Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ask not about Friday! Friday was a black hole into which my time descended, and did not return. I did nothing, and didn’t even really have fun doing it.

[Ghost Stories]
Ghost Stories

Oh! I did watch the first episode of Ghost Stories, a bland and predictable anime that the American licensor completely rewrote and redubbed into a grown-up spastic comedy. Hilarious. Not so much Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, an anime adaptation that’s just too weird and experimental to be engrossing. ‘Twas an interesting visual experiment, but I had no desire to watch more.

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Today was better, though it started off worse. I’ve had the hankering lately to try my hand at making caramel popcorn from scratch, so this morning after getting up, I printed off four internet recipes and started in. The caramel was pretty simple, really: melt a stick of butter with 1/4 cup corn syrup and a cup of brown sugar until boiling, then let it boil for three minutes, then add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and a teaspoon of vanilla. Unfortunately, I had prepared all this in a medium-sized pan, and when the baking powder goes in, the mixture poofs up. Out of the pan. Onto the burner.

Okay, so long story short, I started a fire.

It was a small flame, though; I just moved the pan to one side and let the caramel burn over, and the fire went out as I was opening windows and the sliding glass door nearby. Well. Would I let that stop me? No sir. I let the caramel in the pan blacken and cool, then poured it into the trash and started again, this time on a lower heat (so it wouldn’t be as liable to burn) and in a large pot. This time, no problems, and after adding the baking powder easily poured the bubbling caramel on the popcorn and peanuts. After mixing that all up, I spread it out on baking sheets and baked it for about fifty minutes at 250°. Every ten mininutes I opened the oven and stirred the mixture, to really get the caramel coated on everything.

Turned out quite tasty, though it could use a teaspoon of salt. Oh well; that’ll be good for next time.

As that cooled, I fired up Navi and worked on my yount adult novel. I’ve always had a tough time sticking to longer projects, so with this novel, I’m trying a new approach: I’m writing increasingly detailed outlines. The first outline was a list of eleven plot points. Today, I finished the second outline, which is about 4,500 words describing the main action of the novel—who does what, the broad mood I want to set in each scene, etc. With that done, I can now go on to a much more detailed outline describing exact character movements, rough dialogue, etc. I hope to finish that by the end of November, so I can complete the first draft by the end of March. Here’s hoping.

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