I’m thinking about this quote in terms of characters in The Kitchen Mistress. Characters shouldn’t only see the world in black and white or be entirely good or bad. But Pearl has an innocence, a generosity (even though she has nothing much to give) that makes me smile every time I think of working on a scene she is in. She has some flaws, but I love this part of her–the giving part.
My writing has been up and down in the past few months. Life has interfered in a way it never has before. Outside voices have mixed with the inner knowledge that I am on the right path, scaring the hell out of me. Rupi Kaur’s poem came to me at just the right time. I’m slowly working my way back into the writing. But it’s completely different. I’ve gone from being able to make broad sweeping revisions at the same time as I make teeny specific alterations to only being able to fiddle with timelines or voices or snapshots of scenes. It’s frustrating and frightening that this has changed for me. I’ve even sat with the idea that maybe I am not cut out to continue writing. But that isn’t it. I want that work in my life. And I have to find a way to invite a reliable production patterns back into the process. Even if it’s different than it’s been the last 15 years, I have to believe the answer is somewhere near. I just need to find it.
So much happens to Katherine on her journey as Violet Pendergrass’ Kitchen Mistress.
As readers of The Letter Series know, Katherine is an artist, a painter, a sketcher—an intuitive young lady. I found this painting on Ebay. As soon as I saw it I thought, Katherine would paint just like that. And so I had to have it.
As I rewrite Katherine’s tale I’d like to know—what do you want to know about her life?Coming 2016
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While writing Katherine’s Story (still untitled) I decided I needed to bake some bread–the old-fashioned kind with yeast and sponges and rising dough that has to rest and breathe and get snuggly under a blanket before going into the oven. I used to bake a lot more but haven’t baked from scratch in a long time. And I am RUSTY!
As you can see from the beautiful photo of the finished product, the bread looks gorgeous. But in fact, the middle of it is dense and mealy. Yuck. Either my oven runs to hot or… well, something, I don’t know…
I could use the loaf for display in a store but to actually enjoy it? No!
I am going to try more. I’ve done some more research and see that I might need some specialized baking tools. But then that just seems wrong to me because my mind goes back to the 1800’s when they didn’t even have temperature control on ovens and I think I’m making it way too hard… it has to be simpler than baking stones and cloches and special whisks.
The one positive from this was that I did get the yeast to work. At one point I thought I either didn’t get it activated or that I killed it… yay, yeast was alive and kicking. More soon…
To celebrate Halloween and reading at the same time, I am offering you the chance to win these wonderful tales from past and present! Edith Wharton’s Ghost Stories, A collection of ghosty tales from 1800-1849, Stephen King’s Joyland and a collection of vintage Halloween postcards! All you have to do to be entered is to either show up at my book talk on Monday at Shaler North Hills Library or comment about the best costume you ever wore and share the post! I’ll draw the winner on October 23, 2015.