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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Pavesic’

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Better options than processed food

by

Chris Pavesic

Recently The New York Times article, “Why Eating Processed Foods Might Make You Fat” by Anahad O’Connor, reported on a study that compared a “typical” American diet of processed food and a natural, plant-based diet. The study determined that eating processed food causes most consumers to overindulge, gain weight, and suffer health issues. As O’Connor states: “Observational studies of thousands of people have found that eating high amounts of these [processed] foods is associated with a greater likelihood of early death from heart disease and cancer.” The study extolls the virtues of eating a natural, plant-based diet in order to achieve optimal health.

Why, then, do people “treat” themselves with processed foods like take-out pizza, potato chips, and mass-produced candy? It’s simple. Big food companies spend a lot of money finding that sweet spot that combines the perfect ratio of fat, sugar, and salt that makes processed food addictive. There’s a reason we “can’t have” just one chip. Companies have worked over decades to “tweak” their recipes to make sure we keep eating and eating until the bag is empty! And then what happens? We buy more to satiate our cravings and the companies make more money.

So why not flip this narrative? Instead of craving take-out-pizza, why not make your own healthy version? Choose what you put into your body. Why not dream about a hearty meal with Vegan Pesto Parmesan Grilled Corn? If you retrain your brain, slowly, to crave these types of food, treating yourself will feel a lot better.

Vegan Pesto Parmesan Grilled Corn
2 – 4 ears of corn on the cob
1 tbsp. salt
Cold water

Set grill on medium.

Stir salt into water in a large bowl. Pull outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place ears in water for 10 minutes.

Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place corn on grill, close the cover, and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Carefully remove husks, open, and scrap off the kernels into a bowl.

Serve vegan pesto, get the easy recipe here, and freshly grated vegan parmesan on top of kernels.

After you enjoy your meal, why not read a good book?

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Not all time is equal in length

by

Chris Pavesic

Parkinson’s Law originated with Cyril Parkinson in a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and was reprinted in Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress by John Murray (1958). The law states that work will expand and swell in importance so as to fill the time available for its completion. Alternatively, some define Parkinson’s law in regard to time as the amount of time that one has to perform as task is the amount of time it will take to complete a task. This theory posits that the more time you give yourself to do something, the more complex and daunting it will seem.

The perceived amount of work swells to fit the time allotted.

According to this law, if you give yourself a month to work on any project, that project will take a month to complete. You will not be working on this project for the entire time, of course. During that month you will be doing other things. You will procrastinate. You will work on it a few hours here and there. The project, though, will remain in your consciousness. It will cause you stress. It will take mental energy. At the end of the month when you complete the project, it will seem like you worked on this for 30 days, when in fact if you count up the actual hours worked, you may find you worked for less than a day. This theory is interesting to me as a writer. It reminds me of a passage I read in Ariel Gore’s text on writing, How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead:

Deadlines matter. Obviously, you don’t want to get into the habit of delivering mediocre work—that’s not going to do you any good in the long run—but you’ll notice that if you force yourself to meet your deadlines, you’ll learn to produce better and better writing in whatever amount of time you have. You’ll master the sprint as well as the marathon. Meet your deadlines. Meet them every time.

The key line for me in Gore’s quotation is “you’ll learn to produce better and better writing in whatever amount of time you have.” She is, in fact, talking about Parkinson’s Law for writers. If you can focus, you can get a writing project done in a shorter amount of time. If you work to develop this habit, the quality of your writing will improve in the shorter time frames for the projects. So what lessons can writers learn from Parkinson’s Law? Set tight deadlines for each project. Set time limits and time deadlines for everything you want to complete that day. Once you get into that habit, it will be easier to estimate the amount of time it actually will take you to complete a task.

If you give yourself forever to do something, it is going to take forever to do it.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

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Friday Feature

Looking for a refreshing meal to beat the summer heat?

This healthy sandwich and smoothie duo has you covered!

by

Chris Pavesic

This peanut butter sandwich forgoes jelly for fresh sliced pears.

Open-Faced Nut Butter Sandwich

    1-2 slices of your favorite bread
    Peanut butter or almond butter
    Sliced pears
    Raisins
    Honey
    Cinnamon

Toast your favorite bread; one slice to eat open-faced or two for a sandwich. Spread on nut butter and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle on a few raisins. Add sliced pears, enough to cover bread. Sprinkle top of pears with cinnamon and enjoy.

When the weather gets warm, is there anything more refreshing than a smoothie? This one sneaks in some healthy vegetables and chia seeds.

Ginger-Berry Smoothie with Chia Seeds

    1½ cups frozen or fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries (extra for garish if desired
    ⅓ cup canned sliced beets (save extra beets for next smoothie) or leftover cooked beets
    ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    1 tbsp. honey
    2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
    Chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender except chia seeds. Blend until smooth. Top with chia seeds and extra fruit if desired. Makes 1 serving.

Books available at Amazon.com or wherever books are sold.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The ever-learning Chris Pavesic brings us writing advice.

I like to read writing advice from other authors. Many times, I find really great ideas that help improve my own abilities. For example, in On Writing, Stephen King (2001) recommends listening to music to help a writer block out the world and focus on the work at hand. I have multiple dedicated writing playlists for just this purpose.

Certain advice, though, does not resonate with me. For example—certain writers suggest modeling villains after people in your own life that you dislike. I would find that difficult advice to implement in my writing.

First—there is the time factor. Writing a novel generally takes time. Even if a writer aims for a thousand words a day of good, solid prose, the writing stretches into months. Imagine this time actively thinking about people you do not like. This would not be an enjoyable activity in my perspective.

As a writer, I want to like my villains. Not everything that they do—many of their activities to me would be morally objectionable. But I need to understand them—to know why they are doing certain activities so that I can put this down on the page. I need to sympathize with their motivations and to realize that, in most instances, the villains do not see themselves as evil. These characters need the same depth as the heroes or, in my opinion, they will never be more than a caricature.

In Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett (1991, p. 185) has the villain of the story, Lilith, make the following comparison:

“She wondered whether there was such a thing as the opposite of a fairy godmother. Most things had their opposite, after all. If so, she wouldn’t be a bad fairy godmother, because that’s just a good fairy godmother seen from a different viewpoint.”

Later in the story, readers learn that Lilith firmly believes she is the good fairy godmother and is not the villain. It’s a matter of perspective, and in her viewpoint, those working against her are evil. She’s trying to improve people’s lives, and those working against her are trying to impede progress.

This is not the only type of villain in literature, but it is the type that I tend to find the most interesting. It is why I can sympathize with Khan in Star Trek (both in Into Darkness and in Space Seed) and Loki in The Avengers while at the same time being morally appalled by many of their actions.

There are obvious exceptions to this—Sauron in The Lord of the Rings trilogy does not generate sympathy for many readers, (although Tolkien does give him a fascinating history in The Silmarillion that explains his fall into darkness) but the Nazguls always had a touch of sympathy to their story for me because they were tricked by Sauron into becoming the Ring Wraiths. The detail and care that Tolkien invests into the story keeps these characters from being caricatures.

Allow me to introduce you to my villains. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I did writing them.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

An intriguing recipe from Chris Pavesic for a wonderful snack.

Fresh peaches are always delicious. Bake them in a pie or bread and your home is filled with a beautiful aroma. Try my easy Peach Bread recipe for an anytime treat that goes great with coffee and tea, hot or iced.

Peach Bread

Photo courtesy of Anna Armburst Pixabay

¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 oz. blueberry (peach) yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup peaches, chopped
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ cup raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350ᵒ F.

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, milk, oil, yogurt, egg, and extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour with baking powder and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

In a small bowl, toss peaches with 1 tbsp. flour.

Fold floured fruit gently into batter.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely.

Slice off a piece of warm Peach Bread, pour your favorite beverage, and indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Read Full Post »

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

How a Task Swells to Fill the Time allotted.

By Chris Pavesic

Parkinson’s Law originated with Cyril Parkinson in a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and was reprinted in Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress by John Murray (1958). The law states that work will expand and swell in importance so as to fill the time available for its completion. Alternatively, some define Parkinson’s law in regard to time as the amount of time that one has to perform as task is the amount of time it will take to complete a task. This theory posits that the more time you give yourself to do something, the more complex and daunting it will seem.

The perceived amount of work swells to fit the time allotted.

According to this law, if you give yourself a month to work on any project, that project will . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Chris Pavesic’s blog

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Friday Features’

Guest shares a recipe for

Total Eclipse Moon Pies

by

Chris Pavesic

These tasty treats combine the rich flavors of chocolate with a thick layer of marshmallow crème.

Total Eclipse Moon Pies
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 large egg white
½ cup 1% milk
¾ cup marshmallow crème

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg white and beat until fluffy with an electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture, then milk, until just blended.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto large, ungreased baking sheets 2-3 inches apart to make 18-20 cookies (Make sure to make an even number of cookies). Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 5 minutes.

Cool completely. Spoon 2 teaspoons of marshmallow crème on bottoms of half the cookies made. Top with remaining cookies.

Get comfy while you snack on your Moon Pie and indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Read Full Post »

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