I forgot to write about my amazing sausage gravy from yesterday morning. John and I had had a little argument a few days ago about whether or not he liked poblano peppers - he wasn't certain (because he does not like green chiles, to my great sadness) - and I was determined to convince him that he did, since I remember Mom's chile rellenos fondly and have been longing for them for some time.
So I ordered John out of the kitchen, diced the poblano, sauteed the hell out of it, blended it with cream (it was the last day of unhealthy eating so I had to use the rest of the heavy cream) until it was a nice green mush, then put it with sausage (at least I bought the 'lite' sausage), lots of sage, more cream, butter, and flour. It was as lovely as it sounds. We had it over the malformed buchty from the other day, which had kept quite well, eggs on the side. John ate all of it (all of his portion - I wasn't giving up mine) and liked it. When I confessed to the poblano, he said he knew from the first bite, but that he wasn't going to say he knew. And he liked the dish.
I think I'll keep him.
I read more today in Jonathan Strahan's Eclipse 3, which is the best SFF anthology I've read since John Joseph Adam's Living Dead, in my opinion. The stories are brilliant, 4 out of the first 5 leaving me stunned after reading, eyes glazed over, world reduced to the thump of my heartbeat in my ears. Sounds dramatic, but that's what happens. That's why I wanted to be an amazing singer, why Malia and I would sit and listen to art songs for hours at Wheaton, and obsessively collect random repertoire that nobody but Anne Sophie von Otter would touch, probably dug up out of some dusty archive in a Scandinavian country. But that's what the music did to us. That's why I've wanted to be an amazing writer for years now, to have my words have that effect on the reader. It can happen with books, but more often with short stories since they're easier to digest, unless you're a voracious reader like me.
Today, it was Elizabeth Bear's "Swell," in this same anthology. She did for the mermaid what I wanted my own "Skinned" to do for selkies. But she was successful in a way I don't feel I was, but might have been had I a. known better, b. taken more time, c. resolved to find a paying market, which would have meant more revisions, d. fill in the blank. The good thing is that now I see what I can do with "Fish out of Water." I'm suddenly glad it's been rejected so many times, because it needs more depth, meat, color, far more than it already has - and now I'm capable of doing that, whereas last year, I wouldn't have been.
And then my mind churns over "Braeberry Street "- what if I made that a novelette? It's already long enough, but to extend the horror of the deaths, the infections, the losses...it could work. It's like working on that one Mozart aria that fits you so well, but you never really nail it until four years after you've been auditioning with it, or taken it from teacher to teacher. Maybe you grew into it, or it grew into you, or you grew together until you become something different altogether.
Singing and writing are eerily similar. I usually react first when it comes to writing (okay, fine, when it comes to anything), instead of processing the whys and hows of it all. But when I find the corresponding situation from my life as a singer, it suddenly makes sense. It's all about the words, anyway. I get words.
This revelation calls for a good round of kale tonight. John likes swiss chard better, but the kale was crisp and happy and $1.09.