I made my excursion into the outside world for supplies yesterday morning, and I timed it well, as the stores were relatively uncrowded. They had flour, but not the kind I prefer, so I figured I could get by on what I have, and they still didn’t have the kind of bread I like. Oddly, there was no cumin at all, but I think I’ve got enough for the things I’m planning to make in the next couple of weeks. But I did get some dark chocolate in the post-Easter sale, and I got the last of the plain hams (the rest were the fancy ones with glazes). I was torn about when to cook the ham, since the “use or freeze” date is in June, but I think I’m going to bake it today, since we’re having an odd cold snap, and it’s a good day to have the oven on. Then I can freeze some of the leftovers and also use ham to cook so many things. Plus, I managed to get some dried peas, so I can use the bone to make split-pea soup.
I’ve got enough food to last me a few weeks, though I may need to go out a couple of weeks from now to get dairy and some fresh produce. I’ve got bread flour and whole-wheat flour. It’s just all-purpose flour I’m running low on, and that’s mostly for pastries and sweets, which I don’t really need (and my brownie recipe only uses 1/4 cup). So I’m pretty well set.
I think I came up with a title convention for my mystery series. It’s somewhat lacking in imagination, but I was thinking of doing it like the Nancy Drew books and just naming each book after the case. Of the books I’ve written so far, I have “The Mystery of the Dead Editor” and “The Case of the Curious Crystals.” My concern is that this doesn’t really say anything about the underlying “gimmick” of the series. For instance, the bakery-related mysteries have titles like “Tart of Darkness” or “Risky Biscuits.” My gimmick is that these books are set in a small town where a carnival sideshow got stranded during the Depression — and a lot of the sideshow performers had real paranormal gifts, like mindreading, fortunetelling, channeling electricity, etc. Now their descendants are spread through the town, and a lot of them have inherited the gifts. The crimes generally involve the use of these gifts, but the good guys also have abilities that help in solving the cases. The challenge is that reading a suspect’s mind doesn’t count as probable cause, so they still have to find clues and evidence to be able to take action. I really should probably find some clever, punny titles involving sideshow stuff, but I haven’t been able to think of any ways to take a common phrase and change it around to add the sideshow element. Plus, it would probably end up being a spoiler if I highlight the gift involved in the case in the title. There really aren’t a lot of words or phrases that apply to sideshows. I think the term “freaks” is rather nasty when applied to people in this situation, and most of the other things I can think of are more related to a circus than a carnival. I’ve even gone back and watched some episodes of the series Carnivale, which is about the kind of group I imagine ended up in this town, but it didn’t give me any ideas.
While I was brainstorming, I may have come up with the plot for the next books, so I’ll have to work on developing that.
I may have spent more mental energy trying to come up with title ideas than I did to write the books.