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Today I baked apple crisp. I also went to Holly Black's event for her new novel (which has vampires), and I cooked carrots and black beans (with honey) for dinner, all orange and black in the frying pan.

I think it might be autumn.

I've written a bunch of letters lately and sent them off. Hopefully, people will write back! I am going to write to more people, too--I would like to have a big group of correspondents, but ideally spread out so that I'm not writing all of the letters at the same time.

It's been a good couple of weeks for reading, too, what with the part where I have a commute now. I've been rereading a lot of Dorothy Sayers lately, and my roommates and I finally finished (re-)watching Season 5 of Buffy. I got Starglass, too--which is by my VP XV classmate Phoebe North, and really an interesting contribution to the generation ship genre. I am definitely intrigued to see what the next book is like!

I also got Caitlin Kiernan's Blood Oranges out of the library, which with Coldest Girl in Coldtown makes an interesting point-counterpoint. Blood Oranges is the gritty horrible side of paranormal novels, along the lines of Sunshine except even less romanticized and (if possible) with even more gross visceral stuff. Coldest Girl is much more in the romanticized vein (ha), even though there is--as Holly Black noted today--a lot of blood in it. Though perhaps not in the romanticized vein so much as examining the romanticization?

Anyway, an interesting pair of novels to read together.

I haven't been writing much, despite good intentions. My brain hasn't been producing many new exciting ideas recently. But at the Holly Black event today I started thinking again about The Urban Fantasy Novel (which I wrote a first draft of lo these many years ago), and how maybe now that I have actually been in college, and through college, and have some small modicum of outside-of-college living on one's own--and tangentially have learned some things about plot and so on--I could attack it and actually rewrite it to be decent. Maybe. Possibly. Though it really would need a lot of work... but I am itching to start doing something, working on something, so why not try this? It may not catch, but then I guess I can just go on to a different defunct project, and yet another, until my brain gets bored enough to generate fresh concepts.
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As nice as the snowstorm was, having a proper true weekend was lovely. I was sad to miss everyone at Boskone (so close, and yet so far), but running away from the semester for a convention would have been a terrible idea.

So I got work done, and I also spent time doing things that weren't productive at all--I even went off-campus for nearly entirely frivolous reasons (the donut shop in Amherst that does gluten-free vegan donuts I can eat (!), and the remainder of a gift certificate to a bookstore there--I got The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland). (Which is nice; it got nicer the longer I read it, and even when I wasn't totally convinced had details that I really liked.)

And I wrote 250 words of fiction this morning, and I don't hate them! I even have an idea of where the words should go next. I'm not sure it's a whole real actual story, but it's more than I've had for a while.

Sometimes I am aware that I'm waiting (for grad schools, for short story submissions, for summer opportunities). I hate waiting. But I am trying to slow down, relax, spend time doing things I enjoy. After all, if I'm enjoying myself, it's not waiting. It's just life.
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Things that my life will be lacking when I leave London:

1. The sharp-sweet taste of very lemony lemon cookies.
2. A bar of soap that smells of lavender.
3. The taste and mouth-feel of oatcakes spread with jam from Wales (blueberry-apple, I think).
4. Rosemary-scented handsoap in public restrooms (the National Archives, and I think the British Museum as well, though I did not today become a person who smells their hands in the bathroom while washing them).
5. Strawberry toothpaste, which I used to use as a kid but hadn't for years (I have become a mint-toothpaste person) until I ran across it in a store and it was the only flavor they had of Tom's of Maine. Which, well, I have never looked very deeply into the matter of toothpaste, but I needed toothpaste past the tiny travel tube I brought, and I knew that buying Tom's of Maine would make my mother happy. (Hi, Mom.) Hence strawberry, which will now have layered memories of childhood and London in it, if I ever buy it afterward.

Yesterday I finished everything I could do in the National Archives early, so I wandered around in Kew. I found a really nice little used-books shop, where I will endeavor not to spend all of my money (they have dragon sculptures, and shelves that look like trees!), and an organic-food store where I found--glory of glories--EnerG bread, aka the first loaf of bread I have found in England that I can eat. And the aforementioned very lemony lemon cookies, which similarly are the first cookies I have found in England that I can eat. Sandwiches! Toast! Cookies!

Today I went to the British Museum. It is overwhelming and impressive and full of amazing things. I saw several Greek vases that we talked about in my art history class last year! And of course the Elgin Marbles, which were mentioned in novels I read as a kid and imagined as spheres made of marble.

It also wore me down, little by little, by the crowds and the hugeness and the fact that I know that a lot of what's there--all the cultural diversity, and the variety, and the vast timespan covered--was stolen from graves, taken without permission, cheated out of people, etc. Which just kind of came to a head when I got to the Egyptian gallery, already footsore, and realized that they had actual mummies in the cases; and then went into the next room, where there was an example of a basketweave coffin with what appeared to be an actual skeleton in it. Just--people. Is this actually acceptable?

So I left, resisting the urge of "but I haven't seen everything yet!". The Roman fighting demonstrations that I'd stumbled on earlier were still happening, so I sat there for a little while, but then I decided to walk down to the Sir John Soane Museum, which sounded cool. And then I went slightly the wrong way and ended up in Covent Garden instead. Um. Whoops? I found the Apple store (and went up two flights of stairs, having missed the iPods completely on the ground floor--my iPod touch was lost on my journey here, alas, so I wanted to look at what's out there) and I found another tea store (where I did not buy anything, thank you very much, even though they had teapot-shaped tea infusers (I am holding out for the robot-shaped tea infuser I spotted once at the Wedge Co-Op in Minneapolis))... and then I checked my map and saw where I'd gone wrong and headed toward the Soane museum again.

It took a bit more wandering to actually get there, but when I did, I found that it was next to a very nice park (Lincoln's Inn Fields, I believe) in which I sat and ate one of the aforementioned cookies, which I had brought along.

Sir John Soane's idea of museum-collecting, as it turns out, is basically like Isabella Gardner's. Only he was into the Classics, and also peculiar architecture and interesting things to do with natural light, so it's this Victorian-I-think row-house-type-thing crammed with paintings and statues and vases and reliefs where all the light comes from odd skylights (one small room has a tiny glass cupola in its ceiling) and windows with various colors of glass, and gets reflected in the many mirrors and mirrored doors... Said windows usually look out into tiny courtyards filled with further monuments, of course. There's a sarcophagus for a mummy, but it's empty; and the sense of overwhelming personality and Cool Architectural Stuff at least gives something to put in the other pan against the "wow, all this stuff was robbed from graves" thing.

I've no idea what they do when it's overcast--I am not kidding when I say that all the light comes from skylights and windows--although one of my flatmates says they occasionally do a Candlelit Night where they put candles everywhere, which sounds gorgeous.

In the end, I could probably go back to either of the museums I visited today. But I'm more likely to drag people to the Soane, and also I hear there's a false wall I didn't get to see in operation (!). Going back to the British Museum, I think I would have to have a Plan: do initial research on some area/time period/etc. and then go and look at all the things in that or those room(s), so that I at least have some context.

But the British Museum did have a volunteer who let me hold a small Romano-Celtic war-god. So there's that. And really it was a very nice day, although my calves are extremely sore now, and I did not go out again and buy groceries this evening at all. (I should have. If I had made plans for tomorrow at all, not having bought groceries today would mess them right up. But I haven't made plans for tomorrow; and it was windy tonight; and my feet hurt. So there.)

more cake

Apr. 29th, 2012 08:07 pm
aamcnamara: (Default)
For posterity:

The first time I made cake-inna-mug in the microwave, I altered this recipe.

But my alteration called for applesauce, and when Kate and I went over to the campus center tonight, they were out of applesauce.

So, new variant!

3 tbsp + 1 heaping tsp flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/16 tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp rice milk
2 tbsp oil
1 spoonful jam (we had strawberry)
vanilla, cinnamon, etc. to taste

Put in all dry ingredients, stir, add wet ingredients and stir again, making sure to break up all the lumps. Microwave for about 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Devour.

Lighter than the previous iteration, still just as tasty.

squish.

Nov. 28th, 2011 09:11 pm
aamcnamara: (Default)
Today I made these cookies (substitute potato starch for the eggs and gluten-free flour plus a bit of xanthan gum for the flour, use brown sugar not white, what is this "chocolate chips and pecans" thing doing in my cookies?). Except with squash, not pumpkin.

Still not quite like the pumpkin/squash cookies my dad makes, but they're closer than the last ones I tried. They'll do.

Mmm, cookies.

Meanwhile, too many things. The sharp wish for a return to Thanksgiving break. Lots of meetings scheduled this week, too, which adds stuff to my already kind of packed schedule. (Up this week: history paper, physics test.)

Earlier this evening my theater-history textbook was telling me about Cardinal Richelieu's role in consolidating French theater, and all I could think of was Dumas. This is how you can tell I'm a geek, ladies and gentlemen and others! Still--interesting to get even that glimpse of him from outside the world of D'Artagnan. Between this and my Renaissance Italy class and my classics art history course, I feel like I'm starting to get a sense of western history. Which was something I really wanted to get in college, after mainly being taught American history three times over in high school.

Still noodling on the difficult scene in A Returning Power. I think I might have to restructure this whole bit, scene-wise, so it works with what I have to do now. Alack and all that.

What else? Vaguely disconnected, floaty. Not ready for finals. I want winter break, but I don't want the semester to be over. The end of it is racing toward us, though. Next semester will be good but very different and in the middle of it there's J-term, where I will be at home and hopefully doing stuff but I've started kind of wishing I could be here.

So, in essence, as are we all: full of contradictory impulses. And squash cookies. (Nom.)
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This entire entry is about food, cats, and the weather.

Right now, strawberry-rhubarb muffins and strawberry-rhubarb sauce stand cooling in plastic containers. Nom. The magic of baking is, I'd say, somewhere between the point where I put a quart of strawberries and two sticks of rhubarb in my grocery basket and now. Or possibly it stretches through that whole time. Are the muffins inherent in the strawberries and rhubarb, if that is my intent? Quite possibly.

The resident cat attempted to sniff the cooling muffins. Too bad: they are all for humans, none for her. (Resident cat becomes friendlier and friendlier--she now occasionally brushes vaguely against my leg, totally not looking for pets/cuddles, or tips over near my foot to streeeetch. I am amused and slightly charmed by this, but alas am still allergic.)

For last night's dinner, I sauteed chicken in olive oil, added basil and oregano, and then at the last moment chopped up some mixed salad greens, tipped them into the frying pan, and stirred. Meanwhile, Kate made pasta. This meal also qualified as nom. Improvising food is something I find deeply enjoyable.

It's a nice drippy day outside, but I miss the Minnesota thunderstorms of the last couple of weeks of June, the crash and deluge and tornado warnings, how intense the storms get. This is also the time of year for MITY, of course, and I miss sitting in Carnegie Hall with a bunch of writers and peers, making posters about ourselves and having writing time or ridiculous writing exercises. Minnesota weather in late June is all tied up in that too: sitting inside with writer-friends, talking, writing, listening to the storm.

Hardly a week left of June, now. How time does fly.

nom.

Mar. 2nd, 2011 08:44 pm
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In excitement of physics-research-stuff yesterday, missed email telling me that my carpool-to-choir's car had broken down and we had to take the bus. Result: me sitting around for half an hour waiting, finally calling and--ah. Should have been on the bus forty-five minutes ago. At which point, not much I could have done to get there.

Instead of usefully spending my evening writing my essay for next week, I decided that the better way to use it would be baking. So we now have vanilla cupcakes, and I am a much calmer and happier Alena than I was earlier.

There is something about taking three random vanilla cupcake recipes from the Internet and the entire contents of your room's baking supplies down to the kitchen to improvise your own slapdash combination of them all that's very comforting to me. And I've been doing this long enough (read: my whole life) that I can do this and it works. With everything else the way it always is--messy--it's nice to do something that doesn't take so very long, that you know how to do, that works. Especially something like that which also means that at the end you have tasty baked goods sitting on your tea-table waiting to be eaten.

vague reconstruction of recipe )
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Somehow it turned into two days before I leave. I am not quite sure how.

I always remember, when I come back here, how much I love Minnesota and also how much I love my friends from before college. Don't get me wrong, my college friends are awesome. I adore my college friends. But sometimes I get focused on "ooo college friends woo" and forget that... really, my friends from middle- and high-school eras are fairly brilliant too.

The other bonus, of course, is that I get a bunch of really, really tasty food. Cookies; home-made bread; maple sugar candy; Bosc pears (which ought to be spelled Bosch--Garden of Earthly Pears?); candy canes; rice pasta with home-made sauce; chicken and dumplings; freshly-made pancakes; bacon; really good orange juice; gravy, gravy, gravy; yams baked with marshmallows and brown sugar on top; ...well. Et cetera.

Which is good because it is delicious, and is also good because in my parents' houses, there's a kind of attitude of "limitations? What limitations?" In my parents' houses, what I eat does not approximate normal food; it is normal food.

Which is why I am looking forward (oh I am looking forward) to the day when I have a place of my own, when I can go out and buy food and stock a kitchen and make whatever I want for myself. Tasty things. Things I want to eat. It will be a glorious day.

For now, I am just trying to savor the moments (and the meals) before I head back to Massachusetts, to campus, and a return to what now counts as my usual life. I am looking forward to going back to campus, don't get me wrong. I just know that the food won't be quite as good. Oh well.

(Getting closer to submitting the physics research applications. These make me more nervous than many things, so it may take a bit of a push for me to actually send them in... fortunately I do have some time before the deadlines arrive.)
aamcnamara: (Default)
In food-related news, project Avoid Dining Halls Over Fall Break progresses nicely. For lunch I had the leftovers of the rice-and-vegetables from last night, some potato chips I'd picked up in my wanders, and an apple previously scrumped from the dining hall plus sunflower butter.

When it came to dinnertime I was a little more ambitious: I'd gotten some frozen ground-turkey patties in Northampton and cooked them up last night to refrigerate. Today I broke them into pieces and put them in the rice-cooker along with a can of beans and a can of tomatoes, and cooked the result. Then I dumped all that into a plastic thing, stuck it in the fridge, and put some rice in the rice-cooker--with spinach (local! organic!) in the steamer-pan. Result: deliciousness. Thought I had made too much rice, until I started eating. Nom.

Best part: I have two days' worth of leftovers, and will only have to do rice and vegetables tomorrow and the next day in order to have just as much tasty food. I think we call that a win. Even if I had to wash All The Things afterward.

---

31.8 / 75


Today I invented time travel. Perks of being a speculative-fiction writer. Though admittedly it's a fantasy novel and the time travel is done with magic, which isn't how most people who write time travel mean that sentence. (Query: fantasy novels with time travel? They must exist, but I can't think of any.)

My Big Goal had been, as you know Dear Reader, a complete re-draft of this by the end of the month. That... may not happen. But progress feels good: I am hitting my forehead against new snags!

---

Have His Carcase, Sayers: Well, that was rather silly. But I liked it--though not as much as Strong Poison or Gaudy Night. Benefit is that now I get to reread Gaudy Night before I go on to Busman's Honeymoon.

"J.J." (Criminal Minds episode): That was good.
aamcnamara: (Default)
For, I'm pretty sure, the first time in my life, I went today by myself to a restaurant, sat down, ordered food, ate, paid, and left--taking extra food with me in a bag. Okay, there was a bit of stuff in there about allergies, and checking up on ingredients of things, but it was pretty low-key. And I got a salad with chickpeas (and oil and vinegar), and fried-rice-with-vegetables, and hibiscus peppermint iced tea. I could have had other things, probably, if I had wanted them.

This is... okay, maybe not the hugest thing ever, but pretty awesome. I mean, eating out isn't that fantastic of a thing--but it is a thing. A thing that Other People do. And now, apparently, me too.

Then I went and bought food and came back on the bus. My plan is to avoid the dining halls over fall break; only one is open for the duration, and it's the one that usually doesn't handle allergen-free diets due to too much traffic. The only problem is of course that I bought meat (frozen, but still) and then had to spend an hour-plus getting back due to the seven-thirty bus not showing up until seven-forty-five. I cooked it as soon as I got back, and stuck it in the fridge. With luck, I won't get trichinosis and die! That would ruin my entire fall break.

In the next four days, I hope to make a bunch of progress on the A Returning Power rewrite, start outlining the first draft of The Urban Fantasy Novel for early revision, and do some physics research. I was going to start all of this stuff tonight, but I ended up reading Sayers instead, so... I'll let you know how all those grand plans go.
aamcnamara: (Default)
The Urban Fantasy Novel, first draft in-progress:

280 / 350


The ridiculous revision dash (by wordcount in thousands), novel I wrote last summer:

6.4 / 80


Other tasks accomplished: made blueberry-strawberry pancakes, baked raspberry muffins, slushed for Ideomancer, read part of Jo Walton's The King's Peace. (Can you tell that one of the things I enjoy most about summer is berries?)

We could call that a day.
aamcnamara: (Default)
Since I keep forgetting to write about these, here's a quick summary of my last few evenings.

Friday: an event at the Bedlam Theater, which started at nine and which we didn't stay for the main act of--I was tired, and still not really moved between houses--but what we did see was kind of neat. A cellist opened; Open Eye Theater had a puppetry wagon, with little bells and doors all over and things that rotated and opened and spit water at the audience... it was a bit hard to see the puppets from our distance, but their bit was still entertaining.

Then there was a multimedia part: one screen had a digital projector, and then a film/slide projector went onto a folding paper screen behind a guitarist. The contrast in illumination between the two projectors was amazing--the digital projector's image was bright and jarring, while the slide projector gave these clear, warm gems.

On Saturday, there was a Park Square Theater production of a pastiche play, Sherlock Holmes and the Jersey Lily. From the blurb, I acquired only two phrases: "Sherlock Holmes" and "Oscar Wilde". To my eternal and undying disappointment, they put Oscar Wilde in as the foppish comic relief, Gay Best Friend character. I'm still not certain how you can do that, but they did. (Delivery resembled nothing so much as the Sassy Gay Friend sketches on Youtube, if you're wondering.)

The play itself was amusing enough--disguises, mistaken identity, very silly plots, an epee duel between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty (unfortunately, similarly neater in concept than execution, at least to my modern-fencing-trained eyes), some Shakespeare (ditto above, in some regards)--but I never could quite get over how they used Oscar Wilde.

At any rate, part of why I like being back in the Cities for the summer is all the theater, so: yay. (They gave Wilde very nice clothes, possibly as compensation, so there's that. And Holmes's study had an astrolabe-type instrument I wished to purloin.)

Last night, being the fourth of July, there were fireworks above the river. It was the first time I'd actually been down to them--some of my high school friends were going--and they were very passable fireworks, sparkling and thumping satisfyingly under my collarbone and leaving drifting octopi of smoke behind them in the sky. I can take or leave the fourth of July as a holiday, but I enjoy fireworks.

So this morning was raspberry pancakes and laundry, that being about all my brain has been up to. Whether I get anything done on writing in the rest of today is up in the air for right now.
aamcnamara: (Default)
What I just had for lunch:
- leftovers of black bean/sweet potato/carrot/kale stirfry from last night
- the end of a (vegan, gluten-free) apple muffin from The Wedge
- some strawberries which I was virtuous in eating because soon they will go bad

Now I'm contemplating a piece of the raisin bread with brown sugar encrusted on the top that my dad made in the breadmaker a few days ago. Which I would put in the toaster oven to make the brown sugar go all melty and delicious.

Also plausible is rice ice-cream substitute with rhubarb sauce on it. Most of the time I am not a huge fan of rice ice-cream substitutes (Oatscreme was fabulous and is now pretty much dead, alas), but rhubarb is excellent.

This post tagged "allergies" because sometimes I forget that I can eat plenty of delicious things anyway.
aamcnamara: (Default)
Some highlights of the rest of my spring break:
- Pretty Concord library and old old graveyard!
- We tried to go to Walden Pond, but it was closed
- So much good food (spoiling me for dining halls, I fear)
- Hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] vcmw and talking books (and going to aquariums and wandering and watching Buffy)
- Maple syrup! Maple sugar candy!
- Maple cotton candy is a ridiculously awesome idea and also well-executed
- Train! Traaaain!
- SNOW

...and then beautiful weather when I got back to campus. Next weekend is ConBust, which I plan to drop in on at some point or other; next week is lots of tests and papers, hooray! This week will be catching up with my life after spring break.

Less awesome: my plant got bugs while I was gone. I hope that it's all right.
aamcnamara: (Default)
After due further experimentation:

How to make cake in a mug in a microwave, without gluten, dairy, egg, or soy. (Or many other things.)

ingredients, process, etc. )

Every time I make one of these it is better than the last. Just think, by the time I graduate I will be making fabulous Cake Inna Mug in the microwave!
aamcnamara: (Default)
Baking Adventures With Alena, volume II: Mug microwave cake.

[livejournal.com profile] epicrauko had these at her party last weekend, and I thought, "I should try that sometime." Tonight, having finished a thirteen-page math paper and successfully tromped through the snow to print it out, I decided it was a good time to test this notion.



I started out with this recipe. Obviously, it needs some modification. Different flour, no milk, no egg, no cocoa or chocolate chips, and while I can eat and in fact have oil, it's in a huge bottle and there is no way that's fitting in my tiny dorm fridge.

Oh, and I don't have any sugar, so I used maple syrup.

Picturespam, recipe, further gory details )
Verdict: edible, but could be better.
aamcnamara: (Default)
The last part of my winter break was wholly unproductive--I alternated sitting around reading books and hanging out with friends. Only being back for two weeks means that I definitely failed at seeing everyone, but I got to see quite a few people, which was good. Hit most of my Twin Cities highlights, too: Como Park Conservatory, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, three or four different libraries...

Kinds of cookies devoured: 4 (sugar cookie cut-outs, pumpkin with cranberries, molasses, oatmeal-raisin)
Kinds of bread devoured: 2 (Stollen, cornbread)
Candy canes devoured: 12?
Books read: a bunch
Tiny oranges devoured: too many to count

Soon I will be headed back to campus for J-term. My writing goals for the next few weeks include:
- write some more solstice stories
- keep working on the first draft of The Urban Fantasy Novel
- print out "As Large As Alone" and go over the beginning with a fine-toothed comb
- for my J-term class (GLBT content in children's and YA lit), write a final project--possibly the first chapter of a YA GLBT novel.

Other activities will include Having fun and Working at my awesome job.
aamcnamara: (window)
I have been thoroughly convinced that I ought to print my novel out before I try to rewrite it. I have not yet actually printed it out, mostly from hesitating before the sheer size of the undertaking. I have to figure out when no one is likely to be using the printer for about an hour, haul my ream of paper down there... Probably the sensible solution would be to nip down and print out a chapter at a time or so, so of course I haven't even considered that option.

In the meantime, while I fret about printing out my novel, I decided I ought to work on something else, and promptly didn't do anything on anything for a week and a half. This morning, though, I was thinking about what the sort-of novel-in-progress needs, and came to a Realization. So that was good. I may actually be able to take it somewhere now.

(If you're curious, the solution was more cute girls.)

Unrelatedly, I got to come home for Thanksgiving. I like this for many reasons, one of which is that the dining service at college, though awesome and amazing, does not do me baked goods and my parents do. The weather cooperatively become November-like just for me on Wednesday when I flew in. Today it was nice out again, though, so I walked to Uptown and purchased presents, and that is all I am going to say about that. (Also a book which I probably will just keep for myself. I clearly should have left more room in my suitcase flying out.)

Now I get a quiet evening, which I might just use to work on the novel-in-progress. Okay, okay, Thanksgiving, holidays, hanging out with my family--but on the other hand, time and a room to myself (I am not sure I am built for constantly sharing space) and all the books I didn't take to college.

(Edited to add, page/word count: currently at 25 pages, 6240 words.)
aamcnamara: (Default)
So the non-main point of this post is that I'm 18 now, and can thus--um-- vote? And smoke, if I wanted to (I have asthma. I don't.), or sign forms for myself without my parents signing for me. Signing forms vicariously is not really a birthday sort of activity, though. (Okay, I have figured out a legitimately awesome thing about turning 18--I can now view LJ posts marked as possibly containing explicit content! Rock.)

The main point of this post is that I decided to make myself a cake.

What kind of cake, you ask?

An ice cream cake.

And here's where I out myself as having lots and lots of food allergies, because it was not just any ice cream cake, it had to be a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free ice cream cake. Oh, and because I don't do anything by halves, I decided that it would be homemade ice cream substitute.

Since this is a nonlinear narrative, here's a picture of the finished cake:


Long post is long. Also, has pictures. ) I am calling this one a win.

More photos here.
aamcnamara: (Default)
So I got the International Baccalaureate Diploma. (Scores went up today.) The proudest part of that was probably the B grade I got on my extended essay, which I posted about here and which was on DUST by [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and PARADISES LOST by Ursula K. Le Guin. I didn't really ever get any guidance on it from my adviser (which, all right, I knew would probably happen when I picked him), and I wrote it in two drafts, in furious weeks of rereading and taking notes and restructuring. They were awesome weeks.

Personally? I think it's awesome. But I wasn't sure that the IB graders would think the same. So I'm very happy about that.

Beautiful weather this whole weekend. I was up near a lake--got to hang out in a pontoon boat, drive a pontoon boat, crash through the woods on an island and discover picnic tables and a forest of milkweed plants. My mom made a good half-gallon of fantastic lemonade, which we are still consuming. There were lots of lovely wildflowers, whipping past on the drive up, on the island, just around. There were many many berries consumed. (This is one of my favorite eating times of the year. Fresh local berries? Yum.) There was a fire, and marshmallows, and deliciousness resulted.

There was time for me to sit out on a dock and read, to write and to stare at the water and think. Or just stare at the water.

And today? Today I have not decided yet what will happen. I know what the next little bit of the novel is, so I might write that. I might work on the poem that's started to climb out of my brain with its little spindly claws, or the couple of short story ideas that dripped out of my mind. (I know I shouldn't--I have a novel to finish--but I might.) At some point I'll go through some slush for Ideomancer.

After reading [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's post here, I have been thinking about writer peer groups, and what is my peer group, and what are peer groups anyway? I seem to have a lot of writer acquaintances, but not very many writer friends.

And some people, I think (or hope?), feel the same way. I meet people at cons and think they're cool, friend them on LJ or whatever, and end up just reading their posts and being uncertain if I should comment, because maybe I just had a tiny conversation with them or maybe not even that. Maybe I comment, and they maybe remember who I am, or maybe they don't, and anyway it fizzles out.

So! If you are a writer, and want writer friends--i.e., me and whoever else comments on this post--comment! (Hey, it might not work out, but it's something.)

August 2015

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