Stuff We Like #8
Welcome to the end of year 'Stuff We Like' post! This is going to be a list of things rather a big in depth post, mainly because there is a lot to cover.
For our list making, we have Freddy, who is joining us from Thailand.
*waves* Hello everyone!
I hope everyone has had a good year, but I do wish for better things to come in the upcoming year. Lots of changes have happened in the past year for the Mischiefers and we all have things we are grateful for, as well as wishes for the new year.
I thought it would be great to list of 10 things that were fabulous experiences for us in 2014.
1. We wrote two fabulous anthologies together this year. Our SF bit of quirkiness, Not in the Stars, and our Christmas goodness antho, Chestnuts Roasting Anthology. It was good times, laughs, some tears, some passionate exchanges, and always a pleasure to work with the other Mischiefers. I hope we were able to touch hearts and minds with our anthos this year, and I am looking forward to what's planned for next year.
2. Catherine Dair. If you don't know who this wonderful artist is, you need to learn her name. Angel found her and we adopted her because we love her so hard. She made the covers for The Anchorage Series before I went nuts and used her for all sorts of GRL goodies. The obsession went from there and Catherine is who illustrated all our lovely Christmas covers this year. *pets pretties* And even better, she has become a wonderful friend.
3. The majority of rereleases from our old publisher are done. Yes, we have some left but we hope to have those finished up at the start of 2015. We also have a kick ass editor, one Erika Orrick, to thank for that. She has done so much for us. *hugs* Most everything was rereleased this year one way or another, which is good news because that means we can set our focus on new stories or getting back to our series that we had to put aside. It was a struggle, but we've persevered and become stronger for it. And that leads to my next couple points.
4. Because of everything that has happened, Mischief Corner Books became stronger and grew. We are, and always will be, a small press, but we enjoy what we do and are happy that we can put quality products out there for readers to enjoy. We look forward to putting out The Quarterly, and look forward to the stories and articles we are going to share with you.
5. New books are coming! Yes, we've had the anthologies which have put out new stories for us, but now we really get to dig in this year and put out new stories. That's going to be our focus, that, and The Quarterly. This honestly means less releases for MCB, but if you consider the number of rereleases we did in the last year, this doesn't seem outrageous or odd. We had the anthos, their single releases, rereleases and so forth, but now that we've had our establishing year - our first full year in business - we can turn to continuing what we started and doing what we love. Writing and putting out books. So less releases but more new books. How can you not love that? I know people have been patiently waiting for different books and series from us and now we can do that.
6. We made it through a full year of business, learning and growing as people while we did so. Yes, we had started earlier than that, but 2014 was our first full year running things. There were times I wanted to pull my hair out, but I am glad for the experiences.
7. My fellow Mischiefers. I love each and every one of them, and I am lucky to have met them. My life was forever changed when I walked into that cabin in Tennessee.
8. Our faithful readers. MCB would have never gotten off the ground without all of you. Your support and well wishes have helped us emmensly. They mean so much to us and make us push harder.
9. GRL 2014. Thanks to GRL almost all the Mischiefers got to see each other again. It had been so long, and I missed them all. I still do. We talk every day, but my heart wishes were we all a little closer. *still wants that commune in Australia for all of us.
10. The Year. The fact that we had a year. That we have reached goals and surpassed them. That some of us have started new adventures or chapters in our lives to become what we want to be or express who we are. That we have had another year together, loving, laughing, sometimes crying, is a blessing. Here's to many more.
Thank you, everyone, for all that you've done. I truly hope next year will be a fabulous one for all of us---Mischiefers, readers, reviewers, everyone.. May it be filled with laughter, love, and friends and family. May we reach for the stars and capture all that we desire.
Happy New Year. See you on the other side.
Hey Everyone, thanks Angel for taking my place last week. It would not have been fun trying to complete a blog post from my phone as that was the only source of communication I had.
The Countdown To Christmas Continues!
We're excited to be able to bring you the individual releases of Chestnuts Roasting Anthology stories just in time for Christmas!
With beautiful Catherine Dair illustrated covers, we're hoping that these will provide you a respite from the holiday madness. Curl up by the fire with some heartwarming yuletide tales:
12/21 - Snow on Spirit Bridge
12/22 - Holly Jolly
12/23 - A Christmas Cactus for the General
12/24 - Wreath of Fire
Stuff We Like #6 - Cookies for the Win
Hi all! Angel Martinez here with Stuff We Like. I'm hijacking Toni's week because she just moved and the whole boxes and internet connection thing? We decided it was cruel to make her do a blog post.
So what did I want to talk about today? Christmas cookies. "Really?" you say. "That's the best you could do?" Fair enough, but stay with me...
I'm not a big fan of Christmas. There's too much expectation, too much rushing around involved. See, we're the kids who never moved away. Both sets of parents are still with us, in three separate households, so instead of having a nice relaxing Christmas at home with my little family, we start on the afternoon of Christmas Eve with the rounds of visiting and dealing with relatives, some years more than others. Don't get me wrong. I love my family. But this is hard on an introvert and some years I haven't done well with it. There's also all the shopping and the wrapping, the cards, the decorations and so on. It's more tradition than anything else, a celebration of midwinter and sun-return for us, though pieces of both of our families are more Christian-inclined. But it works. We can all celebrate together.
But it takes so much time, and so much of it I don't enjoy. At all. Shopping is evil. Even online. The one thing I truly love doing? Baking cookies.
I'm a mediocre cook. Never really had a knack for it. Oh, I can manage, but I don't have the flare that hubby has. Cooking, you see, is an art. You need the talent. Baking, on the other hand, is a science. There are experiments that must be undertaken and variables to take into account. There are exacting measurements and controlled conditions. You need the proper equipment and the patience to let certain reactions take place. This, my dear readers, I can do. The science of cookies gives me great joy.
It used to be that I would do all the baking during one (tiring) weekend early in December when I still worked full time and baking in the evenings was just too much. My son would always help, though, so it was lovely time spent with him as he was growing up. He works full time now, though, so this year, I was on my own.
I love the way things come together, impossible messes in the bowl that suddenly, almost magically, come together to form a dough. I love the scents, the rhythms (dry ingredients first, sifted, in zip plastic bag, butter and sugar, egg and so on.) I love the warmth of it and the gleeful, mad-scientist joy when you pull the first batch of a new recipe out of the oven and they look glorious! I love the regimented little rows of cookie soldiers lined up on the table as they cool. Yes. I'm a geek and I'm even a cookie geek. So sue me.
This year, I did several different kinds of cookies (of course) and thought I would share some with you. The first two came from our dear friend and co-conspirator, Silvia Violet:
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Martha says the chili powder is optional (Cue the hysterical laughter.) I'm sorry. To do this right, it is not optional.
If you do these right, they should come out chewy and comfort food delicious.
Oatmeal Hershey Bar Cookies
I'm linking Silvia's recipe on this one since it worked splendidly. She mentioned (I think) that she uses miniatures instead of broken off rectangles of Hershey bar. Either was would be yummy.
These are fabulous - keep in mind that this recipe is for a double batch. For a normal size batch, make sure you halve all the measurements.
These are essentially a butter cookie and were a must-have at my mom's house every year. Half the fun is in the decorating. (Ignore the picture, do whatever you like with them.) This year, I couldn't find a cookie press that worked properly, so I shaped cookies by hand - stars, snowmen, candy canes, braided dough for wreaths. And you know what? Worked just as well.
So if you don't have a press, don't worry about it. Make whatever shapes you please :) I use the old Betty Crocker recipe, cause if it ain't broke...you know the rest.
So - cookies. A balm to the introverts soul, science experiments in the kitchen, and everyone loves you when you bring good ones. Now I just have to resist eating them all before Christmas...
Stuff We Like #5
Hello Everyone! Welcome to another installment of Stuff We Like. It's Freddy again this week, and for my contribution I wanted to discuss one of my favorite topics, manga. It's because of manga that I found the gay romance genre here in the US. I was never looking for it. I read SF & F, but I also liked manga and graphic novels like the ones below. Saga is one of my newer interests actually. I've been reading Blade of the Immortal & Vagabond forever.
Now, Amazon & Netflix like to suggest stuff to you once they have you ratings and watch list history. Netflix had the balls to keep suggesting an anime called Kyo Kara Maoh. This is Shounen-ai. How dare they question what I would want to see?
In this case, I finally got sick of seeing the suggestion over and over again so I rented it so I could watch and shut them up once I saw it. Surprisingly enough I did like the show. It left me flabbergasted and thoroughly amused. Now me being me, I immediately began researching to find out more about the genre. That meant I quickly found Yaoi.
And it's because of Yaoi I found the Gay Romance genre. For that, i am thankful because I have met so many wonderful people as a result.
What about you guys? How did you find Gay Romance?
*images used were from Amazon.com