This week’s recipe can be found here: Hoisin-Glazed Pork Belly and Five Spice Mashed Sweet Potatoes. I left out the greens, forgot the five-spice, and (*gasp*) had no wine. But this came out wonderfully.
As I type this, the scents of salty Asian flavors–soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin–combined with sweet molasses and brown sugar slathered on fatty pork belly have permeated the whole house. I’m sure they’ll also attach themselves to the gym clothes I have laid out for tomorrow morning, so I can make myself hungry again while I work out (which is much needed after pork belly and mashed sweet potatoes with heavy cream).
It’s a rough life.
As for the writing, this week wasn’t bad–about 1,300 words a day on average. I was happy to put a short story together in three days that really seemed to work (according to my wife) and get my initial Learning How to Learn Fiction blog post in. Novel #1 did hit a bit of a snag as I entered what may be the sagging middle, but I soldiered on and skipped ahead to a scene that was calling me, putting me back in the fictive dream. That’s the beauty of this writing gig–we can jump in and out of the timeline so that we’re never really stuck.
Speaking of the fictive dream, this was a term brought up by the excellent speaker we had at my local writer’s meeting this past Saturday: David Putnam. He’s an ex-law enforcement officer who’s worked in everything from Investigations to Narcotics to SWAT. He writes in many genres, but primarily police procedurals and has received blurbs and accolades from the likes of Michael Connelly to T. Jefferson Parker.
What I love about David are four things:
One, his level of perseverance is unreal. It took him 38 novels to finally hook an agent and publisher. He just kept writing and writing, starting on notebooks he kept in the front of his squad car while waiting to be called in to assist on drug busts.
Two, his process seems to mesh very well with mine. He’s a clean-single-draft writer who uses the cycling process. He doesn’t outline, which is another avoidance I’ve found that keeps me writing–it’s like we’re reading our stories for the first time which is what makes them so exciting.
Third, he’s consistent. He wakes up at 4:00 AM every day and get in at least 1,000 words.
And last, but certainly not least (because this is how I knew David was a real pro)–he suggested that more than once, he’s written a story where he’ll get to the end, maybe 70,000 or 80,000 words in, and decide he finally knows his character–and then start completely over without looking at everything he’d just written. This is one author who understands that words are just words and what really matters is getting it right.
Inspiring! I can’t wait to get to that level of confidence, but I guess the first step is awareness. 🙂
Hope you all had a wonderful week and if you’re in the US, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!