Fruit galette and an adventure into the historical realms of what everyone's already written about - or made movies, or tv shows of
So, looks like I'm in full swing with my new novel. I've already stepped into that state of mind where I think of nothing but. I was having a bit of difficulty with my male protagonist, I couldn't quite seem to read him, understand what he was all about, and then suddenly, major breakthrough, and there it was, he was as real as I am. Well, not really, but you get my meaning. I couldn't even envision him, until fairly recently, although I had his name before I began thinking about this novel and building up the story for it. A name that came to me while I was falling asleep, and that I realised I wanted to tell the story of. But I couldn't picture him, I must have deleted and rewritten his physical description about a dozen times, not being able to settle. I wanted to steer clear of my former male characters, in the physical sense, but the first rendering of this new bloke had him black haired and blue eyed. No can do, I said, I already had two major characters in my previous works who were dark haired and light eyed. He was becoming pretty much Rune Sanderson and Raphaël Devereaux - who are very similar looking, and meant to be that way.
But that first description was a thought out one and he was dark haired and light eyed for a particular reason. Seeing that it's a sort of historical fantasy romance novel I'm working on, I wanted the character to have a certain look to him - his parents happen to be legendary, and their descriptions meant the boy had to be genetically similar to them, right? But I wasn't feeling him, he had no identity of his own, he was a shadow of others before him. His whole identity and the person I envisioned him to be did not have dark hair, it just wasn't fitting. So I turned him into a honey blond long haired bloke, with dark blue eyes, and it was even worse. It just felt wrong, and the character was suffering for it. Everything about him was becoming wishy washy, because he lacked realism in my head. I further darkned his hair, shortened it a lot, gave him a beard. I was satisfied, I thought, but not excited. His whole demeanour changed, and he was becoming someone else, something other than what I had intended him to be. He'd never do what I had written him doing already, he'd never be that man. The hair, the beard that now covered half his face made him less open, more secretive. That wasn't him, not the character whose name came to me as a dream and whose story I needed to tell. I didn't believe him to be that man.
Well, because he wasn't, right? I went to bed one night and woke up knowing the character I had described wasn't him, it was his father! And suddenly I had him, I could see him clearly, the exact hue of his blue eyes, the way his blond hair fell over his face forcing him to keep pushing it back on his head, the shape of his lips when he curled them in a smile, the shape of his fingernails, the slight bow of his legs even. I had him at last, I knew him well, the books he read, the music he listened to, the way he lived, the way he felt, and he was real, and it fit in with all I'd written already, it made sense. That man I described was a man who would react that way, feel that way, live that way. Enter the obsession phase, where I can think only of how the story is going to develop and push along. I had my male protagonist and he was spot on. This didn't happen with mt female protagonist, I knew what she looked like the moment her name jumped up in my head - again, I was still writing my The Preternatural series when this happened, and all I had for a few weeks was two characters, two names, and one physical description. There was no story per se, except for knowing their lives were entangled in a way that connected with the universe I had already created for my previous books. Yes, it's set in that same premise, but can be read completely by its own. And then this crazy idea started to push into my head, and everyday it made more sense that I went there, risky as it may be.
Being somewhat based in legends that are rooted deep into our collective imaginary, this story has forced me to do a lot of research. Somedays I'm writing away and have to stop only to check something out. Normally, I simply do it online, but there have been times where I needed to grab a book or other and see if the author had the same opinion, or described something the same way. Somethings cannot be changed, however you choose to interpret them, and historical garb is one such thing. But it's been fun, so far, and the story, whenever I'm not checking my facts and my possibilities, has been writing itself off on its own. Seems like it wants to be told this way. I know it's only me that wants to tell it this way, one that so far I think is very distant from the numerous versions of this tale already around. I'm excited with it, and I think it shows, even in my writing. I'm excited with my characters and with what they are going to live through, excited to tell their stories and that of others. I am really enjoying writing this new book. I'm only not sure it will be one book, only... again, a new series is already coming to mind, let's see how it works. I'm sure I will have to at least divide it in two, and I even played around with cover art already, that's how stoked I am. Waking up to go to work has never felt better!
I've also managed to become so much more organized in the way I distribute my day and my work, I hardly recognize myself at all. I don't like anything set in stone, mind. I like to give myself freedom to change what I feel needs to be changed, and go along with the mood of the day. But I have managed to cram in my writing of this new novel, the first editing of the one I will be publishing around September, my daily exercise routine, time out with my son, rounds through social media, and house chores. And that to me is quite impressive, because I tend to get easily caught up in my writing and forget to do the rest. Look, if I'm really inspired and the writing is going great, with the words flowing from my fingers like rain from the skies during a rainstorm, I won't stop. I ride that wave, I do. If something gets pulled aside because I lack the time for it, then it does, won't be giving me a hard time. But so far, it hasn't happened. So I'm not editing at a constant, speedy rythm, so I manage to do about six to ten pages a day on the editing process, so what? My time is my own, and I can work with this. Somedays I just feel like lazing around, doing my nails and watching tv for a bit, so I do it. Brain needs a break too, sometimes.
I can afford to take my time with it, what I can't afford to is stress myself or dive into a burnout. My blogging rythm has taken a huge cut back, I know. I used to do two posts a week, now I'm down to one. But I don't feel the need to do more, and am happy with how it's coming along. Another type of breakthrough seems to have happened somewhere along the way, one where I just don't care about certain things. I've removed myself from letting these affect me. Not that I no longer find myself wondering why certain things are like they are when it comes to my work, the approval of it, the acceptance, the feedback. Of course I would like to get more. Of course I would like to be supported by my peers, and get some applause or other, of course I would love that it translated into more visits and comments on this blog and a lot more sales on my books. But it ain't happening and that's ok. I'll just do what I do, the way it fits into my life and my peace of mind, I won't go running around after things I don't even know what they are supposed to be. My conscience being clear, I'm fine. But I still do like to participate in the odd challenge, be it Marta's ingredient of the month, be it Ana's bake off, or even Lia's and Susana's sweet world - along with Kimberly's Instagram challenges, which have been heven sent, truly, I cannot thank her enough for organising these!
And this brings me to my fruit galette here. I had such a delightful moment with the canned sardines one, all the times we baked it, I wanted to try a sweet version. This is it, and it is a winner. It's sweet, yes, and tart, it's got punch and bite, cinnamon floats out from its aroma as well as red berries, it's another perfect galette for a picnic outside. Here's the how to:
For the crust:
For the crust:
- 250 gr all purpose flour
- 50 gr buckwheat flour
- 50 gr spelt flour
- 100 gr butter
- 100-150 ml water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 flat peach, small
- 2-3 small apricots
- 2 small plums
- a teacup of frozen red berries
- a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- heaped tbsp dark muscovado sugar