Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Word, O Scribe?

Some of you have been following my blog from the early days (all of one year - I know, not that long), and will have read a few posts mentioning a screenplay idea I had, and that I was planning on writing a script.  I also talked about being a newbie at this and that I'd have to learn about screenwriting to get this project up and running, not to mention, completed.

Now, for those of you just joining us, or those of you ahem several family members, who have been asking "What's this I hear about a screenplay?", or "You are writing a screenplay? What's it about?", here is where I get to esssplain, sort of.  This is also a good way to update, as I last posted about this in late October of last year.

So, just what is this all about?

Yes, I am writing a screenplay (Wiki definition, plus other terms/links), currently on the first draft.  I have finished Act I (there are three in a standard script), and have started Act II.  

I have a screenwriting mentor named Brian Paisley, who is local to Victoria.  We meet usually once a month, starting back in the fall of 2010, to go over what I've been working on.  We started by putting together the full outline, including most of the main scenes and sequences.  Using this framework, I now get to work, bit by bit, writing action and dialogue until I have a completed script.

After I complete the first draft, I will take a little break, then come back to the story with "fresh eyes" to refine it and make it a second-draft script.  If more polishing is needed after that, then it will be done.  Once Brian and I feel it's ready to be shown around, I'll post it to InkTip (a great site where screenwriters and industry professionals can make contact, can search or post scripts, etc.), and also look around for any applicable producers in BC/Canada who might be interested in seeing my story.  It's all a bit of a mystery to me after that.  Up in the air, really.  Things could sit, or move - who knows..?

In the meantime, I write.

Now, as for the "What's it about?"  I'm glad you asked.  Well, here is my draft version logline (a one or two sentence description of the story/the plot):

"Haunted by her father’s untimely death, a young, reckless photojournalist longs to find the beloved Scotland of his youth, but in her search for the truth, encounters those who would rather the past stay buried."

This makes the plot sound, to my mind, rather like a thriller, which the story is not.  It's more of a romantic drama.  So I will continue to tweak the logline. 

While I'd love to spill the full cup of beans in this public venue, you'll forgive me if I continue to maintain some level of secrecy.  I am certainly willing to talk about it with friends and family in person, but must keep the rest hushed for now.  Sorry, gang.  Hopefully once the script is completed and being shopped around, or actually sells, I should be able to give the whole sordid tale.

Speaking of tales, I am off to write while I still have the mojo, and before the root beer & rum starts to kick in :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Recipes: Carrot Ginger Soup

Just in time for the summer heat, I'm serving up a little heat of my own.  It may seem odd to post a soup recipe now, but it was by request that I do this.

This recipe comes to us by my husband (who brought you the Apple Fritter Pancakes recipes), who doesn't normally make the soups around here.  This one, I finally wrote down as we made it, to find out actual amounts and method.

So here I give you, Carrot & Ginger Soup:

  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium/large onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1//2 - 2/3 cup finely diced fresh ginger
  • 2-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 8-9 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1- 2 cups fresh, frozen or canned corn (optional)
  • 4-6 cubed, cooked potatoes (optional)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 litres milk - we use about 1 litre whole milk and the rest 2%. 
  • 2 tbsps dill, dried
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4-5 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold milk or cold water
  • Heat approx 3 tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a stock pot, when shimmering, add onion and stir/cook until soft (3-5 minutes). 
  • If adding potatoes, par-boil these in a separate pot of boiling, salted water.  Drain and set aside.
  • Add the celery, ginger and garlic, cook until the celery is soft (7-10 minutes). 
  • Add the remaining olive oil, shredded carrots, salt, pepper and dill to pot.  Stir in and allow to cook/soften and reduce (10-15 minutes). The extra oil is to allow the large amount of carrots to cook well and not burn.
  • Add half of your milk, or enough to just cover the carrots. Set to medium heat. Before the milk goes to boiling, you slowly add more milk (approx 1/2 cup at a time), then heat to almost boiling again.  Do this until you have added all your milk or it looks plenty full in the pot.
  • In a small bowl, add the cold milk or cold water, then the cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add this mixture slowly to the soup, stirring gently.  This will thicken up the soup nicely.  Serve promptly.


Those who know me, know my love for all things Scottish and for Scotland itself.  So I was thrilled to find out that Pixar's next movie (due late June 2012) is a Scottish tale.

The necessary goose-bump-inducing trailer that had me tapping my fingertips together gleefully, rather like Mr. Burns in The Simpsons:

I'm just a little excited....

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Exercise Regime

And if I give it enough miles, it'll be Carbon Neutral!

When I asked/told my husband about us buying a push mower, not powered by gas or electricity, but by good 'ol human energy, he gave me that "Really, are you going to actually use it?" look.  Yes, he's that expressive, and we have been married for eight years and together for almost eleven.

But I gently stuck to my guns on this, as a push mower is what I used at my family home as a teenager, and I wanted something greener that would also be a good workout for me: cardio plus (hopefully) some killer arms come September.

We picked this bad boy up at Canadian Tire, the last of it's type, with $20 off for missing one bolt/screw that an employee replaced with something else just as usable.  I put this together myself and proceeded to mow the small grass patch that is our front yard.  It worked great, except for not taking down (but rather, running over) the spindly dandelions that spot the area.  I had to manually clip those after.   Think I'll try the weed wacker on those next time...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Thing of Beauty...

This was supper tonight.  It may not look elegant or fancy, but trust me, it is delicious!  We have my recently adapted "burger".  Since I am mostly staying away from flour-based products including bread, tortilla wraps and buns, lettuce has become my stand-in for enclosing the contents of burgers, sandwiches and wraps.  Sometimes it's Romaine, sometimes Red or Green Leaf, and even the odd time has been Collard greens or Swiss Chard.  As long as it's large, sturdy, neutral-tasting and green, I'm down with it.
Our favourite home-made burgers include patties (either hand-made by my husband or pre-formed frozen) from a ground meat that can be ostrich, bison/buffalo, grass-fed beef, venison, turkey, or chicken.   We then add sauteed red onion, sauteed mushrooms, sliced avocado and tomatoes (all organic), a little mayo and cheddar, wrap it all up, and consume.  It's messy and utterly wonderful!

So, what did you have for supper?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Going the way of the Dodo

Did you know that an answering machine is a rare bird to find these days?  I didn't, until recently.  Ours was around 12-15 years old, and had decided to be selective about the volume for listening to messages. Very inconvenient, no?

So, on one trip last week to our local London Drugs, I went to the electronics section, specifically the telephone section.  There were plenty of phones, cordless or corded, and combo message machine and telephone.  But a stand-alone answering machine? - apparently not.

We've had to join the rest of the modern populace and get voice messaging on our phone. 

And our old machine?

Please note the smudgy layer of dust on this relic.  I'm a great housekeeper, really.

Three Strikes!

I really hate it when a naughty child happens to a good birthday party.

Today, I took my youngest, (we'll call him "Mr. G") aged four, to the birthday party of a fellow classmate in pre-school.  The birthday boy is a bit shy, but very sweet and his parents are wonderful - fab hosts, generous, so friendly.  Things were going along swimmingly, with the children being allowed some free indoor/outdoor play time after a set of group activities.  During this free time, a young boy, who wasn't part of the pre-school class most of the kids were, was playing amongst the others.  I say "playing amongst" because he was decidedly not playing with the other children.  In the next hour, I witnessed in this child's behavior what I saw as "strikes".

First strike: beyond ear-piercing shrieks of protest because his mother was trying to have him come away from a popular toy so others could have a turn with it.  Mr. G even covered his ears - "Too loud, Mama!"

Second strike: having several full-on temper tantrums and hitting his parents.  Also, not sharing with others - full-out "hogging" of toys.

Third strike: he hit my child.  His parents weren't in the room, and Mr. G had some colourful balls that this boy wanted.  Since my son's arms were otherwise occupied with the said balls, he couldn't properly defend himself when the nasty child started hitting Mr. G's face, chest and arms in a wild two-arm flapping.  I was about five feet away, and interjected right away between my stunned, teary son and this pint-sized terror.  I had to comfort one child and firmly, but nicely chastise the other. (I ended up having to protect my son two other times as this child was ready to launch himself at Mr. G to get a toy.)

I was tempted to go stand near the boy's mother and tell her, sotto voce, what her son had done.  I didn't though, having the distinct impression that this wouldn't come as much of a surprise. 

In the end, Mr. G did the condemning himself.  When it was time to leave the party, my son and I were standing at the top of the stairs waiting for the birthday boy's mother to lead us to the goodie bags.  The family containing the unruly child were also there, just beside and in front of us.  My wee son, bless his heart, saw the boy, and pointed a decidedly accusatory arm and finger at him.  His mother, next to me, saw this, and looking shame-faced at me, said "I'm sorry for whatever he might have done.".  With a shrug and half-smile, I replied, "These things happen.".  I wasn't thinking this, but I decided it wasn't a worthy battle to get into.

I certainly don't envy these parents their job of raising such a child...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Some ABC's

Sarah, the Student Knitter, posted this on her blog, so I thought I'd steal the base and add my own info....

A. Age: 35
B. Bed size: Queen, but sometimes wish it was a King with how my husband sleeps...
C. Chore that you hate: dusting, cleaning kitty litter, cleaning the bathroom.
D. Dogs: I like other people's dogs.

E. Essential start to your day: thyroid medication and a visit to the little girl's room.
F. Favorite color: green and purple.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver, though with my colouring, it should be gold.
H. Height: slightly tall (5'7")
I. Instruments you play: basic piano, also sing.
J. Job title: mother
K. Kids: two
L. Live: happily and fully
M. Mother’s name: starts with a K.
N. Nicknames: Bex
O. Overnight hospital stays: when thyroid surgery happened (age 14), and for both births of my boys.
P. Pet peeve: Idiot drivers. Inconsiderate neighbours. Inconsiderate smokers. Inconsiderate people, period.
Q. Quote from a movie: "Why a spoon, cousin?  Why not an axe or something sharp?" - "Because it's dull, you idiot.  It'll hurt more!"
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: One - half-sister.
T. Time you wake up: 7-7:30-ish on weekdays. 9-ish on weekends.
U. Underwear:Um, comfortable...?
V. Vegetable you hate: eggplant, spicy peppers, and raw onion (like cooked).
W. What makes you run late: my children.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: teeth, neck (thyroid area).
Y. Yummy food that you make: Most things - cooking and baking.
Z. Zoo animal: Yeah, what about it?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sausage & Kale Tart

My mother mentioned this site, to me last weekend, and a few recipes there that she had tried.  One such recommended recipe was the Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart.  Since I keep a lot of dark greens in our fridge these days (I eat them daily now), I had some kale on hand.  I made this for supper last night, though made some modifications that I thought I'd make note of for anyone interested.  It became a crustless quiche, as I didn't want the crust (trying to minimize my starchy/refined carb intake, like flour products).

The filling is this:

"Sausage and Kale Filling:
My alterations were that I used coconut oil instead of olive oil and butter, used ground chicken instead of sausage meat, used homemade chicken stock instead of white wine, and added three more eggs.  I seasoned the ground chicken with seasoning salt (some tasty organic stuff my grandmother bought and gave us a wee baggie of), poultry seasoning, salt & pepper, mustard powder and a pinch of garlic powder.

I prepared the filling as per the instructions, and then poured it all into a deep-dish pie pan.  Baked at 375 for about 25, until the eggs had set.

It was so tasty (my husband highly approved), and the fresh basil really shines through.  This would work as a meal anytime of day, with a healthy 'slaw, or green/caesar salad.  I'll definitely make this again. 

Blog Changes

Not this blog, but others I run/own.  I want to let readers know that I have know shut down my Gaia's Colours blog, in case anyone wonders.  I really don't need it anymore now that the business is shutting down. 

The other is a new blog I've set up for the women on my mother's side of the family, for us to share with each other our healthier eating and exercising.  This blog is a private one, so only visible to the five women who are getting healthier together.

Speaking of that blog, I want to share a variation on a recipe I found.  This leads me to the next blog post....