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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Last week it was Conflux 15 over three days of the long weekend. I’m due to write a post on that, but first I’m just in the relax weekend space. I have some sourdough in the making. I’m making three loaves instead of two as my second daughter wants a loaf regularly too. I currently make one for the house and one for the number one daughter. I think I have this sourdough bread baking in hand. Today though I threw in a bunch of other flour, some wholemeal and some spelt so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

It’s a lovely sunny day outside, though a bit nippy. I can see cloud shadows on the ranges out the window to my left. I find that view comforting and calming.

IMG_9298I’m a bit stressed. Not a lot stressed but just a bit. It’s the 13th of October 2019 and I’m wondering what is happening to time. September I had a schedule to work on my phd novel, which I stuck to, but October started out busy and you know it’s just slipped by.

I did a schedule for the rest of October and I feel sort of less stressed about it. I want to do NaNoWriMo in November but I do have an exegesis to get reacquainted with. I haven’t been at my uni desk for a long time. I’ll be back there next week.

I think the schedule helped me be less stressed because it positioned me in reality a bit. It’s not an overly hard schedule but sitting down and looking at the month let me know that I still have a couple of weeks to get things done. Or shall I say start to get things done. A little bit less of panic, hand waving, screaming mode.

The PhD is not overly stressful. I’m on intermission so how can it be? It’s one of those things I must really throw myself into next year (next year is fast approaching!). I’m not working and earning so that is probably an itch that contributes to this sense of unease. I think it is this sense that time is going too fast.

So today I’m kicking back and relaxing. I have no chance of slowing time, I know that, but I want to feel a minute pass, and feel my breath as it leaves my body. I’m looking at the view and I’m waiting for the sourdough to do it’s thing.

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Recent sourdough bread

I did have something else to say but it’s slipped through the sieve of my mind.

PS. The sourdough starter I dried before I went away revived nicely. I also froze some but can’t discover it in the chaos of the deep freezer.

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Currently I am living with my partner and his father.

I am pretty much an on the go person, except when I’m not. Recently I have been on the go. Baking bread, trying to weave (both fixed heddle and four shaft), write, bake, teach, study…

I fear I probably need a sedative as I am interesting to watch apparently. Maybe I don’t know how to relax.

Meanwhile, I am finding it hard to focus on the PhD novel. This post is probably an example.

It is just that there is so much to do and life is so short and I know I’ll never get to do all the things…and it makes me anxious!

Maybe I should just take a pill or meditate on what is important and reasonable.

Here is a picture of my 100 per cent Rye bread, first time ever. It’s all gone too. So yummy.

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I’ll be posting about my new novella next.

 

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It’s been a long time between posts and I really don’t have an excuse. Life if just hectic at times. I’ve also decided that my daughter and her new baby will come first this year. That decision requires refoccusing. And I’ve been baking bread, particularly sour dough. It’s therapeutic!

Still on the writing front things have been plodding on. At times, I do not understand this industry. I love writing and making up stories but at times it is hard to be positive about the longer term. Selling a book a day is not sustainable. I will try though to keep positive!

Emerald Fire, Cry Havoc Book Two was free on Amazon for five days and people downloaded a lot of it (635). I was shocked. Ruby Heart , Cry Havoc Book One, hardly had any downloads in comparison and that was the book one (about 120). I umed and ahed about putting a book 2 on for free but I did and I’m not sure what it all means. I think my newsletter subscribers are waiting for Ruby Heart to be discounted again so they can have the set. I love writing this series so much. So much fun and research. I will be discounting Ruby Heart in May, which Emerald Fire goes wide.

Meanwhile, Argenterra, Silverlands Book one, has been 99 cents on all platforms for the whole of April. The sale ends on April 30. I even had a paid promotion and I’ve only shifted like 25 copies all up. That’s with newsletter shares and so on. The weird thing is the sell through on Argenterra appears pretty good. People do buy the next books in the series. I love the new covers. I’ll put links below in case you are tempted to sample.

I love the Silverlands series. Argenterra was the first fantasy I tried to write. My second novel ever, rewritten many times before it was ever published. I love the Argenterra world and the characters and the stories of the history.

You have until April 30 to get your 99 cent copy.

Buy links

amazon ibooks Kobo Google Nook

I have a collection of stories from Argenterra planned, ostensibly told from Kushlan Silvertongue’s point of view as commissioned by King Oakheart. A bit of a literary conceit there, having a story teller tell the story.

I’ll be releasing the stories one by one, at first, to introduce readers to the world of Argenterra and an extra for fans of the series. When they are done I will release them as a collection in one volume. They will be free or 99 cents.

The first one of these will be released in a couple of weeks as it is with the proofreader right now. That tale is Vorn and the First Comers, an appropriate place to start. I have thought about writing Vorn’s story as a prequel novel so the novella doesn’t cover the war, just the trip to Argenterra and early settlement. Here is the cover below. It’s from Patty Jansen’s premade cover store and I’ve been eyeing it off for ages.

It is stunning. It is a generic fantasy cover, I know, but evocative and beautiful.

Over the Easter break I did some writing, well technically revision as this novel was drafted years ago and I’m still working on it. I had feedback that meant I needed to change the title and confirmation of my thoughts on this SF romance of mine.

It’s a story that wants to be just SF without the romance, or it’s an SF romance that wants to be romance. In the end, I’ve decided to make it SF with romance on the side. You might think there is no difference, but there is.

Anyway I spied this cover on Patty’s site and I had been eyeing it off. My partner, Matthew, thinks Deleen’s pose is too sexy, but I think the cover is deliciously retro looking and reminds me some 80s’ covers of books say from Lois McMaster Bujold.

My great author buddy, Nicole Murphy, asked for the draft and she read it in one day. I’m gobsmacked! She gave me some great feedback and came up with the new title. The old one was ‘Cold Soldier’.

Patty was really good about retitling this cover many times. I haven’t got a blurb for this yet. They usually come last. I’m still working on the story too. This book having an identity crisis borked me from getting very far into the rewrites over the years. Now, I’m two thirds in and I’ll need to revise it again, but I feel I have better direction. It is also part of a planned series but not a trilogy. The stories should work on their own. Awakening should come out later this year. After I’ve done a few things like this blog post, I will return to it today.

No blurb as I said, but a bit of a teaser.

On peaceful Colony Five there is a coup in progress. The administrator is mysteriously replaced and security advisor, Deleen is sent on forced leave.  Previously unknown cryo soldiers are being taken out of people’s basements and burned in the city parks. People hiding the cold soldiers are being taken away and charged with treason. Disturbing as this is for Deleen, she senses danger as a kind of martial law is being enforced in the city. Then she starts having dreams of a man asleep in a glass case-a suppressed memory that is forcing its way out. She escapes the city her abandoned homestead to confront the past and save the present.

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It is now the 1st of March 2019. What happened to two months? I know I’ve been occupied with the new granddaughter, but really? I’ve let my blogging lapse and and have really slowed down on other things.

However, I will focus on the good things. I’ve been baking. Yeah, I know weird.

I am fascinated by yeast breads cooked in pans so I tried crumpets (delicious) and English Muffins. I also made hot cross buns (oven). The English muffins, though, were a winner! None were left for freezing or toasting.

Here are some pictures of the muffins and the crumpets.

These are the crumpets.

 

I’m not sure what’s happening with my display options on WordPress. Sorry about that.

Yesterday, I had a ‘me’ day and I tried sourdough bread (oven based). I’d been working on the starter for about five days and tried out a recipe. It takes a long time to make sourdough bread according to the recipe I used. It’s an American method — long and complicated. I’m going to try it again as I ended up with two smallish loaves. I’ll make one big one instead.  Delicious by the way. I probably stuffed it up somewhere but so delicious. Worth the effort. The first picture is of the loose dough, which has to be folded every 30 minutes, six times. The second shows the dough getting tougher as it is folded and the last is my first loaf, which was a bit small and pancake like. I had an issue transferring the dough to the hot dutch oven. I tried a smaller casserole for the second loaf and it turned out great.

I also subscribed to a You Tube channel on sourdough bread making and I might try that method too. I’ll put the links below in case you are interested.

I’ve been playing around with the 100 day goal approach to things. My insights so far is that I have way too many goals. I think it is useful though, I’m just not good at doing a little bit each day. And having a newborn baby around certainly kept me distracted. I’m more like–today I will do X and only do that. Sort of binge goals!

Other things I’ve managed to do so far. I finished my Kimono quilt, which was one of my goals. I had another quilting goal that I have not moved, but I did do some sewing. Baby hats to be specific. The shops did not have new born sizes.

The house is a little tidier and I’m working on the motto of a place for everything. At present everything that doesn’t fit goes in the garage and that’s now full of guff!

My phd progress is slow. I won’t say zero but close to. I’m on a break so that’s okay. I was planning on keeping the fires burning and the novel ticking over. I’m also tutoring again. Just a few hours over two days.

I managed to get Ruby Heart in print and Emerald Fire published and also in print. I have one more book to do in the Silverlands series and I can get them printed, too. I am doing a book signing in Sydney in March so time is going well. My job for the next few months is just to keep the indie publishing stuff ticking over as I need to focus on the PhD novel–the next draft. Then I’m free to write what I want. Yay! Or polish something I’ve already written.

I tried the Kindle Unlimited route with Ruby Heart and Emerald Fire. I did all the things, advertising and cross promotion but I don’t think it’s worth keeping the series in Kindle Unlimited only. I will be putting the books out on other platforms when time has expired.

I recently had a promotion of Argenterra (England, Canada and Australia) with the new covers and I’m pleased to report that a good percentage of people are buying the rest of the series. That’s such a good feeling. I love the Silverlands series but I was beginning to think I was the only one.

I am also trying a ACAP machine for sleep apnea. It appears to be working. I don’t feel as tired and my cognitive ability has improved. I am also getting longer periods of undisturbed sleep. It’s only been a few days. Apparently in another couple of days I will feel the full benefits.

I had a lot of other things to blog about but a can’t think of them right now.

Here are the links.

I love cooking (Ireland)

The Kitchn- sourdough starter recipe

Sourdough bread recipe

Many thanks to Emma from Kitchn.

I also used this recipe for English Muffins for the Thermomix!

English Muffins using the Thermomix

And the crumpets using the Thermomix

Crumpets using the Thermomix

And if you are interested in Ruby Heart or Emerald Fire, they are steampunk themed, with gothic horror and a bit of romance. Think-manners, magic and mayhem.

Currently only on Amazon.

Ruby Heart

Emerald Fire

 

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