Writer’s Cramps

19 Oct

For two years I had no trouble writing stories. Of course there were the inevitable slow periods when you have to establish a routine to keep yourself writing. But after the agreement came in from Spectacle Media Publishing Group to get my first book out there, my creative juices were really flowing. At least until the time for that group’s staff to do their part in getting us published came into play and the waiting period began. Although I know it hasn’t been unusually long in getting our book in print, I seem to have lost some of my enthusiasm. I guess at my age, I need to know that someone is reading what I write.
For over thirty years I had that satisfaction because I wrote a column for a weekly newspaper. I guess this made me used to having almost instantaneous response to what I was writing. The column, which was called “Apron Strings,” was about my children and my life back then, but it always ended with a recipe, especially once I got that helpful tip established. Then people were not only anxious to read the escapades of my family, but they wanted that final benefit: a recipe, and they began to send me scads of suggestions. I would weigh ten tons today if I had tried every recipe sent.
I know most people reading this blog don’t care about recipes, but blogging is similar to writing that column in that the readers want to hear aspects of your life as an author. Fortunately, what I have to report right now is great news. That wonderful time when our first book, Twist of Fate, will be published is nearing: the ebook should be out end of October/beginning of November and printed versions will be available before Christmas. As I’ve waited, I haven’t really slowed much: I have rewritten book number 2, Wretched Fate, and reread and corrected book number 3, Fate of the Violet Eyes. Meanwhile, book number 4 in the Sam Osborne series, which doesn’t yet have a title, is completely written but needs work. I even have first drafts for nine-tenths of book number 5, which is a compilation of short stories.
Still, while I’m steadily picking away at all of those projects, I must confess that until I actually see something in print, I feel I’ve reached a stumbling block, which has extended to trying to come up with blog topics. So, dear readers, I’m returning to my old habits and ending with a recipe today. Try it: it doesn’t sound like much but it’s really delicious and just enough different to make it fun to prepare. Oh, and we really should give it a writing theme so I’ll call it:
½ head broccoli
1 cup chopped pecans
½ head cauliflower
1-cup raisins
1 large onion
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Sauce Mix
1/2 cup sugar or splenda
3 T. vinegar
1-cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
Instructions: chop broccoli, cauliflower, onion, raisins, and pecans; place in large salad bowl Add cheese. Mix sauce ingredients; toss with vegetables, etc. Will keep well for several days.

And while you’re waiting: get to work on that next book project!

— Sharon Swope


Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Writer’s Cramps

  1. Jennifer Thompson

    October 20, 2012 at 1:07 am

    You are too cute! I loved what you shared about your stumbling block and your inspiration for Gus–magic! So happy for you. And I love to cook, so your recipe is a winner as well. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more. Do you have a good recipe for English Toffee? I can never get mine to turn out. 🙂

    • gsparente

      October 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer. Great to hear from you. As you can imagine, after 30 years of writing the column, mom has a ton of recipes. She had a great one for English toffee, which she made every year.

      I’ll get it to you — promise!

  2. Allyn Stotz

    October 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Wonderful post, ladies!! And don’t feel bad, Sharon, all of us writers get stumbling blocks along the way. I have certainly had my own. When I recently got laid off from my job, I had about a 6 month stumbling block!! Oh I still wrote here and there but just didn’t feel inspired. But thankfully, I’ve gotten it back!!

    I absolutely love how you’ve added a recipe at the end. I think that’s a wonderful idea and will help to get people excited about checking in with you more often. Good thinking!!

    And Jennifer, mom’s english toffee is one of my very favorites!!


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