Homemade Udon

I love Japanese food, especially udon and ramen, but for the most part it’s a total crap shoot finding places that have vegetarian ramen/udon with veggie broth. Today I had a hankering, and I’d bought fresh udon noodles the last time I went to Japantown, so I decided it was about time I did something with them.


I browned onions and garlic in some olive oil, then added some Dijon mustard and a little wasabi, soy sauce, and horseradish. Dumped in about five cups of water, grated in some sweet potato, ginger, and turnip (note: you can NEVER go wrong adding turnip to veggie soup broths), and a few chopped brussel sprouts. Tossed in some chopped Crimini mushrooms, let it simmer for awhile, then dumped in some sliced carrots and a big squirt of Sriracha sauce (mmmm – spicy!!!). Dash of malt vinegar, crushed red pepper, some nori, then yay! Time to hard boil the eggs and cook the udon. When the udon was just about done I tossed some frozen pees and chopped swiss chard into the stock.

End result = not exactly authentic, but YUMMY and 100% vegetarian.

Marie – Follow Up

Marie is doing much better! Dr. Case told us she has elevated white blood cells, but all her other tests – FIV/FELV, FIP – were normal. We have her on a 10 day run of antibiotics, and she’s perked up quite a bit. She’s more active, she eats more, and she’s putting on weight. What a relief! We’re supposed to bring her back to the vet’s for follow-up testing next weekend, after she finishes her antibiotics, and I’m anticipating a good report. Here’s a recent picture:

Little Miss Marie

Kitten Update!

Jean and Wanda got adopted over this past weekend! Two down, eight to go! Kurt and Ororo topped 3lbs and are currently at the spay/neuter clinic. I added some new pics to the gallery, and I resorted the images so the newest pics are at the top. We’re a bit worried about Marie – she’s still very tiny, only 2.5lbs, while the other kittens are at least 3.5 to 4 lbs. We took her to the vet yesterday. Physically she checks out so far: no heart murmur, lungs sound good, she eats, etc. Our vet’s running a full blood panel on her (the results should be in sometime today). Hopefully there’s nothing wrong with her and she’s just a slow-growing kitten! Our vet said it’s possible she just has a very high metabolism. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. She’s a sweet little bug – it’s pretty much impossible not to love her – she’s very cranky, like a little old lady cat in a kitten’s body – but when she wants attention she’s completely purry and adorable.

(see how cute?!)

Womanthology Pages – Delivered!

The artwork for “The Vesta” is finished! After making a few last minute tweaks, I uploaded the final pages to the IDW server last night. Right now I’m in a state of shock. I can…leave the house this weekend! I can go outside! I don’t have to stay up until 2am painting!

What a concept.

That said, I’d like to take a moment to share out a thing I did I’m proud of. This is a panel from page 7 – I spent a lot of time angsting over the “SEAL” display on Shriya’s suit. I wanted it to look like it was part of the fabric, not a hard-plastic add-on sewn into the clothing. My first attempt just didn’t look right. So I spent some time digging up reference on Google (keywords: wearable technology, thank you Richard!!!). I’m happy with how it came out. That said, no one is going to be able to see that detail on the finished page, it’s going to be way too small. So here’s a close-up:



A Tale of Ten Kittens

Over the weekend, Gordon and I went to our local feedstore to pick up some chicken supplies. The cashier must have seen the giant “SUCKER” sign flashing directly above my head, because she started telling me about ten little kittens that had been abandoned at the store that morning. That’s right. Ten. Like an idiot, I followed her into the back and saw a pen full of tiny sleeping kittens. The feedstore employees didn’t really know what to do with all of them. So…now they’re in my house. All ten of them. Luckily Happytails, the no-kill shelter I volunteer with, agreed to allow all ten kittens to become Happytails kittens, as long as I could step up and foster them. So…now we’re fostering them. I’ll be blogging about them as they get bigger and start demolishing my house.

If you can, consider making a small donation to Happytails. They’re the ones who will be footing the bill for everyone’s spays and neuters.

Now, without further ado, I present…THE KITTENS!!!*

(We haven’t picked names since we don’t really have a solid bead on their personalities yet.)

Kitten #1
White and Dark Gray
Green food dye mark
Kitten #2
Kitten #3
Solid gray
Looks terrible because he’s just been washed.
Kitten #4
Medium sized male
Kitten #5
White and gray
Dot on nose, blue food dye mark
Kitten #6
White and gray
Kitten #7
Jumbo-sized male
Kitten #8
White and black
Stripes around eyes
Extremely talky
Kitten #9
White and gray
Moustache mark on nose
Red food dye mark
Kitten #10
White and black
Smudge on bridge of nose
Yellow food dye mark

Their beautiful crate. The clean lasted for about two seconds after we put them in it.

*I’m wearing gloves because at this point we thought they had ringworm. Fortunately I was wrong! Also, NOT STRANGLING THE KITTENS, holding their heads still so we could take the pics. Kittens are SQUIRMY!

Crimson Pact, Vol. 4

Crimson Pact Vol. 4 Cover Image

The fourth volume of Paul Genesse’s Crimson Pact anthology series, featuring my short story “Return to Sender”, has hit the shelves. “Return to Sender” caps off my friend Gloria Weber’s inter-connected shorts, “Crimson Mail” and “No Mail”, which were published in the first two Crimson Pact anthologies. When a scheduling conflict prevented her from completing the trilogy, she passed the torch on to me. Many thanks to Gloria for letting me take her characters and spew my own issues all over them.

Here’s a brief excerpt,which I hope you enjoy. “Return to Sender” was a lot of fun to write.

Return to Sender
Leigh Dragoon (that’s me!!!)
“We need to talk.” The sentence glowed up at me from my phone.

I reached over and turned on the secondhand lamp perched on my nightstand. I winced away from the glare.

It figured. Six months without a peep, and as soon as I let my guard down, my ex-boyfriend messaged me.

I stomped to the apartment’s galley kitchen and tossed the phone down on the table. We need to talk. About what? As far as I was concerned, Matt and I had said everything we’d needed to right before I’d pointed my sky-blue Corolla west on I-80 and sped out of Ohio. I’d blocked his number once I reached Sacramento, but technology could only do so much against a determined mage.

I opened the cupboard, shoved aside a half-empty bag of flour, and reached for the burgundy-and-white box of Kosher salt. Just as effective as sea-salt but much cheaper. I’d have to weave protections to block any further messages, at least until I could change my number and maybe get a new phone.

The box felt too light. I peered inside. Empty.

Great. Just . . . great.

How had I missed running out of such a basic component? Salt and spring water formed the core of my magic. They were immutable, therefore incorruptible, and they lent that strength to whatever spells used them for a foundation. No matter what was done to them, they reverted back to their true selves every time.

I glanced at the microwave. Three-fifty AM. There was a 24-hour Wal-Mart a few miles from my apartment. I scooped my keys and wallet off the counter, shoved my feet into my sneakers and grabbed my jacket.

I crammed my left arm into the jacket and was groping behind me for the other sleeve when I opened the door and there he was. Matt. My ex, the professional demon hunter, who hadn’t wanted my help before, and I damn well knew wouldn’t need it now.

“Hey, Veronica,” he said. At least he had the decency to look embarrassed. “I just want to talk.”

I thought about slamming the door in his face. Better yet, walking past him, getting into my car, and driving to a bar.

Instead, like an idiot, I let him in.

Oooo, will Matt get a bittersweet come-uppance? Will Veronica crack, take him back, and make him waffles?! Buy it and find out what happens next!!!! (Seriously, buy it, I get royalties on this one) ;)

Cookbook Project

Here’s a sample panel from my one-page submission to TGT Media’s Cookbook Project:


What started out as a simple idea of doing a cookbook based around webcomic characters has blossomed into a full fledged campaign to help raise money for the hungry in North America. “Webcomics: What’s Cooking?” is that cookbook that will feature dozens and dozens of recipes from popular webcomic creators showcasing a variety of recipes from Breakfast to Dinner and a few things in between!

They’re currently open for pre-orders and they have quite the line-up of creators, including my fellow Gammers Karen Luk and John Peters.  I’m excited to be a part of this, so I hope you order a book and let me know what you think of my recipe.