4 min read

Stone Soup Digest 02.10.23

Cheesecake, Xander, Union Victories
Stone Soup Digest 02.10.23
Photo by Tabea Schimpf / Unsplash

Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.

Yesterday, an essay from the brilliant S.B. Divya went out: Traveling With a Chronic Illness, an examination of what it means to travel when one has a body that needs rest and care more often than others might. This was especially resonant to me this week, as I had to cancel a trip I’d been desperately looking forward to in response to the demands of my own body. Divya writes about the considerations involved in accommodating a chronic illness while seeing the world, and what it means to write chronically ill characters who are on their own adventures.

I was incredibly sad to miss the adventure I was supposed to be on this past week, but being home did mean that I got to celebrate a loved one who was experiencing a couple of major life milestones. To mark those occasions, I made this cheesecake.

It’s a mocha-hazelnut cheesecake with mocha-hazelnut toffee on top. The toffee was homemade and the crunch of it set off the creaminess of the cheesecake perfectly. The base is an oreo crust.

Because I don’t own a hand- or stand-mixer, I made this thing by hand, and let me tell you: that shit is not for the faint of heart or weak of body. I ended up forcing the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer to get the last of the cream cheese lumps out, which worked quite well even if it was tricky to manage without spilling.

This was my first time making a New York style cheesecake, and when it came out of the springform pan after nearly 24 hours of setting and chilling, I was worried about the dark color of the sides. My worry turned out to be totally misplaced: the dark caramel flavor of the nearly-burnt edges offset the rich, bright sweetness of the rest, adding a welcome level of depth.

It was pretty damn good. We ate it all over the course of three or four days. I’d make it again (but with a borrowed hand mixer next time).

Know Your Station #3 Is Out Now!

Issue three of the comic I created with Liana Kangas is live! Check out a preview of issue #3, then head to your local comic shop and pick up a copy while you can! If you prefer digital, KNOW YOUR STATION #3 is available at comiXology.

These Recipes Aren’t Ours

Last week I wrote about who recipes belong to, when to attribute them, and how we make them our own.

ScreenRant: Buffy is Perfectly Deconstructing a Major ‘90s Criticism

ScreenRant wrote an article about my run of The Vampire Slayer, the comic series I’m writing in the Buffy Multiverse! When I set out to write this series, I rewatched the show to anchor myself freshly in the characters whose voices I needed to be able to connect with. I found myself noticing the ways in which the teen characters (taken on their own, outside the context of 90’s media norms) seemed to be emulating incredibly relatable struggles to be who people wanted and expected them to be. I decided to write a series in which the adult versions of those characters had, after high school, received the care they needed to be able to grow. This is most obvious in Xander, who, in The Vampire Slayer, has grown out of his need to forcefully embody a type of masculinity that doesn’t feel true to him and hurts those around him. I’m so happy that ScreenRant wrote a piece that sees what I was going for. Go give it a read!

Iron Circus Comics’s Failure to Launch Anthology backing now

If you subscribe to this newsletter, chances are, you’re interested in alternate history – especially when hippos are involved. If that sounds like you, you’ll want to check out this Iron Circus Anthology!

Of Interest:

Thrills & Chills: Horror Story Writing with Nino Cipri

Nino Cipri teaches a four-part seminar that explores the roots of horror and the craft of writing your own horror story. Taught through Atlas Obscura. Register Here!

Master Class: Guidance and Strategies for Publishing Your Book

Catharine McKean teaches a master class through NYU online. Includes the dos and don’ts of finding an agent, what to expect from an editor, and insight into the market. Register Here!

Alpha - The Young Writers Workshop Applications are open

You or a teen you know can now apply to this science fiction, fantasy, and horror workshop for young writers! I’ll be teaching at the workshop this year alongside some really amazing instructors. Apply Here!

Strike Coverage

HarperCollins Reaches Tentative Agreement with Union!!!!

HarperCollins Union workers, after 66 days on strike, have reached a tentative agreement with HarperCollins Publishers!! Hell yeah!!! The agreement includes increases to minimum salaries across levels, and according to the union, $1500 lump sum bonus to all union employees. It still needs to be ratified by the union members, but once that’s done the contract will extend through to the end of 2025.

Labor organization and strikes are hard work, but they get the goods. Thank you all for backing this effort so far!!

United VEGies

Emergency Veterinary Workers at VEG, the Veterinary Emergency Group, have banded together to unionize under the banner of togetherness, openness, transparency, and meaningful moments – the same values the VEG company itself champions. The union’s goal is to lead the way and improve working conditions for the VetMed community as a whole. Follow them on Instagram!

If you’re a paying subscriber, come by the Stone Soup Supper Club for our weekly chat! I can’t wait to find out how you’re doing.