Thursday, September 27, 2012
Writing a Novel is as Easy as Making Mac-n-Cheese
The problem with my claim is that I cannot make good homemade macaroni and cheese. The dish either comes out too thick and heavy and sticky, too dry and thick , or too stringy and tasteless.
My favorite recipe that I can more often cook correctly is called "Pioneer Macaroni and Cheese" from a 1954 Betty Crocker Cook Book (the ring binder version). The best thing about this recipe is that I do not have to make a sauce, béchamel or whatever. I cook the macaroni, place it in a baking dish, dot it with cubes of sharp cheese (does these mean cheddar or Velveeta?), dot it with little blobs of butter, combine 3 cups of milk with two beaten eggs, and pour over the contents in the baking dish. Then bake.
Still, it's not creamy Macaroni and Cheese. The recipe for that kind is listed directly under this pioneer dish. (Did you know pioneers made mac-n-cheese? I didn't.) This presents a huge problem because I must make a creamy sauce to produce a dish that melts in your mouth and isn't chewy like the pioneer dish.
Sometimes I like something that's smooth and creamy and goes down easy, but sometimes I like something I can get my teeth into, something chewy and satisfying. And if I'm not extremely careful, I can't create either one.
See? The process of cooking is very similar to writing. If I'm not vigilant, my story will be too soft with no satisfying substance, or my story will be too heavy and hard to chew.
Maybe I should stick with making quiche. I can do that. My quiche is perfection, my husband loves it, and I have the knack down to a "T."
By some stroke of luck, I began writing Western Romance novellas we call 99Cent Dime Novels. I did not have the recipe for these, but my publisher, Rebecca J. Vickery did, and she encouraged me to write one. With the help and advice from the artist, the incomparable Karen Michelle Nutt, we created alluring (not too sexy) covers using Jimmy Thomas photos.
I wrote four Dime Novels, and to my surprise and delight they were highly successful. I may never write anything that gave me as much satisfaction as these have.
Now, all four Dime Novels are available in one book titled Lone Star Dreaming-A Western Romance Collection. $2.99 for the ebook, $11.95 for the print.
Barnes and Noble:
The individual 99Cent Dime Novels are:
Angel and the Cowboy
Addie and the Gunslinger
Charlotte and the Tenderfoot
Kat and the U.S. Marshal
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
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