Monday, February 8, 2010

Back to Blogging

I gotta say, writing really is something that's much easier if you do it every day. Taking a break, while sometimes necessary, is a bit of a creative killer for me, even when I'm taking the break because my creativity isn't working. Sometimes a little vacation can jump start me, but other times I feel like I have to start at square one again (hopscotch metaphor!) in order to turn out anything worth reading. As to why I've been a break, here's a link to my personal blog and a post on writing and my father's death. I was hoping that post would break the brain freeze I've had for the last month or so, but while I've started getting more ideas during those hours I can't sleep, I find the ability to write them when I've actually sat down at my computer is still elusive.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to hook one's brain up to a computer at night and have it somehow transfer the ideas straight into a nice, tidy word document? It doesn't have to be spell checked or anything. Just written down. That way those uncomfortable 'midnight of the soul' hours spent lying in bed, unable to sleep, yet unwilling to get up, would at least be productive even though they leave me exhausted the following day.

I vaguely remember being very cranky around 4am this morning because of a Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse Mysteries) book I just finished. Holiday Grind. I've enjoyed her previous books in this series and all the details about the mysteries and mechanics of coffee, running a coffee house, and lush food/beverage descriptions. I wouldn't be a member of the Fatal Foodies team if I didn't like to read and write about things of a culinary nature. But fer crissake, Holiday Grind is over 350 pages and the mystery ends somewhere around 280. The rest of the 70 some odd pages are recipes and a glossary for coffee related terms. Now I like recipes, don't get me wrong. And I do prefer it when they're contained at the end of a book rather than interrupting the flow of the story. That just bugs me. But 70 pages worth? I dunno, I felt cheated.

How do you all feel about recipes in books? Does it bother you when they come smack dab in the middle of a chapter? I'm not talking the description of making something, but the actual recipe. Does it take you out of the story or is this something you just expect from culinary mysteries? And would it bother you to pick up a 350 plus page book and find a big chunk of it devoted to recipes? Or am I just cranky these days? :-)

6 comments:

Chris V. said...

Full recipes in the text, seem odd; I havent' seen that. The ones at the end of the chapter seem usual these days.

Dana Fredsti said...

I've seen it done in the text, at the end of the chapters and at the end of the book. Sometimes in the chapter it's given in a conversational sort of way... it doesn't always stop the story, but a lot of times it does. But... 70 some odd pages of 'em? More story, dangit!

Gayle said...

Great to have you back, Dana! Sorry I missed Friday guys. I had to take a sick day.

Dana Fredsti said...

It's nice to be back, Gayle. I am SO RUSTY!!! Hope you're feeling better!!!

K. A. Laity said...

I think books with "extras" at the end should contain a warning in a conspicuous place so you don't think you've got a lot of story to go and whoops! It's over.

I'd certainly prefer recipes to come at the end. Anything that breaks up the narrative is going to get skipped in a best case scenario (or make me drop the book, worst case). Jesse Blair Kensington's Appetite for Passion had *wonderful* recipes in the back that played a terrific role in the story (yum!).

I guess I haven't read any mysteries in a while, and certainly none that have recipes. Is this a big thing now?

Dana Fredsti said...

Kate, there are a lot of books with recipes now. Diane Mott Davies pretty much started the trend with her Goldie Bear mysteries...