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Pick up a copy if you like a little optimism in your post-apocalyptic fiction...



I purchased a pound of Patagonian bay scallops the other day at Publix. I was interested in making cakes, but I couldn't find any recipes that piqued my interest, so I got down to business and improvised.

This recipe turned out great, and produced nine sizable scallopcakes. There was enough left over for Jeanne to bring a few to work the following day in her lunch.


1 pound of bay scallops
1 lemon
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 egg yolks
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
enough olive oil to light-fry in a large skillet
salt and pepper to taste

This is pretty easy to make, and didn't take more than thirty minutes from start to finish.

Wash, rinse, and pat dry the scallops. Leave them in the colander in the sink.

Chop up your green onions and red pepper. Process them, along with the garlic, on low in your food processor, along with a dash of olive oil and the juice from half a lemon. Set this mixture aside.

Add the scallops and pulse eight or nine times. You want a nice texture here, with some lumps still in tact.

Take a big bowl (I love the stainless steel variety for stuff like this) and add the mayo, breadcrumbs, egg yolks, salt and pepper, veggies, and scallops. Fold everything together and fashion nine medium scallopcakes.

I like to cover these with plastic and put them in the freezer for thirty minutes. It helps them stick together in the pan. Add a little bit of olive oil to your skillet and cook on medium-high temperature for about four minutes a side. If you are working in batches, pre-heat your oven to 250 and put the first batches in the oven to keep warm.

I made this sauce to go with them:

1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon capers
1 tsp ponzu
Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

This turned out really well, and is a good use for the bay scallops, which can become tough when cooked on their own. 


Life is not Fair

Elliot Rodger, the most recent volatile weirdo who will gain a certain form of insidious infamy for all the wrong reasons, thought that life was out to get him. I won't encourage you to scour his manifesto or take a closer look at his repetitive, rambling video diatribes in which he laments his lack of female companionship or connection with the world around him.

The Today Show ran a synopsis of this guy's general worldview. Just like Rodger himself, his outlook is neither healthy nor realistic. He falls back on the lazy regurgitation of the unseen and unidentified "them" and "they"--all of those oppressive societal forces that conspired to keep him a 22-year-old virgin and ostracize him from the rest of the world.

Man, give it a rest. 

You stabbed three people, then went on a rampage in a BMW no doubt provided to you by your wealthy father. Your misogynistic ramblings and anger toward women and happy couples is pathetic. Girls won't talk to you at a party? Oh, so the answer then should be to push them from a 10-foot ledge in your "dark, hate-fueled rage."

This guy feels invisible. He feels alone. He feels neglected.

How do you think the families of those he murdered feel? I can tell you that Richard Martinez, the father of one of the victims (who was shot because he had the temerity to frequent a convenience store in this psycho's path of destruction), is fed up. 

Rodger should have never had a gun. His own parents called the police on him three times in the last year, when his spooky youTube ramblings became more than a little unsettling.

“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the N.R.A.,” he said. “They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness; we don’t have to live like this?’ Too many have died. We should say to ourselves: not one more.”
This is another terrible national story, and we'll file it right up there with what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine and Virginia Tech. You know the commonality in those three stories? Mentally ill people with grudges against nobody in particular and access to guns. 

But there's nothing wrong with our system for regulating access to firearms, right? It works just fine...

Rodger laments the things that his father never told him. He claims that his old man never told him how to "get girls," like women are something you just browse for at Costco or stalk on the rolling plains of female land before stuffing them in a sack and taking them home. 

How about this, weirdo? You make your own luck. Life's not fair, but you had advantages. You were attending a nice school near California's beaches. You had two parents who were at least concerned enough about you to attempt to enlist help from others in the interests of your general welfare. 

The sad reality is that there are scads of people like Rodger out there (and like Cho, and Harris, and Klebold, and Lanza, and...), and the innocent people in their paths of destruction don't stand a chance. Richard Martinez is right: we lack the cultural will to protect the general population from delusional folks like Rodger who, despite his considerable advantages, never understood a principle that most of us learn at the age of five: Life is not fair.

Life is not fair, and a person has to make his or her own luck. Blaming your own failings on social forces that you can never quite identify and then killing others indiscriminately in your own violent meltdown merely exposes you as the petulant, culturally obtuse child that you are.

Culture didn't make you that way. You did it to yourself, and then you confirmed your condition in perpetuity by acting out your own self-fulfilling prophecy...



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by Daniel Powell

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Itching for Some of That Classic Horror...

I'm a huge fan of short stories. There's nothing I enjoy more than taking a vacation or heading out for a long weekend camping trip with two or three collections or anthologies. I really dig the variety I get, and it's fun to zip through four or five unique tales in a sitting.

I have fond memories of camping on the Suwannee River a few years back when Lyla was a toddler. We went into Live Oak for some supplies and I found a copy of Richard Matheson short stories at a dollar store. Man, those were some great tales! Matheson is a master of form and pacing, and there's this delicious economy to his prose that keeps things moving while some complex plotting unfolds.

Joe Lansdale still writes some great short stories. Joe Hill and Stephen King and Laird Barron are all doing great work.

There are a few major anthologies that are still released every year by publishers like Nightshade and Tor, but I just don't see quality projects these days as often as I did about a decade ago. Maybe I'm wrong (probably I am, actually, since I've been reading mostly non-fiction for these last two years), but I just haven't found much that excites me at the library or an Amazon lately. 

Zombies, zombies, zombies...they're still fun, but man it's getting tedious.

I love uncanny, unsettling horror. King's folksy small towns in "Rainy Season" or Champion Joe's freaky happenstance in "Steppin' Out Summer '68." 

Cemetery Dance Magazine doesn't publish on a regular basis, so I think our library gave up our subscription. It's a shame, because I used to enjoy walking across campus when I knew there was a new issue in the stacks. I gave up my subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction because there was too much high fantasy for my tastes. I enjoy a little bit of that stuff, but I don't have a high wizard/elf tolerance.

I'll keep looking, of course, but I'm always up for a good tip if there's an anthology of dark, well-written, uncanny horror short stories out there...I'd like to be scared again, and I'd like to knock back two or three stories in a sitting.


Writing the Mystory

In the spring of this year, I embarked on a different kind of writing project in one of my courses at UCF. Dr. Gregory Ulmer, a theorist and educator at UF, has written a trilogy of texts on the subject of what he terms "electracy," or the digital frontier for composition studies and collective consultancy. 

I read Internet Invention and completed the exercises and, in so doing, compile a mystory that was equal parts challenging and introspective. 

I enjoyed the process of curating images, searching for personal touchstones, and explaining various metaphors in prose. Not everything that I built made it into the final project, but that is to be expected as the author explores his or her themes.

If you have the slightest inkling to explore this style of creative composition at greater length, feel free to take a look at Novus Auctus, the widesite that I compiled as part of a larger group project on electracy...


Bortles on the Job...

As a proud member of the UCF community, of course I'm excited to see Blake Bortles playing his professional football down at Everbank Field. In many ways, he brings with him the same set of tools that his predecessor brought, which is probably scary for some Jaguars fans. Both Gabbert and Bortles have the size and arm strength to stand in the pocket. Both can run a little bit when things break down. Both experienced late success in their respective college careers.

But I think Blake has some intangibles that Blaine didn't have. Already, he's done a lot of media. He seems interested in making Jacksonville his home, and he seems genuinely excited to be here. I never got that sense from Blaine, who was aloof with the media and didn't spend much time here in JAX when the season was finished. 

Blake has a quiet confidence about him that I think will only grow as he gets an opportunity to learn from the coaching staff and Chad Henne, who has proven himself to be a great asset to the team. With the starting job clearly his and an improved roster around him, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Chad come out of the gates with some good numbers.

How long until Blake gets his shot? I think our staff is patient, and they have a plan. If Chad is healthy and the team is competitive, he will play. Blake will need to take as many mental reps as he can and keep himself prepared to play in the event of an injury.

But if this all plays out the way the Jaguars would like to see it go, then I think he'll get a year of seasoning under his belt and head into next year ready to compete. 

Either way, I think it was a great pick for the future of the franchise. I'm excited to see where we go from here, especially with weapons like Robinson, Lee, and Johnson in camp as well...


Congratulations to the People of Oregon!

I am so proud to have learned the news yesterday that my home state of Oregon is the latest to recognize equality in the institution of marriage! Since the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, seven states have recognized that same-sex marriage is a federally protected Constitutional right. 

Judge Michael McShane struck a particularly hopeful (and eloquent) note in the conclusion of his ruling:

I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other ... and rise.
Businesses from the Portland Trail Blazers to Nike to Columbia Sportswear voiced their support for the ruling, which sparked a flurry of marriages throughout the state.

I'll just second what the Portland Timbers noted in their tweet on the story:

Well done Oregon.


A Mythos Grimmly

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of writing and submitting fiction again. Sheesh, I'm looking forward to returning to writing more in the very near future! Been a long time away, it feels... 

I potentially might have a tale in the forthcoming anthology A Mythos Grimmly if the project hits its kickstarter goals. There are some really strong writers on this project, and I like the premise: cosmic dread coupled with classic fairy tales and fables. 

Drop by and kick down a few bucks if you'd like to see this anthology...

You Know When It's Good

If you spend any real time at the word processor, you understand that sometimes the writing flows and you just know in your heart and in you...