Archive for September, 2010

Monsters Under the Bed: A Draft

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2010 by Jaym Gates

So, I’m trying to write 300+ words a day. Anything that comes to mind is fair game. Of course, an idea popped into my head last night for an urban fantasy novel. So I’ve sketched out the main voice here. Male antagonist POV, my favorite to write from, oddly.

If I get back in the habit of writing, and can get a hold on this one, maybe I’ll have another draft, soonish.

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Someone once told me that werewolves have long memories. They remember their mates, long after death. They remember every hurt done to them, every slight and snub.
I have to wonder if that someone ever met a werewolf, if he ever stared into their maw as they changed in his arms, lost their humanity and became a slavering beast.
Then again, I can’t remember a damn thing, unless something triggers it. My memory is shit. Just like my mind.
Ok, I admit it. I lost control. I was one of those wolves that gets on the news. “Rabid Wolf Kills 15 Schoolchildren, Hunt Underway. Story at 11.” “Official sources say an unidentified attacker brutalized three women, trashed house on Broad Street. Manhunt underway. We’re waiting for details, but in the meantime, stay inside, and keep your doors locked and lights off.”
Stupid, stupid people. Darkness won’t stop a raging wolf. I couldn’t be heard in the darkness.
More than sixty people died before they caught me, although most of those were never connected to me. I’d been killing for years, and only one person had ever known.
One person who tried to save me from myself.
Too bad she was wrong.
She said I had to give in. I couldn’t fight the wolf. I was the alpha, the leader of the pack. The strongest in the state, perhaps the region. She wanted me to give in to the evil, to submit and take my place as King Monster.
And then she walked away from me, and I lost it. At first, I was only hunting her. I wanted her back. But she wouldn’t be hunted.
She was the only person I knew who didn’t die. I couldn’t kill her. I tried, sure. But she knew I was coming. Hid herself in plain sight, where I didn’t dare reveal myself. Walked right past me, waved at me, once. When I did catch her alone, she refused to fear me. I tried everything to get her to run. She was in the hospital for months after I was done with her, but she just laughed in my face and called me an idiot.
It was her fault I went on the rampage, her fault all those people died. I told the doctors that, but they don’t care about her. She still looks normal, and it’s bad business to experiment on something that looks human.
But with silver seeping through my blood, holding the madness at bay, the monster in chains, they set me on her.
After all, I knew what she was.
The real monsters don’t hide under the bed.

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Recipe: Croutons (+bonus!)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 by Jaym Gates

I never use up a whole loaf of bread without getting creative. So, usually, I just don’t buy it. But, every now and then, I can’t help it.

What to do when scraps start accumulating? Croutons! SO easy, SO good.

Grab a loaf of bread. Go nuts with the knife. Throw it in the oven at 250 until it is hard, no moisture left (usually about an hour, depending on the bread). Voila. Ten times better than store-bought. (If you want to season them, spray the fresh bread lightly with cooking or olive oil spray, and then season.

Last year, I made butternut squash and sage soup and topped it with feta cheese, walnuts and pumpernickel croutons. I made asiago and walnut quick-bread into biscotti for Christmas gifts, to go with homemade roasted red pepper soup.

They also make good snacks, either on their own, or with some dressing.

Today’s versions:

Pumpernickel with chili and cumin and pepper blend
Multi-grain sourdough with smoked paprika and coriander
Multi-grain sourdough with oregano, thyme and onion
Kalamata olive bread with some homemade spice blend

Bonus recipe from last night’s dinner:

1 cubed butternut squash
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3 chunks of candied ginger
Glaze of 2 parts extra-virgin olive oil, 2 parts honey and 1 part balsamic vinegar, chili and salt to taste
Toss ingredients in a roasting pan, stick in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally.

Serve over:

Cheater’s Black Risotto

(No measurements here, sorry!)

Black or wild rice (yes, you can use any rice. Black is lovely though.)
Amaranth or Quinoa (extra protein for us vegetarians)
Salt and pepper.

Cook rice according to directions. Add amaranth or quinoa about halfway through cooking time. When just a bit of liquid remains, add a bit of butter and a handful of cheese (I used an Italian blend) and stir until cheese is melted and rice is creamy.

Dish onto plate, add squash, and top with slivered almonds and cacao nibs.

Perfect autumn or holiday dish, but is equally delicious in summer.