Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Fall Dessert

Desserts are the best things ever, aren't they?

I think I figured out one that is ideal for the season of shorter days and longer nights, it simple and pretty healthy at the same time, so here goes!

Apple-Mango Pudding with Ginger 

You will need:

1 medium apple, Gala or similar
1 cup Mango (I used frozen but fresh would also work)
1 small carrot
about 1 tsp fresh ginger
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup plant milk of your choice


Put the chia seeds in a bowl together with the milk. Let sit for at least 10 Minutes. Then add the apple, mango, carrot, and the soaked chia seeds to a blender, also add the ginger. You can play with the amount of ginger you use of course. Blend everything for a minute or so. The result will be a fluffy, delicious fall favorite. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top to serve and enjoy!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Random Thoughts on Feminism

So the other day I got hit with a comment about when I would finally become a mother. This came from a female family member, and at the time I didn't really know how to react properly, it just left me feeling deeply uncomfortable, angry even, though I wasn't exactly sure why that was.

But maybe it was more of a joke right? After all, said family member knows I don't want kids. It really wasn't though, she was serious about it. What revolts me so about this seemingly innocent comment isn't just that I never wanted children and that the person that said it is well aware of that. It's that I'm a human being first, not a woman whose purpose is child-bearing and rearing; it was disrespectful of the choices I made and make in my own life and negates, by way of social pressure, the right to make these choices. It was a sexist comment to boot, and it hurt, still does.

Of course it's easy to shrug these kinds of comments off because it's just something people say. Except that's not true. It's very entrenched sexism that's at work here, the kind that's so difficult to work against because it's self-propagating. Personally, it took me years to realize this and to actually call myself a feminist, and all time I was living in a country (Germany) that is certainly doing its part to maintain inequality on an institutional level. Yet, I thought I didn't need to be a feminist because things were already pretty good; they weren't then and they aren't now.

I am angry about being reduced to my gender, and rightfully so. I am angry because women's issues and feminism are still seen as issues that only concern women, something men had best not get involved with. I'm angry because it's socially acceptable still to expect motherhood of everyone born with a vagina. I'm angry because I grew up thinking I needn't be a feminist because feminism wasn't necessary anymore. Most of all I am angry because you feel alone in such situations even though you aren't.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Movie Review: Assassin's Creed (2016)

So I somehow ended up in a screening of Assassin's Creed. Such was not the plan, but I figured I might as well go ahead and make some lemonade here. If you enjoy the review, there's a tip jar to the right (follow the girl with the flowers and the white dress.)


To begin with I should mention that I am aware the movie is based on a video game, but I haven't played it, so whether the movie is doing the game justice will not figure in here. There are also a few minimal spoilers in here, most of which you already know from the trailer. None of them should lessen your enjoyment of the movie.

Plot: I'm sure there was supposed to be one. However, when something is so full of massive holes that it just falls apart in the softest breeze, I'm not quite sure you can call it a plot. The premise is that an individual's unique memories somehow survive in their genetic code. This simply does not get me anywhere near suspending my disbelief as it is just not how the brain works because that is where memories are actually stored. Even is I were to ignore that though, the fact that throughout the rest of the movie everyone wants this manzana de dios thingy which contains somehow free will (???) was just a little bit too much. Just made no sense. And there was something that I think was intended as a big reveal, except it wasn't. But it can be somewhat entertaining taking the pseudo plot apart after seeing the movie.

Pace: The pacing was actually not too bad. As is often the case in movies that rely on a lot of combat scenes, I felt that some of the fighting was superfluous and stilted, but that was something I could live with. At the end there was a major pacing issue where things should have been moving to a nice and tight conclusion, but they didn't. Lot of scenes with people running on roofs, standing on roofs, and jumping from roof to roof though if that's your thing.

Acting: The acting was ok, but there just wasn't a lot for the actors to work with I guess. The characters are not very well defined ones, even the main character was barely 2.5 dimensional, and he was supposed to be two people.

Writing: Dialogues didn't feel tight or even very natural for the characters. There was no proper conclusion at the end of the movie, which was annoying.

All in all, not a must watch kind of movie. As it's winter right now, the only good reason for watching this movie that I can think of is if you lock yourself out of your apartment and you need a warm place to wait for a locksmith and Assassin's Creed is the only movie you can get in because everything else is sold out, that's when I recommend you go watch it. If you can get your hands on some wine to go with that experience, that would be helpful too!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Best Vegan Eggnog

This eggnog, or vegnog, is not just easily prepared, it is also super delicious, creamy, and quite versatile; add a shot or two of espresso or coffee to it, and you have a delicious vegnog latte. It's good cold, or warm. And compared to most recipes, it's comparatively healthy due to the fiber content.

For this vegnog you'll need:

666 g (23 oz) almond milk
400 ml (14 oz) coconut cream
3 to 4 dried figs
2 ripe bananas
0.5 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 to 1 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg
3 tbsp rum or spiced rum
additional rum to taste

Put the figs in a bowl, jar, or in your blender, then add the almond milk. Ideally, let this soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Now, add in all the other ingredients and blend well until creamy. If you need to make a non-alcoholic version, simply leave the rum out. Otherwise, add the 3 tablespoons now and add additional rum (we used 73 vol% for this) when you serve it, stir, and sprinkle some more nutmeg and/or cinnamon on top.

If you like your seasonal coffee based beverage, you can add one shot of espresso to about 200 ml of the vegnog, or you can adjust the ratio to you taste of course.

If you serve this warm, you will get a stronger banana flavor, serve it cold and you'll taste more of the coconut.

If you don't like your nog as creamy as this, just use coconut milk (or almond milk) in lieu of the coconut cream.

Enjoy this vegan Xmas drink!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

D is for Dinosaur Cover Reveal

There it is! Let's have a look at the official release:

For the fourth installment of Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies, contributors were challenged to write about dinosaurs. The resulting twenty-six stories contain widely different interpretations of the dinosaur theme and span the spectrum from literal to metaphoric.

Within these pages stories set in alternate histories, far-flung futures and times just around the corner, dinosaurs whimper and waste away, or roar and rage. People can be dinosaurs, as can ideas, fictions and flesh. Knitted dinosaurs share space with ghostly, genetically engineered and even narcotic ones.

Teenagers must embrace their inner dinosaurs in order to find peace and belonging, a dying woman duels a God in a far future city that echoes aspects of our past, an abused wife accompanies her husband on a hunt for an ancient power and finds more than she could ever have imagined and a girl with wonderful magical powers stumbles across the bones of a giant long-dead lizard. And so much more!

My story in this anthology is L, meaning I'm still working my way through the first half of the alphabet (I'm not complaining.) My L story happens to be a sci fi story, but of course it's also a dinosaur story which for some reason just happened. Hopefully readers will enjoy the result!

For now though, keep looking at that gorgeous dino cover with me!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In case you didn't see...

...Ms. Piper's Luminous Dreams has a new and sexy cover. But that's not all, there is also a new story in there, to celebrate the new cover she tells me.

And it's cool, as far as I know the story has a character from another one of her stories in there, although I couldn't quite find out yet who.

I will though. And while you wait, keep looking at this hot stuff or head over to World Weaver Press to read an excerpt. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Intimacy of Writing--Beta Readers

Do you know the feeling of making something all by yourself, finishing it, being very proud of it? At that point, have you ever wondered whether the thing you made is really actually any good or as good as you first thought it was?

File:Alphonse Mucha - Poetry.jpgMost of the time when you write something, this es exactly how you feel. And worst of all, you know you're not being objective, you can't be, because the story you just told is your baby after all. At this point, the beta reader is invaluable. First of all, a trusted beta reader will actually agree to spend some of their time reading through what you wrote. This is not a small sacrifice for most people, and I very much respect and appreciate that. Secondly, they will tell you the truth about what they think of what you put on the page. They will take it apart. They will show you what and why things don't work. They'll be straight with you.

It is this honesty that always makes me think how much you expose yourself when you ask someone to beta read something for you. Sure, submit your writing anywhere and get rejected, keep doing it over and over, that is a certain kind of exposure as well, but the thing with a beta reader--in many cases a first reader--is that your story just came into being and is probably full of faults and rough edges that still need to bee smoothed out or sharpened to a point, so it is much more personal than submitting finished work anywhere.

The tough thing thing is that only honest criticism can show you how to move forward. The beautiful thing is that being open to such criticism will get you moving forward, for sure.

So if you're a writer, pick your beta readers well. My experience is that the people who do find what's not working and tell me make the best beta readers. Someone who goes easy on you may make you feel good, but it doesn't help you improve your writing much.

And when your writer friend asks you to read something of theirs, don't take it lightly: know that it shows a lot of trust on their part, and know that in most cases, it took them some time to actually decide to ask you! Because showing someone your words for the first time is not an easy thing.