Saturday, August 22, 2009
Writing, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Lockerbie Bomber.
Yesterday I started reading The Phoenix Unchained. On reading the flyleaf I discovered that the world I was about to enter had originally been created in a series called The Obsidian Trilogy which I thought I had missed. There are references to the previous story which was supposed to have taken place 1,000 years ago and gradually I realised I had read the trilogy. However, what fascinates me is that the stories referred to are quite a bit different to what actually happened in those previous books, just as history becomes distorted after 1,000 years so have the memories of the current society and I am impressed with the way Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory have done that. A very interesting exercise in story telling. Especially when one tends to think "oh no, that's not quite how it happened" and then recall the proper story. I never would have been as observant about such story telling artifice if I hadn't been reading a lot of what my author friends are telling me. I never really thought about the art of writing before, just about whether the story was good and well told. I am now much more aware of the skill which is employed in good story telling. One of the things recently discussed on Tropic Temper by Glenda Larke was the use of names to convey backgrounds. Something I had certainly never thought of - maybe I had unconsciously registered that a character had a specific background because of the name, but I certainly never thought about it before. I didn't mention the storm in Ontario on Thursday, there were at least four tornadoes reported, mostly north of us, although we did catch the edge of the storm, but for us, thank goodness, it was only the edge. There was a lot of storm damage and there are some excellent storm photos on this site. Unfortunately one person was killed. I am not sure where you hide from tornadoes in Ontario. A basement would be the best place I guess and most houses have those. In this building I suppose we would head to the underground garage although how sturdy that would be I wouldn't like to guess. Hurricane Bill is due in the Atlantic Provinces on Sunday, but by then it should be well and truly downgraded. Its the warm water which tends to speed up a hurricane. It can still do a lot of damage but earlier it was a category 4 which is not a very nice storm at all. So, they've released the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds because he has cancer. He has since received a hero's welcome when he landed in Tripoli. He showed a lot of compassion when he killed a plane load of people (270), I see no reason why he shouldn't have lived and died, in jail. I am not surprised the relatives of the dead are upset, I know I would be. On GMA they talked about forgiveness, I don't see how you can forgive someone like this, whoever you are. Maybe put it behind you and let it go, but forgive? No way. Of course he still protests his innocence, but there isn't a person in any prison who isn't innocent according to them. I might add that, being in a British prison, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi would have had the best treatment available to anyone in Scotland, better than a great many British themselves would have available to them. Easting Well are emphasising the importance of starting your day with a good breakfast and the following is one of their recipes for doing just that. I get a tad tired of the same ol' same ol' for breakfast although I try and add as much variety as I can. These sound to be something which would make quite a difference and I will certainly try them. I think I might need to buy a new muffin pan though. Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches These crustless mini quiches are like portable omelets. Turkey sausage and sauteed mushrooms keep them light and savory. Small and satisfying, they’re also a good finger food for your next cocktail party. Makes 1 dozen mini quiches Ingredients 8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced ¼ cup sliced scallions ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 5 eggs 3 egg whites 1 cup 1% milk 1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray (see Tip). 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper. 3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup. 4. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely. Individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds. A good-quality nonstick muffin tin works best for this recipe. If you don�t have one, line a regular muffin tin with foil baking cups. Nutrition Information Per quiche: 90 calories; 5 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 105 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 0 g fiber; 217 mg sodium. Have a great weekend.