*Caution: This Blog Contains Gluten*
I have this fantasy: I wake before dawn, refreshed, well-rested, and eager for an act women have performed since the beginning of time. Wait–no, not that.
This fantasy also involves a perfect historical writing day: I join women throughout the centuries to make a loaf of bread. I blend flour, milk and yeast together, and transform it from a shaggy mess into a shiny, warm smooth ball. It is warm and sensual, and I feel a unity with my sisters throughout the world as my hands sink into the softness of the dough. It yields to me, warming to my touch. I push with the heels of my hands, first away from me, and then fold the dough forward. I give it a good whack, and it’s therapeutic. It gives way to me, like my stories sometimes don’t.
I think about my current story, about the pieces that don’t fit together. They are like that shaggy mess, and with the pressure of my hands, the pieces began to smooth out, and the story begins to transform into a smooth, elastic organism. I grease a bowl, set the dough in, and cover it with a linen towel. I walk out to the car, and place it on a towel, where it will rise in the Florida heat. This works really well, by the way.
I take my cup of coffee to the kitchen table, manuscript and laptop at the ready, and while the dough is rising, I sink into my story, ideas coalescing with the help of my bread-making. This is my fantasy.
The truth is, making bread and writing mix fairly well. You can get a batch going while you’re thinking about your story, write for two hours while it’s rising, throw it in the oven and then enjoy the simple pleasure of a warm piece of fresh bread. It’s age-old, and I am not making this up; when I make bread, I feel at one with my fellow sisters. It’s particularly apt for a historical author.
To be honest, I’m not sure how this subject came to mind. Maybe I was hungry. But it’s been way too long since I’ve sunk my hands into a soft pile of dough, and I miss it. I plan on doing it again sometime soon. Plus, it’s the perfect and only time I can include the 70’s era band, Bread, into my blog
I give you, “Baby, I’m-A Want You,” hugely popular at high school proms from 1972 to 1976:
“Baby, I’m-a want you,
Baby, I’m-a need (COME ON, KNEAD!) you,
You’re the only one I care enough to hurt about.”
Bread. Writing. It’s like the perfect sandwich for me, combining two of my favorite things.
She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.
Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.
She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at: JenniferTaylorWrites.com