How do you cook the books?

February 1, 2013

Today’s post idea is courtesy of Strands of Pattern. I’m pretty sure Jeff won’t mind me taking his idea and running with it.

I loved Jeff’s metaphor of cooking for the writing process, and some of the analogies that friends and followers came up with in the comments to his post. Thinking about it, I’ve decided that my writing process has a lot in common with the way I make one of my favorite meals – spaghetti and meat sauce.

First, I take a big lump of slightly slimy hamburger out of the fridge, slap it in a pan, turn up the heat, and start stirring like crazy as the meat browns and gets crispy. This is the heedless first draft composition stage – often set to Nanowrimo or some other crazy deadline event.

Once the meat is browned, I add some other ingredients – tomatoes, vegetables, herbs and spices, and let it simmer for a long time, stirring occasionally, tasting now and then. This would be the no-pressure editing, letting the story sit on the back burner of my brain while I’m doing other things, occasionally sitting down to try rewriting a scene or polish some of the prose.

And finally, there’s the slightly less frantic activity as I boil a pot of water and toss in the dry spaghetti – or set myself a deadline for finishing revisions and get myself into hot water. 🙂

Is it a perfect analogy? No, probably not. But I had fun with that notion. There are probably ways that my creative process is like whipping up crepes, or roasting a turkey, or microwaving some soup, but I’m not gonna think about them just now.

What culinary process is your writing style like?

Blogosphere Monday Incoming special – Catch-up for Crusaders.

February 21, 2011

Okay, the Platform-Building Crusade is off with a bang, and I’ve been having a great time getting to know the other members of group 14 and the other crusaders who’ve dropped in to comment. I’ve also gotten a very warm and fuzzy feeling seeing my subscriber count and daily hits go up!

So, first off, I’ve got a stupid question that I hope somebody can help me with, and then, I’m going to steal a really good idea that I saw on another Crusader Blog to catch you up on what I’ve been doing lately.

EDITED – stupid question has been answered! To see the updates from blogspot sites that I’m following, all I need to do is go to – that’s the step that I was missing! (Full question ramble has been moved to the end of this post.)

The really good idea that I’m stealing, is to do a fairly quick catchup of some of the cool stuff I’ve been doing on my blog lately, along with links, so that if you happen to see something and think ‘Oh, that sounds really interesting, I should check that out!’ you’ll be able to do that easily and without much fuss. So – the Top Ten List of fun stuff I’ve done on my blog in the last six months…

10. Blogosphere spotlights. I tend to get a little too focused on what’s going on with myself and lose sight of the way blogging can be a social activity, so Blogosphere spotlights are a way of reminding myself to give shoutouts to other bloggers or fun blogging events that I run into – I often put my blogfest entries under the Blogosphere tag, or introduce things like the Crusade itself.

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Getting back into hot water

February 10, 2011

So, on Sunday morning, I tossed some dirty dishes into the sink and started running the tap. Dipped a finger in when it was partly full to make sure that it wasn’t getting too hot.

It felt ice cold, so I drained it again.

I didn’t think too much of it at first, like I thought that it couldn’t actually be something serious. Kept checking through the morning, wondered if the same problem was affecting my whole building. Went outside and wandered by the laundromat downstairs. They seemed to be doing brisk business. Finally put together a load of brights just so that I could go inside and try running a bit of hot water from the sink in the corner. That was hot, all right. (I set the wash on ‘cold’ anyway – better for the planet.)

So I rang the bell at the super’s apartment, and she ended up calling the landlord and he came over and delivered the news. The water heater in the bar downstairs was broken, it belonged to the gas company so they’d have to fix it, and they wouldn’t be sending somebody out until Monday at the earliest.

It was actually sometime Tuesday while I was at work that things finally got hot again. (Apparently there was some other problem only discovered while in the midst of fixing the first one.) In the meantime, living without hot water at home was just sort of a vague and dreary sense of deprivation. I didn’t end up washing any dishes until it was back, (though I did four sinkfulls on Tuesday evening.) I did heat a large saucepan’s worth of water on the stove three times to pour out into the bathroom sink and wash with.

And I took two nearly ice-cold showers before heading out to work. (One each working day until the heater was fixed.)

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