Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Malaga Mayonnaise

This last weekend we had guests from Malaga, Spain--the surprising things you learn from guests. They offered to prepare the evening meal and mentioned one of the ingredients they would need was mayonnaise. I immediately headed for the refrigerator, but they said: "Oh, no--we always make it from scratch." Really? Having never bothered to make mayonnaise, I doubted it was a worthwhile enterprise. What's wrong with Hellman's?

I was informed that in Spain they make two versions of mayonnaise. One uses a whole milk base and the other uses eggs. Because it is so hot in Spain and there is the danger of salmonella, they usually prefer the milk-based version. Since I didn't have whole milk on hand, they went with eggs. There are a lot of variations on recipes for mayonnaise, but their version used a couple of eggs, salt, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Whip all that together in a small bowl/container. (A Cuisinart blending wand works well.) Gradually drizzle about a cup of vegetable oil and a half cup of olive oil into the bowl while continuing to whip. The key to success is to add the oil very, very slowly. Drop by drop. It turns into a wonderfully fluffy and flavorful spread. Different recipes add garlic or dry mustard. Experiment. You may never buy mayonnaise again.

No comments:

Post a Comment