January 18, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Medusa by Jacek Malczewski, courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
I've been invited by Cynthia Reeeser to share about my work in progress through the blog series The Next Big Thing. So, here it goes:

What is your working title of your book? _In the Belly of the Albatross_

Where did the idea come from for the book? It was sort of organic. I was combing through my poems and realized many of my poems were a variation on a theme.

What genre does your book fall under? Poetry

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Ooh, I like the idea of a short film for each poem: Halle Berry, Meryl Streep, Keiko Agena, America Ferrera, Ralph Fiennes, Olympia Dukakis . . . .

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? These poems give voice to historical, mythological, Biblical and contemporary women, and sometimes their stories are unexpected.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I'm peddling it to manuscript contests at the moment.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first poem was written probably ten years ago, but I've just recently gathered these poems into a collection.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Within my genre, I'd compare it to work by Carol Ann Duffy, although that seems pompous. Fiction readers might think of it as a poetic cousin to Anita Diamant's The Red Tent.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I read these stories from the bible, myth, or legend, and so little detail is given that, as a writer, I can't help but try to fill in the empty space. Eventually I became interested in the way these stories mirror women's present day narratives.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? The title is take from Chris Jordan's photographs of the plastic-filled bellies of dead albatross as well as Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

Thank you to Cynthia Reeser for the invite. Read about her Next Big Thing, Lefenstrausse, at Abstractions.

A few other writers you will enjoy:

Cassandra Dunn

Lisa Ahn

Marie Gauthier

Tarfia Faizullah

Laura Grodrian

January 16, 2013

More Adventures in De-Wheating

I realized that I left you all hanging with the half baked stout bread in my last post (from The Joy of Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Baking by Reinhart and Wallace), and I know how curious you must be. Here's the dealio: Buckaroo and R liked the stout bread. Buckaroo has eaten it for breakfast and dinner.

I, however, was not a fan. The bread is bready for sure. It has a fabulous-- dare-I-say wheat-like?-- texture, but as it turns out I just don't like the flavor of garbanzo bean flour, which is odd because I love me a chickpea. Dagnabit anyhow. It would lend itself well to a beer bread, though, and my friend Sparkle Mama has just the recipe to go with it. 

Sparkle Mama's Dragon Breath Dip

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
1/4 Tsp. thyme
1/4 Tsp. marjoram
1/8 Tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. milk

Blend and serve. We call it Dragon Breath Dip for a reason, and I think the spiciness of this dip would be enough to overpower the garbanzo flour flavor of the stout bread. 


I can't believe I forgot to let you all know that I have a poem up at The Boiler. It's all awesomeness over there, so get to it.

Photo courtesy of Tom Courser at Wikimedia Commons

Post Script: Pancakes

I have a new pancake recipe thanks to my lovely Aunt Phyllis. Buckaroo and I found this one quite fluffy, but I did substitute milk for the water and added a smidge of vanilla and honey as well. I'm not sure that R will appreciate them as he is not a fan of coconut oil-- or coconut in any form-- but I liked them muchly, as did my five-year-old boy. 

Photo courtesy of Joshua at Wikimedia Commons
2 eggs 
Prepare wet and dry ingredients separately. Mix together. Heat skillet and a skosh of oil on medium until it sizzles with a splash of water. Pour a 1/4 cup of batter. Cook until the top bubbles, flip. I test for doneness by smooshing the top of the pancake. When it bounces back, it's ready. 
Yes, yum. I ate mine with apricot jam. 
Phyllis's Wheat-Free Pancakes

1/4 C milk 
1 Tsp vanilla
2 Tb coconut oil 
1 Tb honey
1 Cup of almond meal flour 
1 Tsp baking powder 
Pinch of salt. 

January 13, 2013

Wheat-Free Buckaroo

Today I'm diverging from my usual poetic ways to talk about my boy and his food.

Buckaroo still battles his unwheatiness, and it's tough. There are few foods the boy enjoys, and even fewer healthy foods, so I tend to stuff him full of bread, which makes him red, rashy, and itchy all over. When the rash is particularly angry, we cut back for a while, but it never lasts long.

Recently, Buckaroo developed a rash around his mouth, and I new that between the toasty breakfasts, Annie's Mac & Cheese lunches, and pizza dinners, we'd really gone too far.

I found The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking at my local library, skimmed through the recipes, and decided to give it a whirl. I mean, look at that cake on the front cover. It's gorgy.

I tried several wheat-free recipes for myself when Buckaroo was a nursling and didn't have much success as everything I baked had a certain mushiness about it.  That was five years, ago, however, and times are ever-changing.

Yesterday, I made blueberry pancakes a la Reinhart and Wallace, and can you say scrumdiddlyumptuous? I write this with a major disclaimer, though: I do not, in fact, enjoy the original pancake. Too mushy, too heavy, too much maple. Yuck. I enjoy maple syrup only in salad dressing.

These pancakes have some texture to them which I appreciated very much (they're made with almond and pecan meal). As we are not a diabetic family (at least not yet) I didn't use their sugar suggestion, but instead used palm sugar. I also used regular milk instead of soy.

The first couple of pancakes were very, very thin, but by the time Sweet P dragged herself from her princess cave, the pancakes had developed more puff.

In any case, Buckaroo enjoyed his pancake, although he prefers his blueberries on the side. He's a bit like Sally from When Harry Met Sally that way.

Now he's hoping for some gluten-free hush puppies, but as I write this I've got a gluten-free stout bread half-baked and rising high. Rash Be Gone! I'll keep you posted.