Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer vacation!

It's summer time, which means scaling way, way back on my expectations for getting work done. The heat makes me a little dumb, and having my kid around all the time means a lot of distractions. I don't love falling behind on projects, but I don't mind having a little extra fun.

My daughter loves to bake, so a recent project (just before the heat wave hit!) was baking some yummy brownies with peanut butter topping. We used this awesome brownie recipe from Baker Bettie (we used the non-vegan version and subbed applesauce for half of the oil, with no apparent bad effects), although I will probably add a little salt the next time I make them.

So. Follow the brownie recipe, but before baking, sprinkle top of the batter with a handful or two of chocolate chips. Then dribble on:

Yummy Peanut Butter Topping
1/4 C peanut butter (Adams, of course!), heated until runny
1 tsp oil or melted butter
1 Tb brown sugar

Bake according to brownie directions: 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then turn on the broiler for about a minute, which will bring out the caramelly goodness of the grown sugar.

The hardest part is waiting for the brownies to get cool enough to cut into very small pieces! (Pro tip: I used that time to henna my hair. It's much easier to resist brownies when your head is covered in a weird green powder that smells like the illicit love child of mate and kava.)

Friday, June 07, 2013

Sometimes SFWA rocks

Today I got an email from SFWA alerting me to a legal fund they'd established to assist authors dealing with legal fees incurred from a particular copyright issue. And while I have no need for this particular legal fund, I was still happy to hear about it. It was a great reminder of why I joined SFWA.

I know the Internet has been abuzz with SFWA's difficulties lately. Ever since the "Chain Mail Bikini"cover, things have been pretty ugly in SFWAland. Their outreach tool, The Bulletin, has been stepping on toes quite a bit, and a lot of people are upset with the entire organization.

SFWA can feel like a tiny club of entitled writers, and it's not necessarily the perfect community for everyone in the speculative fiction writing field. But if you're not looking for community, if you're just looking for the kind of cover-your-butt-protection provided by a legal fund and an emergency medical fund and a team of people who actually understand big problems like literary agencies with new owners and no understanding of publishing; or publishing companies struggling to pay their authors; or the Google Book issue--well, SFWA provides that in spades.

I'm not happy with everything about SFWA, but I do know that when the time comes to renew my membership, I'll be paying my dues. It's a bit like paying for insurance: I might not love everything about my insurance company's business practices, but I sure like the peace of mind it provides.