It's a weird one. I know. Trust me. I really do. Welcome to another Stuff We Like with Freddy hosting again this week. I can only say chapstick is a life-long crutch of mine, and well, I need it, so maybe it's more than a like. My mom used to give us those plastic candy canes filled with chapstick when we were little. (Yes, we complained if we didn't get them).
I've had really bad eczema all my life. Materials and fabrics could set me off no time flat. My lips had there own issues. And I hated when they cracked and bleed. Chapstick saved me. It kept me from hurting horribly, or at least worse and being self conscious about my lips.
Burt's Bees has been a long time favorite of mine. I've been through many over the years. But Burt's had stuck with me longer than any other brand.
I am often accused of hoarding chapstick, and people aren't exactly wrong. I probably have 3 or 4 chapsticks at any given time. I lose them (everyone does, so do not give me that look) and then find them again, but sometimes not soon enough. I also tend to have one for any bag I may carry - backpack, messenger bag, iPad carrier, Laptop case. You get the point. (This means in reality I probably have close to a dozen chapsticks at any given time).
So chances are, if you run into me, I will have more than one chapstick on me at any given time. And in case you ask, I will give you one, but keep it. I have plenty.
Hello, Everyone! Welcome to another week of Stuff We Like with Freddy. This week I'm all about patches & pennies. Why? Because of my mom.
When we were younger we drove everywhere we went, and to remember the different places we trekked to, my mom bought patches and sowed them on a "family backpack."
I have carried on this tradition, adding flattened pennies to the mix. Below are the latest ones I've picked up and need to add to my travel pack.
These are all pretty local, but I haven't gone anywhere far since Christmas. (I have Thailand patches!) I can't ever imagine stopping. I love collecting too much. It's also made for an interesting backpack. I love it and it's not replaceable.
Have any of you any special trip customs?
Hi, Angel Martinez here with this week's stuff we like! Notebooks - yes. That's not a typo.
The other day, the other Mischiefers were discussing which writing programs they use. Not word processing programs but the sort of programs and apps that help you keep track of your work. I don't know...Scrivener? Things like that? Programs that will help you keep track of character traits and plot points and settings, things of that nature. My eyes glazed over. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only author out there who doesn't use these high-tech fiction assistants.
But I don't. I'm not really a luddite by nature. I like cool tech. It's more through necessity and being frugal much of the time (and poor much of the rest.) The newest gadget, the newest software, the next best iMonstrosity - I don't even try to keep up, because I can't. And I've never found it necessary, even now when everyone is connected all the time. Somehow I've survived.
I haven't actually written prose longhand in years, but I still keep notebooks. Paper and pen serve as my character, plot and logline software, my lexicons and so on. When I start a new story, the scribbled notes still go on physical paper. For shorter stories, this is often just character sketches, premise and a couple of questions. For more complex stories, the notes can go on for a bit, include diagrams and crude drawings and can get just a tad messy.
Granted, this process used to be a good deal messier. I wrote notes on any scrap of paper handy when notebooks weren't available. The loose notes and research from my Anchorage novels are all gathered in one three-ring binder along with rejection letters. Yes, I kept all of those too.
Used to print out research articles to save, too, and drew maps and diagrams of cities and buildings.
Eventually, even the diagrams made it into notebooks - and I still need to draw them for battle scenes sometimes. My spatial sense is broken and I tend to get lost trying to find my way out of a wet paper bag. (Just ask Toni, she's been my navigator. "Is this the turn?" "No, not yet." "This one?" "No...soon." ...... "I missed the turn, didn't I?" "Yep.")
This is the floor plan of Heersford Asylum from Semper Fae that I needed desperately while writing the asylum scenes:
These days, I've figured out that you can bookmark articles if you want them again and I no longer have to contend with being at the evil day job or being away at a training site so the odd scraps of paper don't happen as often. Though I've been known to write bits of dialogue on cocktail napkins still. I still need someplace to keep my questions to myself and character details, to map out where the story is going and what the ending will look like, more or less.
But I've done this before now, and I know better what I need. The most current notebook looks a little more like this. Though don't hold me to anything on that page. They are, after all, just notes...
Freddy here with another fun-filled SWL. Oh, Beer, how I enjoy you to the fullest.
I know some people are beer drinkers. I am. There are so many different types out there these days it's hard not to enjoy them. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy alcohol of many different kinds, not just beer. Wine often gets its due, as it should. It's great stuff. The hard liquor does as well, depending on what it is, otherwise it can be shunned just as badly (if not as worse) as beer.
Beer often gets the reputation of being uncultured, low brow, piss water. Times are changing, not fast enough for me though.
I was born when the microbrews really started taking off in the US. People took a look around and said "We can do better." And they have. Just walk into your local grocery (or alcohol seller) and you will see a humungous selection. All you have to do is find what type you like. And there are a TON.
There are two main types of beer: top-fermenting yeasts which produce our Ales, and bottom-fermenting yeasts which produce our Lagers (most beers are lagers). The ales are produced using warmer temperatures while the lagers are produced at colder temperatures. There is Belgian style of spontaneous fermentation, referred to as lambic, that is gaining some traction too. Beer styles are so much more than the fermentation process though. Beers are categorized by factors such as colour, flavour, strength, ingredients, production method, recipe, history, or origin.
Case in point: IPAs - Indian Pale Ales - have been popular over the past five years, though their traction is slowing. It was getting to the point they were so hoppy you could only taste the hops, no balance to the other flavors in the beer.
And yes, beers should have lots of different flavors. Just look at the picture above. Do you think those beers are going to taste the same? Up there is a blonde ale, a stout, an IPA or pale ale, and an amber ale or dark larger. (Please note, these are mainly guesses based on the coloring - that's why there are some "ors" in the bunch.) Each of these have been made using different ingredients and methods producing a vast array of flavors to enjoy - Yeast, Grain, Hops, & Water all mixed together to produce something unique and ready to go hand in hand with a meal. All good beer goes better with a meal after all, just like wine. You just have to know how to pair it. (Sound familiar?)
I had Wine Appreciation in college (quiet, it was a hard class - not just drinking), and my Professor Vine (yes, that was his real name) had some good advice.
"Don't listen to the snobs, they're drinking to impress and mostly crap is coming out of their mouths. Drink what you like. Enjoy what you drink, whether it be wine, beer, or something else."
Those words stayed with me, as did his lessons in enjoying food with alcohol and not just alcohol to get drunk. There were $20 bottle of wines that we tasted alongside some $200 bottles, because he wanted to prove a point. Sometimes a name sells the bottle, sometimes it's the taste. Go with the taste—the expensive bottle didn't always win. Pair what you like to drink with food and your taste, sometimes the rules help, but don't force yourself to drink something because tradition said so. Sometimes beer is the better choice.
I loved him.
Beer has come a long way since the seventies, when people started thinking the could really make something out of it. I encourage everyone to go to a tasting, because yes, there are beer tastings all over the place, and see if you find something you like. You never know. You might find a beer just for you.
Hello everyone, Toni here to celebrate Stuff We Like this week. I got home from my quick little holiday this morning at midnight, then followed it up by a full day of work... but the trip was soooo worth it. Why did I go away, you ask. I flew down to Melbourne for the Cricket World Cup Grand Final between Australia and New Zealand. My holiday was booked in February 2014. I didn't care who ended up in the final, I just wanted to watch the final. It had been 23 years since the World Cup was last held in Australia and I didn't want to have to wait another 23 years before I could attend a match on home soil. My family were lucky enough to attend 3 other matches, 1 in Tasmania, and 2 in New Zealand. As luck would have it Australia beat India on Thursday 26 March to secure their place in the Final against fellow host nation New Zealand. Couldn't have asked for a better match up.
Although some members of Mischief Corner Books think Cricket was invented by aliens. *cough* Angel *cough* I love it. I grew up watching the games with the entire family sitting glued to the TV in the hopes the Aussies could defeat which ever team they were playing.
A record number of people turned out to watch the Aussies and the Black Caps battle it out for Cricketing Glory. 93013 people to be exact. This was Australia's 7th time in the WC Final. We've won 4 previous to this one. New Zealand were playing in their first ever WC Final.
New Zealand made it through the entire competition without losing a single match... The only game Australia lost was to New Zealand.
Now cricket season is over and I have to wait another 6-7 months before the Aussies play again on home soil. Congrats on a great game to the Aussie cricket team. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.
Leave a comment and let me know what your favourite sport is, team or individual, for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift voucher.