A new novel and a take on an old recipe - Sweet and Sour carrots for Marta's May table
The past few weeks have been taxing, to say the least. There was just so much going on, either inside or out, and at times I didn't even know where to turn to. See, I wanted to publish the second book on my series, The Preternaturals, so I needed to do one last proofreading before uploading the manuscript for digital and print copies. But the problem is I never just do a proofread, you know? I always end up re-writing a lot, editing another lot, suddenly noticing small mistakes that I need to tackle - I had a name all wrong, spelling it Hargrave in two of the books and Hargrove in another one!
So it ends up taking more time, and I end up never being able to just flow read, you know, like you do when you pick up a book. I'm too close to home to be able to, and I am always second guessing my writing. Always. I wish I could look at the finished thing and say 'There, it's done, it's over, there's nthing more you can do.'
See, sometimes I find myself actually immersed in the reading as if I was not the author, and in those moments I think to myself 'wow, this shit is actually good!'. But then I seem to wake up from that sort of rêverie and I start reading the whole thing with the exact oposite attitude. Every line sounds wrong, feeble, bad writing, far too "chick lit", not intelectually challenging. In the end, what I do write is chick lit - though I honestly hate this expression - it is sugary romance and the only purpose of my writing is to tell a story and entertain. If I manage to entertain readers, I am happy already. I'm a flawed writer in many, many aspects, but in the end so are many of those more mainstream best selling ones - and no, I'm not gonna name them though a few come to mind.
So I tackled the last revisions with a try at gusto, but put everything else on the back burner so to speak, I couldn't be bothered with anything else, and frankly, I wasn't even feeling it. Cooking, experimenting, styling, photographing, blogging. I wasn't feeling it, and am not yet I sure I am. My photography and my styling, much like my writing are lacking, and they're not visually enticing, as I have been made to realise lately. I have lived in a bubble of self ilusion thinking my food and my depicting of that food was actually quite good, deserving of applause, and so I always felt weird that I had none of it. Mea culpa - and I do say so with a grin on my face - because I do tend to live in some sort of ilusory world where my talents come out a lot more enhanced than they really are. I do believe my writing and my books are pretty good, most of the time, and I fear I am under some sort of ilusion about that also.
Still, for better or for worse the book's been proofread, edited, revised and published. Of course the publishing part - self publishing and what not - had tons of hassles, and went wrong a few times, which almost always leads me to think I must be somehow jinxed, and the universe, in the grand scheme of things does not want me to succeed - cue in Twilight Zone music. But for better of for worse the book is out there, now, and I feel elated as I always do, and I hope it does well. It has at least left me with more time in my hands to do other stuff - finishing book four would be a great idea, as doing another revision on book three - as cooking stuff I really like. I was not gonna do a post for Marta's ingredient of the month this time round because I felt I didn't have the time, turns out I was pretty rong. I came across these beautiful rainbow carrots and I had to have them. And I had to do a take on this version of oriental flavoured carrots. This time it's a sweet and sour take.
- two to three medium sized carrots per person
- two tsp cumin seeds
- powdered garlic
- olive oil
- black pepper
- 5 ml sweet and sour sauce