These, like every other molasses cookie I’ve ever had, are incredibly addictive, and are a family favorite that I don’t make all that often because (I realized as I was making them) the dough isn’t nearly as good to eat raw as chocolate chip cookie dough is. :)

Raisin Bar Cookies
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c molasses
3 3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1 c raisins
1 c powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp water

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs & beat thoroughly. Add vanilla & molasses & beat thoroughly. Mix in dry ingredients & stir in raisins.

Spread the dough evenly on a GREASED 10×15″ baking sheet, or 2 smaller ones.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 350°F.

Allow to cool in-pan for several minutes, but not entirely. Mix powdered sugar & water into a thin, but not watery, icing. Spread on warm cookies, allow to cool completely, & cut into bars.

Chef’s Notes:
1. I use a pretty generous cup of raisins, if you wanna know the truth.

2. These are easy to both under-bake and over-bake and neither is nearly as nice as Just Right (I feel other cookies have more wiggle room in that regard, but not these ones). Keep an eye on ’em.

3. Long experience tells me that a silicone baking brush is best for spreading the icing over these things, so if you’ve got one, use that.

Here are the formal (and some less formal, but already-booked) places I’ll be for Worldcon 2019 in Dublin! YAY!

The popularity of Anti-Heroes in Comics
Format: Panel
15 Aug 2019, Thursday 11:30 – 12:20, Odeon 3 (Point Square Dublin)
Deadpool, Harley Quinn, The Punisher, Ghost Rider: in many ways insane, evil individuals – hardly what we would call heroes! And yet they are some of the most popular and interesting comics characters around! Are they better-written characters (and if so, why)? Do readers, and creators, need a counterpoint to all the feats of noble heroism to which action heroes are typically inspired.

Reading: C. E. Murphy
Format: Reading
15 Aug 2019, Thursday 19:30 – 19:50, Liffey Room-2 (CCD)

War Room Meetup
Format: SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!
16 Aug 2019, Friday 09:00 – 12:00

Which Comic Was Your Manual?
Format: Panel
16 Aug 2019, Friday 15:30 – 16:20, Odeon 2 (Point Square Dublin)
We ask our panel of comics professionals what comics,  graphic novels, and series they regularly use as reference and for inspiration. Who do they personally consider to be the comic book greats and why? And are these works useful to everyone, or just to comic creators?

Autographs: Friday at 17:00
Format: Autographing
16 Aug 2019, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Level 4 Foyer (CCD)

Comic art: a buyer’s market
Format: Panel
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 11:30 – 12:20, Alhambra (Point Square Dublin)
There are far more artists trying to get into mainstream comics than there is work for them to do. This means that firms always have the advantage when they’re dealing with new artists. What are the less obvious areas where it’s possible to find comics work, and how do you avoid being taken for a ride?

Saturday Night Dinner
booked :)

Fantasies of Irish emigration
Format: Panel
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Wicklow Room-2 (CCD)
Urban fantasy abounds with characters from Irish mythology and folklore, but most of these stories are set in London or America rather than Ireland itself. The panel will examine the influence of Irish culture on urban fantasy and the abiding popularity of Irish mythology across the diaspora.

Trailblazer: Anne McCaffrey’s legacy and legend
Format: Panel
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 17:00 – 17:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)
Dragons and genetic engineering, psychics and aliens, opera and communication crystals, and even a unicorn girl: Anne McCaffrey’s books were as unique as the woman herself. Join us for a celebration of the first woman to ever win a Hugo Award for fiction and a Nebula Award.

Kaffeeklatsch: C. E. Murphy
Format: Kaffeeklatsch
19 Aug 2019, Monday 10:00 – 10:50, Level 3 Foyer (KK/LB) (CCD)

It wasn’t exactly a conundrum, really, but I couldn’t think of a word that started with ‘c’, meant ‘mistake’, and wasn’t profane. :)

I want you all to understand that I went into this will full knowledge and aforethought and the expectation that I would throw my back out.

My son has been practicing his cartwheels, and can’t quite get the speed he needs to get his feet all the way up over his head. After trying to walk him through it several times, and mentioning that I needed to get my sister over to help him, I thought, well, I’ve got an appointment with my PT next Friday anyway, she can fix whatever damage I’ve done then.

Friends, I did four cartwheels, and to my absolute delight, my back was fine! Who knew!? It was a wonder!

Two days later I went to a movie, and, mindful of the way my right knee had pinched up a while back, sat with my left knee crossed over my right for much of the film.

The next morning my left knee was a stabby focus of sharp pain, and remained so. Honestly, I couldn’t really figure out what had happened to it.

Until about three days after THAT, when I realized that I was paying for my cartwheel sins, and probably also for how I’d sat at the movie theatre.

That was a damn month ago.

I stayed off my feet as much as was parentally possible for three weeks. I took taxis everywhere because the walk between bus stops was Bad For Me. My knee slowly improved, to the point where I knew I had to be EXTRA careful ALL the time because it felt well enough to use pretty normally but I was CLEARLY going to re-injure it with the slightest provocation.

After 3 weeks, I made the cardinal error of turning around, and my knee went SACCALAGLHGALALLALALGHHHHH and I spent the next three days trying to stay off my feet and encountering shooting pains when I didn’t.

On the fourth day it made a leap forward and stopped hurting when I walked. I continued to stay off my feet. (We had guests during this week. I was a GREAT host, yeah. ‘Hi, lovely to see you, I’ll be staying here with my leg up on the couch while you go do whatever, bye’.) I am STILL staying off my feet as much as possible.

This is very tedious, but better than re-injuring my damn knee.

Somehow, though, peoples’ sympathy seems to evaporate when they hear that I hurt myself doing cartwheels…

Last Monday evening I found out at the last minute that the Lighthouse Cinema was doing a showing of Benedict Cumberbatch’s 2014 #Hamlet & I decided I was going to make a terrible mistake, and go.

I did not make a mistake.

Ciaran Hinds is the best Claudius I’ve ever seen. Ophelia’s death is the best staging I’ve ever seen. Cumberbatch is excellent throughout, and gets to show off his considerable acting range, which almost nothing he does in film allows him to. Everyone was very good, although I thought Horatio and perhaps Laertes were a bit of weak links, and I wish…man. I don’t know if Gertrude is just impossible to play, or if I’ve never seen her played well enough. I’ve never seen her played by anybody who was less than good, but no one ever quite reaches…whatever it is I’m looking for. I suppose I’ll know it if I see it, if I ever do.

The final scene didn’t hold a candle to the staging of the same scene with Ruth Negga at the Gate Theatre last year, which I don’t think can be topped. Nor was I as convinced of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia in this as I was in that production, which was the most–the first–heartbreakingly believable playing of it that I’ve ever seen. Neither were badly done at all; if I hadn’t seen Negga, I’d have said this was the most convincing love story I’d ever seen in Hamlet, so in fact it was very, very good. It just wasn’t quite *that* good.

I fucking H A T E D the costuming and would like to know the rationale behind it. Like. I grew up in the theatre, with a costumer for a mother. I generally can figure out what the costuming is doing, and why, even if I don’t like it, but in this case I could neither figure it out nor like it. H A T E. OMG. H A T E.

Some–most–of the set work was genuinely inspired in conception and I generally loved it. The gravedigger was brilliant, as he should be, and poor old Polonius was terrific. Overall, I am very, very glad I went.

Okay, I finished the page to the best of my…uh…patience…and I have no chill, so I’m just gonna go ahead and post it instead of waiting until next week like somebody with chill. I’m sure that in the future if I do more of these I will totally have chill and not post them to the world immediately. Probably.