Lisa Hendrix

Myth. Magic. And the power of love.

Category: Shopping (page 1 of 2)

Lion Hunting Champion

Sorry this is a bit late. I crunched my neck somehow and haven’t been able to sit at the computer for more than two minutes without screaming in pain.

However, I’m doing a bit better now, so with the able assistance of Random.org, I have selected the winner of the Bookspotter Contest (Time to go Lion Hunting) from those entered by June 20.  And the winner of the goodie-stuffed tote bag is…//drumroll//…

#15 dawnlizabeth

Bag-front

Dawnlizabeth didn’t leave her email when she commented, so she needs to contact me (use the Contact form here on the website, please). CORRECTION — Oops. I did get her address, but my mail system had buried it.  I have notified dawnlizabeth and am waiting for her reply. But the following still goes, so keep commenting with your sightings!

If for any reason, dawnlizabeth does not respond by July 15, I will select another winner, this time from ALL the commenters, including any new ones that are posted in the meantime. So go ahead, keep reporting where you’ve spotted Steinarr on the prowl, using the BOOKSPOTTER link in the sidebar. You just may be lucky enough to bag a lion after all.

Lisasigpink

UPDATE :  Dawnlisabeth contacted me, so the contest is officially ended. However you can continueto post sightings or comments on Immortal Outlaw.  In fact, I encourage it! – Lisa 7/9/09

Eavesdropper brownies

My husband hates it that I eavesdrop, but it’s a writer thing. You get the best snippets of dialogue by eavesdropping.

Or sometimes you get a great recipe. This one is so easy, and SO-O-O good, and I got it while standing in line at a small-town drugstore a couple of weeks ago. The cashier was telling a customer/friend why another customer/friend (it was a small town, remember) had just checked out with about two dozen of the large size Hershey Symphony bars—you know, the ones that are about 4″ x 9″—which were on sale, buy-one-get-one-free. They were, she said, for brownies, and went on to describe exactly what to do with them

symphony-bar

Whip up your favorite brownie mix, then pour half the batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Then work the magic:  Unwrap three (3) of the large almond toffee Symphony bars and place them side-by-side across the pan.

Pour the remainder of the batter over the top, covering the Symphony bars. Bake as usual, and cool for as long as you can bear to let them sit.

Oh. My.

Lisasigpink

Things I learned baking cupcakes

The theater department at my son’s high school raises a little extra change during play runs by selling mom-made goodies at intermission. It was my turn this time, and the timing couldn’t have been better, as the play was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. And of course, my Immortal Brotherhood books are Beauty and the Beast, too (NOT the Disney version).

Now, I’m an okay baker, but I don’t do it often. But I rolled up my sleeves and set out to make my required three dozen cupcakes. And in the process, I learned a few things—minor things, perhaps, and probably old hat to those who bake more often than, say, once every two years, but new to me.  They are presented below in the order in which I discovered them.

Muffin cups

1) Wilton cupcake liners are better.

I’ve always used the cheap ones from the grocery store (Reynolds, typically) but since I had to pick up some specialty sprinkles at the craft store, I decided the convenience of grabbing the Wilton liners that were right there far outweighed the few cents I would save by ducking into the grocery next door.

Enlightenment. The Wilton cups were sized properly and pleated more tightly, so they actually FIT my pans and didn’t sproing up out of the cups. (See pic. Wilton is on the left, sitting there politely waiting for batter. Reynolds is clearly trying to escape.)  Nor did the Wilton get those funky, annoying wrinkles when I filled them.

Result: Continue reading

Immortal Outlaw Excerpt Now Up!

 

IMMORTAL OUTLAW Large

You can get there through the Books page or go directly via

http://lisahendrix.com/books/excerpt-immortal-outlaw/

Enjoy!

 

Lisasigpink

Can we say prejudiced?

Amazon has shown its true colors by de-ranking certain types of books. They call them “adult,” but the designation involves a preponderance of gay/lesbian/transexual books amid the erotica. Don’t think that’s so bad?  How about if I tell you that they’re also de-ranking romance novels left and right? How about if I tell you they’ve de-ranked the children’s book Heather has Two Mommies as well as Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain? How about if I tell you that they still happily rank dogfighting books and videos and everything in the Playboy repertoire?  How about if I tell you that Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military was de-ranked and American Psycho was not?

Amazon Rankings don’t really mean anything to customers…but they mean everything to Amazon itself, which uses them to generate things like front page searches, bestseller lists, “If you like x then you’ll like y” recommendations, and everything else that effects the visibility and sales potential of books.  In other words, if your book is de-ranked, it WILL NOT appear on a front page search, even if the reader searches by your name or title. Heaven help you if they search by topic. Here are a couple of more thorough explanations

Dear Author 

Smart Bitches,Trashy Books  (My particular favorite, but as always, be warned if you’re reading at work or have a tendency to swoon at explicit language).

LA Times Book Blog

And for good measure, a here’s a definition of the term  Amazon Rank. (Add this link on your own site and help Google Bomb the term so it comes up #1 on searches. More about this in the Smart Bitches post.)

My hubby's famous!

Andrew Stone (Stone Design) wrote an app called Twittelator for the new iPhone 2.0, and to show it off on the iTunes Store, he took a screen snap of his phone.  Right at the top — a Twitter from my husband, David. Woo-hoo!

 

Twittelator loves David

(click to enlarge)

By the way, there’s a new version of iTunes you should download now, before the servers go crazy on the phone launch Friday.  It includes the new Applications area of the store, chock full of iPhone apps, including Twittelator…and my dh.

Lisa

 

They're singing my song

Sing!

I have a couple of Google Alerts set up to let me know when references to my books appear on-line. So far, most of the references to Immortal Warrior I receive have something to do with World of Warcraft or some other computer or online game. I hit delete and they’re gone

This morning, however, I got a notice about a YouTube video titled “manowar Hymn of the Immortal Warrior.”  Curious, I clicked.

For those who don’t know, Manowar (NOT pictured at left) is a heavy metal band. They lean toward fantasy, steel, leather, swords, and lyrics that include the words Valhalla, Odin, and death. And they’re outsiders in many ways, kind of the Grateful Dead of metal. In other words, a band my warriors might approve of. 

I am so glad I clicked.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. I liked the slightly cheesy pageantry. I liked the fact that every oddly-costumed metalhead in the crowd knew the lyrics and sang along like it was their anthem.  I liked the accurately dressed Viking warriors who came on to act out the death of a brave warrior.  I liked it even though I generally loathe heavy metal (on mornings when I wouldn’t get up, my first husband used to crank up the metal on the stereo because he knew I’d come flying out of bed to smack the power button. And that’s when I was 19.  Don’t even ask what I’d do now).

Warrior\'s Shield

I liked it so much that I’ve imbedded the video at the top of my Extras page.  I hope you’ll go take a look, expand  your horizons a bit. Don’t worry, it’s safe; I checked out the written lyrics, just to be sure. (Manowar’s site is a different matter—they are heavy metal rockers, after all—so be aware.)

I also looked up Manowar on Wikipedia. Seems these guys control their whole operation, from recording to distribution to merchandising. But what really tickled me (see why) is that one of their merchandising efforts is condoms, sold on their website (and presumably at their concerts), among the lanyards and jammers and T-shirts (under Merchandise/Special on their site, if you want to look).

Their brand name?  Warrior’s Shield.

I can’t help but think my guys would approve of that, too.

 

 

It's my day and I'll blog if I want to….

Roses

Around the Hendrix household, Mother’s Day means I get to be bossier than usual…but only in the nicest way, of course. To avoid boxes of chocolate that wind up on my hips and flowers that wind up in the compost pile, I’ve taken to being very specific about what I want for Mother’s Day.  This year it was Lemon Ricotta Pancakes from a recipe that appeared in the local paper this week, a strong suggestion for Jewelry to be picked out by my daughter (who understands my tastes quite well and has since she was, like, four), and an outing to the local Arts Festival, which the city fathers wisely hold on Mom’s Day weekend so that we can force our families to join us. Otherwise, I suspect the streets would be full of unaccompanied women.

So, the pancakes were excellent. The recipe called for blueberry compote on top, but we were unexpectedly short of blueberries, so the above-mentioned daughter opted for raspberries. Superb choice. These pancakes are almost, but not quite, South Beach friendly, so I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit, and then I’ll post it here.

The jewelry somehow morphed into an FM transmitter for my iPod.  I was so excited, it didn’t even notice the lack of precious metals until much later. Usually things with cords are off-limits for holiday gifts unless I specifically ask for it — like the Dremel I requested one year. But the kids knew I’d been looking at the FM transmitters, so they suggested it to the Big Guy and the three of them split it.  Now I can listen to my RWA Workshop recordings while I tool around town or have music in “the gaps” when I travel — where we live is surrounded by mountains and far from any other population center of any size, so when we leave town, there are miles and miles with NO RADIO. Barbarous. Boring.  And now, solved, thanks to my kids!

After breakfast, and after forcibly disconnecting my son from his iPod, we trekked off to the Arts Festival. The plaza and two streets were blocked off for art booths, garden stuff, food, demonstrations, children’s activities, and the pièce de résistance, the Smudge Pot Art competition. Smudge pots are the old style orchard heaters that gave off lots of smoke to keep the trees warm when temperatures dipped below freezing (the one on the left in the pic is pretty much unmodified except for paint).  I live in orchard country, and there are plenty of them around, though they’re seldom used any more (thank goodness).

Once a year, our local artists go nuts and decorate one, using whatever techniques strike their fancy.  It’s our version of the art-cows that some towns host, and as in the case of the cows, the results range from sublime to silly. The picture is of a previous year, but you get the idea. This year, someone quilted a watercolor-style cover for the entire smudge pot, including stack. Another artist wove a multi-colored, fringe-y covering. One had an adorable folk-art chicken nesting on top. Everybody votes, and then the smudge pots are auctioned off to benefit local arts organizations. (Here’s more on the pots and the auction.)

Material Girls Quilt

Smudge pots are, however, are not the sort of thing I’d display in my house—even the quilted one, as beautiful as it was (sorry, didn’t get a pic).  But one of the local quilters groups (the Material Girls) was auctioning off the most amazing quilt. I never buy raffle tickets for anything, except at RWA functions that benefit literacy, but I plunked down my money today without hesitation.

Here’s the pic the Big Guy took. Even with the odd sun angle and the shadow of the overhead power line and the raffle information pinned to it, you can see how amazing it is. Click here to get to a bigger version.

I want this quilt. I lust after this quilt. I will win this quilt.

When I do, I will take a better picture of it to post here, and then I’ll redecorate my entire bedroom to go with it. The raffle isn’t until November 9, though, and I fear my fingers and toes will be cramped beyond use by then from being crossed. Will someone kindly take shifts with me?

So, that was the planned portion of my day.  Once we got home, I plunked down to take a nap, eat BLTs (yum), and then fired up the computer while I watched some of the Eureka marathon on SciFi Channel, which I enjoy a great deal (any excuse to watch Matt Frewer—and Colin Ferguson isn’t too shabby, either).

And that’s when I discovered that IMMORTAL WARRIOR is now available for pre-order on Amazon, a lovely surprise, even if the cover and the rest of the info aren’t up yet.

So, all in all, a great day. Please share what you did today, whether you celebrated Mother’s Day or not.

I’ll be back later this week with something more “writerly.”  Have fun ’til then.

 

Lisa

 

 

Rose graphic courtesy Pat’s Web Graphics

 

 

The Cure for Writer's Butt

atreadmillcouldfixthatHow about burning 600 Calories a day while writing with a treadmill desk?

And here’s info on how to buy or build one.

I am so there

Mega-thanks to Jonathan Fields at Awake@The Wheel. Photo cred EOntario (and no, that’s not me — but it easily could be after a couple more books!)

lisasigpink

Lilliputia Through a Lens

Remember those dioramas we used to do as kids?

Well, one of my favorite diversions Boing-Boing (“A directory of wonderful things”), has an article today on Lori Nix, an artist who has taken the diorama idea to a level beyond imagining. She builds, then photographs, table-top worldsMajestic by Lori Nix of incredible detail and beauty. I’m giving you a link, here, to her website, going to a page where I think some of her most compelling images are, but be sure to click on the other links on her sidebar.

You may never look at your kids’ homework projects the same way. You may never look at the world the same way.

Lisa

 

UPDATE: 29 Apr 2008 —

Wired Mag has a wonderful article on Lori Nix, “Nature Conquers Micropolis in Dioramas Photographed to Look Real.”  Worth checking out–although beware the photos.  Due to some error at Wired, they’ve mixed in pix from another article on “tilt Shifting,” a technique that strives to make the real world look like a model—precisely the reverse of Nix’s work.

http://www.wired.com/culture/art/multimedia/2008/04/pl_arts

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