Monday, May 28, 2012

Forward with the fixes

Most of my writing fits what the book says; this is encouraging. The error I made with my magazine submissions is introducing myself in paragraph one; this is akin to beginning a musical composition with parallel fifths, your work will be discarded on the spot.

The logic in my accountant’s mind told me a reader would ask, “Who’s writing this?” Wrong. I don’t do that when I read, either.

So, don’t introduce thyself. Easy fix, paragraph one.

I have three articles to fix, and then it’s submission time, once again, with intent to progress from a letter in France Magazine to a feature.

- PJ

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And forward, once again

I ordered a replacement book on Amazon, different vendor, which arrived quick as lightning. My refund from the first vendor took longer. That seller didn’t respond to my inquiry when the book didn’t arrive, so I filed a claim and left constructive but negative feedback. Then, I promptly heard from the vendor.

Amazon’s feedback policy isn’t terribly fair to sellers or buyers – I couldn’t adjust my feedback, only leave it or remove it. To not say the vendor eventually resolved the issue isn’t fair to the seller, but to have no feedback about the experience isn’t fair to potential buyers.

A manager at work recently said, “Kids and students are often taught things must be fair; as adults, we learn life isn’t always fair.”

I’m nearly fifty pages into the travel-writing book, and have learned one mistake I’ve made with my magazine submissions. Big mistake, easy fix -- that seems fair enough.

I’m moving forward.

- PJ

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amazon cake

To facilitate my “feature vs. letter” learning, I ordered a travel-writing book from Amazon. All my Amazon purchases have been great experiences, but there’s a first time for everything: the book never arrived.

During the three-week wait between book order and estimated arrival, my interest in learning to prepare red chili sauce increased. An online search took me to but it was this post which hit all my buttons: easy, delicious, and…caramel.

Filing an Amazon claim for merchandise not received stung, so, I made that Flan cake for pleasant distraction. As Jules recommended, I made sure the bain marie water was oven-hot before dropping in the cake pan. Fifty-five minutes later, here it is, just out of the oven.

Here’s one day later, flipped and uncovered.
Here’s a slice.

The flan’s the real thing in both taste and texture, but the overall dish lacks the caramel taste I’d hoped for. Next time I’ll use a better quality cajeta, or make my own caramel sauce.

Current status: no travel-writing book, one Amazon claim, tighter pants.

- PJ