Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Wonder: Rice!

Hey everyone, today is my client Rebecca S. Ramsey's blog party (and her birthday too! Happy Birthday!!). All around the blogosphere people are celebrating their favorite Wonders of the World. Go over to Rebecca's site for a list of links (and check out her archives to see her incredible blog), and have a Wonder-full Wednesday!

My wonder is....



Can you tell what it is??

Oh. It's in the subject line.

It's rice!!!

But not this Rice...



This rice!!!



It's good for breakfast...



It's even good to drink!!!



Just don't drink too much.

My parents are rice farmers. Don't believe me?



That's me standing in a rice field.

It's September, which means it's almost time for harvest!

That means this...



And this...



My dad took that last photo. Pretty amazing, right? His favorite thing in a rice field isn't the rice though. It's these:



Birds love rice too!

But I'm not a farmer. I like this too much:



Don't forget to check out Rebecca's blog, and her book FRENCH BY HEART!






65 comments:

goooooood girl said...

So good......

ashley said...

Mmm, rice! Also great in sushi rolls!

That picture your father took is beautiful!

Maris Bosquet said...

But we already knew you were "outstanding in your field," Nathan!

Those photos are terrific. Maybe your dad should have his own blog spot?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Rice is very cool. And that makes you somewhat cool.

L-Plate Author said...

Hi Nathan

Just wanted to say that I found your blog at the weekend and enjoyed the open question post. There are some really great Q&A's on there. You're certainly generous with you rtime.

Look forward to checking it regularly.

PS I'm not a cat person neither and I've posted photos of my new baby on my blog. It should be about writing...

sex scenes at starbucks said...

So if somebody mentions rice in a query to you, are they a shoe-in? :D

Chris Redding said...

What if it is a rhetorical question about rice in their query?
cmr

Maris Bosquet said...

Oh, and if I may add something about rice: I have celiac disease, which means that most grains--wheat, rye, barley, etc.--are poison to me. But I CAN eat all the rice I want.

Yay for rice! And a huge thanks to all the rice farmers who help me survive.

Susan said...

Gorgeous! I *am* a farmer, and after being flooded this year, we've been talking about growing rice here instead.

Our son's on a gluten-free diet, so our family probably gives your folks some business--thank Heavens for rice! And thanks for those wonderful photos.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Great wonder post Nathan!
Awesome photos. And I should tell you that way over here in South Carolina, we even eat rice for breakfast! At least some of us do.

Thanks for joining in the blog party and making my day even happier.
As I tell everyone, you're amazing!
Becky

Felicity said...

Nice post, Nathan. Becky's blog is a blast. You have good taste in clients.

WitLiz Today said...

Reading Ms Ramsay's cool blog reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UHtrhe5ROI

Then there's this. I made it up.(Sung to the tune of Happy Birthday)

Happy Birthday to you,
You live in South Carolina,
There ain't nothin' fina,
Than to live in Carolina!
...I'll stick to writing...

Elyssa Papa said...

I love the rice photos. The fields are huge.

You forgot a dessert or snack though... Rice Krispie Treats! So yummy.

AR said...

There are Mexican rice drinks that are not alcoholic and those are yummy, too.

I thought rice was grown in wet places? Or does it dry up before harvest?

Nathan Bransford said...

AR-

They drain the water a couple of weeks before harvest. Given how hot it is in the Central Valley, it doesn't take long for things to dry out.

Ryan Field said...

I like a good risotto.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

I'm Indian and we love rice, too :)

M Clement Hall said...

How many farmer's children stay on the land?

Lizz Huerta said...

Rice is nice!

In my family we have rice wars. Mexican v. Puerto Rican rice. Then the rice puddings get involved and it gets ugly, but tasty.

nona said...

beautiful pics of your family farm, and San Fran, too

Michelle Moran said...

Beautiful photos, Nathan! Becky is such a fun author!

Madison said...

Whoa! That picture of the ducks is AMAZING! So good!

How big is your parents farm? 60 acres? 100? (I'm moving onto 18 1/2 acres, so I LOVE land!)

Kelly Pollard said...

Thanks for the early morning smile! My son loves spicy rice.

I used to be the champion of making concoctions of rice, brown sugar and milk. Then forcing my bff to eat it. Did I mention the rice wasn't cooked, just soaked. Don't ask, I was a disturbing child.

Also loved your client's post today. She's really cool..

Josephine Damian said...

Nathan: How about requiring that all queries be written on rice paper?! You could keep a water bucket by your desk and just disolve the rejects.

Luv the personal pics and insight into your life outside the biz.

Other Lisa said...

Rice is indeed cool.

You know how you ask someone in Chinese if they've eaten? You ask, literally, if they've eaten rice.

Well, or other cooked cereals. But the first definition of the word is "rice."

Jeff Abbott said...

And here I thought you were going to give a shout out to my alma mater. :-)
http://www.rice.edu/

John Askins said...

You showed your favorite city without noting that it's the home of Rice-A-Roni!

Nathan Bransford said...

Jeff-

Owls love Rice too!

john-

Rice-a-roni isn't rice!!

Ok, well, technically it's rice, but no self-respecting rice farmboy eats instant rice.

bryan russell said...

Nathan said: "Ok, well, technically it's rice, but no self-respecting rice farmboy eats instant rice."

Are you having flashbacks of My Cousin Vinny? Just askin'.

Nathan Bransford said...

bryan-

Yup! What a great movie.

LeeAnn Flowers said...

I love today's entry. That's so great. The pictures are nice. Also, rice pudding is the best!

Being Beth said...

I am SO glad I stopped by your blog this afternoon. Your post provided me with a mini-vacation, made me laugh, and made me think about how much I love where I live today while at the same time gratefully remember the cornfields and rural life of my childhood on the plains of Colorado. Thanks!

John Askins said...

"...no self-respecting rice farmboy eats instant rice."

I quite understand, Nathan. It must have been frustrating when you were a boy in the fields, watching all those instant rice farmers going home so much earlier each day.

Heidi the Hick said...

I always wondered how rice farming works. And there you are standing in what looks like a wheat field! Dry and golden.

Also that combine looks familiar. Only ours was the right colour: green! Great pictures.

Anonymous said...

My kids at school love going on freerice.com to help learn and donate rice while they're at it.

madison said...

haha... thanks for the hilarity. definitely made my studying in the library session better!

Anonymous said...

Dude, given that there is about to be a serious world food shortage of staples like rice, corn and wheat, you are in a good position to write an insider's look at what goes on behind the scenes....nah....too boring...

You could write a farming thriller! Evil megaconglomerates seek to effect a hostile takeover of your grandpappy's rice farm which is the only thing sustaining the whole town....but they want to use the rice for (gasp)--fuel for their SUV's! So the farmer's city-slicker son Nate-dawg comes home for the summer to relax a bit, and discovers that the plan to take over the rice farm is bigger, and much more evil, than anyone suspected.

DEADLY HARVEST

Gwen said...

I left my heart in San Francisco. :( I love that city.

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Nathan,

Love your photographs, especially the rice field and city scape. I finally updated my website in order to join in on Rebecca Ramsey's Wonders of the World Blog Party. It's been great fun visiting the other sites in the party!

Robena Grant said...

You have a hidden talent. This was a very artistic post. I loved your segue from photo to photo. Nice Rice.

And Anon 1:54 I think I'd add in a steamy romance for Nate Dawg and send it off to Silhouette Romantic Suspense. Love the title.

cindy said...

wow, really? i have to eat rice every two to three days or i feel out of sorts. haha! loved the fotos! thank you for sharing.

janeyolen said...

One of the great children's books of all times, Maurice Sendak's CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE.

Jane

Betty Atkins Dominguez said...

This was a truly great post. I have Ms. Ramsey's Blog listed in my favorites.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

My wonder is...

Last night, I was thinking, when a person tries to curl up in a little ball, it's called the fetal position – but when the sky does it, it's a hurricane.

And I was thinking also of the brown insect carcasses clinging to queen anne's lace this summer – one here, one there - first I was concerned they were bumblebee husks, but then found out they were from cicadas, and therefore not evidence of bee extinction in my own backyard. Wonderful!

And now the rain, and I picture gray cathedrals being built up drop by drop, suburb-obliterating behemoths with rainbow windows, greeting one upon opening the door in the morning. Wonderful!

I wonder now how (if) being from a family of rice farmers influences fav book choices of Moby Dick, and also Faulkner.

Though I should talk, loving Tennyson's Idylls of the King (as in Arthur), coming from a family of homemakers/mechanical engineers.

Thanks for sharing your rice-licious (sorry, too much Project Runway) photos...

Oh_bother said...

A rice farmboy! Who'dathunk?

I didn't know we grew rice in the US, and actually Googled 'Central Valley'. ( I live on the East Coast.)

You learn something every day. And- I have to share after watching Mythbusters tonight- I also learned that non-dairy powdered creamer is crazy flammable and that inhaling sulfur hexifluoride will give you a monster-bass voice. (Think helium in reverse.)

Of course, Don't Try This At Home, but the creamer bit makes me happy I put half and half in my coffee.

Schaz said...

Oooh, can I add a rice? FreeRice.com

It's a vocabulary quiz (great fun for readers!), and each word you answer correctly earns 20 grains of rice for the United Nations World Food Program. Warning: site is addictive

mkcbunny said...

Nice photos. And being a waterfowl lover, I can totally appreciate the fall migration element. We look forward to it on Lake Merritt (Oakland) every year. The central valley gets all those swans and geese, too. For folks who haven't see it, the massive migration along our Pacific flyway is quit impressive. Especially when it rains a lot.

Looks like Mallards—which, I suppose, is like saying that coffee place on the corner is probably a Starbucks—but really, they do look like Mallards ...

mkcbunny said...

Well, that one on the right is a Mallard. The one on the left could be a female Pintail. :)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Rice! Yum. Especially basmati! And rice milk - so much better than cows' milk! ;-)

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Hey Nathan. A-B buys a lot of rice for Budweiser. That's right, Rice is whats called and adjunct grain used in harmony with malted barley to brew the King of Beers.

A-B also operates Pacific International Rice Mills just outside of Sacramento.

Love that short grain sweet California rice.

Nathan Bransford said...

Wilfred-

Oh, yes. My dad knows the Buschs well.

Carly said...

I think the way you talk about your family in this post is very sweet.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

your family knows the Buschs?!?! When I was in high school we went on a field trip for "History of St Louis" (where I am from) and we snuck into a rich private neighborhood where the Busch family lives. Their mansion was HUGE!!! but then a snooty rich driver in a fancy-ass BMW saw us and threatened to call the cops on my teacher and us students. We ran away from the neighborhood. That was so much fun!

Shayla Kersten said...

Love rice for breakfast! Warm with butter, sugar and milk. Can't go wrong.

Great sunset picture!

As for rice trivia, my home state of Arkansas, last I heard, is the top rice growing state in the US. Nice to know we're known for something besides crazy college football fans... *cackle*

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Well, both California and especially Arkansas are in the water rights wars. And rice is a water intensive crop.

The aquifers under Arkansas rice country are drying up and there are battles being fought over diverting water from the White River. It's a big mess that will get messier.

On the West coast, I think the rice farmers, maybe Nathan's parents too are selling some of those short term water rights to Los Angeles which is hurting for water due to battles over the Colorado River.

Yeah, boring I know, but it would make for an interesting novel. The old west water rights wars updated to the 21st century where the stakes are even higher.

Nathan, I've been to the rice mill northwest of Sacramento several times. Probably real close to your parent's farm.

Oh, and the Busch Family is going to get a lot richer when the Inbev deal goes through. I may need to turn to writing full time.

Nathan Bransford said...

Wilfred-

There are varying opinions about how water-intensive rice is compared to other crops like cotton, but especially in California, because of the soil it's grown in, very little of the water seeps into the ground and it basically just sits on top of the hard pan clay soil for most of the summer. So the water battles haven't hit my family too hard, and we also haven't been doing water transfers, which is happening more in the San Joaquin Valley.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Re: "Yeah, boring I know, but it would make for an interesting novel. The old west water rights wars updated to the 21st century where the stakes are even higher."

Boring, are you kidding? One of Joan Didion's best (signature) essays is about water out west. I think it's in the White Album, check it out if you haven't already. (I love that essay). Joan Didion also had a lengthy interview on Cspan book channel recently - same weekend as Nathan's podcast. Maybe it's online somewhere.

Also plot of Chinatown.

Robin said...

Hey, Nathan ~

Thanks for sharing this with us. 'Tis totally awesome.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

"Boring, are you kidding? One of Joan Didion's best (signature) essays is about water out west."

Hmm, maybe I need to rethink that 3rd book I'm plotting out now. As an Environmental Engineer I'm in the thick of it. The whole water issue is even more critical in places like China and India where I'm spending much of my time.

Some say water will be the new "oil." And sooner than later.

So waddaya think, Nathan?

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Re: "The whole water issue is even more critical in places like China and India where I'm spending much of my time."

I think a deal to ship Great Lakes water to China already fell through; recently legislation was passed to limit the amount of large water withdrawals. As well you have to be within a certain area (contiguous states I believe, but not sure exactly) to make withdrawals from Great Lakes.

Also there has been controversy about bottled water, and suggestion the plastic of the bottles is a carcinogen...

I think there are lots of possibilities for writing about water use issues in a novel...I think even the temperature of water discharged by industry is an issue...invasive species...mercury...the list goes on...

Abi said...

HA! That was Ricerific! :)

Abi said...

Nathan-

Check out this great (and fun) site for Free Rice

http://freerice.com/

it's a great vocabulary builder.

D.J. Masao said...

September 11 reminds all of us that the work is still to be done and it needs a courage for all of us as a strong nation under God. May God bless those striving for the loss of their love one. Also may God bless us all and America our nation.

Randa El- Adawi said...

haha,That's cute..liked it :)

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