Tuesday, 29 May 2012

In Which Plotting is... Done?

I defy you to find a more related image. 
It's been a busy weekend and a busy past few days which, coupled with the MASSIVE HEAT, means I've been rolling around in a sweaty stupor, struggling to get things done. But I have have persevered and...

I did *some* plotting.

I've already sketched out the bare bones of the story and beefed it up a bit, so the plotting remaining is details. But I don't know that I'm especially comfortable with too many details so early on. So I gave it a go, looked at spread-sheeting and so on, but frankly, I just want to start writing.

I'm not a one for big, in-depth plans. I mean in theory, yeah. But in practice, no. I like to mix pantsing and planning. So it wasn't working for me. I've written several full-length manuscripts now, but I'm definitely still finding my feet with how I work.

But before I start writing I still want to do character worksheets. These details are, I think, really important. I use those 100 questions sheets, and like to cast my characters with people I've seen in the street or film stars or whoever. This is a pretty popular method I think, and gives me a really clear picture of my character to work with. I've already started this, and just have a few characters left to do. I really can't wait to get started writing again, and I hope to have everything to go ready in time for the long bank holiday weekend. Hopefully then I can find something more exciting to blog about!

Image.... Related? LOL.

Friday, 25 May 2012

In Which Plotting Does Not Occur

I'm indecisive, as it happens. Every day the boyfriend and I go through the "No, but what do you want to do this evening?" rigmarole, and often end up tossing a coin to decide what we're having for tea, or what films to watch, and so on. Which is quite nice, really, if you like the idea of randomly generated leisure time.

So plotting is something of a struggle for me, and I'm unwilling to surrender the future of my WiP to the coin toss. I've been plotting this one on and off for months, and I did a post-it note wall before Christmas. Queries and edits and other stuff kept pushing it back, but now I have no excuse. Plotting must be done! It shall be done! But while I have the basics lined up, I'm struggling with the fine-tuning. Like changing time scales slightly, moving characters around and, dare I say, committing to something that may turn out awful.

But I'm just going to have to get over it. I can't wait to start writing, but I want the bones down first and it's easier to put it off than risk doing it wrong. I've been beating myself up about it ever since I finished the website, and trying to guilt-trip myself into working, BUT THEN I came across this:
Source: Google, Tumblr, Twitter, I couldn't find any that weren't captioned 'I found this somewhere'...
If you did it, (the original photo) you're awesome and I want you to have credit. If anyone knows, tell me and I'll update!
Mark Ruffalo really wants you to write as he wants you to be happy. Chris Evans believes you can do it if you just put your mind to it. Robert Downey Jr wants you to get on with it so you can go for a drink after. And Chris Hemsworth has a sneaking suspicion he's in some of those scenes you're going to be writing, if you know what he means...

So today, I've left my book at home and will be spending my lunch break PLOTTING. For the Avengers. If not THE WORLD.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It's done!

Well I finished my website (yay!), so now my brain feels empty of planning and worrying. So it's lucky, really, that I can resume the planning of and worrying about my next WiP. I do enjoy a good worry.

But before we move on, because I think we're probably both a little tired of CONSTANTWEBSITENEWS, I'd just like to mention that the three short stories which were available previously are available still, but now can be downloaded as pdfs with snazzy new covers, under Free Stuff.


In the interests of branding and whatever, I've called them The Life Collection (pretentious, moi?) which are the sister group to THE DEATH COLLECTION (evil laugh) that I'll be designing and printing up for the forthcoming shop and the Thought Bubble Festival. They'll be in a limited run and hopefully adorable, and I duno, signed? Does anyone want my signature? Don't answer that. But I'll probably be gluing stuff to some of them to make them extra special. So more on that as and when, probably.

I'll be adding more things to the Free Stuff tab over the next few months, like bookmarks and stuff. Which is pleasantly non-specific.

Finally, the Books and About Me tabs. Look! I got an agent! Iknowright. One of those things I never thought would happen, and don't quite believe now it has. But I'm delighted to say that the lovely Drea at The Rights Factory now represents my novel. Is it bad to call it a novel when it isn't actually published? Should it be manuscript? Words? I digress. Yay!

Anyway, I guess I'd better get on with all that worrying.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Work in Progress

Yeah, sorry it's a bit of a mess around here at the moment. I've been going crazy with CSS and embedding and all sorts, trying to fit my blog into my new website layout. It's been hard. But, after much googling, I think it's right. So once everything is done and ready for uploading, the blog won't look like such a mess. I promise. And hope...

All being well, we should be ready to roll early next week. Yay!


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

ZOMG Peanut Butter Shortbread

I've been thinking for a while about making what I'm going to call *ZOMG Peanut Butter Shortbread*. Because, ZOMG, peanut butter shortbread!

So last night I decided to bite the bullet and risk ruin and embarrassment by badly adapting a standard shortbread recipe myself. This is the basic recipe I started with, but nice as shortbread is, surely it can't help but be improved by the addition of peanut butter? And what wouldn't be? Actually, don't answer that. 

I ended up going off piste on a lot of the recipe, as you'll see, but that was mainly down to my Old Mother Hubbard style cupboards. Despite having planned this for a few days, prepared, I was not. 

The recipe called for 125g of butter, so I substituted 25g of that with chunky peanut butter. I'm all over unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter at the moment, which is just blitzed up roasted peanuts with nothing else added. *Delicious*. I used brown sugar rather than caster, which I think upped the sweetness, so I didn't miss anything using unsweetened peanut butter. Also it was what was in the cupboard... 
It made a nice and easily roll-able dough, despite the nutty chunks, and I had fun breaking in some Christmas themed cutters that Boyfriend bought me about three years ago.

Rotate head 90 degrees clockwise for optimum viewing.
It looked a bit like a gingerbread dough in the end, and I had to restrain myself from eating the scraps! I tried a little though - you know, for important and necessary tasting business...

Out of focus but delicious. 
I stuck a couple of dark chocolate chips on top, because *yummy* and then dusted with more brown sugar (no icing sugar in the house), then after a chilling in the fridge for 20 minutes they were good to go!

That's not glare from the foil, that's the glow of awesome.
I didn't do a head count on how many it made, and those Christmas trees were barely bigger than an inch, but it made three small trays worth of various sizes.
Unflattering close-up.
They're a bit overcooked, I think. Some of them were nearer hard than crunchy, but I'm going to blame that on my dodgy oven. But still, we ate them all within the hour!

I'll definitely make them again, although the recipe needs more tweaking. The peanut butter flavour was more subtle than I'd have liked, so I'll up it to 50g next time, and also mix chocolate chips in with the dough rather than sticking them on top! And also, lower the cooking time to about 15 minutes. But still, YUM.

It was all excellent fuel (I'll admit, I ate about two thirds of them!) for the crazy website slog I did after. I'm still working on the redesign, and managed to get ALL of the coding done in 2.5 hours. I used Dreamweaver, which takes care of a lot of the more complicated stuff, but it was surprisingly enjoyable trying to figure out stuff like blog embedding and RSS feed links. Google is amazing in that respect, though! All I need to do now is get the content sorted and do some illustrations for a few download links. Should definitely all be done over the next week or so, and I can't wait to show you!


Friday, 11 May 2012

This weekend will be AMAZEBALLS

No particular reason, but I've suddenly been struck with joy. It's probably the tea. Boyfriend emailed me and mentioned that we ought to get some strawberries and cream to eat at some point, and despite my dislike of cream, (what's the point of it?) I was off.

I'm getting really into cooking at the moment. We made a gorgeous nut roast last week (recipe by Mary McCartney) and this weekend we're doing a massive stew. And since I have a loaf tin from the nut roast, I figured, why not make some bread? So that's on the agenda for this weekend too, and I'm so excited! Excited beyond reason. It's just bread, Katherine, people have been making it for ages.

Since Mr Dishington mentioned strawberries I remembered we have some in the freezer and thought hey, I could make strawberry sorbet! Or strawbet sorbet. Or strawberry sorberry. CALM THE HELL DOWN, KATHERINE.

In sensible news, I'm building a new website at the moment, and am eager to get on with it. This weekend I have nothing to stop me. I'm tired of ink splats, and want something a bit prettier. I look forward to showing you it soon, as I hope to have it all sorted by the end of the month. For a sneak peek of what it'll look like, visit my Twitter page.

Hope your weekend is amazeballs!

KH x

UPDATE: Bread!