Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hurt/Comfort and Hollandaise

I don't know why, but I had to make Hollandaise sauce this morning. It's probably Julia Child's fault. I have been reading her memoir, My Life in France with great relish. There wasn't anything mentioning Hollandaise per se, but there was talk of buttery dishes. And I'd been craving something more than butter to go on an English muffin. Don't be too impressed by my Mother sauce making skills. Food Network's Tyler Florence came up with a delightfully simple recipe involving a blender. The longest part of the recipe is melting the butter. And it holds up without ever breaking. I felt using that recipe was cheating until a few days ago. While browsing through Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, I found she'd included a blender Hollandaise sauce along side of the original recipe. I suppose that's where the notion of making it today came from. I've been a bit Julia happy since Christmas.

Ah, I know what you're thinking. I've had a huge health scare. Why am I making a sauce whose principle ingredients are egg yokes and butter? Shouldn't I be eating the healthiest of healthy food? Yes and no. My Doc says that there is no such thing as a diet in my world now. I need calories. My blood work is such that eggs aren't an issue. She told me to eat what I want – especially what I crave. It should be noted that I have resisted the all bacon day. I'm still on an antibiotic that throws off my taste buds. Thus, I'm waiting for that to clear to go for the bacon-o-rama. Butter and eggs taste fine though. Fear not. I don't plan on gaining back all the pounds I lost. My diet is very well balanced on the whole. Right now, I'm burning everything I eat.

Hurt/ Comfort and Writing Realities

The whole surgery thing has raised questions from Jon about the physical problems real people have after a major injury like a gunshot and how quickly they would be in any kind of action. Specifically, in the case of The Gunslinger, is it realistic for KD to make love with Shadow just days after being shot? Jon is a real stickler for realism even in fantasy. For example, one of the Hidden Passion scripts, The Highwayman, involves the rule of law in Georgian England. Jon spent a great deal of time researching the circumstances under which someone could be arrested and where and how they would be incarcerated. It was all very interesting, and it actually fit well with the script I had in mind. This isn't always the case with Jon's research, especially where the Romance genre is concerned. I am often the first to rant at the unnecessarily stupid plot elements in Romance novels, but I also know that fans of the genre expect to see certain things – even if they stretch credulity. Sometimes I have to over rule Jon in favor of what's expected and hope it doesn't look ridiculous.

Thus, I concede that a character may not be in the best shape a couple of days after having a slug dug out of the shoulder in olde Wilde West days. They were no IV antibiotics, and painkillers were hit or miss. But I don't think I should be used as a measuring stick. I have nearly 30 years on both characters and am no where near in as good shape (if they were real, mind you). Moreover, the genre fans demand some hot comfort to go with that hurt, Jon has already said that he'd direct the scene to be awkward at first and then grow more passionate. He knew I wasn't budging about the scene. After all, the menstrual cycle is not a factor in most romance novels (including mine). The women are not bloated or crampy – ever. Why would they be? What woman would want to read that for an escape?

This experience will certainly impact my non-genre writing. This sort of experience is a great way of showing how strong a vulnerable character can be or how vulnerable a strong character could be in the wake of sudden and serious debilitation. I certainly can write about it with much more depth than research and interviews could have given me. This won't happen for a while. Right now, it's all too close. I'll need quite a bit of time to write about it with the kind of perspective that such writing would require. For now, the writing that I'm thinking about is much lighter fare. I need some serious escape even if it's memoirs about crazy holiday dinners past that I've been thinking about recently. Who knows? Right now, I'm going back to Julia Child cooking in Paris.

Bon Appetite!

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