March 17, 2013

On Curing. And Writing.

I've posted about most of the soap I've made over the winter. There're still a few curing, but I don't like blogging about my soap until it's finished curing and I've actually used it.

Curing is an interesting thing. Technically after doing a hot process or cold process/oven process batch of soap, it's safe to use within 48 hours. But it's not going to be great soap. It needs to cure. To sit in a well-ventilated area where the water can evaporate. After 4-6 weeks, you'll have a harder, milder more finished bar.

And now I shall segue into writing.

I started a mystery novel this past January—a cozy mystery. It's my first attempt at genre fiction. I won't divulge too many details—that will jinx it, but I will say that the heroine makes soap and it's set in Hell's Kitchen. I've just started Chapter 9.

As I'm writing, I'm submitting my chapters to my fellow writers in a workshop led by Elaine Edelman (a phenomenal editor, writing guru and motivator) for feedback. It's a very good group—an interesting mix of writers and none of those freaks that sometimes lurk in workshops (the ones with these opus novels that are generally unreadable). I'm getting some excellent feedback and taking lots of notes.

But I'm not going back and re-writing any chapters. Not yet. Instead I'm writing forward with the suggestions in mind. Reshaping the plot, fleshing out the characters and adding twists.