Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Planet Of Perpetual Twilight- Flash Fiction

rocky landscape
photo credit: We are Fires in the Night! via photopin (license)
Nellie walked along the rocky terrain, peering through the darkness, watching the horizon carefully. It had been almost three months since she came to Nostra with the main research team. Not once had they seen so much as a sunrise.

As far as her eye could see, all she saw were rocks and short mountains. Members of her team had gone out on many treks this past year and that's all they ever found, more rocks and more mountains. A cool breeze tickled softly past her neck, blowing her short hair back ever so slightly.

She shivered. This whole planet gives me the creeps!

Sure, they found water here, but you had to dig a well to get to it. As for light, the one essential thing for plant growth, the cloud cover was dense enough to block out most of the light here. The team resorted to using artificial light sources to help break up the perpetual twilight. That is, when the daily solar flares weren’t interrupting their power sources.

Just a few more months! I’ll be happy to get off this rock!

"Have you seen them yet?" A colleague asked, striding up behind her.

"No, Alexi, I haven't. Any word on the radio?" Nellie asked.

"No, the radio is down again." Alexi answered.

"Ugh, go figure." Nellie rubbed her hands over her sleeves vigorously to fight off the chill.

All of their clothes were made with built in thermal materials designed to keep Earth's arctic winds out. Yet here, where the temperature was barely below 65, a slight breeze could chill you to the bone in no time.

What I wouldn't do for a hot summer beach and a margarita right now!

"Go on in and warm up, I'll keep watch." Alexi suggested.
Nellie turned to walk toward their base camp. She’d only made it half way when the breeze came through again. This time, she thought she felt icy cold fingers brush past the side of her neck. She whirled back toward Alexi in shock.

She saw him, at the bottom of their little hill, right where she left him.

Um Alexi,” She called out.

Yeah, what is it?” He called back without turning towards her.

Nothing, I just...”

The breeze came again.

This time Nellie could have sworn it felt like she had been shoved. She landed on her backside, rocks skittering away from her.

Nellie quit fooling around!” Alexi groaned.

I’m not. I...” She stuttered.

Nellie stood and brushed herself off.

This time it was Alexi’s turn to be knocked off his feet.

But how could Alexi be knocked down by the wind and she didn’t feel even a breeze this time?

Wispy streams of light appeared between them, seemingly floating on the wind. As Alexi stood up the streams of light bowled him back to the ground. He sat up wide eyed and waved at Nellie to run.

Either this planet doesn’t want us here or something is here with us!”

This post is part of the 52 week flash fiction challenge on facebook
Week 50 word prompt: Haunted
Word Limit: 20- 500

Yep I started the challenge late but it looked too fun not to jump right on in.

This one tops out right at 497 words.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

An Alien Birthday- Flash Fiction

I've decided to take a crack at this month's 15 to 50 Flash fiction challenge. I'm still not sure if I am doing these right but, I'm writing, so it's a good thing either way!
 I wanted to throw a science fiction spin on it and write something with some brand new characters. but this month's combo just had me stuck for now. So instead I talked with some old characters. Happy reading ;)
Photo Copyright: Shailaja V
February's Word prompt: Eternal
Phrase Prompt: Circle of life
Picture Prompt: Cake->

 “Whats the point of a birthday?” Rivi levitated a lit candle above her hand, staring at the flickering flame.

“Its a circle of life thing, you made it through another year.” Dan reasoned.

“I don’t know when I was born.”

“What about the day you started life with the Aunantet?”

 Linking this to the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′

Would you like to try your hand at writing a story or poem in 15-50 words? You can either click on The Moving Quill above and submit your link OR post your short right into the comments here. I don't mind. I'd love to read them!


Find The Alien Mind on Amazon!

Did you like this post? If so you might enjoy my book!

For adults and teens alike, it is truly a science fiction adventure for the whole family!

If you'd prefer an autographed copy straight from the author you can buy one here as well!
Autographed Copy:$13.00 + Shipping

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Portal

Surreptitious Fire
photo credit: darkday. via photopin cc
Today I thought I would try something different on my blog. I'm going to post a picture and the first sentence and we are going to write a story together! All you need to do is watch the comments thread down below and add the next sentence in the story in a comment of your own. With each person replying with the next sentence in the story I am sure this will get really interesting fast!

So... lets start with:

Enriel had lived in the town of Lanta all of her life, this was the first time she knew of that anything like this had ever happened here.

What's the next sentence?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Advancement Do You Want To See In The Future?

Cityscape - One IFC, BoC Tower
photo credit: Mr Wabu via photopin cc

Time to give you a chance to speculate among the stars!
So... you've been given a time machine to use- just to peek into the future once and then come home.

New things are being invented every day! New ideas are coming to life which will change the future we are headed for.

What advancement would you most like the future to have?

A cure for something?

Warp Drives?

Colonies on other planets?

While you are at it... check out this article about the worlds first truly heartless man who has no pulse yet lives! The Wonders of Technology!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

When You Cant Find Anything To Wear In Your Dresser

What is a girl to do? There's not a thing in my dresser that I feel like wearing today, so instead, I decided to look into my husbands dresser!

Mini geek rant alert: Why is it that the GUY section always has the coolest geek shirts and the women's section gets stuck with M&M's and cartoon characters?

Seriously! I wanna wear an Iron Man or Dr. Who T-shirt from time to time! Yeah sure... my hubby's T's are a tad baggy on me... but hey! Its a sci fi shirt! Who's complaining!

So friends and family... I've deliberately left the bottom of this picture out of the shot because the show title is on the bottom.

Who can tell me what franchise this T-Shirt is from? Extra points if you can tell me what specific movie in the franchise! ;)

And no- I don't typically go running around taking selfies of myself. I moved over to a new phone yesterday, the Motorola Maxx and I'm having fun trying out all the new things and trying to get comfortable with a new phone again. The screen is much bigger than my old LG and it feels thin in my hand without the rubber bumper slip on protector that I had on my LG. The only problem that I am having with this phone so far is finding a protective case for it that FITS and that I like. I still don't see how those snap on hard cases protect the phones much...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Altering Spaghetti To Accommodate A Toddler

V.L. Jennings' Spaghetti
Growing up in my later years I discovered that I wasn't very fond of spaghetti. It took more work to eat it than most foods- I mean really... who wants to eat half a plate of spaghetti with sauce and the other half with a bland sorta 'no more sauce' taste? A lot of work goes into getting the proper sauce to noodle ratio on each spoon! Then you add in the fact that apparently tomato sauce just tasted really acidic to me, the same reason I dislike ketchup (and yet I LOVE hot sauce... how does that work?).

However, when you are trying to cook family meals on a budget, spaghetti is still awesome in a pinch.

When my husband and I married he came with two kids- ready made family. One was 2 almost 3 when we married and the other was 6. The oldest came with a bunch of medical issues, one of which being fine motor skills. What this boiled down to was having two kids in the house with the dexterity of a toddler.

At first I tried chopping the spaghetti up... yeah that went over well *sarcasm*. Not that they pitched a fit or anything, they just really didn't enjoy eating it. So I took a bite... and discovered that chopping up the spaghetti so fine may have made it easier to pick up but was BLAH as far as chewing texture goes.

Add that into the fact that noodles sliding all over the mouth leaves sauce all over the face... cute to some parents sure- I could see the appeal. Until I discovered that eldest's face would sport a red rash the next morning from the sauce. I thought about nixing spaghetti and pizza all together until I realized that she would only have a reaction if she made a mess of it on her face. If it all made it into her mouth... no problems at all.

Next time I decided to try using elbow noodles instead- SUCCESS!!!

From there, I was even more determined to tweak the sauce recipe to get just the right amount of flavor and enjoyment out of it. Heck, if I'm going to be working over a stove to make this than it better be enjoyable to eat even for the cook!

I was raised on the walmart brand of jar'd spaghetti sauce, it was the cheapest, and I am on a budget so I stuck with that as a base. I also wanted something to cut down on the tang of the tomato taste in the spaghetti sauce. Walking through the spaghetti isle I noticed the jars of alfredo... Why not! Lets try that and see how that tastes!

TONS better!

Fast forward to the end of 2014... hamburger meat is sky high... and strangely enough sausage is CHEAPER than hamburger meat (where before hamburger was cheaper). So to save money on my spaghetti dinner I opted for two lbs of sausage instead of my usual hamburger.

Ok... now I have total yumness!

I may eventually go back to using spaghetti noodles but for now my third child is 3 soon to be four, (*cries* is it really that time already!) and he loves the elbows!

V.L. Jennings' Spaghetti

1- 16oz box of elbow noodles
1- small jar of alfredo sauce
1 extra large jar (66oz) and one medium jar (45 oz) of your choice spaghetti sauce
2lbs of sausage (I like to do one spicy, one regular or one regular, one sage)

Brown spaghetti sauce and boil noodles/drain. Mix sauce, sausage, and alfredo in one big pot. Makes two dinner nights for 5 people!

PS If you are here wondering how my Crock Pot Ham turned out... 

Well I am happy to report that it was, fall of the bone, absolutely AWESOME! I ended up cooking it for 5 hours on high- I had an appointment so I didn't get back till then. However, I believe it may have been done around 4 hours.

It was SO juicy that I could shred it easily with just ONE fork!

Each bite was full of flavor and SO super succulent! It was a big success with my kids and my husband. Plus I even have some left over that I think I will shred into some mac n cheese for tonight's meal!

Anyhow- I hope you enjoyed these recipe's! Stay tuned... there's no telling what sorts of things I will go exploring or altering next!

Do you have a recipe you've altered that you would like to share? Tell us about it in the comments! I love to try new dishes!

Mad Scientist Mac N Cheese and Crock Pot Ham

Crock Pot Ham
Crock Pot Ham!
One of the key things about 'exploring human potential' is the desire to learn something new. To create something, to try to figure things out. Here I am, diving into the unknown again with some real world speculating!

Lately I have been experimenting with different recipes, combining the elements I like and subtracting the ones I don't like as I mix different recipes together. It can be tricky mixing recipes together, I always try to take a moment to mentally predict how each ingredient will interact with the others before I jump into the recipe. Now, I did this all on Christmas day... but if you are not that gutsy you may want to make this for a regular meal before you make it for company.

My original OVEN recipe called for just one cup of milk but the noodles were also supposed to be cooked before being added.

The first new crock pot recipe I had called for the elbow noodles to be cooked before they went into the crock pot and I wanted to avoid that. That recipe called for 3/4c of milk and 2 eggs. (The eggs didn't sound appetizing here so I ditched those)

Another crock pot recipe that DID call for uncooked noodles asked for 2.5 c milk and 12 oz of evaporated milk. This recipe also called for cream cheese- which would have made the mixture softer but we preferred the thick cheese texture anyhow. I was also afraid the cream cheese would have made the mixture a bit more sweet then we were used to.

Ultimately I mainly used my original baked mac recipe but added the evap milk and regular milk, as per the other recipes, in order to modify it so that I could avoid pre-cooking the noodles and do the whole thing in the crock pot.

My whole family loved this recipe! It was a big success!

My Crock Pot Mac used:

16 oz of uncooked elbow noodles
two cans of condensed cheddar cheese soup
a lb of shredded cheese
2 and a half cup of milk
and one 12oz can of evaporated milk.

Cook on low for 2.5 - 3 hours in crockpot. May stir at the 2 hr mark to check.

CROCK POT BAG recommended! Makes clean up way easier.

Today I am attempting to cook a Ham in the crock pot.... its an uncooked ham which I've never attempted to cook before.

I put a layer of brown sugar and mustard in the bottom of the crock pot. Set the ham flat side down in the crock pot. Put brown sugar, mustard and on a whim I added some vinegar over the top. Lid on and because I intend to eat it tonight I am cooking it on High and hoping it is done in about 6.5 hours.

*fingers crossed* I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tomorrow... if I remember, I will share with you my alterations for spaghetti!