This very attractive young Blue-Tailed Skink was waiting for me atop a casserole in the dish drainer. The sink is just next to the window and there's a little gap at the top of the screen which is probably how this pretty critter got in. He stayed put while I clapped a plastic freezer box over him, carried casserole, skink, and box outside, and returned him to his proper environment.
The old folks around here called these guys 'scorpions' and said they carried poison in their tails and would sting you but, as far as I can find out, that's not true.
With Brother Skink removed, I got down to the work at hand -- making herb butter. It's an easy way to put up fresh herbs for winter use -- simply whir butter and the herb of your choice in a food processor, pack it into a jar, and freeze.
I made a batch with rosemary --
Another batch with parsley . . .
And some with tarragon, to which I added grated lemon rind, lemon juice, and a slice of red onion -- not unlike the ingredients of Bernaise sauce (without the eggs.) Any of these butters would make a nice topping for steak, could be put under the skin of a chicken before roasting, would be delicious tossed with pasta . . . or potatoes. . . or various vegetables . . .
I met Mark Pinsky back in May of '09 and blogged about him and his quest HERE. The unsolved murder of the Vista worker was one of the first things we heard about when we came to Madison County and we listened to, over the years, a number of speculations as to what actually happened.
Mark has been obsessed with the story from the beginning and now he's written a book about it -- a compelling and convincing narrative. As well as answering the questions about the murder, Mark delves into the small town politics and the mindset that made it possible for the murderers to escape justice -- the 'them versus us' mentality that plagues most of mankind in one way or another.
Met Her on the Mountain will be on sale October 1. It's a fascinating read, especially for those of us who know and love this area. But, as in all good writing, the personal becomes universal; the local becomes global. This isn't an especially Appalachian crime -- one sees similar inhumanity and similar miscarriages of justice everywhere. Parallels will probably occur to you
Mark's web site has more information about the book. (I am obliged to mention that the publishers sent me a copy, hoping for a review. But I wouldn't have reviewed it if I hadn't liked it.)
June 1o - Speaking at a luncheon at Montreat College
June 25-July 1 -- John C. Campbell Folk School. I'll be teaching A Practical Guide to Writing Popular Fiction. Your novel starts here with this intense, week-long class. We will focus on writing realistic dialogue and creating characters that move through and interact with a fully realized setting. We will discuss different approaches to plotting, tricks for building suspense, means of ensuring continuity, and the avoidance of info dumps. We'll also talk about forming or joining critique groups, the ins and outs of self editing, agents and how to query them, as well as the various publishing alternatives available today. All levels welcome. Link to JCC HERE.
July 8-15 Wildacres Writing Workshop. I will be leading a workshop on the novel. Here's your chance to spend a week surrounded by writers of all sorts. More info for 2017 HERE.
All images and content are subject to copyright and are the sole property of Vicki Lane Mysteries. If you would like to use something from my blog on your blog or website, please email me and ask first. I'll probably say yes.
I'm the author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell. The series includes SIGNS IN THE BLOOD (LA MONTAGNE DES SECRETS in France), ART'S BLOOD, (LE SECRET DES APPALACHES in France,) OLD WOUNDS,IN A DARK SEASON (Anthony Nominee, Best PBO), and UNDER THE SKIN. There's also THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS (a spinoff/standalone)chronicling the unexpected life story of Miss Birdie, one of Elizabeth's neighbors.
Currently I have just completed a historical novel, dealing with a massacre in my county during the Civil War.
I came to this weird business late (my first novel was published in 2005) and am still trying to figure it out.
As my novels are set in a place much like my real life home, I thought I'd use this blog to share pictures of our farm and county. I've been blogging for nearly nine years now, on an almost daily basis, and the topics have ranged from writing, chickens, food, books, quilts, flora and fauna of all sorts, to the occasional tiny rant. There's no plan, but there are lots of pictures.
There's more information about me and my books on my web site: http://vickilanemysteries.com/