Thursday, September 17, 2009

State Fair = Rain

It's that time of year. I've always loved the beginning of the school year because it means the start of college football!! Go Sooners!! I can sigh with relief when the kiddos are occupied more often with homework, activities, and renewed friendships. But it also signals the start of the Oklahoma State Fair. We used to take the boys when they were little but we're old and grouchy now. The boys stopped enjoying the looooooong lines. It stops being fun when they figure out the rides last 2 minutes and we have to stand in line for 20. And it rains. Every year. It has become a standing joke that you know when the fair is in town because we have rain. Every day. And this year is no different.

Normally I would LOVE the rain. I hate driving in it because of the way people drive, but I love the smell. The cool air it brings with it. I enjoy spending time out on the patio because everything seems refreshed and clean. But this year...hubby has to monkey around on the top of water towers. They can't climb and weld when it rains. No work - no pay. At this point the rain is causing delays in the crew completing a tank. They plan to be home by next Tuesday. Oh well. So life goes on. We often have to make adjustments in our lives for the unexpected.

Which makes me think of my writing. How many times have you had a story idea play out in your head...but when you began putting it on paper, it doesn't work for whatever reason. Maybe the conflict can't be sustained to the end. Maybe one of your characters doesn't have believable motivation. Do you roll with the punches and revise? Or make adjustments?

I haven't had the misfortune of having to scrap a story yet. I have had a crit partner who has. Sometimes it's easier to just move on. You can't submit an unwritten story. I do have two manuscripts that I've put away. I love the storyline, the characters, but for various reasons I'm at a standstill on them. But we push on. Do we need a good kick in the buttocks for inspiration? I often do.

I got one the other day. Awhile back I was clicking around the blogosphere within my writing buddies circle and was fortunate to find Jody Hedlund. She usually has such informative and interesting posts, and I was thrilled for her recently when she announced she'd signed with an agent. But wow. WOW. She can now add published author to her name!! Congrats to Jody for being offered a three book contract with Bethany House Publishers. Doing the Snoopy dance for ya girl!!

What wonderful inspiration to those of us on the journey with her. And a good kick in the hiney to get busy. I've got two WIP's as we speak. My first manuscript was a series contemporary targeting Harlequin Superromance. I received a rejection on a partial with some really great editorial suggestions on how to strengthen the heroine's internal conflict. I had placed third in a contest and was recently encouraged to send the revised first chapter to another contest for feedback. The assistant editor suggested I resubmit...we'll see if I can fix it. The other WIP is a historical, and a huge challenge for me. I'm having "issues" as to how to begin the story. But that's another blog post. ;) The trouble is finding time to work on them.

I thought I would post my recipe for the Sourdough Starter. Erin...I forgot that I have your old email addy and it kicked it back to me. So here ya go...

Sourdough Starter

1 ½ ounces fresh compressed yeast
3 cups warm water
1 ounce granulated sugar
1 pound 8 ounces unbleached flour (I use bread flour)

In a plastic container with a large opening so your starter can expand with each feeding, dissolve yeast in the water and add sugar. Stir in the flour using a wooden spoon, until you have a smooth paste. Make sure the container is pretty large. I use a gallon size freezer bag and put it inside of a plastic bowl to keep it from falling over. After I add ingredients I can pull the bag out and squeeze the bag to mix the contents.

Cover loosely to allow gases to escape (I leave a corner of the plastic bag open) and place in a warm spot in your kitchen for 2 to 3 days. The mixture should bubble and give off a sour odor. Stir down the starter once a day during this time and make sure to stir in any crust that’s formed. After this point, store the starter in the fridge.

The starter needs to be fed every 10 days, otherwise it will die. Add half as much flour and water as the original recipe if you aren’t using the starter regularly. Use less if you’re actually using your started regularly. Stir in the flour and water and keep refrigerated.


Diane said...

Homemade bread sounds perfect for a rainy dreary day. :O)

MeganRebekah said...

I have a lot of stories/ideas that truly only work inside the confines of my head. Any attempt to put said ideas on paper results in a confusing mass of words that no other person can decipher.

Natalie said...

I have plenty of stories in the trunk :)

I've always wanted to make sourdough bread, but I've never had the courage to try. Maybe today is the day. Thanks for the recipe.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes, Jody's journey has been fun to read!
But there will be a day soon when we will cheer YOU on too!

And yeah, had plenty of ideas that didn't work on paper. But I'm so stubborn I usually find a way. LOL

Lazy Writer said...

Yes, Go Sooners! And, isn't it so exciting for Jody?

Chelle Sandell said...

Diane ~ I agree! I made a foccacia and dipped it in an olive oil based sauce. I need to find a good recipe for the dipping sauce.

Megan Rebekah ~ LOL. I doubt that very seriously. Me thinks you're a bit too harsh on yourself. I think we all do it. Hugs.

Natalie ~ :D, my trunk knows my stories well. LOL. My kids love their grilled cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread. It's hard to find in our little town sometimes. Alot easier to just make it. :)

Jennifer ~ I love you, man! Hehe. Thanks for always saying the right words when I need them. Not to put any pressure on ya or anything. LOL.

{{Susan}} A woman after my own heart!! Boomer Sooner! I'm hoping we can pull it off this weekend against Tulsa. ;)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, I hear you on the rain - it has been coming down on us pretty regularly lately.

I've also been following Jody's journey and it has been soo inspirational!

Chelle Sandell said...

Kate ~ Hope you're feeling much better, sweetie! Yep...I was so excited when she announced her great news!!

Chicki said...

I've scrapped two manuscripts, but I'm seriously thinking about resurrecting one of them.

LOL about the state fair. It rains every year when the Atlanta Fair comes to Turner Field too!

Erin said...

I've scraped two manuscripts also. i'm actually thinking about re-writing one of them. as for the other, it will never see the light of day.

thanks for the starter recipe! my husband sends you a BIG thanks as well. all he ever talks about are sourdough pancakes. i'll give it a shot and see if i can make this thing.