Today I’m making bread… and analogies.
All books begin with the same basic ingredients: words. By themselves, words are only minimally interesting. Have you ever eaten plain, raw flour? Ew. Even plain sugar isn’t all that exciting. And although sometimes we might throw in a word that’s unexpected and intriguing–the fennel seeds in today’s recipe–most of what we include are those mundane, workday words. Just like every loaf of bread I make includes flour, fat, liquid, salt, and a leavening agent. All very simple. yet we can combine them in so many ways!
So we combine those words and get something new and different. A big ball of dough. And that dough looks interesting. If you poke it, it feels nice and bouncy. It probably even smells really good. It may be a little tempting to take a nibble. After all, those words are nicely mixed together, right? But don’t give into the temptation, because it’s not nearly ready. It won’t taste good. This is a book’s early drafts. An early draft is definitely the start of something good–but only the start. We need to give the dough time–and a nice hot oven. Our book needs edits.
But if we are patient, if we are willing to to subject our creation to the heat, look what we get! Something amazing–a transformed object that is far beyond the sum of its parts. A delicious loaf of bread. Or, of course, a new book. Mmm!
And to take the analogy further, we can have comfortable, familiar white bread books. Rich, slightly decadent ones made with milk and eggs. Exotic ones. Spicy ones. We can throw in some surprises, like fruit or chocolate chips. We can gobble the whole thing right away, while it’s still warm from the oven. Or we can stretch it out over a couple of days, enjoying it piece by piece.
I’m going to go eat some bread now.
Cue maniacal laughter.
Fridays are supposed to be my quiet days to stay home and get work done. I needed this Friday badly: I have a stack of assignments to grade, galley proofs for one novel, edits for a second novel, final beta edits for a third novel, and a deadline to meet for a short and an essay for the day job.
No big deal, right?
So then the younger kid is home because she puked on the way to school–but she’s not feeling quite sick enough to simply zonk out. She’s currently curled up with Anne of Green Gables, periodically pausing to ask me vocabulary questions (“Mom, what’s a raspberry cordial?”). Then my once a month maid service arrived. And–simultaneously–so did the glass guy to replace the cracked window in the living room.
So nice and quiet.
And then on top of it all I had a brainstorm for a project that involves domain name registration, trademarks, and website design.
Thus the maniacal laughter.
I had a wonderful several days at the Dreamspinner author workshop. I didn’t take many photos. I didn’t even do any Disney or Universal stuff, even though we were in Orlando. But it was great to hang out with old friends and new. We got lots of useful and inspiring information too.
And then I had to schlep myself all the way back across the continent and to real life.
I came back to lots of things: cover art concepts for Love Can’t Conquer, which releases this summer; 3rd round edits for the same book; partial edits for Equipoise, which rereleases in November; and beta edits for Controlled, which I will be submitting soon. No rest for the wicked! But the good news is that in the second half of this year, you should expect lots of new stuff from me.
Also at home, I discovered my husband’s new glasses had arrived. He’s red-green colorblind, but these glasses allow him to see color. Which is really nifty, I think. He’s thrilled.
So now it’s back to the grindstone. Next journeys? Family trip to SoCal at the end of the month, then in April I’ll be at RT in Vegas. I hope to see some of you there!