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  • Writer's pictureBill

Making Sourdough Bread and Novel Writing--When To Do It.

There. I think I procrastinated on this blog so I could unscramble the title. It''s not how to make a novel or sourdough bread, it's when. And not both at the same time.

And by reading this blog you could be another contest winner!

Since Baby Doe was published on March 1, (yes, here's the link to BUY THE BOOK on Amazon. $15.95 for trade paperback and 10.95 for ebook), Also available at your local book store on request. Other places to buy the book:

Google Play (Google also sells book for the iPad): Only in U.S,

Barnes & Noble Nook:

Apple eBooks for the iPad can only be seen and purchased through the iBooks app on your Apple device.

Book Depository (free delivery worldwide)

I have been puttering around with how to market Baby Doe. One suggestion is to run GIVEAWAYS.

Despite my shameless self-promotion with friends and social media, I've garnered only TWO Amazon reviews in four weeks. One was a "global" five-star grade with no verbiage, and the other was the contest winner from two weeks ago.

So here's ANOTHER CONTEST. Really. The next person to write an Amazon review for ebook or print version of Baby Doe AND email me (on website) an easy but excellent sourdough bread recipe as judged by my two local experts, will be the WINNER. The recipe doesn't have to be original, but if not, give attribution or reference (e.g., Grandma or Beard on Bread).

In an earlier blog, I wrote that a good analogy for novel writing was a crossword puzzle. Paradigm shift! Crosswords are an analogy, both right and wrong. Right, because novels are puzzles to solve, but making a novel is more about the big steps, not putting little pieces together over and over again. And getting the big steps right is critical.

Two examples... I was once on a long-distance bike ride (a good one, still going every spring from SF to LA to raise money to help AIDS. Email me if you want specifics). I was riding up a steep hill after lunch and I passed a an older male rider on the side of the road, who was surrounded by a group of his friends. I was working hard to get up the hill and not wanting to turn back and lose ground. His friends were taking care of him, but some of my worst mistakes in medicine were just not showing up. So I went back down the hill and got there just as the ambulance for the first responder team showed up. They got to work with bag and mask ventilation and cardiac compressions. I thought okay, being taken care of. But then I noticed the chest wasn't moving. I identified myself as an MD (omitting that I was a baby doctor, not qualified for anything bigger than a very large trout) and asked to listen to the lungs. No air movement They were doing the right thing by using the bag and mask, but they weren't doing the right thing right--giving enough pressure on the bag to inflate the lungs. So that got remedied and the second ambulance showed up with the more highly trained medics and things went smoothly from there.

So here goes: Making Sourdough Bread and Novel Writing--When To Do It.

1. Do it at the wrong time and place, when there is plenty else to do. And do it when you don't feel like it, and when you're too tired, and too late or early, too hot or cold. If you don't it will never get done.

2. When you have all the ingredients.

3. When you have lots of bubbly starter.

4. When you've read the directions. (On Google, even after searching "simple sourdough recipes," the directions are confusing, and a critical step often omitted.

5. After you've talked with experts.

6. When you have the right equipment (a wooden spoon, Scrivener and Word, and reliable back-up).

7. When available, support from others.

8. When you have lots of practice.

9. When you have someone to help clean up the mess afterwards.

10. When the loaf comes out of the oven with a carapace of a turtle and the inside is soggy (for example), rinse, revise, and repeat. And with half baked drafts of novels and with the above description of my last attempt at baking, you cannot, cannot, send it to someone else to fix. You have to do it over and over yourself until it's really good. Then you are entitled to ask for professional help.

And the PRIZE this week for the WINNER is: one free paperback of Baby Doe will be sent to one person in the US that the WINNER chooses.

And now I'll do what none of us should ever do: hit publish at 12 'o'clock at night.

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