Monday, June 30, 2014

Bandwagon Jumping

S. R. Karfelt

Everything is blurry because there’s coconut oil on my eyeballs. About a year ago I jumped on the coconut oil is good for everything bandwagon. It’s a soft white solid that melts in your hands, and I’m pretty sold on it. So far these are the uses I’ve discovered for coconut oil:
  • Cooking. It’s an oil/butter even.
  • Moisturizer. Tré cheap. Best I’ve ever used.
  • Hair oil. Very. Little. On. Your. Hair.
  • Make-up remover. Avoid. Eyeballs. (It doesn’t hurt, just annoying.)
  • A jar from the cooking aisle works for everything. I prefer organic, because I jumped on that bandwagon too.

Speaking of the organic bandwagon, do you buy organic? I prefer to because I truly believe the mantra garbage in garbage out. That doesn’t mean that I don’t eat garbage, because I do and my jeans will testify to this fact. If you see me at the grocery store, you’ll see a cart full of:
  • Organic fruits
  • Organic Vegetables
  • Organic Rice
  • Organic Whole Grains
  • Organic Cereal—the kind you need a set of wooly mammoth teeth to chew, but you won’t get hungry again today if you eat ½ cup of it.
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, because you only live once.
  • A family size bag of SmartCorn. #Let’sPretendThisisPartofAHealthyDiet #ItProbablyWon’tLastTheNight

If you spend a few hectic days visiting you’ll find that meals also consist of:
  • Panera salads—after a rough day nothing tastes as good as food someone else made fast. You know it’s true.
  • Rice Krispy treats I made for the kids and they didn’t finish, so all bets are off. #MomProblems
  • Either mine or one of the kid’s emergency dark chocolate stashes. It happens. #WhatKindOfMotherStealsChocolate?
  • Take-out from wherever the heck someone wants it and I don’t really care what it’s made out of when I run out of energy inside a pile of paperwork. #RealLife

I’m on the hashtag bandwagon too, btw.
  • #ItShows.
  • #EasilyEntertained
  • #ItDoesn’tTakeMuch
  • #NoPunctuationorApostrophesinHashtags
  • #Don’tTellMeWhatToDo!

Not to mention the Acronym Bandwagon:
  • FYI
  • LOLFR – I heard that LOL is the top lie on the Internet, so I add For Real.
  • Do you make up your own acronyms? I like GGP instead of BRB.

For awhile I was on the extreme sports bandwagon. Since bruising my tailbone during a mud run (yeah, I was the one on top the fifteen foot mudslide screaming Don’t Be a Girl) I’ve all but lost interest in extreme sports. (She says from a rustic cabin deep in the bush because extreme vacations rock it.) My new extreme sport activities now include:
  • Walking my ten thousand healing steps deep in the wilderness.
  • Swatting mosquitoes.
  • Tripping over tree roots.
  • Swatting black flies.
  • Scratching.
  • Being the first person down a path every morning which gives you the spider web yoga-like freak out stretch. #It’sAThing #GetItOffGetItOff
  • Doing the bear-track/moose-track identification and worry during aforementioned walk.
  • Finding out that it is actually baby birds you ought to worry about, because their Mamas do not appreciate your admiration. #TheBirdDodgeIsNotADanceMove #BirdsAreRaptors #BelieveIt
  • Forcing everyone in the fishing boat to hit the deck every time you cast. #SorrySorry #SpazFishing #It’sAllIGot

S. R. Karfelt

The best part about bandwagon jumping is you can jump on or off any time you like, just tuck and roll on that exit. Is jumping off the bandwagon an extreme sport? Feel free to share your bandwagons, or add to mine. I’d especially like it if you’d make GGP a thing or #SpazFishing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Secret Hideaways For Introverts


Someone asked me recently what I was hiding from when I sneaked off to a secret hideaway. The answer is mostly my to-do list. That list just gets longer and longer: books to write, research to do, places to go, promises to keep, miles to go before I sleep, and, ugh, paperwork to complete. Escaping to secret hiding places is an excellent way to recharge for introverts.

Yes. I’m an introvert, and in case you think that means anti-social, puh-leeze, girlfriend/guyfriend—think again by going to this link! 

Usually I don’t like to share my secret hiding places, they’re secret! Go find your own! But on second thought, maybe you’re an introvert who needs one, so here are some ideas if you’re desperate for a place to hide and recharge in.

  • Museums. You’re looking for an obscure bench in front of an exhibit that’s been on display a long time. It’s there just for you.
  • Cities are excellent places to hide. If you paint yourself flame orange and dance on the street corner in New York City, you’re still hardly visible. A corner stool in a café, a backseat in a bus/subway, or a park bench really work. If it looks like you’re going to be interrupted in your public solitude, I recommend chatting to yourself, it works every time.
  • Churches during off hours rock it. They’re cool, dim, and quiet. When I’m traveling, I always search them out for quiet time.
  • If you’re traveling, closing your eyes is the equivalent of hanging out a Do Not Disturb Sign. If you’re in a hotel room with the actual sign, you’re golden. If you’re driving alone, you’re covered. If you’re driving with passengers, offer to be the driver because the driver gets to rule the music—put on your tunes and effectively tune out all of those extroverts. If you’re a passenger, bring ear buds and plug them into your phone whether you listen to music or not, then employ the closed eyes thing.
  • This recommendation is a bit awkward, but it works in a pinch. Bathrooms. If you’re lucky enough to be female it isn’t even nasty—usually.
  • Cemeteries.
  • Monasteries. They exist. Google it. You can go there, and some of them will even give you a bed and a meal. I’m not kidding.
  • Historical sites.
  • Woods.
  • Go places that are really difficult to get to if you really need a long break.
    • The bottom of the Grand Canyon.
    • Backpack to far far away.
    • Anywhere with no electricity/cell phone coverage. They’re actually not hard to find.

Is that any help at all? If you’d like to share some secret hiding place ideas, please do because I’d enjoy investigating fresh possibilities. Do you need alone time? It might
take me awhile to respond from my own secret hiding place, but I surely will as soon as I finish recharging. I’d tell you where my latest spot is, but you can’t get here from there anyway. It involves a portage, a long journey, hiking, boat rides, and possibly an airdrop to really get to some excellent hiding spots. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Granola Girl

S. R. Karfelt

Whenever I make a fresh batch of gorp, I text a picture of it to the person who first introduced me to it. We call it gorp—but that’s just another term for trail mix. There really isn’t a recipe for it, although it all starts with granola.

gra-no-la definition
a kind of breakfast cereal consisting typically of rolled oats, brown sugar or honey, dried fruit, and nuts.
denoting those with liberal or environmentalist political views, typified as eating health foods.
modifier noun: granola

We’re concerned with the first definition of granola for this. You can make your own and eliminate the sugar altogether. Sometimes I do that, you bake it, and you can use maple sugar or honey, or whatever to sweeten it if you like.

The idea of gorp is to turn your granola into food that is portable, filling, and nutritious. It’s whatever works for you, and I’ve modified mine over the years, and I also change it up depending on where it’s going. If it’s going to end up in the desert, it’s better not to put anything in that might melt. If it’s going on a rough hike, I make sure I add plenty of ingredients with protein and some salt.

Measuring and following recipes isn’t my thing, so I doubt I’ve ever made the same batch of gorp twice. For this particular batch I didn’t make my own granola. I used a store brand granola cereal, Wegmans to be precise. If you’ve never been inside a Wegmans, you’re missing something. It’s like the Disneyland of grocery stores.

This particular batch of gorp took four boxes of almond granola. Since it didn’t have raisins, I added those.

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt

Everything I added to the next step of the process was organic and raw if possible: sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, dehydrated green apples, and banana chips. The banana chips weren’t unsweetened for this batch, because my guys don’t like them. It looked like this, nutritious and fairly healthy.

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt

I had to use two giant bowls because I was making a huge batch. If I was making this for myself, I’d add some organic coconut, cocoa nibs, and probably dark chocolate almonds and stop here.

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt

Next is where I modified it for who wants it. If you’re into really healthy eating, hide your eyes because this is where things get sweet. I put in yogurt covered stuff (raisins, nuts), several types of M&Ms (Peanut, mini-baking ones, and peanut butter), Reese pieces because the recipients are big into peanut butter, a type of Boston Baked Bean candy, dark chocolate covered raisins and almonds, and a handful of spelt sticks.

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt

The Glitter Globe/Karfelt
This is one of the few things I actually make because I’d much rather write than cook. All this takes is gathering ingredients and stirring them together. I pack them into freezer bags and push the air out before sealing them, and BAM, Mom made something and fully expects points for it. 

So what do you think? Would you go healthy or not? What would your ideal gorp consist of?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Raptor Jerky


Dear Hubby’s appendix quit. Between you and me I can’t really blame it. If I was fed a diet of some lunch meat called Old-Fashioned Loaf and Meat Jerky, I’d quit too. (Notice I said Meat Jerky? He’s not a persnickety man. If Slim Jim made Raptor Jerky he’d be all over that.) Anyway, he’s healing up nicely now, after a miserable week in the hospital. He’s also encouraging everyone to get their appendix out before it turns on them. I’m planning to keep mine and continue feeding it a healthy diet of field greens and chocolate to keep it purring along and doing whatever it is that appendixes do that no one can figure out.

My buddy, Angel, says that appendixes are like souls, you really can get by in this world just fine without them.

Speaking of souls, some Jehovah Witnesses just stopped by. It really says something about the solitude of writers when I greet these women with enthusiasm. Real People! Yay!

Lately I’ve been writing a story to be included in an anthology that will be published later this summer. The proceeds of the book will be given to cancer charity—a most worthy cause. I’d been working on that and fell asleep in my office the night that Dear Hubby staggered into the room and woke me up with, “Hon, I need to go to the Emergency Room.”

You are probably aware it is possible to go from zero to sixty on the scale of consciousness without hitting any of the digits between those two numbers. In all the years I’ve known DH he’s never said those words. This is a man who functions with broken bones for weeks before finally succumbing to a doctor and X-ray. How many times have I watched him wiggle a hand or foot back and forth while saying, “If it were broken, I wouldn’t be able to do this!” Since he only has one speed in life (a speed which can only be summed up as Nads Out) he considers broken bones a consequence of living. As I child-proofed our house after the birth of our first born, DH said, “Broken bones are part of childhood.” Wait, what? Not unless you’re having a movie of the week childhood!

After rousing me to warp speed mentality, the ride to the nearest hospital in my Time Travel Jeep was a slow and miserable one for him. Maybe now he’ll get to work on that Stargate, because it would have come in handy. By the way you might want to negotiate some sort of deal with your appendix so it doesn’t turn on you during a holiday weekend. You don’t want to arrive at the hospital when everyone obviously has way better things they could be doing. You also don’t want people trying to get to the hospital to see you to get stuck in a parade.


When I say stuck in a parade, I don’t mean stuck behind it either, or being rerouted around it. On my way to visit DH, post-surgery, I ended up in a Memorial Day parade right behind the kilted men with bagpipes. That is not such a bad place to be, if you ever get stuck in one. I mean it has its perks. But I was in my Jeep, and I was totally wrecking the whole Scottish theme. The worst part of that experience is not the police part. They saw and ignored me, because frankly I’m not sure they could figure out how the heck I got there anymore than I could. The worst part is now I have to go back to my Time Travel Jeep book and once again insert another scene before getting it to you, because face it, there are things in life just begging to be immortalized in fiction. Am I wrong?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Ter’roc Evolution

Just because you never know what you’re going to get when you shake up a glitter globe, today I have something new and artsy to show you!

We’re revealing the new beautiful cover designed by Blue Harvest Creative for The Ter’roc: Evolution, an epic science fiction novel about an ancient race of aliens that created the human species thousands of years ago. Steeped in science, historical fiction, philosophy and biology, this book introduces an intriguing new dimension to our own world and worlds beyond.

And now…the reveal

In 3,




This novel is a continuance of the most popular story from Ruins of the Mind, the science fiction anthology of short stories written by Jason P. Stadtlander and published in June of 2012.  The Ter’roc: Evolution is the first in a three-part series which contains references to ancient structures such as the pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge and more, but reveals the larger purpose behind these structures steeped in mystery—purposes often wondered about but never before revealed.

When a teenage tomboy named Shawn ventures into a storm drain near the railroad tracks in Swampscott, Massachusetts, she stumbles upon more than a few blue glass pieces she is foraging. She comes face to face with Sam’loc of the alien ter’roc species, the initial link to discovering ancient hidden truths and a key revelation concerning humanity’s past. This initial face-to-face with Sam’loc draws Shawn unexpectedly into a world never before encountered—knowingly at least—by others. In the process, she is called upon to challenge more than she ever thought possible and rises to the occasion in ways she never expected.

The ter’roc and ishkan are ancient alien species which seeded the Earth with humans tens of thousands of years ago. These two species have remained hidden, however, watching over and guiding us unobtrusively when needed. Only now are they making themselves known to help defend Earth against a threat too powerful for humans to fight alone.

Along the way, we will find that there is much more to humanity than simply being human.