Saturday, 4 September 2010

The Muse Awakes

With the arrival of full computer use, my Muse seems to have woken up! I desperately need to do so many things, not least is getting back to HTRYN and HTTS.

After being ill with an energy-sapping fluey cold for the last few weeks, the huge population of spiders have been spinning webs everywhere. We're tidy people but the house has gradually become more and more untidy. So I've been spring cleaning. I know accepted psychological wisdom states that one can work effectively in an untidy environment - I certainly did at work. Here, at home, that just isn't true. And anyway, my desk is so covered in paper that I'm in danger of disappearing under a paper-lanche. Glad I don't have to do a Health and Safety risk assessment :)

This is still on the back burner. This both concerns me - I want to get it finished - and it doesn't concern me because I'm learning new things with HTTS which means I'll do a better job of the rewrite. My excuse anyway. That and the lack of energy. Rewriting new scenes, of which there were many, was excruciatingly slow.

This is where the Muse woke up. I took my breakfast coffee back to bed this morning and actually opened my HTTS file. Lesson 4 - thinking about describing the protagonist (noun and adjective, both significant and snappy) and protag's need. My original idea I'd been so thrilled with seemed pedestrian and flat and more seriously, I was unclear about the protag's need. At this point, the Muse stretched, yawned and suggested making the antagonist the protagonist. Now that makes a huge difference; the protagonist's need is now clear - as is the new antagonist's. Thanks Muse :)

The Marmande tomatoes are ripening and we had the first two today. Years ago, the cookery writer Jane Grigson (Sophie's mum) wrote about this variety in a way which set this tomato above all others. We've been eating small tomatoes for a couple of weeks - and very tasty they are too - but it was the Marmande variety which I was waiting for. What a disappointment. Slightly mealy and with no more flavour than winter tomatoes bought in the local Co-op. Rats! I'll try cooking with them and see if that improves them any.

Prue's receipe for Cooking Tomatoes
Cut each tomato in half.
Heat olive oil in a pan big enough to take all toms in one layer - as little oil as possible.
Place toms cut side up in hot oil, over medium heat
Sprinkle cut surface with a little sugar and dried italian herbs (or marjoram, or your own mix)
After a couple of minutes, turn the tomatoes over
Turn heat down or sugar will burn
Cook until heated through and softenend.

The olive oil, sugar and herbs can make even the most tasteless tomatoes taste much better!

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