Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How I Am Doing?

My title is a little Do the Right Thing for your Tuesday. Remember that collaged/collective rant? Awesome.

No, really, it IS about how I am doing. I've been gone from writing/reading blogs and most other internet-related things for bout a week now. Needed a vacation, I guess. Plus I've been sick.

What I'm up to:

Been pondering sourdough. Reading a few bread books, including The Bread Bible and Crust and Crumb to get an idea of the level of involvement for keeping a wild yeast starter alive so I can bake every Saturday. When my parents came back from their vacation in San Francisco back in the 70s, my dad became sourdough-obsessed. He used to make sourdough EVERYTHING when I was little. Then, it was the buckwheat. Buckwheat EVERYTHING. I never minded, really, because pancakes and waffles figured prominently into his baking equation. They still do in my dad's world. Thirty years later, I still like my dad's world on the weekends, because it usually means buttermilk pancakes with fresh blueberries (scratch, in case you had any doubt). He sifts his pre-sifted flour. My dad is a bit obsessive. Yesterday I reached a decision: I need to spend time baking sourdough bread like I need another hole in my head.

Been pondering going to this conference in July 2006: Backspace Writers Conference. Anybody out there going? It will take lots of dough--and not the sour kind--to make it happen, and it also means being away from my dear children for three nights. Such a thing has never been done! Judy would tell Apu, though, "It could happen." Why is this entry full of eighties references?

Reading Harley Jane Kozak's Dating is Murder. Love it so far; just as funny as Dating Dead Men, and just as smart, too. Next on my TBR pile: Susan McBride's Blue Blood, Anne Frasier's Play Dead, and Jennifer Weiner's In Her Shoes. In the past week I finished Dennis Lehane's Mystic River and watched the film. Both really knocked my socks off. The book is inspiring to this fledgling mystery writer because it is so grand in scope yet is a traditional mystery. The film does some wonderful things both in translating the key elements of the book and in creating original images that visually enhance the story. Loved both experiences. Did you all catch Lehane on the convertible in the parade scene?

Fall cleaning. Mother-in-law and youngest brother-in-law arrive two weeks from Thursday, and then D's 40th birthday party "with the guys" will be Saturday the 5th. Trying to clear out more clutter and very slowly get ready for the holidays. This will be the third year I've used Flylady's "Cruising Through the Holidays" system, and every year, the holidays get EASIER. What bugs me about cleaning is illustrated by this: I clean the top of the refrigerator, then I notice the cabinets above it are dingy. Clean them, then I see that there is lint hanging from the bottom of the cabinet edge. Clean that, then wonder about the top surface (that no one every sees), etc. There's always something more to clean. At the risk of sounding like a fanatic--which I care to take because I actually am one--Flylady taught me that you don't have to clean perfectly. It's no big deal.

Not writing my novel. Today, I pledge to get my ass in gear.

Planning some fall menus, now that the weather is cooler. Here's a macrobiotic one I'm going to try to pull off on Thursday. No Blueberry Swirl for us, though. Just a simple, reconstituted dried fruit compote with an oat crumble on top, I think. Maybe a little vanilla yogurt over the top--which actually isn't macrobiotic compliant (nyah nyah).

What are YOU doing now that fall is here?


anne frasier said...





Mary Louisa said...

Anne, do you know what's weird? Rob posted yesterday about SF sourdough. I think it's in the air. Mmmmmmmmm.

Lynsloo said...

Jennifer Weiner ROCKS.

Mary Louisa said...

lynsloo, what have you read of hers? I haven't read any yet, but I have IHS in the diaper bag ready to read. LOL

Lynsloo said...

Little Earthquakes. A MUST read. MUST.

Katy said...

I read "Good in Bed" and loved it. If I see the others at the library I will read them all. Very funny.

Mark Pettus said...

Do you belong to Backspace?

I belong to several online writers groups, but not Backspace. I got a bad taste in my mouth about them after a particularly snarky bit-o-spam at Miss Snark, but rapid fire, two dimensional writing isn't always a good way to get to know people, so I don't want that to be the only way I judge them.

If you do belong, have they helped you, and how?

Mary Louisa said...

Mark, I don't belong to Backspace, but am interested in learning more about it. I may do the free trial signup soon. You don't have to be a member to do their conference, btw.

I am a member of an online writers' community for mothers, and it has been helpful in the sense of learning how other mothers DO IT: raising kids and writing is scarier'n Halloween, if you ask me. There are a few published novelists on board and their input is invaluable, but most members seem to be freelancers, which I'm not.

Hope this helps some. I remember seeing your cowboy avatar on Miss Snark and will check out your blog soon (sick right now so doing minimal internet).