Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spirituality for the non-spiritual, and a recipe

This month I'm blogging about creativity at Supernatual Underground.

As the festive season approachs... I think creativity is a good definition of "spiritual" for those of us who aren't religious (or, indeed, aren't even spiritual). Adding something new and meaningful to the world leaves both the world and the creator better off, not to mention the creation itself of course. Whether it's writing a book, tending a garden, raising a child, baking a cake, or knitting a sock (yes, even knitting), these are all expressions of ourselves that, hopefully, enrich the world a little piece at a time.

And now, here is my recipe for spiritually sound roast potatoes.
  1. Preheat oven to 230C.
  2. Peel and cube potatoes - about 1 large potato per person, although after you've made these once people are going to demand larger servings.
  3. Par-boil (drop in boiling water for 10 minutes until half-cooked).
  4. Drain water. 
  5. Place lid on saucepan and shake hard a few times to roughen up the potatoes. They will look sort of furry. This is the important step! It's those rough bits that will turn into a yummy crispy coating.
  6. Place furry potatoes on baking sheet greased with olive oil. Brush oil over tops of potatoes.
  7. Sprinkle with tarragon, salt and pepper, and powdered chili or paprika if you're feeling adventurous.
  8. Bake about 40 minutes or longer, turning a couple of times.
  9. Eat with dinner.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Riddick returns

This is old news but I'm so out of the loop that it's news to me. There's going to be a third Pitch Black movie. I'm very much looking forward to it, after being a bit disappointed with the second. As a standalone the Chronicles of Riddick worked pretty well, but it was so different in concept and feel from the first that it didn't fit at all. Pitch Black was a low-key near-future character movie with a low-tech feel - a band of crash survivors on a barren planet facing monsters that come out in the dark (including, perhaps, Riddick himself). The second movie had a sweeping saga feel with an evil galactic ruler, high-teck ships, "magic" and mythology... a grand universe that was not even hinted at in the first movie. Only the prison scenes felt like they belonged.

David Twohy, director of Pitch Black, is back for the third installment - I hope that's a good omen. Vin Diesel posted concept art on his Facebook page where the monsters look somewhat like dogs (shades of Alien 3?)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One step closer... page proofs

Today I received (electronically this time) the page proofs of Children of Scarabaeus. I hope to put up a couple of chapters soon, so stand by if you've been waiting.

HarperCollins Eos has merged with its sister companies in the UK and AUS/NZ to create Harper Voyager -- Eos is no more, so this book will have a different logo on the spine. This greatly offends my sense of order and consistency, but the merge itself will be, I think, a good thing.

The book isn't easily available in Australia but a couple of online bookstores do have it (that is, will order it in). Yesterday I donated a copy to my local library in the hope that a few Melburnians each year will get the chance to read it, for as long as the paperback holds together. MCP (still jobless) and I are addicted to our library at the moment, with me raiding the board book section and him picking out the SF & F books from among the adult fiction (they're all mixed in together).