Monday, December 26, 2011

Soup from The Mancave; Scottish Green Split Pea and Ham Soup

A healthy choice, certainly, but no foo-foo; just a great recipe.

1 good thick (1/4 inch or thicker) slice of ham, 1lb frozen peas, 1/2 lb Rutabaga (turnip/neeps), 1lb potatoes, 4oz GREEN split peas, 1 Onion, 4 ham stock cubes

Bring to boil 3 pints of water with the stock cubes. Chop ham, rutabaga, and onion; add to the boiling stock, cover, and boil sharply for an hour. Turn down the heat, add diced Potatoes and GREEN split peas, boil very gently for an hour, stirring frequently.
(Be gentle here, the tendency is for the peas to sink to the bottom and get ‘burnt’ if you cook this part too vigorously)
Now the tricky bit; either take HALF the soup and blend it a bit, or hit the pan hard with one of those hand liquidisers. BUT; we still want some whole peas, and some biggish bits of ham.
The spoon should be able to stand up in the pan at this point.

With a touch of cream, and a sprig of something green and foo-foo.

Hint here; your soup should be really mid GREEN at this point. (PARENTS NOTE; Trying hard not to mention baby’s nappies (diapers) here, but obviously not succeeding.)
(Mothers or good Dads will nod their heads in understanding at this point.)

A spot or six of Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, or A1 steak sauce of you want a wee ‘nip’ in the taste buds.
Spoonful of curry powder if you want a bit more than a 'nip'.
(Both, if you want the soup to have a PUNCH!)

And whatever you do, DON'T listen to the idiots that think you can make this with any old split peas.... I'm a Hibernian Supporter.... THEY HAVE TO BE GREEN for the soup to work aesthetically!!!

(Those dirty crappy BROWN split peas make the soup look like crap......... literally!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roman Scotland; Agricola's Nightmare.

When Julius Agricola got the ill-fated task of the conquest of Scotland, he probably didn't really know what he was getting into.
In most of the other Roman conquests, the poor barbarians had escape routes, places to hide out for a few years.

In Scotland, Agricola was just pushing a people against a wall, and we hit back.

The emperors back in Rome didn't quite have a strict time limit, but even Agricola knew that he only had a few years, no more.

When he couldn't subdue the picts in five years of campaigning, he was dragged back home, and given a nice consulship, somewhere out of the way.

So, the Scots beat Agricola, outwitted Rome, then forced the two legions in the north of England to build Hardian's Wall.

Not bad for a bunch of unorganized barbarians.

Caledonii: Birth of a Nation; Available at and for the measly sum of $2.99.

Parts 2 and 3 now available. Part 4 January 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

21st Century Schizoid.

Our latest short story; 21st Century Schizoid.

I love the cover, done by my collaborator's son. Well done.

Loretta finds herself being put in a jail cell with three other women. The strange thing is; she cannot remember how she came to be there.
She has dreams of a blue ocean, and a mysterious island.
When one of the women in the cell is attacked and killed, Loretta has blood on her hands,literally.
She must find some grip on reality, something to hold onto, or she will found guilty for the murder.
Why does she continually go back to the island, and who is the mysterious old man there; Hugo?

Great wee story. 4,500 words.

21st Century Schizoid ; Available at and for the measly sum of $0.99.

YES, just 99 cents!

Friday, December 9, 2011

How To Write a Novel, and Go Straight onto Kindle/Nook.

Why You Should Write e-Books, e-Novels, e-Shorts. (Electronic Publishing versus Traditional Publishing)
This is my latest Kindle Short.
It investigates the Traditional Book Publishing process, versus the Electronic means.
Looking at writing constraints, years of hair-tearing, versus the instant gratification of the e-Book.
4,500 words long, it is not meant to take you through the whole process, rather makes the fledgeling writer re-think some of the realities of the billion dollar writing busuness.
With Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple, Kobo, and many more fighting for their section of the market, there's a lot to be said for joining the growing ranks of the digitally paid.
When you look at the difference in commissions in both publishing ventures, isn't it about time you considered your future in the writing business.
If you have one.
Why You Should Write e-Books, e-Novels, e-Shorts. (Electronic Publishing versus Traditional Publishing) ; Available at and for the measly sum of $0.99.

YES, just 99 cents!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Collaboration: Our Science Fiction Adventure

My first collaboration; with Lachelle Miller.
We decided on a slightly Sci-fi subject but it soon got frenetically out of hand; here's how.
Firstly, it's a kind of X-Files -esq story; guy agent, girl agent. So we each took one of the agents (Drew Morrow and Katie Walkinshaw) and wrote purely from their perspective. We passed the story back and forward, and ended with a fast-paced FBI thriller.
Storyline; As alien bodies begin to materialize in walls, trees, roads, sleepy Kansas wakes up to a new series of seemingly unexplainable homicides. As the two FBI agents investigate, they find their home base compromised, and go 'off-grid' to unveil the biggest conspiracy on Earth.

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