The Block

So much of life is about change and learning to adapt and go with the flow.

You guys, writer’s block is a real thing. To be honest, I always kinda scoffed at people who complained about the dreaded block because I really believed that if you sat your ass down in the chair and forced yourself to put words on paper, it would happen.

And then I got The Block.

At this point, Shrilugh is dead in the water. It’s sitting in the middle of a yuuuuuuuge ocean and no breeze or current seems to be available to drag it out. I fought it for several months, then decided to take a hiatus from writing altogether to chill with the Took for a year, and I have been chewing and gnawing and shaping and molding the story in my brain all this time and…

I’m getting nowhere.

Ever since publishing in 2012 I’ve been pushing so hard–to learn the business AND get better at marketing AND write better than when I started AND write faster than a snail (which is my natural pace, and the enemy of any indie-pub author. Well, that and book pirating. Fuck you, book pirating). But I think that all the pushing has led to a nasty little thing called burn-out. And burn-out has produced the fruit of writer’s block.

Nom-nom-nom. Eat it up, writer-girl.

I am not hanging up my hat–I’m a story-teller at heart–but I think it will be good for me to shift gears for awhile. Shrilugh’s conclusion is going to have to wait. I think letting go of the story for a while will be good for me–and ultimately, it. Hopefully, as I open up my hand and let go of the dream that was Shrilugh, the words will begin to come back to me. Words that will open doors to new worlds and fresh stories.

And then maybe, one day, those words will take me back to the place where the leaves glow at night and a girl discovers she is more than she was led to believe.

Thanks for sticking with me through so many cliffhangers and so much silence.

Loads of love,

teal

Spectacularly Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

IMG_9614First of all, let it be known to one and all that I am not a food blogger. There are somewhere in the ballpark of a gazillion food bloggers out there who do an amazing job and have incredible skills both in the kitchen and in writing and in photographing their food…

…and I am not one of them.

I do, however, love to bake. This week when I mentioned these cookies on Facebook I had a hilariously disproportionate response to them—a response that was driven into two distinct camps:

A) OH, MY GOD, I LOVE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES THEY ARE THE BEST THING SINCE A SHIRTLESS JASON MOMOA WALKED OUT OF THE OCEAN.

or,

B) OH, MY GOD, I DETEST OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES THEY ARE THE WORST THING SINCE CROCS.

IMG_9615A quick word to those of you who have deep-rooted trust issues concerning raisins: first of all, let’s just acknowledge that if this is your big stumbling block in life, you’ve had it pretty good so far. Secondly, those sweet, little wrinkled nuggets of deliciousness are substitutable. Instead of raisins, toss in chocolate chips. Or, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Or, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Or, if you want to go with something fruity instead of decadent, use cranberries (or, cranberries and white chocolate chips). Or dried, chopped apricots (or dried chopped mango, or papaya). What I’m saying here is that this recipe is made to modify.

Also, this recipe was sort of a happy accident. I had my mom’s recipe and some ideas that I found online for making them chewy, and then I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed, and then I flat-out forgot some ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Whoops!), so…

Yeah. In my kitchen, improvisation (and apparently forgetfulness) happens.

Luckily, it was a success. I had to fend off the hordes in order to have just three left to photograph, and I have one kid who is trying to bargain his way into me making them every damn day. So I salute you, serendipity, for tinkering in the kitchen with me, and with my gratitude, dive into the ingredient list.

Ingredients (in order of use):

1 C. butter, room temp

1 C. brown dark brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T. pear glaze*

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 C. flour

3 C. old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 C. Raisins (or whatever)

*You could use molasses here, or maple syrup. Honestly, I kinda want to try peanut butter (smooth, and maybe blended with half the butter first?). I have a pantry full of pear glaze that I canned last summer, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Get Down to Business:

Whip the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping the bowl as you need. Next, the vanilla. Next, the pear glaze. Beat until it’s nice and goopy (technical word. Impressive, I know). Work your way down the rest of the recipe, adding one ingredient at a time until incorporated. You’ll probably want to fold in the raisins with a rubber spatula.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Using your hands, roll dough into balls, pop back into the fridge for fifteen minutes (the colder the dough is going into the oven, the softer the cookie will be). Bake at 350 degrees (be sure to preheat oven) for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 

Voila! Your cookies are done! With our family of six they were pretty much gone in less time than it took me to make them, but it was totally worth it. I hope you try ’em, and love ’em!

teal