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Showing posts from March, 2009

Fargo Flood '09

I want to update more, but we are having a flood crisis in Fargo at this time. Our apartment is just fine at this time. We are not along the river, but on a possible floodplain a few miles away on the edge of town. My place of work is downtown and they are evacuating people at this time. We didn't go to work today, but we are taking one day at a time.

My heart just jumped a bit, hearing sirens in the distance. It is noon. I am not used to that sound. Tomorrow the Red River is supposed to crest at 43 feet, beating the record in 1897 by two feet. In 1997, it crested two feet below that. I am hoping the noon siren is the only one most of us will hear.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I hope to return here to write soon.

Natasha

Too Beautiful to Live, or if you are one of the Tens, TBTL

In the summer of 2008, sadness clouded my work day. My favorite NPR show at the time, The Bryant Park Project (BPP), had its last episode. Now what would I do for two-three hours in my afternoons at work? I need to listen to something that will take my mind away from the clock, but also give me a good dose of what is going on in the world with a hint of quirkiness.

I then heard about the BPP's former co-host, Luke Burbank, who has his own show in Seattle! I didn't hesitate and downloaded it. I am now addicted, and sometimes when I hear the songs between segments, I think about the BPP. Now it just doesn't hurt as it once did.

TBTL has its own charm. They talk about what they love, and they have some crazy moments. It is hard to describe the show, so I will just recommend checking out their blog first. Things to look for: an archive of all their shows, their Collectors Series if you want to catch a taste, and TBTL 101 to catch up on the lingo.

Check out the Tens blogs (fans of…

Graphic Novel Launch

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"You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.” Neil Gaiman

A few years ago, my husband Joey started talking about a story idea. He kept adding more and more details as time went by. Then, one day, he started to write. He completed his first draft , and I gave him my advice on a few things. He kept adding and building, and had over 1000 changes before he completed the manuscript. He built it as a movie script, but then he began to imagine it as a graphic novel. He then came up with the idea of having it as an online graphic novel.

Joey and I cannot draw very well so we made up a list of artists we know. Eventually, we found an artist who accepted the challenge. They have just released the front and back cover, as well as the first few pages. They will add new pages every Monday. I am very proud of both of them, and very excited to see the response that it will get. We have worked hard to get this together, inc…

Preview Party Recipes

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I thought I would post the recipes that I used for the Comic of Revelation Preview Party. Hope you enjoy! If you like or take the recipe, feel free to leave a comment! (I promise I will post something healthier soon!)

Pinwheels

4 soft flour tortillas
1 packet of ranch
2- 8oz. cream cheese
4 oz. pimentos
4 oz. diced green chiles
2 green onions

Mix ranch, green onion, and cream cheese.
Chop others and dry.
Spread cream cheese on tortilla and veggies evenly
Roll Tight
Cool in refrigerator for 2 hours
Cut and serve.

Heath Bars

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package smashed Heath

Mix cake mix and butter (should be thick)
Spread cake mix evenly in cake pan
Pour sweetened condensed milk over and pour Heath evenly on top
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Texas Caviar Dip

4 Cups Black-eyed peas (3 cans, drained)
5 Jalapeno peppers (chopped)
1 tsp. jalapeno juice
1/2 medium onion
1/2 lb. Sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. Butter sticks (Fleschman preferred)
1 clove garlic

Mix 1st thre…

Japanese Inspirations

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When I am writing KIN, I listen to the music of Joe Hisaishi. I have some of his soundtracks from Hayao Miyazaki's Ghibli Studio movies. Disney brought over the films a few years ago, and we completely fell in love with them. My favorite song at the moment is from Princess Mononoke called "The Legend of Ashitaka Theme". It is the ending credits song of the film, and truly feels like a five minute sound epic. I might have to pop in the movies to find help rediscover a child-like view of Japan to help with my book if the music has been helping me this much! Joey and I hope to travel Japan within the next few years. I really want to go during the cherry blossom (sakura) season in March or April. When I see pictures of cherry blossooms, it brings back some memories.

The house I grew up in had a huge yard. The yard was completely surrounded by trees, and when you drove in, there was a circle of grass. In the middle, there was a large bush. In the spring, it would grow the mo…

The List Maker

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I am a list maker. I have always wrote down things to do with much detail. Usually I add unnecessary details, but I just need to pull those thoughts from my mind. In middle school, they gave us planners to keep track our assignments. I am not sure if it started then, but I know I took full advantage of the books by writing anything and everything in it.

In high school and college, I used to write New Year's resolution lists and put them underneath my unicorn globe. I did it until a few years ago. Now I just post it online somewhere. Here's this year's list:

1) Write something every day, no matter how little. Grocery lists don't count.
2) Gain better confidence in myself.
3) Visit these local places: Plains Art Museum, Buffalo River State Park (or something nature-ific), Dinosaur Museum (West Fargo), and a zoo.
4) Start a "professional" website to advertise my writing.
5) Find a good recipe for bread, a vegan bake good, and something to share at parties, etc.
6) Atte…

Quiche Lorraine

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When Joey and I returned from France, I had all these ideas of baking homemade bread, pastries, quiches, and who knows what else. I haven't done the bread yet, and really, I am a better cook than a baker. I don't like to measure very much (measure to taste, I say!) and baking really won't let me get away with such behavior. I will try baking bread soon, but since turning vegetarian, I need to focus on cooking right now.

I did find a recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook for a Quiche Lorraine and we made two of them (since the ingredients we bought was perfect enough for two). We had just turned vegetarian, so I substituted the real bacon with half fake Morningstar bacon and some Bacon Salt, the peppered flavor. We used the store bought pie crusts since they are just so easy, but taste just as good. I also used FRANK'S® RedHot®instead of regular cayenne. What can I say? I use what I have!

Betty Crocker Quiche Lorraine
You can serve this classic French egg dish, featuring bac…

Evolution of Comics (to be continued...)

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When I was younger, I wanted to read comics. I didn't have a comic book store within a 100 mile radius, and what I could get my hands on were Disney related comic books. I finally gave in after not having much luck, and just focused on reading books. Then I heard about Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 and my comic book/graphic novel collecting began. Sure, I loved the super hero movies, but I knew I was too far behind to catch up. With Buffy, I could start from where I left off with the series. It was genius!

When I tell people I read comic books and graphic novels, all they hear is "graphic". They think of TV ratings and graphic materials. I have to explain to them that comics rely on graphics, it doesn't describe the content of the book. I am hoping that this will change sooner than later!

Also, I think females have been a growing audience and it will hopefully continue to bring in more readers of both sexes. Mainstream publishers, like Bloomsbury, published Shannon…