Friday Snippet #40

Koi out of waterI won’t comment on the weather. It’s raining now, but I can’t remember about the rest of the week.  Other than editing, and waiting for some more editing coming my way, I spent the last seven days working on the lecture. I’ve been recording myself and I have mixed feelings about my performance. I tend to eat words a lot and I haven’t been able to recite the whole speech without humming and hemming between one slide and the next. Yesterday, I stopped making any sense after the seventh try. Also, after a spell of insomnia, I decided to avoid coffee for a week and see what happens. First day of the experiment. So far, I’ve tried to put clean dishes in the fridge, ate three five times what I would have any other day, and I have a huge headache. Also, I took a break from writing this post to go downstairs and eat some more…

From All the Rainbow’s Colors,

My day ends as it started, with my nose against the cold window’s panel. The apartments in the building complex in front of mine are all illuminated. The lady in pink hasn’t come home yet, but there is a man I’ve never seen in her living room. He’s arranging long stemmed red roses in a tall vase. The man is so pink he’s almost red like the roses. Who knows what it feels to be that shade of pink? I have no clues.

In the next apartment, a family of five, mother, dad, and three small kids, is preparing for the usual reading time ritual before bed. Every night, the father tucks the kids in their tiny beds, and read a tale from the same old, battered book. He must know every word of that book by heart. He smiles, always. The man is lucky, because he’s not cursed like me. He doesn’t see that his youngest child has the same green shade of his mom, but his orange comes from a family friend, who visits the house a lot. And so the dad is happy.

I am forced to know. Since it started, two years ago, people’s feelings are no secret to me. And what it makes this whole situation even worse is that I can’t do without colors. Literally. I hate them, and I can’t survive without them.

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Friday Snippet #40

Friday Snippet #39

*Didlr Staycation Week

Almost at the end of our annual staycation. It has been a great week. I sent Gaia (working title) to Redadept Publishing and it should come back with notes and changes in fourteen days. The editing of Prince f War is almost done. Amy and I are working on the final touches before sending the document to the proofreader. My cover artist, Alessandro Fiorini, is playing around with Prince’s cover and I’ve just to decide which color and texture I like best. My talented and very patient husband helped me with a presentation about indie publishing. I was asked to give a lecture on the subject on May 9th, at the Bellevue Art Museum. He made my text pretty by adding animation, graphics, and other neat stuff I didn’t even know existed. Now, I must memorize the speech and time myself. Despite capricious weather, this week, I walked a staggering twenty miles around my green neighborhood. According to endomondo, the app I’m using to track my walking habits, I burned almost 2k calories and I was outside for a total of nine hours. Too bad today is pouring down like there’s no tomorrow.

From the YA paranormal, All the Rainbow’s Colors:

“Milla? What are you doing, there, all alone?” Giorgia is calling me from the stairs outside our classroom.

Since the Scholastic Authorities have decided that opening a transit directly inside a classroom creates distraction, duh, every school in the City has adopted the external staircases. Architecture gone wrong, if you ask me.

“I like eating alone,” I answer, while climbing the steps two at a time.

The rest of the day drags to the point I contemplate to slip into a coma. If I only knew how. Instead of taking the transit with Rachel, I go home walking. It’s colder, and it’s silver-raining harder than before, but I don’t mind. When I get home, I’m silver, from head to toe.

In the kitchen, I prepare a snack I will never eat. I’ve become quite the accomplished actress. Nobody has discovered me, yet. In two years I haven’t lost weight, and my pale complexion is all the rage.

I put the sandwich I made on the nightstand, and I go take a shower in my bathroom. After, I look at myself in the mirror, and I’m satisfied by my green. It’s a shade too dark, but it will do, for now. I should’ve looked for a bigger animal, the effects would’ve lasted longer, but I don’t want to complain.

*In case you’d like to take a look at my didlr gallery.

Friday Snippet #39

Ciambellone, an Italian Favorite

Ciambellone al LimoneToday’s recipe almost didn’t have a picture to go with. As soon as out of the oven, the ciambellone was half devoured by my husband.

Ingredients:

3 eggs

300 grams sugar (it should be 1 1/5 cups)

300 grams of whole purpose flour (it should be 2 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon of baking powder

the zest of two lemons

1 cup water

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of salt

For the icing:

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons of sugar.

Preheat the oven at 325F. I used the Kitchenaid to whip the sugar and the eggs, then added in a few batches the flour mixed with baking powder , the salt, and the lemon zest. Between batches I added the water and the extra virgin olive oil. I poured the batter in a Bundt cake pan and let it bake for 50 minutes, until it was golden. I added the icing and let it rest for the one minute it took my husband to find it.  The icing isn’t necessary, but I like lemony desserts. Instead of the lemon icing, nutella or jam can be used.

The story behind the recipe:

At my house, this Bundt cake is known as, ‘il ciambellone della Signora Checca,’ which more or less translates into, ‘Mrs. Checca’s Bundt cake.’ Mrs. Checca was a nice lady who introduced my family to this staple of the Italian desserts tradition. She shared the recipe with my mom, and my mom eventually shared it with me and my sister. The original recipe unfortunately doesn’t fare well with the American ingredients. From flour to sugar, everything is different here. Any time I tried to bake the ciambellone, it came out good, but never as the one I remembered from my youth. Last year, I passed the recipe to two friends of mine. While they were writing down the ingredients, instead of the eleven tablespoons of water required, one of them put down twenty-two. The ciambellone was baked with the altered quantity of liquids and surprisingly turned out great. So I implemented the serendipitous discovery into the recipe and started experimenting with the extra virgin olive oil as well. Instead of the two tablespoons of evoo the original recipe required, I used half a cup. The rest is history.

Ciambellone, an Italian Favorite

Friday Snippet #38

Mount Ranier

Late in the day, but here I am. Rainy and cold Friday. Today, I couldn’t go out for my usual walk for a very good reason. After four years in the making, I finally finished writing my New Adult novel. Not sure if it is soft scifi or paranormal, there’s an alien but neither science nor vampires involved in the story. Also, I haven’t decided on the title yet. It has been Her Book for a while, but it will probably become Gaia or The Book of Gaia. In other and equally exciting news, my editor sent me the final six chapters of Prince of War. I’m mentally exhausted, my eyes see snow flakes when I look at the screen, but I’m happy. Looking forward to the weekend.

From All the Rainbow’s Colors:

A squirrel jumps from brunch to brunch on the tree in front of my bench. Even the squirrel is pink. Can you believe it? This color is starting to annoy me, big time. I give a brief glance right, then left. Nobody is around. I outstretch my hand toward the tree, and I point my fingers at the squirrel. I shake. I’ve waited too long. I do my best to steady my fingers.

The squirrel stops on the highest branch, he looks dizzy. I finally manage to aim at the small pink cloud, and ever so slowly the color dims, until it becomes a pale shadow of the tint it was. I feel immediately better, the incoming headache retreats, the blue is now a beautiful dark green. The squirrel seems to wake up from a nap, and runs away.

I feel bad. Every single time. After. I can’t not eat. I tried. I won’t ever be black again. Never again. It happened only once, at the beginning, when I didn’t know, yet, how to stop the hunger’s pain. Since then I’m careful. I never let myself go beyond the darkest blue. There are times when I can’t stop. Once, only once, I didn’t stop before the color disappeared.

Friday Snippet #38