What more do I need to say? The wind is wuthering around the building and blowing the rain horizontally across the windows. I working this morning as the Mayor’s live hands and didn’t notice the wind in the studio, but in the greenroom, with its banks of windows, the wuthering is very noticeable.
I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year long before I was scheduled to come to Iceland. Like a crazy woman, I’ve decided to go ahead and try it even though Rob is coming out to visit me for 20 of the thirty-one days available this month for writing. I’ll have to be really focused at work to reach the 50,000 word goal by the end of the month. My work in progress is titled “Virus Attached” and is a sci-fi detective story. I’ll post excerpts as I go.
Dana and Mark Reed came to join me for lunch this afternoon. They are some of the most interesting people that I’ve met here, but this is the first time I’ve spent any time with them outside of large groups. We talked about theater, the nature of puppetry, what interests us about our work, and life in Iceland.
Enzogelin Ãƒâ€¡orbasi (red lentil, bulgur & mint soup)
with Yogurt Garlic Sauce
Pomegranate, Garbanzo Salad
Eve sent me the recipe and ingrediants for the soup and it’s very good. We enjoyed a warm, savory Mediteranean meal while it snowed outside.
Enzogelin Ãƒâ€¡orbasi Recipe
|2 Tblsp Olive Oil
2 Tblsp Butter
1 Lg Spanish Onion – finely diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 med. tomato – seeded and chopped
2 tblsp. paprika
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup long grain rice
6 cups stock or water
1/4 cup bulgur
1 tblsp dried mint
1 recipe Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Heat butter & oil in heavy saucepan – add onion and garlic, cook gently till soft but not brown.
Add tomato paste, chopped tomato, paprika and cayenne.
Stir well and add lentils, rice & stock.
Bring to boil, cover, lower hear and simmer 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally til lentils dissolve.
Add bulgur & mint, cook another 10 minutes. If too think, add a bit of water. Serve with Lemon & yogurt sauce
Yogurt Garlic Sauce
|2 cups yogurt (or skyr)||2 cloves garlic|
Mince garlic w/pinch of salt. Put in blender with yogurt till very smooth. Let flavors marry at least 30 minutes.
I just got home from the Halloween party at Julianna’s and Kahlua’s. They called me earlier today and invited me over to carve a jack o’ lantern. I was delighted, because it’s a nostalgic thing that I actually enjoy.
The party was a great deal of fun. My costume was a hit, but was outshown by Julie, who came as Bessie. I did get points for actually making mine, but she looked better.
It was lovely today to sleep in, although I still woke up at dawn. Granted, that was 8:30, but I can at least pretend that I got up early.
Today I’m going to have to run around getting my Halloween costume ready. Julianna and Kahlua are having a party at their place tonight. I’m going as the show. Sometime last month, Julianna and I made a set of glove puppets of the show, so I’m building a little puppet booth and showing up as the entire production.
Should be fun, although I might regret deciding to wear a handpuppet boothe.
I’ve been on set all day, bouncing between different puppets live hands. Most of my shots seemed to involve being wedged into tiny spaces. Besides lunch, this is the first time I’ve been off set today.
I’ve been really tired the past couple of days and finally realized that it’s because I haven’t been outside during daylight hours since Monday. It’s getting light at 8:30 a.m. and is dark by the time we leave the studio at 7:00 p.m. I’m going out to buy full-spectrum bulbs tomorrow.
Alright folks. I need people to read a short story and give me feedback before I send it off. I’ll put the first thirteen lines here, and if anyone wants to take a look drop me an email. It’s 1300 words long (about six pages) and my first stab at horror, (but there’s no blood and gore).
The Promise of Chocolate
by Mary Robinette Kowal
The inside was dark. Allison had considered using milk chocolate instead, but thought the rich, almost bitter taste of a dark chocolate center would blend better with the almond flavor of cyanide. She had wanted to make a cake for her son’s birthday, but could not figure out how to limit the poison to a single piece, so–cupcakes. Rich cupcakes filled with a dark chocolate center and wrapped in festive red paper, all save the special one. She had baked that one in plain white paper to make certain that she did not give it to someone else by accident.
Allison had to admit that Jonas had not meant to ruin her life but he had done so as completely as if he had planned it.
I know this is a silly thing to be excited about, but after working here for two months I just got the photo for my badge. Of course, I’ve had my hair cut since this photo was taken…
In record time, I just got a care package from home. It was mailed on the 13th and arrived here a mere two weeks later. Jodi is sitting on the couch behind me reading the Willamette Week. People are scrabbling to try the Reeds Ginger Chews and the Tofurkey Jurky. I also have some fabulous art featuring Sharks, Fish and Turtles which is sort of Warholian. As well as a piece titled Dog run with Birds.
And The First Line, which contains my second published short story, The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland.
I’m doing live hands for the Mayor this week, and he’s wearing a tuxedo. One of the reasons that I was on set all day yesterday was that it took a long time to get me in and out of the sleeves. The entry was in slightly the wrong place and it was a nightmare. It took two puppet wranglers tugging on me to get my arms into the sleeves.
Today is better, because Rosa and Sigga fixed the sleeves last night. Even so, I’m still getting into the puppet a shot before we’re supposed to be ready.
I’m a happy, happy camper. He’ll be here on November 11th and will stay until November 30th. We arranged that yesterday, but I was on set all day so couldn’t tell you till now.
No time to write.
I clearly need to find a way to spend more than two days up here. I woke up around nine a.m. because I was rested. The house is very quiet; the only sound I can hear is the sound of the waterfall. I wrote for a little. Bernd made apple pancakes, which were delicious and beautiful. We decided to go for another walk before heading to the workshop.
There’s another waterfall that you can just see as a dark spot in the first photo, but we walked up till we were parallel with it. Later in the winter these rivers and waterfalls will be covered over with ice and snow so there won’t be any sound at all.
I flew home (a forty-five minute flight to the local Reykjavik airport) and walked home from the airport. It was about a half-hour walk, with the northern lights blazing overhead. When I got home, I heated up some fish and moss soup that I’d made on Friday and sat in my living room, with the lights off, watching the northern lights.
Bernd is a puppeteer that I know from the States who lives in Iceland. He is a really phenomenal puppeteer and an all-round great guy. I went up to northern Iceland to spend the weekend with his family. They live forty minutes outside of Akureyri in a remote valley.
That’s his house in the lower right corner. The two other buildings are also part of the farm that he lives on, though he’s hoping to convert the larger one to a film studio. On the left of the picture is a waterfall, but it’s a little blurry in this photo.
We spent most of the time talking and going on walks, though we did play with puppets some as well. I didn’t take my camera into the workshop, like an idiot, but I did remember to take it on walks with me.
A glacier rests between the two mountains at the end of the valley. In the summer the ‘v’ is white surrounded by greens (I’ve seen photos) but in the winter it’s hard to distinguish the glacier from the snow.
The whole time I was there the sky and the mountains played games with shifting whites. Sometimes the snow was white, or blue or pink.
Pat just forwarded two photos of Rob that a friend of his, Cliff Watson, took while he was visiting during harvest. Rob tells me that he’s shaved the beard off for his new passport photo.
This is my favorite. Cliff has somehow managed to make a cold, crowded, dark room look warm and romantic. But that might just be me…