Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seeking Submissions

Subversify is gearing up for one of our favorite times of year, when the nights draw longer and stories are told by the hearth. We are looking for tales of ghosts, real and imagined, paranormal experiences, UFO's, and things that go bump in the night. Now's the time to submit your travel stories about that one creepy place you stayed in, or the dream you had right before a natural disaster.Have a unique way of celebrating Samhain/ Halloween/ All Hallows? Boycott it? Come and share. Even if you eventually explained the unexplainable, come and share your experience. Info on how to submit can be found at our "submit page" or leave us a note here.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Song Saturday- Unexpected Throw Downs...Maybe..

Maybe because perhaps there are signs. 

Okay, I'll admit it, today I allowed my ire to rise.

It came upon me unexpectedly. What I thought an honest misunderstanding led to all out war and truthfully, and I am telling the truth-would a ginger lie? I really didn't contribute that much to the conversation.  I simply stood my ground. 

I bring this up because it is a trend.  People getting spitting mad just because someone they don't agree with stands their ground.  The world is a troubled place, and men, women and children are feeling it in a whole new way. 

Their future uncertain, they have more on their plate, less to fill the plates with and more plates to go around.  One cannot fault others for taking their sadness, fear and aggression out.  However, I am disappointingly seeing people who claim to love peace, follow the 8 fold path and have a conscious regard for all human beings flying off the handle at the slightest provocation. 

What is this?  Where are we when peace keepers cannot hold their tongues? 

I certainly don't think peace keepers are less than human, nor do I expect them to eschew normal human needs and life.  However when someone begins preaching to me be it altruism, Buddhism, Christianity or Atheism I expect them to show it in the context of that particular discourse. 

We are seeing this outside of our individual relationships too.  Our countries are giving with one hand while they pickpocket us like a cutpurse with the other. 

Reports out of Great Britain are stating that the country is stockpiling food in order to make sure they can tame the masses if there is an uprising.  Food.  As if humans are on display in the Royal Zoo.  Maybe they are.  Maybe it's come to this that this is enough to keep us in our place.

Someone else brought up this week that nobody remembers the riots in Compton and Long Beach following the Rodney King verdict in 1992 ( paraphrasing).  But I do.  You know who else does?  Governments.  A lot was learned in 1992 like how to end a riot quickly and more effectively.  You didn't see Tottenham burn did you?  Yes there was looting, but people were arrested.  All sorts of people, people who weren't even directly involved, just regular folks posting stuff they saw on the telly. 

You had better believe that American government remembers it too.  New York city is currently invoking an ancient law allowing them to arrest those who are wearing masks.  They want none of this Guy Fawkes stuff to get out of hand.  Also there was the Bart incident last month which had mixed results. The point is that the machine was and always has been learning how to control civilians. 

Think the Batterrams utilized in South Central were just so Nancy Reagan and Police Chief Darrel Gates could see inside crack houses without getting shot?  Think again.  He would never have been allowed to use it if it weren't to test how civilians responded to it and make adjustment.

Be Aware. 

Think Batterrams can't come to your suburban or rural neighborhood?  Think again.  Just give reason for it, like say an overzealous college party.  Or maybe protesting at your congressman's office.  San Francisco bought one in 2008, check your local law enforcement to see if you have a Batteram for your police force.

Just Think.

John Twelve Hawkes was the author of a Trilogy I love.   It deals with this very loss of privacy, state control through computers and the government sending in very nasty people to test out the public.  It was first published in 2004, when a lot of this technology was becoming known, we are seeing almost every scary evil bad guy thing in the book play out in front of us. 

Anyway, we need to not be attacking one another.  We need to protect the weak.  Like Robin Hood.  Everyone loves that guy right?  Except maybe the Ghost of Prince John.  But Robin Hood was not complacent, that didn't mean he didn't have pacifists in his group either.  We need everyone for this fight and we need to put aside our differences in philosophy for what is right. 

Or you can expect a Batterram.

Which is no joke, really.  It's damn scary what the powers that be will do to their own. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Writer's Desk

Last week one of my friends and publishing partners posted that he was writing off of 2 T.V. dinner Trays-he had just moved.  It was a funny picture but it got me thinking about our writing spaces, how they reflect our style and affect our writing.  I imagine if I were writing off of T.V. dinner trays I would be cranky, I would get up more and be distracted, which is saying a lot I'm already distracted.  Life tends to do that. 

Thankfully he is no longer at the T.V. Trays.  He has moved up in this world to an Armoir, which the mere sound makes you feel like you should be doing important things.  Either that or hanging your clothes.  At least that's what I think when I hear the word. 

I know for myself, when I am away from home I always take my computer along, I plan to write about the day and definitely plan for inspiration.  I can tell you those tiny tables they put in hotel rooms are not inspiring to me.  They are so very utilitarian and, I don't know I just get restless, pull on my shoes and go out. 

I'm also not a lap-writer.  Who are these people anyway who write on their laps?  One sees them in bed, on couches, sitting cross-legged with their laptop (which one can only assume was intended for laps from the  name) writing away.  I can't do it.  My legs fall asleep, my arms are uncomfortable, I don't like electronics in my bed.

So I'm letting you in on a picture of where I write.  It's my very own desk which is pictured at the top.  It's not ideal, ideal would be sun room all to myself with my desk and laptop, but it's good enough for now.  Let me break it down for you.

Of course there is the main tool of writing, the laptop, which as I said, I never use in my lap.  They keys are worn, the 'n' is almost non-existent.  I don't know why that should be...maybe I write 'no' a lot.  My main screen right now has a modern day Little Red, not at all impressed by the Big Wolf.  This is meant to remind me that I should be finishing my Little Red story.  I got a little bummed when that movie came out last year... I still haven't seen it, I'm hoping it doesn't affect what I was writing.  However I hardly see it, when I walk away for more than 3 min all my pictures slide show, which reminds me I should go through and remove some, there's some gruesome stuff on there that I collect for Subversify, nobody should have to look at that all the time.  Somehow I never get around to that either. 

My desk is a 1950's student desk, the kind one bought for their kids' rooms in the hopes they would do their homework.  As it's pretty well preserved I'm guessing not a lot of homework got done.  It is nice in that it has the 3 shelves on the right hand side.  These are constantly stacked with books and there is reason to how I stack.  On the very bottom are all the books I get at the library.  In the middle are the books I am currently reading. As the desk sits right next to the bed I reach down to the bottom and rifle through what I want to read first and put those in the middle right where can grab them.  As an insomniac I am often up reading at hours that has caused my mate to use a pretty silk face mask, that I'm pretty sure was designed for other uses...but that's another story.  The top shelf is for research and notes. 

To the left of my computer I have a salt lamp that is pretentious and supposedly puts negative ions in the air.  I don't think it does enough of that, it's not as if it smells like a thunderstorm in here but it does have a little basin for essential oils which I use a lot.  I like to smell things that put me in the mood of whatever I'm writing, A really very good company for this is BLACK PHOENIX ALCHEMY LABS  if you can dream a smell they probably have it.  They are wonderful.  But I also use it for calming me down for which I make my own secret recipes which require a lot of home alchemy, basically I use whatever smells good at the moment figuring that's what I must need. 

In front of that you see a stack of paper.  That stack is always there, the things may change but there is always something I am meant to do but am ignoring.  When I get tired of ignoring it I put it in the front drawer.  Then it's replaced by something else I'm meant to see to.  I also keep a pad there for research notes.  I know I can click and paste notes, but I don't I need to waste paper, it's one of my only non-green-earth-friendly things.  If it makes anyone feel better, I do eventually shred them and they go into my garden.  So my words feed something at every stage...does your computer do that?  I didn't think so. 

The front drawer is a treasure chest.  It's full of old bills, things I was meant to take care of but didn't, addresses, stamps, teeth, change, broken jewelry, labels, tape measures and at this moment a book of epigrams on Men and Women and Love by Balzac.  It's really like a child's treasure box, except for the bills bit, but every two months or so I go through the paper and if I haven't taken care of it by then I shred it and it too feeds  my garden. 

To the right I have practical things like hair clips in case my hair is bothering me.  I've been growing it out so right now I also have a set of combs to sweep  and pin it back with.  There is a bottle of Exedrine for the long days of editing...kidding, I just have it because I get headaches anyway. Burt's Bees lip balm and mints for if I have to open the door to someone and I haven't yet gotten around to brushing, water and a lamp. 

The other three drawers on my right, I have no idea what they hold. I know I put it there and it belongs to me, but really it could be anything, the Christmas present I forgot to send last year which you will get from me next year if I remember, maybe a key to something that I have forgotten, Perhaps an envelope with an address on it, which is why I keep asking for addresses even when you know you've given them to me.  I simply open those drawers when I am desperate to get rid of something and have not yet decided if I want to be final about it.  One of these days, maybe when I get that bigger sun room and a new desk I'll go through it. 

Or maybe I'll leave it just as it is and put it in the attic for some future generation to rummage through. 

Anyway, the writer's desk, it is a place that is more home and more telling than most of the house for the writer. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Ramblings

Right, so  it's been some time since I wrote anything just for me.  So today I decided it was the day.  I have exactly 40 min to myself whilst the ciabatta bread cooks so I am going to just ramble and see what comes of it. 

As I'm sitting here my cell phone goes off, which I ignore and at the very same time I am grateful I chose the sci-fi scary theatre ring so it doesn't bother me.  Funny that, how right when you sit down to get something done just for you someone will call, and it's never ever a fun call, it's usually somebody wanting something, most times these days it's your money, of which I have none. 

Explaining this to people has been interesting lately.  Some people, most in fact are quite understanding.  So long as you're not nasty about it.  They most likely owe people money too, people who are calling them right as they are on the phone with you...see how we are all interconnected like that? 

Some people however have gotten terribly bitchy about collecting money.  Trying to shame you like a school marm.  This never worked in school, I don't see why they think it will work now.  Mostly I just hang up on them and don't answer the phone for the rest of the day.   What I think I have deduced is that some of the collection agencies give percentages on money collected.  So I tell myself the bitchy ones are probably just like me as well, they just really really want that bonus. 

That is not to say that I have a ton of money I owe, I really don't mostly it's student loans and frankly I am pissed at the whole student loan scam/industry et all.  Jane Stillwater did a nice write up on it at subversify, you can read it HERE .  I have been saying for years that in order to help stimulate economy we need to work out something better for our student loan holders.  I have no idea why our government will bail out industries, banks, other countries but not their own people, the people who will someday be working for and leading it.  Lately student loans have been moving into the territory of the housing loans scams.  That isn't covered in the article.  But it should be looked at.  All of us with student loans are bound to be indentured servants if something isn't done.

With so much trouble being brewed up in the world I have been eversobusy at Subversify, and thankfully we have a new crop of writers who are excellent.  If you haven't been through recently, please do go back and read some of the summer's articles.  This week we touched a big nerve with an article on Ron Paul but shockingly a recent article on children being burned as witches on a regular basis didn't get as much shock and awe as I thought it deserved.  Are we not shocked by torturing children?  Can a child even be a Witch?  Well Pentecostal Churches sponsored by Pentecostals right here in the U.S.A think they can and should be burned....alive.  Read it.

But enough doom and gloom,, there is way too much of it our there.  Really it has kept me from writing my fiction and I am very sorry to my fiction characters for allowing them to languish.  I feel a pull towards writing just for them and have decided with the summer ending that I am am going to devote myself to that at least one day a week.  Geez, I have 4 stories that are just sitting there...something simply must be done with them. 

What I have been occupying myself with to keep my sanity is experimenting in the garden and the kitchen, which is where I came up with THE best way to use all of your cherry tomatoes. 

Okay, anyone who has ever planted cherry tomatoes knows one plant will dominate your garden and if you have more than one, your friends and neighbors will stop answering their door because they are turning red from eating all your gifts.  One day I had some jalepeno peppers that were about to go that I didn't want to waste and nothing else except cherry tomatoes so what I did was make the BEST KETCHUP EVER!!!

6 Jalepenos-really ripe
about 4 lbs of cherry tomatos
olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
kosher salt-(I feel like I have to say Kosher because some people just don't get it that regular salt only tastes salty, while larger crystal salt-kosher, sea salt, ect brings out flavor.  It makes a difference, really.)

On a well oiled cookie sheet lay all of the ingredients out flat and salt with a good 4 finger pinch.  Broil everything under high for about 5 min, when vegis are browning flip them over and broil the other side.  - If you happen to have the BBQ going you could do this on the BBQ as well. 

When everything is nice and browned and the tomatoes are smooshy and juicy and dead, put everything (juice included) into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add about a TBSP of olive oil for unguency.

After it is smooth strain it through a sieve or cheese cloth.  You can use the meaty bits left over for tapas or in your meatloaf or with chips, whatever, don't waste it, it tastes good!

The rest is your ketchup and it is better than anything you will buy in a store because it is not sweetened with sugar, it has just the right amount of umami.   I one of the things that made it so sucessful was the extra ripe jalepenos.  If they had been just ripe they would have been too spicy and I would have had a hotter sauce on my hands, which is fine but not ketchup.  These peppers had been on the counter for about a week. 

I'm goint to try to make more and send it out as gifts this year.  We'll see if it makes it because the Brownies decimated it the first day, they didn't care what they put it on, chips, toast, fingers, I had to beg them to save it for some home fries.  This is all that's left of the huge batch I made.

Anyway, my 40 minutes are nearly up.  I smell ciabatta and I am wondering how my blog became a cooking blog.  I didn't mean for it to, but really that's what I've been doing a lot of lately, when I'm not editing.  Maybe I can somehow combine the two and be a subversive cook....ideas?  Seriously I'd welcome them because I am up for a cooking challenge.  When I left home I could cook exactly nothing and now I'm at the garden to table stage.  How can I make this food more subversive people?

Before I go though I wanted to talk a little bit about my feelings about the upcoming 2012 elections...If we get to have them...you know with the whole 2012 thing (dun...dun...dunnnnn!!!)  I have always been a person who believed that exercising our right to cast our vote was important.  After the last 12 years I'm beginning to change my mind.  All jokes aside.  I cannot see how the individual is able to make a difference.  I have watched so many disenfranchised people try to start up new parties ( Ralph Nader-and truth be told he's no dummy) and others and they are always swept under the rug and  laughed away.  Or; Money, money changes everything.   It really does.  And the space between the haves and the have nots is getting wider.  I would postulate that it may actually be worse at this point than it was in the great depression.  The difference is that the 'powers that be'  have figured that pacifying the masses makes everything less noticeable.  I'm open to argument on that point. 

What I'm getting to is I'm beginning to feel that if "the rest of us" just DON'T VOTE AT ALL, it will at least begin to become clear that we haven't for a long time had a say.  Maybe just maybe that may wake some people up. 


If you must vote write in something like Spartacus....make the workers go through all the ballots, let them see there is something going on.  And, like someone did in Iowa for Stephen Colbert, take a picture with your handy  dandy cell phone.  It's still (as of now) legal to do so, SHOW America and her "Parties" that you want something different.