Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beignets!

My mom and I made some beignets tonight!

What is a BEIGNET?!
A beignet (pronounced [bε.ɲε], which is the French word for fried dough), in American English, refers to a pastry made from deep-fried dough and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, is a kind of French doughnut.

Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans has been making these french donut stunners since 1862!
They are open 24 hrs a day and 7 days a week!
Cafe Du Monde is found in the center of the French Quarter in New Orleans right across from St. Louis Cathedral and next to the French Market.
We used the special mix that they use at 'Cafe Du Monde' in New Orleans-If you want to make some, this is the ONLY acceptable mix since it's filled with magic and fabulous-ness! You can buy the mix at any grocery store in the South-I'm not sure if they have them in the North, but I hope so since it gets so cold up there! They need them more than we do! ...but-try looking in the baking aisle. Hopefully, they will be there!
Here they are before we dusted them with powdered sugar- they're round and not as large as the ones at Cafe Du Monde cuz we were using a limited amount of oil and had to use a smaller pan-so we just cut them with a small glass.
If you want to make some, be sure you have a thermometer for ur oil-u can do it in a pot or frying pan and u don't need much oil(it's not like frying shrimp or anything-you don't need a fryer)-but you SHOULD have the temp they tell u on the box, or they'll get all wonky and not cook evenly...and that makes me sad.

Jasmine did little to help besides crawl into the empty water bottle box on the table and judge us. Biatch.
And now...the MOST important step...
You just put powdered sugar in a sifter and tap it so the beignets get snowed on...and...
Powedered Perfection!
AND - remember Beignet Rule Number 1: You can NEVER have TOO much powdered sugar! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Patrick Bateman Hates Your Hook!

“Not quite blonde, are we? More of a dirty blonde.” - Patrick Bateman 'American Psycho'
Your first step after finishing ur book is to send query letters to literary agents. A query letter has three concise paragraphs: the hook, the mini-synopsis, and your writer’s biography.
I'm going to share with you some Hook examples that have been submitted and commented on by a real literary agent-I got all of these from her personal site that she no longer updates, but keeps up for the reference of us writers: Miss Snark, The Literary Agent.

Examples: (Miss Snark's comments are in italics)
BAD HOOK:

“What did you see in there?” Cole asked the rookie cop, Murphy, even though she recognized the vacant stare, blank expression, and isolation as signs of PTSD. Murphy slowly turned her head until their eyes met.
“The Devil has Come.” Murphy muttered over and over, “The Devil has Come.”
(your hook starts here)
FBI Agent A.J. Branson has been tracking the serial killer who he dubbed, The Keeper, for seven weeks, 35 young women spread out over 7 cities and 5 states, and he has no idea who he is.
The only clues left at the scene are a dismembered body, semen, a poem and a large bloody hand print that has a large scar spanning across the entire hand.
Cole Saunders and Ben Hartgren are fist to investigate a bizarre murder involving a close friend. Her dismembered body is found in a desolate farm house. The only clues left at the scene is a missing right breast, in it’s place, a poem is left, and a bloody hand print left on the sheet.
As A.J. gets word his killer is in Minnesota, failure swims on the surface as yet another five women will die if he doesn’t stop him. As A.J., Ben, and Cole step into the shoes of a maniacal crazed psychopath and delve deep into each death poem, their worst fears are realized when they discover it’s not just one killer they seek, there are two.

The final confrontation occurs in a small country church where each must face their worst nightmare, alone and unprepared.

I can't begin to tell you how over over over serial killers I am. Dismembered bodies, poems, clues...blechhhh. It's been done to death (so to speak). I don't even read pages for these any more I'm so sick of them. The reason I'm sick of them is that in most cases, the antagonist is must some sort of boring ass psychopath who's exacting revenge on his firstlove/mother/agent whatever. Booooring. Give me some substance in the character, some kind of genuine motivation, a character who is genuinely frightening not just a cartoonish Jason/Freddy/ChainsawfromTexas. And failure doesn't "swim to the surface" unless it's a shark who needs dental work.

REALLY BAD:

Sixteen-year-old Tabby Victrola is confused when her friend Dominic asks her to sneak into a man's apartment and steal a plastic bottle of kids' bubble-blowing solution.
The question on Tabby's mind is why, but she goes through with the robbery anyway, thinking it'll be a piece of cake. It is, with just one exception: Tabby panics when the sleeping man stirs, and she decides to hurl a bowling ball at his head.
Once safely back at home, Tabby tries to forget about her crime and starts blowing the bubbles from the bottle on her family members and best friend. Then she figures out why they were worth stealing--they give people instant midlife crises.
After Tabby's mother leaves for New York to join the Rockettes,
her father buys a vintage VW van
and jump-starts a macrobiotic diet,
Macrobiotic Diet
and her best friend Juliette ditches her for Kant and the tattoo parlor, Tabby is left feeling very alone, not to mention very pursued by locallaw enforcement. Can Tabby evade the police for long enough to get some straight information out of Dominic, reverse the effects of the bubble solution, and reclaim life as usual?

Sometimes there's just nothing to be said.

GOOD HOOK:
Frank needs help. Seriously. Between his infatuation with his boss and his compulsion to kill, he’s heading for trouble.

A satisfying little killing spree in which he takes out both his mum and his psychiatrist in one happy day soon spirals out of control and he can’t help but feel that the terrorists he has fallen in with are doing it all wrong. They have such an impersonal style of killing.
Amateurs.

But then his boss tells him how much she loves him, the police vow to protect him from the crazy terrorists, and he discovers psychedelics.
Of course, just because Alice loves him doesn’t mean he stops wanting to sink his fingers into the soft flesh at the base of her throat. Some pleasures are worth the risk and the drugs just make it harder to know when to stop.

And as for the police? Well, they’ve got it coming. The terrorists’ plans only need a little tweaking to make them perfect.

This is a hook. And a damn good one. Scary little sod ain't he?

ANOTHER GOOD ONE:
Middle-grade fiction, 20,000 words

When ten-year-old Lulie comes across an antique ring that seems to grant wishes, she's torn. Sure, she's thrilled that magic has entered her boring life. But she's freaked, too. She knows magic's not real, so either something's gone majorly wrong with reality, or she and her mentally ill Uncle Bobby have a lot more in common than she'd care to admit.
Every time Lulie makes a wish now, it comes true. Coincidence or magic? A fire drill that frees her from a surprise math quiz might be pure dumb luck,
but how about her beloved uncle acting almost normal for a change? Still, Lulie frets that either she's gone off the deep end, or she's meddling with folks in a way that she just has no right to.

What to do?

She confides in Isabelle, her best friend since kindergarten--Isabelle, who used to be good old Izzy but who is working at turning herself into somebody named Belle. Lulie shows her the ring anyway.

Big mistake.

A feisty fifth-grader with a maybe-magical ring ought to be sitting pretty. Could be, though, that Lulie's luck has taken a turn for the worse.

I love this. Notice how you get a sense of character without "description", and the conflict is a natural flow in the story? This is really good. It doesn't follow the XYZ template (and shouldn't!!) but every element is here implicitly or explicitly.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Katie Holmes?! Nobody Else Does!!


Everyone kept hyping it up, and it was HORRIBLE!
I read that she's been training in dance for a full year- Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones trained WAY less than that for 'Chicago', and they were AMAZING!
She "moved" more than she actually danced, and her singing was way weak.
Watch Mrs. Tom Cruise's Judy Garland tribute on So You Think You Can Dance?(above).
Thoughts???
It was pre-taped and I think Xenu would agree with me when I say, she SUCKED!
More disappointing than'Transformers'! I didn't think that was even possible!

WHY Carrie Prejean?! WHY?!!


.........Singing - FAIL!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't miss your chance to read this AMAZING novel! -YOU can't travel back in time .

The Time Traveler's Wife, published in 2003, is the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences.
Niffenegger, frustrated in love when she began the work, wrote the story as a metaphor for her failed relationships. The tale's central relationship came to her in a flash one day and subsequently became the novel's title.
The novel, which has been classified as both science fiction and romance, examines issues of love, loss, and free will.
In particular, it uses time travel to explore miscommunication and distance in relationships. It also investigates deeper existential questions.
As a first-time novelist, Niffenegger had trouble finding a literary agent. She eventually sent the novel to MacAdam/Cage unsolicited and, after an auction took place for the rights, Niffenegger selected them as her publisher. It became a bestseller after an endorsement from author and family friend Scott Turow on The Today Show, and as of March 2009 had sold nearly 2.5 million copies in the United States and the United Kingdom. Many reviewers were impressed with Niffenegger's unique perspective on time travel. Some praised her characterization of the couple, applauding their emotional depth; others criticized her writing style as melodramatic and the plot as emotionally trite.

Audrey Niffenegger dyed her hair Clare-red to say "goodbye" to the novel after she had finished writing it.
The novel won the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize and a British Book Award. A film version starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana is scheduled for release in August 2009.
In other news: I made a pear tart and lime meringue cookies today :)


All from scratch!
Jasmine didn't help...so selfish.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bravery is

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Katy Perry Will Be In Houston in TWO Weeks!! YAY!

Katy Perry - Kitty Purry
Penny Roberts - Jazzy Macaroon

Saturday, July 18, 2009

J.K. Rowling: A Year In The Life


The rest of the interview can be found HERE.
My Favorite Moment:
James: "What Keeps you going?"
Rowling: "I'm a born tryer."
James: "Why do you still write?"
Rowling: "Because I love it and I need it."
James: "How would you like to be remembered?"
Rowling: "As someone who did the best she could with the talent she had."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

EPIC FAILURES!

Stephen King: Mr. King received dozens of rejections for his first novel, Carrie; he kept them tidily nailed to a spike under a timber in his bedroom.One of the publishers sent Mr. King's rejection with these words:

"We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

Side note: I'm SO hungry! I could really eat some thin mints right now!

THO...The LAST thing those little b*&%#es should be allowed to call themselves is "thin"! Look at him with his little soccer ball! "You don't play soccer!"

"YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES!!"

Anne Frank: According to one publisher, The Diary of Anne Frank was scarcely worth reading:

"The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level."
15 publishers (other than this dope) also rejected The Diary of Anne Frank.
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (later Sorceror’s) Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers, including biggies like Penguin and HarperCollins. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, only took it on at the behest of the CEO’s eight-year old daughter, who begged her father to print the book. God bless you, sweetheart.
George Orwell: One publisher rejected Mr. Orwell's submission, Animal Farm, with these words:
"It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA."
.....I could use some lemonade too...I'm like 99.9% parched.
William Faulkner: One publisher exclaimed in the rejection letter for Mr. Faulkner's book, Sanctuary:
"Good God, I can’t publish this!"
...of course...If I have some lemonade, I'll have to be wearing an emerald necklace...that's only kosher.
Katy Perry on being dropped by two record labels before her success with 'One of the Boys':
Q: Does the top 10 debut for One of the Boys feel sweeter after so many close calls?A: It took a long time, and it was a lot of failing. Like I was one big, fat fail. It's very rewarding. It feels like a release, mostly. Like I've been holding my breath underwater. You know you're at the bottom of that pool, and you know you're going to (expletive) die. Your brain's frying, and you come up for air, and it's just like (gasps).
You knew I was gonna add her!! :)
Walt Disney's first cartoon production company went bankrupt.
...and I'll definitely need to be wearing some Versace. I mean...WHO drinks lemonade without Versace?! Not Me! Not Ever!! :)
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporter's job because she was "unfit for tv."
Don't be afraid to try OVER AND OVER again! If you fail, you will be in GOOD Company!!