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Bud break!

April 14, 2014

Bud break bud break bud break!

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Cannon Fodder is out!

April 7, 2014

CannonFodder_Type_smallI’m pleased to announce that the formatting and publishing of Cannon Fodder went smoothly, and it’s now available for purchase at most mainstream e-book sites. Check it out:

Smashwords
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

I also got a news spot written about me and the book.

Spring!

April 2, 2014

Spring is here, spring is here.
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.
I do, don’t you? ‘Course you do.
But there’s one thing that makes spring complete for me,
And makes ev’ry Sunday a treat for me.

IMG_1445All the world seems in tune
On a spring afternoon,
When we’re poisoning pigeons in the park.
Ev’ry Sunday you’ll see
My sweetheart and me,
As we poison the pigeons in the park.

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When they see us coming, the birdies all try an’ hide,
But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide.
The sun’s shining bright,
Ev’rything seems all right,
When we’re poisoning pigeons in the park.

IMG_1450We’ve gained notoriety,
And caused much anxiety
In the Audubon Society
With our games.
They call it impiety,
And lack of propriety,
And quite a variety
Of unpleasant names.
But it’s not against any religion
To want to dispose of a pigeon.

IMG_1452So if Sunday you’re free,
Why don’t you come with me,
And we’ll poison the pigeons in the park.
And maybe we’ll do
In a squirrel or two,
While we’re poisoning pigeons in the park.

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We’ll murder them all amid laughter and merriment.
Except for the few we take home to experiment.
My pulse will be quickenin’
With each drop of strychnine
We feed to a pigeon.
It just takes a smidgen!
To poison a pigeon in the park.

 

Original lyrics are by Tom Lehrer. No actual pigeons were harmed making this blog post.

It snowed again since I took these photos, but I still maintain that it’s spring. Sort of.

Cannon Fodder’s Kickstarter campaign is complete

March 31, 2014

As of the closing of the campaign on March 28, we’d raised $266, or 118% of the $225 goal. Thanks to all the backers, here’s the cover art that you have made possible:

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Yeah! Again many thanks to Kelsey King, the illustrator who drew this. E-books of Cannon Fodder with this cover will be available at Smashwords and Amazon very soon. I’ll keep you guys posted.

Cool Kickstarter Projects: The Bacterionomicon and Skies of Fire

March 19, 2014

First of all, I’m happy to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Cannon Fodder‘s cover art is now fully funded. Thanks to everyone who backed the project. There’s still ten days left on the campaign, so if you want a copy of the book or you want to help it meet its reach goal, check it out.

Meanwhile, here’s a few more Kickstarter campaigns that I think are pretty awesome:

Image courtesy of the campaign page.

Image courtesy of the campaign page.

The Bacterionomicon by Nerdcore Medical

Nerdcore Medical is a tiny company based in Texas that makes educational games based on the founder’s own experience going through med school. Their latest project: the Bacterionomicon, a lushly illustrated book where antibiotics are cast as clerics and infectious diseases are eldritch abominations. Just check out the illustrations on this thing.

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Image courtesy of the campaign page.

Image courtesy of the campaign page.

Skies of Fire by Ray Chou

Another project I picked out for its gorgeousness. It’s a full-color webcomic about various fantasy nations doing airship battles with each other. Need I say more?

Rugelach from Baking With Julia

March 12, 2014

I was in the mood for baking and wanted to try something completely different. So I tried rugelach, a traditional Jewish dessert. This is Baking With Julia‘s take on the dish, modified so it would be easier to cook in my kitchen.

The dough:

  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups flour*

* You can use all-purpose flour. I find that half and half all-purpose and whole wheat flour works just fine and gives baked goods a nutty taste.

The filling:

  • 2 cups dried apricots
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons cinnamon

The topping:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups nuts of your choice (though I don’t recommend peanuts)

Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and salt with a mixer. Beat in the sugar. Switch to mixing with a spoon and gradually mix in the flour. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a rough brick shape (see below). Wrap each brick up tightly and put in the freezer for one hour.

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While the dough’s chilling, prepare the filling and the topping. For the filling, put the apricots in a saucepan and just cover with water:

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Stew the apricots on low heat until they’re just mushy, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and add the lemon juice and rum. Mash the apricots into a paste. Set aside.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

For the topping, chop the nuts into large pieces. Set aside.

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Once your dough’s chilled, you’re ready to assemble your rugelach. Work with one dough brick at a time. Roll the dough out until it’s a rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Cut the rectangle in half the long way.

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Spread each side with one quarter of the apricot pureé, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Then roll it up like a jelly roll.

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At this point, the rugelach are delicious raw. The dough doesn’t contain any raw eggs, either, so you don’t have to feel bad about making off with some of it. Wrap the rolls tightly in plastic wrap and put them back in the freezer for an hour. You’ll have four rolls total.

When you’re ready to bake the rugelach, work with one roll of dough at a time so it doesn’t get too soft. Slice the roll into disks of desired thickness (this will only affect the cooking time.) Put the rolls on a lined baking sheet. I can’t emphasize that enough.

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Sprinkle the disks with the chopped nuts, and if you want, more cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Here’s what they look like when they’re done:

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Somehow, these rugelach look nothing like the photo in Baking With Julia, and neither my rugelach nor Julia’s look like other pictures of rugelach from the Internet. But they were delicious.

Fireside Magazine

March 10, 2014

7dbe79e9d7ecc912a2c52cac221ec6cd_largeFireside Magazine is a monthly e-zine that aims to publish great short stories and pay writers a fair price for their work. It’s well worth your attention.

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