Monday, April 30, 2012

Sometimes Others Say It Better

Jessica over at ReadReactReview gives her "Three Cents" on The Story Siren Plagiarism case and she does it brilliantly. Her third point about women and moral autonomy is so dead on it is scary.
Most women, when it comes to ethical stances, are immediately called out as bitches or less than when we speak out against an in justice of any kind. To me there is too much infighting among our sex and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon which saddens me. Calling the bloggers who had been ripped off "bitches" and "jealous" for making people aware of what had happened is beyond ludicrous. here we have a well known blogger, Story Siren,who ripped off others hard work. It is wrong. End of story. This bullshit of she made a small mistake is ridiculous. The woman screwed up big time and she needs to own up and pay the price. Her staying quiet while her loyalists go out and rip those she stole from a new asshole is not the adult way of handling things. What her and her beloveds must understand is that when people bust their ass and someone else takes credit for it, it sucks. It sucks and it is just wrong.
Now, the fact that this incident has brought on a lot of thoughtful discussions is fantastic. Maybe too many people do not understand what plagiarism really is anymore since the internet makes everything so accessible. All content must be cited and recognized. It is the ethical thing to do.


Saturday, April 28, 2012


Yes, the pescetarian is here to discuss lard. One of the things most people do not understand about me and mine is that while we do not eat meat, we believe that those who do should get it organically. I do not mean chi-chi look at me spending $20 a pound meat. I mean, know your farmer. Where we live in NJ, there are quite a few farms that sell their livestock for consumption. If I still ate pork or lamb or beef, you bet your sweet ass I would be going to the local farm for it as opposed to the supermarket. 
The one argument I have gotten into with meat eaters is that you should care about what you are eating, regardless if it is a hamburger or swiss chard. Of course this is construed as elitist to some, but tough cookies. Cows that have been raised like they used to be raised, you know, among grass and fresh air, are going to taste a helluva a lot better then cows sitting in a metal building all being pumped full of antibiotics. If this does not faze you, by all means, go with God, but how often do you hear of e coli outbreaks among small farms? Exactly. 
Anyway, there is a great blog called Homesick Texan and while a lot of her recipes are meat based, I still love the authenticity. One post she had was about rendering your own lard. To be honest, it was fascinating to read. What was more fascinating were the comments from readers who shared their stories and also how much pork they bought from their butcher. 
There is a word you do not hear people use much anymore.
People mentioned how their grandmother's used to render lard and how they wanted to revive the tradition so some folks went to their butcher and got the fat for a small price or free. Some even found a local farm farm that sold shares in pigs and were able to buy their own hog or just purchase the fat to make the lard.  
That is absolutely awesome.
Now, regardless of your beliefs. Meat eater, vegetarian, vegan. Part of the end goal should be  to get people thinking about where their food comes from and helping them make the right choice. This so-called battle of meat vs no meat is silly. People will eat what they want whether it be processed or non-processed. I think it is better to celebrate those that seek out local foods because you are supporting your own community that way. I am not saying down with the supermarket, but there is more then one way to shop. Not everyone wants to garden or raise live stock so shouldn't the food they choose to buy at least be of excellent quality? 
We sort have all fallen under the spell of cheapness. Wal Mart, Old Navy, Dollar Store have ruined us all. Food is not a cheap commodity. Not if you want quality over quantity. Who the hell wants to eat a bland apple or tomato, yet people do all the time. Go to an orchard or farmer's market and you will see what you have been missing on the taste front. I say the same hold true for meats and products like lard. Once you have a properly raised chicken or cow, that plastic package in the frozen section will lose its appeal quickly.
I say give yourself a gift and try a local or organic meat product Try the lard recipe, impress your friends. You have one life to live and you might as well enjoy it with some really darn good food :)

Let me add that we recently watched The Botany of Desire and it was an excellent documentary. Check it out.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reminder: Plagiarism is Bad

Once again, a blogger has gone down the dark path, got busted and does not really apologize or own up to it. Aces.

Plagiarism and The Story Siren

Thanks Smart Bitches Trashy Books for the alert.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Writing Delays Can Be Good

I know, I know. Sort of seems suspect that I would make such a statement, but over the last week I have come to realize it is very true. I don't say this lightly. I say this as someone who understand why it takes some authors 8 years to finish a novel. Editing sucks, but it is also mind-blowingly fun. 

I confuse you, but bear with me.

I have been watching my own writing improve, you see, and that has been the fun part. Just when I thought I had a brilliant scene or dialogue I reread it and wish I had Gibbs around to smack me on the head.

There have been moments where I look at what is on the page and marvel at its simplicity or cringe at its attempt to be so much more than what is necessary. You get what I mean. Come one, we try to sound so impressive, so educated, forgetting it is the character's voices, not ours that has to shine through. I almost feel like an odd stage mother who needs to be reined in something fierce.
My frustrations align with other writers who just I want to be done. I also get anxious because those three people out there that will buy my book need to read it NOW.
The delay also has helped with my other novel in progress. (Jesus, I feel like James Patterson with all his writing partners. "Today we will work on this.")  One day last week I was sitting here, probably feeding or playing with the boy, when it hit me what was wrong with one of my main characters. I also figured out my introduction of her was pretty lame. Or at least it could be much better. She can be more then what I have made her. So Dr. Fifistein is going back to the drawing board and is very excited. I also discovered some other goodies in regards to Biblical texts and mythologies that will be very helpful to my story. Narrowing it all down will be difficult, but I would rather deal with too much instead of too little.

So I hope you did not snooze too much through my little love fest on delays. For me it has been a "good thing". (Do you hear Martha every time anyone utters those words? I know I do. Then there is  "The More You Know" too, but let's take it easy here shall we?)  What I am most hopeful for is that these delays make everything a bit better, a bit more professional and a bit closer to getting published.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Andrew Shaffer

I am in love.

Not that squeaky, icky, feeling all tingly kind of love. More like a camaraderie, guy on my side, kicking ass together love. I have come across author and fellow snarker Andrew Shaffer and it is kinship I tell you. Here is someone who also loathes the ridiculousness known as "50 Shades of Grey" and will now be publishing a parody of it.

There is a God and he is amused.

An interview in Publishers Weekly alerted me to Mr. Shaffer's existence and I am grateful. I love that he says,  "I've read hundreds of professionally published romance novels," he said, “most of which were as good, or better, than Fifty Shades of Grey."  Read whole article here.

Thank you!!! In erotica, Emma Holly, Joey W. Hill and many, many more do it waaaaaaaaaaaaay better. I blame the Twilight connection for all the bally hoo over this book.No, I have not read it and since I need to be fair, I decided to do the "Look Inside" on Amazon.


What the hell with all the italicized thoughts??? Are we in grade school? Does everyone think like this? Have I just entered the world and am unawares? Can she really by this virginal and shit? Can't this author show the character's reactions instead of spelling it out like I am learning to read? Oh sorry, I got caught up there for a moment. Did you feel my thoughts? Seriously though, I twitch in that world of poor grammar and bad writing. Sure some would say us unpublished authors are just sour grapes, but I beg to differ. A woman named Tara in Oregon wrote an awesome letter to Entertainment Weekly stating that she has been trying to get her original content book published for three years and clearly she is doing it all wrong. She states that she is gong to take "Gone With The Wind", change some of the names, add some mad sex scenes and call it "Fifity Maids in Grey". Alert Hollywood and all the publishers. Right on Sister!
Back to the sour grapes thing. I only get angry when piss poor character development, or lack there of and writing is praised as reinventing the written word. I get angry when authors who have been working in this genre for a long time without much fanfare get passed over by some hack. Yeah, I said it and now I will spell it. H-A-C-K.

As women we are taught to never say something sucks, play nice and make comments like, "Good for her even though it is not my style or for me."

Bull. Be honest. This book is poor fan fiction and Mr. Shaffer has done a parody that is downright

50 Shames of Earl Grey.

I am going to read the rest of that and then get back to my current book. Savages by Don Winslow. I need to rave about this book, but in another post.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Twisted Humor

Is it wrong that I find this very funny? Probably, but humor is always best in times of sadness.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Scheduling and a meal

I recently had an epiphany. Yesterday, when I did about 10 loads of laundry, okay it was four but it felt like ten, I realized I would have to seriously consider setting up my week like I was back in a corporate office. Sort of like, Monday- laundry and vacuuming, Tuesday baking and gardening, etc. Then again, this would make me like the character of Alison Bradbury in The Sure Thing. [checking her calendar] Let's see, Friday. 5:30, dinner. 6:00, Calculus. 7:00, news. 7:30, shower. 7:45, phone call. 

Who wants to live like that? 

Certainly not moi, but I do need to do something. What ends up happening is a running list goes through my mind and if my little one does not nap longer then an hour, well, I am pretty much up a creek sans paddle. I try to check email, write, do laundry, cook, take care of dog, research for book or something for the house, it is a never ending cycle. Then at night I cook, try to spend time with hubby, write, and read. Hello, multitasking is bad and fries one's brain. This why I figure if I at least try to set myself easy goals, I will avoid making myself nuts by trying to achieve a weeks worth of errands/chores/writing in one day. Laundry will be a challenge because if the young lad has a diaper blow out, poop in the pj's is not fun, I gotta run a load of wash. So laundry will always be flexible.

Let me share this fabulous recipe. Our Kale plants never died thanks to our mild winter so I wanted to use some of the beautiful new leaves. After one recipe after another encouraging me to go the safe route of kale and white beans, I came across a recipe that made me do a little jig in the kitchen. The one main ingredient, seitan, was absent from or fridge and I also did not have tofu. So I decided to use red cabbage in its place and it was superb. Please, you must make it since it is so yummy.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Roundup via Videos

Been a tad busy in a very good way. Our child has decided that 7:30pm is his favorite time to go to bed so I have been taking advantage of that and been writing my butt off. (If only that was feasible as it could stand to be a tad more J Lo then flat and low.) And when I am writing, I am happy. Getting the child to nap is another matter, but he is a happy baby and why mess with a good thing. He does nap on our walks and in the car. This is after we chat in his language for about 15 minutes or so. I guess he feels he got his conversation in and can now sleep in peace. If he is like this at 3 1/2 months old God only knows how amusing he will be at 3. Check in with me in a few years...

Anyhoo, I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of the music of Skinny Puppy and, as my hubby was listening to Pandora, a project of the lead singer Ogre came on. I had forgotten how much I loved this song: Pore by ogHr

Yesterday I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up some things to make baked shrimp enchiladas. As my infant and I cruised the store the song 'China' from a band called Red Rockers came on and I went into serious flashback mode. I swear my hair started to feather and punk out like in the old days...then I started to sing it aloud to my youngster. Rock on!

Just to be fair, 'Obsession' by Animotion came on as well and even though I was singing aloud, it felt a little creepy to be singing it and pushing a stroller. Just sayin'.

Henri' - I love this cat. I love this concept. I am moved. I am alone.

The continuing adoration of open shelving in kitchens continues to escape me. I find myself seeking out designs that just refuse to accept this latest trend. Seriously, without staff, how does one keep all of that stuff so sparkly? It is like a having an all white kitchen to me. Just throw the grease on everything when you are done. Cleaning is called a chore for a reason so why encourage it in the one room where you can spend DAYS, yes days I said, trying to clean off your wretched white stove. I have one and I am bitter. I like the way this kitchen is set up even though I do not love the wire shelving, but since it is not a giant wall of it, for me, it is tolerable. This $700 kitchen remodel is pretty choice and the open shelving is okay. I would use it to display my jars of dal, bulgur and flour as opposed to dishes. Again, I do not want to have to rinse my dish every single time before use.

And that my friends is that. Have a great weekend!


Monday, April 2, 2012


I am sure I could have come up with a more creative title, but due to lack of sleep, that is all I got.

Cemeteries have always held a fascination for me. All the history, the old tombstones. I like to visit those that no longer have visitors. You know, people buried in 1877 and what not. There was one tombstone I had seen once that has always stuck with me. The woman passed away during child birth then her baby died six weeks later. I wish I could recall the date because I wonder if there was a flu epidemic or if it was just the sign of the times.
One of the things I have always wanted to do was put together a photography book of random tombstones like the one I just mentioned as a way of documenting area histories. It would probably go along the line of this book.

Here are some samples of headstones that embody what I would like to compile into a book.

This one mentions the cholera epidemic: