Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Writing Life

I’ve been listening to "Fibber McGee and Molly" radio programs on CDs. One of my characters in the Betsy Devonshire mysteries is fond of old-time radio and sometimes quotes from these old shows, so I get to listen to them as research. Life is sweet when you can combine your work with something you’d like to do anyway. Catch phrases from "Fibber McGee and Molly" include, "Heavenly days!" and, "I’ve got to clean out that closet one of these days." I’ve been listening while I work on a piece of crewel I started a long time ago and abandoned. It’s a pretty piece, of sheep standing in a pasture under an autumn-leafed tree with various colors of fields in the background. If I ever get it finished I’ll post it on my web site.

Today I’m going to try out a recipe that’s new to me as a treat for my writers group – it’s my turn to host the meeting. I had them at the bed and breakfast up in Longville, where I was doing some research for the next novel. They’re called Swiss Butterhorns and they’re shaped something like miniature crescent rolls, except they’re crisp, and filled with chopped pecans, sugar and cinnamon. My, they are delicious! If this were a cookery blog instead of Killer Hobbies, and if they came out as delicious as the ones we had up north, I’d type out the recipe.

I always thought an aid to getting organized was to have lots of places to put things, but now in our new apartment, I’m finding a little room with a tiny desk works even better. I have to keep putting things away to make room for the mess I need around me when I’m writing. You know, a dictionary, a telephone, my notes on interviews, maps and photographs, a cat toy or two, a stitching catalog, a few samples of floss and/or fabric, a box of Kleenex, a pen and pencil holder (mine’s actually one of those rubberoid things used to keep pop cans cold and is shaped like the head of a large-mouth bass), and the miniature file cabinet that holds names and phone numbers of people I need to get in touch with when I have a question. Oh, and my book of baby names, useful for naming characters. So you see, there’s not much room for extraneous items on my little desk. Though I manage to let things get stacked up somehow.

I played a round of par-three nine-hole golf yesterday morning and hit a couple of shots off the tee that were almost respectable, plus a pitch onto the green from the rough that landed inches from the hole. It’s enough to keep me thinking I may be able to play this game well enough to report a score without shame or apology some day.

Work on Buttons and Bones marches slowly – I keep finding things out that mean I have to go back and do re-write. Oh, well, such is the life of an author, too – it’s not all beer and skittles.


Julie said...

Don't apologize for your golf game! Everybody who plays has been there, heck, Tiger has hit shots into the water. And please post that recipe! It sounds like the little rolls a local family-owned restaurant made. The family has since retired, a new restaurant has opened in the facility, with a modern menu that I don't like nearly as much. Please, please, please?
(PS: I'm glad I'm not the only one with cat toys on the desk.)

Anonymous said...

I love old radio shows. I am urrently listening to The Great Gildersleeve and Dragnet. I also love The Halls of Ivy. I just finished listening to the Jack Benny show. What a nice time period. Life was much slower and less hectic.

Betty Hechtman said...

I always like reading your posts. I feel like I get to tag along in your life. Your writers group is in for a treat. Those rolls sound yummy.

Monica Ferris said...

Oh, that wicked laugh the Great Gildersleeve had! What was the actor's name? Peary something.

The recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 cup cols margarine
13 cup cold butter
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
12 cup chopped pecans
12 cup sugar
1 Tsp. ground cinnamon
GLAZE (optional)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tblsp. milk
14 Tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in margarine and butter until crumbly. Stir in egg yold and sour cream; shape into a ball. Chill several hours or overnight. Divide douogh into thirds. On well-floured board, roll each portion into a 12-in circle. Combine filling ingredients. Sprinkle a third of the filling over each circle. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge, startng at the wide end. Placed on greased baking sheets, points down. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins or until lightly browned. Make glaze by combining ingredients. Spread on warm rolls. Yield: 3 dozen

Julie said...

Thank you for the recipe! Going to get sour cream & try them this weekend!

Anonymous said...

His name was Harold Peary who played The Great Gildersleeve. If you like that show, you will like his other radio show that he did when he left The Great Gildersleeve. It is called Honest Harold and it is funny! Love these old time radio shows. I like them much better than the junk that is on TV now anyway!
Patti S.