Shapeshifter Story Update (with tuna pot pie recipe)

On the same day that I decided to make my famous tuna pie, I also realized that I had departed from my novelette’s beat sheet.

ravenMy shapeshifter novelette is slightly out of control. Per guidelines, the story should be between 5000-7000 words. It is now weighing in at 11000 words, and I haven’t reached the punchline. No worries. I have a plan.

Part of the reason it went off course is because my heroine is returning to her hometown after being away for 15 years. Yes, the beat sheet said 11 years, but let’s not quibble. The beat sheet didn’t specify what she did when she went away. I thought the important plot point was that she left town when she thought her boyfriend cheated on her. Midway through writing the discovery draft, I realized that what she left behind collided with what she did in the intervening years. And that took my story by the throat and shook it.

That, my friends, is why we call it a Discovery Draft.

My tuna pot pie recipe was also derived from another recipe but I “enhanced” it to make it healthier and I think tastier. Check it out …

TUNA POT PIE

Ingredients: one can tuna, 1/4 cup red onion, 1/2 cup of shiitake mushrooms, 1/4 cup peas, 1 diced carrot, 1/2 diced russet potato, portabello condensed soup (10 oz), 1/2 cup feta cheese, 1 8 oz package of refrigerated crescent rolls

Boil diced raw carrot and potato for ten minutes.  In 1 quart pot, saute red onion in olive oil till translucent, adding in shiitake mushrooms during the last 30 seconds.  Dump in condensed soup, tuna, peas, carrot and potato and heat for 5 minutes.  Spread coconut oil on 9″ pie dish (or a small casserole pan), and add heated tuna mixture.  Sprinkle with feta cheese.  Unroll and separate crescent rolls, and top tuna mixture.  Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until rolls are a golden brown.

Last time I made the tuna pie, I deleted the cheddar cheese, and this time I used feta. Next time, I’ll try phyllo dough instead of the crescent rolls. It’s okay to try new things if it makes it better.  

Changes are good in the kitchen. And in the fantasy world. The reason you don’t return home can be even more interesting than why you left.

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About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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2 Responses to Shapeshifter Story Update (with tuna pot pie recipe)

  1. Rebecca Lang says:

    I love to tweak recipes, too. Your tuna pot pie sounds good… if only I liked tuna. In your shapeshifter story, I like how you realized that a random detail had a deeper significance. Those sort of discoveries really make stories fun.

    • mlknowlden says:

      Most of my recipe tweaking now is to make something healthier. Those random details that later provide solutions are wonderful. The subconscious is at work!

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