updating buddies

Anyone interested, I've been haunting lj under this username: rowdy_phantom

I'm not sure how to import friends from this account.

With fb to babble on, the lj is mostly writer-focused.

Z-Hour goes live

Eposic: The Book of Exodi is available for pre-order! "Z-Hour" is one of 19 other speculative stories under the mass-exodus theme. It gets to share the ToC with a Harry Turtledove piece "Next Year in Jerusalem". Kudos to the editor, Mike Eidson (who also did the cover art).

It should be hitting Amazon soon.

Goodbye MikawaAnjo

Last day of the work year. Beginning in April, my schedule does a major upheaval, but then settles into uniformity on Saturday for another year at Toyota City (yes, the city is named after the factory headquarters).

MikawaAnjo has been my Monday school. Mikawa-Anjo is what would happen if people built cities based on half-finished rounds of SimCity. Here we have a bullet train surrounded by business hotels and... that's pretty much it. Immediately around the station commercial-art structures stand at bland attention with the kind of pretension of a downtown core. Sprawling parking lots and hotel high rises.

But we're in the sticks out here. None of the express trains stops here (that is: express, limited express, special limited express, special-super-duper-OMG-express--all of which are color-coded). Nope: apart from the shinkansen we commuters are consigned to the plodding local train (code black). The school is on the second floor above a punctuation-challenged supermarket "La: Foods Core".

Two kids classes and a handful of adult class drop-ins. We made playdough ocean creatures and played balloon volleyball for our farewell lesson. (Yes, that would be with the kids.)

I'm gonna miss that wacky place.


Delivered in true Whedonesque fashion:

Loomis: Then you know I have plenty of faces to scan for people a lot more impressive than you.
Ballard: But not as charming.
Loomis: Was that flirting?
Ballard: I think so. It's been a while--Did I mention I was shot?

(If I close my eyes, I can almost hear Nathan Fillion deliver that line.)

Okay, okay, I'll hang on for the fabled sixth episode.

in Nagoyaland

I'm am silly in love with an underground walkway that runs about four blocks from Nagoya station to Lucent Tower, a skyscraper a block from our building. It's not Disney-magnificent or anything, not worth flying across the Pacific for, but, darnit, I just adore it.

The entire thing is done up in silhouettes, animal silhouettes along both walls and on the ceiling. It starts at subway level with shadows of the cityscape, recognizable sites from around Nagoya. Which ends when you come to the shadow of a cat. As if in stop-motion photography, the cat follows a small flight of stairs down as it leaps after a butterfly. Now you're in "The Tale of Stray Kittens" by minim++ (the media group commissioned by the skyscraper)

Each phase along the white-walled walkway is lit with different lighting. The first phase you follow your cat guide into is a yellow-lit meadow land with tall grasses, rabbits, grasshoppers. Next, you pass into forest, deep green illumination, some mocked up to cast the shadows of tree limbs on the ground. Grizzly bears, elk and wolves share the woods with an orangutan, hyenas, and some wimpy hippos. Then, the lights go red and you are mouse-sized, passing through a forest of footwear.

The center is sky blue with two sets of shadow birds flying into each other. Then, a seagull leads you to the deep blue of the sea. Then, there's the purple frog pond with violet hydrangea (the only silhouettes not black), frog shadows on the floor tiles where light effects throw ripples. The final phase before riding the escalator up to the lobby of Lucent Tower, is the ruddy desert oasis.

In the land where underground malls undermine the city streets like gopher burrows, it's the only underground passage that doesn't make me feel like a rodent. Yay, minim++

(no subject)

You guys in North America getting Honey Orange Lattes? They are the yum.

SBs over here runs some interesting drinks. Last month it was Lavender Earl Grey latte (another yum, but too much space was taken up by the tea bags to stretch that sucker through a four-hour editing marathon).

A Keeper

Gotta get this down before I forget:

Cut eggplant length-wise, salt and let stand 15min.

Roast eggplant with garlic slivers in olive oil/salt/pepper/basil. Remove.

Roast red pepper with onions and some chopped garlic (can never have too much garlic) and same mixture, plus oregano, rosemary, cayenne, nutmeg. Remove red peppers once seared.

Add diced tomato, green onions, sugar, lemon juice, red peppers (now chopped), shitake mushrooms, spinach, chopped roasted eggplant & garlic (and any oozings they produced while waiting their turn to join the party in the pan). Lastly, add tomato sauce once all the fresh stuff is happily commingling.

Udon noodles work fine as pasta (the dried ones--they come out like fettucini). Nutritional yeast for parmesan (and B12).

Serve with Shiraz (at least two years old).
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Review Scooby Snacks

My short "Exiles" from Lilith Unbound got a favorable review from Mrs. Giggles:

"I especially like Nancy Schmidt's Exiles, where she transforms Cain, Eve, Lilith, and Adam into Native American folks. In this story, Cain is exiled from his tribe for killing his brother. He encounters Lilith, who helps him with some pointers on surviving on his own - just like the way she has survived on her own. This story also depicts an unlikely bond between Lilith and Eve. This story humanizes all the main characters involved in the story and as a result, I enjoy reading this story tremendously."

Sweet! It's my first out-of-workshop review, nice that it's a positive one. I didn't really have Native Americans in mind, but I can see how that might be read into it.
Thank you, Mrs. Giggles.