Update: I’m still writing another book during the month of November, and I’m still writing that space opera book some time in the future, but I’ve decided to push the space opera further back in my schedule. Next month, I’ve decided on a comical novel - not sure of the name, not totally sure of the plot, though I’ve got a lot of it already in mind (I would especially like to come up with a good ending before I begin writing, as well as a few more characters … it’s just that kind of story, I think). Thanks. More later.
This is a family favorite. Quick and easy to make. Tell the truth, I usually double the recipe, and I hardly ever add the vanilla extract anymore. Also: when it starts to fully boil, start the clock - closer to one minute on the dot, the better - then be quick about mixing in the oats and peanut butter and be quick about spooning it out onto foil before it starts to harden too much (might prefer two spoons). Enjoy!
No-Bake Cookies (Candy)
Combine in saucepan: 1/2 cup milk 3 cups sugar 3 Tbs cocoa 1/2 stick butter Let boil for one minute, then turn off heat and Mix in: 3 cups oats 1 cup peanut butter 1 Tbs vanilla Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper or aluminum foil — Quick!
Starting a second book. (Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t totally finished the first one yet - stuck in first-draft stage for now - planning to return to it after a month and a half to work on second draft) For this second book, meanwhile, I had planned to write 50,000 words in 30 days (from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30) according to the spirit of nanowrimo.org, but I have since decided on a 70,000 word novel as 50,000 words is really a bare-minimum novel size and I wanted something a little more meaty. And with that larger number in mind, I went ahead and started writing - ready, set, go! - current word count: around 10,000 (proud of my quick start, personally).
Space Opera would be the genre of this new one. Although I hate the name (too close to “Soap Opera” for comfort), I’ve decided to just embrace the category whole-heartedly instead of acting all artsy and too-cool-for-the-name-space-opera-y and so forth. So, it’s a sprawling sci-fi adventure tale with a large cast of characters with intertwined story lines and whatnot - a space opera - after that definition, perhaps 70,000 words is not enough, after all! We’ll see. More later.
I’m making bread today - every time I bake bread, I resolve to do so more often. Those resolutions, of course, go unheeded (present resolutions excepted, of course … as usual). This is the basic recipe I follow for Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread, but this morning I’m substituting bulgar wheat for the sunflower seeds (MIA) … I’ve never cooked with bulgar wheat before but judging by its birdseed-toughness, I am boiling it first per the packages instructions before adding it to the bread dough. Wish me luck! (I recommend adjusting the recipe according to your bread-making experience - if you have none, find a good bread-making how-to online - there are lots of little tips and hints and guidelines that make the whole process “work.”)
Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread
* 2 cups water * 6 tablespoons honey * 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast * 2 tablespoons butter, softened * 1 1/2 cups bread flour * 1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour * 1 1/2 teaspoon salt * 1/2 cup flax seeds * 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1. proof yeast in 2 cups warm water with 6 tbsp of honey dissolved in it 2. add yeast, additional water, honey, and butter to the mix of flour, salt, and seeds 3. knead by hand or in a sturdy mixer 4. let rise one-hour, punch down and shape into two loaves 5. let rise 45 minutes 6. bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes
I made it to 95% complete and then just couldn’t figure out what else to write about so I stopped there - had already gone through and added a paragraph here, a paragraph there, scattered throughout - even created a new chapter somewhere in the middle. All, just to make it this far - the last 15% can be killer if you run out of story, lemme tell you. (and, of course, I’ll probably be editing out all those final additions in the second draft process)
And the tough part is that I’m not totally happy with the ending. I resisted the urge to add anything like a natural disaster or a fire or killing off somebody’s mother or some other great calamity in the story that would be unlikely to happen in the context of this psuedo-realistic tale. And as a result, I was kinda left with “seconds”, as far as the amount of punch I could give it at the end (in other words, not so much punch).
So there’s the ending, and there’s also a couple of characters that I might not have fully developed as well as I could/should have. But that’s less troubling - that’s second draft stuff at this point - but so is the ending and all the rest! So, plan is to refrain from reading it again until December, at which time I will reread it again and begin editing toward a second draft. (I’ve recently reread Stephen King’s, On Writing, to brush up on his process, which seems so logical, it just might work)
The name of my book is, LEITO THE ARTIST, but that might change - I mean it just kinda sits there on the page, not very dynamic or anything. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I’ve started planning out my next book, believe it or not, which I’m pretty sure will be completely different (think, something like a sprawling space opera with lots of characters and, therefore, plenty of story to keep me busy). More on that real soon!
So, here I am. Seven days until my deadline. 7616 words left to write. Eighty-five percent through. And yet, there is a hitch, a small problem I must now figure out. The problem is that the story is basically done. Complete. And, although 7616 words is not a lot, it still makes up around 26 or 27 pages. And so I’m left wondering, do I go thorough the story and try to pad a few scenes here and there, add more details, more dialogue, another subplot (?!) … or do I just continue the lives of the characters as far as those 27 pages will allow … you know, see where they end up. I mean, I feel the need to write a few more pages of “clean up,” beyond where the story is now, so that’s something. For that matter, maybe it will end up going on for 27 pages - but I do not want it to drag on and on without a point to it; that’s the fear I have.
Maybe a combination of both, then: pad the story with “missing scenes,” as well as adding a closing chapter or two, providing a good send-off for the characters. Well, this has truly been a tremendous help - thanks for listening. You rock, blog!
My self-imposed deadline of October 18th, while random and meaningless, is nonetheless fast approaching. That’s the date I intend to finish my modest 175 page (50,000 word) novel - yeah, it’ll be fairly skimpy for a novel, but a novel it will be. This last week has been a return to form for me in terms of my daily writing habit [hesitate calling it a “habit” though].
On the downhill slope: 65% through with it, and on my way to glory … er, 100%, anyway. After that, I’m looking forward to letting a few choice people read this fine mess, giving me some time away from it - time off, to regroup and reflect on life and what it means to be human and maybe catch a movie or two and have a snack (I’m partial to ice cream) - then, some time later, I’ll return to the thing fresh (to what they-in-the-know call the manuscript) and proceed to polish it up, make it better, turn it into something of a second draft, maybe a third, and so on.
But for now, it’s full steam ahead. (choo-choo) Happy writing!
The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is a descriptive list which was created by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance. To do this Polti analyzed classical Greek texts, plus classical and contemporaneous French works. He also analyzed a handful of non-French authors. In his introduction, Polti claims to be continuing the work of Carlo Gozzi, who also identified 36 situations.