Thursday, 1 November 2012

American Horror Story, New book catch-up... and naan bread...

I'm sure that most writers go through periods such as the one I've experienced lately.  A time when, during a new Work in Progress, you just seem to lose all enthusiasm - actually, maybe enthusiasm isn't quite the right word, because I haven't for one second actually lost any of that for this new book of mine.  Momentum might be a better word.  You see, I started off all-guns-blazing with this new novel.  The ideas kept coming, the notes were made, and the writing began.  Things got off to a flying start!  But then, last week, everything just seemed to slow right down.  And I don't know what it was - the miserable weather, my new-found addiction to Fruit Loops, I have no idea, all I know is that I was horribly distracted and looking for almost any reason not to work on that book.  But then a new week began, and this week the momentum is back ten-fold.  The story has come back to life, new ideas are forming, plot lines are becoming fixed and characters have finally found their feet.  Yes, this week has been a very good writing week.  So, I suppose, as writers we just have to realise that there are days when the words will come easy, and others when nothing will come at all.  And it's probably best not to fight those days, just let them go, do something else, and wait until the brain kicks back into action.

So, yes, this new book of mine.  I'm up to 200 pages now, and around 80,000 words, and I'd say that's about half way through.  Ish.  Because anything could happen, to be honest.  As I'm writing I'm already making little changes in my head, scribbling down notes ready for the first edit.  And that's another thing I'm having to wean myself off - editing as I go.  It's a  terrible habit, and one that can't half distract you if you let it.  Going back and editing what I've written so far has held me back quite a bit so I'm learning to just leave things alone during this first draft.  Sure, if I have an inkling that something earlier in the book needs to be changed in any way I won't ignore it, but instead of going back and actually changing it there and then, I'm making notes that I can refer back to, should I need to.  Because it's turning into one of those books where the characters are really driving the story forward, and sometimes they're veering off in a direction I didn't originally intend for them to go.  But that's good.  That means these characters are coming to life.  And they're characters that I love, although, I'm always slightly wary of how my characters are going to be perceived - the female ones, anyway.  One or two of my characters in previous novels - particularly India in No Matter What - has come in for quite a bit of criticism in a handful of reviews.  I can only hope that the character of Amber in this new book of mine fares a bit better.  We'll see.  I can only write the way I write (does that actually make any sense??! But you get my drift...) and if some people don't click with the characters then that's just the way it is, I suppose.  I like Amber, anyway.  She's strong, feisty, and she's got a bit of a mouth on her, but she's also a little bit troubled.  Well, it'd be no fun if she was perfect, would it?  But you'll have to wait and read the book to find out just what Amber's problems are.
I'm still looking at an early 2013 release date for the book, and I'm also hoping to have a cover reveal before Christmas so watch this space.

Okay.  That's the catch-up on the new book done, so, what else has been happening this week?  Well, TV-wise, American Horror Story: Asylum began in the UK on Tuesday night on FX, and, as a huge fan of this series, I couldn't wait to watch this.  I was addicted to season one, and this new season is shaping up to be just as weird, just as creepy, but completely different to the first one.  Once again Jessica Lange is amazing, and it's good to see actors from season one appearing in this new story, but as completely new characters.  I loved Evan Peters in season one so was really happy to see him again, but just as happy to see some new faces too - especially that of Joseph Fiennes.  And those of you who know me well will know just how I feel about the lovely Mr. Fiennes.  Good to see him back on my TV again.  I've been having severe withdrawal symptoms ever since FlashForward finished...

My home made naan bread.
Unfortunately, apart from nagging my other half to finish the painting of the hallway he started about three months ago, nothing else of any great importance has happened here over the past week.  I have, however, been making a new batch of naan bread dough.  Why? I hear you ask.  Well, my husband is one of those people who is absolutely determined to make a curry at home that tastes just like the ones you get from the take-away.  And he's just about succeeded.  After nights of trawling the internet for recipes and tips he's finally managed to find a method that works, and for the past few weeks he's been turning out some cracking Saturday night curries without us having to set foot anywhere near a take-away.  But we also wanted to make sure the sundries like rice and naan breads were also as authentic as we could possibly make them.  And that task has fallen to me.  So, this morning I've been up to me eyes in self-raising flour, yeast and yoghurt.  And I think I've just about managed to turn out something that tastes way better than shop-bought naans and not that far off from the ones you get in restaurants.  I'm quite pleased with myself, actually.  And, the best thing is, the dough makes about nine servings of naan bread so you just divide it up into separate balls and stick it in the freezer, ready to take out when you need it, which, for us, is every Saturday night.  'Strictly Come Dancing' and a curry - perfect!

Right, I'm off to walk the dog and then, hopefully, settle down for an afternoon of writing.  I want to see if I can get another 5,000 words written before I allow myself the guilty pleasure of sitting down to watch the new series of Young Apprentice tonight... 

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