One of the neatest inventions in the world is the milk foamer. Our low tech version puts a layer of foamed milk on our espresso coffee that matches the best that Second Cup and Starbucks can put out. There’s no steam machine involved; you just take skim milk, pour about an inch of it into this special glass, and take a special plunger (just like a bodum plunger) and pump the milk a few times and the milk foams right up.
It’s a mystery to me how this works, and why this only works on skim milk. I’ve tried it on 2% and homogenized, and found that the milk remained liquid rather than foamy. I thought that skim milk was just like 2% with milk fat removed. What is it that’s foaming, then? And why does the milk fat interfere with the process? Anybody know?
I’ve transferred the current look of this weblog to a number of other pages on this site, including the page for my writing, the Rosemary and Time synopsis and A Stone of the Heart. The new style is definitely easier to read and I feel as though the site is well prepared to handle more pages about my writing, if I’m able to get much further in this venture.
In addition to this, I’ve been working on Fathom Five despite the humidity. The story has passed the 35000 word mark and is going well. My only complaint is that the current scenes seem to be a little talky. Hopefully I’ll fix that on the rewrite. Here’s a sample of what I have so far:
Rosemary stood spread-eagled against a wall, her wrists held in place with shackles.
She tested first her left wrist and then her right. Both clinked on solid chains no more than six inches long. The iron bands chaffed her wrists.
She slumped against the wall, sighing with boredom and frustration. Then she wrinkled her nose. She blew at it and worked her face until her glasses nearly fell off.
Figures I’d get an itch, she thought.
She shrugged her shoulders and pressed her nose to her sleeve. When the itch was gone, she slouched into her chains and waited.
Footsteps sounded in the corridor outside. Rosemary perked up as a key turned in her lock. The cell door creaked open and a guard entered, trident in hand, leading Merius.
Merius stared at Rosemary’s chains and his gaze darkened. “Why is she chained up?”
The guard, who looked too small for the job, glared and held up a bandaged finger.
Rosemary smiled and snapped her teeth at him. The guard stumbled back.
Merius stared at the guard in disgust. “Give me the key and get out!”
The guard pressed the key into Merius’ palm and scurried away. The cell door clicked shut behind him.
Merius looked at her. “Did they hurt you?”
“No,” said Rosemary. “And I admit, I gave them ample reason to.”
Merius smirked. “Good.”
“Only in its context.” Merius waved the key under her nose. “You were a fool to get yourself into this position, confronting Fionarra before I had a plan.”
Rosemary rattled her chains, but he made no move to free her. “I heard Peter when you took me to your home,” she said. “I knew where he was. I thought that if I could talk to him—”
“You’d find yourself shackled to a wall?”
“Will you set me free?”
“I’m not sure.”
“The council has decided to expel you from this world. They will take you back to your beach, bound, and leave you to be found. If you are going to be as disruptive as you were, perhaps I should let them. They do not know of my role in bringing you here.”
“Disruptive? If I don’t go back home with Peter beside me, you’re darn right I’m going to be disruptive! Leo Cameron and his gang will be nothing compared to me! I thought you were going to help me!”
“I will not jeopardize my position on the council,” said Merius. “Right now, uncomfortable questions face Fionarra about this complication in her plan. If I can press this advantage, I will, but not at risk to myself.”
Rosemary spluttered. “Your position? Is that all this means to you? Did you save my life to make me your political pawn? I was right the first time: there’s nothing good about this world!”
“Do not anger me, Rosemary Watson!” And with a roar, Merius transformed into a huge, smoking dragon. Its wings touched the sides of the cell and its breath singed Rosemary’s cheeks. She gasped in the heat and pulled against her chains in a fruitless attempt to get away.
“Stop it!” she shouted.
And at once the dragon was gone, along with the smoke and the heat. Merius stood, yelling, jumping, with his arms outstretched. He still towered over her, but his act was so false that he looked ridiculous.
He stared at her bewildered expression, and jumped higher and yelled louder. His face twisted in disbelief when she didn’t react at all.
He lowered his arms. “You are even braver than I thought you were, lassie. Does nothing frighten you?”
“Lots of things,” said Rosemary brusquely. “What did you just do?”
Merius eyed her cautiously. “What did you see?”
“You turned into a dragon one minute, and the next you were play acting. What is with this crazy world?”
Merius took a step back. “How do I look to you, now? Describe me?”
Rosemary’s breath quickened in anger. “You’re like the rest of the villagers: tall, with green-tinged skin, hints of fins at the back of your arms and legs, hints of gills and very white eyes. I don’t have time for this! Will you let me out or won’t you?”
She yanked at her chains, and her arms suddenly fell to her sides. She stared in astonishment. The cuffs were off of her. They hung at the end of their chains, still locked.
She stared at her reddened wrists. “What did I just do?” She looked at Merius and found him eying her even more warily than before.
“You’re a thought-breaker,” he breathed. “I brought a thought-breaker into my own village.”
“What are you talking about?” She stormed towards him. “You tell me everything, right now, or+ I’ll break more of your thoughts. You know I can!”
But Merius chuckled. He sat on the floor as the chuckles increased to laughter. When he could speak at last, he said, “Young Peter is indeed fortunate to have you as the thread binding him to his true world. Fionarra will not believe her ill luck.”
See what I mean? A bit clunky, although I like some of Rosemary’s dialogue, especially “I’ll break more of your thoughts! You know I can!” The poor girl is out of her depth in this world, but is doing the best she can.
Just like me with my writing, sometimes.