A week that rushed by - apple pasties for Marta and an obvious rant

What a peculiar week this one has been! I think the weekend set the pace for it, for turning it into something out of the norm, which might not be too bad, after all. But I came to Friday with the feeling I got nothing done, I made no progress at all - which, when I come to think of it, applies only to my WIP. But the weekend did get this frame of mind into my head, as I hardly did all we pack into the weekends. Sure, we did the shopping we needed to over Saturday morning and early afternoon, but I needed cellery stalks and there were none to be found. So that set the tone straight away, with me having to change up what I had envisioned for Sunday dinner quite last minute. Then we spent the afternoon at my late father in law's, helping clear out the stuff so that my brother in law could rent the place. He said 'Take all you want, I'm binning what's left.' and I looked around wide eyed. Props managed to find their way into a huge box, the kiddo managed to find himself a few owls for his bedroom - the owls are not what they seem would be rather appropriate, but he doesn't yet do Twin Peaks - and hubby salvaged a few items that reminded him of his father and his grandfather. Amidst them a quite peculiar chair which now sits in our already overcrowded living room but looks so at home there.

The one thing I had my eye on, though, was an electric wood burner stove in the same style as the one we already have in our living room. This one was small enough to fit into the bedroom, and me being such a late Victorian/ early Edwardian/ 1920's lover, have always wished for one in my bedroom. It sits there now, facing the feet of the - quite conveniently, black cast iron - bed and looks at home. As if it was always meant to find its way there. Actually, our bedroom is looking very much as I dreamt it, which is a feat, no? I mean, after ten years living here I'm finally coming to acomplish what I wanted in my sleeping space... I think. There's a few tweaks I still want to add, but with time I'll get there. Of course now I want to paint the walls a darker shade of grey, but I'm leaving that well off for the time being. The rest of the props, I found places for them, I'm glad to say, and will be put to good use on this blog soon enough, I guess. Still, Saturday afternoon was spent busy with this, and nothing else got really done, around the house. Then enter Sunday, and hubby decided to invite himself - and us - for lunch at his sister's seeing that the brother would soon be leaving back to Berlin, where he works. Sunday afternoon was a complete loss in terms of house chores. I tried to pack as much as I could into the  morning, but of course certain things got thrown into this coming weekend. Which is an election one. Let us not talk about how this is going to screw up my Sunday chores. Again.

Like these photos, for Marta's Ingredient of The Month, which happens to be apples. I was supposed to edit them Sunday or Saturday, but nope. They got thrown into Monday, and writing was put on the burner while I dealt with this - which quite frankly was a breeze, the photos came out pretty good as far as I'm concerned! Which allowed for me to go back to my writing, but the mindset seemed to have been misplaced already by an odd weekend. I did sit down to write, yes, but managed only a couple of paragraphs each day. Whenever I went to check on something, do a little research, I found myself immersed in site after site of contradictory information, having to sieve through it all and make sense of what I was reading. It was a most clarifying week in that sense, as I have reached a few conclusions of my own that actually grant me a lot of liberty in my writing. But that writing seemed to be somehow trapped inside and was not coming out. I even took Tuesday afternoon off to watch a show and do my nails. And I didn't even feel guilty, know what I mean? I also shot a few more pics, making good use of the new to me props, and did a lot of complicated cooking in the evenings. I was knackered by the end of each day. As if my brain wasn't functioning properly and could only go with certain kinds of tasks, ones involving a lot of bodily work. Cooking.

Maybe it's because next Monday, the third volume on my The Preternatural Series is finally seeing the light of day. Maybe because of that I can't properly focus on a story that even though it finds itself intricatelly connected to the story in that series, strays far from those characters, those beings that filled my imagination for such a long time. I'm excited to get that one out, because, as I said before, it was my favourite one to write and it is my favourite one out of the four. I really like that book and the storylines in there, I love the focus on other characters, the possibilities it brings out for them, the narrative and the plot. Sure, it's not everyone's cup of tea - actually, I guess it's hardly anyone's cup of tea, my writing style. It's slow paced, like all my books are. Filled with narrative and introspection, long descriptions, longer sentences and paragraphs. Most people will find it boring, complicated, hard to read. There's no simple in my writing, I don't do the simple word, simple sentence, simple paragraph, which nowadays is evidence of very good writing. I just don't do that. I do wordy and long and slow. That's the main reason I decided to go into self publishing, actually. Complete freedom to write what I want as I want, in the style I want. The market doesn't care for that? Well, tough. I find that the most pressure I have to succeed, to sell lots of copies, make money and a name, comes from the outside, not from me. From fellow authors and some family members, from friends and random people I know. I find myself getting stressed with sales and reviews and all that because of them, not me. I'm good as it is. If I can reach someone with my stories, and they actually like them and have a good time reading my books, I'm happy. If a reader is sadly put off because of aesthetic reasons due to my incapacity of formatting a manuscript for Kindle, well, that's sad, but I would rather read a well written book with a shoddy formatting than a piece of crap that looks pretty. There, I ranted, rant over. Had to be done, this is my blog after all. Most people won't like my work. But maybe one or two will, and I will feel really happy for that.

As for these apple pasties, well, what's not to like about them? And they're not just aesthetically pretty, they're delicious too! The oozing filling has just the right amount of tart and sweet, and each bite is pure decadence. I mean, puff pastry and russet apples, don't you think this is a marriage made i heaven? So why not spruce these babies up, grab yourself a nice cup of tea and a copy of one of my novels and sit down for a few hours of respite and pure delight? This is what you'll need:

  • 3 to 4 medium to small russet apples, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 scant tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 150 gr puff pastry (recipe here)
  • eggwash
On a non-sticky pan bring the sugar to heat until it begins to slightly caramelize. Add the sliced apples and the cinnamon and allow to cook on a low heat, until it's brown and fragrant and the apples are tender. Set aside and allow to cool. On a cool, floured surface, roll the puff pastry sheet and depending on the size of pasties you wish to achieve, cut into squares. We made four, but they were rather large-ish. At the center of each square drop a spoonful of apples, leaving enough space around to fold the pastry over the filling. We went for a dumpling kind of fold, but feel free to do as you prefer. Brush the eggwash over the pastry and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200º for about twenty to twenty five minutes. Allow to cool slightly before eating, if you can manage to be so brave!


  1. Olha garanto-te que me ia saber bem por demais um folhadito desses de maçã e uma chávena bem fumegante de chá! bom a chávena já a tenho, faz-me falta o docinho :)
    Obrigado moça linda. As palavras que deixaste hoje no blog deixam-me de coração cheio, e às vezes vivo com a sensação que não sou merecedora de tanto carinho da tua parte...acho que estou sempre aquém do carinho e atenção que tu mereces. ..
    Beijo enorme
    Marta Dionísio

    1. Ai oh Marta, tu nem digas isso!!! Eu sou uma pessoa "horrorosa" que simpatizo com MUITO pouca gente, mas qdo simpatizo é mesmo assim, se gosto gosto e demonstro que gosto, e acho que qdo se aprecia e admira o trabalho de outra pessoa e a pessoa em si, é para se dizer. Calamos tanta coisa nos dias que correm, porque não incentivar. aplaudir, mostrar que se aprecia aquilo que connosco partilham? Há por aí tanto mérito desmerecido e tanto medo de aplaudir o bem e o bom, eu sou pessoa de incentivar quem eu considero ter mérito e talento. Ás vezes gostava de poder apoiar de outras formas - muitas xs pessoas q admiro FAZEM coisas, pintam, desenham, fazem jóias ou perfumes ou o que seja - e eu gostava de poder incentivar adquirindo os produtos que essas pessoas fazem. Infelizmente, pro questões financeiras, não me é possivel quase nunca, mas as palavras sentidas, o apreço, a admiração partilhada com o mundo, isso não custa dinheiro a ninguém e devia ser dado livremente. As vezes q já me acusaram de ser falsa, de ser graxista, de dizer aos outros aquilo que eles queriam ouvir p obter algo em troca ou p cair nas graças de alguém, nem te passa pela cabeça. Antes isso magoava-me imenso, hoje em dia são mais bolos, continuarei sempre a deixar o meu apreço e admiração, as minhas palavras de apoio e incentivo ás pessoas cujo trabalho ou cuja alma me tocou de alguma forma, e nunca terei vergonha pr isso. Pronto, acabou a rasgação de seda, people, move along now ahahahah

  2. The apple pasties are absolutely beautiful, and your new props make each photo so cozy and welcoming. :-)

  3. It seems like it's been an eventful few weeks for you. But what better way to relax from the stress of it all with these beauties. I'd love a (vegan) one like right NOW!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Yes, September always seems to be a complicated month for us, I wonder why eheheh. If I were to tell you all our Septembrian - I'm totally claiming this as a word! - mishaps, you'd burst a vein laughing. Seriously ;)

  4. eu tb herdei uns props do meu FiL, são coisas dificeis de fazer, estes dias em que finalmente fechamos a porta da casa.
    Os teus livros sao complicados de ler? A sério? Eu como sabes li o primeiro e já fui espreitar um bocadinho dos outros, pus vampiros e tal de lado há uns tempos, por isso ainda não lhes peguei, mas complicados não são!
    Animo e boa sorte com o bebé novo!

    1. Pah, pelo que u entendi, complicados no sentido de chatos, morosos, com frases muito longas e paragrafos demasiado gigantescos. Isto dito pela boca de outros autores, por isso não sei até que ponto dar crédito ou não. A verdade é que o mercado - em termos de literatura de fantasia e fantástica, que é onde os meus mai' novos se inserem - pede coisinhas muito simples, com frases muito básicas, muita acção e muito diálogo, eu n escrevo assim, tenho pouco diálogo e muita introspecção e a maioria dos leitores parece achar isso muito chato, ilegivel. Enfim, eu n consigo escrever doutra forma, e quando optei pelo self publishing foi mm pela liberdade de escrever como eu gosto, mas acaba sempre por fazer alguma mossa quando te dizem que o que escreves é ilegivel de tão aborrecido e mau que é loool


Post a Comment