Shattered Reflections – Rough Draft Excerpt

Storm Brewing

Trying to think of what was going on over the next few days, the girls still held on my mind because they both stated that joining them would be the best move for me. There was other things that soon took my attention. I was in the car before I knew what happened while the street lights passing by as we made our way to the motor hotel. Spring break had just started leaving the town nearly empty while we took our bags up filled with what we could pack right then. My bag had enough stuff in it to entertain myself more about catching Mewtwo that kept me from falling asleep.

Janet had made a comment about Pops touching them. My brother had it happen as well. There were moments where flames were in my eyes. These actions occurred when I was at a friends, and my mother allowed it. Turning to her sitting on the bed I had to ask.

“What was the point of coming here if you heard about this and did nothing for a week?” My volume was higher then expected.

It would not have surprised me if the room next door could hear. Fuck’ em was my thought because Madre just sat there on the bed looking at her hands telling how we needed the money he brought in for everything. Really needing that money was not a reason that added up to scratch in my mind. My mother allowed a week without telling me. She had taken effort to make sure I was not to be told. After my knockout she was afraid my response would have me in a cop car. The whole thing was crap in my eyes. The Cozies were a family that I had taken a lot of time after helping her son out of a couple spots. They also had a fair grasp of things. I had to leave from this situation because it was clear they did not want my help with anything.

Sarah, their mother has had to see me tape myself up on a few occasions. Mom had asked her not to tell the cops while I was spending the nights at their place after I got back from Sean’s. Giving the excuse that they needed a little time to put affairs in order financially before he got sent out. What they told them was just based off the physical abuse against me.

Being corrected on the actual relations on the next night over there that Pops was in hot water made them feel played. They were feeling played, and that was started by my mother making sure that no one else would know. It was only after they talked again, and assured that he would stand trial provided that Sarah gave the week they originally agreed on. After that shouting match she had with mom over the phone Sarah had made her way to the couch where I was sitting that night after my friend had gone to sleep. Wondering where everything was at in my life made me just feel numb.

My friend never had to fight for his friends, or for his own life. He never had to bandage himself up, clean the blood out of his hair, or check older injuries. Part of me just broke down in that living room crying in a throw pillow to quiet the sobs. Up to this point I never got to let myself cry much. Everything was just too hard to find time to decompress for a period of time. There was always a danger, a fight, a problem, a knife in the back, gang problems, and now the family situation. Between all the problems that was piled on it was just an effort not breaking down. On that couch with the room half dark the years of pain finally had to let go, and it was the first time since the week after Sylvia’s death that I cried. Sarah really felt sorry for me as I cried while I just felt sorry for crying.

Going back to my house Madre did not want to say anything. Their friends would not say anything. From past experience the police would not believe someone like me. I didn’t have the power to make them listen. Then it came to me. I did not have the power to make the police listen, but maybe someone else did. Letting the idea roll over in my head it was clear that time had to be of the essence, and if they would not tell me the first time things had happened then my family could not be informed of my efforts. Despite some people not liking it this was one of those things that had to be done.

School was one of the few places where saying anything that the communication would travel up the chain to go uninterrupted. My health class was starting soon which would also give me access to possible resources or avenues of research in case any other skills would have to be demonstrated health wise.

When we had gotten back it took a little time to find my spine after the class period that day to explain the situation. Wondering where do I go with the information where it can’t be intercepted. Madre would want everything in house, but this time there was not going to be any change or mercy. Pops had to go for what he did for if any justice existed then he would have to pay for what he had done. Miss Logan said it was brave to do such things while I explained that it was more of a vengeance thing. True to her word the teacher made sure the word was not intercepted, but Pops was a couple days from collecting retirement from the military. His pleas to stay that way they could collect it gave him time to put his affairs in order. That week was hell in it’s own right.

Shattered Reflections Excerpt

Stealing For Charity

I was part of student congress. Do not ask me how I managed to do it even with all the fights. What gets me even more was I had to be elected from my Japanese class to do it. They had to fill the seat with someone and no one wanting to do it left me with it pretty easily one would think. Anyway each after school club had a different amount of fundraiser they could run in a year. Japanese club had used their only one for a can and bottle drive as summer became fall. Prime time for that sort of thing with plenty of return one would think. ASB was the group in charge of scheduling everything from within the school while also having the right as a club to plan a half dozen different fundraisers for things like prom, letterman jackets, and whatever else was so much flappery.

ASB had a habit of taking money from other clubs because Mr. Sullivan was the teacher in charge of student congress as well as the ASB club. When a club wanted to do something for a fundraiser they would have to let the congress knew who would have to vote on it and let Mr. Sullivan put it on the schedule. The point of all this was to make there was not a whole lot of competition allowing the best possible amount to be gotten with each fundraiser.

Thinking further head then other clubs Mrs. Grey tried to get as much funds as possible to lower the cost of the Japanese exchange program. More of the money we would collect here would lower the remainder that would be paid for them later. There wasn’t a chance in blue hell of going myself, but it was for a good cause and I wanted people to enjoy the trip.

Running both parties Mr. Sullivan also thought he would OK a fundraiser of a can drive a week before ours after one day of time between ASB and student congress Sullivan sent the request and congress Sullivan approved it request while everyone else had to give at least two weeks notice. That two weeks notice was fair because it allowed us to advertise further making sure the one shot we got were made the most of. ASB scooping the cans before we could collect was a grimy move, and after finding out where the cans were being held at made it clear that some imaginative reclaiming plans had to be committed to.

Edward and Tiny were up and Tiny’s brother decided to give us a ride with his truck. After figuring out the plan one of their friends confirmed the exact location of the cans at the bison ranch with the rest of the family out at a convention for a few days leaving just my fellow student. We all agreed on how to take back the stolen funds that were already bagged up for our pleasure.

Starting that night the weather was good while were in the back while Tiny’s brother drove the truck. The night was cool while not being uncomfortable with a bright full moon in the sky which in this case was a positive. Buildings dotted the compound giving a lot of dark corners to hide in. We all knew that the guy in the house would not give a shit searching because not a whole lot of people would fuck with a bison ranch. Police were out in the boonies an hour away leaving us with a nice opening to move in case everything goes sour. We made our way from different sides in the case that one of us being spotted didn’t mean we were all busted. There was going to be a patrol ATV making us at least careful enough to listen when hiding.

Bison are really gentle creatures provided you make sure they know you are not a threat. I know this because my path took through the animal pen and unknowingly the rock I was hiding behind when the ATV had come was warm and furry. Having my back to it after putting the pieces together the bison that was sleeping opened one eye to look at me. Seeing a high school student with face paint in kabuki ribbon style with camouflage colors; we had all done different designs to get in the spirit of things. Snorting for a minute part of me wondered if it was laughing at me or just wondering who was dumb enough to rest against a sleeping bison, but it went back to sleep with nary a care in the world. Not one creature in that pen cared to move when I needed to make my way out.

When we got to the door of the utility shed the lights in the house had just gone off. Edward was last of us to show up remarking how bison crap seemed to stink to high heaven. Calling our truck in there was a span of five minutes where the occasional dog barking would remind us this was technologically still a crime. Loading up the bed with our reclaimed prize we transferred it over Ed’s place where his mother surprisingly let us hold it no questions asked, as long as we were sticking it to Sullivan.

His club moaned stating how the perpetrators would be brought to justice. Some were even happy to see him and me at student congress, but it isn’t about what you know, it is about the evidence. None of which on the bags of cans could be traced to us when we put them forth as my own donation we were never brought forward as the evil crew. The Japanese club had to wonder how despite seeing me drink all the soda that all those large bags would be coming from one person.

Nanowrimo 2016

So after a whole month and going down to the wire my word count is 50,743 making this year a success. In the process, I have finished both Shattered Reflections and my NaNoWriMo project from last year which has a title right now of Writing Time. That may change after some editing, and now I have decided on the next two book projects. The two finished ones will go into the editing pile while the next two are up one will be the sequel to Shattered Reflections.

Previously I may have said how I would not do it until my 30th birthday because of hearing about someone who has not lived life putting out books about life experiences seems a bit hollow. Shattered Reflections was stories about my life until the end of high school. From fights, shootings, police investigation, drug pushers, problem solvers, and I kept it to just about 66k words that it way it does not over stay its welcome. The sequel will be kept at about the same length and it has plenty of experiences to go in it including but not limited to college blacklists, lawyer payoffs, cooking on mountains, casino wins and losses, lawsuits, family drama, being lit on fire, fights, city fights, bad jobs, bad management and more. I always found a way to get into situations that most people hadn’t or shouldn’t but at least that will make it interesting.

Right now the big project is to as was said in a much earlier one have a dozen book projects before moving forward and it looks like there will be an almost even number between the two.

Time Wars is the project based on the media and audiences evolution over the past hundred years to present day as well as some theories on what the next hundred years could hold. It is the project currently up and I am aiming for about 80k word length, and of course allowing it if needs it or not. After the political cycle, I have found there is plenty there to write about with not a whole lot of people to do the writing. After that is the sequel to Shattered Reflections, and after that a Young Adult Fiction project. The card game is still dragging along and overall just things are getting there. Hopefully, I will have a better year coming up then I did before.

 

Excerpt – Time, Fire, and Cuisine

To this day I cannot say how this classifies. It does not have recipes on every page like a cookbook, but it does have a flow I think so it just remains as a food book. Which if you do not know seems to be a good way to surmise my writings so far. I write about food, how food reacts in the world, how it can be made, how it can be tasted, and really I think you get a better appreciation for it that way. Otherwise it is just another food porno in the world where you can get just get a good camera and some clay and tell people what you created.

From one book to two, with pages that will be switched in and out before it is done.  Then begins the illustrations slash the getting the agents to look at it. If they like it then great if not then I will just have to learn and move on

December 1st – At the beginning

Writing this “little project” has been at the best of times vexing and at its worst one of the fastest routes to a migraine I have had to go on. Trying to figure out what recipes would be best suited while balancing the stories and techniques were difficult with some of the experiences as unique as any piece of fiction.

The reason those pages are there though are to help shed light on the kinds of people and situations that may have gone one. To eat a restaurant is a complex issue of so many things done well that sometimes it is just as much fun to watch the whole thing as it is to just eat what is on the plate. In every kitchen around the world there are many people trying to make their way through life from the server to the chef each with a story to tell. Since you cannot make it through the world without listening to a few you might as well enjoy the ones you do listen to.

Now, with the last month of this project I can truly say that with all the techniques, experiences, terms, ideas, and of course recipes there should be something for everyone to learn one thing at least. If I managed that I would call this a success whether it is how to plate, cook, do things on the fly or even my own little opinion in a grand world.

We all seem devoted to the end product without thinking about everything that made it get there. It seems to happen to me whenever I do go out and I have a great plate that I think of the stories that plate of food told of how it got there to the hands making it. Machiavelli, the man often credited to such a school of thinking, is dead. If people sold in to it as much as they say then at least he would have found a way to continue breathing.

Enjoy the last portion of this book as much as I did writing it, even if it just a couple laughs at my own opinion in life.

December 31st – Final Test

This book hopefully has taught some valuable lessons or at the very least made you chuckle once. Now for the exam. In previous tests you had to use what you gleamed to make a meal. After your finished you need to compare to the dish you had to make at the start. For this time make three dishes from previous experience two of them have already been chosen.

For the first dish: Remake your first test dish and improve upon it using everything you have learned.

Made:_____________________________________

Second dish will be the dish incorporating recipes or formulas in your own plates. Improve upon this recipe and truly make it your own.

Made:________________________________________

The last dish will be your own. Have a friend pick one protein, one starch and one vegetable without your knowledge. Cook for them in the span of one hour a dish a full composed plate of food with the three main ingredients and whatever you have in your pantry.

Made:_______________________________________

Friend: ______________________________________

Protein:______________________________________

Starch:______________________________________

Vegetables:___________________________________

See how far you have come in the span of a single year. Every day you spent reading this either for a few minutes or few a couple hours. Learning what can be in the kitchens as well as the techniques and a good many recipes can be enough for a book. If anything I hope this will not sit loveless on a shelf instead being carted around as a fun read or even as a foot stool because this thing was much bigger then I thought at the beginning and I am proud to see it done .

Excerpt – Life, Love, and Cooking

This was originally a project that had started years ago because I wanted to show that one could make better food by better understanding it. How knowing some of the basics could build in to masterpieces on a plate, and no matter what we all need to eat. Typing this up is just the start of another step as instead of taking that project in full (about 129k words) it will be split in half for just about 62k in words.

Revising has to be done, word choice improved, pictures put in and a whole list of things that will in complete honesty may add up to absolutely nothing financially. That wasn’t why I did this project though, as I did it so that maybe someone out there in the real world. Someone who feels like they can’t do something will read it and even if they don’t agree on anything else find solace in the point that the world can be created by those willing to work for it and make it better. Enough waxing philosophically from the sixth month here is the last excerpt of this project.

June 26th- Meat loaf

This homey American dish has been recreated in almost every house with countless different flavorings. All meat loafs do have some things in common.

First is the use of ground meat whether its pork, turkey, chicken, beef or any other meat that can be ground. Lentils are even used as the base in a vegetarian option loaf.

Vegetables are often chopped in small chunks to give the loaf more texture when it is finished as well as a bit of extra color. The most common vegetables are the three belonging to the french mirepoix celery, carrot, onion.

Next is the glue that holds the entire thing together as it cooks. Eggs are one of the most popular items whether in yolks or whites separately or together are often used to bind everything together. For those who cant use all ground meat or those who want to cut the fat will often add bread crumbs in various forms. Sometimes old bread will be soaked in milk before being added to the ground beef.

Taking your meat in a bowl you would first add the vegetables and mix before finishing with the addition of your thickener and flavorings. Mixing until everything is amalgamated you would then shape it so it can fit in a high walled dish. Before setting it in the oven it can be wrapped in bacon to provide more flavor. As it cooks a large amount of fat will be left in the bottom of the dish with which you can make a gravy.

Meat loaf works well in thin slices for sandwiches while thicker slices can work for an entree all their own. It pairs well with hearty vegetables like scalloped potatoes.

Excerpt – Life, love, and cooking

So before we go in to the excerpt let me tell you something about this project. It originally started as something that someone read one page per day that would take them from the basics as I had learned them, skills and stories having that all build in to the end of the year. So things like basic sauce making, stocks and doughs in January while in December their would be actual full meal breakdowns.

The problem I found out with that is that makes a lot of writing. Starting off on the editing process I found out that everything ended up just under 125k words. For those who write the National Novel Writing Month has the goal of 50k so in short I wrote a lot for one book. After some thinking about what would be the best way to handle this I may have found an answer. If anyone would like to comment their two cents on it, I would appreciate it.

Options are either release it as one massive book or in two portions. If It gets split in to two portions it won’t be over the year obviously, but it will be easier to handle I would think. Also, I will have one excerpt from each month of the book on this blog. So twelve different excerpts to let you see how it is so far. One down eleven to go and with this, ten to go.

February 20th –A million starbucks yet

Knowing how popular coffee is in this country; tea has suffered the fate of falling in its shadow. Consisting of so many different flavors from all around the world some exist for taste while some take double duty for a sleeping aid or a caffeinated drink of choice. Since the amount any times is lower then your coffee or soda you can get a small boost without worrying about the crash.

At any house absolutely anywhere one good pot of tea just needs a couple pieces of information and some water. The info you will want will be how much you are steeping, what temp the water needs to be at for best flavor as well, as well how long.

For one 8 ounce cup of tea start with 1.5 tsp of whatever leaves you need except in the case of green and black which can be dropped to 1 tsp. Green is often sold in powders so you will need less of it. Reason is of how much surface area with the powder versus regular leaves. Black tea is often very strong so start off with one tsp just to see if you like that.

Green and white teas are good when steeped at 175 for between two to four minutes. Oolong and black go twenty degrees higher for 3 to 4 minutes. Herbals do best just under boiling at 205 for 5 minutes. Of course other teas are out there and they will have special preparation such as Chai for example. Learn how to maximize the flavor and invite your friends for a cup and a game. When making iced teas double the amount of leaves or powder.

You can have a tea pot, however you do not need one for good tea. If you want one there are many models and styles to choose from. Extra care needs to be taken though as with iron teapots you do not want to over heat a pot to blacken the paint or leave your leaves inside it for a period has that may invite rust or a loss of finish.