The world of literary endeavours, the simple read books, and a simple pasta to show that sometimes less is really more

I don't usually read a lot about writing. The act of writing, the science or writing, the art of writing, which moniker should you prefer. I do try to read about self-editing, and learn from there how to more effectively edit my work, but on the toils of writing? Nope. Articles about proper writing skills, proper writing tools and what makes good and bad writing, I completely try to steer clear of. Why, will people ask, if what I chose to do with my life is indeed write? Why wouldn't I want to learn how to be a good writer? But tell me something, what makes it a good writer, for you? I know what works for me, I know the kind of thing I want to read, the type of writing that most appeals to me, the kind of stories that catch my eye, the kind of narrative that keeps me interested. And it possibly does not touch the pilar stones of what is considered to be good, proper, quality writing in today's publishing world. See, I don't even enjoy much of today's best sellers! Baring Stephen King, who can write a grocery list and make me swoon, I find it hard to enjoy most of what today is considered great writing examples. 

I'm quite aware I would never be published any other way but for self publishing. No publishing house worth their salt would ever pick up one of my novels and get it out there. Does this mean that what I do is worthless? Perhaps in today's standards it is. Perhaps it's weak writing, because I do like my adverbs, really. I do like my sentences filled with meaty adjectives, the kind that you can almost bite into, the kind that seem to feed the imagination and pop images onto the brain. I also love the long winded sentences and the even longer paragraphs. Long paragraphs while browsing through a book will immediately spark my own curiosity. But in today's writing rules, these are all no-nos. I have been called to attention on my long paragraphs, and when I self edit I find myself trying to divide a long paragraph into two or three, so as to "look nice" on screen and print as it is supposed to, these days. But since when did writing become about looking nice? Truth is, there's a rule that states a paragraph should not be longer than three sentences. Mine usually are. And the paragraphs that sparkle my brain usually are, too. Think Trollope, think Dickens, think George Elliot. You could bite into their writing and feel nourished. Most of today's best sellers leave me hungry.

Which brings me to the aspect of the sentence length. I do favour the gigantic faux pax of today's literature: the long and flowy sentence. I believe I do get a good flow of mixing both, the short and the long, but my writing style is not up to par - nor do I want it to be - with today's writing trends. I like long sentences, and I write them down. But, and as I read in one of those articles I try to avoid, today's reader prefers short, simple, easy to read sentences, because we live in a world that's overly flowing with information - I rather disagree with this justification for today's reader's preference of the short, simple, easy to read sentence. A short, simple sentence is that and only that. There'll be no need to think about it, about the possible hidden meanings behind it. It's plain and in your face: the writer did all the work for you and you don't even have to think. You just read and understand the meaning straight away. Well, it so happens that I like to be forced to think. I like stuff that is not simple. But I know I am one in a million, nowadays. People nowadays want the simplest things possible so as to not have to think. And that, my friends, is not a fortuitous occurence. It's not a hazard that happened by chance, simply because tastes have changed. No. Make no mistakes.

Yes, I know, I do go for a bit of a conspiracy theory stretch, most times, but just think about it. Tastes do change, alright, but how much does that change in taste occurs out of casuality and how much of it is imposed upon audiences? Wherever I look around I see the same books being favoured time and again. You go on social media and every one is reading the exact same thing. I'm not even gonna name authors or books, because there's no point to that. But if everyone reads the exact same thing, doesn't everyone end up thinking the exact same thing? Won't we all end up being formated into the precise same thing? A thing that needs short, simple, easy sentences because it lacks the educational background and the clarity of mind to deal with the long, intricate, hard ones. Who does that serve? Yep, you guessed it. It's easier to control a mind-numbed mass that has no ability to think beyond the in your face information they get, than a mass of deep thinkers who question and ask and demand explanations that make sense. I have long ago given up on reading exactly what everyone else does, ever since I made the mistake of buying a Dan Brown book because everyone was raving about it.

Of course the use of long sentences does not make for a good book, I am aware of that. Neither does the use of adjectives and profuse vocabulary. There are people doing that and quite frankly, their writing comes out as stuffy, arrogant, and very, very boring. And maybe I am one of those writers. But I did give myself the trouble of browsing through some of those books I have seen doing the rounds of social media the most, and some of them... well, I woudn't touch them with a three feet long wooden pole. I tried reading a chapter of one of the books in a best selling series that should be right up my alley with theme - fantasy and what not - and I found it rather boring, it did not get to me. On the other hand, there was another one that did capture my interest and I am considering buying at least one of the books, if I ever come to afford new books, that is. Because the writing was intricate, absorbing, with adjectives and adverbs, it had substance and bite. Take "Miss Peregrine", for instance. I bought the book and liked reading it, yeah, the story grabbed me and the gimmick of using the photos as basis for characters and what not, it was rather fun and unusual. But the writing was far too plain and simple, puerile, actually. It felt like the book had been written by a teenager. Not bad writing, no, but simple writing that left me hungry for more depth.

And yet, there's a lot of good to simplicity. And there are times when simple things are indeed what one needs, and I will sing the praises of simple pleasures and simple lives and simple food. Simple can be nourishing, too, of course it can.  Take something as Harry Potter, it's simple writing, without much fussing about, but done perfectly - at least the original, because I once tried the translation and felt it was too infantile for me. Made me give up on the whole series right at the start, until I got the english version. But it's like pasta. I mean, does it get any simpler than that? It's eggs, flour, water. Simple as that. Some types of pasta don't even have eggs in them. Flour and water. Like bread. Simple, and yet so nourishing. Nothing can beat a good batch of homemade pasta, mark my words. And this one that my husband made, was very, very good. Here's how he does it:

  • 300 gr flour
  • 3 eggs (try organic, if you can)
Place the flour into your food processor and add the eggs. Blitz until you have a silky, smooth dough. Roll onto a ball, flatten it out and wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour. Once that time has elapsed, it's ready to roll out and use as you like it. You can use it for lasagna, canelloni, fettuccine, spaghetti, you name it. We have one of those pasta rolling machines, so we use it a lot. This time we went for the spaghetti implement and it is so good. But do try to use organic eggs if you can get them. We don't always - bloody expensive! - but we know how much of a difference it makes, in taste and colour as well. Hope you like this one, next week I'm showing you guys what I did with this lovely spaghetti.


  1. O teu marido é um anjo! (o meu tb que hoje e sempre tratou da roupinha toda :)
    O que andam as pessoas a ler agora? Conta-me que eu estou mesmo a leste....

    1. Bella Forrest, Cassandra Clarke, Sarah J. Maas, Neil Gaiman, Laini Taylor... tipo, no Instagram é o q mais vejo, e depois é toda a gente a postar as capas de livros destes autores, como se só existissem estes. Maquinas de marketing brutais e bestiais por detrás deles, claro, e confesso q quem me dera a mim ter um avo deste tipo de exposição, obviously. Mas alguns dos livros pah... n são mm para mim, achei a escrita chataaaa de morrer. É como George R.R. Martin, n gosto. Nem terminei a GoT pq achei aquilo uma seca descomunal.

  2. this looks so good! normally i buy cheap eggs, too, but they sound worth the splurge here (: i don't have a pasta machine, but i might just make some pasta anyways and roll it out by hand. i need some exercise anyways

    1. Yeah, I only splurge on organic eggs every once in a while, too, saddly I can't afford to buy as many organic produce as I would like to. And the pasta machine is not really necessary, before we had one it was hand rolled and it was gooooood.

  3. I love this blog a lot. You engaging with people at ease. Wonder how you do it?


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