Inspiration Through Music: Kosheen

Several weeks ago, I decided to make a playlist on Spotify of music from one of my favorite television shows, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. That means that I looked up all of the music that had featured on the show and searched for it song by song in Spotify. This all equals the fact that I don’t have too much of a life outside of my writing. When I get into a sticky spot with writing when I’m not sure where to progress, I like to look up and discover new music. So, I spent a lengthy time searching through all of the music. I was lucky enough to rediscover a band that I’d heard of years ago and yet, hadn’t fully explored, the amazing Kosheen.

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Hiking in the White Mountains!

Glen Ridge Trail

Hello everyone! You may be staring at me angrily wondering where in tarnation your Inspiration Through Music blog is or where the hellfire your Cooking Adventure blog is. Well, I have yet to write either one on account of the crazy work schedule I had this week and more importantly, the trip to the White Mountains that I just took with my good friend, Celena. We signed up for a Lowa Boot clinic going on on Tuesday and Wednesday the 21st and 22nd respectively. This required my work week to get shifted a little and as a result, I wasn’t able to have your Inspiration Through Music up for you on Monday. No worries, all will be rectified this coming Memorial Day weekend. But until then, let me give you some details about the trip!

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Beet Zen

COOKING ADVENTURE #69: Panamanian Pink Potato Salad


Sometimes, there is really nothing like coming home from a long day at work and get lost in cooking dinner. It has been quite some time since I’ve done a Cooking Adventure dinner and I feel as though I’ve gotten out of touch with cooking a little over the last few weeks. My plate has been filled with lots of things this month and it has been easier for me to just buy frozen things at the grocery store to eat rather than spend time after working all day to make something. Last night as I got home and realized I didn’t have any pre-prepared dinner to make quickly. But I was also feeling a real need to get lost in something, have a real “zen” moment where I could find my calm. Somehow, cooking seemed like the way to go. And I have to say this was one of the most calming cooking adventures I’ve done yet. All of the tension and frustration I’ve been feeling melted away into a pleasurable act of creating this flavorful potato salad with a unique pink tint provided by one of the most delicious vegetables known to man; beets.

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Maine Literary Awards Finalist!

I woke up this morning with a migraine. I ended up going back to bed for an hour to get rid of it, sipping at weak coffee, and eating a rather crispy pumpkin muffin.

I drove to work behind someone who was afraid of slight bends in the road. He’d slow down whenever he came to one… and he wasn’t even going the speed limit.

All day at work, I kept saying the opposite of what I meant to say. It got so that I couldn’t even get one sentence out without something not sounding right.

But when I got home, I received some of the best news I’ve ever had. My second novel, Aequitas: Book 2 of The Monstrum Chronicles was nominated in the speculative fiction category at the 2013 Maine Literary Awards. I’m blown away… completely blown away. They said that there were a hundred entries for the various categories. To be one of the finalists in the Maine Literary Awards along with such names as Paul Doiron and Monica Wood and countless others is a tremendous honor. A fellow author with whom I’m thankful to have been introduced to, Jeff Foltz, is one of my fellow nominees. I’m so glad that I can share that category with such a wonderfully talented author.

The awards ceremony is May 30th! I’ll be there to rub elbows with some pretty awesome people and sit trembling as they announce the winners. Words can’t describe how excited I am. Seriously. Excited.

Haven’t checked out my Monstrum Chronicles series yet? Aequitas can be found here on Amazon! Give it a peek!


Cooking No-Nos

I used to think that my cooking was really bad. There was a point when everything I made seemed to turn out wrong and my “cooking adventures” frequently stemmed from me totally fudging a recipe that was usually easy to do. But then, I happened upon this list from buzzfeed and was reminded that there are more hopeless people out there than I. The cupcake photos just astound me. Apparently common sense doesn’t apply to these people when they start cooking in the kitchen. Check these out!

Didn’t see the latest Cooking Adventure? Scroll down. Much fun awaits.


Ermagerd! Permpkin Merfins!

COOKING ADVENTURE #68: Pumpkin Muffins

Hey, I'm a horror writer. You had to expect me to do something like this at some point...

Hey, I’m a horror writer. You had to expect me to do something like this at some point…

Let me be clear: I made a batch of these delicious muffins last week. So why didn’t I write a Cooking Adventure then? Because I ate them all and didn’t take a picture. Yup, you heard right. I ATE THEM ALL. It also literally took me ten minutes to whip up the batter and a half an hour to cook them the first time… so I didn’t really think there was much narration that could happen from there. But, I knew I had to stick with it and if sticking with it means that I have to make another batch of scrumptious muffins… well, who can say no to that? I probably should have. This 2nd batch as it turns out was the more difficult of the two, resulted in more errors, and was for all intents and purposes, a true “adventure”. The one before? A mere frolic. I will say though, these muffins were to die for. I will most definitely be making these again in the future. One is a perfect amount to take with you in the morning on your commute to work. And… it’s pumpkin. It rocks because of that fact. Need I say more? Continue reading

Inspiration Through Music: Celldweller

Ever have a morning where you can barely crawl out of bed? What am I saying… of course you have. Everyone has. That soft velvety feel of the sheets and the warmth call back to you as you trudge toward your bedroom door and out onto the always cold kitchen floor. Don’t fear, my friends. There is music that can help that feeling. And that music is Celldweller. In most cases, I have a little bit of time first thing in the morning to get some writing done before I have to start getting ready for work. Those are the reasons I rip myself out of bed at six a.m. every morning. This morning, I had some trouble though. I was very, very tired and almost just wanted to stay in bed. But, I knew that I had an action scene that was waiting for me to write and that in order to do that, I’d have to call upon the services of one of my favorite rock groups, Celldweller.

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Monstrum Chronicles-Inspired Tea!

Torrent's Tea Blend LabelScissor's Tea Blend Label

Yup. You’re standing there, tapping your foot at me, waiting for your Inspiration Through Music or Cooking Adventures… and I have neither one. However, I have tea. I have Monstrum Chronicles-inspired tea blends from Adagio Tea. I think this is a worthy fill-in.

The other day, I discovered this wonderful website where one can basically create as many tea blends as they want and can do so after their favorite characters in television, books, and movies. Needless to say, the website is overwhelmed with LOTR, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey inspired teas. I was psyched to discover that I, too, could create some tea blends inspired by my favorite characters in my own book series. And so, for the last couple days, I’ve been feverishly pouring over my characters trying to decide which ones are worthy to have a tea made after them.

I’ve got 9, folks. I’ve already made 9 tea blends. A lot more work than it seems because I had to come up with the graphic art to go on the packaging as well! And it had to be different for ever character. Still, it was well worth it. Torrent has a powerful black tea with orange, hibiscus, and chocolate, Reid’s is a mix of mate and earl grey with some blackberry hints, and Eileen has a vanilla/almond Ceylon tea with the faintest hints of pineapple and coconut. I tried to stay as true as I could to each character and what I felt would work for them. I’m going to do a tenth blend and then cut it off until the release of Book 3 where a bunch of other characters are introduced.

I’m having a facebook poll on which character fans would like to see have that final tenth spot. I put a few suggestions but you can also add your own. Or comment here if you don’t have facebook.

And here, you can find all of the different Monstrum Chronicles blends! Enjoy!

Tomorrow, I will have your Inspiration Through Music for you. Sorry for the delay.


Vinh's Tea Blend Label