Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Wonderland...

Two days before Christmas and all through the house...well, we have a repairman fixing our bathroom fan and light (it needs to be done before all the guests come this week for our dinner/tournament--family.) Then, my stupid computer continues to plague me. Then, well, you don't want to hear this, do you? No. You have your own little things that are irritating you.

But there are many, many things to be thankful for. If I start naming them all, I will run out of internet. God, in His infinite mercy and grace, sent His Son to save us. He tarries awhile longer to bring in all He is wooing. That is something I believe. While we are here and not THERE, check out my friend, Lee Warren's, contribution to this Christmas book, Christmas Wonderland.

But anyway. I was checking something on the internet and "accidently" found this recipe for Swedish Melting Moments. I am not kidding you! Some of you may remember my whine about my friend never giving me her recipe. (And lest you think I don't love this friend, you don't know me.) I'm giving you this recipe. If you make them, let me know if you think they are good. This looks good and like it may be close to her recipe. I have to get some of the ingredients and I'm going to try them this week.

This is from the Ashley Bed and Breakfast Inn in Charleston, SC:
1 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
Cookie Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon orange juice
Cookie Glaze: Combine ingredients; whisk until smooth.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift in flour and cornstarch; mix well. Add flavorings, blending well. Chill 1 hour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with the bottom of a small glass dipped in water. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. (Cookies do not brown, but should be cooked through to center). Carefully remove to wire cooling rack (cookies are very fragile). Spread cookie glaze evenly over each while still warm. Cool and store in airtight containers.

Yields: 2 dozen

~~~~~~~~WHAT TO WRITE??~~~~~~~~~

Oh, and a couple days ago I was lamenting again about which story I'm sending out this year. (I'm in genre angst.) I was told that I should write "my passion." That's funny. I have a lot of passions. Not really very practical or helpful in helping me to get my best voice out there. Anyway, I took this quiz on that Cool Things for Your Blog site and here's what they told me:

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Well, I don't know that I'm a film writer, but I was thinking about this seriously, because what it says here about the kind of writer I am is what I believe about myself in the description.

If you are a writer sometimes they tell you to imagine your book on the shelf with other writers. Each time I try and imagine my book on the shelf, I had a hard time. Where do I fit in? But then, when I thought about stories/books that were eventually moved to film, it was a little easier for me.

That is what James Scott Bell also says to do in his book, Plot and Structure (get this book, if you don't have it and you are writing fiction.) Imagine your story as a film. I can do that. It sure was a practical step for me. And then after taking this silly little quiz, I saw some truth for me in it.

I took another quiz, this time on how I communicate. I should've figured this one out, too. My strength lies partially in kinesthetic learning, so this makes sense to me, too. My stories should be "action" or "physical." So, wherever this story is headed, it is going to have to have these elements: action, thriller, history, romance.

You Communicate With Your Body

This isn't as bad as it sounds, it just means that you're a "touchy-feely" person.
You need a lot of affection in your life. And for you, this means both giving and receiving little touches.
Warm hearted, you bond with people easily. In fact, you often feel a little sad when you're not in the company of others.
A little moody, you tend to be controlled by your emotions. But a bit hug always comforts you!

So see? I think there is truth in the results of both of these quizzes and it really helped me to figure out why some stories I've written bore me, and why some won't let me go--even though I wasn't sure what to do with them. Now, I think I can put in a few more pieces of the puzzle because I was missing some elements when I tried too hard to adhere to what I thought about genre.

Can you think of a film that has 1.historical elements 2. romance 3. action/thriller 4.contemporary setting 5. touches of humor? I did. Immediately. Think of the movie National Treasure. So, this is the exercise I am doing now. When you tell a story, you have threads that are being pulled through the story. They remain strong throughout and you tie them all up at the end (well, I do, because I like a story where the threads tie up at the end.)

That really pleased me. I am now thinking along these lines(and those five elements.) If I can have these elements in the story I'm writing, I am more likely to be happy with it. It's great,if an agent or editor would also like a story that I'm pleased with, too. But it is a great relief to finally find the elements, which make ME happy.

I may get my greatest Christmas wish, after all.

No comments: