Originally hosted on Creatively Green: The Most Acceptable Spaghetti Sauce

             I work as a professional firefighter, which puts me at the station for 24 hour shifts every third day. At my fire station, we’ve got 11-14 people working on a normal day, depending on students or guests or whatnot. Dinner gets cooked on a rotating schedule, so when it’s my turn to cook I want something that can feed plenty of people, reheat easily if everyone catches a run, and doesn’t taste like old sawdust. Today, we’re going to talk about the staple of firehouse meals: spaghetti.           Now, I know I’m going to offend somebody’s old nonna with my recipe, but it’s something that you can slap together in the morning and let cook all day. In the oven, on the stove, in the slow cooker, it all works out in the end. First, let’s have that ingredients list.           1 – 12oz Can Tomato Paste           1 – 28oz Can Petite Diced Tomato, drained           1 – 45oz Jar Spaghetti Sauce (I prefer the Prego brand, but this is to taste).           1-2 – 15oz Can Tomato
 Originally posted over on  Serena Synn's blog Serena Synn   Why Choosing Your Setting is Important   Setting is where the story’s at. Not just in the literal sense, but in that old Sam Cooke, 1960’s, “this looks fun, let’s stay a while” way. A bland setting is Van Gogh’s starry night painted all in beige. It’s cauliflower mashed potatoes. Maybe it can be overcome by great dialogue, interesting characters, a fun premise, but a truly memorable setting can elevate a story faster than any other element. After all, what are characters without a world to live in? What’s a conflict without stakes that matter? Isn’t that tender, romantic conversation made more special because you’re transported into that mountain cabin where the fireplace is crackling and the wood smoke fills the air? Even the most minimalist story builds a setting to transport the reader right into what’s happening. Take Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” as an example. While most of the story is reserve
 As my first virtual blog runs to a close, I'll be sharing the guest posts, interviews, and other assorted oddities that came around as a result. First up is a character confession written for  Paranormalists  on July 5, 2021.   FROM THE DESK OF Diane Morris Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation Department of Intangible Assets, Southeast Division   June 10, [REDACTED] Attn: Director Jermaine LaFleur             I am writing today to follow up on my previous unanswered correspondence and to once again formally request a transfer from Field Operations to the relative safety of Logistics. As you are well aware, I have served as a field agent within the DIA for more than [REDACTED], and I feel my talents would be put to better use behind a desk, far away from any [REDACTED] who may, yet again, attempt to eat me. I might add that this is the [REDACTED] time within the past fiscal year I have been forced to request reimbursement for a personal firearm lost in
  Review for   Lord of Druemarwin    by Helen C. Johannes             Lord of Druemarwin stands strong among its peers as a solid sword and board fantasy story, which is what attracted me to it. I came for duels on parapet walls, political intrigue, and the ever-present burden of honor, but I stayed for the characters and tightly woven plot. Johannes has built a world where characters and their struggles keep the reader turning pages until the very end. I’m not much for romance novels, but here’s one that knows how to get me invested in the perilous love story between our hero and heroine. Even the spicier scenes of love and lust seem earned rather than contrived, something I think is pretty rare.             For lovers of worldbuilding, Lord of Druemarwin will not disappoint. One of the strongest aspects of this is the limited scope of the story. It doesn’t take place across vast continents, with hundreds of characters or cultures. Johannes takes her time and builds the three riv
  Overworked. Underfunded. Outgunned. Sometimes the greater good needs a little help from a lesser evil. The Wild Rose Press Worldwide Release Date: June 28, 2021 Preorder links and further details to follow.
I've never had a blog of my very own before. Do I need to walk it? What does it eat? If it makes a mess, who's going to clean up after it? I suppose introductions are in order.  I'm Robert Gainey, a thirty-something year old writer living in good  old Florida. The basics of the thing are that I graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Creative Writing. Along the way, I fell sort of headfirst into firefighting as a vocation and never looked back. I mostly write in the fantasy or sci-fi genre, but sometimes I get lost and accidentally wind up in more conventional fiction.  I have a book that is due to be released soon, and the details on that will be forthcoming. This post is mostly a formatting thing, so I can see how having a blog works.  Cheers. -Robert Postscript: Are there #hashtags here? I learned to use those recently, but I don't know if that's a thing here. Find me using them at the following places: Twitter: Instagr