Hey there... it's Friday!
This past week I took a little break from blogging. Next week, I'm workshopping the second 20-page installment of my next book (tentatively titled THE COOKS) and I was working pretty intently on that. I've also been thinking about how to create the best possible content for you guys -- quality/quantity? Food/fiction (or fashion)?
As the book launch approaches, there's also a lot more to do: galleys to send, emails to write, people to meet, events to plan. There's the private writing and the public connecting. Now have to figure out where this blog fits into that...
But on to links!
This Sunday, I'll be attending the #BeABoss food and fashion event, hosted by Taste the Style and Local Creative. Panelists include female restaurateurs, mixologists, designers, shop owners and more. Ladies getting things done, on their terms. I'm there.
I've also gotten more involved with two great groups: YaleWomen, a group of female alums (undergrad and grad) who come together for chats about life, work, and art. The second is Books for Asia, an amazing organization that sends over 1 million books a year to locations in countries in need. Not so much Japan and South Korea... but places like Nepal, Thailand, Pakistan. Everything from children's books to academic texts to novels. I'm planning two events with tthose organizations this summer. Expect invites soon!
I aspire to cut a mango like this.
This cookbook process post from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks got me thinking about my own process. It should come as no surprise that Heidi – who was on the vanguard of beautifully photographed food blogs – is very hands on with the layout and flow of her book. This is not the sort of thing you want to improvise.
But when it comes to fiction, it seems we have a bias against outliners. I know I posted that EL Doctorow quote (“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way), but to be honest, that's not how I do it.
Why the stigma? People think that an outline takes the romance out of writing (nope). It means you're following a formula rather than feeling the rhythms of the story and characters (not at all). Outlining is for genre writers, not literary writers (um, snobby much?). To me, there's nothing romantic about fumbling in the dark. I know too may authors who start writing a novel, only to realize that it's “not going anywhere“. But then, you've lost the energy to turn back, or – even more heartbreaking – to just delete the past 50 pages and start over. If you knew where you were going... wouldn't that be better?
I'm not sure outlining works for everyone. But if you want to storyboard – do it! Personally, I think it's very hard to create a sound plotline with believable characters while also creating artful and beautiful sentences. So – my advice – give yourself a break and plan it out.
What do you think? Are you an outliner or not?
RECIPE: If you're grill-less like me, grease a grill pan. Mine is Le Creuset. Set it on the stove and heat until very hot, when a splash of water immediately sizzles and evaporates. (Otherwise, just heat a real grill as you do.)
Slice a peach and plum. Lay on the grill along with some cherries and cook until grillmarks show, about 2 minutes on each side.
The peaches will get the best sear (they are the driest and you can see the black against the orange pretty well). The plum is too wet to sear but it will emit the most wonderful, surprising smell. And you will feel guilty about grilling perfectly delicious cherries ($7.99/lb!), but they will be even juicier after a kiss of heat.