I don’t really believe in writer’s block but every once in a while I find myself out of the flow and it takes a lot of effort to get typing again.
Why does it happen? Who knows…fatigue, preoccupation, fear, life. This time it was a pause that followed a week of energetic writing, at the end of which I had finished the first part of my current WIP. I felt great going into the weekend. I pictured this week starting with just as much gusto.
Um…not so much.
Sure, I’d finished part one . But that meant staring down part two. I could see the scenes in my head, and they were perfect, in the way novels can only be perfect, you know, before they’re actually written. Ha ha. Sigh.
Where to start? Which scene to commit to first? After enjoying a couple of days at the summit of one mountain, I found myself at the base of another, and wouldn’t you know, I’d forgotten my hiking boots.
So, I headed to the kitchen. Time to bake, I told myself. Not to worry, creativity spawns creativity. It’s universal law. Or something.
I made mixed berry chia seed jam (another Oh She Glows divine creation, check it out: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/06/26/magical-blueberry-vanilla-chia-seed-jam/) and waited for a roll of puff pastry to thaw. I fished out my favourite heart-shaped cookie cutter out of the drawer, to be used to create the pastries I was planning on making as a Galentine’s Day surprise for my co-workers. (What’s Galentine’s Day? According to Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, only the best day of the year! Ovaries before brovaries!)
I revisited this post of Heather’s from Sweet Precision for inspiration (https://sweetprecision.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/blueberry-hand-pies/). I tried to stop beating myself up for not meeting my own expectations.
And a funny thing happened. As I was stirring, rolling and filling, the scene came to me. I knew where to start. I’d been noodling on it the whole time, proving once gain that writers write all the time, and perhaps do some of their most useful work away from their desks.
The pastries baked, and I got to work.
Baking through the block. It works for me. Maybe you have some tricks of your own?
Stay tuned for a Valentine’s Day post tomorrow.
Thanks for dropping in!
A :-) xo
PS. In the pictures above, I love how the heart pastry at the centre looks like it’s trying to devour the one next to it! That’s how good they are, people. ;-)
For the heart pastries:
1.Make the jam. Click on the link above for the original recipe from Oh She Glows.
2.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll thawed pastry dough. Cut out as many shapes as you can. You’ll need a top and bottom for each pastry.
3. Make an egg wash by beating together one egg and one tablespoon of water. Brush the edges of the top and bottom heart shapes. This will act as the glue that keeps the pastries together while baking.
4. Place a teaspoon or so of jam into the centre of each (bottom) heart. Place top heart over and crimp edges with a fork. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with a little sugar and chill for 5 minutes.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!
It’s brilliant how they’ve kept their heart shape, even once they puffed up! Lovely :-) And glad the baking helped with the temporary writing hurdle.
Thanks, Clare! I don’t work with puff much but I was happy to see them keep their shape too. Except for the one who looks like an alligator, but even it has its charm, ha ha. ;-) Such a relief to have worked through the block.
These look delicious and lovely! I was just thinking about creativity today. Playing the drums and listening to music helps me. Now I know that maybe baking will too! ; )
Thank you! Oh, what would I do without music? I sat at the piano for a while that day too and afterwards my head felt clearer. Very cool! :-)
They look amazing!
Thank you!! :-)
Happy Valentine’s Day Anita! Isn’t it funny how the mind always makes connections when it’s “at rest” doing something else?! I always get my best ideas when I’m doing something mundane like washing dishes or taking a shower. Your little heart-shaped pies look delicious! Hope you enjoyed them :)
Happy Valentine’s to you too, Heather! I totally agree. It’s quite amazing how much is happening under the surface. The pies were lovely and alike you said in your post, very shareable! Thanks for the inspiration! :-)
Oh these are so beautiful Anita. What a lovely idea, little heart pastries. Well, Valentine’s Day was yesterday, but it does not matter, these little babies will be made. Thanks for the inspiration and, I am so pleased the baking helped with your writing :-) Hugs x
Thank so much, friend! Happy belated Valentine’s to you! I hope you had a lovely day. The pastries turned out quite dainty and great for sharing. Do you make your own puff? I don’t often work with it, so I just go for the pre-made kind. I’m so glad they’ve inspired you! I totally recommend the jam. I’m on to my second batch and it’s divine. Not too sweet or gelatinous, which usually bothers me about store-bought jam. Have a great day! :-) xo
Thanks, Happy Belated Valentine’s Day to you too <3
About the making of pastry, I make very little, and generally always opt for the pre-made kind. One of our big stores here makes a really nice one, so I always will buy there's. Pastry is a bit fiddly for me,, and I have a tendency to be lazy :-) I am totally making the jam, store bought jam is way too sweet for me and all the rubbish they put in, is a total turn off. Have a beautiful day too my friend, x
I totally agree on both accounts! Let me know what you think of the jam if you have a chance to make it. Have a great day!! :-) xo
Will do. x
These little pies are awesome. Galentine’s Day…love it!
Thank you! They were simple to put together and great for sharing. Not too sweet either, which is nice. :-)
Thank you! :-) They were fun to pass around!