Wednesday, 19 December 2012

End of ROW80 Round, Year-end Goals, and Romantic Friday Writers Snip!

A Round of Words in 80 Days ends tomorrow!

The current round, that is. Thanks to NaNo, I met my major goal, which was to get Santiago and Mawdlen's story, Captive of the Sea, down on paper. Also sent a few more queries for Out of the Water. But I've stalled on the editing, so my goals for next round will involve more of that, in better structured fashion. I might have to start doing some early morning rounds again; it's just so much easier to be productive earlier rather than later in the day, after work.

As for all the goals from the past year... back in January we posted yearly goals on the Compuserve Forum. I've met quite a few of mine:

Edit Rome, Rhymes and Risk. I did, but on paper. I haven't yet entered the edits on the MS...

Keep agent-hunting for Out of the Water. Ongoing.

Try to write another short story or two and submit them somewhere, and edit the darn plot bunny story already. Sort of done. Rejections.

Think about cutting back on blogging from three days a week to two. Done! My new schedule is awesome!

Knit more. Don't gain weight. Done. Ish. I love bread.

What have your goals and goal-making been like this year?

I've got a wee snip for the Romantic Friday Writers Challenge!

"For this Holiday Spirit blogfest, we are looking for excerpts involving fiction or non-fiction stories of family tradition, favorite/unique recipes, inspirational articles, etc.; that represent the essence of the holiday spirit."

To keep it short, I've knocked off the scene directly before this, wherein we find out that it's holiday time, and Baha bargains for some Turkish coffee (kahve) to share with his wife, Rosa. It's the 15th Century, and this is the first time either of them have tried coffee:
The inner door opened and she dropped her knife among the vegetables, poking her head round the kitchen arch. "You're late!"
Baha met her halfway down the corridor and encircled her in his arms.
"What's that smell?" She wrinkled her nose, sniffing at his cloak.
"Kahve." He produced a muslin wrapped package from his satchel and she took it from his palm.
The smell grew stronger, and she opened it to find a fine-ground powder, like semolina wheat but the colour of black beans. There was a strange contraption called a cezve that went with it, a sort of bowl the size of her palm, with a long handle.
"You hold it over the flame," Baha said, taking her hand and leading her to the kitchen brazier. He grabbed a cup off the shelf. "A measure of water, and a spoonful or half a spoonful of the kahve, depending on how many cups you wish to make. I think there's enough there for two, if you’d like to taste it."
She filled the cup twice with water and poured it into the cezve at his direction, adding the ground kahve from the muslin.
"It comes from a bean," he explained, stirring the mixture with a spoon and holding the cezve over the fire. "I tasted some today that a merchant brought from Yemen, and he gave me the rest in exchange for my work."
"I suppose he thinks you'll buy more from him tomorrow."
"I might, at that. It has a strong flavour, like nothing I've ever tasted before." The liquid began bubbling on the surface and he poured some into each cup, enough to coat the bottom.
"Don't drink it yet," he cautioned. "It has to boil three times."
She watched as the kahve bubbled again, and again he poured a little into each cup. After the third time, he topped up the cups and set the cezve on the shelf. He clinked his cup against hers.
She peered dubiously at the murky liquid but took a tentative sip. The kahve warmed her tongue, bitter and sweet at the same time. A knock came at the door and as Baha went to answer, she tidied up the kitchen, finishing her kahve as she worked. The drink seemed to heighten her senses, so that the fire seemed warmer and she heard Baha's murmured words to the messenger from down the corridor.
Market in Turkey

Can't wait to see everyone else's snips!


Jeff Hargett said...

Yes! Bread! Love it! Italian, French, Yeast rolls, homemade biscuits, sourdough... oh, gotta run ask my wife for a favor now. hehehe. Merry Christmas!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I love this little scene. I also love Turkish coffee. Yum.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't believe I've ever seen knitting and not gaining weight listed together...

M Pax said...

That market looks wonderful.

What admirable goals you have. Keep going at them and you'll get there. Seems like you've made a ton of progress.

Denise Covey said...

Deniz, you've had another busy year. That's a great little Christmas snip you have there. I loved reading it. I love the pic of the market too. I love markets in exotic towns.

Happy Christmas!


Ann Carbine Best said...

Excellent writing, Deniz. And I love that Turkish market picture. Would LOVE to see that!

Happy week to you, and Happy Christmas!
Ann Best’s Blog

Carrie-Anne said...

Congratulations on meeting those goals!

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on reaching your main writing goal!

I love bread, too. Mmm.

Love your excerpt!

Lara said...

Congrats on reaching most of your goals! What's on the agenda for next year? [g]

Great snippet, by the way.

Donna Hole said...

I'm a fan of bread! My middle son (Geek Boy) will make a plain bread sandwich: a slice of white bread between two slices of white bread with nothing on or between it. Geek Boy's consistent complaint is that there isn't enough biscuits or bread in the house.

How awesome that you've met so many of your year's goals. Congrats.

This story was great. Full of culture, and a recipe, and excellent characters in a unique setting. This feels like the start of a "tradition" and fits well with the RFW Holiday Spirit theme.

I've missed your voice at RFW. Thanks for participating. And have and awesome end of year celebration Deniz :)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. love the snippet - and I really want to know what happened next and if it's the 15thC - that messenger could be dangerous news ..

Congratulations on achieving so much - here's to a very happy 2013 and have a love Christmas and New Year in between .. cheers Hilary

Li said...

Sure am glad I didn't post any goals because I don't think I met any of them! Love the excerpt, felt warm and could almost taste the coffee while reading it.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much everyone! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, very appropriate to the season, no? :-)

A great idea, Donna. Think I'll have a bread sandwich for supper. Okay, maybe a bit of butter or maple syrup...

Sally said...

I love the way you describe the way the coffee smelt and tasted and what effect it had after drinking it.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much, Sally!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Deniz,

Happy Holidays! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Congrats on accomplishing many of your goals.

I could almost smell the coffee in your charming excerpt.

Like you, I have been knitting like crazy to. Cold, snowy, and windy in CHicago,,,, you could never have enough scarves and hats. Currently working on a checker bordered one in midnight blue for myself ... a belated Christmas gift for ME.

Yes, I would love to do a feature for your knitting blog. HOW FUN.

I also have to watch the weight. I've been baking up a storm lately, but I do manage to burn it off at the gym, but barely.

I thought about you and Montreal this Christmas. I wanted to spend it there, but unfortunately the finances wouldn't allow it. I am aiming for next year! I spent it in charming town three hours west of Chicago with small mountains and LARGE hills... JUST LIKE MONTREAL! LOL. So at least I had a bit of that feeling while there.

I hope all your dreams and aspirations come true in 2013....ALL the best,


Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you, Michael! I'm glad you liked the snip.
ooh, for the knitting blog, I'd love to feature photos and so on - unless you'd like to write a straight out guest post?
Mmm, baking... I was supposed to make pumpkin cheesecake but couldn't find any pumpkin, so I made chestnut cheesecake instead - yum!
Did you guys get as much snow as we did? 45 cm in one afternoon, eek!
Hope you have a wonderful and exciting 2013!

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