jennygordon: (Water Lily)
Why three things? Well, because I've just has such a great weekend, there's simply so much to talk about.

So:

1. I love my local library. My home town has such a fantastic library service that when I dropped into the local branch on Saturday, in 10 minutes flat, I found eight books to borrow and two more to buy in their 10p sale. The majority of those books are from the Young Adult shelves, as it's time I got back to reading the new releases and popular sellers out there, to update my knowledge of the current market.

2. I realised I haven't baked since moving into my current home, so I decided to find out if the oven knows how to. Turns out it does. I made teabread using rosehip tea. (Rosehips are full of vitamin C, so I could convince myself the big slab I had with my afternoon tea was good for me!)

3. Once my chores were done, I settled down at my PC in my sun-bathed study and typed up 5K more of the handwritten words of MoulderingBook, which was a record for one day's session. It only leaves a couple more thousand to type up, then I can return to writing new stuff.

So, the job for today is to tackle the final couple of thousand and then to find my way back into the story before this headache I can feel brewing kicks in.
jennygordon: (Clematis)
It's true, my mother really did ruin me.  For enjoyment of any flapjacks other than her own, that is.  (BTW, flapjacks = cookie bars in the US - thanks [livejournal.com profile] seaivy ).  You see, when I was a kid, Mum used to make these INCREDIBLE flapjacks with golden syrup in and a layer of dark chocolate on the bottom.  They were so amazing it's a minor miracle I still have my own teeth given the degree of incredibly-bad-for-you-ness they encompassed, and the quantity I must have eaten over the years.  Like your first love, I've never forgotten them over the years since I last had a taste, and since I've recently disovered the Joy of Baking, I thought I'd get the recipe off her and have a go at making them myself.  I ended up making two batches - well, the first one singed a bit around the edges, so I had to have another go just to be sure I really could bake them, right?  Right?

In fact, I was a little trepidatious of trying them.  What if my sweet tooth had finally matured and couldn't handle quite that degree of sticky goodness any more?  What if my memory was playing me false and they weren't as mind-blowingly amazing as I remembered?

Oh god, the anticipation ...

It's okay, you can breathe again. 

They were ABSOLUTELY BLEEDIN' MARVELLOUS!!

So good in fact that I've already forced them on one friend who liked them so much I gave her the recipe - and I never thought I'd turn into the kind of girl who exchanged recipes.  Dear gods, I'll be joining the local WI (Woman's Institute) next.  What a thought.  Anyway, being the charitable soul I am, I thought I'd share the recipe with the rest of you.  Well, they've got oats in, so you can persuade yourself they're good for you.  Just don't blame me for the number of fillings you end up needing.

THE WORLD'S BEST FLAPJACKS*
*Apologies for the UK measures - I have no idea how to convert them to US.

You will need:

3oz plain chocolate (I used 4oz because I'm an unashamedly greedy pig!)
3oz margarine (or equivalent)
3oz soft brown sugar
5oz porrige oats
4 level tablespoons of golden syryp

What to do:

Melt the chocolate (in a bowl over hot water is most fun, but you can do it in the microwave too).
Spread the chocolate in a 7 inch square tin (or round one if you haven't got one of those), and leave to set.  If you put it in the fridge, it'll be set in minutes.
Remember to clean to bowl using your fingers as it's a crime to waste chocolate.
Melt together the margarine and syrup.
Stir in the sugar and the oats and then spread the mixture over the set chocolate in the tin.
Bake at 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes (adjust depending how fierce your oven is).  Don't allow it to get dark at the edges or you'll break your teeth on the flapjacks!
Cool in the tin.  When cool, put it in the fridge for a while as this will make it easy to get it out of the tin.
Remove from tin and cut into pieces.
Eat until you feel sick.
(The flapjacks will keep for 3-4 weeks, and improve in stickiness with keeping).

There you go.  Easy.  What better way to spend your weekend?
jennygordon: (Default)
Check out Jenny, the Domestic Goddess!  I can't claim the lovely cupcakes on the stand in the little picture to the left as my efforts, but I have spent part of the morning baking.  And yes, cupcakes and creativity absolutely do go together!  Mine are actually fudge cupcakes, and I feel a bit sick after eating one, which is (obviously) a sign of a good cupcake, so no complaints there!

What do you mean, you don't believe me?  Look ... (okay, I know I'm not very good at icing).

Fudge Cupcakes

So anyway, I figured I was allowed a sugary indulgence this morning to reward myself for the progress I've been making on the Fledgling Novel.  Despite having a difficult week last week, coming to terms with the fact that I won't be seeing my friends at work 5 days of the week anymore, I managed to be more productive than I'd expected.  On Sunday evening, I did a quick word count, and discovered I'd written 9K words.  Considering my target is to write at least
7.5K a week, I reckon that's a pretty good start.  The scary part was realising that, including the chapters I'd already written, I've already reached the quarter-way point of the first draft.  That's ... um ... crazy!  Still, I'm more than happy to go with it while the words are flowing, because as sure as cupcakes are bad for you, I'll get stuck somewhere along the way.  I can guarantee it.  The quagmire of stuckness is out there, waiting to bog me down in uncertainty and doubt, and 'oh my god, this is utter crap' thoughts.

On a bit of a writing high yesterday after realising how well the book is progressing, I started entertaining thoughts of writing a short story a week.  After all, practice, practice, it's all about the practice.  I did complete a short last week, and I usually have a few ideas rattling around in my head, so we'll see.

But back to the Fledgling Novel.  I talked here about how I've learned that I need to have a roadmap of the book I'm currently writing.  Well, I'm happy to report that I've already veered off the road, although not entirely into unknown territory.  And that's okay.  I usually do.  My maps need to have a degree of flexibilty to them, because I don't think it's possible to plan out every single step of the way in advance.  For a start, it's difficult to judge pacing until you're actually there in the thick of it.  And much as I have a fair idea of what needs to sit in which chapter, chapter breaks tend to happen organically too, and sometimes not where you expect them to be.  And when it's going well, it feels like magic - that muse sitting somewhere nearby who speaks to you through gut feelings.

Have I ever mentioned - I love writing!

So with the rest of the day, it's on to the next chapter in which Things begin to be revealed and Big Strops take place.  Provided it all goes to plan, that is ...

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January 2016

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