Being A Sad Old Gamer

Yeah I will admit I have been really enjoying my new regular Tuesday night Dungeons and Dragons game. So with that in mind Roll a D6, or maybe it should be Roll a D20:


Family · Humour

This Old Lion

It is a terrible thing when the children start growing up… Well actually it’s nice, but you know it’s also sort of scary…

So there we are, and our eldest T.B.T. is now only about a single centimetre shorter than the E.I.C. which is most traumatic.

But its worse than that. He eats nearly twice what I do! So now I have to share the meat… 😆

To cap it off he bets me in chess!

This old lion is proud and sad… It’s too soon I tell you! 

Family · Humour

Madness I Tell You

The second round of edits arrived in my in box on Wednesday, so I have been busy beavering away working on the manuscript. I think it should be ready to go off again tonight. 🙂 Also it was dry enough for me to do the lawns, including heading down the hill to the orchard. While the grass has not been putting on length, it was a lush thick mat. I was happy to get that done.

This morning we decided to pull the carpet up in the lounge. It was trapping too much dust and dog hair. Besides as winter approaches, of course you want to expose more floor boards. As we emptied the book shelves we found a heap more to send off to the charity shop.

Of course as we were ready to lug the underlay and carpet to the garage it started to pour down, and yes there was sleet as well. It is done now, so now to roast a couple of chickens and maybe have a rest…


It Ain’t Easy

One of my issues. Can I call them issues? That seems overly self-indulgent… Yeah I shall call them  issues…

So one of my issues when writing, apart from typing so fast I have “form” instead of “from”, and a general level of procrastination is dyslexia. At an early age I was diagnosed with this dread disease, although I cannot recall at what level.

It’s funny thing really, as I can actually see it at work more consciously now, as some words and letters transpose themselves in my mind. I have to concentrate to compensate. This in itself may be a lame excuse, as I have been wondering if I have been using that as a crutch for lazy habits. That and spellchecker. 😆

Maybe I don’t have it, and at that time I was just not developing at an expected rate. Did the diagnoses actually help me or hinder me? I am not sure. I do know that I do have to concentrate a lot more than I want to when writing.  It tends to slow me down. I also realise that I used it to ignore lessens in grammar which is hurting me know as I pursue my writing ambitions.

Going free form here [I didn’t need to edit that one] I am still unsure as to what writing in the passive means and why it is so bad. It seems to be removing the past tense from your writing which is really hard, especially when writing in the first person.  I can see that it is better, but I am still coming to grips with the why…

Tangentially I had a minor flame war on Twitter today where one chap declared that all authors who called paper based books “dead tree books” should be shot.  He came from the point that he viewed the term as being dismissive of the paper artefact. 

Firstly I think threatening violence, even in hyperbole, is an ugly and unnecessary way to get a point across. It is too readily used today in a lot of discourse, and I view it as a malaise with the public discourse which prevents a proper dialogue between opposing views.

Secondly it predisposes the view that you are using it as a term to diminish the paper artefact. I use it as term of endearment.  I will love when my books come out in e-format, and start selling, but in my heart of heart I don’t know if I will truly feel comfortable calling myself a publish author until I feel the murdered pulped vegetation version in my hot little hands. 🙂


To Journal Or Not To Journal

I have been writing. Well mostly anyway. I have never been one for diaries or journals, yet here we have a blog, which is often used as one. Being a private sort of chap, I do not like to share either in private or public. I have never been one to complete a journal as an exercise for a course either.  Sitting down to write one I usually get to “I did this” and that’s it.

Yet they say the more writing you do, the better you become, and the editing process has shown me that is true.  I think I am getting better. So maybe I should give it a try, especially since as part of the marketing for The Spiral Tattoo I will be doing guests posts on fellow writer’s blogs.

The thing is I am a little self conscious about my writing. The more a type the more grammatical and spelling errors everyone will see. Also you might become aware of the terribly formal style I have in writing. I was thinking about that the other day, as the E.I.C. pointed out that rather noticeable style in some of my writing. I think it is because I am aware of some of my shortcomings, so I try to overcompensate when writing.

So let’s try this journal writing thing… Umm I got up this morning and went to work? Nay that’s inane… I should be writing The Oaks Grove after all I have deadlines people… That’s moderately interesting….

Maybe tomorrow I will have something to say?

Actually, to be accurate I have lots to say, I just write them in my head as I walk to and from work. And then forget what I wanted to write, or find since I have mentally written the post I don’t want to write it again.  😆

Sad huh?


The Doughnut Muffins

You have to love those cosy murder mysteries that include recipes. The latest one where we have used a recipe is called Roast Mortem: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle. They taste just like doughnuts. Nom nom nom!  Here it is then:

Clare Cosi’s Doughnut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins [12 huge American muffins, will actually make are 24 more normal sized muffins]

For the batter:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter [150g]

1 cup granulated [white] sugar [250g]

2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

1 cup whole milk [or in our case lactose free, don’t really think it needs to be whole, can be trim]

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [320g]

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the cinnamon topping”

1/2 cup granulated [white] sugar [125g]

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C] Using electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and milk and continue mixing. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg, and mix only enough to combine ingredients. Do not overmix at this stage or you will produce gluten in the batter and toughen the muffins.

Line cups in muffin pan with paper holders. Fill and bake for 15-25 minutes or until lightly brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon to create cinnamon topping. Brush the tops of the warm muffins with melted butter and dust with cinnamon topping.

To make into Jelly Doughnut Muffins:

[We haven’t tried yet]

Make batter as above

1/4 cup raspberry jelly/jam

2 tablespoons butter melted

1/2 cup confectioners’s sugar for dusting

Line cups in muffin pan. Fill each halfway with doughnut batter. Poke a hole into the thick batter and spoon in 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam/jelly. Top with remaining batter.

Bake as above.

Brush top of muffins with butter and with sugar.


The Bargain of The Century Plus Bonus Parental Points

While on Trademe the other day we spotted a octagonal Supertramp trampoline with a buy now of $95.00. We of course instantly hit that buy now, as it looked in good nick and you never find them that cheap.

The tramp was in Wellington, so I brought it back with me after work in the little hatch back. It was an interesting ride, I can tell you.

This morning the boys demanded we assemble it, and being the super parents we managed to get it up in little more than twenty minutes and with very little grumping!