Vera Stewart

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since Apr 22, 2015
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Recent posts by Vera Stewart

Hello there!

I did about seven months' worth of my poetry project, but I'm about a month behind now, and I'm not sure if I'll catch up or not. I reviewed my poems recently and I don't know that they're anything I'd want to release to the world as a collection (too depressing, and kind of repetitive - and those are the best of the poems!) so I'm not really very motivated on that project at the moment.

Instead, I've been making a lot of what feels like progress on my cookbook in the past two weeks or so, I've got well over half the recipes I want/need tested and typed up now, and have a solid idea of what the remaining recipes will be, although a few questions remain.
I'd really like to have the first draft of the book done by September. I wanted to have the whole thing published by this September at one point, but I don't think that's going to be possible, I still can't devote regular steady hours and hours to it, and that's what it would need. (As it is I'm behind on the garden because I've been testing recipes instead, oops.)

I've had a couple of short stories published or picked up to be published recently as well, which is always nice. Keep writing, writers!
2 months ago
Hi everyone.

This isn't meant to be a downer post - but I am stepping back from updating this thread in the new year. There's nothing wrong - actually, it's a case of the opposite, I have several neat opportunities coming up in my writing life over the next little while, and in my review of what I should and shouldn't be focusing my energy on, in order to get the most important things done, it's simply the case that I'll have to let this thread go for now.

I am still thinking about working on a project promoting healthier living for writers -  but I think what is more important at the moment is if I start trying to seriously implement some healthy changes rather than spend time writing about them ;)

I am still trying to work on a cookbook, and I will still be trying to limit the amount of food I waste.

I'm not stopping anything except updates to this thread! Thank you for your readership, comments, advise and support. I hope to still hover around these forums now and then, and best wishes to all of you in 2024!

6 months ago
It has been twenty-five days since I last threw out food.

I did some baking yesterday - including using some of the left-over tahini I had in a jar as a substitute in "peanut butter" cookies. I have not noticed any adverse reactions to the tahini in a cookie format, but I also have been careful to only eat a few so far, and they are small. This afternoon I need to do another post-grocery-shop sorting of the fresh ingredients, but I continue to think I'm super-ready for this coming week of festivities. It's raining right now, so we're going to have soup for lunch.
I hope it'll snow, I like snow for it's brightening effect at this time of year.

There are only a few remaining tasks for me this year - one of them is to sort out my cookbook information. I don't know if I'll get to that before xmas off-line time or if it'll have to wait for next week. (I'm disconnecting on the 24th for atleast three days and hopefully four.)

I'm really looking forward to a stay-cation of doing next to nothing! Happy first-longer-day to everyone else in the northern hemisphere!
7 months ago
It has been nineteen days since I last threw out food.
I have some remnant celery freezing at the moment and then I can cut up some cauliflower and the last squash from the garden (it looks like it'll keep on the shelf for ages yet but it keeps getting in the way there, so I'm going to stick in in the freezer where there's a bit more space a the moment)
I think I'm ready for Christmas, ingredients wise. I found some sugar in the city yesterday. This weekend I absolutely must focus on getting my holiday cards/letters out but after that I might do some baking.
Got some more walking in. I haven't lost any weight in the last week but I haven't gained anymore either.

Which leads me to questions about my diet (no, I don't think you're rude) I know that it's not great. There are a number of changes I'd like to make. However, I live in a situation where I have to share my kitchen and meal times, and I only have so much energy - I often can't find enough to create separate meals, and my attempts to alter the house's diet mostly fail. It's very discouraging. I have willpower at the shops and resist buying empty calories, only to have them arrive on the counter anyway, and once they're in the house, I have a much harder time saying no, I'll go for the healthier option.

When I was previously much lighter/healthier, I was walking for almost two hours a day - not to "get exercise" but to get from point a to point b. I also wasn't eating as many treats because there weren't as many around.

I'm hoping that if I can marry walks with voice-recording poetry or other fiction works and treat it as writing inspiration time and therefore have another "reason" to walk (because for me, "just" "getting exercise" is something I can't seem to get behind) maybe it will be easier to re-introduce walking into my routine. I do have a dog and sometimes walking her is my excuse to go outside, but unfortunately sometimes someone else takes her and then I don't have a "reason" for the day.
I meant to take my voice recorder with me the other day but forgot, I'll put it in my jacket pocket right now so I'll have it next time.

7 months ago
I am in desperate need to get my Christmas cards/letters out, that's what has to be my focus this weekend. However, I started this morning by writing a poem - haven't done that first off for a week to ten days and it felt good to be back at it. I'm still behind on poems for my project, but today I know I won't fall further behind now, even if I don't get any more poetry done.

Also, early this week, I did a "live" (although not in person) reading of a poem for the first time! It was extremely nervous, but I hope to do it again.
7 months ago
I tried searching chillsubs for something to help you out with placing the guitar piece - maybe the magazine Reckoning? but perhaps you'd have best luck with a guitar-focused magazine of some kind? I don't know very much about the nonfiction end of things.
7 months ago
It has been [b]twelve days since I last threw out food... with one exception I won't count... I threw out the rest of my tahini dressing, because I'm pretty sure it made me sick one day. Throwing out food that probably makes you sick does not count as food waste to me.

It was the only relatively new-to-me food item I ate before having a bout of stomach upset. I don't know why it would be fine for several uses and then suddenly not-fine, but I haven't had any re-occurrences since throwing it out, so it remains my most likely suspect. It might just be I left it standing out on the counter a few too many times a bit too long.

I got a pedometer for myself with hopes of tracking 6000 steps a day - I thought that was fairly doable but since I've got it I have only had a couple of days when I've managed that low number! I'm trying not to beat myself up over it too much and just try and get out and walk when I can - the weather hasn't been the greatest and that's been serving as a bit of an excuse - that and all the other things I need to do and tend to prioritize before taking care of myself.
On my last successful walk, I ended up carrying more stress at the end than at the beginning as I became borderline enraged at all the fencing that's been put up since I moved here, tangling up my previously bucolic view!

Tomorrow I'm expecting to go to a potluck so I'll be making some sweet-potato salad and what I call "man-crust" eggs to take with me. I haven't decided yet if I'll also make some oatmeal molasses cookies, I might run out of time to prepare.
There is a shortage of sugar in the stores as the result of a union strike at a major sugar refinery here in BC - it's been going on for a couple of months, but now with the Christmas demand surge, it has become quite noticeable. I won't mind not being able to do quite so much baking this year and we have enough sugar in the house at the moment to keep making bread for another couple of weeks, anyway.

7 months ago
This is somewhat related to my cookbook project, I finally finished putting together a database of all of the times that food is mentioned on the radio show Dragnet yesterday and posted a little blog post about it today. I have plans to do a Dragnet cookbook after the first cookbook which I am working on now, and need all that information to know what I should look at cooking! I would really appreciate advise on how to make the database easily shareable, and easier to navigate and store - without having to re-enter all the information in a different program. (It's currently in Google Sheets - and I have about 100 episodes-worth of info backed up the very old school way - in a notebook - but have no back up of the first 2/3rds of the databases.)

Edited: here's the link to the blog post
7 months ago
I'm five poems behind, but have so many other things to get to... maybe I'll be able to make some poetry tonight after the house has gone to sleep.  I'm here today to make a public commitment to sort out my cookbook project and have a solid plan for finishing up the cooking-testing part of it - I want to have that plan ready by the end of the month!
7 months ago
Welcome nanowrimo refugees!

I've been continuing on my work to write a poem for each day. I'm three poems short at the moment. One of the things that i find sometimes happening is I'll sit down with an idea and instead of a poem I'll end up with a short story - or, as the case was a few days ago, with a creative non-fiction/essay scrawled out. I count these diversions into not-poems as poems, even if they're not really poems!

I have been making very minimal no progress on my cookbook project this past month - I need to set aside time to review it and determine what I'm doing with it, I just haven't gotten to doing that yet. I think I need some sort of public deadline for it - I seem to do better at getting stuff done when i know there are people watching!
7 months ago