Tag Archives: food

Kind of crotchety today

Today was my flex day. This gave me a chance to write, and I did, but I don’t feel like it’s anything to note here. In both stories, I’m in one of those places.

Author visitors will understand what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just have to move the pieces around the board. You can’t get to the next big scene without putting the smaller bits in motion. That’s the kind of stuff I’ve been writing. It’s good to get accomplished, because then I can do some crazy things coming up.

It feels like the middle slog, and for the story about Lizzie and The Hat, it could be. I have no idea what it’s like for the Lanternfish trilogy. Technically, the whole second book is the middle slog, but it’s not going to read that way. There is some crazy stuff happening in this story.

Some of my attitude is just the general state of things in the world right now. I keep trying to focus on nice things, and do what I can here. I’ve posted cute dogs, ducks, and such. I even did a free day for Yak guy. (Still watching for a few reviews.) Today it’s another tree.

Frankie has a hard time avoiding cameras. The peach tree is finished for the year. This old crabapple is in the middle of its spring display. So is the Asian pear around the side of the house. It just doesn’t have the pleasing shape of this tree. It makes me happy, so it might help you, too.

In other news, we had one of my favorites tonight. It’s chicken and cheesy grits, drizzled with a bit of honey and hot sauce. I’m not selling it very well, so check out this bowl.

I’m working tomorrow, but there may be some cool leftovers for lunch. Might get some writing time this weekend, too. Hang in there everyone. Stimulus checks are coming, and this won’t last forever.

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More vacation stuff, plus research

Vacation posts are kind of hit and miss in my experience. Since it's all I have right now, I'm going to go for it.

We went on the walking voodoo tour last night. Turns out this was a very PC kind of presentation. They drew the obvious connections to Catholicism, and discussed the ways it came from Africa and evolved after it arrived. Everyone worships the same god, and while the Catholics have saints, voodoo has other names for lesser deities that will sometimes intercede on our behalf.

All the shops seem to have two active altars, and shoppers are forbidden from photographing them. However; those on the tour are invited to photograph them. I have no idea about the difference, but I have a theory money is involved. I wanted to explain that, because of the sign in my photograph. I'm not one of those tourists who fails to follow the rules.

This altar is for a goddess who is also in charge of inspiration. Think of her like a Muse among her other responsibilities. She's also fond of very high quality things. Notice the champaign offerings.

Of course, everything is very benign even good. Questions from the crowd about voodoo dolls and zombies were casually poo pooed. Some dumb ass had to ask the difference between voodoo and hoodoo. (It was me.) They distanced themselves from hoodoo, explaining it isn't a religion but more of a practice. Then they explained all the things Hollywood comes up with make better fiction. (Kind of a please ask questions, but not you buddy response. I'm sure John Howell could make a ten things list about this.)

They noted that John Paul II held mass here, and met with a group of voodoo priests. Once he understood the similarities, he declared voodoo a companion religion to Catholicism. At least that's what our guide Daphne said. (My wife didn't like all my Scooby Doo jokes after learning the guide's name, so I'll keep them to myself.)

On the better fiction point we are in agreement. Voodoo, or hoodoo, are better when they're fantastic and dangerous. I will continue to step up my fictional game on this basis. In fact, Lorelei my Muse visited me and gave me an outstanding character. He is a supporting character in my mind, but I already have about six vignette ideas for him. I just need to find a hero and a plot to go with him. This is much more difficult than when the plot comes first. In fact, I'm already struggling with an old concept of how to keep magic from being the cure for everything. Any paranormal or fantasy authors will know what I mean.

We've eaten a ton, and that doesn't seem likely to stop. Last night we went to Acme Oyster Bar. (I expected Wile E. Coyote to make an appearance, but he didn't.) We did the old people thing and shared a couple of dishes. The charbroiled oysters were fantastic, and so were the red beans and rice, rounded out by fried stone crab claws and fried crawfish tails. (In Idaho we call them crawdads, but since we're here…)

Today we're being lazy. We had room service breakfast, with beignets (And praline sauce). Then Old What's Her Face booked a pedicure. I think I'll just hang here until she's ready to go out. I'm kind of tired, and we walked about a thousand miles in the last few days. New Orleans makes me glad I never rented a car.

Drivers here are aggressive and impatient. I've heard more car horns in a long weekend than in a year in Boise. Boise drivers are crazy too, but they don't ride on their horn like they do here.

This is a town for walkers, at least this part of town. The humidity and heat make this difficult, but we did it anyway. Since we were walking so much, I decided to play Pokemon Go while doing so. I missed the first one of these I saw, but the second one is mine.

This guy is regional, and does not appear in Idaho. I'm sure not everyone is into this game, but it's kind of fun to find something you just can't get everywhere.

It's a long ways, but I'd like to go to Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop today. It's a bar, and Lafitte is a genuine part of NOLA history, as well as American History. Again, we have no agenda and we may, or may not get there. Old What's Her Face refuses to try the bicycle rickshaw taxi things, and it's a long way to walk.

Tomorrow we fly out early, and it looks like we have three legs to get home. (The joys of flying on standby, but you can't argue with the price.)

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Some vacation snaps

While we're here, I snapped some photos. This is a fun place, and we only have a few days. It's kind of fun to bounce around without much of an agenda. I did book a walking voodoo tour tonight, but that's about all we have scheduled. The rest involves strolling around and taking it all in.

There is music everywhere.

The occasional feathered person shows up. Makes me wish I'd snapped the girl in the body stocking. They're either over dressed or underdressed.

The view out my dirty window this morning. A steamship along the shore, and a giant barge passing behind it.

So much wrought iron.

Long time readers will remember I used to keep an alligator snapping turtle. He passed away at about twelve years old. This shell is about three feet long and decorates a shelf where we had lunch. I like oysters, but only certain ways. Turns out a fried oyster poboy is pretty darned good. Bonus points for the bourbon milkshake thingie I washed it down with.

On a smaller scale this two inch cockroach was already stomped when I found him in the men's room. File it under, “Things we don't have in Idaho.”

We're about done drying out under the air conditioner. (Humidity is also something foreign to westerners.) I've been to humid places before, but it's kind of a new experience for my wife.

Before we head back out, I want to remind you to go visit my Sally Cronin post. It's the first peek at the new cover for The Yak Guy Project, and I'm sharing an excerpt.

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Ready for the weekend

Like all my weekends recently, it will be a combination of work and fun. I already changed my wallpaper. It must be August somewhere, right? There are fireflies in part of Will O' the Wisp, and I decided it looks cool.

I bought ink cartridges on the way home from work. I need to load them in the printer and get moving on my critique assignments. I also need to send off my 3000 words to my peers.

I still have a bit of research to do. There was a true story I wanted to borrow from, but I'm about to make the whole thing up myself. Authors are allowed to do that. I also want to work on my outlines a bit more.

I've been stalling about editing The Playground. I have a bunch of vacation time coming up, and may wait until then.

Boise has a huge Basque festival going on this weekend. We may run downtown and get some awesome Basque food tomorrow. My wife has something planned with the grandkids too, but I'm almost certain to tag along.

I may get all of it finished, I may not. Right now, I really don't care either way. It's going to be time to push my book of short stories soon, and then I'll have to get serious. We're still fiddling around with the cover art, and a few advance readers are still working on things. I earmarked September sometime for publication, so right now I'm cruising. This weekend I can just go with the flow. (And listen to all the Alice Cooper music I downloaded.)

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Writing my little black heart out

I spent a large part of the day writing promotional posts for Will O' the Wisp. I want them all ready before hiring the blog tour organizer. I have six finished, but would like to have about ten. I only intend to try a one week push, but it's nice to have a spare. I still haven't written a character bio, or a Muse interview. Those should be pretty easy.

I sent out individual emails to everyone that got an advanced reading copy of the book. All the feedback I've received so far has been encouraging, and this was just a heads up that I intend to push the publish button next weekend. This way if they are going to post a review they have time to write it. My intention was to be as polite as possible to those who helped me. I sent these emails one at a time, because I never share email addresses without permission.

Note to self: send them the link where they can post a review after the book goes live. Make it easy for them.

The rest of the time was spent at my son's house. He smoked a tri-tip and invited us to dinner. The food and company were wonderful. He even bought me a nice Alaskan smoked Porter to wash it down with. My daughter-in-law made a wonderful apple dumpling dessert too.

I feel like I should have gotten more accomplished. It's just too hard to give up family time, and I won't do it. We even made plans to go fishing the next time he gets time off. I probably won't accomplish much then either. Spending time with them is important. It's good for me too.

When we got home, I downloaded Turbo Tax. It's going to be ugly, but I have to get it done sooner or later. It's in the other room, snarling at me on my Mac.

Tomorrow is all about calling my parents first thing. I may manage some more promotional posts. My critique group work has to get done too. I also have fruit trees to prune. My son already hit me up for the branches. They are good in his smoker.

If it all goes really well, I may start a short story about a biplane. Somehow, I doubt I'll get that far.

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Off to the Fair

Sometimes you just have to walk away from the keyboard. My imagination is a pretty fun place, but it needs fertilizer to keep growing. (No manure jokes. Yeah you in the back row, I see you.)

Old What’s Her Face* and I went to the Western Idaho Fair today. It used to be the Idaho State Fair, but commercialism killed that romantic title. The carnival folks and vendors find it more profitable to have multiple fairs all over the state. I concede that Idaho is huge, and someone from the Wyoming or Canadian border isn’t likely to drive to Boise for a Saturday at the fair. Therefore; several fairs in various locations.

I like the idea of someone growing the biggest pumpkin in the state. It’s fun to compete for something that is the best in the state, but those days are gone.

We started our day here. The home of deep fried foods, beer, and sweets.

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A quarter mile of sugar, cholesterol, and alcohol

We both grabbed a prickly pear lemon aid. This is fresh squeezed with a shot of syrup from the cactus fruit. It’s on our must list every year.

My wife started off with one of her favorites, a Navajo taco. It wasn’t made the right way and she threw it away. These things are awesome, but they don’t lend themselves to commercial shortcuts. If you don’t use a yeast raised fried scone to start with, you might as well give up. She replaced it with a Greek chicken pita, and said it was wonderful.

I opted for a standard Greek gyro, and a Basque chorizo. Mine was wonderful too, and the restauranteur who runs the Greek cart can expect a visit from us to his downtown place very soon. Basque chorizos are one of my favorites, they’re also hard to screw up. The Basque community is large in the part of Nevada where I grew up and these things are a staple. Fortunately for me there is a large Basque community in Boise.

We stopped at a wild animal display. There were quite a few wild cats like tigers and servals. As a western boy, I liked the bobcat. This place charges money for portraits with a select few of the animals. We watched as someone tried to get a picture with a lion cub. The cub was naughty and they finally gave up. He was so busy they couldn’t get him posed. They opted for a very busy skunk instead, and it was easier to hand the skunk something shiny and he held still for a split second.

They indicated they were an animal rescue organization and all the money raised went into the care of animals in need. You never really know, but the lion cub and skunk were pretty happy.

We checked out the standard exhibits. I loved an action photo of a great horned owl. It won second place to another owl photo that I didn’t think was as good. The biggest pumpkin was 206 pounds. This is kind of disappointing since they get near 1000 pounds elsewhere. I chock it up to too many fairs. A competition of five is less intense than one with fifty entrants.

I won a photo ribbon myself once, in Nevada. This was back when cameras used something called film.

It was cool that they have a brewing competition these days. There were dozens and dozens of entrants. Home brewing has really taken off. It doesn’t make for much of a display, since it’s a rack of brown bottles with ribbons on some.

Someone had a large display of carnivorous plants that made me jealous. My last one died this summer.

My wife thinks I’m an idiot, but I like to walk through the small animal barn. This is where young farmers get their start. I just like the animals and took a few pictures for the blog.

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I took the bunny photos for Lisa**. She would appreciate them, since she has one called Bunny.

I always like the poultry. There weren’t any turkeys today, but some of the ducks were pretty. The chickens always steal the show and so I took some pictures for you.

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This huge black rooster was pretty friendly

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I think a yard full of these would be pretty fun to watch while enjoying a cup of tea and a book. There were tons of rabbits and chickens. Many of them were in covered cages and photos weren’t possible.

We didn’t pay to see the giant hog or the tiny horse. We’d visited them in previous years. We stopped off to watch some lady loggers from Maine. They threw axes and chopped logs. It was fun watching them run on a floating log. Then it was one more mediocre brown ale and time to go home.

It’s another statement of the times when Idaho has to import loggers to put on a show. I’ll leave it there and avoid a political tantrum.

The fair is spread over several weeks. They bring in free concerts and there is a huge carnival. Some years the concerts are pretty good. I asked my wife if she wanted to come back to see The Doobie Brothers. She said, “No. Do you want to see The Doobie Brothers?”

I said, “Already have, in 1979. Paid eight bucks. It was a pretty good show.”

* This isn’t my wife’s real name.

** Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She lives at the writing cabin these days and helps me around the place. She’s a robot and has her own pet rabbit.

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