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So I looked at the weekly alarm reminder and went ahead and typed. Kinda took the weekend off, but that was trying to figure out the end of the novel. That hit me last night, how to get from where I was to the set pieces I had in my mind, so it started to flow.

Then food hit.

OMG. Food.

Yesterday, we looked at each other mid-afternoon and both decided that we needed to be baking. Result: gingersnap cookies and molasses/cranberry bars. Yum.

This morning, take and bake cinnamon rolls from Krain Corner restaurant, because Shaylyn is utterly amazing. Ate two. Saved two. And got a tub and a half of frosting left, so I’m not sure what trouble I’ll get into next.

Then, the porcheta.

Fabulous Publisher Babe™’s family did a porcheta for Christmas when she was a kid. Take a pork shoulder, slice it open and insert spice rub, then rub and tie and bake.

She has a new religion these days. And a pellet grill.

Start with a pork shoulder. Cut it open to get the bone out. Finish butterflying it all the way out. Spice the inside. Rub the outside. Roll like a pinwheel. Tie off with string.

It went onto the grill about 800 last night. Low and slow all night. Got pulled around 930 this morning, when it got up to temp (about 190F).

Then, the secret sauce. Pull it and put it in a plastic trash bag, then put the bag in a small cooler and close it up to rest for two hours.

At lunch (including brussel sprouts cooked with walnuts and bacon grease), I had a hard time pulling it out of the bag. Then I tried to cut it.

A good, grilled roast has a “Bark” on the outside, like a tree. The bark held. The meat was falling apart.

Basically, we had a pulled pork porcheta. And got two big tupperware bins of meat when I got the remaining five pounds chopped and pulled. Might need to go buy some bread at some point. And cheese. And whatever. Because OMG it is amazing meat.

And will only get better next time, because this was her first porcheta using her brother’s family recipe.

Can’t wait.

Writing: I’m past 40k on the Red Branch Book One (1949, Soviet exile fighter pilot mercenaries hunting escaped Nazi war criminals), and deep into the first half of the final confrontation. Probably wrap up around 55-60k, sometime this week maybe. Maybe not.

After that, I plan to write the first of the A’Zedi Survey Corps books. If you were one of the folks that wanted to be tuckerized, make sure I have your release form, because I won’t include you otherwise. Got too many people interested in this. And the woman who I was originally going to name the ship for changed her mind and backed out, so I had to change that.

Past that, not a lot. Been chatting with folks on phone and text. Largely ignoring the family (most of whom I don’t get along with anyway and won’t go see because I don’t need the stress).

Hope your holidays have been calm and warm and friendly and that you enjoy them.

Chat more next week.

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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