Only a Little Burned

There’s that moment when a writer has two thoughts that are simultaneous, true and alarming. Thought one: work on this book is going pretty well right now. That is awesome. Thought two: the oven buzzer should have gone off by now. That is not awesome. That is alarming. Set aside papers and laptops, plot route that does not involve tripping over cat (who does not understand the reason for the sudden haste) and make tracks, as quick as possible, to the kitchen. Once there, heave sigh of relief that oven is not engulfed in flames, and imagine the disappointment and cautioning words firefighter friends would have to say on the matter of unattended ovens.

Wrench open oven door and cast a glance at timer that is, sure enough, blinking “over” because that really helps when I am at the other end of the house, nose-deep in the eighteenth century and filling in the blanks of exactly where it is Hero goes when he throws himself out of his brother’s house (not going to lie, that was a moment when I fell a teensy bit more in love with Hero, because, really, who hasn’t wanted to bail on a family argument, when the same relative brought up the same issue for the millionth time? Go, Hero.)  Not that I am advocating recklessness with fire and/or electrical wiring, or throwing things in the oven, willy-nilly, before traipsing off to a prior century. (Or current or future, or alternate universe; fill in whichever applies to the individual) I am not doing that, but I am still working on the whole baking-is-good-for-the-writing-process thing, when both baking and writing require a certain amount of concentration. This time, I think I did okay. Still waiting for the bread to fully cool to find out if the level of crispy critteredness to which I subjected it while off playing with Hero is still fit for human consumption. I hope so, because the kitchen smells amazing.


Only a little burned, and that’s excess anyway, not the actual bread.


Right now, I’m keeping one eye on the clock, because Housemate will be home any minute, and I need to get this entry up, so further HLFK work may get nudged over into the evening, when the house is quiet again, and that is okay. One, I will (hopefully) have cinnamon bread to snack on while tending the story, and two, I got this. For a writer who has been through a total lack of confidence, to the point of creative paralysis, this is heady stuff. I can do this. Look at me go. Granted, some of that going isn’t always in a straight line, and I am probably going to come out of this particular draft with a few metaphorical skinned knees and burned baked goods. Book brain is a real thing, and, after climbing out of that particular black hole, I don’t think I’m ever going to resent it ever again.

Still roughly two hundred words and change until I hit the magic seven hundred. I’ve had to put my copy of A Certain Age, by Beatriz Williams, at the other end of the house, because I’m almost at the end, and if I can get my mitts on it, I am going to inhale that sucker like it’s water and I am dying of thirst. Even though Williams is shelved as fiction, her books are so packed full of so many things I love, and have, in many cases, been missing, in historical romance, that I want to absorb them into my skin and figure out how she does it. “Unusual” historical eras? (this one is 1920s NY) Check. Period feel so real that adjusting to 21st century life when I close the book feels wrong? Check. Black moments that are more like black hole moments, because we are working on negative hope here, but then, bam, HEA after all? Oh check yes. That. I want to do that. I want to be that.


Guh. This book.


Thing is, I want to do my version of that. Ms. Williams writes in the early twentieth century. Right now, I am writing late eighteenth, and, by the time I type The End for the last time on Hero and Heroine’s story, I have no doubts my feet will get itchy to explore some other time and place. I will know what I need to know, when I need to know it. Right now, I have HLFK and the Beach Ball, my Heroes and Heartbreakers posts  (new one today, by the way, gushing all over Joanna Shupe’s Baron; go look: and this blog, which fills my plate nicely. From here, it’s left foot, right foot, etc, until I have arrived at my destination. If I arrive only slightly burned, I will consider that a win.

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