Arisia, Beef Stew, and Revision Tips


Last weekend, Mom, Aunt Sue, and I drove to Boston for a 22 hour visit. We encountered an unpredicted winter weather advisory where the speed limit went from 65 to 40.

At first, the snow blew in confetti pieces, which is the picture above. It progressed to horizontal balled up sheets of legal paper. Poor Mom was an absolute trooper and got us there in 3 and a 1/2 hours. Normally it’s closer to 2 hours.

We found our way to the Renaissance Hotel and ended up having a nice meal at the bar. But for the fact that all the appetizers and entrees were delivered at the same time.


The next morning, I headed over to Arisia 2014 at the Westin. Fabulous venue and amazing people!


The dealer room was a treasure trove!


I wish I had more cash to spend. I did buy a souvenir Arisia t-shirt. I also found the freebie area and put of bookmarks for Rae Ann Parker and me.


After getting the lay of the land, I hung out in the lobby and waited for my panel to begin. It was the best spot to glimpse all the cool con attendees.


Selfie in Flamingo blouse


The Fortune Telling Panel went well–Michael McAfee, Catt Kingsgrave, and Katherine Kane shared so much insight into giving professional readings. And they made an extra effort to direct things to my books and how fortune telling wove into my stories. I had a blast being on a panel with them!

I gave out a few swag bags, bookmarks, and one copy of Six Train to my first con friend Melissa! * Big wave*

Then I met an old friend and coworker for coffee and caught up on life after Wall Street. By 2:45 pm I was back in the car and headed home.




Beef Stew is one of the few hallmarks of my childhood. I’d come home from school to Grandma H’s to find it sitting on the stove in a turquoise metal pot. It smelled and tasted heavenly.

Grandma H isn’t a cook. So it was one of the few things she made really really well. There was no recipe. She just used what was on hand.  No two stews tasted exactly the same.

My cousins and I grew up on that stew. When I moved home, I begged Grandma H to help me make it, but she doesn’t remember how anymore.

Never one to take no as a final answer, I started experimenting with Beef Goulash (Austrian recipe). My first batch got messed up by the recipe–they forgot to list beef stock in the required ingredients and then I got to that step in the recipe and didn’t have beef stock. I decided to substitute water and tomato paste—way too tomatoey.

Luckily, my second batch came out great. It tastes like the ghost of Grandma H’s stew. Not quite there yet, but definitely on the right track.


And lastly,  here’s a guest post I did on my 5 Revision Tips over on Chris the Story Reading Ape’s Blog.

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