Friday, September 11, 2009

What it is like to eat raw squid.

Adventurous aren't I?
What can I say? I do the craziest things for research, within reason, and I don't know where it was that day.
The first thing I should note is that when they bring you squid on your sushi plate, it is placed upon a little roll of sticky rice. Trust me, you want both in your mouth at once.
With the rice, it's not bad. Completely flavorless. I expected salty, and I was wrong. There was no flavor at all.
There was a snap to the squid when I bit into it, then as I chewed it just mixed in with the rice. It was rather unremarkable really. I didn't like it as much as the smoked salmon (now that's good stuff) but I didn't mind the squid at all. I wasn't into the brand of soy sauce they had on hand, so I only dipped it lightly to give it a little flavor.
Then my husband noticed that the thin triangles left when the chef shaped my previous mouthfuls were used as part of the garnish. He scooted them over to my side of the plate and I blithely picked one up with my chopsticks and put it in my mouth.
It was then that I discovered what raw squid is like without rice.
That initial snap was there, where my teeth met the resistance of the meat then the pressure of my jaw suddenly broke through. Then I moved the bite to my molars and started to chew. Squid is not as hardy of a meat as it would initially seem. It's like the opposite of steak, which is tender and pliant at first but resilient in the long run. Instead, squid is firm in the beginning, but then dissolves into a puddle of slime in your mouth.
The worst part was, I wasn't careful to bite all the way through, so I had a layer of slime that my teeth had created on both surfaces, but the inside remained intact. So I had to cut through the layers of slime and sever that intact layer in order to swallow.
Then the slimy sensation of it going down almost brought the rest of my eight bucks back up.
If you ever get brave enough to try raw squid, eat it with the rice, and good sauce.

Man, where's my fanfare?

I think I just figured out why my husband plays his video game so much.

He just finished a 25 person fight against some massive foe. He was going around healing everyone, which means he wasn't even fighting, he was support services.

Then as the mighty foe fell the constant stream of direction from the group leader, which blared from his headphones, was interrupted by fanfare. Trumpets and cymbals, everyone rejoiced as they divided up the loot.

NO WONDER he's hooked.

Man if I got trumpets blaring every time I completed a task in my support services roll, you'd better believe I'd be back for more. I'd smell the faintest whiff of poopy and go looking for that diaper. I'd wrestle the kid from my co-worker's arms, then once the foul foe besetting the bitty bottom and the olfactory senses of the world was conquered, I'd get that fanfare! Dum-de-da-da! Another victory for the side of good!Let all the clean bottoms rejoice!

I'd get all the kids across the street safely and then get to watch the parade in my honor.

The guy gets armor, jewels, gold, for slaying beasts. I guard the house against the monsters in the closet every night... where's my gold, diamonds, anyone? Come on!

I guess that's the difference between games and reality though, the fanfare. I'd better just put it out of my mind... no, better yet, I'm going to learn from it. I bet you I can find a fanfare audio file somewhere. Then every time I crunch out oh... 1,000 words in my book (can't make it too easy) I'll play that fanfare. Dum-de-da-da! Thora has just communicated what it's like to eat raw squid. The crowd goes wild! It's a victory over writer's block! Someone call the President!

You know what? I like fantasy. I like that someone says "ding" every time he levels-up his character. I especially like that his playing games has gotten me enough free time to write nearly 80 thousand words since July 27th, and I'm not even support roll on that, I'm the tank, I'm the head spell caster. So there!

Yay me!

I'm going to go find that fanfare now.

(I would also like to take this opportunity to formally thank my real fanfare. You know who you are, though I will never really understand why you love and believe in me so much. I could never get past all my self-doubt and keep writing if I didn't have you my lovelies. Thank you. God bless you all, because I will never be able to repay you fully myself.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do other people not read this way?

I got looked at oddly this week, which yes, that's par-for-the-course in my life, but it was the sort of odd look that gets me thinking.
So I'd like to put this out there and find out if I'm really that much of a freak. Feel free to comment with "FREAK!" I promise I won't mind.

When I read a book, I am in that world. I am totally absorbed in it, it is all around me, I live that book. If I'm in the middle of a good book and have to put it down to go to work, make dinner, go out to eat, I CANNOT get that book out of my head.
I literally see things differently, the elements of the book keep creeping into my reality. I'm not hallucinating or anything, but things in my life tie into the text.
This doesn't go away until I finish that book. With Harry Potter, it lasted for years because the story wasn't finished (plus, what a fun world to live in!)
I don't know if it's just something I picked up off the autistic spectrum of fun little disorders that was laid out like a buffet before my family. Or perhaps I've just got a knack for suspension of reality. It could also be completely normal, you tell me. Please. I'd like to know.
All I really know right now is I love it and I hate it. I love being able to smear myself with the ink of some other world and live it. I hate that sometimes I have to war with myself to get my head back in reality, it is emotionally painful and... well people look at me oddly.
So, if I start talking about Chinese legends or Greeco/Roman Mythology around you, please forgive me, I'm buried in my own ink, breathing it, drinking it, dreaming of it, and having a glorious time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I got my first rejection

Just in case anyone is waiting to hear, I got my first form rejection letter today. I'm going to do a bit more research and then submit elsewhere.
And no, I'm not depressed, really, just ready to take the next step. Plus... I'm cooking two other books, lol.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If I go crazy

If I go crazy in the next couple of weeks it's for a very good reason.

No, it's not the end of summer maddness.

No, my kids have not driven me over the edge.

No, it's not my job/volunteer work.

No, it's not my dirty house.

I'm just waiting to hear from one of the best reputed book agencies in the business, and they give a four week window for a response.

Yes, my book is finished. It's been done for a few weeks now, and I've had two people go through and edit it. After changing all the "to/too"s I spent a week at my keyboard writing the query letter and synopsis. It took about an hour to get up the guts to hit send when I emailed the agents. I had to tell a friend on IM I was sending it, and she basically held my hand from across the sea as I willed my self to make that final click.

I've spent so long NOT telling people all about my book that it made me feel pretty vulnerable to nicely wrap it up and throw it to the sharks. Sink or swim little book. Sink or swim hours of research, late nights at the keyboard, characters I know like no-one else will, and intricate world that sprung from my heart.

I don't even get to watch it like I watch my kids in swim class. It's just gone, out there, completely out of my hands for the next 1 to 28 days.

So I'm trying not to think about it. I'm trying not to compulsively check my email too.

In that effort I went and spent way to much on fabric for Halloween costumes today (yes I know it's July, haven't you gotten started yet?). If you've ever taken three kids to a monstrously huge fabric store I'm sure you can guess that I didn't think about my book the entire time I was there. But the 115 minutes there and 140 minutes back? I thought about it, so I turned up the music and chair danced in the traffic jam, much to the amusement of the other drivers.

But now I'm home, and the envelope symbol on my yahoo mail icon is lit up.... ooh is it? Is it? No... it's Amazon with a sale on music to dance to in my car. To bad I just spent so much on fabric.

I think I'll go sew, or bead, or clean, or eat, or dance. Anything really to keep me busy...

while I think about it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Thoughts on Thirty

In the year leading up to my birthday several people asked me how I felt about turning thirty. They always did it with that gleam in their eye. The gleam that revealed they expected their rather melodramatic young friend to give them a good show of grief and remorse for the loss of her youth.

I'm afraid I rather failed them, shame on me missing a chance to perform, but the simple fact of the matter is I have long looked forward to FINALLY turning thirty. After all these years, frustratingly stuck in my twenties, I'm free.

At last, a full adult, still physically young and full of life, but grown up at the same time. No longer when my age is asked do people stop listening when I say "I'm twe....." for I am not. I'm thirty. I am no longer in that purportedly carefree and energetic decade, no longer lumped with a ten year span of peers who freely use youth as an excuse for gross errors.

I am thirty! I'm in the decade that people write for themselves, the decade where you begin to live the life you have formed for yourself. The decade where you get to know your kids as people and not mini-me dolls that ruin your sleep. The decade where you settle into the rhythm of being alive.

It is such a relief to finally be here, finally at an age that seems to match where my soul has been all along. I'm finally at an age where the battle scars are part of the costume, introspection is socially allowed, and just wanting to experience the real things in life isn't so unusual. I'm no where near "over the hill" I'm just high enough up on the slope to have a really nice view.

So if anyone is thinking I'm secretly bemoaning the loss of my twenties and feeling old, you couldn't be more wrong. I love it. I love being thirty and I'm looking forward to forty now. These are going to be some great years. I'm going to learn so much, experience so much, love so much. I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. Come on thirties, what have you got for me?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Reading to My Son

I had already sent the kids to bed tonight when I head footsteps coming up behind me. It was my 6 yo son, who wrapped his arms around me as I typed. I stopped to give him a snuggle, intending to send him right back to bed.
Then he started reading my screen, struggling over the eloquent words I sprinkle liberally in my writing. My book was open, as I have been neglecting the laundry in favor of writing tonight. He got to where the cursor was flashing and asked what came next. So I got to brag to my son about the book I was writing and how what came next wasn't there yet, for I had yet to write it.
He was fascinated, and asked all about my book, its length, its subject... all with the excited twinkle only children can hold within their eyes. Thank heaven for little boys.
I scrolled back several pages and he crawled up on my lap. I read him the section of that story, with all the emotion and familiarity only the author can produce. He was entranced and kept stopping me to ask questions.
I showed him the special greeting exchanged by my fantasy characters, and he is so thrilled to be the first person on earth to know about that, like it's some great secret that will gain him entry into a magical place.
Perhaps it did, perhaps he is in this magical place with me. The magical place of my creation, known only to myself and a select few. All I know is I've got a fan, and it means everything to me to know that something I wrote can bring such light to my child's eye.
Even if I don't get published; if the years of typing and research and love come to naught, and the world I created is only shared with my family and friends; I will at least have shared it with my children. I will at least have given them a glimpse of what it means to create, and how delicious creation can be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This may not mean anything to anyone else but...

I have finished the final battle scene in my book. I'm pages away from finishing my first draft.
There's a little mini-Thora jumping around gleefully inside of me, and she doesn't even mind that my husband teased me for crying over imaginary deaths.

(Oh and sorry, writing and getting my head around all the crazy personal stuff that has happened lately has rather kept me from blogging.)