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Liz A. Vogel
28 November 2016 @ 02:12 pm
I have come up with a "what the hell's going on" for the Mars novel that is just evil, evil, eeeevil. I probably won't use it -- it's not quite the kind of story I thought I was writing, and it's got its own "what's going on" that would need to be solved -- but it is so far the only idea I've come up with that connects all the dots.

There are things I want to do with this novel that I can't do if I do that (probably... hmm.), but it does put a happy evil writer grin on my face. My main character is staring at me in appalled disbelief.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/157897.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: deviouscackling inside
Current Music: Guster, "Love For Me"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
26 November 2016 @ 10:37 pm
I finally managed to make cookies for the family Turkey Day gathering: turkeys, pumpkins, maple leaves, oak leaves, and cornucopias. I feel like I spent the five days leading up to Thanksgiving immersed in cookies, and that's because I did. They went over very well; much oohing and ahhing, and even people dragging other people into the kitchen to see them. (And several comments that they tasted good, too, which is important.) Very gratifying. The kids broke into one of the trays before dinner (which is high praise if anything is). The cornucopias were particularly popular with the little kids, doubtless because of all the glitter and shiny candy bits.

Fancy baking doesn't really go with my image with that side of the family; I rather enjoyed spraining their expectations that way. ;-)

Notes to self:

I made two batches of dough, because I also wanted to make some one-year-anniversary hardware cookies to take to work. One batch would have been enough, even with that. (Well, also extra dough to cover breakages and screw-ups, but I only broke one cookie and didn't botch any.)

I started out being good and making a set number (a dozen plus cover for breakage, so ~15-18) of each shape, so that I wouldn't be decorating forever. But then I had dough left over, so I finished it up with more of the same shapes. And then I decorated them all, because they were there. Better than usual -- I only did one all-nighter -- but still way too much time squinting over sugar. Next time, if there's dough left after whatever number of cookies you said you'd do for the specific event, cut it in some other shape entirely so you know when to stop!

I arranged the cookies on two of the rectangular trays, 8 or 9 of each shape in a column, 5 shapes per tray. This looked great! Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the presentation, but it was very professional-bakery looking.

One tray would have been sufficient, however; even with the very positive response, I still ended up bringing an almost full tray home. 8-9 each of 5 shapes for approx. 18 people is plenty, especially with the huge amount of other food that's always there.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/157558.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Cabin Pressure, of course
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
16 November 2016 @ 08:46 am
The problem with giving myself permission to goof off writing that DW fanfic for a while is that I haven't been in the mood for gothic-y horror. Which is not surprising, after Mars; not enough of a change of pace. I needed something light and fluffy, maybe even silly, to work on.

Luckily the housemate gave me a prompt last night, which turned into an 800-word completed story. (Tentatively titled "First Contact", unless I can come up with something less generic.) It makes me chuckle. And it's done, in one sitting no less, and that makes me very happy indeed.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/157390.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Jethro Tull, "Moths"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
10 November 2016 @ 09:22 am
I wasn't going to say anything about the election, but I feel the need to put something above Tuesday's then-humorous post.

So, a few calming reflections.

- We can probably trust to bureaucratic inertia to scotch the more wacked-out ideas. Recreating the Great Wall of China is not really feasible for a country that can't even keep its existing roads and bridges properly paved, for example.

- Regardless of who won, I still would have been at the mechanic's yesterday getting the car seen to. Regardless of who won, I still would have needed to clean the toilet. And the cats would still be cute. Whose butt is in the Oval Office does not really affect most people's day-to-day lives.

- We don't actually know what the election-winner's going to do. We know what he thought would get him publicity (and he was right). Those may not be the same thing; we're talking about a reality TV show star here, remember. I'm not suggesting he's some kind of undercover saint, but let's see what actually happens before cranking up the hysteria, eh?

- This too shall pass. Although I am somewhat a subscriber to the Great (or Awful) Man theory of history, the truth is that one person generally can't shift the destiny of an entire country. Eight years ago, there were plenty of people proclaiming the end of the world, but the world's still here. I suspect it'll still be here four years from now, too.

- Finally, we can't control what the guy in the White House does. We can control what we do. This was one of the most acrimonious campaigns on record, and that stems directly from the acrimonious, sound-bite-driven, over-reaction-as-a-tool-of-silencing society we now live in. But we don't have to. If you're talking to someone you disagree with and your immediate response is to take what they say to the most egregious extreme and then vilify them for it, you're part of the problem. If you immediately assume anyone not jumping on your bandwagon is on the other side and attack them for it, you're part of the problem. But if you read or listen to what they're actually saying, and take the time to engage with it with civility and the assumption of good faith, you might just be part of the solution.




This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/156965.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: annoyedstill disgusted, but coping
Current Music: Offspring, "It'll Be A Long Time"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
08 November 2016 @ 04:48 pm
And now, I can't resist this.

Cthulhu / Voldemort 2016

Are you sure it's the greater evil?





This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/156737.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: discontentdisgusted with the system
Current Music: Styx, "High Crimes & Misdemeanors" (HipHop-Cracy)
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
03 November 2016 @ 04:00 pm
Falling From Ground: 4717
Total new words in October: 4717

Hey, not bad! I was worried it was going to be lower (did I really not work on anything else all month?), but possibly-too-much coffee seems to have paid off.

More importantly, the first five-and-some chapters are with the alpha reader. (It was my unspoken goal to make that happen by the end of the month: check, with most of a week to spare.) She's given it a first read-through, and reports that it's not boring! So my worries about the pacing are soothed.

November will be going over the alpha's detailed feedback, fixing anything that needs it, and brainstorming where the heck to go next.

In the meantime, I've given myself permission to mess around with some fanfic if that's what's taking my fancy, which it is. (Might actually have figured out a fix for an old DW story I stalled out on, which pleases me.) It's really quite nice to just play with something for a change, no wordcount quotas or considerations of publishability.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/156574.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Counting Crows, "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
15 October 2016 @ 10:07 am
Hagensborg Wild Boar Madagascar Single Origin 64%

Where Bought: Marshall's

Like the last Hagensborg, amusingly-shaped bar and cute packaging. (Love the boar going wild.)

Aroma is sharp and bitter.

Texture is smooth and soft, chews easily and melts well.

Flavor is sharp, almost tart, but surprisingly pleasant. (I think this is what the Green & Black 85% was going for but missed.) There's an underlying sweetness that makes it very appealing, more so the more I eat.

Overall: Not something I'd want every day, but definitely wouldn't mind having again.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/156242.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: hungrya bit peckish
Current Music: Guster, "Mona Lisa"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
06 October 2016 @ 04:31 pm
Has it really been since May that I've not done one of these?

Wordcount hasn't been the point of the exercise lately: first I was doing Highway of Mirrors revisions, and then I was working on getting Falling From Ground booted back up. And, indeed, on writing anything at all, which is always a frustrating horse to climb back up on.

But, just for the record, here's the counts for the last few months:

May
HoM: 13
original short fiction: 997
Total new words in May: 1010

June
HoM: 273
Total new words in June: 272

July
HoM: 645
original short fiction: 706
Total new words in July: 1351

August
HoM: 32
original short fiction: 219
FFG: 2783
Total new words in August: 3034

September
Green Ring: 1513
FFG: 2559
Total new words in September: 4072

(And yes, I deliberately held this through September to make the numbers look better.)

Mars continues to be the Franken-novel. I'll write a line here or a paragraph there, then gradually stitch them all together. Apparently I am going to write the whole damn novel that way. But at least the stitching's going well.

My time management, on the other hand, is shot to hell. I'm working just a day or so more than I want to be, and that plus the pressing house projects seems to be sucking my time away before I even see it. (I know plenty of people manage to write with full-time jobs and far more demands on their time than I have. I'm not saying it's not possible. I'm just having trouble with it atm.) Part of the problem is that right now, the writing process is taking quite a while to boot up each time, so if I can't clear about four hours at a stretch, I'm unlikely to have much to show for it. This is partly a function of Mars being obstreperous, and partly a function of being out of practice -- but of course I can't get into practice unless I can make time to write. And the only way I seem to be able to do that is to let everything else go to hell, and some of the bills for doing that previously are coming due.

But, as the counts above show, the trend's getting better. And at least I'm at the point where the rest of the ideas I originally had for FFG come in. I expect to hit a wall when I get through those, but it'll be the old ~30K wall, familiar territory. It makes an ugly splatting noise, but I know what to do about it.


October's goals: Decent progress on FFG, and at least check in with Green Ring and/or the A-Z story. Find a way to steal a day for email research, and at least get that a little farther forward.

Mostly, keep writing.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/156039.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: Peter Murphy, "Cuts You Up"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
24 September 2016 @ 10:11 pm
Hammond's Pigs N' Taters

Where Bought: Cracker Barrel

Aroma is weird; bacon and potato chips and chocolate half-cancel each other out, so there isn't much smell and what there is can't decide if it should be sweet or savory.

Smooth melty chocolate with lots of crunchy crispy bacon- and chip-bits.

Flavor.... I'm not sure what the flavor is. Bits and chocolate seem to be half-cancelling each other out again. Nice salty aftertaste, though.

Overall: It's not bad, and the housemate quite likes it. Probably get some again, if only to try to figure out what I think of it. Would certainly try other flavors by the same brand.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/155713.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: amusedperplexed
Current Music: Middleman theme
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
08 September 2016 @ 11:59 pm
50  
Fifty years ago today. Whoa.

I'd feel bad for almost missing the date (luckily I just happened to be wearing a Star Trek shirt today, and someone mentioned it), except that I was up late last night writing cheesy Star Trek fanfic, so that's all right. ;-)

Star Trek was my first fannish love. Over the years, that love has gotten encrusted with frustration, disappointment, and occasional just-plain-no engendered by the various newer series, but the classic show remains secure in my heart. It's like a comfy blanket I can snuggle up in any time -- because yes, that is how computers sound (bleep, tu-wheet!), and that is what starships look like. And if we're very lucky, the future might come out a little bit like that.

So tonight, we watched "The Apple". Not anyone's claim for Star Trek's finest hour, but really quite a fun episode, and I'd been wanting to rewatch a certain scene anyway. And now I feel all cozy, wrapped in my blanket of Trekkishness.

For holding up for 50 years and counting, you can't ask for better than that.


This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/155449.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: the theme song, of course