Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finish What You Start

Mission Impastable came out in 2014. I am completing books two and three in the culinary mysteries series, “Dinner is Served”, this summer. But ALWAYS when I am in the throes of writing a novel and near the end, my mind drifts to bright and shiny things that ARE NOT the current project. And that would be book four. Ever happen to you? You know what I’m sayin’, right?

Book two, Prime Rib and Punishment, has my personal chefs, Alli and Gina, teaching at a cooking school. The head chef hates them and all home cooks since they are not professionally, classically trained. Too bad he dies. Even too badder is that they are the prime suspects. Recipes are largely meat-based entrees.

In Potluck, a double entendre title, Alli is driven to use marijuana in recipes for medical purposes, to help people who cannot get medical benefits from smoking grass and must ingest it. She seeks the help of a brilliant agronomist who is a grower-distributor for most of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona. Gina is not on board with this direction for their company. Recipes are for neighborhood potlucks as well as ones to add marijuana to at the prescribed dosage.

So with two great books winding up, why is my attention drawn from them to book four? I can’t wait to begin Ancient Grease, and I must fight myself constantly to keep from jotting down scenes and snippets of dialogue. If I get drawn into that book prematurely, I will never get books two and three done. That is precisely why I am now finishing two books this summer, both at past the mid-point. And the newer, fresher one is more appealing than the stale (in my mind) books two and three.

If I throw book four into the mix, none of them will ever get completed and published!

Writing Ancient Grease appeals to me on so many levels. I get to include Mediterranean/Aegean Sea recipes. I get to replay scenes from my travels in Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. And the format is different. Rather than a novel, Ancient Grease is a series of linked short stories that take place when Gina and Alli are demonstration cooks on a cruise ship. There’s murder and burglary and mistaken identities. Wowie! It’s going to be a great book!

Doesn’t that sound more appealing than finishing up two other books and then doing the inevitable and everlasting edits?

Sigh. Delayed gratification has never been my strong suit. But, fortunately, with a critique group prodding me, I will finish what’s on my plate so I can get to dessert.

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