, and I just about died.  She commissioned one of her artist friends to draw her character Tyrza, and Rea, standing back to back in their “default” expressions. Hers, “I am not buying your bull” and his “Oh really?”

I love it so much, I just can’t get over seeing him like that.  Oh my goodness. So many ideas are being stashed to the side due to other writing constraints but hey, I’m making notes as fast as I can.  It’s amazing how a piece of character art can make you want to write, don’t you think?

Want to check out the amazing, fantastical, phenomenal artist that created this 1,000 word picture? Well, here’s her tumblr

Now, go check out her site, give her lots and lots of love, and remember Scribes when you post artwork 😉 gifts or things you’ve found, link to the artist.

Also let me know who has given YOU some fan art.  C’mon now, you are all talented enough to have fan art. 😀 Give the artists a shout out.

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So for those of you who are my friends, on Face Book, you all ready know this if you’ve been paying attention, (and if you aren’t hey it’s Summer my attention is all over everywhere all ready too so no big deal) that Caiti and I are going to be taking on the challenge of retelling Beauty and the Beast for a short story competition. I started thinking of all the things that I need to get done before the 14th of July (that’s when my writing class starts) and I am actually really excited. I mean it’s going to be hectic, but I think that the writing class will dovetail nicely with this project. And if all things hold together, as they are so far, I’ll be seriously looking for beta readers in September. I know that’s when a lot of you go back to school and things get hectic for you too, which is why I’m reminding you of this now.   Here’s what I’m looking for in a Beta reader:

Someone who is familiar with the ORIGINAL Beauty & The Beast Story
Someone who has been a beta before  for another writer (it’s okay if you’ve only done it once, that’s fine) and can have that writer serve as a reference *
Someone who can commit to reading 2-4 pages at a time and not fan girl/guy over them, but looking at them with keen sense of story and get back to me within a reasonable  amount of time (ie a week or two) Someone who can give positive and negative feedback. Let’s be honest, this story is going to have flaws. I need someone to help me see them, and fix them
Someone who can give feedback without trying to direct the story. This is my retelling after all.

Right now, I’m just looking for 3 beautiful betas, and for your help and your time, you will have both my gratitude, and I will personally hand-cover and create a notebook for you like one of the two above (this applies to betas in the US only). There will be a small  non-snail mailed thanks sent to  International Betas, if I have one of those sign up for this adventure.

Interested?  e-mail me at everlastingscribe@gmail.com.  The slots are open until they are filled.
*when you e-mail me, please include the name of the author that you were a beta for, and their e-mail address.  I will send a quick querie to ask them how they would rank you as a beta  and then let you know if you are qualified for the spot.

One last thing before I close, I promised you the name of the short story and it is ::drumroll please::

There Is Beauty In The Beast.

As if you hadn’t guessed 😉

Until next time Scribes,

Encourage one another!

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Seventy years. Seventy years of freedom.  Brothers didn’t come home. Husbands are buried in foreign lands. Sons did not celebrate another birthday.  Can you feel the weight of their gift to us today? It hasn’t lessened over time. Every year, the glorious value of what they bought on that bloody beach increases. Listen: hear that hush where voices should be and aren’t? Look: see the vacancies in family pictures? Close your eyes and for a moment remember. Remember those who gave absolutely everything they had, so we could possess what they were not willing for us to lose.

Freedom.

The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten. -Calvin Coolidge

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I was going over something that I wrote years ago, and there was just a throw-away line in it as one character is telling another  a story to make a point. I actually went “WOW, that could be a whole novel in and of itself.”It’s funny to me when my  Paper Tigers do that, throw out a line or a paragraph where they’re telling a story to someone in a story and I’m like “I want to read that book”. And then a minute later I  get all squinty eyed and go wait a minute, I made that up.  Which of course means if I want to read the story the character is referencing, I have to WRITE the story the character is referring to.  Ugh.  Anyway this particular toss away phrase is now being incorporated  into another project that I’m going to be doing this summer/fall and I wanted to share it with you. I’m keeping my story tight to my chest for now, but I’ll be looking for some betas come September.  What’s the story? Why’m I posting pictures of peonies? Well the story is going to be for this contest here: click me but the idea and the characters have run around in my head for years. So I’m going to take the new piece and pin it to paper and stitch the other characters and settings in and go for it.  I have no delusions of winning (well maybe I do) but I think it will be grand fun.  Also, I have no pictures of roses and peonies I think are a poor gardener’s rose. They aren’t picky, they bloom outrageously, smell heavenly, and are terribly hard to kill.

So here’s the Thoughtful Thursday question:

Has that ever happened to you, scribes? You go into an old piece and most of it is “oh look, younger me is trying to write something, how cute” but there is a bit you can salvage and then you are kind of caught wondering “Most of this is swill, but that one part, that’s something I can work with. How exactly did that happen?”

If it has happened,  did you take the bit you salvaged and turn it into anything you would share or sell?

Just curious.

Until next time, Encourage one another Scribes