Friday, January 31, 2014

Casino Royale this August

Romance Writers of New Zealand have announced the schedule for the upcoming August conference August 14-17th, and there is a stellar group of authors taking part. I'm keen to hear indie superstar Marie Force especially and she's offering some great seminars during the weekend on topics such as author branding. Karina Bliss will be talking emotion, and James Scott Bell (I am reading "Plot and Structure" right now) will present the Friday workshop. Go to their website for more info.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Loving the iceberg

The iceberg lettuce that is. The lettuce that is so trashed these days. The lettuce that remains my fav, in spite of me growing attempting to grow other lettuces, red and green lettuces, in spite of buying bags of lettuces that someone else has grown and washed and packaged. I adore the iceberg. Back in the day a lettuce salad used to be a big bowl of chopped lettuce and tomato, grated carrot and cheese, maybe some chopped hardboiled egg mixed in there, some cucumber perhaps, in fact whatever you liked, with mayonnaise on the top. That is what my grandmother used to make. Then somehow, a lettuce salad became a pile of weeds. Some of them okay. Some actually quite vile. Now, I am not against the weeds. I quite like rocket, it's quite tasty, and I have actually been known to grow it. I think some of the types of lettuce you grow are quite good, especially those ones where you can go out and just pick a few leaves without having to dig up the whole thing. BUT. I really like iceberg lettuce the most. It is just the best. It is crunchy and juicy, it has a nice mild flavour. Or maybe it doesn't have a flavour, but I don't mind. They say it doesn't have the nutritional value of other lettuces. Take this information from for example on how pathetic iceberg (supposedly) is. Vitamin A per cup - romaine provides more than 10 times the vitamin A of an iceberg lettuce. Vit K - The darker-colored romaine lettuce contains 48 micrograms of vitamin K, while iceberg lettuce contains 17 micrograms. Well, I don't even know what vitamin K is. In fact, I don't really care about that, micrograms, schmicograms. Tonight I will make a lettuce salad of iceberg, all chopped up, and slices of tomato, with grated carrot and a basic edam or cheddar cheese, and maybe even a diced hard boiled egg, and lots of yummy mayonnaise. A huge massive bowl of it. In fact, I might even have it for lunch instead, it sounds so delish. As an aside, just so you don't think I'm completely unsophisticated (although I actually am), I was out with my friends, the Cocktail Girls, last weekend and we were down at the Viaduct at the waterfront, a gorgeous Auckland afternoon and my meal had a "salad" of mint and parsley to accompany it. It was actually rather nice and tasty, as you would expect mint to be, but just quietly, and I didn't dare voice this in the public domain and certainly not to the restaurant people, I thought that a token leaf of iceberg, nicely diced in with the herbs, would have made it just a little bit better.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

HAPPY 2014

Happy 2014... in which I give thanks I made it to another year, and wasn't run over by a bus or anything. Which given my propensity to cross roads at inappropriate moments, and the fact that last year I did actually have a bit of an incident crossing a very busy road, is truly rather a miracle. 2014. My gosh! I was reminiscing with my sister how mother never thought she'd ever make it to the year 2000 because the millennium was just so huge to contemplate. YTK and all that. Back in the 1970s we thought we'd be running around in silver suits and flying to Mars every day. Amazing. I spent the New Year down country which was nice. Actually, no, it wasn't nice at all. It was a very stressful trip which involved seven hours in a car with rescued battery hens, a vehicle with no registration, no back indicators and no brake lights (seriously), and even worse, no radio or CD player so on the way back, sans poultry and other humans, I had to amuse myself singing. Quite tiring really. There was tons of other stuff which happened, most of it involving paranoia, and mercifully, a few days on, it is mostly a distant memory. Suffice to say, normal is so nice. So very, very nice. What wasn't so nice was my singing These Foolish Games on the way home. So in lieu of bad, unaccompanied vocals, here's a nicer live version...

Two Free Books

I have a couple of books that are going for free on Amazon over the next few days, until the end of March, I think. The link is HERE . ...