GUYS GUYS GUYS. The Kentucky Derby is on Saturday! This combines the two things I learned to love in Kentucky: horse racing and bourbon. Lauren always makes bourbon balls for our party. What are bourbon balls? They are basically bourbon frosting dipped in chocolate. I KNOW, RIGHT? The best part is, the bourbon doesn’t cook off that much, so you eat a few of these puppies and your are BUZZED.
YES YES. I will shut up and give you Lauren’s recipe. Because I LOVE YOU ALL.
Lauren’s Bourbon Balls
(Makes 2 dozen or so, depending on how big you make them)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup bourbon (We usually use Maker’s Mark)
1lb confectioners sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1 12oz bag of chocolate chips (I always get a bigger bag just in case)
The morning that I am going to make them- I combine the pecans and the bourbon and let them sit for a few hours til I’m ready to start.
Combine the confectioners sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl. (It’s really just a matter of smushing the butter up and getting it covered; I found it takes longer than you think.)
Then add the bourbon-soaked pecans and mix well
Take the sugar mixture and form it into balls (whatever size you like) and put them on a tray, then put them in a the freezer for about 2 hours (till they are hard)
Then heat the chocolate chips (use a double boiler if you have one, otherwise use really low heat (as the chocolate STARTS to heat you might want to toss a cup of milk in the microwave for 30 seconds and occasionally add this to the heating chocolate otherwise the chocolate might start to burn instead of melt, but do NOT use cold milk.)
Once the chocolate is liquified, dip the frozen sugar pieces into it and pull them out with a fork, place them on a tray to dry and VOILA! BOURBON BALLS.
So I turned 30 today. I feel like I have mostly figured out being an adult, or as my mom put it on Twitter, “30 is when I stopped worrying what other people thought of me — very liberating.”
I also feel really good about what I am doing with my life. I’m married to my best friend. I have a little house, and two cats. A good job, despite the cloud that has been hovering over newspapers for many years now. And of course, I have Fireside, which I hope I will never stop grinning about. I’ve tried a lot of side projects in fits and starts, like writing, and some of them I hope I get back to, but Fireisde is the first one I’ve stuck to. It’s hard work, but it makes me so happy.
A friend of mine who is in his 30s referred to himself on Twitter as a “failed” writer and blogger. I hate seeing stuff like that, and I told him:
1. You’re not a failed anything till you’re dead. 2. Not even then. Homework: “Eulogy” by Frank Turner.
I pointed him to the song “Eulogy” (which I can’t find a legit version of online but go Spotify it or whatever) because it says that as long as you spend your life chasing those dreams, you have done well:
I may not be the perfect kind of person,
I may not do what mum and dad dreamed,
but on the day I die, I’ll say at least I fucking tried.
That’s the only eulogy I need,
thats the only eulogy I need.
We have our whole lives to chase our dreams. Don’t let yours slip away.
Today was rough. I have tendinitis in both my wrists, the product of working eight hours a day at a computer with no other duties but to edit the copy. Spent a year with doctors and physcial therapy before they decided, meh, you just have to live with it.
And today my wrists hurt. BAD. And this is before I’ve even left for work, and eight hours of wrist torture.
Days like this, when I am in pain and angry and frustrated and just so fucking tired of it, that all I want to do at work is put on headphones and not interact with anyone, just do my job and go home.
But copy desks don’t work like that. It’s a big collaborative process. You need to be able to hear what is going on; people need to be able to get your attention. You can’t tune it out, because you can’t do your job.
And so days like this are the rare ones that I am glad I have a long drive to work in traffic, because I can listen to music, cranked all the way up, and sing at the top of my lungs and just vent. And 45 minutes later, I arrive at work, and I am calm. I am still aching and angry and frustrated but now it’s at a simmer, not a boil, and I can do my job.
Today I just put The Gaslight Anthem, my favorite band, on random. I know all the words. I know all the notes. I can rock out completely, which is what I need. And one song popped up, “We’re Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner.” One verse, an echo of the Dylan song “It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding,” was perfect for how I was feeling, the perfect mantra for days like these:
It’s all right, man.
I’m only bleeding, man.
Stay hungry, stay free,
And do the best you can.
While I slept, the Kickstarter hit its goal to publish Issue Two of Fireside, my fiction and comics magazine! We now stand at $6,037 with 250 backers. Thank you so much to each of you who pledged and helped spread the word. We had an amazing amount of boosting going on on Twitter yesterday, and we raised $821 by the time I went to bed.
There are now about 13 hours left in the drive. Every dollar we raise now goes toward Issue Three, with stories by Daniel Abraham, Elizabeth Bear, and Mary Robinette Kowal, and a comic by @racheldeering. It will also be our first issue open to short story submissions, and we’ll have one story from those submissions.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.
Well the Kickstarter for the next issue of my fiction and comics magazine, Fireside, is going really well. We are just about at 75% funding to put out Issue Two. The campaign ends at the end of the night on Tuesday, and we still have a bunch of cool rewards available.