Fresh Bread + Books = This Post

I decided to watch a few BookTube videos as I was getting ready this morning, which is fairly normal for me, and managed to mis-read the title of one such video from ‘fresh reads’ to ‘fresh breads.” I re-read the title, watched the video, and giggled at myself…but the title “Fresh Breads” wouldn’t stop tapping at my brain. What could I do with this title? Could I turn ‘fresh breads’ into something bookish and/or writish without writing a short story about baking bread because, let’s face it, I don’t want to write a story about baking bread right now.

So…I came up with a sort of tag post (which I will probably turn into a video later). Here it goes:

Writing:

When you bake bread, much like when you write, there are several ingredients you must include no matter what type of goody you’re cooking up.

  1. Flour – Flour contains starches and proteins that are ultimately responsible setting the finished products volume, texture, and appearance. Name something in your current WIP that acts in the same way and ‘sets’ the finished product.

                                         I love the way Grandpa P interacts with the two 9 year old protagonists of the story. To me, his quirky and gentle spirit melds well with his adventurous side and helps the boys rise to the occasion, allowing them to find what they need and ‘setting’ the story. 

2) Salt – Salt is used to balance the yeast and boost flavors. Name something in your writing (style or current WIP) that helps to keep the balance or boost the narrative.

Sarcasm balances everything out…sarcasm and music :p

3) Yeast – Many breads use yeast to ferment the carbohydrates in dough and convert them to carbon dioxide bubbles, which makes the dough rise. What is a basic element in your writing (style or habit in general) that helps your story(ies) to rise?

I love the way words feel when they nestle in just right together. The way they trip and dance and snuggle in all the right ways. I like to think that my use of language employs that love and helps my writing style to rise.

4) Sweetener – Breads often include sugar, honey, or another type of sweetener to give them a flavor boost. What is something that ‘sweetens’ your writing?

An attempt at attention to details by showing the reader things the characters are seeing and hearing…or not paying attention to. Hopefully that little extra umph will sweeten the deal. 

5) Extras (fruit, nuts, meat, etc.)  – Many breads include sweet or savory elements that add an extra pop of flavor to the bread, making it into more of a meal or dessert. Name something about your current WIP that adds that element to nudge your story over the top.

One has pirate treasures and adventure to a soundtrack of classic rock songs, another has wild animals and great illustrations (thanks to my Mom! YAY Becky Tyree!), and finally the third WIP has magic and past lives that creep into mundane existences and turn us all around. 

Reading:

There are an incredible number of varying bread types throughout the world. Sweet, savory, and in-between these can be full meals, sweet treats, and even a daily supplement. The same goes for reading. These questions compare a few types of warm yummy bread to reading.

  1. Quick Bread – light, airy, and quick to make, this bread is often turned in to rolls, biscuits, coffee cake, etc. and is often a favorite of bakers and eaters alike. Name a book or genre that you consider to be like quick bread.

Contemporary reads, especially romances. I don’t often read them but there are a few on my shelf, just in case.

2) Rye Bread – a denser, more strongly flavored bread that comes in either dark or light varieties and can be spiced to add flavor and color. Name a book, series, or genre that you could see described like this.

This feels like Fantasy/Sci-Fi to me. There are so many different levels and sub-genres that can be visited here. For a book or a series, think about the difference between Tolkien’s LOTR and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. 

3) Sweet Bread – created with sweetened dough, toppings, and/or fillings, sweet breads are often baked into decorative shapes (such as animals etc). Name a book that felt shaped  and stuffed with sweetness.

I was originally going to say something about romances again, but I think I’m going to go with a classic and choose “Little Women” here. Yes, there were some not-so-sweet bits, but that book feels shaped like one of its main characters and stuffed full with sweet youth, drizzled in a tender sauce to ease growing up.

4) Tortilla – A flat bread dating back to prehistoric times, tortillas are made of corn or flour. Name a book or series that has withstood the test of time.

There are so many wonderful books I could mention here. I adore many of Shakespeare’s works, and Poe’s as well. However, I think I’ll choose Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” for this. With multiple movies and television series, Baker Street is still as popular as ever!

5) Baguette – A french bread with very crusty outside and delicate, tender ‘meat’ this bread is used for multiple purposes. Name a book or character that seemed thick skinned or ‘crusty’ at first, but that you later found to be delicate and tender once you got to know them OR that brings out multiple emotions in you.

I’m currently reading “Hollow City”, the second book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy, and I think I will choose the gypsy characters from this book. I won’t spoil anything here, but they definitely started out crusty and mellowed into tenderness. 

That’s all that I have for you right now! If I do a video I will attempt to come up with different answers and will post it on the blog as well.

I would love to see what Silver Threading, Ronovan, Words Warrior, and Charles make of this tag…as well as anyone else who would like to have a crack at it! Please make sure to let me know if you take this on, I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers!

Trees

“Sometimes I seriously dislike my brain,” Darla groused, tossing her bag under the table and sprawling across the empty diner chair.

“Well hello D,” Nick deadpanned, motioning to the chair she had just commandeered. “Imagine seeing you here. Won’t you please have a seat?”

“Very funny Nicky,” Darla snarked, shoving a roll into her waiting mouth.

“I’m a funny man.”

“Anyway,” she mumbled around the half masticated bread still rumbling around in her open maw. “I was driving around downtown, you know just looking at all the new window displays and trying to decide what I want to do this afternoon, when I suddenly saw a tree. Just a normal, everyday, old as dirt tree. Except that this one was really old, with the gnarled trunk and twisty limbs.”

“A tree,” Nick asked, rolling his eyes and flashing his hands in disbelief. “You got all worked up, drove across town from downtown, and ran in here all upset just because you saw an old tree in town?? Do you need meds? Should I call that shrink friend of yours??”

“No, why would you have his number?” Darla shook her head, dismissing the distracting train of thought and glaring at her friend, “No! They were having a ceremony to induct the tree as a historical landmark with the plaque and the dessert table and the whole nine yards but only three people were there. THREE PEOPLE NICK. And I thought to myself, how amazing it is that we chop down trees in the name of progress while buying organic products to ‘save the earth.’ Did you know that 131 years ago, when this town was founded, it was built in a clearing that was halfway through the woods and directly in the middle of the main thru-fare of the time? The trees provided protection, shelter, and food for the settlers and the settlement provided a safe haven of rest for weary travelers on long journeys. As new settlers came in, they slowly cleared plots of land and now we have a tiny “forest” outside of town, a quarry surrounded by about five trees on the other side of outside of town, a tree with a plaque on the town square. Wow! Just…WOW! And our town won awards for being ‘green-conscious’ and ‘friends of the environment’ when we built those animal rehab centers using recycled materials and blah blah blah.”

Darla paused to catch her breath, her temper flare having caused her cheeks to flush and her heart to race.

“That is sad and all D but I don’t know how you want to fix it. I mean, those trees are all long gone.” Nick pointed out, reaching across the table to lay a hand over her fisted fingers. “If you want to plant some trees we could probably get the mayor to okay a few places in the park or something. I would help.”

“You’re right. I know that you are right,” Darla took a deep breath and looked up at Nick from under her eyelashes, the flush in her cheeks now having almost nothing to do with her earlier rant. “And that’s a great idea Nick. I really appreciate that you would be willing to help me with this project. It means a lot to me.”

“That’s very interesting,” A cool feminine voice doused the table with sarcasm and caused the couple to jerk backwards into their seats, the intimate feel of the moment vanishing instantly. “But would you mind getting out of my seat Darla? You can keep the roll though.” The tall bleached blond waved her hands in a shooing motion at the confused girl before deliberately leaning down and slowly planting a kiss on the corner of Nick’s mouth. “Sorry I’m running a bit late darling, but there was some sort of to-do downtown.”

“Oh, you’re on a date.” Darla stiffly reached down, grabbed her bag, and stood. “I saved you from yourself Jen. The rolls are a little stale.”
“Perhaps that’s just the taste of loss,” Jen suggested brightly. “Off you go now.”

As Darla slowly shuffled away Jen dusted of the chair she had been sitting in and sat down delicately on the edge of the seat. “I really am sorry that I was late Nicky boo. There was a truck blocking the road by the town square so the mayor could give some sort of speech. I swear, they do that about once a week anymore! I’ve written letters about it but never heard back about my suggestion.”

“What suggestions Jennifer?” Nick asked cautiously, she may be beautiful and a viper of a lawyer, but his new girlfriend was sometimes not nearly as smart as he wished she would be.

“I just think that if they took that nasty old tree out of the way then the road could be widened and people wouldn’t have to be stopped or take such long detours all the time,” Jen pouted her full lips. “I just don’t like to miss my time with you pookie.”

Pausing at the door, Darla glanced back to the table she had just vacated. She couldn’t believe Nick could date that woman! What an idiot, both of them! She almost felt badly for Jenifer though, the ‘I hate sappy pet names’ rant was not very entertaining for the recipient. Of course, anyone who could seriously believe that the old tree needed to be taken down, and was too self-absorbed to have seen the plaque going up, deserved every lecture in Nick’s arsenal.

For his part, Nick looked suitably upset, especially when she called him pookie. With a giggle and a wink at the poor sod, Darla headed out into the bright mid-afternoon sunshine. Nick was smart guy, he could handle himself with clueless Jenifer.

Darla had places to go, people to see, a shovel to buy, and a mayor to talk to about some trees! Maybe she would suggest some road work as well, just a little cosmetic fix to those potholes on the road around Jenifer’s house. It would only be blocked off for a few days while they filled them and, of course, planted the new trees down the sidewalk. Darla laughed maniacally to herself. This might be even more fun than she had first anticipated.