Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Number Twelve

I have been hovering over my computer. First, the week I spent in Chicago and now when I’m home. The deadline looms for m y manuscript which always seems to get my creative juices flowing full speed.

This time I’m not working from a synopsis, which is different. Writing the synopsis was always difficult, but writing from one was easier. This time I was working from a few facts like who the killer is and how Molly gets pulled into solving it. I also had an idea of the arcs for the assorted characters..

Since this will be the 12th book in the series, I know the characters pretty well by now, but even so when I start to write them, they can surprise me.

I think the biggest challenge is not to write the same book over and over and at the same time not write something too different.

One of the things I enjoy the most are writing Molly’s take on things which surprise, surprise is much like mine. The thing about getting older is that I have an overview on styles. Trends, etc. I know how slang comes and goes. I can take one step back and see slang terms which seem so hot at the moment, will seem silly and dated soon. And fashions. Don’t get me started. I keep thinking of the old I Love Lucy where she and Ethel think they’re wearing high fashion clothes, but really they are burlap sacks and buckets arranged by Ricky and Fred. In the end a designer rips off the idea.

The current style of men’s suits is really bizarre. The basic fact is that they look like they’re too small. When the jacket is buttoned there is a gap in the front. The pants are pencil thin, too. Well, except for Donald Trump who suits harken back to the days when men were lost in all that fabric.

I always have to come up with at least one recipe and a pattern. I like it best when they are both woven into the story. I’m having a lot of fun with the recipe this time. It’s called the Mystery Cake because Molly’s mother found a recipe she’d gotten from someone. It was handwritten and one of the ingredients was illegible and the instructions were rather vague. Even the name of the cake didn’t explain what it was. On a whim Molly’s mother made it leaving out the illegible ingredient and made her own instructions. She christened it the Mystery Cake and it became an instant hit with her family. Now that she is using Molly’s living room for a rehearsal hall for her girl group The She La Las, she softens the blow by keeping Molly supplied with Mystery Cake.

The real story is, I did find a recipe like that when I was in Chicago. Or at least almost like that. The recipe is handwritten and there is an illegible ingredient that I leave out. It does have a name that explains what kind of cake it is – it’s called The Truant Officer’s Carrot Cake. I should explain my mother worked in the office of an elementary school. The directions are vague. Things like bake until done. Obviously the recipe I will include in the book will have better directions and information on the oven temperature and approximately how long to bake it.

The pattern is for a simple baby blanket I crocheted for my grandson.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Hope all goes well with your finishing this book. Sounds as if you are well on your way!

linda osborn said...

Looking forward to this one, as always. Will it be published in the fall ? Don't forget to let us know the identity of that third couple that got married--Of course I am still hoping for Barry and Molly SOMETIME !!! Linda O

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the end is in sight.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda Osborn, I don't have a release date. I am waiting to hear about it from my new publisher. I definitely tell who the third couple is. Barry definitely has his fans. Other readers have told me the same thing you did.