Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mas Maass

"I think the only person a writer has an obligation to is himself. If what I write doesn't fulfill something in me, if I don't honestly feel it's the best I can do, then I'm miserable." - Truman Capote

I think I make life too easy for my characters. I've only ever given them one or two conflicts to overcome when I write. But, in going through the Maass Breakout Novel Workbook, he's challenged me to do more. And more. To pretty much make life a living hell for my protagonist.

Well, okay.

So, I'm adding three new things to Camilla - I'm adding very real feeling for the TWO men in her life, and I'm potentially taking away one of her lifelines: her SIL, and I'm adding terminal illness to a member of her family. I was going to have one of her pets die, but had to draw the line there. I always hate books where the author lets a pet die instead of a person, as if that is somehow not as important or that the protag won't hurt as much.

My protag may very well love her pets more than the people in her life.

I can almost hear Maass whispering in my ear, "All the more reason to take them away."


And, oddly enough, this is kind of a funny book ... though maybe not so much anymore.

I have my eyes closed as I'm typing this becasue I'm still having trouble looking at the computer without giving myself an instant migrane, so I'm hoping my typing skills are still up to par and there won't be too many typos.

In other news...

We spent the day baking yesterday. And as I'm typing that, I just realized that I left the homemade dog treats in the oven overnight. They were supposed to stay in there for a few hours, but... that may have been too many. I'll go check on those in a moment.

I had lots of squash - and I'm the only one who like to eat it in its simplest form, so the rest was grated by DD who loves to grate things. I froze half, and still had eight cups of grated squash. So we made bread with it. I cut the oil and sugar in half from what the recipe called for, used whole wheat and quinoa flour and it tastes GREAT and it's even moderately healthy. Hubby won't eat it, won't even try it, because it has squash in it. I told him that you can't even tell, but he won't go there.

We also made cookies and, as noted above, dog treats.

I made fresh salsa since I have tomatoes coming out my ears (well, not really, but you get the idea). Tomatoes were the only crop that did okay this year despite all my pest problems. We had a few tomato worms, but the wasps did their duty and all but one worm was covered in wasp eggs. A little morbid, and I didn't really like to to think about the fact that they were being eaten alive, but they are the bad guys, right?

Okay, enough blind typing. I need to go back and make sure there aren't any typos.

Have a great day!


darcy said...

Mmmmmm. I made fresh salsa for the first time this year. Now I'm waiting for the next round of tomatoes to get ripe so I can try it again. What is it about squash that makes kids/husbands so reluctant to try it? If it's recognizably squash, my kids won't touch it. The hub is a little more adventurous. He'll eat it fried or mixed into a pasta or rice dish -- but only if the pieces are small. ???

About Maass:
Sometimes the stuff he suggests makes my tummy hurt. It helps when I remember that I am writing FOR ME, because it is something I WANT to do. I'm not under contract to anyone. I don't have to show my work to anyone if I don't want to. Under those circumstances, why NOT try what Maass suggests? If it works, then I have improved myself at something I love to do. If not, oh well, at least I got to write ;^)

Oops, this got long. Sorry.

anno said...

Fresh salsa sounds great! And as soon as I finish this project that just came in, I am going to make some. I've been taking the lazy way out with my tomatos and either slow baking them or freezing them--not much work either way.

Blind typing? Looks awfully good to me.

What's this Maass notebook? First C., now you.... I'm curious.

Tori Lennox said...

From what other writers I know have said, some take what they like of Maass' suggestions and ignore what they don't. :)

Judy said...

re: squash. My kids flat refused to eat it, so I blended it up and mixed it in sauces, esp. spaghetti sauce. Of course, I didn't tell them! They all said it was the best spaghetti sauce I ever made. Of course, if they read your blog, now they're going to know my secret!