Tag Archives: pie

Pie

I thought if there was one week in the year it would be impossible for me to put up a Wednesday blog post, it would be this week. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and today is my pie-baking day. I bake a lot of pies, so it’s a busy day. I spent my day transforming my dining room table from this:

My Painting Mess

My Painting Mess


To this:
Cleared Table

Cleared Table


And then to this:
Pies

Pies


Those are only some of the pies I baked today. At the time the picture was taken, there were already two in the refrigerator. There were also two in the oven and there were three I was still putting together. We host a big family gathering on Thanksgiving. This is still way more pie than we need. Why do I do it? I’m not quite sure. I just love pie and I became the family pie-baker while my mother was still hosting the gathering at her house. In those days, I would make up to thirty pies. I have cut back, now that mom is gone and there’s a turkey in my own oven on Thanksgiving morning.

My mom loved pie, too. That’s one reason I made so many. She wanted plenty of leftovers and I was happy to make them for her. I was happy to make them for everyone. My middle brother, also gone now, always used to take a pumpkin and a pecan home with him. Other siblings took other pies. Nieces and nephews got their favorites, too. Not as many go out the door whole any more, but I still send lots of pie home with relatives.

I also keep a few here in order to honor my favorite holiday tradition. Other people can go out shopping on Black Friday. I stay home and watch Christmas videos while eating leftover pie. I will start with Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas. My list always includes The Muppet Family Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol, too. Then I’ll probably run through a few other versions of A Christmas Carol, including the Albert Finney “Scrooge,” The Alistair Sim “Scrooge,” and the one from 1938 that’s full of Lockharts.

I have animated versions, too – Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Magoo’s Christmas Carol and the Disney one that’s so intense I won’t let small children watch it. I even have a version that’s a Western, starring Jack Palance. I am not kidding.

Do I like this story much? What can I say? I am just a sucker for redemption.

And pie.

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Fun With Writring

I am caught up on my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo. Now I can meet my goal by doing about nine hundred words a day for the rest of July. As I suspected, the process did require pie.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie


Also cookies.
No-bake Cookies

No-bake Cookies


And my favorite flavored coffee.
Jamaican Me Crazy

Jamaican Me Crazy


And more pie.
Custard Pie

Custard Pie


And one big painting.
Flame Azaleas

Flame Azaleas


The scan is a bit fuzzy and it washed out the sky, which is blue, not white, in the actual painting. This is the biggest one I’ve done yet and it’s different from the rest in other ways, too. It was based on a photograph. I prefer to paint from life, but we saw some beautiful things when we were in North Carolina and I didn’t have time to paint on the Craggy Flats trail. That’s where I took the picture of flame azaleas on which this painting is based. The other difference is that I painted it in stages over several days, instead of all in one sitting.

Of course, the result is not all that I had hoped it would be, but it was a great learning experience. I tried new things. I can’t expect new things to work perfectly the very first time I try them. It’s called “trial and error” for a reason. I am happy that I was able to allow myself to make errors.

I should confess that the other reason I am caught up on my Camp NaNoWriMo word count is that I’m trying new things there, too. I haven’t dropped my word goal, but I have given myself permission to write whatever I want to write. I know I said I wanted to finish my novel from November, but I was so stuck that I was starting to feel like Mozart in that scene from Amadeus where Constanze is trying to get him to work on the Requiem and he looks at her with hollow eyes and says, “It’s killing me.”

Yeah… not a fun place to be. I want to finish that novel, but I’m not going to kill myself over it. This is Camp; it’s supposed to be fun. It can be any type of writing, not just a novel. It can be nonfiction. It can be a collection of poems or short stories. It can be a screenplay if that’s what you want to write. It can even be revisions of a novel you have already written. I’m still writing. I will write thirty thousand words in the month of July. They will all come from my head; I won’t have a character in my own novel read passages from some real, already-published novel to pad my word count. My daughter, who spends time on the NaNoWriMo forums, says that is a tactic some people use.

I may now be a NaNoWriMo rebel, but I’m not that much of rebel. I just set my inner artist free, that’s all. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, says that the inner artist is a child. You can’t make a child happy by dragging her, kicking and screaming, to a word processor and chaining her little hands to the keyboard. As soon as I told her she could write whatever she wanted, she started jumping up and down, clapping her hands and saying, “Really, really, really?”

A little freedom was all it took. Well…that and a whole lot of sweets.

Still Writing

Week two of Camp NaNoWriMo feels a lot like week two of regular NaNoWriMo. I don’t have enough words and I hate every one that I’ve written. I’m convinced that my story is crap and that I have no writing ability at all. A voice in my head is telling me to give up but I will not give up. I know this is how week two always feels.

The first year I participated in NaNoWriMo, I got behind on my word count because I decided to rest when I caught the flu. It was a good decision, but it meant that I got to late November and still needed way more than my planned two thousand words a day. Fortunately, Thanksgiving came early that year and I was able to take a make-up day on Black Friday.

I don’t shop on Black Friday. My usual tradition is to eat leftover pie and watch Christmas videos. That year, I pulled out my netbook and worked on my novel while I was eating leftover pie and watching Christmas videos. By the end of the day, I had made up my word count. I was also full of pie and Christmas spirit. It was an excellent make-up day.

I’m hoping to find one of those at some point during this Camp. I set myself a goal that I thought would be easy: thirty thousand words. I wrote fifty thousand words in November; how hard could thirty thousand be? I should learn not to ask those kinds of questions. I’ve finished eight days of Camp NaNoWriMo and only one of them was a thousand-word day. Some days, it’s a struggle to write five hundred.

One day, I wrote no words at all. It was a holiday, so I figured I could take a break. Unfortunately, there’s no leftover pie after Independence Day. We make ice cream for Independence Day. There’s no pie and there are no uplifting videos to watch. I’m not in the mood to watch Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas in July.

There’s another problem. All I want to do is paint. I spent most of this past week doing tie-dye inventory (we like to count things every quarter) and trying to work on my novel. The inventory is finally done. That should give me more time to work on my novel, but all I can think of is grabbing a canvas and splashing paint on it.

No, it’s weirder than that. Suddenly, I want to make a big painting. It would be easy to do something with a tiny canvas, claim that I painted, and move on. When I decided to allow myself a little painting time today, I thought I would do that. Instead, I grabbed the biggest toned canvas in my studio (okay, I’m lying about the studio. All of my painting supplies are on the dining room table because my creative space is full of tie-dye) and I started to plan how I would paint it.

Yes, you read that right – I said “plan.” I did a detailed sketch, with color notes, before I added any paint to my canvas. All I could get done in the time I had left was a few bits of sky. It was the most boring painting session imaginable and I loved it. I can’t wait to get back to it.

Sketch

Sketch


I don’t feel that way about my novel, but I know that’s normal for week two. I will paint, but I will also keep writing. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I chose to participate. I made a commitment. I will follow through. I will get my thirty thousand words, one way or another. I don’t know how I’m going to manage that right now, but I’m pretty sure the process will involve pie.