edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am too tired to do the full-on crossposting thing with embedded images tonight. So tonight I will just copypaste the text; you can click the links to see the photos on Tumblr if you want. (And maybe tomorrow I will fix the images. *sigh*)

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Part 1: Squash

So I think my squash have been struck by some kind of disease/parasite? Anyway, the leaves with the white blotches have gone sickly and yellow, even though I sprayed lightly with my three-in-one miticide/pesticide/fungicide gloop. I should probably research squash ailments to see if there's anything I should be doing to help them out.

Despite that, the central cores of the plants are all doing well. Tan began to bloom on Tuesday, August 1, having finally regenerated its central stem from the squirrel depredations a few weeks back. And I think I'll pick Covera's squash Wednesday or Thursday. I'm not sure what to do with it, though; I am kind of out of interesting cooking ideas.

Maybe I should give it to Susan as an additional birthday present this weekend...? ;)

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Part 2: Peppers

In summary, they are all doing well, the injured ones continue to recover nicely, most of the non-injured ones have buds, two are flowering, and one has begun to fruit. Yay!

(Click on the photos for more details in the captions.)

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Part 3: the Lazarus pepper

*shakes tiny fist of annoyance at Tumblr’s ten-image limit on posts*

So the Lazarus pepper also exists and also continues to flourish. I think judicious applications of MiracleGro plus weekly applications of eggshells (look, I eat a lot of hardboiled eggs; it would be silly not to do something useful with the shells) have gotten it past the yellow leaves and squashy fruit thing it was doing a few weeks ago. Its leaves are now nicely green and the big pepper is both growing and reassuringly firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, the Lazarus pepper's other branch has sprouted several buds, one of which not only flowered but fell off (rainstorm, what can you do?) leaving behind the tiniest pepper. I mean, it is probably going to shrivel up and detach from the stem because it makes more reproductive sense for the plant to focus on the bigger fruit that's already well-established than to split its resources, but you never know. It might hang on! *crosses fingers, just a little bit*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
chicken and vegetables on rice, topped with lemon yogurt, with a bottle of hard cider to the left



Tonight I attempted to reconstruct one of the Blue Apron recipes -- the Persian-style chicken with rice -- to... moderate success? It tastes all right, though I think I know some things that would make it better if I try again later this year.

Anyway, I wanted to try this both as a way to use the first two summer squash from my porch garden, and as an experiment to see if I even could approximate the recipe. So I bought some turmeric and cardamom, acquired some dried currants and some roasted almonds, and kind of winged it.

I cut out some of the fancy steps -- zesting an actual lemon to make the lemon yogurt topping, baking some of the rice -- because I don't like baked rice to start with and there is a reason I bought a small bottle of lemon juice concentrate a while back: namely, "I don't have the time or patience to deal with freaking lemons when all I need is some lemon juice." I roughly doubled the quantities of onion and squash (and of course substituted yellow squash for zucchini), and both substituted chicken thighs for chicken breasts and increased the quantity of meat, though not as much as I increased the vegetables. Also I used plain medium-grain white rice instead of jasmine rice, because that's what I had on hand.

I completely guessed on the proportions and amounts of the spices to use for coating the chicken, but I think I came pretty close. (Mostly I went by the smell and color of the blend.) I think if I were doing this again, I'd use slightly less onion (proportionately) and also use six chicken thighs instead of just four -- the vegetables ended up drowning out the chicken a bit, which is not terrible from a nutritional standpoint but does affect the overall flavor. I also had to add spices to the veggies as they cooked, twice, because there wasn't enough spice gloop left over in the pan when the chicken was done cooking. While that definitely helped, I think that A) more chicken and B) even more spice would have been better.

All flavor issues aside, I wound up with SO MUCH of the chicken-veggie mix. SO MUCH. I will be eating it for a WEEK. (This is not a bad thing!) One cup of rice only got me maybe three to three-and-a-half portions there, but rice shouldn't be kept indefinitely as leftovers to start with, not to mention that it's a lot easier to make a new batch of rice (plus currants soaked in lemon juice) than it is to make the chicken-veggie mix, so I am okay with that wild mismatch.


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Put away remaining laundry.

2. Took weekly photos of my vegetable garden, but forgot to post them. Ah well, next week!

3. Trimmed some overgrown bushes in my front yard, such that a person can now walk between the house and my car instead of finding the way impassably blocked by greenery. I must attack some other shrubbery this weekend, and possibly drag out my stepladder and give the lilac a thorough pruning.

4. Acquired cardamom and plain Greek yogurt in preparation for an attempt to approximate a Blue Apron recipe.

5. TOOK A NAP.

6. Took compost to bin. (I did this on several days, actually, but I am only going to list it once. Also the compost company finally came to empty the bin, and provided us with a new plastic liner bag which they'd neglected to do that last couple times they swapped bins.)

7. Remembered to bring a new box of tea to work, since my old one had run out.

8. Cleaned bathroom sink and toilet.

9. Called Cat Thursday afternoon and chatted for an hour and a half.

10. Cut my fingernails.

11. Vacuumed my apartment and did a little hand-dusting in awkward corners.

12. Volunteered for my church's recycling sale; I will presumably hear back from the organizers sometime this weekend.

13. Looked up hours of operation/donation for a few places I need to get to over the coming week.

14. Bought groceries (including almonds and dried currants for the previously mentioned recipe approximation attempt).

15. Backed up my computer files.

16. Began sorting my final coffee table storage box, which is full of I don't even know WHAT all kinds of completely unorganized stuff. I am taking a leaf from Cat's book and doing this in 15-minute increments, so I only take out small sections at a time and if I haven't figured out where they should go, I just put them all back in the box when I'm done. So far, I have sorted a handful of stuff into a permanent home in my nice new storage basket, recycled about twice as much, put two items aside to use a couple pieces and then throw out the rest, and set one thing in a place where I can't ignore it so I will finally get around to framing and hanging it properly. (It is a ridiculously twee baby's-first-cross-stitch project of a rearing unicorn that I sewed back when I was... I dunno, 10 maybe? which came with its own super-twee pink plastic frame, but dammit, it's adorable and I will display it with PRIDE.) And I stuck a bunch of other stuff back in the box because I have no clue what to do with it, so.

We shall see how that project continues.

17. Called my parents to discuss trips to and from NJ in August and September, and also to wish them a slightly early Happy Anniversary. As of tomorrow (Saturday 7/29/17) they will have been married for 43 years. ♥

18. Rescheduled a planned phone call with Vicky, because today turned out to be bad for her after all.

19. Posted two mini-ficlet prompt meme fills: How Easy All Can See (Rabadash talks to Ilgamuth about the political implications of courting Shezan) and Queen of the Night (Lucy decides that a queen of Narnia can set her own bedtime). Both went slightly diagonal to the prompts, but I think they turned out all right even if they're not what I meant to write. *wry*

And that is pretty much that for the week. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[livejournal.com profile] priscipixie said: Lucy Pevensie in the early days at Cair Paravel, "midnight", surely a queen of Narnia doesn't need a bedtime. (1,225 words)

Note: I just meant to write a tiny fluff!fic. I don't know what happened. O_o

Anyway, this is set a couple weeks after Liminality and incorporates an idea from Out of Sight, Out of Mind (slightly tweaked to account for Lucy's storytelling in HHB), which is still my headcanon for the utter weirdness of the Pevensies' reaction (or rather, lack of reaction) to being stuck in Narnia with no way back to their parents and their entire world, which is in the middle of a catastrophic war. In summary, Aslan is good and loving and also kind of a dick, and mind control/brainwashing with the best of intentions is still creepy and wrong. :(

[ETA: The slightly revised final version is now up on AO3!]

Queen of the Night )

I should work more on "Intervention" before I write the next prompt fic. But I am really not in the mood for editing... Oh, blargh.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I hate writing.

So I figured I would write a bonus tiny prompt!ficlet for someone who had left me three options, because the first went a bit diagonal to the prompt and one of the others seemed like the perfect setup for something short and fluffy.

And then it went sideways on me, toward angst (and also three times as long as I wanted it to be), so I couldn't just leave it there...

And now it's gone sideways again back toward fluff, but continuing and elaborating on the theme of responsibility that sent the fic careering toward angst in the first place.

I just. What is even with my brain these days???
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
This is not the id!fic prompt! That's going to take more serious work, so I figured I'd jump ahead in the queue and write something a little less emotionally fraught (and also less structurally complicated).

---------------

[archiveofourown.org profile] priscipixie said: How about this: Ilgamuth/Shezan, "heart on sleeve", Shezan has just heard of the defeat at Anvard (really, I'd be happy with anything at all about Shezan and Ilgamuth!)

Note: This ended up as Ilgamuth and Rabadash rather than Ilgamuth and Shezan. Oops? I mean, it's still about Shezan and Ilgamuth, and them being obviously in love. It just kind of... went sideways on me and this is what wanted to be written. It's not exactly a shovel talk, but it sort of flirts in and around that trope, so. (1,200 words)

(The aftermath of Anvard will be part of "A Change of Season," whenever I finally get around to writing that story, so I didn't want to lock myself into something that would inevitably get overwritten later.)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

How Easy All Can See )

Okay, on to the next prompt...
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I intended to do revisions/fleshing out on "Intervention" today during slow periods at work, but ended up working on my next prompt meme ficlet instead. And, uh. I have a frame story now, to put around the folktale, but somehow without any obvious warning signs, I seem to have slid into A) wild AU territory and B) the most blatant id!fic I have written in... uh... years. Maybe even all the way back to Knives, which remains my gold standard for blatant and shameless display of my id all over the page. (Also I love that fic like burning. When id!fic works, it works.)

I mean, when I say id!fic I really mean 'id!fic discounting anything I write about Jadis,' because that is always id!fic, no matter how frozen it may seem in practice. But my sociopath kink is id!fic in such a radically different direction from what I am currently writing that I am not sure it really counts as the same thing at all. (Even though the female agency and the issues about religion and/or ethics are present in both, because hello, have you MET me?)

Anyway, this project is more like, hmm, a sideways cousin to my torture kink? Except not torture, but absolutely all the control aspects, and also fem!dom even though I don't know if the central relationship will ever tip into anything sexual. Mostly it's just about intensity and power and trust and control/lack of control.

...Maybe a little torture, I dunno, we'll see how it plays out. *sheepish*

Also I need to get my AU backstory in order because dammit, I need an internally consistent framework to hang this on. I don't care if the story is a thin excuse for folktales and my naked id; the worldbuilding will still make sense. Or else.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I got my NFE assignment, and it is beautiful. :DDD

I am more drawn to some of the prompts than others, but even the ones that speak less personally to me are interesting, and they're all broad enough to allow for many approaches while also specific enough that I won't be floundering. (This is a neat trick and I suspect I never quite manage it when writing my own prompts, alas.)

I have other things with more urgent deadlines, so I will not be starting work immediately, but it's always nice to have something exciting/intriguing ticking over in the back of my mind. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Emailed DRE about rescheduling our meeting; have not yet heard back. I will email her again tomorrow.

2. Paid rent.

3. Texted Landlord Dude about the compost bin, which I pulled to the curb on Tuesday the 11th but which had not been picked up as of Friday the 21st. He said he'll look into it.

4. Photographed my veggies and made a special post about the rapidly-growing squash. :) I also harvested two of the squash and have made tentative plans for what to cook with them.

5. Arranged phone calls with Cat, Susan, and Vicky.

6. Changed linens.

7. Washed laundry, dried laundry, folded laundry, put away laundry, hung other laundry up to air-dry. (I also got stuck at the laundromat for half an hour after folding my linens, because a thunderstorm blew through and it rained buckets -- enough that I didn't even want to walk two blocks home to get my car and bring the dry laundry home that way. So I read fic on my phone, bought a bag of chips and a soda and called it dinner, and later had a small container of yogurt to sort of pretend that was a less screamingly un-nutritious meal than it really was. *wry*)

8. Bought groceries.

9. Watered my houseplants.

10. Boiled a dozen eggs.

11. Called Susan and chatted for about two hours. :)

12. Finished the rough draft of my WIP Big Bang fic! It needs so many revisions, but I have something TO revise, and that is the biggest part of the battle right there. Which I win. \o/

Now I am going to read fic for a while and then crash into bed, because I have been tired enough to hibernate for the past few days and I would really like to pay down enough of my sleep dept to feel like I have energy again.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The problem with endings is that they have to thematically resolve the entire preceding story, which in this case is particularly tricky since I still have not 100% pinned down the thematic arc of the fic and once I do resolve whatever it ends up being, I will have to go back and make sure to write that into existence in the first place.

Um. That made more sense in my head?

But anyway, I think both [thing A] and [thing B] are out, because reasons, and I am not yet sure how to find a third option. Dammit.

...

I'm going to go do laundry and hope the break will let the back of my brain gnaw over the problem and figure something out, because my conscious mind sure as heck isn’t getting anywhere.

---------------

ETA, 10pm

Alas, laundry did not help.

However, I talked through the plot and my problems with my friend Susan on the phone this evening, and she suggested an option that works beautifully. She also made me take a closer look at a tertiary plot arc and realize it needs A) reworking and B) more emphasis, which I think will dramatically improve the story as a whole.

So... I have an ending!

I also have a metric shitton of rewrites, but still. ENDING! :DDD

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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