The Need For Consistency In The Sourdough Bread Baking Community

My son started secondary school last week. His previous school was about a ten minute walk from our house and we used to walk up together and then walk back in the afternoon. Now he gets a taxi to his new school each day which picks him up outside the house. Whilst this does mean I don’t need to be ready and dressed when he has to go anymore it does mean I can go the whole day without leaving the house. This is not a good thing.

I had planned to do a bit of writing today. Firstly I had a few finishing touches to do to a games review for Orange Bison, a website I have occasional contributions to. Once that was done it would be more on the book. Sitting down to write at 8:30am though, once my son had left, would mean I’d be indoors all day again. I felt I needed a walk out first.

Anybody who thinks the last few entries in this blog have lacked photos is in for a treat right now.

I was on a mission for spelt flour. Hang with me here because I have my reasons. For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to homebake a decent sourdough loaf. I have my starter bubbling away in a jar underneath the stairs and it’s fed each evening (mostly). My first attempt at such a thing resulted using 100g of starter, 394g of white flour (I know, I was following an online recipe) and 8g of salt (yikes!) resulted in something which was flat but actually did taste like sourdough once you got past the salty after taste,

Upping the starter amount to 250g and the flour to 400g (because rounding up is good) yet reducing the salt to 5g meant it rose a certain amount but tasted really bland.

Various recipes online give wildly different instructions.

So I thought maybe adding spelt flour would give it something else at least, mixing it 50/50 with the white flour. The weather was good so I walked to the local shopping centre because there’s a health food shop there. I wasn’t sure if they’d have it but amongst the protein powders and energy bars but I did manage to strike gold.

DSC_0536.JPG

Today will mark the third attempt. These are the things I do when not writing.

Whilst I was at the shopping centre I decided to get a cup of coffee and a cake at 11am because I don’t often get the chance to do this without it being my lunch hour or something.

DSC_0534.JPG

With great foresight I managed to remember to bring a book along with me to read as well. I’m currently a good part of the way through Jim Smallman‘s ‘I’m Sorry, I Love You’ which is a history of professional wrestling. It’s a really good read, well researched yet still accessible. Wrestling fans will understand the title, anybody not in the know will think it’s a bit odd. There was a woman who was on the table opposite me who seemed to be trying to work out, from the picture of a bare chested man on the front, which Mills and Boon novel I was reading.

IMG_20180830_112134.jpg

Then I walked back home past the town shops up the road from my house. I bought a loaf of bread and some steak pie. I got home to realise that I forgot to buy breakfast cereal for tomorrow morning.

Also once I got back home this year’s version of Pro Evolution Soccer is waiting on the doormat. Every year I tell myself I should just not bother with spending money on the latest edition because it’s just a little bit of an improvement. Then they announced that the Scottish Premier League was officially in the 2019 version.

I’m such a sucker.

DSC_0535.JPG

All this took me up to noon when I got started with writing. I’m actually doing quite well with it so I’m glad I trooped out for a jaunt this morning. If I’d have stayed in then I would certainly have got underway earlier but it would have been a bit stop and start as I was trying to find the groove.

The Absolute Certainty Of The End

This last part is a grind. I’ve always had two endings in mind for the story and have made the rather stupid choice of going for neither of them until I got to that part in the writing process and I could sort it out then. Now I’m at that bit I’m really, really regretting that.

One ending I came up with was boring but made sense, the other is the complete opposite. Now I’m actually at the ending I’m kind of trying to bodge together a halfway point between the two and it really isn’t working. I have too many characters in the one place so it all feels like they’re just queing up to say massive chunks of exposition before all trying to kill each other.

There’s a big part of me wanting to go and fix this RIGHT NOW but there’s another part that just wants to get to the end (or at least an ending of sorts) so I can go back to the start and solve everything from there. Considering some of the early chapters were written about eighteen months ago they’ll feel a completely different atmosphere to what I’m writing now.

There’s also the fact I’ll need to transfer all the text into Word from Open Office as this number of words seems to have broken the Open Office spell checker.

 

The Buffalo

I was driving out to the local shopping centre today to pick up some trainers for my son. On the radio there was a broadcast of interviews from the Edinburgh Book Festival. At one point, turning into the car park, I hear this exchange.

“I often feel in your books that you’re trying to evoke a world, a feeling”.

“Yes, I spent a lot of time doing that”.

“You’re also quite good with smells”.

As I’m getting out of the car I become aware I’m ranting to myself. “Isn’t that what all authors do?” I mutter.

I meet eye to eye with the old guy in the car next to me. He’s looking at me with a really confused expression. We exchange ‘Good Mornings’ and go about our day.

Distress Beacons

School holidays are a really hard time to write. As much as I’d love to be blasting out one thousand words stretches each day it’s difficult to do that whilst my son is home. It would really feel like I was ignoring him.

Today we went shopping for second hand videogames (found some bargains too) and also stopped off to buy doughnuts. In less than two weeks he starts secondary school so he’s anxious as all hell right now.

I sat down to write after he had gone to bed but only managed 250 words. Not a great deal but 250 more than I had whilst I was eating a doughnut this morning.