Thanks to Ineke for having me on board! I am at something of a loss. Honestly, I might just be scared. So with Repo Virtual, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to write something that was in conversation with the cyberpunk canon, and maybe pointing the way forward along a slightly different path. And I think I pulled it off, for the most part. Or at the very least I pulled it off as well as I could have at that moment in time.
I want to up my game again, write a novel that will be even more difficult than Repo Virtual , and in doing so also create a new sci-fi subgenre because, why not aim high?
But something has given me pause. And so reading that review when I was right near the end of Repo Virtual, I got worried: Was that the best thing about my writing, and had I completely left it out of RV?
In using a near-future setting, did I shoot myself in the foot? Did I lose too much of what makes my writing work? Or will RV work for different reasons?
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Is it better, worse, or just different? But at the same time, it has to be a dark book. It has to be horrifying. And I have a good idea of what Parallel Universe Spies will look like, and I think it could be big — in terms of worldbuilding, series size, and in terms of reader response. Do I dive into Crispr Heart of Darkness and see if I can pull it off, pushing and challenging myself to do something utterly different and completely new? Do I tackle climate change directly, and the tools we might use to face it and adapt to it? Is my fear about writing Crispr HoD something to be overcome, or is it something instinctual I should listen to?
Come up with the characters and outlines for each, and see which one I need to write. See which one sets that fire under my arse. Or maybe I need to write a novella, a palate cleanser between big novels. If I had an agent, maybe this would be an easier decision to make.
I want to stop feeling quite so lost. All of the shortlists are below, taken from the Aurealis announcement here. Seeing these lists in the one place is a great reminder of how exciting and thriving a SFFH scene we have here in Australia.
The Sara Douglass Book Series Award shortlist will be announced at a later date due to the volume of entries under consideration. I edited Static Ruin at the start of the year, and outlined and wrote the first draft of Repo Virtual , then edited and rewrote that draft to get it to a point where I was satisfied with submitting it to my editor. All while working a part-time job, and doing all the other stuff that we have to do just to live. But still, I only wrote one novel.
I had it in my mind that I would like to write a novel and a novella per year, so anything less than that feels like failure. If nothing else, I just want to get the first draft of that Crisp novel written, anything more will be gravy.
The Craft Distilleries & Spirits Trail of Greater Philadelphia
The size of it might put some people off, but it is simply stunning. So, Wish me luck. Anyway, I hope that whatever holiday you celebrate around this time of year, you had a fantastic time. What better way to look over an extensive menu of grilled plates, Southern favorites, and refreshing seasonal cocktails than while munching on delicious popcorn?
Answer: when that popcorn is seasoned with rosemary infused olive oil and bacon. Forget Paula Deen and her butter — bacon makes it better. Twist and Shout: A Southern Heirloom Inspired by the peak of tomato season, Executive Chef Leo Forneas crafts a satisfying heirloom tomato salad that delights the eyes as much as it does the palette. Ripe and juicy red, yellow, and purple tomatoes are wedged and marinated in a light vinaigrette, garnished with fresh greens.
The solid mozzarella shell and the creamy center, perfectly seasoned with rock salt and cracked black pepper, infuses this take on a classic caprese with new life.
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Even with the creaminess of the cheese, the salad is perfectly paired with the heartier dishes from their grilled menu. That means you can indulge in their crawfish mac and cheese, cornbread, and bbq ribs without shrinking your wallet. Note: studies have shown that there is an indirect correlation between the shrinking of your wallet and the expansion of your waistline.
Can You Do the Twist? Nothing tastes like summer quite like food hot off the grill. The Twisted Tail delivers with a variety of grilled plates and appetizers that will cure your barbeque craving. From Southern favorites, like the rack of ribs with Carolina slaw, to more contemporary takes, like the grilled chicken and apple sausage with pear slaw and stone ground mustard, when it comes to the art of the grill, the Twisted Tail gets serious.
The ribs, basted — never drowned — in a sweet and spicy sauce and garnished with a pure Carolina slaw, fall off the bone. And right into your mouth. Where they belong. The chicken and apple sausage pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the pear slaw, while the stone ground mustard provides an exhilarating kick.
Shaped like a smile, the chicken and apple sausage is hot off the grill and beats the kind you can grab from the gourmet market under Commons. Twist from Side to Side Two show-stoppers — the crawfish mac and cheese and the homestyle cornbread — are contenders for the best items on the menu. Both are Southern staples. Both are served, piping hot, in an iron skillet.
And both embody everything that is good in life.
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The crawfish mac and cheese, a nod to Louisiana fare, does not disappoint. From the crunch of the golden brown crust, to the smooth and creamy wonderscape that is the pasta and cheese, to the little gems of crawfish that make you smile when you get a bite, this dish melts away all other worries and cares. These side dishes definitely stand up to the hearty entrees that have come to define the Twisted Tail.
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Twist Real High, then Twist Real Low As the restaurant filled with the sounds of a soulful guitar and the bar overflowed with eager customers, a round of entrees came our way. From succulent scallops and mouth-watering steak to staple low country shrimp and grits and summery burgers, the Twisted Tail offers a variety of satisfying entrees. Served atop a bed of steaming fingerling potatoes, creamy blue cheese, and an aromatic wild mushroom jus, the grilled flatiron steak epitomizes high-class comfort food.
Watch as the slow roasted pig is hand carved into delectable dishes. Discounts are offered to groups of 20 or more. Rather than being presented on a crisp, white plate, the fried chicken appeared steaming in a brown paper bag atop a wooden cutting board. Harkening back to the years of packed lunches, the bag erupted with layers of treats. Crisp and candied sweet potato fries toppled over the edge of the bag, enticing you to eat them first, while the saccharine pickled okra gently filled the empty spaces between the fries and the chicken.
Incredibly moist, although a tad fatty, the farm-fresh fried chicken contained a syrupy rosemary honey glaze, which oozed into the thick breading. Unfortunately, this interaction did cause the breading to lose the typical crispy crunch associated with fried chicken. Nonetheless, the chicken in a bag is an innovative version of a classic and is truly a feast for the eyes.