I know my last post was a downer, so despite my oh-so-clever title, this one won't be. Promise.
However, the title does relate to this entry. You see, it all started with me being anxious and STEWING about things writing-related. I get into these moods where I think I will never come up with a new idea. You ever get those I'll-never-have-another-original-idea-blues? Talk about a song waiting to happen.
Well, I was in that kind of funk where I thought even if I did get an idea, it would be boring. And, of course, I then spent a few days feeling sorry for myself. When.... An idea appeared! It began on a drive with my family when I was not thinking about generating new ideas at all (of course, when you're not thinking about them, is when ideas pop up) and grew from there. Usually, I get a voice first, but this time it was just the idea. A few minutes later, though, there was a girl. (I would say the idea but I'm all worried about jinxing it.) Then, the concept kept growing, and what amazed me most about it was that it was not the contemp YA I normally write. And then I just about fell over because I never thought I'd get an idea outside of contemp.
I am in constant awe of all of you who write anything that has any sci-fi or fantasy element.
This new thing of mine? I'm told it's urban fantasy. It's present time, but there are gods. Doesn't matter. It's a story! Call it anything.
Ah, wait, the stew. Yes, so while in midst stew, I went over my sister's house, and stew was what she had prepared for dinner. (I'm completely serious, didn't add this to work with the story at all. Honest.). Now, I can cook many things, but stew like my grandma used to make is not one of them. I have made it correctly once in my life (when my hubby and I were first dating) and this was based on detailed notes my grandma gave me. However, I am certain there was an ingredient or step I did not write down because I thought it obvious, as the stew had not turned out the same since (almost 10 years ago). My sister's stew, however, was JUST like my grandma made it. And tasting it, and figuring out how to do it right (I plan to try making it on Wed.), made me even happier than coming up with my urban fantasy-whatever-it's-called idea.
How about you? Have you ever written outside your comfort genre area?
Beef Stew Recipe:
3 lbs beef for stewing (in raw meat section, already cut up)
2 packages of stew/soup veggies (or cut up your own favorites)
3-4 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon canola oil
Spices (salt, pepper, I like Adobo All Purpose Seasoning and dill is one of my favorites as well)
1. Brown meat and spices in the canola oil in large pot
2. Add water and veggies to the mix (if using potatoes, don't add them yet). Cover and cook for 1.5-2 hrs (the longer, the better) on low (about 1 or 2 on an electric stove dial)
3. If you're using potatoes, cut them up to desired size and add them when there is about 45 minutes of cooking left. Also, you want to add a little more water when you put them in. Maybe another quarter cup, just to cover them.
4. In regard to the spices, you may add more as the stew is cooking too, depending on your tastes.
And that is all! Enjoy! And, don't be alarmed by the small amt. of water. In the past, I have always added too much and 1/4 cup is plenty.
The photo below is not of my sister's stew (they finished it before I had a chance to take a pic). It's from mccormick.com but it looks similar. :-)