Category Archives: Awesomeness

No Longer a N00b: Gluten-Free Resources

I’m realizing that I have quite a collection of resources at my fingertips for living a strictly gluten-free lifestyle. I think it’s about time that I share them with whoever else might need a little guidance– or maybe you’re more of an expert than me, but are looking to expand your knowledge base. 🙂 This list is by no means complete. It’s just my favorites. Continue reading No Longer a N00b: Gluten-Free Resources

A Quick Howdy and a Redirect

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

First of all, I would like send out my thanks to all the laborers of our great nation–the teachers, the drivers, the baggers, the checkers, the factory workers, the miners, the loggers, the workers, the doers, the makers… and pretty much everyone who puts in a hard day’s work. You are the backbone of our county. Your daily industry is valued and appreciated. Thank you.

On a separate note, I hope you have been having a wonderful and relaxing weekend. I certainly have. After a month of multiple deadlines, I don’t think I realized how tired I was until I slept in for the last two days and took midday naps to boot! So, here it is, day three of my weekend, and I’m finally ready to dig in and do stuff. LOL!

My post here is fairly short, but that’s mostly because I wrote up a nice little tutorial on single-serve cookie baking, over at Food From Our Kitchens. (This method is especially useful on days when you feel like you’re living inside Mt. Doom, and cannot bear the thought of turning on the oven, but yanno, you still want cookies.)

Feel free to check it out.


Image found here:

An Announcement

As a kid I was very lucky to have a father who worked as a magazine editor. Well, I mean, I can look back now and call it lucky. At the time I was to busy crying from the pages and pages of red ink that he would hand to me when I showed him a paper I had written for school. Dad never pulled a punch in those days, which I had considered unfair. I’m still in school! Why can’t he take it easy on me? But it was precisely because he didn’t pull his punches that I learned much earlier than my classmates how to construct a decent sentence, paragraph, and paper.  I also learned that spelling is ultimately a visual process. (That whole “sound it out” thing is a load of hogwash in the English language.)

Since that time, I have worked as an editor, myself, as well as an admin upon which various executives relied for fixing their memos. I also spent a good chunk of time with blossoming writers, as well as growing my own writing career– and from direct experience, I learned  how to pinpoint parts of a manuscript that need to be tightened, yes, but also to point out where a manuscript is strong, so that writers know to keep doing that.

In other words, over the years my father’s red ink has served me well, and now it will serve me once again.

I have set out a shingle as a freelance editor specifically for small- and independent-press fiction writers. This is very exciting for me, because I get to do two things that I love: read and support blossoming writers and geek out on grammar and spelling a bit.

If you are interested or just curious about my services, you can check out my editing services page here.

And meanwhile, I’ve got a gig, so if you don’t hear from me for a bit, it’s because I’ve got my red pen out.

See you on the other side!

My House Smells So Good

There’s been a lot going on Chez Bear these days. I’ve been slamming out writing and editing projects around my full time job, and Honey has been dealing with dramatic changes at his job, plus slamming out… writing and editing projects. But, you know, totally different projects. Heh! No such thing as geeks at rest, I guess.

This weekend was a little different, though. Saturday, I went to a writing retreat out in the mountains of Monrovia, and I waved to all my friends who lived out there, but since they were probably more than a hundred yards away and on the other side of a lot of trees, I don’t think they saw me. But yes, the writing retreat was out in the woods on the side of a mountain, and there would be no grocery stores or restaurants within walking distance, so I knew I’d have to bring my own lunch. And for some reason, this put me in a little bit of a panic.

The embarrassing truth is that I haven’t packed my lunch in a very long time. At work, I have nearby eateries that can cater to my needs, and at home I have a refrigerator with things I can use to make a decent lunch/snack/breakfast thing. And Del Taco is nearby, too.

Also, I couldn’t think of a sandwich I could make for myself with what I had in the kitchen that would a) taste good, b) contain any sort of nutrition, and c) contain stuff I actually had in my kitchen. So I decided that rather than making a run to the grocery store for crappy GF sandwich bread, I’d make something in advance.

I made pepperoni rolls. I did not, however, read all of my notes from last time, so that recipe is still not quite perfect, more’s the pity. But it was still good enough that when the instructor of the retreat asked me what I was eating and I shared with her, she literally jumped up and down in her seat and waved her hands, trying to tell everyone else at the retreat about what I was eating. #PepperoniRollsFTW #CanYouEvenUseHashtagsInABlog #WhoCares #MyBlog

The thing about my recipe is that the bread recipe I use is already halved, but it still makes enough bread for a double batch, so I always have dough left over. (More dough than pepperoni, you see.) Sometimes I just bake the bread straight up– very good. Or I can make monkey bread. Yum! But this time, I wanted to make cinnamon rolls. Mmmm!

So Sunday, I knew I’d be making cinnamon rolls, using my Frankenstein recipe, where the dough, the filling and the frosting all come from different places, and got stitched together with me in the middle making minor tweaks. But I wasn’t done yet, so I also made buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, flourless brownies, and chicken casserole for dinner the next night. In short, I didn’t write. I didn’t edit. I didn’t go to Disneyland. But I had a blast.

And I posted the recipe for the cinnamon rolls over at a new blog I’m a joint member of, Food From Our Kitchens. Pop on over and check it out. And find out how to make easy-peasy cinnamon roll dough. (SO EASY.)


A Weekend of Wow aka Not So Brief

Let me make this easy for you. TLDR, right here at the top. This one, I’m writing for me. Feel free to read or not read as you see fit, but you have been warned.

My office of 25 has a lot of July babies. The other week, in fact, there were three of us. The guy on Thursday let us know in advance that he was taking off. The guy on Wednesday didn’t let us know in advance and took off anyway. And my birthday was on the weekend, which I suppose meant everyone was off? Dammit, I wanted to have an extra day off too! So I checked in with my boss, made the necessary arrangements, and Honey and I both took Friday off for appropriate celebrations.

Since we had the time and no plans for what to do with it, Honey asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, and with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I said I wanted to go to Disneyland. Without batting an eyelash, he said, “Okay,” and all of a sudden, I found myself planning a trip to the Mouse House. Now, if you have an annual pass, you can just pop over for a few hours, hang out, go on that one ride you love, and call it a day, but if you don’t have a pass (or know someone who is happy to sign you in), you need to Plan Your Day to get maximum effect, because otherwise you get overwhelmed. Continue reading A Weekend of Wow aka Not So Brief

A Visit with the Wolf Pack, Guys, Dolls, and the Go-Gos

Honey and I just got back from a visit with his parents, Wolf and Five up in Oregon. Ironically, just as Los Angeles started to cool off from our yucky heat wave, we headed up to a part of OR that was even hotter than LA had been, but at least it was also humid, so you know, there’s that. But! We got to witness some really dramatic displays of nature, including a thunderstorm that had both bolts and sheet lightning. It was spectacular!

Our first day there was the fourth of July, but Honey and I were so exhausted– we really needed a vacation!– that we didn’t do a whole lot. As I recall, we didn’t even have the energy to go see the fireworks. It sounds dull now, but after the last six months, this was probably the best way we could have spent the day. Honey and I were both excited at the idea of having absolutely nothing to do. We did, however, have a festive barbecue, complete with a visit from Honey’s grandma, Pancakes. It’s funny: every time I see Pancakes, she reminds me so much of my own grandpa– she has the same accent he did. Makes me miss West Virginia a little bit every time.

The next morning, Honey and I woke up early to find a note from Five saying that he had taken Wolf to the hospital in the middle of the night, that he was home now, and to wake him when we woke up. It turns out there had been a bunch of little things that all interacted together to make her pretty sick, but the hospital did a fantastic job of poking, prodding, sticking, and fixing until she was better. And it only took them two nights-ish and a day. Of course we went to visit her, and spent the rest of the day in a dazed mix of concern and exhaustion. But by the next day, Wolf was able to come home, looking and sounding So Much Better, for which we are all very grateful. (And still a little concerned and exhausted.) Continue reading A Visit with the Wolf Pack, Guys, Dolls, and the Go-Gos

Some Dude and Cleopatra

Last night, I saw my very first professional Shakespeare play (that I can remember).  The plan had been for Wolf and Five to graciously take Honey and me to see Antony and Cleopatra, one of ol’ Bill’s most complex tragedies. Things didn’t work out exactly the way we had planned: due to circumstances beyond our control, Wolf was unable to join us for the play, but she insisted we go without her. The show must go on, you know.

I have to admit, I was a little worried. I’m not very good at following Shakespeare when I’ve got the text in front of me. Aside from the language and idioms being way out of my sphere, I’ve seen a couple of high school productions of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and because the actors didn’t know what they were saying, I had NO CLUE what was going on. (Enter Cliff’s Notes and Wikipedia.) Continue reading Some Dude and Cleopatra