All Hallow's aftermath and November.

...or shall I say NaNoWriMo? I'm trying it again this year. Failed first attempt in 2005? 2004? Something like. I was still with Idiot and trying hard to not lose my mind. I'm all together this year, so perhaps that will make the difference.

So how did I do today? Seeing how it IS the first of Nov, and the day after Halloween and I was incredibly busy today, I'm very impressed with myself. I may still write more if I get bit again by it, but right now I'm sitting pretty at 1718 words reported, 2811 done (I reported, then had to get out a bit more), and 2 chapters kicked out. What's it about? Well, see, that's the hard part...
I don't have an outline.
Well, I don't. I started an outline. I did. I was going to introduce the world to the people that live in my head: Marge and Harvey, The Clerk, all of them. I had it outlined...
And then I remembered a dream I had a bit ago and it wasn't a pleasant dream. It was rather dark and rather scary, and unfinished...The bladder woke me up before I was done with the dream. Best analogy would be 'rape fantasy', but it's not. It was a dream, an unpleasant dream (to say the least) and no... There was no enjoyment out of it. But there is a story there. And since it saw fit to bite me hard enough to make me discard an outline and characters pre-made? I'll run with it and see where I end up.
I just hope I can be....ruthless? It'll work. Ruthless enough to write 50K on the subject.  I will be posting excerpts when I get some chunks under my belt. I will say it's rough. ROUGHrough. One of the things that got me last time was the on-the-fly editing. That's not happening with this one. I will spell-check, and I am going back through every 20 minutes or so and re-reading. Re-working bits to make them work the way they're being written in my head as opposed to how my fingers are typing it. In some cases, surprisingly enough, I'm keeping the way my fingers are typing instead of what's in my head...that doesn't usually happen.
Usually, I write as if I were reading a book. It's flowing better with this one, and going in without a plan, with only the barest hints of a plot from a 1/2 remembered dream... I really have no expectations. I'm seeing if I can do it, that's all.

KE posted recently about not writing. And not writing scares me. So. NaNoWriMo.
All Hallow's was... Vaguely depressing. I ended up going to 2 haunted houses... The first was at Cherokee Caverns, a cave system very close to us. Sic-un didn't want to go, Sos-u did. It was fun, got some good ideas for my non-existent haunted house and since all proceeds went to the Caverns (main/only fund raiser of the year and it's completely volunteer run), it was a good cause.
The second was Saturday night, at Sos-u's school. It was actually better than the Cavern, but I'm still going to pick it apart. Yes, it sounds cheesy and it was a good HH, but still... I wasn't scared. I was actually laughing through it. It doesn't really work if people keep asking you 'Are you scared?' as they're trying to scare you. And it didn't help that the (I think cheerleading team) was dressed as 'nurses' and were supposed to read a script as you went through. None of them could project one iota, at least as far as I could see. The script was pretty good, patter about how the high school used to be a mental institution, and it was a good setting for it. The school appears to be from the 40's or so, perhaps as early as the 20's, but I'm not sure on that. It's solid, institutional... A good setting. Good idea, OK execution, needs some work.
Sos-u was in full makeup, called Sic-un daddy-o which was cute.
I carved yesterday, made up the last of the pumpkin from 2009 into a fluffy pie. Here's the lantern....

And here's the pie....

I kinda figured out why my pumpkin pie is fluffier, especially in mouth-feel, than anything my mom has turned out. It's all in the order of ingredients. She uses the Libby recipe, I use the Libby recipe. She uses homemade puree, so do I. Slightly different spices (I add more ginger, some allspice, and more cinnamon than the recipe calls for), but spice won't affect texture this way. So I paid attention this time.
I discovered I don't like the way the recipe is put together. They want you to stir the sugar and spices together in a separate bowl, then in your big bowl, beat eggs lightly, add pumpkin and spice/sugar mix, then evap milk.
Result? Tight, dense pumpkin pie.
Sugar, although a DRY ingredient, tends to act like a liquid. It is hydroscopic, will dissolve rapidly, and although you have tiny little grains, doesn't hold shape in any discernible manner. Eggs, although a wet ingredient, are indeed a fat and an emulsifier. Evap milk? Fat. Pumpkin puree? It's wet. SO. Seeing as how the only DRY ingredients are the spices, why would you mix those and sugar together then lump everything?
I whip my eggs until they are light yellow and ribbony, then add the sugar to whip it up. Get it fluffy. Stream in the evap milk, which gets fluffy too. Then the spices so they're evenly distributed, then the pumpkin puree. Pour it out, cook it up.
Fluffy pumpkin pie is worth the change in the order.
According to my Joy of Cooking, you can even whip evap milk and sugar into something like whipped cream. So it makes sense to whip it all first to fluffy. Oh, and I added a teaspoon or so of vanilla. It counterpoints the spice and pumpkin and warms everything up in a MOST interesting manner. The vanilla is added with the pumpkin.
And since it is now November 2, I have to go to work in a few hours. Enjoy your day, Dear Reader!

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