Kelly McCullough writes fantasy, science fiction, and books for kids of varying ages. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series — Penguin/ACE, and the forthcoming School for Sidekicks — Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star — part of an NSF-funded science curriculum — and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited — funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, ello

Mom’s Gluten Free, Gingersnap Crust, Eggnog, Pumpkin Pie Recipe

November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

(Original provenance unknown, possibly food.com)

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 (14 ounce) can pumpkin

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

3/4 cup whole-fat eggnog

1/2 cup heavy cream

approximately 2 cups (gluten free) ginger snaps (we used Pamela’s brand)

1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the crust

Grind the gingersnap cookies until they resemble coarse cornmeal

Mix in melted butter

Press mixture into a 10 inch, deep dish pie pan

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

PREPARE THE FILLING:.

Separate three of the eggs

Using an electric mixer, beat the three egg whites on high until stiff peaks form

In a separate bowl, combine three egg yolks pumpkin, both sugars, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, eggnog and cream.

Gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture

Pour into the prepared crust.

Cover the edges of the pie dish with foil or a pie crust protector

Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes

Cool on a wire rack at room temperature. DO NOT cool in the refrigerator- the pie continues to cook through while sitting at room temperature.

Voila! Your pie is ready to serve. Easy as pie!

The pie can be kept covered in the fridge overnight.

  1. The pie

 

  • 1 (14 oun
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Friday Cat Blogging

November 16, 2012 in Friday Cat Blogging

 

I haz a cute.

Well, I haz a beautiful.

I haz cute little pink jelly-bean toes of doom!

I haz a hangover.

We haz a buddy movie.

Creators for Cosplay Day

November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

The wonderful comics creator Gail Simone has dubbed today Cosplay Appreciation Day, and I’m completely down with that. As a novelist I don’t often see my characters get cosplayed, but I love it when I do. Also, for anyone who doubts the way I feel about Cosplay, may I just point you at this post in which my lovely wife and I borrow Neil Gaiman’s lamppost for a bit of Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe Cosplay. And, yes, that’s me standing in a freaking snow bank without a shirt on because that’s the way the costume ought to be done, dammit.

Photo by Matthew Arron Kuchta

Updated to add this shot of Laura and I from nearly 20 years ago as Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas:

Further updated to add the photo credit: Photo by Tesla Seppanen

Crossed Blades Launch Appearances

November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’ve got a new book coming out in two weeks, which must meant that I’ll be doing launch events.

Nov 29th, 7:00 pm, a reading and signing at the Har Mar Barnes and Noble in Roseville MN

Dec 1st, 1:00 pm, I shall be at Uncle Hugos in Minneapolis signing books with the wonderful Kelly Barnhill. Yep, that’s right, two Kellys for one low price.

If’n your not able to make either of those Uncle Hugo’s would be more than happy to arrange for you to get a book signed while I’m there, or to send you a generically signed one if you should like afterward.

Getting Fit

November 12, 2012 in About Kelly, Musings

I wrote this as a response to my friend Kyle Cassidy’s recent post on realizing that he’d somehow gotten overweight and needed to do something about it. He asked people to share their fitness/weightloss/body image stories.

Here’s mine:

Maybe 5 years ago I found myself having an issue with my hip going out. I also found my knees bugging me. They haven’t been great since I tore the cartilage in my late teens, but had been much better after surgery shortly after I turned thirty. I knew that I’d put on some weight both from the fact that my pants size had crept up to the high end of 38″ from 36″ where I like to keep it and because the scale told me so. I was hitting 218, which was three pounds higher than I’d ever let myself get before.

But still, only 2 inches extra around the waist, how bad was that? I wasn’t really that heavy… But I figured that losing some weight would make my knees and hip happy. I scheduled an appt with my doc, and told him what was up, and that I thought maybe if I lost 20lbs I’d solve the hip and knee problem. He just nodded and said, “yep, that should do it.” And, “every pound you carry has an effect of two pounds add strain on your hip when you walk and three on your knee.” It was a sobering moment, and I started to get much more serious about both exercise and diet.

I’m a writer by trade, so I spend most of my day on my butt on the couch. I mostly stopped driving to anyplace within two miles—which was also an environmental choice my wife and I had been talking about for a while—and started shifting my diet away from my bread heavy ways. I love bread and carbs but I can eat them in vast quantities and then two hours later I’m hungry again.

I didn’t do it all at once, because I wanted to deeply inculcate actual lifestyle changes, not just crash diet the weight off. I lost ten pounds fast, then another ten pounds slowly. Five of that kept coming back then sliding off ad infinitum. Then I signed a deal for three books that needed to be written in 18 months.

By the 2nd month of the 2nd book I knew I was starting to fall behind. I cut myself a deal. If I got 2,000 words in before afternoon I got to go for a sunny snowshoe in the woods with my friend Neil’s giant white dogs. It was a good deal. I was hitting my word marks again and I was also losing two pounds a week. By the time I was finished with the book I was under 190 for the first time since my late teens. I was also borrowing Neil’s weight machine in there and I was trading pounds of fat for pounds of muscle.

2 years on from there and the dogs and the weight machine are still a part of my routine and I’m hovering just over 185, which is my ultimate goal and 33lbs lighter than when I started—it’s what I weighed when I was a two hours a day martial artist at 17. I’m also routinely benching my own weight and running a mile or two every day, which is at least half a mile farther than I’d ever run before getting fit this time around. I recently added a weight machine, an elliptical, and a recumbent exercycle to the treadmill in my basement to make a real gym down there. The plan is to add additional bite-size exercise sessions to my main workout in the afternoons, not supplant them.

It’s been a long slow steady slog and has required significant permanent changes to my eating and exercise habits to get here, but I’m very close. These days, I get very antsy if I don’t get my workout in and my waist size is back to 35-36″.

Fwiw, I found two things of particular value to me in getting here. 1) I do much better on a diet heavy in lean protein and light on carbs. I need less food and I don’t get hungry again nearly as fast. 2) Coming to understand that I was never going to get the endorphin high some people get form exercise and to get over that. I don’t like running, not even a little bit, but I do like the strength and stamina that I get from running.

All that said, I should probably note that despite putting in a ton of work to get here and making major lifestyle shifts, I know that I was also lucky. I’ve always been something of a natural athlete. I pack on muscle easily and that ultimately makes losing weight easier. I’ve got a job that allows me to build a big workout in at the best time of day for me. I have friends whose resources I can tap. I also have the personal resources in space and funding to put in a home gym. The four machines cost me a grand total of $175.00 but that was more luck. It’s not easy even when you’ve got a ton of preset advantages.

Friday Cat Blogging

November 9, 2012 in Friday Cat Blogging

She’s listing hard to starboard!

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Cutest. Tail. ever!

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You’re putting me on the internet again, aren’t you. Sigh.

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It crunches, yes it does, it crunches most wonderfully!

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Radiator Party!

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I view your proposal with suspicion.

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I view you with suspicion.

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Today, I drink from the other sink. Today is a good day.

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Dude, I own you.

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Friday Cat Blogging

November 2, 2012 in Friday Cat Blogging

I despair, therefor I is.

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I kill you with rays from my mind.

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This camera taste great.

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Jus chillin’

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I am disappointed in the quality of these treats.

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Mmm, excellent vintage.

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Friday Cat Blogging

October 26, 2012 in Friday Cat Blogging

Tail!

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Yesh, mashter, whatever you command, just rub my belly first.

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There’s something wrong with my gravity and I resent it.

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Toldja I’d fit. Now shut up and help me out.

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Notice how the tile and grout compliment my fur.

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I fluff at you, sir. I fluff most mightily.

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Crossed Blades Excerpt Now Up

October 24, 2012 in Writing

I should probably note that you can read the first chapter of Crossed Blades now. Here.

The Inklings Effect

October 24, 2012 in Musings

One of the odd/cool things about my life these days is the juxtapositions. I will see someone I know online linking to the incredibly cool or important thing that they’ve just read and I will follow the link to find out that said thing was written by someone else I know, often a friend.

I’ve come to think of it as the Inkling’s Effect. When I was younger, I was baffled about the degree to which all these cool people who DO THINGS seem to know each other (e.g. Lewis and Tolkein in the Inklings). It seemed a powerful coincidence. As the years have gone by, it’s become obvious to me that there is no coincidence involved. People who DO THINGS are naturally drawn together by, well, doing things. What would be strange is if they didn’t know each other.

The older I get, the more cool people who DO THINGS I meet, and the more I find myself encouraging and mentoring people who want to DO THINGS.