Painting With Shotguns #61

Painting With Shotguns

Rise Of The Kindle Collection

As you may have noticed yesterday, hey! I’m going to start putting together a short story collection in e-book format — first on Kindle and then, to the moon. Or, alternately, to other devices.

At present, I think it’ll have — *does a quick tally* — nine short stories for a total of about, mmm — *does another quick tally, math makes head almost asplode* — 35-40k word count.

If the Kindle formatting will allow it (and it may just be too damn hard to make it work), I might also put a screenplay in there, which is an adaptation of the longest story in the book (“Dog-Man and Cat-Bird”).

I also might write a new short story for the collection. Been hankering to get my hands around the lead character of my novel, Blackbirds, Miriam Black again. Be nice to find a short story where I can intro her to the world at large without having to wait for a publisher to purchase the novel. (Right? Publishers? Purchase the novel? It’s inevitable, surely? Surely? *sob*)

What would you pay for that?

Also have to noodle a cover and, the hardest part, a title.

Short story collections either have totally kick-ass titles or, sadly, kind of dull titles. A great one is Bradley Denton’s One Day Closer To Death, a collection I adore so deeply it hurts me in my bones. The double trick is to ensure that the collection title matches whatever cover I clumsily cobble together.

Punish Your Cauliflower

Your cauliflower has been bad. Thus is is time to whip it.

C’mon, let’s be honest. Cauliflower’s sort of a dopey vegetable. A big head of cauliflower looks like an old lady’s perm, a perm shellacked with a hard coating and turned into something approximating “LEGO Hair.” Sure, you might think, “I could bowl a strike with this. I could probably bludgeon an interloper with this. I could use it as a doorstop. But eat it? Get real.”

You must injure the cauliflower to make it edible. You must punch it in its shellacked perm.

You must whip the unmerciful fuck out of it.

But you can’t just, y’know, do that. You’ve got to build up to that level of punishment.

First: a trip to the veggie sauna. Chop it into florets and stick those bastardy bits into a pot with a steamer tray (or, if you possess no steamer tray, then go ahead and build a platform with the cauliflower’s own stubborn stemmy bits) and steam it for 8-10 minutes in an inch of water (with a dash of salt). Make sure they’re fork tender but not “fall-apart tender,” okay? You go that far, you’ve just ruined the whole thing. And that makes Kitchen Jesus sad, and when Kitchen Jesus is sad, he makes everything wonderful taste like library paste. And also, he’ll kill and cook a baby panda.

Second, drain, and pat those cauliflower bits down. Dry ’em as best as you can manage. No lingering puddles of moistness. (I’m sure there’s a joke in there about “moistness,” but I’ll let you reach for it.)

Back into the pot. Another sprinkling of salt and now, pepper. Take out your PAIN STICK (also known as “immersion blender”) and blend it into a mashed yet still chunky cauliflower goop. And if you tell me, “Chuck, I don’t have an immersion blender,” then I will kick you square in the teats. I will in fact kick each teat in tandem. Go out and buy yourself an immersion blender, they’re like, ten bucks or something.

Now, it’s time to fatten the goose. Into the goopy white slurry you will add: a 1/4 cup of creme fraiche (or sour cream), 1/4 cup of cream cheese, 2 TBs of butter.

Blend again. Whip it until it cries for mercy.

I like mine with still a little chunk factor (“Chunk Factor” was my nickname at Fat Camp), but your mileage may vary. If you find that it’s too thick, add in heavy cream until it becomes the desired consistency.

Last thing: stir in a 1/4 cup of chopped green onions and/or chives.

Now, eat it. Enjoy its misery. Delight in the punishment.

Words With Friends (And Other iPad Apps I Love So Much)

Words With Friends was on sale this weekend (along with 80 billion other apps — seriously, was a good weekend to buy apps), and I went ahead and purchased it. Now, if I have it correct, I am involved in approximately 243,956 games of WWFHD, and dang, it’s awesome. (And dang, I’m not that great at this game. But that’s okay.)

I recommend it mightily.

I am, on that game, terribleminds. Though, once more I advise you: I am locked in mortal wordmonkey combat with a billion other combatants, so don’t expect my responses to be zippity-quick.

I am also enjoying: Cut The Rope, Plants Versus Zombies, the Pulse News Reader, and Super 7 HD. Have but haven’t tried Springpad yet. But Note Hub is kind of intriguing — further testing needed.

Also, after a suggestion from the mighty Rob Donoghue, I’m considering a magazine subscription with Zinio. They’re pretty well-priced. Anybody use it? Like anything in particular? Gimme a shout.

Am always taking cool app suggestions.

Suggest away.

Don’t make me bludgeon you with a head of cauliflower.

Hunger Games

Not much to say here except, whoa.

Listen, I’m very hard on fiction. I open a book, I’m immediately squinty-eyed, narrowing my gaze with suspicion. But I went ahead and bought the box set of the Hunger Games collection because it was El Cheapo at Amazon, and I got them the other day, and on a lark I cracked the first book. Before I knew what had happened, 30 pages were gone. Just — whoof, gone. More specifically, my time was lost. I felt like I’d been abducted. I was experiencing temporal distortion. The book ate my brain that fast. It’s a fast read in an inventive, grim, and compelling world. Characters are great.

I’m into it.

Fascinating tidbit, though — it’s a “Young Adult” title, yes, but if you made this into a film, I suspect it’d have to work very hard to skirt an R-Rating. Go figure.

Internet Sausage Links

I love this post by Julie Summerell about Black Friday.

I have lost hours of my life laughing at Damn You Autocorrect.

If you ever want to look for app deals, check out Appshopper.

And that’s the bell.