OOTD

new textures! Still not enough color...I'm getting there!

Here comes that awful jacket

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Exclusive Sneak Preview

Exclusive! A sneak preview of the first draft of “The Mysterious Curse at the Middleford Public Library”. I will preface this by saying, chances are, by the time I get around to querying/publishing this this scene may be cut, or completely worded differently. Because, come on, it’s a first draft!

Eva finished opening the doors, and then skipped off back to Nick’s office. There were no patrons yet, and she had the bell on the counter. If anyone came in and needed her, they knew to ding the bell.

She had just gotten the rest of her things moved from Nick’s office to hers when the bell dinged.

She jogged out from her office and looked at the other side of the desk with a smile on her face. The smile dropped when she saw the empty space behind the desk. “Hello?”

No answer.

She walked over to the desk and leaned over to see if maybe a child was playing a game or just too short to see over the desk. Nobody was there.

“Hello? Anybody here?”

“I am,” George said, but Eva couldn’t hear him. He wanted to ring the bell again, but with her so close, he couldn’t. Something about her kept him at arms length. “I just want to touch you.”

Eva shrugged and walked away, back into Nick’s office. She was just finishing up the dusting when Nick appeared in the doorway.

Just a little to titillate and hopefully get you excited about future drafts and keep ME on track!

Best Ever Banana Bread

It definitely is.

Ingredients:

-1-1,3 cups mashed very ripe bananas. Like, black bananas. They’re pretty much pre-mashed at that point.
-1/4 cup milk, 1%, 2%, whole, lactaid, soy, whatever man, so long as it tastes like milk.
-3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Don’t substitute…just don’t. It’s vegetable oil, not apple sauce or anything fancy.
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. You could probably use vanilla beans, but extract blends better here
-3 eggs, preferably of the Large variety
-2-2/3 cups original Bisquick, big yellow box
Optional: 1/2 cup nuts. The food…not *ahem* nevermind…

 

Preheat your oven to 350F or 175C

Mix together everything but the Bisquick and the nuts (should you choose to add nuts. I didn’t. I think Walnuts are the best, but my mom thinks Pecans are the best. I think Pecans are best spiced. At any rate, they were frozen solid and half pecans so way too big for banana bread. You really should add nuts though, it gives it a great extra texture. Or don’t…I’m a blogger, not a cop.). You can use a mixer, or a spoon, a rubber spatula and a potato masher! I love using the potato masher and rubber spatula. The masher makes sure all the banana is mashed into the pastey goo that it needs to be. Because, let’s face it, nobody *actually* is going to mash the banana’s up and then mix in the Bisquick.

Pour it into a greased 9X5X3 pan. (9 long, 5 wide, 3 deep. But in the scheme of things, it could be 9 deep, 5 long and 3 wide and it would only just make it harder to get out. This way has proven to be the easiest…at least I’ll assume so since that’s how pans are sold almost universally)

Then you bake it for about 50 minutes, at about 40 though I’d take a toothpick and check it. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Let it cool in the pan until you can touch the pan, then dump it out and let the bread cool enough so you can eat it. I love to eat it with a scoop of strawberry anything. Strawberry compote butter, jam, or even ice cream if I’m making a thing of it.

I got this recipe from my mom. Who cooked for 30 years and swears this is the best recipe. I’m inclined to agree. I’ve made this bread a dozen times and it always rises perfectly and is super moist. It stays moist even when you add nuts and when you don’t it’s not SO moist it just loses all structural integrity and falls apart. It’s the Bisquick that does it. Bisquick is magic. One of these days I’ll start up a Bisquick challenge and come up with 101 some ways to use Bisquick…Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my Potato challenge!

Go forth and make this banana bread, and then be sure to hurry back here and tell me how you love it!

Virginia Woolf, in 2 short pages

For my humanities class we have to write 5, 2 page papers. This was my fourth. I wrote, an entire 2 pages on Virginia Woolfs life. This is sad. Horribly sad. I missed so many things but because of the page amount, I had to. So, if you want a teaser on her life, and her influence, this is the blog post for you! 

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf was born Virginia Stephen on January 25th 1882 in London. Her mother was Julia Jackson Duckworth, who’s family owned the Duckworth Publishing Company. Her father was Sir Leslie Stephen, a literary critic, whom she was very close with, unlike her mother. Virginia was educated at home at Hyde Park Gate. Her early life was by any standard fairly traumatic. She was sexually abused by Gerald Duckworth, her half brother at the age of six. Her mother died of the flu in Virginias early teen years, when her half sister Stella Duckworth stepped up to fill Julia’s place she died two years later. Her father suffered and slowly died of stomach cancer in 1904, and when her brother Thoby passed two years later, Virginia had a prolonged mental breakdown.

It was after her father died that Virginia moved in with her sister and two brothers, Adrian and Thoby Stephan. They lived in Bloomsbury. Her sister, Vanessa, was a painter, who married an art and literature critic, and was very close with Virginia. She inspired several of Virginia’s characters in her writings and they often would spend hours together in their childhood painting and writing together. Virginia inherited 2,500 pounds from an aunt, which improved her financial situation, freeing her up to write.

Thoby introduced his sisters to some of his friends whom he had met at the University of Cambridge. Which was the birth of the Bloomsbury Group.“’The Bloomsbury Group never became a formal group, never published a manifesto or a programme of any sort,’ Monika Rydiger explains. ‘It was rather a circle of friends linked by a network of complex personal relationships,

Spence 2
and it is these relationships that are the focus of much of the available literature on the group’” (British Bohemia). It was after this, on a trip to Greece that he became ill and died not long after returning home.

Virginia Woolf was a major player in the Bloomsbury Group. The Bloomsbury Group was a post victorian, very modern club. They were conscientious objectors to war, and their artistic and literary influence was quite substantial. “Despite the numerous critics that were aimed at it, the Bloomsbury Group has had a wide-ranging influence, both in art and in society, even though that influence remains highly controversial. The Bloomsberries did play a significant part in the advent of a new modern world” (Bloomsbury Group – Introduction). Part of why the Bloomsbury Group was so criticized was because it was nearly impossible to join. Quite a few of the members were in Virginia’s intimate circle. Herself, her husband, Vita Sackenville-West (who was a close friend and lover to Virginia), Clive Bell who was her brother in law, Vanessa Bell her sister, and Adrian Stephen, her brother. They brought together by mutual loves of art and literature and shared philosophy.

Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912. He was a political theorist, and in 1917 he set up a small hand press and was the director until he died. Because Virginia was well off she was able to marry him for love rather than money. “Indeed, Leonard Woolf was not well-off by any measure, but he was an excellent writer with a razor-sharp intellect, qualities which Virginia would certainly have admired” (The Bloomsbury Group). Virginia’s first novel was The Voyage Out in 1915, which was printed in the Hogarth Press, their printing press, which many of the members of the Bloomsbury Group were fortunate enough to use. The extent of this club’s influence and of Virginia Woolf’s life itself, is much beyond the reach of a two page essay, and could possibly not be adequately explained in several books, not even in Virginia’s own writings.

Works Cited

“The Bloomsbury Group – Literature Periods & Movements.” The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“British Bohemia: The Bloomsbury Group of Virginia Woolf | Krakow Post.” Krakow Post – Poland News, Events, Lifestyle and Travel Information. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“Virginia Woolf.” Www.kirjasto.sci.fi. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“The Bloomsbery Group – Introduction.” Periwork – English Online Learning Resources & News Database Portal. Web. 05 Dec. 2011. 

For My Grandma

A poem I wrote for my grandmother, I’ve been listening to a lot of spoken word poetry lately, so once I get this to a point where I can read it out loud without crying, I’ll post the video up.

For My Grandma

I’m a slob, I’ll admit it.

She’s always known that,

my room was clean a week ago….and…

now it’s worse than before.

Just over a week ago my grandma got her wish.

She was taken from her bed

across a thousand miles of prayers

and met her God.

Now, I wear her sweater and her nightgown.

Neither smell like her now

the nightgown having been crumpled on the floor…

smells like my carpet.

The sweater, that looks like her and feels like her

was washed…using our soap.

Not her soap. She always smelled like soap.

Soap and cleaning supplies, like the times she came over

and no one was home yet

so she’d wash our dishes, or pull out that rickety old ladder

and, even at  seventy, she’d climb to the top, and clean our ceiling fan.

She left behind doilies and sheets

her mothers handkerchief and the one she carried

the day she got married.

She left these for me.

She was a pilot, a captain, a military commander

an army wife, raising three sons across the entire country.

She came from an old family

the blood that ran through her veins―

and still runs through mine―we can trace to Daniel Boone.

We’re made of the same stubborn stuff

and I never felt that close to her

until my momma pointed that out.

We had the same style, but for me,

what is vintage and cool, and feels like it fits

that was just how she lived her life.

When her pastor said she was a foster mom…

I was mad.

Mad that no one had told me that before.

Mad that no one seemed to appreciate how big that is.

Mad that I can never tell her

that since I was seven, I wanted to be a foster mom

and that every time I say that,

someone says I’ll be good at it.

That I know where I got it,

that I, like her, will cry at every goodbye.

Even though I never believed that she had cried before.

Dear Grandma,I’ll try to keep my room clean,

that will…probably improve with time.

I’ll keep the linens starched and folded neatly

I’ll carry your handkerchief on my wedding day

and someday my granddaughter

will relish the courage passed from you

to me

to her.

A new fascination with Spoken Word Poetry

I’ve found lately I’ve got this fascination with spoken word poetry. In a longer video of this, Sarah Kay explains more about what Spoken  Word Poetry is.

It is poetry that wants to leap off of the page.

It’s kind of like slam poetry.

Have you ever been so mad the only thing you could do was think in poetry form? You just wanted to shout and scream at someone and instead of wanting to shout swear words or fling insults you were driven to make it sound beautiful and make it last. Being “Pissed off to the point of poetry” is what I call it.

If you look around on youtube you can find a lot of this, not only by Sarah Kay but by Taylor Mali, who is another incredible spoken word poet. When you watch him and Sarah Kay you find that it is contagious. All art is contagious. I think that’s what’s beautiful about art, it’s contagious. You look at a piece of good art, and you feel it, you are moved by it, and you are inspired by it.

Spoken Word Poetry, my newest fascination. Spoken word poetry is not always indignant, it’s use something that you feel and something that other people feel as well.

A brief evolution of the female form and how we view it

http://www1.fccj.cc.fl.us/cgroves/2211docs/test1/5%20woman%20venus%20of%20willendorf.jpg
This is the *oldest* human made thing we’ve found, this is a beautiful image. This was the so called “ideal” for the time.
It is a shame now days that we do equate “losing weight” with “getting healthy” because we’ve taken the Greko-Roman and Renassiance idea that “beauty equals goodness” (which is the simplest terms, it was actually very detailed and included a lot of athleticism and spending every day improving yourself, and was, reflected majorly in the arts) well we’ve taken this idea and lost the “goodness” part. The Venus of Willendorf (link above) and Ruben’s women were bigger because times were harder and if you were chunkier you were richer, because you didn’t have to work so hard and you had enough to eat. Thats the same reason being pale was in, if you were pale you were rich, (and rich is sexy) if you were tan you were poor and had to go work out in the fields all day. Now, because of all of the processed foods, healthy foods are more expensive and the lower grade less healthy food is cheaper. Being thin now means you have time to exersize, spare time to lay in the sun and get tan and enough money to eat healthy foods that are good for your matabolism.

The “ideal” form is truly not the same ideal form for everyone, people will always have different tastes but the major trends are reflected in the art. So, in hundreds of years when people study us like we study the Renassiance they will see our Blair fashion magazines and the very underweight models more than they see the average, healthy, happy person.

I do plan to expand on this later, this was a response to another post that I can’t find now that did have a lot of flaws. When I have more time I’ll be expanding on it, including my comparison between the Venus of Willendorf (link above) and the Aphrodite of Knidos.