feasting horn

RECIPE Make Your Own Twix Bars

I have a sweet tooth. I’ve had one since I was a child, it got worse as a teenager and worse still as an adult. One of the nice parts about being an adult though is that I have my own kitchen and can produce candy for myself in far larger batches and portion sizes without having to leave the house and deal with humans on the days when people are probably the last thing I want to navigate.

One of my great candy loves is the Twix bar. Eating one reminds me of coming home from seeing the pediatrician, because my mother would always get me one when there were antibiotics to pickup at the pharmacy. It was the “you can eat this when you’re feeling up to it” treat, and it always marked the end of one month or another of bronchitis or strep throat or whatever I had managed to acquire.

I made my first batch of Twix bars while drunk and slightly high on pills. They turned out more like a Twix sheetcake, but I didn’t complain. However, I didn’t take any notes as to how I made them. Those notes (which became this recipe) came later when I made them a third time.

The Ingredients

Shortbread Layer:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon salt

Caramel Layer
2 cups caramel
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate Layer
3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)

The Person Layer
1 beverage of choice

A Twix is a sandwich candy, so it’s a trio of layers. We’re going to start with the shortbread.

The How-To

  1. Get your oven to 300 degrees F. If you’re like any of my friends, take the pans out first. It’s an oven, not a second drying rack for the three pots you have, guys. C’mon.
  2. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. With a piece of parchment paper, line a 9″ x 13″ pan. If you’ve got a shitty pan, spray the parchment.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour (GO SLOW AND MAKE SURE THE 2 CUP MEASUREMENT IS ACCURATE, THIS IS NOT A CASE WHERE ‘A LITTLE MORE WON’T HURT’) and salt. Mixture will be dry but will come together after mixing. The consistency you’re looking for is sort of between thick frosting and the good wet sand for sandcastles. It won’t start that way, but keep beating until it does.
  4. This is where you open your beverage of choice and have some. SOME, NOT ALL. We’re about to go do things with fire and sugar, so don’t go overboard. Just have a third. God, I can’t take you anywhere.
  5. Press the dough into the pan. This does not need to be super pressed tight because you still have to get this stuff out of the pan when it’s done, but try and get the dough in an even distribution across the pan. If you have lumps and ridges, call them artisanal.
  6. Take a fork and poke holes evenly spaced throughout the whole pressed-in dough. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS. If you need to tell yourself that you’re doing this so that you have little divots for caramel and chocolate, do that. This is going to help the dough turn into the dough you expect in a Twix. I like to do this methodically and pretty uniformly, though I didn’t always and my previous Twix bars were awful for it.
  7. Get this pan in the oven about 37 to 42 minutes, until it’s a very pleasant golden brown color. In my old oven it was either 39 or 41 minutes, in my new oven it’s 37.  When the time’s up, take the pan out of the oven (it’s gonna be hot, use a potholder, don’t be a savage) and immediately take a sharp knife and trace the shortbread’s perimeter. This is going to make it easier later. Don’t worry about cutting the parchment paper, you’re not going to eat it (RIGHT, YOU KNOW NOT TO EAT THE PAPER, YES?). Get the bread away from the pan’s edges. Then let it cool. It can hang out on the counter or something. Let’s go play with fire and sugar.
  8. Take two bags of soft caramels (yes, you can use the kind you can impulse buy at the checkout line in CVS, I use the caramel bits from Kraft) and dump them into a decent pot you’d make soup in with the cream (SPRAY POT WITH NON-STICK PAM FIRST OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE TO CLEAN THE POT LATER). Start the temperature at low and work it up to almost medium (DO NOT GO TO MEDIUM), and using a nice silicon spatula, stir this together until it melts. Yes, you can make your caramels from scratch if you want to break out the sugar and karo, but dude I want some Twix bars sooner rather than later, and I don’t want to do that many dishes. You want to keep stirring until it’s sticky and all melted. DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGER IN TO TEST IT, IT’S HOT.Yes, you can also melt this in a microwave in 25-second bursts.
  9. When you’re satisfied with its melted state, pour the caramel over the shortbread. Use your spatula to get all the caramel out. Make sure the caramel is also evenly covering the shortbread, then get the whole thing in the fridge to firm up. This is gonna take about as long as 1 episode of any non-sitcom on Netflix (figure 43-48 minutes)
  10. Once firm, take it out of the fridge and using a sharp knife, cut the pieces into the Twix bar shape or whatever shape you . No, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Yes, you can take them out of the pan after you cut the bars but you don’t have to (see next step)
  11. In a method similar to when we made caramel, melt the chocolate. And then we have a choice to make:If you want to dip the bars, use tongs and dip each bar in the melted chocolate, then get it on a cookie sheet or back in the pan to freeze.

    If you just want to pour the chocolate over the bars while they hang out in the pan THEN cut them, that works too. Either way, get the chocolate all over your bars.

  12. Here’s the tough part. Get this back in the fridge for AT LEAST 2-4 episodes of whatever you’re watching. Ideally it’s 3 hours minimum, and I’ve had good luck with 4.  Finish your beverage if you haven’t already.
  13. Eat them after they are nice and cold and Twix-y.

And that my good friends, is how John makes Twix bars.

Posted by johnadamus in feasting horn, recipes, 0 comments

Our Plate And Buffet

It’s Monday, and I hope you had a great weekend. I had a pretty good one, the weather was warm, I got to wear shorts, and I remembered that there were soft pretzels in the freezer. It was awesome.

Today I want to start the week somewhat picking up where we left off on Wednesday with social media, because it was pointed out to me over the weekend that while knowledge of social media is good and critical, you have to make the time to use it. And people frankly suck at that. So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about sucking at making time to do stuff.

Normally I think this argument is a load of applesauce and horsefeathers, because if something is important to you, you will make time for it. You enjoy the procrastinating, so you spend an extra hour watching television. You like the comfy spot in bed, so you sleep an extra half hour past your alarm.

Just like a diet or a fitness plan, where you’re trying to change your weight or your exercise habits, there are sacrifices to make. Gone is the double portion of daily dessert fudge. The extra steakchos are given the heave-ho. These sacrifices are tough initially, because we crave the feelings and/or brain chemicals they used to provide, and our brains panic because we’re not getting flooded with the same stuff we used to, and change is scary so let’s all freak out.

It’s right around this time that people start getting a little huffy, because when I say “make sacrifices” they don’t mention the binge watch on Netflix, or the weekly phone call with a family member that just sucks the life and joy out of them. They mention the time with the kids, the bills they have to pay, the spouse who feels overlooked, the house tasks that need to happen. And they get defensive because they make this jump where I’m saying success comes at the expense of “the important stuff.”

Where I think people go off the rails is in how they define “the important stuff”, because when I talk to them, they list other people and other things. Their family. Their job. Their income. Their bills. They skip themselves.

Now maybe I see this because I don’t have a family the way they do, and I don’t have a lot of the bills they do, but you have to count yourself as important, because making that time to create a thing, making that decision to do more than just hobby around, is important.

Your book isn’t going to get out the door if you treat it like the ten other things you’d do if you had more time or more money. People aren’t going to even know that they can buy it unless you take the seconds or minutes to compose a message saying so.

If writing is a hobby for you, great, then relegate it to the time when Tiny House Hunters is over and just before you look at different flowering plants to put in the bucket in front of the house.

But if you want to make that transition from “this is the thing I do when I think I can, and I don’t take it seriously like that (more on that in a second)” to “I’m getting this book out the door, this is what I want to do, it’s important to me”, then Tiny House Hunters and those begonias are going to need to wait.

When the “take it seriously like that” part comes up, and it comes up quite a bit in my workshops and seminars, some people get upset. If this weren’t writing, if we were talking about you spending more time with your kids, then we’d talk about how you’re gonna have make that effort to do more with them on a regular and consistent basis, even when initially it feels super weird and your brain throws off a ton of excuses about why you can’t. But you have to agree that you can’t say you’re committed to spending time with your kids when you’ve only added in an extra 3 minutes every other Tuesday just before they go to bed. That’s an insult to the concept and a disservice to your kids.

I don’t see much difference between that and writing.

Maybe it’s in our definition of “serious.” To me, a serious writer is someone who sets time out of their day, every day, to do something that advances them towards their goal. If they need to be writing chapter 11, they’re doing it. If they need to communicate with people to build an audience, they’re going for it. Maybe just one thing, maybe both, maybe fifty other things. But they’re not screwing around and talking more while doing less. They’re doing what they want, they’re taking the steps, they’re not letting the excuses keep them back. How are you defining it?

All this is good, but this isn’t the practical side. People bring that up like they’ve trumped me, and the truth is I don’t know your schedule, I don’t know how you work, so I can’t give you (the non-existent) one-size-fits-all schedule. What works for me does so because I can divide my time a certain way to play to my strengths. I figured out this schedule because I was honest about how I spend my time, and took a guess as to what I thought I could do about my goals within that time frame.

I wrote down all the things I did. I spent a Saturday breaking down my not asleep hours in 30 minute segments. I tracked what I ate, when I ate, how long it took me to eat, how long I dicked around on Facebook, how may times I stared out the window. I wrote it all out. I didn’t judge it, I just documented it.

The judging came later, when I looked at my schedule and saw all the places that could get trimmed or changed. Gone was the 35 minutes on Facebook during breakfast where I vainly hoped someone would tag me and say nice things about me. I cut my “number of stares out the window” from 30 to 26.

It’s not like I gained hours. I didn’t. There weren’t hours to gain unless I shifted my sleep schedule and gave up the go-to activities that relax me. But I was able to repurpose those minutes so it felt like my plate – the way I was spending the day – got bigger, because what I was doing was more productive.

Instead of 35 minutes reading about people complaining about politics or social inequality or sharing pusheen pictures, I got 35 minutes to read a book about how to write. Or 35 minutes to read a chapter in a biography. I could sneak in part of a podcast, so I started my day with a laugh rather than a “oh good grief, this is what people are complaining about today? Can they just not be the center of the universe?

Your writing isn’t going to be revolutionized by hurriedly and radically changing your schedule. That sort of massive transformation can often be an impulse, a knee-jerk reaction to perception or anxiety, like a fad diet over a weekend so you can wear an outfit on a Monday. Those changes aren’t often sustainable because you can’t mistake a burst of energy for the inertia of routine.

We talk about “having so much on our plate”, when it’s our plate at the buffet of our own design. These are our choices and their consequences portioned out to us on our plate. Here’s that eight hour chunk of time at the job you sort of like and stay at because it allows you to take those two weeks off and go to Vermont. Splat. Here’s that relationship with the people you grossly disagree with that you maintain only because you’re afraid to jettison it and get flak from other people. Splat. Here’s a heaping helping of impossible goals you set because you want so badly to be praised and be successful while making other people happy so that you aren’t abandoned or ignored or belittled. Splat.

I’m not saying give up the job. I’m not even saying give up the negative stuff that you’ve built into your day to day life. I can’t ask you to do that. What I can ask you to do is look at your experiences, look at where you are, look at where you want to be, and exercise some portion control. Where you likely want to be, what you want to do, that’s going to call for a little less time doing A so you can do a little of B, since B better gets you towards your goal.

Yeah, it’s your buffet, and it is all you can eat, but you gotta be willing to say no to extra spoonfuls of the stuff that doesn’t get you where you want to be.

I’ll see you guys Wednesday. Happy writing.

 

 

Posted by johnadamus in believe in yourself, check this out, feasting horn, living the dream, 0 comments

The Simple Art Of The Impossible

This is later than when I normally write, usually by now I’m playing Mario Kart on the DS, or having a lovely chat with a lovely person or I’m impatiently waiting for something to download so I can watch it later. Usually when I sit down to write it’s morning, and it’s grey and I bang the keys to birdsong and I do my best to get it done in an hour, because I like to have my own writing done before I sit down to edit someone else’s – I can’t stand splitting my attention like that, it feels like I’m shorting the client.

A lot of talk has popped up on my Twitter feed and my G+ whatever-the-hell-you-call the full media assault of Google Plus’ opening page about writing, more the act of it and the effort behind it than any intricacies of particular plots or characters, and I see a lot of workshops popping up that promise to teach how to make a psychopath on paper in two hours or how, if you buy the accompanying book, you too can build a plot that doesn’t have holes in it. A lot of this talk comes from people I respect, and a lot of this talk comes from people who I don’t know, so I can’t say their worth my respect or not. It’s not something I dish out, like rose petals before a bride, it’s more something I hold in reserve, a good cognac in fancy tumblers for members of a little club that John hosts in his headspace.

The truth of it all is that writing is hard. Making a book might as damned well be sorcery for all the conjuring of will and discipline and the alchemy of taking snippets of ideas and concepts and weaving a spell that results in pages being turned and people wanting more. The truth is that there’s a lot of ways to do that, and a lot of teachers, good and bad, who can act as signposts or speed bumps when a writer wants to get from Point A to finished novel B. The truth is, it comes down to you expressing your ideas.

There’s no Coltrane-esque nuanced jazz there, there’s no deeper meaning that you’re supposed to divine or decode – just put your ideas on paper. Write your guts out. Bleed in every paragraph, chapter and scene. If your character’s going nowhere? Burn something down, blow something up, send someone through the door, spoil the milk in their fridge. Make something happen.

You know why your book keeps getting rejected? Because your writing is soft and unclear, you’re bringing cake batter to the neighborhood bake sale, but not everyone wants to lick the beaters. (Seriously, I tried a cookie dough metaphor there too – and have realized that both dough and batter are tasty, but I hope you see what I’m saying) Maybe it’s worse than soft, maybe it just plain isn’t any good. Maybe you need some fresh eyes, or harsh eyes or eyes that aren’t attached to a mouth puffing sunshine up your blowhole to take a good hard look at it. What makes it better? More writing. More reading. Not so you can ape the style of someone else, but so that you can dissect and see examples of how things work. See how Gaiman writes a beat. Look how King phrases dialogue. Don’t copy them, you’re not a Xerox. But learn from them. And that means you might have to loosen your chokehold on your assumptions, even the ones that tell you how precious a snowflake you are.

POV, point of view, stop trying to innovate it. Stop trying to put feathers on a zebra. Stop hopping from head to head in your characters and tell the story. There’s a reason why first and third person are popular. It’s not defeat if you use them anymore than you’re a bad human if you use matches or a lighter to start a fire.

Those achingly dull subplots, why are they there? Are you just padding space because you saw other people do them? Put down your membership card to the Lemming League and just tell your story. YOUR story. YOUR story. Tell it.

Did you just make up a new genre? Why? Okay, so lean a little closer to the monitor. STOP IT. I get it, you don’t want to be pigeon-holed, man, your work is so out there you’re on the bleeding edge of the bleeding edge, you’re a pioneer, a loner Dottie, a rebel. Maybe you are, and maybe seventy years from now kids are going to be gathered around their holo-trons to watch the robots enact your stories. But that would require your stuff to get published first, wouldn’t it? A genre is not a straightjacket, it’s a homeroom on the first day of high school. It groups you together with other people, and gives you a starting point. You’re not prisoner 24601, you’re you. Stop making paper shackles.

There’s a variety of words I can use to tell you what I think of the current resurgence in people who espouse “platforms” and “brands”, most of them I reserve for driving in traffic and instructions to lovers. Platforms are for diving. Brands mark cows. You’re an author, communicate with people. And let them communicate with you. Oh for Pete’s sake, it’s 2014, don’t give me that Fox News your identity might get stolen crap if you have an email address or even a single page with some links to write you an email or places you’re gonna be signing or speaking or dicking around or whatever. Get on some form of social media. LEARN, don’t play Excuse Roulette. You want to know where the agents, editors and writers are? Twitter, Google-Plus. Yeah I know there’s a whole lot of people out in the world who prop themselves up as little gurus (I know, I used to do it), but there comes a point where you can either sit on the plastic folding throne and treat people like peons or you can go out and be an asset to yourself, your efforts and other people. In short, communicate with other people about what you’re doing.

And while we’re talking about communication, can we just knock off this whole “I don’t want anyone to steal my idea” garbage? I’m not saying that hasn’t or doesn’t happen, but I liken it to this: You can go to a mechanic or dealership to get your oil changed or your car checked out, and it’s what bazillions of people do. Or you can go talk to that guy missing teeth who smells like mold, cat urine and burning plastic who is drinking the oil he says he can put in your car. It’s a damned shame that in this day and age, the fearful panicked and stupid decisions of people have spread like a bad case of head lice to infest others, giving the impression that there are more thieves than helpers in this industry. That’s the same poisonous impression that would tell you me and my site are suspect because I don’t have a whole sidebar of splashy graphics or busloads of commenters (who I always have to scratch my head at – because for all the commenting, they could be writing). I don’t have those things because instead I have a Dropbox full of clients’ work. I’ll take the work over splashy graphics any day. This is the judging a book by its cover portion of the post, by the way.

Writing is the art of the impossible. It’s using a common set of tools to plant subjective pictures and feelings into the heads of others. It’s tough to do well, and simple to do poorly. Get a bank account and fill out some forms and you too can be part of the drek that bloats websites and confounds people who want to exchange monies for entertainment. It can be done, but there’s discipline and effort and will and practice and failure and stress and joy and ache and love and anger and not-knowing to navigate as you hit those keys, pick up that pen or dictate into the mic.

I pause here a second to look at my fingers, knuckles pre-arthritic, hands dry, wrists scarred and forearms more like chicken legs. I’m not Raymond Chandler. I’m not Chuck Wendig. I’m not Dashiell Hammett, Seanan McGuire, Stephen King, Gail Simone, Jim Butcher, or Delilah Dawson. I’m not Janet Reid, Colleen Lindsay, Stacia Decker or that guy who’s name escapes me at 11pm, but you know who I’m talking about, that agent. I’m a freelance editor, a word ninja and book ronin, walking the landscape to help people make art. I’m not in many indices, I’m not asked to play reindeer games. I don’t live in New York or Los Angeles. I am a guy with talent and 20 years of writing, editing, game making, filmmaking, scriptwriting, radio producing and puppet making experience. I’m a guy who talks openly and passionately about mental health, about anxiety, about depression, about addiction, about love and loss and art and failure and dating and cooking. I do all those things AND talk about making books and games and art. Because I believe that you, reader, you, writer, you, maker of art, deserve a shot at your dreams.

I don’t know if you’ll make it. I know there’s loads of people, myself included, who can help, if you’re willing. And I know that being willing and taking your best shot is great way to find success.

 

Happy writing.

Posted by johnadamus in feasting horn, get help if you need it, HAM, just write the f--king thing, living the dream, mentions of Chuck, realtalk, seize the minutes, this is how I work, tough choices, writer times, 0 comments

RECIPE:: Mini-birds of Glory

This is probably the first “great” dish I ever learned, and I’m constantly tinkering with it. It’s comfort food, if I’m willing to do a little work for it. Now the basic recipe calls for little birds (starlings, quail, game hens) but you can easily do this for chicken breasts you’ve pounded flat or even pieces of dark meated fowl like turkey. I’m also including in this recipe one of my sauce recipes, because the original recipe calls for a lame and bland mix of butter and booze, and that sort of eliminates all the fun flavors of the rainbow.

What You’ll Need

2 to 6 tiny little birds of choice, or chicken breasts, or some kind of fowl or poultry
1 piece of aluminum foil per bird, large enough to wrap them like a baked potato, sort of
Mixing bowl
Salt
Basil
Thyme
Sage leaves (I get these in a glass jar, and you’ll need like 4 leaves per bird)
John’s Awesome Sauce #8

John’s Awesome Sauce #8
1 can Coca Cola (NOT DIET)
2 shots rum
1 1/2 cup sherry
1 package butter (1/2 pound) room temperature

To the cooking!

In a large mixing bowl, mix cola, rum, sherry, butter. No, it’s not really going to thicken. If you for some reason want it thicker, use HALF a can of cola and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Really though, you’re not going to need to thicken this.

Once you’ve mixed the Awesome Sauce, you need to get the birds drunk. This is easily accomplished by treating each bird like it’s a Salem witch. Hold the bird by an end (Use tongs or wear gloves) and dunk them a few times while looking very serious about ergot poisoning or religious intolerance for witches or persecution or the fact that witches aren’t wood. Place each dunked bird onto a square of foil.

Once the bird hits the foil, sprinkle each with basil, salt and thyme. No, it’s not an exact science. You’re basically going to sprinkle herbs on wet bird.

Lay 3 or 4 sage leaves on top of each bird, like a really crappy blanket. No, it’s likely not going to cover every bit of bird, but that’s okay. That’s why you have foil!

Wrap the birds pretty tightly in foil, but don’t squish, you’re going to want to give them a little space in the pouch. You know how in movies the hero or heroine wakes up in a coffin? Like that. Give them a coffin’s worth of airspace.

OPTIONAL: You can put the pouches of bird on a cookie sheet or dish to make everything easier.

Place the now entombed birds in a 400 degree oven for 18 minutes.

Serve over polenta, pilaf, or a puree of your choice.

Posted by johnadamus, 0 comments

Sound the Feasting Horn!

This series of Snickers commercials always made me happy, especially the exuberant Viking and his Feasting Horn. I’ve heard a lot of authors talk about how hard they work and how much they love their projects, but the conversation so often grinds to a halt with some variation of this sentence coming out of their mouths.

“I just wish people would ask me about the book, or they’d search me out, so that I didn’t have to talk to them.”

And just after I pick my jaw up off the floor, and just after I explain just how easy (and possibly enjoyable) it can be to talk about something you both believe in and are passionate about, they say something like,

“You make it sound so easy, but I just can’t do it.”

And usually I have to bite my tongue at this point and say, “Well…” and then go on about my day. But this is my blog, so I don’t have to hold back here.

1. Okay, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but IT CAN BE DONE. Yes, I’m hugely biased about how easy it is to talk about what I’m doing, because it’s my job, I love my job and this is pretty much all I do, unless you want to talk about comics, games, nerdy things or my favorite things to do while half-asleep. I didn’t fly out of the womb knowing how to do this, I didn’t even really get a good handle on the first ten years I was doing it. But I learned, and that’s principally because I tried until I got it “right” (“Right” as in, I got the results I wanted). I didn’t get it right the first time, so I kept trying, and the more I tried the easier and more familiar the actions became.

2. No one is going to ask you about what you’re doing if you don’t tell them. I have met a lot of people. Some of them even claimed to be mind readers. They weren’t, and to date I haven’t met anyone who’s really honed their mindcraft to Professor X levels. So, unless you’re talking about what you’re doing somewhere (in person, on the internet, via smoke signals, whatever), how are people going to know what you’re doing? And as a side note, if you follow this up with “But people do know….” then I’m assuming you should be telling MORE people, because the ones you did tell didn’t get as excited as you hoped. Also, it’s possible that HOW you told them didn’t inspire them to action, so you may want to consider working on that.

3. Face the facts. I’m sorry if this is cold or hard to hear, but there’s no way around this:

If people don’t know that you’ve got a book either available for sale or in development, how are they supposed to know that they can get it?

And if you’re not talking about what you’re doing, either out of cowardice, fear of rejection, or some kind of faux-humility (I don’t want to talk about what I do because I don’t want people to think that I’m conceited), then why are you even bothering to do a task that expressly creates a product to be shared?

And what sort of lazy coward are you that you to just create things in some vain hope that random people by the truck load will just one day bump into you and say “Gee wilikers, I’ve been looking my whole life for exactly these things, and I just so happen to have bazillions of dollars I’m not using. We should trade dollars for your product” ?

Is this fear that keeps you from celebrating your successes? And before people can even deem your work “crap”, you’ve gone ahead and done it for them? If so, then you have no reason to bitch that your books aren’t selling, that your contracts aren’t getting picked up and that you’re not the popular kid in the cafeteria.

It is impossible to sell something without people knowing it’s available.
If you think your product is shit, it is.
If you think people will hate your product, they will.
If you love your product and you did your absolute best making it and you’re ridiculously proud of it and you love talking about the experience and what it’s taught you, there is no way it will be seen as crap.

But it won’t sell in the bazillions and set me up as being financially comfortable for the rest of my days so that I can sit in my palatial estate and read books while oogling the poolboys, you say.

And that’s true. I’m really sorry that in today’s world you didn’t capture lightning in the bottle and corner the ever fickle market on some concept, taking the pop culture world by storm. And I’m doubly sorry that even if you did, you’d realize that the second something new came along, you’d get put out to pasture.

Now, if you’re a one-and-done sort of creator, then you’ll be in the esteemed company of Pogs, Pet Rocks, those slap bracelet things that were confiscated at school and the band Los del Rio.

But, let’s suppose you want to do the one project and it goes well, but you don’t push forward to repeat that success and you forever want to be known as the person who ‘did that one thing’. How long is that going to work for you? Look at actors, do you think they like being known forever as what they did when they were 12?

This is a time when you have to branch out, try again, and keep logs on the burning fires of your creativity. Always be working, be producing, be creating. It will keep you happier, encourage you, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and seriously make a difference in the quality of your day.

4. Either do it or not do it. Make your moments, don’t wait for them. Fashion is cyclical, and I’m just waiting for grunge to come back into social dress. I’ve got some flannels and old jeans and my Nirvana playlist all set. While I’m waiting for my high school years to happen again (or at least until Doctor Who swings by for a weekend adventure), I’m not sitting still. There are books to edit, scripts to read, write and revise, a series to try and get off the ground, a whole ton of games that I’m slated to work on and with, and a heap of conventions, interviews and appearances to make. (This summer is going to be SO AWESOME you guys).

Were this ten months ago, I’d still be sitting in a Barnes & Noble Cafe talking to the same five people over and over again about how to write better paragraphs and build better characters and being grateful that they remembered to fork over five bucks to hear me speak. And I’d be working…a little. A little here, and a little there, and doing a lot of wishing / waiting for the stars to align / convening energies over magical altars (okay not really that last one, but damn close). And while some people love to take a lot of credit for making these things happen for me, and while I’m willing to give them thanks for supporting me and encouraging me, what really got me to the position I’m in now is ME DOING these things rather than waiting for them to happen.

Because it’s not a bus. There’s no timetable that if I just plop down on a bench, my exact goals will be brought to me on a platter (and other mixed metaphors). Some “work” (not always the stressful, tucked-in shirt kind – sometimes it means you just have to leave the house and talk to people, or go to that meeting or mention something to someone on Twitter) will have to done on your part, because every action (and therefore every consequence, thanks Newtonian physics), requires an investment of energy.

You want something to happen? Get started on making it happen. Take the risk. Jump out of the plane. Get off the couch. Transfer your dreams to your actions. Do shit.

If it really matters to you, you’ll push past the fears and make your dreams/wishes come true. Otherwise, it’s just hot air, and you can go make a good living filling up balloons.

How, you ask? How do I do this? Be brave, make the bold and scary choices, try, don’t assume failure or even success, assume that you’re going to do your best this time, and every time. When things get heavy and messy, don’t give up. Never give up.

Sound your Feasting Horn! Let us celebrate your good news and your soon-to-be-good news!

Happy writing.

Posted by johnadamus in feasting horn, 0 comments