Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why the CTRL+ALT+DELETE Exists in Daily Life




What is it that we are actually doing when we do that monstrous Spring Cleaning?  Is it removing bacteria and dust from all surfaces? Is that the important action?  Not at all.  If that were so, in this world of germophobia, our homes would never accumulate the layers of clutter and dust that is typical in most houses.  But we do allow the clutter...

Until we have no freakin' idea where we've put anything.We know that there is the coat by the door, where we place our purses when we get home, normally a somewhat organized food storage system and a general idea of where to find clothing for the day.  But the rest of it? The bills, letters from relatives, keepsakes from short daytrips, the new collar we bought Fido, the bag full of picture hangers because we always intended on putting up that framed photo of Grandma in the hall...it's all important, just not top priority. It gets lost in the redundancy of daily life, vanishing at the bottom of so much irrelevant mental detritus.

Until we get to clean.  Sort through the debris in the horizontal filing systems, inspect the shopping bag tossed in the extra room and rediscover the collection of gifts you bought last summer at that craft show.   As each room unearths its intended purpose once again, so we manage to discover and refocus on plans, goals and actually take a moment to think about what we want to accomplish next.  Oh yes, the cupboard that needs to be reinstalled, the pile of clothes to go to the donation center and a reassessment of paint/repairs and other projects.  If we have time to clean, we have time to work on finishing thoughts, afghans, stories and visiting friends. Spring Cleaning is in fact the equivalent of a biological reboot.

I am by no means preaching that we would all benefit from a spartan life. That would be unexciting.  Boring. Predictable. However, an annual observation of that which we've collected about us is worthwhile.  Otherwise, in this day and age of 90 second attention spans, how are we ever to manage to build upon those fantastic ideas we collect over time?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

RaceDay Recipes: Sissy's 7-Up Cake

This is truly a recipe passed from my great-aunt to my grandmother and on to me.  It was a holiday tradition to have the foil wrapped cake delivered as part of our Christmas time celebration.  It is a heavy cake, not to be iced--it's plenty sweet as it is.

Ingredients:

 1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups flour
2 Tbsp lemon extract
3/4 7-Up  (yes-the soda)

Preparation:

 Preheat Oven to 325F


  • Cream sugar and butter together. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time and incorporate well
  • Beat in lemon extract and 7-Up
Pour batter into well-greased and floured jumbo fluted mold (I used an angel food pan)

Bake for 60-75 min. 

Serve either warm or cooled. It's delicious any way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Guest Post: Why I Write Steampunk by C.V. Madison/ Book Giveaway!



There is something fantastic about writing Steampunk. We take the prim and proper world of the 19th century and dial it up to eleven. We take the style of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and add a little modern nuance. We make our characters push the limits of the world they were born in. It is speculative fiction at its finest.  

There are no cell phones or high powered rifles. No television. You might be lucky to have a radio. Books are all the rage. Your characters have to walk or ride a bicycle. Depending on your timeline, cars weren't invented yet or too expensive for most people to own. Clothing is classy. Stylish. Women often wore bustles and layered gowns. Men wore smart trousers and detailed vests. Hats were removed when indoors. Manners were paramount. Gentlemen offered calling cards before paying a visit. Ladies had sewing circles and ice cream socials. The world was a simpler place.

Setting the stage in the past gives us a wealth of limitations. Limitations we can push the boundaries on. Take social mores and tip them on their ears. Homosexuality was frowned upon, but that didn't stop men from taking lovers under covers. Women were expected to wear skirts and act like ladies, but that doesn't stop them from being like their male counterparts. You like ships? They're steam powered and can fly. How do they fly? You decide. The industrial revolution, as impressive as it was, takes on a whole other burst of ingenuity. It's a bygone era we can use as fuel for fanciful flights of fantasy.

Not as much for the historical? No problem. Steampunk has you covered. Take a fantasy world created from scratch and drop in your steam powered contraptions. What if society collapsed and in its place, a world of steam power crops up? Water is a renewable resource and if we've stripped the planet of its coal and oil, steam seems a suitable power source.

Steampunk allows your mind to wander onto the what-ifs and make them fantastic.

Displaying CVMadisonHeadshot.jpg~~~


About the author
            C.V. Madison is a licensed massage therapist, author, feminist and gamer full of schadenfreude pie and Mountain Dew. She pens urban fantasy, horror and steampunk with a side of heavy romance. Her characters are straight, LGBTQIA and some shades not on the spectrum. She has been published in both fiction and non-fiction anthologies.
            Through the month of November, she can be found in local coffee houses, over caffeinated and armed with her trusty laptop as she strives to bang out 50,000 words in 30 days for National Novel Writer’s Month. She serves as a Municipal Liaison for Columbus, Ohio.
            She is a writer for the Caffeine Crew and does book reviews and promotion for the Yeah Books! Blog.


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C.V. Madison is celebrating the release of her new book "With Proper Maintenance"

Release date: 09 October 2014
Publisher: Jupiter Gardens Press

Blurb:
Named the youngest head engineer in the history of his company, Ethan Cole’s first voyage on the Platinum Bow is his chance to stand out from his father’s shadow. His dream is dashed by the roguish Cecil Goode, promoted to Ethan’s position just before the ship sets sail. When the Bow is hijacked by pirates, Ethan and Cecil have to work together to bring the pirates’ nearly wrecked ship to safety. Will they make it to port before the ship plummets from the sky? And what will become of the combustible passion between them? Will it outlast the pirate attack?

Book buy links:


 
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Check out the giveaway for "With Proper Maintenance"

Giveaway codes: