Thursday, February 12, 2009

A weekend of hearts and pens

I am reluctant to go into great detail about my father out of respect for his privacy. I can be quite candid about my own life but I do not have the right to pore over every detail of this difficult, life-changing time. He has a major procedure scheduled for Friday. We will see how it goes and hope for better days.

The rest of the coming weekend should be both busy and perhaps even enjoyable...I hope.

There are two different writers groups meeting this weekend. Liberty States Fiction Writers meets Saturday in Edison and there will be roundtable critiques of excerpts and query letters.

You are allowed to bring five pages of your manuscript. The best thing to do is bring the first five pages of whatever you are working on since you have to hook the audience at the jump. The question is, do I bring the first five pages of Riding Ten Thunders OR do I bring the first five pages of Heritage House?

One is finished and being pitched to agents. The other is still very much in flux. I wonder if I can bring BOTH and get half as many comments on each...

Then on Sunday, another group of writers is having a luncheon arranged through New Jersey Young Professionals. We are to bring anonymous work for critiquing, offering up writing outside of our comfort zone.

The question is, do I slip in my fiction writing at this group? I am a journalist by trade, fiction writing is what I do after hours. But I have been working on fiction for a while and it's not exactly "outside my comfort zone". I could try some poetry instead, that is something I do rarely. If I planned my week better, I might have drafted an opening scene for the screenplay I've been pondering.

Regardless of all this, I am prepping to make creme brulee again tonight. I use Alton Brown's recipe. Personally I think the vanilla sugar is the key to making the dish great. There are some out there who say to use vanilla extract in the crafting but I say BAH on that. I could go out and buy vanilla sugar already in a bottle but I say NAY to that too.

No, I make vanilla sugar the hard way! Seal two cups of sugar in a jug for two weeks with a split vanilla bean and its scraped out pulp mixed in. Vanilla sugar is a key ingredient for creme brulee especially for the topping. Gonna share some with my mom but I am sure I will have plenty leftover in the end. If you are interested in trying some, I will probably make it again for my next birthday (June 17) ...along with my double peanut butter brownies.

1 comment:

Janifer said...

Re: Your father - I hope he comes out stronger and healthier afterward.

Re: Sunday - I've always believed in fair play and bringing a piece of your book wouldn't be very fair. The poetry and/or screenplay, if you're not familiar, would be a better choice. It's all about stretching yourself creatively after all.

Re: The Brulee - I'm just envious. :-(

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away