Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Hey Guys!

Just a quick note to say that NaNoWriMo is happening again right now, and so far it's going like this (click to expand):

...Which is perfectly fine, but I'm not really hitting overachiever status at the moment.

Yes, you're right--my novel is currently titled There's a Lot More Vomit in This Book Than I Originally Planned. The other title idea I had was Everyone Is Hospitalized and Puking Their Guts Out. So, there you have it.

I'm going to put a little follow-along widget below if anyone wants to check in and see how things are going from time to time. This new version shows daily progress on a calendar, so that's nifty. If all goes well, it should appear in the space below.

Thanks for reading! I'm off to bed now. :)


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Things I Love about the Things I Love

Part One: Knitting, Top Five

1. All the amazing things you can make, just for the pure joy of making them.

2. That the basic skills are easy to learn, and that after that, you can learn the more difficult skills with little trouble.

3. It can be an incredible aesthetic experience, not just for your eyes, but for your fingers as well.

4. That seven different people can knit the same sweater in seven different colors according to their own tastes, and they can all be beautiful.

5. The way it always feels miraculous when you look down at the finished product and think "this used to just be string."

(I also love that you can take a break from it for however long you want and come back and be able to pick it right back up again. Knitting holds no grudges.)


Friday, April 11, 2014

Signs That It Might Be Easter Break

1. Pineapple juice appears in your fridge.

2. All pretense of shoe-wearing is abandoned.

3. Multitasking is rejected in all its forms.

If experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult the nearest work of fiction immediately. Talk to your friends about the potential for road trips in the near future. Be sure to drink several piƱa coladas.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hobbit Bread

Did you know that I have a hobbit themed food board on Pinterest? Well I do.

Tonight I made this amazing peasant bread from Alexandra Cooks that I've had pinned on that hobbit themed food board on Pinterest for over a year. Why did I wait so long? Fear. That's right: fear, my friends.

This was my first ever attempt at baking a yeast bread.  I've always been scared to try because it seems like bread is the sort of thing that would be really easy to mess up. Like, not only do you have to make sure that you have all the ingredients and have enough of them, you have to make sure that one of those ingredients is alive. That has always just seemed like too much responsibility for me. It's enough of a commitment for me to gather my ingredients together while maintaining the will to actually do something creative with them--I can't imagine emotionally committing and willingly dedicating the time to the project only to find out that the yeast I bought is somehow defective and has given up the will to live. Or even worse? The possibility that I would kill it somehow on accident halfway through due to my clumsy incompetence and rudimentary direction-following skills. Just think of the trauma for a second. I might never bake again.


But with this recipe? Honestly, the hardest part was waiting around for the second proofing. (I dusted and rearranged our living room bookcase while I waited!)

Golden, buttery, and delicious, this peasant bread was served tonight with lentil soup and beet green salad. Consider this an official recipe recommendation. Go! Go now! Make delicious bread!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thoughts from a Rainy Afternoon

There are times when my job really sucks. I've talked about it a little before. Dealing with parents who think I'm a horrible person who is out to get their student, working twenty-hour days grading term papers, disciplining students who plagiarize or cheat--not fun.

But today--

Today I had a quiet and cozy day of re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I got to curl up on the couch in front of the electric fireplace and watch from our office windows while the rain came down through the trees and onto the field. I got to think about bravery and adventure and loving and leaving your home. And I got paid to do this. Today was one of those lovely, amazing days that help balance out the really difficult days.

I am really thankful for days like today.


Monday, December 30, 2013

The Plague...and also Christmas!

So I've been sick since December 8. Two days after singing for Lessons and Carols, I started losing my voice and developed a horrible cough that lasted for over two weeks. I thought I was getting better after spending 10 days on antibiotics, but then yesterday, the day after I finished my last dose, I ended up with a brood of tiny, hostile chickens laying snot eggs in my sinuses. Seriously, it's like they're out for revenge. (TMI?)

{Photo unapologetically pilfered from my mother's Facebook}

So we had a relatively quiet Christmas. My mom was still recovering from about three weeks of the flu, and my dad caught the same bug on Christmas Eve, so most of our family celebration was kind of postponed. We got to hang out with Josh's family and go to church on Christmas morning. We had Christmas dinner at my parents' house. Jason made prime rib with Yorkshire puddings and all the fixings, and he made another version of Mock Dragon's Tail this year. Last year it was made of cake with three different kinds of filling and puff pastry scales. This year, Jason outdid himself by making a chocolate version with chocolate sponge cake and homemade chocolate mousse and mocha filling. The scales this year were made by painting chocolate onto individual rose leaves. The effect was stunning. (You can kind of see the Dragon's Tail in the photo above. I apologize for not taking pictures! Next time!)

If you aren't familiar with the tradition of the Mock Dragon's Tail, it's from Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham:
It was still the custom for Dragon's Tail to be served up at the King's Christmas Feast; and each year a knight was chosen for the duty of hunting. He was supposed to set out upon St. Nicholas' Day and come with a dragon's tail not later than the eve of the feast. But for many years now the Royal Cook had made a marvellous confection, a Mock Dragon's Tail of cake and almond-paste, with cunning scales of hard icing-sugar. The chosen knight then carried this into the hall on Christmas Eve, while the fiddles played and the trumpets rang. The Mock Dragon's Tail was eaten after dinner on Christmas Day, and everybody said (to please the cook) that it tasted much better than Real Tail.
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I'm looking forward to spending much of the this week as I spent most of last week--lying on the couch and reading, still trying to recover.

Blessings to you all on this sixth day of Christmas, and may you be blessed richly in the New Year!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Secret Secrets

...Not so secret anymore!

So. It's time for this again, starting on Friday:

I decided this year to begin a concerted effort toward building an author platform, and that meant separating out some of the things that I tend to post about here (random thoughts, teaching stuff, family vacations, cats, general housewifery, etc.) from the stuff that writing peoples (agents, publishers, and other interested parties) would find interesting and relevant. Hence, another blog was born. And also this other one (because social media). The secret is that I've been posting on the new blogs for the last month, and I haven't told you guys anything about it. Sorry!

So now I am telling you. Follow them only if hearing about stuff I'm writing or book-related stuff I'm thinking about is interesting to you. I plan to continue using this blog for all the other stuff I like to write about. :)

So here's the run-down:

Barbers Zu Hause  (the one you're reading) is for general Barber Life updates. (I'll keep the NaNoWriMo word count widget up in the sidebar in case anyone wants to check in periodically this month.)

Anna Writes is for NaNoWriMo related posts, links to articles about writing/authors/books, general thoughts about writing, and hopefully, updates on my writing (my querying process, running tally of rejection letters, news of contract offers, etc.).

My Tumblr is also for writing/book related stuff but also for sharing all the pretty, shiny things I find on the internet. I have also posted some original content there that I haven't posted on either of my Blogger pages. I'm new to Tumblr, but I am finding that it is filling the hole in my life left by the demise of Google Reader and its sharing functions (reblogging on Tumblr is so easy!). There's so many pretty, shiny things on Tumblr! Go look!

So that's it! Have fun! Best Wishes!