Thursday, November 03, 2005

Terrific resources for aspiring writers... news about Abercrombie sleaze and sauerkraut (not at the same time!)

There's been some invaluable stuff floating around the blogosphere lately for those of us who aspire to write fiction.

The wonderful Angela Hunt spent a few days on her blog, A Life in Pages, talking about how to construct a story. It starts here, with The Plot Skeleton. I get the feeling I learned more practical stuff from those blog posts than I would have in a semester of some college classes! It actually made me think, "I could do that!"

And if you've always wanted to write, but spent years coming up with reasons why you can't, you can relate to (and be kicked in the butt by) B. J. Hoff's Five Reasons Most People Will Never Write a Novel. Ouch...I think I've used at least a few of these excuses.

Anyway, I'm so grateful for writers like this, who take the time to give generously of their hard-earned wisdom and expertise.

Another immensely helpful blog that I try not to miss is Charis Connection. It features several Christian authors who take turns posting. Just about every word that's posted is invaluable to an aspiring writer.

Other Thursday stuff...

Looks like Abercrombie and Fitch is persisting in being sleazy...but this time, not all young women are buying into it.

According to AP: "UNDATED (AP) - "They're calling it a 'girlcott.' Some teenage girls are calling for a boycott of trendy retailer
Abercrombie and Fitch over some racy T-shirts. The shirts have
slogans like "Who needs brains when you have these" or "I had a
nightmare I was a brunette." The protest began in the Pittsburgh
area when about two dozen girls demonstrated outside an
Abercrombie's. Now, the protest is spreading. Ohio State
University student Elizabeth Ritter says the shirts are degrading
and she wouldn't wear one."

Illinois State Senator and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Steve Rauschenberger is getting on board with the protest--although I'm not sure how much good that will do. Rauschenberger plans to introduce a resolution into the Illinois legislature calling on A & F to stop selling the racy shirts. Again according to AP: " The 49-year-old state Senator says he doesn't pretend to be the bellwether of what's cool but he believes the T-shirt disrespect women."

Resolutions and girlcotts aside, Abercrombie says young women are still buying the shirts...and I'm sure that's all they care about.

Better stock up on your sauerkraut!

Worried about the possibility of an avian flu pandemic? Sauerkraut may a key to preventing it, according to an e-mail I got today from the Fremont Company:

"Sauerkraut sales are going through the roof, with some Midwest stores reporting an 850% spike just last week on a recent report that scientists at Seoul National University successfully used Kimchi Sauerkraut to treat chickens infected with Avian Flu. Both Kimchi and traditional Sauerkraut are made by fermenting sliced cabbage, producing a high level of lactic acid, which may be the critical element in preventing Avian Flu.

"'We saw our sales climb immediately as this news hit,' says Chris Smith, VP of marketing for Frank's Sauerkraut, one of the United States' leading brands of Sauerkraut. 'Men's Health Magazine also advised constructing a pandemic kit containing sauerkraut because of its lactic acid bacteria. People are stocking up on sauerkraut like bottled water before a hurricane hits. We hope to be able to keep up with the demand this season,' he adds."

Now, I'm normally no big fan of sauerkraut, but this made me think of a wonderful recipe my mom used to make when I was growing up that included sauerkraut, pineapples and hot dogs. I know, it sounds weird, but it worked.

Now my sister Lisa tells me there's a fantastic sauerkraut salad recipe. I have no idea if this is the one she's talking about, but I found this one at

Sauerkraut Salad

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup white sugar
1 (20 ounce) can sauerkraut
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 ounces pimento


In a saucepan combine the salt, vinegar, caraway seeds and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the sauerkraut, onion, celery, pepper and pimento. Remove from heat and let marinate overnight before serving.

And here's a site devoted totally to sauerkraut recipes.

Hey, if it will help prevent the dreaded avian flu, I'll eat bet.

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