Just a quick little pick-me-up if you happen to be at work feeling like hearts and flowers while surrounded by gray-beige cube walls and utilitarian office supplies.
Today you have a choice of new fic or old fic: New fic is the next story in Finders Keepers, Snapshots of Olympus. Old fic is an M7 story called What If that someone wrote and asked me about, so I posted it for them. (waves to T.B.)
Or you can go over to The Happy Page and learn how to make tiramisu for Valentine’s Day, because tiramisu is awesome.
Let me just be honest here and admit that I do not EVER watch football unless one of two things is happening:
- Someone I know is playing, or
- It’s the Superbowl.
I think of the Superbowl as more of a holiday than a sporting event. I mean, you have special foods, family and friends gathering together, people drinking and fighting, special programming on television all day long, even themed sales in stores. It’s a holiday! And I like holidays, so Superbowl Sunday is an annual event at our house. How do I know which team to root for since I don’t follow football? Easy, I pick my team based on either whose logo animal I like best or whichever one isn’t the Broncos.
Today, however, I discovered that there is actually a Superbowl tradition for predicting which team is going to win:
Yay, my team is going to win! Go Panthers! Now I’m craving hot wings, though…
I’ll be typing along, my characters are doing Semi-Important Story Stuff, and all of a sudden a random thought will strike me and I’ll stop dead. And that thought is: Are my readers going to wonder why none of these people ever seem to go to the bathroom?
I usually tell myself that of course they don’t, or that if they do it’s just a funny little passing wonder. . .until one day I was cruising around on Cracked.com – yes, I know, it’s a bad habit – and ran across a listicle nitpicking the Star Wars universe. I don’t have a problem with nitpicking per se, since it is one of the Five Springs of Inspiration which feed the Bottomless Lake of Fanfiction, but the very first entry on the list just happened to be about how we never see decent bathroom facilities in Star Wars and therefore the whole of Mos Eisley must be covered in shit.
I’ll just do a writing PSA every month, shall I?
Okay, in case you’ve ever wondered, there is a reason nobody usually writes about their characters going potty, and it’s not just because scat porn isn’t everybody’s thing: People haring off to go to the bathroom all the time is boring and interrupts the story. So does bathing unless sex or murder is involved. As a matter of fact, if you think about all of the endless minutiae that make up your average daily life, it’s all boring. Tedious, even. So, unless we’re using it to advance the plot, set a scene, or initiate sexy times, none of that stuff is going to get included in most stories. And that goes double if not triple for movies, where every second of screen time is costing somebody money.
Now, some authors do include hygiene-related things in their stories that they feel are important – L. Frank Baum always had Dorothy wash her face and hands, for example. Other authors may have their characters regularly brush their teeth, wash their hands, change their socks or put on condoms. Do it well and it builds the character as a ‘real’ person, do it poorly and people start to wonder why you’re preaching the gospel of personal hygiene at them.
Do it in a Star Wars movie and people will probably start asking uncomfortable questions about fetishes and whether or not the movie is rated correctly. Because some things just get creepy when you film them.
In a nutshell, my point is this: It’s okay to wonder when, where and how the characters in a story take care of their daily business. That means you, the reader/watcher, are engaged in the story and the characters, and that’s what we as story creators want – we want you to see the world we created as a real world populated by real people. For the most part, though, we’re just going to leave most of the mundane little details of daily life to your imagination, okay? Because in all honesty, you probably wouldn’t enjoy the story very much if we tried to put them all in.
When someone left me a message saying BobsWorld makes them smile when they need one most, I decided the funny little ‘Charlie’s Secret Diary’ bit I’d been sitting on all this time could actually be allowed to see the light of day for that person’s sake. Fair warning, it is rather silly.
Everyone, we have a new spammer who calls himself Tom. Say hi, Tom! Unlike our usual comment spammers here at GKG, Tom’s comment was completely readable but made absolutely no sense in the context of the (requiem!) post he tried to leave it on: Tom wanted to try some of my Cherry Bounce and asked if he could buy a few jars.
I had a couple of problems with Tom’s request, because 1) I don’t make Cherry Bounce, and 2) I wasn’t entirely sure what Cherry Bounce was other than it being an alcoholic drink of some kind. Was it cherry hard cider? Cherry beer? A cherry party drink with a fluffy foamy top and a sparkly sugar rim?
Cherry bounce was reportedly invented in a village called Frithsden in Hertfordshire, England hundreds of years ago, although if you start looking it up you’ll find plenty of people claiming it’s purely American in origin. It was a popular drink in the 18th century and a favorite of George Washington’s, which is probably why some Americans think that. Oh, and it’s also the official cocktail of Raleigh, North Carolina, although they’ll tell you right up front that they know it predates their state.
Anyway, cherry bounce is a very simple concoction to make. In its most basic variation you need cherries, sugar, and some kind of liquor – bourbon, whiskey, rum, vodka, you get the idea. You mix the cherries with the sugar, then mix in the liquor, and then you put a lid on it and set it in a corner for a month or so. The result, strained and bottled, is cherry bounce, and it comes with a side bonus of boozy cherries to eat as-is or make into dessert.
Period recipes for cherry bounce, notably the one Martha Washington made for her famously cherry-loving husband, call for a few more ingredients: cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, cloves. Same process, just more things added to the jar before it goes to sit in the corner for a month. It’s said to be nice to drink and even better to give as a gift during the holidays, and the finished product is an absolutely beautiful color.
I considered posting a clip from one of my favorite Alan Rickman movies (Blow Dry, Galaxy Quest, Dogma). . .but the last video he made was one he made for charity, so in honor of him that’s the one I’ll embed here. Do please disable your ad blocker before you watch, whether here or on YouTube, because that’s the whole point of the video.