10000 madly scribbled words

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There’s nothing like that feeling when you write more than you’ve ever written before.

I’m writing a book. It’s kind of silly, kind of amateurish, and I kind of love it. The plot is something I’ve been spinning in my head for years, and not too long ago decided to finally write down.

I have forty-one pages of scribblings so far. The moment I realized that my simple document on a computer screen had turned into a window, perhaps even a door, to a whole other world, I began to feel dizzy. I’ve become emotionally invested in these characters, answering to their names even, and I feel responsibility for them! Often when I tell people I’m writing a novel, they ask many questions like, “Do you have an outline planned out yet?” or “How many types of conflict do you have so far?” or “Well, that’s nice, dear, but do you actually think you’ll finish it?”

Ick, ick, ick. Can’t stand those questions. First of all, since when did there become a formula for a good book? Since when did a good book have a certain plot scheme, a certain protagonist, a certain title, a certain length, a certain setting, et cetera? I think a good book should come straight from the author, untainted by the opinions of Literature text books and Writing professors. It may help to some degree, but true literature is fancy written, then edited. That’s the approach I’m hoping to cultivate with my book.

Secondly, I’m not writing this to have it published. I’m not even writing to finish it. I’ve taken Melinda Haynes’ words to heart, “Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” I have started a bajillion books before, dreaming of creating the next great novel and becoming a teenage author, and of course each and every one of them has gotten to a whopping seven pages or something like that. One midnight this July, as I was lying in bed trying to sleep, the urge to write hit me. I dressed, and wrote for a good many hours straight, not knowing what the next chapter, page, or even paragraph held. I wasn’t writing to get anywhere, finish anything, or accomplish anything. I was just writing, and for once that was enough.

Listening to: Yael Naim – Far Far

Reading: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Learning: the capitals of Europe. I’m using this quiz and my highest score is 98% Can you beat my score?

Martha

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Of Apples and Autumn

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It’s starting to feel lots like Autumn here! I’m loving it. My window’s open and the clothes are out on the line and I’ve spent the afternoon sitting at my desk, just journaling, writing, reading, and surfing Pinterest. (Follow me? You know you want to…) May I just say that there are some crazily amazing recipes on that website? The following recipe for Apple Donuts I found there might just become a regular fall treat.

Oven-Baked Apple Donuts (Adapted from cooks.com)

  • 1/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar (or sugar substitute like stevia, truvia, honey, brown rice syrup, or any other such nonsense)
  • 1 1/2 cups of bite size chunks of apple, cored (I used Granny Smiths)
  • 1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup of cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of rice milk

To Coat:

  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (or substitute)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

Preheat your oven to 350F. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugars, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the cold chopped butter. Rub the pieces of butter with the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the milk and fold in the chopped apples. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir using a spatula or spoon making sure not to over mix. Place a spoonful of batter into each mold of a buttered mini muffin pan.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the donuts are just golden. Remove from the oven, un-mold and lightly brush each donut with the melted butter. Dunk in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon mixed in. Shake off excess sugar and serve immediately. Enjoy! Makes about 24 mini donuts.

I made these Sunday afternoon because we had guests over and figured I’d have more than enough. But the next day, all twenty-four were gone. That’s how good they are. Also, yesterday morning I made Apple Stuffed Swedish Pancakes. I’ve grown up on Swedish Pancakes and this twist turns them from a classic comfort food to a gourmet breakfast treat. I usually double the recipe so that I can eat off them all throughout the week. (For those of you who don’t know, Swedish pancakes are similar to French crepes.) Best part of this recipe is that it’s super hard to mess up. If you mix up the steps (as I somehow manage to do on a regular basis) they still turn out wonderfully.

Apple Stuffed Swedish Pancakes (Adapted from American Girl Kirsten’s Cookbook)

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat a small skillet to medium heat. Add some butter and then the apple chunks, sprinkling the 1/2 tsp of cinnamon on top.
  2. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. Beat them.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the milk to the eggs and beat the mixture for around two minutes.
  4. Add the flour to the egg mixture all at once. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it’s smooth.
  5. When you can insert a toothpick into one of the apple chunks with not too much resistance, add the maple syrup. Cook for about three minutes until it resembles apple pie filling.
  6. Beat in the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of spelt. Then add the salt and cinnamon.
  7. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet the apples were in.
  8. Drop two tablespoons or so of the thin batter into the skillet for each pancake.
  9. After about one minute the edges of the pancakes will brown lightly. Flip, and cook for another minute or so.
  10. Divide the apples into each pancake and roll them up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy! Makes about about six pancakes.

Try out these recipes! They’re so easy and delicious.

A note on format: So every post shall have three little sections at the bottom. The first will be what I’m currently listening to with a link to where you can listen to it too. The second will be what I’m currently reading. The third will be what I’m learning. Three times a week I have a time for independent studies, as we call it, when I research/practice/memorize something. If you have suggestions for music, books, or subjects to investigate, let me know in the comments!

Listening to: Mandi Mapes – The One for Me

Reading: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – just starting!

Learning: the capitals of Europe. I’m using this quiz and my highest score is 83% (Shush, I know it’s not that great.) Can you beat my score?

Martha