HomeStoryWriting Books and Baking Bread

EFV Cover prelaunch test1This novel series is about to be released. I have delayed releasing the first book, officially, because of a few personal issues and the fact that I really wanted to get ahead in the series so I knew where book one was headed. Now book five is in pre-edit and book two is finished. It is time to let this one go. A ramp up and a release party…

It’s a lot like baking bread, I was thinking. I always have the ingredients I need on hand. Flour, water/milk of course, butter, yeast, salt and grains. But sometimes I don’t. I was sure I did, damn it! Oh well, market here I come! With a battle cry I launch myself into my silver mare and we chase down the yeast master wherever it may hide! The grocery down the street, usually, matter of fact.

All right. Ingredients together, bowl warm. Butter is melted. I usually cheat and use milk… some sugar (a touch) added to pot. yeast added and left to bloom… Dry ingredients… add to wet… Mix, knead, rest and rise… BAM. Knock it down. Knead it again a little bit. Rest and rise. Bake until golden brown and delicious!

Writing is a lot like that, you know? Ingredients needed on hand, or fetchable with some work. Mixing up a dough without beating it too much or letting it settle. A final product that everyone loves… forget it. Bread is a lot easier! But it’s not as satisfying.

I am a god it would seem, when crafting a family of characters, creating living scenes that can be smelled, felt, even tasted at times. You hear the wind, the rain, the thunder, the beat of a heart, the brush of a hand. I AM GOD!

Nonsense. I pass on the lives that my fellow humans live. The characters? They are all around us. I may clothe them a bit differently and place them in another world, but you know them. You talk to them, love them, hate them, are angry with them a lot! They make you laugh, cry, want to eat chocolate… Because they are the people you already know, you can relate to them in intimate terms.

Story… where would I be without my predecessors? The masters of mental craft and illusion. Irony in the fist and a gleam in the eye. Steinbeck gave me hope. My life could never be THAT bad! But I was wrong. Tom Joad and I traveled the same road for a long while.

Tolkien made me see light in any darkness. Frodo? Never could I carry such a ring so far… but I have. Over and over again dreams of being the ring bearer excited and sometimes frightened me! I recall a particularly dark one with thunderstorms, charging orcs, and a single chance to escape by trusting a cliff had a short drop or a tall tree. Great fun.

Stephen King rarely scared me, but it did make some nights very cold and lonely. The Shining? The book was better than the movie and that is saying something!

Dickens… cruel ironies and twists of fate… cold London streets and warm taverns and dining rooms… eerie and heartwarming. Funny and heartbreaking.

And these are but four authors I adore out of hundreds!

Love… you feel it deeply when eating homemade bread. It connects you to the people you remember and still love to this day. Passed on, or just far away, the feeling remains as strong as ever. Provided we allow ourselves to feel it. Sometimes the pain makes it difficult. I like to think my writing makes it possible to bridge such a gap. You feel the emotions as if they are your own. Because they are. And mine, and everyone we know. We feel the same things, sometimes for different reasons, but we get it, if we let ourselves in.

The aroma of baking bread brings a warmth and comfort to the soul. A great book does the same. It can evoke the same memories and get us in touch with times we miss. Make us laugh over a sliver of a memory, or take us back to a cold winter day, where snow was falling and warmth was hard to find, even inside. My fellow upstate New Yorkers will know what I mean. Baking bread and writing stories kept me warm as a youth.

Slicing bread… like slicing up concepts, buttering them, and making them part of a meal worthy of eating… Bread is easier, perhaps, but only because it takes less time. The idea is the same. Symbolism aside, every bite of a book is like the slice of bread. It has to be good, all the way through. A few holes are okay, but that big air bubble?! Knead man, knead! Too dark on the bottom? Don’t overbake! Doughy? Take your time and let it bake a bit more… Did it fall? Hmmmm was the yeast old? The oven too cool? Always difficulties and kneading to overcome them.

Ha! A homonym! I love words. Their casual elegance, their passionate exuberance! Their simple and direct ability. Their amazing artistry. I own and can solve a Rubik’s cube without help. I am aware that I am much faster with the solution guide, but I solved it many times without ever studying it for more than a minute or two. Twice before my friend even got the guide. Lately, I have been using it, however. I hope to solve it through knowledge of its correct solution, rather than the semi-guessing I do now. Even so, with all its combinations, and the guide says there are trillions, it is just a cube with six sides and six colors.

Words are endless and varied, with unlimited combinations ensuring unlimited possibilities. This is why stories keep being told. Because every person has unique stories to tell. We listen, we write them down, and we read them. If they intrigue us enough, we share them. They need not be real and true to life, as long as they are true to the lives we know. Then, when the bread is baked, we share it.

Baking bread… writing books. Who knew?

Check out the first book of my Saga of The Lost Dragons:

Escape From Vengeance

EFV Cover prelaunch test1

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