of the Lazy Literatus

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Expos, eBooks, and Media

State of the Minion Address #3: “Expos, eBooks, and Media”

Ladies and (not-so-)Gentlemen!


I have a few announcements to make…

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these State of the Minion things – outlining future projects, current states of mind, and the like. However, a ton of things are on the horizon. Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ll even be able to accomplish it all. I’m certainly going to give it the good ol’ post-collegiate try, but (as is to be expected)…I make no guarantees.

Here’s the shortlist of projects and projected events that are in my future:

World Tea Expo 2014 (See Below)

Originally, I had no plans to go this year. I didn’t have much reason. Thus far, there hadn’t been word on any bloggy-related events. That and the Expo had been relocated to Long Beach. I was a little hesitant about that. Then I learned this was happening again…

WTE Poster Update 2014.jpg.opt800x800o0,0s800x800

Imaged mooched from Jo “A Gift of Tea” Johnson

How could I not go?!

After a generous helping of begging and pleading, I weaseled my way onto the panel. Only a few things stand in my way of making all this a reality:

(1)   Money. That always seems to be a continuous problem, doesn’t it?

(2)   Time off from work

(3)   Means of getting there.

(4)   Press pass

#2 and #3 have been dealt with. #4…I’m still waiting on word from. It’s the first one that remains to be determined.

Which brings me to…

The eBook (See Below)

Yes, folks. You are reading that right. I’m finally writing an ebook. Technically, it’s halfway done, since it will incorporate things I’ve posted for this blog or other side-projects. Still, it’s the most monumental writer-ish undertaking I’ve ever…uh…undertaken.

The title (at the moment) is To Boldly Tea: A Fiction-Infused Anthology, and the book is as the title implies – a collection of tea fiction stories. The collection will include the following:

The Legend of Lapsang” – My first foray into tea fiction, ever. Bat-s**t crazy, it was.

Oolong Way from Gnome” – The epic story of the gnome who traveled from India to China with the Journey to the West gang of legend. It’s a third of the way done.

Fortune and the Goddess” – Arguably my most “famous” and controversial short story to date, and my first real post on the Beasts of Brewdom page.

“Border Line” – A story that came to me in a dream. It’s a tragic love story set in a Texas border town (called Margaret’s Hope) in 1902 dealing with monsters and yerba mate’.

“Breakfast, the Irish Way” – A short story I wrote for another anthology involving tea, U.S. senators, and Irish crime syndicates.

“Castleton: Tea Gun for Hire” – The story of a James Bond-like tea consultant and his mission to resolve a conspiracy about a tea estate, a huge corporation, and a lost city.

“Knights of the Apocalypse” – The descendants of the Earl of Grey (dubbed Mr. Excellent) and Viscount Petersham infiltrate a mutant-infested Scotland to save a very special…tree. Inspired by two tea blends.

“Steep Stories of a Lazy Literatus” – All of my tea fiction meta-reviews compiled into one novella-sized chunk. Including ones I have yet to write.

The Tea Trolley” – The Milly ode I wrote a couple of years back. I couldn’t think of a more perfect capper than that.

Of the list, four stories still need to be finished, which means there’ll be a lot of new, never-before-seen content. My goal is to have the rough draft done in a month, and edited and put up on Amazon by early May. The idea is to see if it generates any sales that will help fund my World Tea Expo…so I can pimp it some more.


And speaking of pimping…

Tumbling with Tea

Because everything is happening so fast (and so much keeps piling on), one of the things that’s been suffering is my blogging output. As you’ve likely noticed, I (maybe) have time for one blog a week. That leaves several teas unexplored.


Yeah, that’s only half of what I need to get through.

So, I think I found a solution…and it involves Tumblr.

My Mum helped me come up with this idea. Of the teas I have to get through, only a few fit the “model” for my blog – that being new and interesting teas with stories to tell. That isn’t to say they’re not good – quite the opposite – I just don’t have a lot to say about them beyond taster notes.

So, I came up with a quickie solution. I started a Tumblr for poetry-related tea taster notes. They will be called TeaCuplets, and the goal is to get through one every other day. You will be able to find them HERE.

No, there aren’t any, yet. I just opened up the page for them…today. But I do have some down the pipeline.


Well, that’s it. Everything I currently have on my plate. Will I be able to accomplish it all – effectively and efficiently? We shall see. I may be overloading myself, or over-estimating my skills at time management. That and soooooooo many things could go wrong between now and late-May.

If I accomplish even a smidge of this list, I will be happy.

Thanks for reading.



Due to financial difficulties and other work-related things, the World Tea Expo trip has been scrapped. The ebook project has also been postponed indefinitely until things calm down on the personal (and financial) front. The TeaCuplets “initiative”, however, will still remain in effect.

Sorry for the inconvenience and false hope.

A “Tea”-ny, Tiny Fanboy Crush

A few weeks back, the unthinkable happened. In a summer where my average work day was ten-plus hours, I got off shift by 3PM. This had happened – maybe! – three or four times in the last three or four months.  It could be more, but I’m not willing to research my “check-ins” to find out. My first instinct on such unicorn days was to make good tea. My second was to find a place to make that tea for me.

Smith Teamaker was usually the answer.

That day, instead of going for my usual first flush Darjeeling mainstay, I looked at a sign in front of me for a “Chai Cola”. I’d seen mentions of it on their Facebook page. Their Masala Chai fused with ginger beer. I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and ordered it.


I’m not usually a masala chai guy, but when cut with something else, I’m more than willing to admit pompous defeat. That and I’d never tried ginger beer (like a spicy root beer) before. The combination proved to not be overpowering, not too sweet, and only medium spicy. Ginger obviously took point with the added oomph of fizz, but the result was pure refreshment. Not heartburn, which was usually my reaction to heavy ginger.

Chai Cola

Alex, the tea-mage behind the Chai Cola recipe came out to “shoot the cuppa” for a moment between tasks. He was one of Smith’s everymen – part sales guy, part tech guru, and an all-around nice guy. Plus, his tea leanings were similar to mine. That being, notching off weird s**t.

In the midst of our usual oddi-“tea” ramblings, Alex asked, “Hey, have you heard of The Snooty Tea Blogger before?”

I racked my brain, going through the list of bloggers I knew. I knew a lot of bloggers. “Uh…no.”

“She’s reviewed a few of our samplers,” Alex continued. “The black tea sampler write-up alone was four pages long.”

“Wha-really?!”  I said, feeling…slightly threatened.

“And soooo many puns,” he finished.

I shrugged. “Tea people love their puns.”

(Seriously, we do.)

After about an hour of cola-nursing, I headed home. Who was this mysterious woman who was almost more verbose than I? After some not-so-difficult perusing, I found the person on Twitter. Apparently, we were already following each other. That and we had “circled” each other on Google+. Shows how observant I am.

With the length, polish and puns in the tea articles, I half-expected a woman in her seventies surrounded by hamsters. The eyes on her “About” page said differently.

Miss Tea-Rious


That and the fact that she had a Tumblr page. No one over the age of thirty had a Tumblr page, nor did they have good use for it. Well, other than Doctor Who GIFs and Harry Potter fan art. Hers featured tea grower profiles and other tea-related minutiae. I could think of no better use for Tumblr. Whoever this gal was, she ran the social media gamut.

Then I found her YouTube channel. I wish I never had.

Five minutes went by.


Then twenty.

Then forty.

By that evening, I’d watched all of her videos, save two. And felt slightly warm in my tummy. It wasn’t the oolong I’d just ingested, either.


Aside from Tea For Me Please’s vendor spotlights, The Devotea’s wonderfully eccentric videos, and an English Breakfast vid my brother and I made, I never really used YouTube for tea. The Snooty Tea Person’s videos were about on par with any of the other big-time vloggers on that accursed time-wasting site. That (and obviously)…she was adorable.

Best. Rageface. Ever.

Best. Rageface. Ever.

In the following days, I perused her other articles. Being the ever-enlightened tea man I am, I took particular notice of her “Sexuali-tea 2013” article. (Oh, like you wouldn’t have looked?!) In it, she provided a wee bit more insight into her interests outside of tea. And I gulped. She was into anime.

So. Not. Fair.

My not-so-inner fanboy squealed with delight, while my brain tried to wrap its tendril-ly gray matter around the concept. Okay, I told myself. The interest here is purely peer professional. Heck, you’ve met A LOT of smart, attractive, and fascinating tea women in the last year. This is just like that.

That little pep talk seemed to work.

One day, I got ready for work in the way I always did. I awoke around 6:30AM, meandered to the kitchen, put the kettle on, and perused the tea tins on the counter. This particular day, I opted for Zen Tara Tea’s Orange Spice Black. It was perhaps the only true Orange Spice blend I’d encountered because it actually had a “spicy” taste to it. Others placed more emphasis on the “orange”, which was fine in some circumstances. This morning, I needed a bit more verve.


I primed my to-go thermos, hopped into the shower, then took the pint of orange-spicy goodness and headed out. It was a good half-hour drive to work, plenty of time to nurse a mug on the road. Not sure why, but on this day, the infusion turned out absolutely perfect. A hard thing for me to admit about a flavored tea.

When I pulled up to my work’s parking lot, I made the following tweet on my phone.


Then I thought back to The Snooty Tea Person’s usual vernacular.

I’m doomed.


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