Posts made in August, 2015

New Story at DSF

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in anthology:story, Blog, nostalgia | Comments Off on New Story at DSF


I have a new and very personal story up at Daily Science Fiction: “The Quest You Have Chosen Defies Your Fate.” This story delves into depression, bullying, and finding the strength to move beyond.

I think of it as emotionally autobiographical. I experienced deep depression starting in junior high became more debilitating when I entered high school. It’s a war that is never truly over, though my recent years have been fairly stable due to my supportive family, my writing regimen, and daily exercise.

If the story resonates for you, if you think it might encourage someone else in the thick of depression, please share it.

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Sunday Quote is glad to be home

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is glad to be home

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

~Neil Gaiman

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Bready or Not: Oatmeal Fig Bars (aka Homemade Fig Newtons)

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Oatmeal Fig Bars (aka Homemade Fig Newtons)

These are like Fig Newtons, but better. They are thicker. Fresher. The top has the slightest crunch.

Oatmeal Fig Bars

This recipe is what happened after I thought I was buying dates to use for my breakfast truffles. It took me a few weeks to notice I really had figs in my cupboard. Whoops?

An awesome kind of whoops!

Oatmeal Fig Bars

I doubled the original recipe so I could use as many figs as I could. My immersion blender pulsed the fruit on the stovetop. Everything came together fast and easy. I used the double sided parchment-aluminum foil for easy clean up, too.

Oatmeal Fig Bars

These bake up with golden, crispy tops while the rest of the bar is dense and chewy. These things are hearty. They’d make for a good breakfast or snack for kids or adults, and I imagine they would even freeze well.

Oatmeal Fig Bars

I’m not sure how well they keep beyond a day, though. My husband took them to work and they kinda vanished. All that remained were crumbs and rave reviews.

Recipe doubled and adapted from Alida’s Kitchen.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Fig Bars (aka Homemade Fig Newtons)

Make a large dish of delicious homemade Fig Newtons in under an hour! These bars have just-crispy tops and are chewy all the way through.
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bars, lemon
Author: Beth Cato


For fig filling

  • 2 cups dried figs about 16 ounces, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

For dough

  • 3 cups oats old fashioned or quick oats, or a mix
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks, melted
  • 2 eggs room temperature


  • In a small sauce pan, bring figs, water, and lemon juice to a boil. Simmer for several minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and let it cool for ten minutes or so.
  • Use a food processor or an immersion blender to process the fruit unless smooth. Be very careful--hot fruit splatter is not fun! Set it aside to cool as you ready everything else.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 casserole pan with parchment paper and apply nonstick spray. Melt the butter and let it cool a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and eggs and stir until just combined.
  • Press half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. [Handy tip: use a sheet of wax paper and a heavy glass to compress the layer.] Evenly spread the fig mixture to the edges.
  • Use your hands to compress the remaining dough into small discs and pieces, and set this on top as evenly as you can. Gently compress it again.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned at edges. Completely cool on wire rack.


Oatmeal Fig Bars

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Middle grade readers need extra love

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in anthology:story, Blog, kickstarter | Comments Off on Middle grade readers need extra love


I unabashedly love middle grade books, and I love that my beloved story “Red Dust and Dancing Horses” is going to be in the 2016 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. This is an anthology of science fiction stories for readers 8 and up, and it’s all about strength and diversity. Nancy Kress says it very well on the promotional video:

The Kickstarter campaign has just started. It’s very affordable to get DRM-free copies of the 2015 book and the new 2016 one, and the print books are included starting at $20. Do you have a middle grade reader in your house? Know one? Want to help out a library? Please check out the campaign and consider a contribution!

The fundraiser ends on September 26th. I’ll be sure to post on the progress!

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Sunday Quote heads home from Worldcon

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote heads home from Worldcon

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

~ Maya Angelou

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