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explicit | steve rogers/bucky barnes | 22,500 words | completed

warnings: no major archive warnings. canon typical violence.

The Army owed him leave and 5 million dollars, so Steve Rogers takes the time to get therapy for PTSD and studying law at Georgetown University. When a Supreme Court Justice is assassinated on the street in late January of 2014, Steve follows a hunch that the Justice was killed not for the sake of politics but for greed. Following a a trail of near-extinct butterflies and corrupt real-estate developers, Steve arrives at the Justice’s holiday cabin in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

While he’s searching the Justice’s papers, his best friend Bucky Barnes breaks into his kitchen, still alive and on the run from his handlers. His memories are dim, but he never forgot Steve…and when he was ordered to quietly snuff his friend’s life, he broke away, ready to come in from the cold.

But Bucky comes back into Steve’s life with HYDRA on his his heels. They want their asset back, and Steve’s not going to give him up without a fight…

coming soon in serial form to Ao3

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 so I ordered a Rhodia hardcover notebook to use as my commonplace book of writing and craft, and I love the smooth, slightly heavier paper. I test drove a page written with one of my fountain pens, and it’s lovely and slick. I think I might just use fountain pens with it, since my other journal’s demanding ultra fine gel pens and tiny block printing and ugh

But I’m pretty excited about my commonplace book! I was going to take a picture of my first page, where I copied out a bit from big magic, where Elizabeth Gilbert talks about making a vow to write forever when she was 16, because it really stuck in my head, like it was something that I ought to have done at 16, what if I had vowed to stay close to writing, if I had realized that young that writing was what I would do forever? Where would I be now, if I had only known then?

But you know what? I didn’t know. I had...other things going on when I was 16, and I didn’t know what writing would really mean to me, and it took years to figure out that it meant something, and it’s only now that I know, sure as anything, that writing doesn’t just amuse me. writing is where I feel the most content.

And it would have been brave and magical and a little bit glamorous to be sixteen and make a serious vow to the universe to write forever...to vow to do anything forever, no matter what the outcome is. maybe it doesn’t have the same cachet, when you’re older and you know or at least have a pretty good idea what forever means, now that you’ve spent a great deal of your own share of forever already.

But I wrote the promise down today, and I mean to keep it.

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I declare a vacation. Usually about a week long. I don't look at any of my work during that week.

I get out my paper journal and pen and I write in it every day. I just brain-dump, all my complaints and worries and selfish egotistical thoughts. I'm writing to purge myself of the crap that has built up.
And then I read. I read every day. I read in my genre for one story, and then outside of my genre for one story. I've been catching up on "great" modern novels this year, but I've also been reading historical fiction, mystery, romance, and YA. I catch book recommendations from Stephen King, who hasn't steered me wrong yet.
I write about what I've read. just free-form stuff about what I like, don't like, what it sparks in me. It's all private so I can write whatever I really think, no one is going to look at it anyway
I go out of my way to enjoy art. a gallery or museum visit, getting lost in the met's website, I listen to genres of music I don't usually listen to every day but still enjoy. I look for award winning or classic film, but if what I want to watch is Captain America, well then okay.
I read nonfiction. I should read more nonfiction, but honestly I have to be interested or need it for future projects. I read biographies rarely, but I will read about a period of history or something on a subject that fascinates me.

I listen to podcasts. There are literally thousands of them. google "podcast (subject) and you're likely to find something.

If I get an idea while i'm refilling, i will scribble it down in a bunny folder, but I won't immediately leap on it to make a story. I need seven ideas for a story, so acting too quickly won't help...
...But if I get mugged by an idea, then I follow it. getting an idea is one thing. you can scribble it down and forget about it. but sometimes a story comes in and it's like...I don't know. an entity. it's got a setting I can see and characters who were born like Athena and things are happening that I need to write down. There's no room in my brain for anything else, and I'm compelled to record what I see.

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It’s about honeybees, witchcraft, unrequited love, and the price you pay for the magic you need. I wrote the first draft up to nearly the end. it kept me awake until 5 in the morning nagging at me like an unfinished tune until i had a nap, got out of bed, and finished it.

I think I’m going to send it to magazines.

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Currently the project that's getting the most attention from me is a Brooklyn Tweed pattern, Prime:

 Prime by Michele Wang, a Brooklyn Tweed pattern

I'm not knitting it in the recommended yarn or even at the recommended gauge. I converted it to my yarn (a worsted) and I'm making pitiful progress with it so far. I'm about halfway finished the back. maybe not quite halfway...
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Tor.com Publishing Acquires Witchmark and a Sequel from C. L. Polk

Connected to my December 15th 2016 appearance in Publisher's Marketplace, here is the official release for my upcoming debut novel. 

I still can't believe that it's happening, and so fast.

(ETA: Why the link is invisble until you hover over it, I don't know. What on earth.)
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(transcribed from graphic: “C.L. Polk’s debut WITCHMARK, in which a doctor returned from a recent war has faked his death to work at a cash-strapped veteran’s hospital, but when a fatally poisoned patient exposes his secret healing powers to a witness, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder, in a two-book deal, to Carl Engle-Laird at Tor.com, by Caitlin McDonald at Donald Maass Literary Agency.”)

It’s happening. It’s real. My novel is going to be published – not just anywhere, but at my dream publisher. I’m represented by the agent I secretly wished for when I was making my agent research spreadsheet. From my first queries in February to signing the contract in December, I’ve been so lucky.

I think I wouldn’t have managed it, though, if it hadn’t been for entering a novel mentoring contest and being selected by Michelle Hazen. Her suggestions and insight into wrangling the complicated braid of all Witchmark’s plots into something more connected made all the difference. I definitely wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Liz Bourke, whose kind words about my manuscript tickled the curiosity of Justin Landon, who reached out and asked to see it. We’ll be diving into a new round of edits and I cannot wait to get started.

Witchmark will probably be available from tor.com in 2018. I’ll give more detail when I know for sure.

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 Even Though I Knew The End - a Serial by ceeainthereforthat, Illustrations by kai-art

Expelled High Magician Dean Winchester tracks a serial killer on the streets of Chicago in January 1941, and the Men of Letters don’t like that one bit.

  b e g i n s   j a n u a r y   f i r s t ,   t w o   t h o u s a n d   s i x t e e n

-this work is complete and will update every odd numbered day until jan. 9th.-

“Sanguine, coniunge meum et responsē.”

Three drops of blood fell to the cracked asphalt between my feet, landing on the sigil drawn with the scrapings of alarm clock paint and the spores of a Japanese mushroom picked on a moonless night. The moon hid her face, and magic happened.

It’s the principle of contagion and sympathy, see. My blood, activating the luminescent properties of radium and the living glow of the fungus make the connection to the blood spilled here—

You know what, let’s skip that bit. The ground beneath my feet glowed, spreading along the alley in an obscene greenish smear. It touched everything that was blood and made it light up like the hands on a glow in the dark clock, or a—yeah, a fairy mushroom. I would study these photos and read these smears, divine how Miss MacIntyre died at the red-stained hands of the Half-Moon killer. 

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Temporary Major Character Death
Relationships: Dean Winchester/Jimmy Novak
Characters: Dean Winchester, Jimmy Novak, Castiel, Sam Winchester, fem!Crowley, Bartholomew, Original Male Characters, Original Female Characters
Additional Tags/Warnings: 1940′s Noir/Detective AU, Established Relationship, Period appropriate homophobia, Period appropriate ableism, Period appropriate sexism, early psychiatric practices, canon-typical violence, gore, smoking, alcohol use

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This is an exercise I'm doing to help me find my narrator's voice. This is a supernatural fanfic project.

He was only two years younger than me but he was just a kid with his hair flopping into his eyes and lipstick all over his face after he’d been kissed in by the queens at the Wink. He was jumpy and flustered by the cheers and applause, half of him ready to bolt and the other half rubbernecking at the sight of a roomful of men, drinking together, smoking, embracing. This wasn’t some tourist getting a look at the pansies. He was alone, for one thing. the straight ones came in packs.
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Editing is still going well. I've done an hour, and I'll do another hour after a bit of a break.

After writing the dialogue only prompt i got in my tumblr askbox last night, I realized that I've come a long way when it comes to seaming in setting and how necessary I find it to writing now. I thought about writing a post about Setting in stories. I'm not sure how I will structure it, exactly, but I hope it will be helpful.  
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 Evidently I have decided that just editing my MS isn't complicated enough, so I'm creating a style sheet for all my proper names and unusual terms, and I'm mapping out each scene to see if it's pulling its weight. It's possible I will get to 50 hours of editing without actually finishing the editing, and I'm a bit grumpy about that.
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 Just testing a thing. I'm figuring out crossposting between DW and tumblr.
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But I'm going to do a little posting, and see who's around.

Say hi! I'd love to meet more people to follow! 
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 A few hours of sleep would go unnoticed. It would sink into the routine of the morning. I took his wrist. His heartbeat fluttered under my fingers, exhausted but still running for its life. Crescent shaped welts reddened the palm of his hand. My vision slid out of ordinary focus and locked on the glowing paths of life inside Old Gerald’s body: the rush of air as he breathed, the pulse of blood as his heart beat, and something that almost made me shut my eyes and drop Old Gerald’s wrist.
Red-brown muck concentrated itself in Old Gerald’s head.
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6 in 2012 knitting challenge.

The idea is that i name six things I will knit in 2012. and here they are:

  1. A Sweater

  2. A Pair of Socks

  3. A Work in Progress

  4. An Original Design

  5. A Work of Lace

  6. A New Thing That Scares Me a Bit

I'm already working on number 1, 2 is next in line, I know what WIP I want to finish, i'm certain I know what i'm going to design, and the other two? dunno.
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From everyone: Pick up the book nearest to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence there describes your sex life in 2012.

--perhaps writing letters is not as harmless an activity as I would have thought.
It's Five Hundred Years After by Steven Brust

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Gmail’s new look is coming soon to everyone. We appreciate your feedback about why you’ve decided not to switch to it at this time.
Please share the primary reason you’ve postponed switching: *

I tried using the new look and didn’t like it.

If you dislike something about the new look, please tell us what changes, specifically, you want to see:

how about EVERYTHING? I don't want you messing with how I use Gmail. it works fine the way it was. It looks fine the way it was. I don't want it to change. I don't want pictograms; I AM LITERATE. I don't want 50% grey text. I don't want pictograms; I AM LITERATE. I don't want stuff tucked away in dropdown menus where I have to hunt for it. did I mention that I hate the pictograms? It's because I'm literate. isn't that pesky?

What is your feedback mostly about?:

Message list
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General look and feel



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Anyone reading this who is familiar with my food posts knows that I don't post recipes. I relate the narrative of how I cooked a thing. Part of this is because I don't really use recipes that often. I will when I'm just learning how to make a particular food, and then I improvise from there. Part of that is because of the way I learned to cook - at an early age, from experienced cooks, who told me the story of how something is made while we were making it. So when I write about something I cooked, I'm more interested in telling its story and handing the knowledge over that way.

A recipe is a way to hand down a story of how to make a thing. But the structure of many recipes assumes a previous skill in not just cooking, but reading recipes - specifically, reading what the recipe -doesn't tell you.- For a person who doesn't cook, the unspoken assumptions of recipes can mean disaster, ruined dinners, and yet another entrant into the story of why cooking sucks.

I found a recipe. I haven't actually tried this recipe, but this one looks pretty tasty. I got it from In Jennie's Kitchen, a blog i've never visited before, and it's a recipe for butternut squash soup. You can see the original page here. But for the purposes of this post, i'm just going to copy the recipe and explain how it's read.

Velvety Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4

The recipe title, and the anticipated serving size. My first question is serves 4 what? Does this recipe serve four as a starting course, or is it sized generously enough to be a lunch entree? I wish I knew before meal planning, but I'm going to guess that it makes around one liter of soup, probably less. But it honestly depends on the size of your squash.

This soup is so remarkably smooth, you’ll be tempted to call it creamy butternut squash soup—except there’s not a spot of cream. Start by roasting the squash in a 400ºF oven, until it’s nice and tender, about 30 minutes (split lengthwise and scoop out the seeds first). Then the your blender does the magic of whipping the soup into a light and airy puree.

A bit of description for the soup, but look wary: There's a few assumptions in the leading description. It's remarkably smooth and by the way you need an already roasted squash. That you already know how to make. Oh and also by the way the recipe calls for a stand blender rather than a stick blender. And that's before you even hit the ingredient list. So, dear reader:

Do you know how to roast a squash? I do. 30 minutes in a 400F oven is the barest description. You'd probably need to find more explicit instructions than that. Yes, you can just cook the squash in the microwave. Lots of people do. I think that there's a difference in flavor and i prefer the oven roasted squash, but honestly what you need here is cooked squash, and that's all.

Do you also have a knife that can handle slicing a raw squash in half, lengthwise? I finally do. It cost $97 CDN before taxes. I hesitate to tell a new cook they need to spend a hundred bucks on a knife, but a dull knife and a raw squash will raise your perspiration and your ire. Some supermarkets will sell squash halves already cut and cleaned of seeds, so that might be an option.

Do you have a stand blender? I do. See the above hesitation about recommending new cooks lay out a lot of money for an activity they're not sure they're going to enjoy. So if you don't have a stand blender, don't run out and buy one because you've never made soup before. Your stick blender will work just fine. In fact, I'd ignore that bit about the stand blender in the recipe anyway and just use a stick. Don't have a stick blender, either? How about an electric mixer? you can smooth out cooked squash and broth with that, it'll just have a texture, and that's fine.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 small butternut squash, roasted, flesh scooped out
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 mixed toasted sweetened coconut and almonds
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

This is your list of ingredients. We've already gone over the by the way you need a roasted squash before you can start this recipe assumption. You do of course want to make sure you have all of these things on hand in sufficient quantity before you can proceed.

But don't move on just yet. Look at 2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced. fresh leeks often have a lot of dirt in them. So if you were to nod your head and go on to the instructions and "Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart pot over medium heat" and then pull those two leeks out of the fridge, the butter and oil would scorch before you'd gotten the leeks cleaned and sliced.

Here's a concept that will save you a lot of trouble and frustration in the cooking process, though it's likely to create more dishes for you to clean: Mise en Place. Yes, it's French. It means "to put in place" or something similar. Some cooks just don't do this, some argue against it, but when you're a new cook or if you're learning a new technique, Mise en Place really helps.

So. take a liquid measuring cup, and measure out two cups of vegetable stock (i recommend low sodium pre-made. You can make your own stock. It may not be something you want to fuss with at the moment.) take a smaller portion dish and measure out a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in it. chop (ha!) some cilantro (bah! just cut the leaves with scissors, they don't have to be teeny) and set it in a little dish. scoop out all that cooked squash, maybe even dice it a little, and set it in a bowl or on a plate. take out those leeks, wash the leeks, slice the leeks up really fine, cuss at all the grit, dump the thinly sliced leeks in a colander and rinse (you're going to see a lot of grit on fresh spinach too. It's just how it is.) then shake the excess water, drop the leeks on a tea towel and pat them down a touch. measure your coconut and your almonds - there's a typo in the original recipe, but I'm betting it's a quarter cup each coconut and almond.

Now set out the pot you're going to cook the soup in. If you read ahead you know it should hold at least 2 quarts. If you're not sure, simply measure two quarts of water and see if it fits in the pot. if it's too small, dry the pot with a teatowel and put it back, grab the bigger one, and try fitting two quarts of water in that. Repeat until you find a pot that will hold at least two quarts of water, then dry that one and put it on the stove. Now set out a frying pan. Put out a couple of wooden spoons. Have your stand blender or your stick blender or your electric mixer ready to go.

Okay, -now- you can cook. Let's go on to the instructions.

Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart pot over medium heat. Add leeks and saute until soften and fragrant. Add roasted butternut squash and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Pour contents of pot into the glass bowl of a blender and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide among four bowl and garnish with toasted and almond mixture and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Lots of assumptions here. Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart pot over medium heat. In this case you can simply put the butter and oil in a cold pot and then turn the heat on, it won't harm anything unless you have the heat on too high to start. but "medium heat" varies from stove to stove, and we're working with olive oil, which has a very low smoke point compared to other oils. So let's do the sizzle test:

1. heat the dry pot on medium heat. give it a minute to heat up.
2. pour yourself a glass of water. wet your fingers, and flick the pot. what does the water do?

If it evaporates near instantly, it's too hot. Turn the heat down and wait a few minutes before trying again.
If the water kind of becomes little balls that roll around for a second before evaporating, that's a good heat if you were just heating butter or canola oil and sauteeing in that, but that's not what we're doing, so turn the heat down and wait a few minutes before trying again.
If the water spreads and boils with big bubbles but takes a couple of seconds to evaporate, that's about right.

Add the butter and oil. Pick up the pot and tilt it around, covering the bottom, but the important part is to add the leeks the moment the butter melts. You'll be moving the leeks around with a wooden spoon, and your'e watching for the leeks to become soft and to start releasing their smell. you're not trying to brown the leeks, but it won't be ruined if you do wind up browning them a bit. they'll look a little translucent when they're ready.

now add the squash. you'll get a good sizzle when they go in. Stir the squash around a bit, mixing it with the leeks. Steam should be rising from the pot. you're not looking to brown the squash, you're getting it slightly warmed and taking the leeks up into the squash mixture so they don't brown either.

Once you get that mixed, pour in all the vegetable stock. keep an eye on things, but this is a good time to wash your slicing knife, your cutting board, the dishes that held the squash and the butter oil, and your measuring cups, but keep glancing at the pot. when you see the stock boiling, turn the heat down to low, drop a lid on it, and set the stove timer for 20 minutes. this is more than enough time to get your prep dishes washed, so do that.

Once you're fidgeting because the timer's not done but you've got nothing left to do, let's work on the other assumption in the recipe directions: that you know that the only way you're going to get toasted coconut and almonds is if YOU toast them. You see what recipes leave out?

Heat the frying pan. Use the sizzle test, and when the water rolls, drop your coconut and your almonds in the dry pan and stir constantly with the other wooden spoon. (yep, that's why I said two.) stir constantly. everything is always moving. you're smelling the coconut and almonds and watching them stubbornly not brown and then all of a sudden WHAM it happens all at once. scrape the hot stuff onto the dish you'd placed the coconut and almond in before, and set the fry pan on a cold element while the other element cools.

When the timer goes off it's time to puree the soup using whatever instrument of liquefication you may have. hopefully you don't have too much stock and not enough squash. if your squash soup is just too thick, you can thin it by adding a splash of stock, but too thin is just sad. you want it smooth, and it doesn't really matter what instrument of liquefication you use to achieve this.

Once it's smooth it's ready to serve. Pour into a bowl, drop a pinch of fresh cilantro on top, add a spoonful of coconut and almond to the center.

One thing about this recipe: In my opinion the absence of any seasoning is very surprising. I would not add salt if I were using premade vegetable stock, but I would add pepper. I'd probably also add paprika or thyme.

The other thing about this recipe: to be completely honest I'd never roast a squash for the express purpose of making soup out of it. I probably roasted a squash and had some as a side for a previous meal and then used the leftover squash to make this soup. but for learning purposes this recipe stands as a perfectly servicable butternut squash soup recipe.

One last thing about this recipe: if I were feeding vegans i'd skip the butter and olive oil and just use coconut oil for sauteeing them leeks. I keep coconut oil in the house all the time, and my vegetable stock is made with vegetables, herbs, and water. the only thing that keeps this recipe from being vegan is the butter.


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