Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Since it was a Tuesday night on one of the first cold days of the season, we were only one of three parties there for dinner, but the setting was very promising, with music and dancing on the weekends.
It was the food that blew my mind. And not just the culinary delight, but the way it was served.
The meal begins with a buffet salad bar that's a meal unto itself. There were, like, a dozen salads to choose from; shrimp, mussels, smoked salmon, cheese, fruit, prosciutto and other anti pasti-type meats, crustinis, greens, and so forth.
When you're ready for the main course, hunky Brazilian men come out with swords.
Barbecued meat on swords.
They slice delicate little pieces for each person at the table. And they keep bringing out more meat. Different kinds of meat. The head waiter said there was something like 15 or 16 varieties. I think we got through all of them. The first three alone were all beef: veal, bacon-wrapped beef, and garlic beef, followed by chicken wings, chicken thighs, bacon-wrapped turkey (because meat wrapped in meat is the best kind of meat), pork, flank steak, lamb, sausage, more steak, more chicken....
It was ridiculous. I ate and ate and ate some more, and even when I was full and my body was screaming at me to stop, I kept eating, undoing the diligent work of a dozen vegetarians. At one point, I put a piece of meat into my mouth and as soon as I tasted it, gagged because I JUST COULDN'T EAT ANY MORE MEAT. I'd OD'd on meat.
Why, you ask, did I subject myself to this and the ensuing sleeplessness, indigestion and discomfort that had me slumped at my desk all day, holding down my gorge?
I think it's summed up in one word: beefcake.
When good-looking Brazilian men with swords are at your beck and call, you just don't say no when they offer you their Brazilian sausage.
Fancy food for a fancy prices, but worth the experience. Just remember to save room for the deep fried bananas and barbecued pineapple.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
1. All in the Details (my first book) is on hiatus until further notice. I've been working on editing it for the Silhouette Desire line, but that'll require significant edits and time.
2. I'm doing my final edit on Star Attraction (my second book) for the RWA's Golden Heart Contest. I'll need to write the dreaded synopsis (I screwed myself in the Golden Opportunity Contest with that) and then print out and prep the package.
3. I just sent a submission to the Mortimer Literary Agency's Literary Mentorship Award program. The "prize" is working with agent Kelly Mortimer, whose goal to get you published. I figure, meh, why not?
4. I've been working on my fantasy novel as diligently as possible, and have a basic outline and plot. But I've been hard pressed to actually write the thing. The idea and energy sorta drained out of me after I laid it all out on in synopsis form. I think I killed my own creativity by trying to set the boundaries first. Damn.
5. Went to a great workshop today by Eloisa James, a lovely multi-published bestselling author who talked about writing historicals and series. I've lately been drawn toward Gerogian and Victorian-era romances because, let's face it, they're all about ladies with money in pretty dresses who shop and gossip all day. Like Sex in the City, but with corsets and no women's rights.
6. Met New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson at work the other day. She was signing copies of her lastest book, Irresistible Forces. My bookshelf of signed bestsellers is growing nicely.
7. My Avatar fanfiction series In the Family Way is moving along slowly. I'm writing a whole bunch of chapters at once so they'll flow a little more rapidly over the next little while. So everyone who's waiting, please, bear with me.
Wish I could say I was reading something interesting (that I don't have to do for work, though I've read plenty of great stuff there, too) but I'm just too tired and my eyes are starting to do funny things. Right now, I've got Maria V. Snyder's Fire Study, Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things, Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable, and Gone With the Wind all stacked up on my desk to be read next. They've been sitting there for months.
Back on my mind is choosing a pseudonym. Eloisa made some very interesting points about identity as an author with a web presence. I've always been an advocate for transparency myself; then again, I'm not famous, so I don't mind sharing tales of various health problems and displaying pictures of the interesting ailments that plague me.
She suggested something short so that the font type will be stacked huge on the cover, with a last name that's close to another author you'd like to be associated with (e.g. Amanda Quick and Julia Quinn). I'm totally at a loss, and nothing I've so far strikes me.
Anyone have any more suggestions?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Ripped from popsci.com:
Starting this Friday, disabled and elderly people in Japan will be able to rent a robotic suit to help them become more mobile. Available in a two-leg (for a $2200-per-month rental fee) or one-leg version ($1500/month), the suit -- called HAL, for Hybrid Assistive Limb -- reads brain signals and directs leg movement.
Yoshiyuki Sankai, the creator of the robot suit, is a professor at the University of Tsukuba and the CEO of Cyberdyne, which is manufacturing and renting the suits.
In a report at Cyberdyne.jp, Sankai explains: "[there are] faint bio-signals on the surface of the skin when human brain tries to move the exoskeleton. The signals are detected and the robot suit moves to support the action."
The HAL suit includes a 22-pound battery worn on the waist to power the leg braces, enabling the wearer to climb stairs and walk for long distances. In a demo held this week, Cyberdyne showed how a man with partial leg paralysis could use the device. Sankai says the suit will not be made available for military or other purposes.