Writers: Be open to criticism, even if it’s from another species…

Buddy’s editorial vigilance can be a little annoying, but in the end, his syntax choices usually win out.

And if you’re looking for assistance beyond some beloved know-it-all pet, try these suggestions from Jeanna Bray’s guest post at LiveWriteThrive.

18 Worthy Websites for Writers

Two of the sites I pursued after reading the post:

750 Words (The site description: “It’s a daily brain dump.”)

AutoCrit

More on these sites in later posts…

I should be writing.. Instead, apple crisp…and apple cake.

This off-kilter shot is all about featuring our beloved former dog Bear’s watchful eye.

I really had no choice.

It’s officially apple season and the golden delicious tree is burgeoning.

So, last Sunday I slapped together an apple crisp sans recipe, though my trusty assistant in culinary crimes–my wife and herder of Buddy the Rescue Dog–pulled up an Epicurious recipe for a crust topping as a guide. For the filling, I just knew what ingredients I wanted and went from there.

Result: a caramelly ooze —gee, go figure, when the cook indiscriminately tosses in plenty of brown sugar and enough flour…well, there were the sweet cherries and their juice, and the chunks of golden delicioius–well, you get the picture… and the crust was as good as the apple-goo. 

Autumn…I love you.**

***

A few days later, within hours of finishing the crisp, and with plenty of Act of Kindness Writing chores I could/should be dealing with, it was time for an apple cake…or, as the recipe calls it, a ‘moist’ apple cake.

On its own, this is a ‘will bake again’ item. As always, though, I did stray ‘just a bit’…

  • I added allspice to both the apple mixture and the flour mixture.
  • When it comes to cinnamon, I just don’t get the low doses in most recipes. Can’t remember the last time I actually measured cinnamon.
  • I added rehydrated Craisins.
  • I made my own ‘apple sauce’. I just mashed away at, and then seasoned, chunks of golden delicious with the pastry cutter. And mashed away some more.
  • Figuring on a more moist result, I used a loaf pan instead of a 9” x 13” pan.
  • Fearing there might be spillover, I scooped out about a cup of the mixture and slathered that into a greased pie pan. Gotta say, when revisiting this recipe, I’ll be tempted to go exclusively with pie pans. It’s a quicker bake and four smaller cakes open the door to more experimentation, say a little creme de cassis reduction for one of them…and Ree Drummond’s Easy Caramel Sauce for another. Come to think of it…I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have those on hand for slices of this current version…

The problem with a spillover cake is its insistence on immediate measures for quality control.
Buddy anxiously awaiting ‘his’ afternoon coffee time.
He fully approves of fall flavors.

**“No, deeeear! I don’t know anyone named Autumn!”

Rants and Riffs Installment #17: Face-touching outlawed and other Gordian knots

 

1. Yep, I’m all for health and safety precautions in these Covid-19 times, but a news article reminded readers of the health risks of face-fondling and offered some solutions.

Another solution…masks. And really, wouldn’t it make life more interesting?

2. As for the article itself, nowadays, it’s not all that easy to find a straightforward objective just the facts, ma’am’ article. Everything has morphed into ‘commentary’, ‘analysis’, or ‘opinion’. Gggaaaaaahhhhh! Just give us information! [and without the ‘Breaking news!’ notices…]

3. Please don’t make me compare ‘apples’ to ‘oranges’. It’s just not fair to either one.

4. Used car prices…insane.
wrecked carYou expect me to match your price for that unsafe-at-any-speed death trap with mushy brakes and a not-as–serpentine-as-it-should-be belt? I’ll show you*…right this minute I can saunter into a showroom and pick up a new model, complete with the dozen soon-to-be-released-at-inconvenient-intervals recall notices.

5. We can put a man on the moon, but most veterinarians still prescribe those insane, post-surgery e-collars. The poor dog is probably groggy and waaay unsettled and the technician snaps that opaque inverted dome around the patient’s head. Yep, real vet training would include putting students inside one of those for a day and expect them to follow through on daily tasks–yes, all daily tasks–and then sleep through the night.

Queen Elizabeth I
This is a start. I wouldn’t even expect vets to wear the jewelry or puffy shirt. I’m not a complete Philistine.

6. And those dumb hypersensitive Chromebook/laptop track pads? One brush of my lithe and slender pinky knuckle and, unbeknownst** to me, the cursor wanders off to some obscure location in my latest masterpiece. At least with handwritten work, there is no roving cursor to track down. And if there is, well, I have bigger problems.


* Who is ‘you’, anyways?

** Hey, when I use the word ‘unbeknownst’, you know I’m fired up!

The struggle to create continues…

Some ‘colleagues’ just don’t appreciate the need for consistent effort.

Interesting related item: How to Write Like a Dog

My research also led to https://www.doesthedogdie.com/ . It’s all about spoilers and avoiding distasteful [subjective term, of course] events in entertainment media. Honest, I turn to the last page of a book about dogs. If it’s not still alive, I’m outta there.

I should be writing. Instead, celebrating an important holiday.

Buddy is almost always camped out wherever I’m writing…honest, he has a bed in this room! Why he chose this spot is beyond me.

National Make a Dog’s Day…

Essentials for the day:

Order him a new toy.

–Donate to Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon.

–Follow through on the three daily walks.

–Hide treats around the house beneath stuffed animals or under well-worn yogurt containers. [Not exactly Martha Stewart Living material, but it keeps him entertained.]

And finally, give his highness time on his throne.

And let’s tie in the importance of dogs to writers with this post from Writer Unboxed.