Taking a departure from the normal blog poster, I have decdided to cover the last meeting. Actually it was suggested to me, since it was my chapter that we were reviewing.
But first, lets talk about the food.
Let’s Torture Alex by Mentioning What We Ate
This meeting happened at the end of the week Brant and I celebrate the anniversary of our first date, so we decided to make a little something special for the festivities. For dinner, we made a simple but delicious chicken tortilla soup that I had made before for the group. It is made with steam-cooked chicken breasts, shredded and put in a crock pot with lots of chicken stock. Then I add 5 kinds of beans (garbanzo, pinto, black, great northern, dark kidney), white hominy and yellow corn to fill out the soup. For flavor, I added Mexican style rotel tomatoes and lots and lots of Texan-approved spices (chili and cumin, mostly). Heat for about 4 hours and voila!
For dessert, I was planning on making small cakes with a mousse-filling. But, for some unknown reason, half the cakes I made refused to be removed from their pans, and ended up being shredded. Still, the cake was too delicious to throw out, being a vanilla rum cake, so I eventually calmed down and thought of an alternative. I bought a pineapple (that was fun to cut!) and banana, and created trifles in our parfait glasses. The cake bits were layered with my vanilla rum mousse (a homemade recipe, I might add), whipped cream and the fruits. It was very pretty, and quite delicious. We ate ALL of it before everyone left.
And Now Back to the Savaging
This time around we were reviewing the third chapter of my new novel, Moonlit. I am trying the 'pantzing' technique, where I don't formally plan out the plot of the story. I have a vague idea of where I am going, but let the story lead me where it wants to go. So far the comments have been favorable, although it is completely obvious it is a first draft that needs work. This chapter was no exception. It had problems, but I believe the editorial comments were more structural based that about the story itself. The first and most glaring problem that everyone noted was the lack of continuance from the cliff hanger at the end of the last chapter. It was a bad omission on my part. I had meant to put it in, but simply forgot. Oddly enough, it is an easy fix.
This chapter dealt with interrogating three lycanthropes who had been arrested following attacks on a FLI agent (think werewolf police) and two civilians. I had used advice from an officer friend of mine and got questions right, and generally the interrogation scenes were well recieved. However, it did tend to wander off topic a lot, and needed a few nips and tucks to keep the flow of the story going. On a positive note, they loved the character Lexi, who was the main focus of the first half of the chapter. As a new recruit, her eagerness needed to be reigned in a bit, but Brant, Nicole, and Lindy all agreed that they would like to see more of her. the other characters showcased in the chapter - Boxer, Boris, and Ranulf - needed to be fleshed out a little bit better.
Praise was actually given for one attempt at humor and stab at realism. Boxer tried to give Lexi a false name - Wile E. Coyote - and it went over as well as I had hoped it would. And Boris' anger at being ostracized as a werewolf was well received also. I got a little worked up at some of the semantics changes that were brought up - mainly because I didn't see the difference between what I wrote and what they wanted - but I believe the overall vote was positive.
On another note, Jeremy Lewis, author of Staked and Revamped, was unable to attend the meeting. His wife became ill and family matters - of course - took precedence. I believe I can speak for everyone when I say that I hope his wife is feeling much better. In this climate of fear of illness, you can never be too careful. And there will always be other meetings that he is more than welcome to attend.
The Remains of The Day
We had to wrap up the meeting earlier than usual, because of other obligations. We finished up around 5 pm, and Lindy and Nicole left. Feeling bereft, crying just a little bit, Brant and I - along with Rusty and D'argo - cried and whined as everyone left us alone in the dark.
Brant and I proceeded to watch a movie, like we tend to do after the meetings. We watched Sleepy Hollow, and enjoyed every minute of it.
That concludes the summary of our latest meeting. The next meeting will cover Lindy's chapter of a new story, called Marked. We will be meeting on November 15, and will be at Nicole's apartment. Well, that's all for now. Keep on keeping on.