A memorable week - computer disaster, new releases and poached pears for comfort
What can I say about this past week? It was an exhausting week, that's what it was. Since my last blogpost, feels like so much has happened, it won't fit into a new blogpost. It just feels like that, although it's not as tremendous as I make it sound. Always the drama queen, I am, but I don't mind that. It amuses me, in the end, when I look back at my hysterics and realise it was no biggie after all, whatever sent me into hysterics. This time around I even managed to stay moderatly calm, although for a blogger and a writer, what happened last week was a bit of a biggie. Enough to have brought me to tears, only it didn't.
The week before last, I noticed my laptop was kind of acting up, so I started backing up some of my stuff. I even joked about it with a few peeps, saying I was gonna go laptop-less soon. Well, last Saturday, I woke up with this weird feeling, this daunting sensation that something was gonna happen. I got up at crack of dawn, had my breakfast and sashayed - I do sashay - into my living room, where I proceeded to sit down at my desk and start backing up like mad. See, I had just finished copy-editing my most recent novella, in preparation for a final read through and edits, so I could get it published by March First. (It's already out, and actually doing very well, sales wise, even got a five star review already, check it out here.) I had already managed to spruce up a few promotional campaigns for it, as well as the other books I have out already, but wasn't much worried with those, what worried me was my writings, my final versions were not yet backed up.
So that's what I did Saturday morning, I backed up all I could, when suddenly the laptop died on me. And it would not come back to life. All my photos were there, like a lot of them, some I hadn't yet gotten round to edit, others that I had prepared in advance so I could have a few posts ready for when the launching of "BLOOD" demanded so much of me I didn't have time, nor the brains, for a new blogpost. I like to keep a few for a rainy day, know what I mean? Now, they were all lost. And being sans a laptop when what you do is write and self publish novels is like all hell broke lose. How does one work without a laptop and an internet connection, when one runs a food blog? A minor breakdown threatened to happen, but somehow it didn't. I kept my cool. Husband came along with some help, I also knew I could do the final edits and read through on his laptop and upload the manuscript there so I had it ready for publishing on the first of March - I had been going on about it for a few weeks on Instagram, actively trying to get a buzz on this book so people would want to buy it as soon as it was out.
In the end, we managed to salvaged most of everything, and what was lost ended up being retrievable as well, it is all a question of me sitting down and editing all those pictures again, but nothing was lost. By Monday evening I had a laptop in working condition, and in the end, it was for the best. A sort of blessing in disguise hid behind what it felt like someone throwing me the evil eye just to prevent me publishing a novella on which I had staked so much. So much work, so much love, so much attention and creativity. This novella means a lot to me. And because of it, and because I am determined to succeed, I worked extra hard on revising, re-editing, doing the final read through out loud to see if something sounded iffy - and there were a few iffies going round all right! - working again on the cover, which I hadn't managed to back up the final version (the images were all lost, though retrievable.), making a batch of teasers that I sprinkled around Facebook and Instagram on the days leading up to publishing date. It was a week filled with very hard work. And it panned out.
The novella is live on Amazon (paperback and eBook versions) and on its launch day sold quite a few copies as soon as it went live. This, of course, made me very happy. I had worked so much, and had pushed through that one final gigantic effort, I had planned ahead on building up the interest for the book itself, trying to hook readers into wanting it because the teasers spruced up their curiosity, seeing it all work out better than I had imagined was like a boost of confidence and self belief, a charge of extra energy and a sense that maybe I am not all that wrong in my career choice, maybe it will all work out fine and I get to have my stories out there, and people will want to read them, and will love them. I have worked harder before, even in stuff I hated, I have pushed myself to work far harder than I did this week, but never with the clarity of mind I did this week. Knowing I was on the right path, knowing I was sticking to a conscious plan, knowing even if it totally failed, at least I had thought it through, worked it hard, and could learn from the failure. It did not fail, and so I will persist. I am proud of my own self, yes, and proud of this little book, hoping it will be the one book that starts the wheels rolling. Hoping you guys wanna join in this ride and end up falling in love with that story as much as I did!
But because of all the work on the book, and because by Wednesday I had come down with a nasty cold that knowked me down a bit, the blog did not get as much love or attention as I would have liked it to. So today I have a very simple dish, a dessert that is one of my favourite, but one so easy that's quite easy to make. Poached pears. I hate cooking pears, baking them in cakes or tarts or pies, but a pear poached in wine and spices is actually one of the things I love indulging in. So here's my version:
- 2 or 3 medium sized pears
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- lemon peel
- 2 to 3 tablespoon honey
- a dash of vanilla extract
- 1 or 2 cloves
- 150 ml of white wine