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Monday, January 30, 2017

Thoughts on Trying New Things and Synergy

I asked my FB friends a question the other day - What food have you wanted to cook but haven't yet? I got a whole lot of answers. I was mostly looking for ideas for recipes to try. (If YOU have a recipe you want me to try and post on my Thursday Recipes, just add it to the comments.)

One of the suggestions was Scotch Eggs. I've never tried them before so I did some research and found some recipes. They're hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and baked until the sausage is cooked. A lot of my friends love them, according to their comments. For me, they were just kind of meh.

I adore sausage, especially the bulk breakfast sausage. Biscuits and sausage gravy are one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Plain sausage patties fried until they turn a lovely dark golden color? Yum! Sausage in scrambled eggs? Bring them on! So when I tried out Scotch Eggs, I was ready to love them. But I didn't. I would have been just as happy, or even happier, with a hard-boiled egg, or even a fried one, and a sausage patty. It would have been faster, too. Scotch Eggs, for me, were just sausage and a hard-boiled egg. Maybe I'm missing something there, but it was too much work for the flavor.

Which brings me to my second thought on synergy. Synergy is when something becomes more than the sum of its parts. Like sausage gravy. It's a basic white sauce with sautéed onions and sausage added. But it's more than just white sauce with stuff in it. It becomes a whole new dimension of sausage flavor and goodness. Add in the biscuits and it's heaven on a plate. Also a heart attack, but we won't go there right now.

Wrapping sausage around a hard-boiled egg didn't become some new magical thing. It was just sausage and an egg. There was no synergy.

Same thing with a lot of movies I've tried to watch lately. They had all the elements of a great story - good actors, exciting premise, good story, etc - but somehow it just never came together into something bigger. The magic didn't happen. It's not something that can be forced, but it can be fostered.

When I write, I'm hoping the synergy happens, that the story becomes more than a series of connected scenes, that the characters become real people in my head and hopefully the reader's head. It takes a certain chemistry between my words on the page and the reader's imagination before it can happen. Since I can't control my readers' minds, I'll just keep putting words on paper the best I can. Some days the magic happens, some days it doesn't.

I've got several projects going right now. I'm aiming for a late spring release for "Blue Mage 1: Shadow Nothings" and I'm working on another short story collection. I'm also working on several other novels and projects that aren't ready to be announced yet. I'm also having fun making jewelry and playing with my yarn collection. I'm looking at opening an Etsy shop for those later this summer. So stay tuned for new releases coming up. My long break, wherein I wrote way too many academic papers, is over. I'm back!

Hopefully, with synergy!

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