Writers Horoscope for November 4: Someone is looking out for you today.

His name is Austin Kleon.

This first link leads to his blog page explaining his progress sheet.

This second link takes you directly to the download page.

He calls it a lo-fi resource. I call it, straightforward and to-the-point.

Use it for your end-of-year resolution projects.

Don’t break the chain!

Suggestion: Subscribe to Austin Kleon’s newsletter.

 

Writers Horoscope for October 27: You’re not immune to writer’s hangups.

Today’s fixation: “It’s already been written.”

Yes, the same subject has been covered.

But how can you know book/post/ won’t reflect your own perspective if you haven’t actually written the piece?

Until you commit to the project, you can’t predict what direction, emphasis, or format you might explore.

So, yes, it’s ‘first draft’ time.

Ready, go!

 

Writers Horoscope for October 26: Intuition wins out.

Bravo. You actually followed your gut. [No, not to the fridge–well, not immediately.]

Instead, you raided your bookshelf.

You put down your pen and put up your feet.

It was time for a cozy dog mystery, a creativity daily devotional, and Charlotte’s Web.

You read for yourself.

person-reading on bed

You recaptured your inspiration and relished in the wordplay, the plot twists, and the comforting conclusions.

There is something to be said about not writing…


 

 

 

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Writers Horoscope for October 25: You launch into a new genre.

 

Yeah… mystery sounds good.

mysterious woman

Let’s start with this one: Why, when you get some momentum in one endeavor, do you delve into something entirely new?

There certainly is the freshness factor–the exhilaration of trying something new.

But there may be the ‘Finishing the last project means I’m that much closer to rejection’ factor.

Yikes.

Solve that mystery first…then you can set up your fictional detective agency.

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I should have been writing. Instead…apple cake.

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You know how it is.

You find out that the distance between you and YouTube is just a voice command and a few clicks on the TV remote and there really is no reason to leave the recliner.

Okay, maybe you don’t know how it is. [i.e. you are not a slothful low-life.]

Anywaaay, this recipe from joyofbaking.com was the first to show up on the big screen. Stephanie Jaworski’s demonstration was clear and concise. My version matched the one in the video. Always reassuring. The baking time was within the +/- 5 minutes margin-of-oven-performance estimation. Taste and moistness and ingredient ratios–spot on. Final grade: 91%. [Bravo, Stephanie!]

Ready for baking: 

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More than a few notes:

  • One of the best parts of baking–Wife comes in the front door, breathes in, and announces to the world: “Someone’s been baaaaking!”
  • Liked Stephanie’s idea of making an apricot jam glaze. I went with raspberry. Yep, I’d do it again. Always one to hedge my bets, I glazed only half the cake.
  • I add tons more cinnamon than is called for and included allspice as well.
  • I mixed brown with white sugar.
  • No raisins in the house [my preferred dried fruit]. I went with dried cranberries, which I nuked in water for about 45 seconds to tenderize them a bit. Wouldn’t have hurt if I subbed in brandy or creme de cassis for the water.
  • I’m sure this has been suggested elsewhere in the world, but…the microwave’s ‘defrost’ setting works great for melting butter. Ditto for gently reheating certain delicate leftovers like shrimp.
  • Type of apple used: Winter banana [from our weekly community-supported agriculture box. A shout-out to Denison Farms, by the way.]
  • I cook/bake better when a towel is draped over my shoulder. Go figure. I’m not an Emeril Lagasse fan-boy, but he rocks that same shoulder accessory.
  • Yes, I will continue my socially marginal habit of consuming cake by the manually mangled hunk.
  • Where did today’s inspiration come from? A. Those winter banana apples weren’t going to cook themselves.   B. The apple festival-winning cake in last night’s Hallmark movie. [Hey, call me a wuss, but our current crop of semi-journalistically responsible ‘BREAKING NEWS!!!!’ channels are just plain bad for our health. If I’m going to engage in harmful behaviors, they’ll include flour, sugar, butter and a message to someone that I care about them.]
  • If I had more time, I would have revisited Maida Heatter’s apple cake recipe .
  • Lest you think my life is perfection on a plate, consider this:

Our toothpicks are scattered throughout the pot holder drawer. Really…rounding them up and replacing them in a too-small box, from which they will no doubt roll out within minutes…unfathomable torture.

  • I miss having a dog lurking nearby watching my every move.

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Thanks for visiting. Give this recipe a try. It has ‘comfort on a fall Sunday afternoon’ written all over it.