Sunday, November 02, 2008

NaNoWriMo: day two

Still writing, and am keeping up so far.  The word count widget isn't showing it yet, but I've clocked today's 1667 words plus a few more.

I put an extract on my user page over at NaNoWriMo - do read it, if you'd like (but remember, it's first draft! - constructive criticism or fawning admiration welcome...! - leave a comment here on the blog).  The title's changed, already, and it's now The Bluebird Café.

You can help!  I don't like coffee or tea, so I don't drink them, but it would be good to have some helpful descriptions from coffee or tea drinkers (given that the novel involves a café) to use for characters/café customers.  So, when you go to a café, how do you like your coffee, or tea?  Don't just say white or black, tell me something more.  Particular temperature, particular blend of either, particular size, what? Why do you take it this way?  Or if there is something else that you choose to drink, what is it and why?  Please leave a comment on this blog entry!



candyschultz said...

Re your comment that you would vote on the right - who is it that you are rooting for to win in the U.S.?

Outbackgirl said...

I enjoyed this glimpse of your book very much - I feel the words flow easily, and nothing seems too "thought hard about" (even if it was!)
I am a tea drinker. Love coffee cake and the smell of roasting, grinding coffee, but not the taste. I like my tea strong yet not bitter - quite hard to achieve when you don't know for sure how fresh the leaves are. I prefer English Breakfast by Twinings. Tea bags, not loose leaves. Earl grey - eeegh. Like drinking old perfume. I start by sipping when first made, then sip and sip, but then wait until the right temperature (about 1/4 of the way into the cup) before I truly enjoy "the brew". I take full cream milk - just enough to colour it to the right shade(just a little darker than most milky tea)and one and a bit white sugar. Always "a bit" regardless of the size of teaspoon! I like the boiling water to go into the cup first, so I can see that there are no greeblies from the jug - we have a rain water tank providing for the house.
Mugs v's cup and saucer. I like my first morning tea to be slightly larger than the average mug I use for the rest of the day. Always fine china.
I can't stand to have the tea made in the same mug over and over; even if I should drink 3 cuppas in a row they need to be in a differnt mug each time. Different sizes for different times of day.
These idiosyncrasies only apply at home - I am not a control freak ... really!!
Apart from this, I can assure you I'm quite normal!! All of these actions are automatic now and I don't notice, and my husband goes through these steps when he makes me a cuppa too.
I have taken to drinking chai when in a smart cafe, tea seems too dull in this situation.
Hope this insight into my private tea ceremony is useful.

rooruu said...

@ Candy: If I had the right, I'd vote for Barack Obama. It's great to see a candidate for whom MLK's words seem to be true, that he's judged on his character, not his colour. I've been rooting for him since way back when, during since before the Iowa caucuses - he seems like a person suited to the times and the office, prepared to listen, prepared to think, prepared to act. I can't cast a ballot, but I swelled the numbers in the Obama group on Kiva.

rooruu said...

That should be, "since before the Iowa caucuses". My typing was too fast for my brain. I can usually type English...

candyschultz said...

I thought you meant you would vote for the right which here is represented by McCain and Palin even more.

You are absolutely right that he is a statesman and the person we need right now. Knowing my country the way I do I am only afraid if he gets elected that some nutcase will assassinate him.

candyschultz said...

Yes I do see now. Thanks for clarifying. I do think it would be excellent over here for it to be compulsory to vote. We really need a simple test for voters. Most people don't even understand how our government works. If people were forced to vote in their current ignorant states it would be disastrous. Oh, yeah, it already is disastrous.

Did you see the otters on my blog? I have never seen anything as precious as they are.

Here's hoping to an intelligent voter turnout on Tuesday. If not I don't think I can live here any more.

Janet McKinney said...

Re tea drinking.

I love a gentle, tender cup of tea. It needs to be made in a china tea pot for me (although silver is quite OK). It should now be stewed for a long time. First of all you must heat the pot with hot water, and then add some fresh, loose tea leaves. My preference in tea leaves is the Australian brand Nerada - because I have visited the tea farm, and it is all organic, and a very tender taste. Secondly I love an organic chai tea purchased at the Supermarket (also nerada I believe)

Use only one teaspoon of tea in the pot for 2-3 cups, and pour over the boiling water. It should then rest for just about 30 seconds, and be poured into a cup (with saucer, not a mug!!), and preferably one with a white interior. Always use a strainer so that no tea leaves go into the cup and thus stew up the tea further.

I prefer just a little bit of sugar (half teaspoon) to remove the bitterness from the tea - though it is not necessary. Definately not artificial sweetner to ruin the cup of tea.

The tea is then allowed to stand for a minute or two so it is not too hot (I know some people love it scalding hot - I prefer the stinging of the heat to be gone), and it is drunk in good company with a home made biscuit - generally a quite plain biscuit, quite crunchy and hard.

I amused my mother visiting her recently - she always has her 10.00am and 3.00pm cup of tea - using a tea bag. After a while, I rummaged through her pantry and found thet ea leaves, and the tiniest little tea pot that was her mother's - only one cup size. Thereafter I had to make the tea in the teapot - I think she enjoyed the much nicer flavour too!

there are lots of rituals with tea drinking, and it has everything to do with company, friendship and enjoying the simple things of life.

When you drink a cup of tea, there is not the same kind of hit that yuo get from a coffee. But there is a gentle sense of well being that comes over you. You are not so tired, and denifetly more focused - not is a rush or a hit, but a gradual sense that all is well again.

tea is best drunk with company and gentle chat. You can't be nasty about others over a cup of tea - you are supportive, and concerned. - denifately lots of gossip though, and renewing the cup of tea because the gossip has not finished.
The other wonderful tradition is the cup of tea while you are knitting, embroideering together.

Ohhh - I could go on - but all the best with the novel. Could you have a cafe who does all the rituals with the cup of tea - the embroidered tea cloth, and china pot of tea in the middle of the table for everyone to drink from.

Janet McKinney

Anonymous said...

Tea is delightful with the teabag left in to steep and then the rich, full flavors of the tea are enjoyed, this waving the teabag over the top just isn't the correct way to enjoy tea, who could ever really taste the tea, it would be just like warmed water.

Princess of The Golden Thread said...

Flat white decaf in a mug, no froth, weak and extra hot.

Flat white, no froth = I don't like all the froth and crema on the top. Flat white used to be properly flat froth, and now it comes with at the minimum of a cm of froth and a pretty pattern but no choc shaken over it. Someone decreed flat shouldn't really be flat apparently.

decaf = I like the caffeine but my head and body don't, got really sick from the caffeine in 2 cups of tea a day some years ago - really sick, so it's a no-no.

in a mug = can't stand little drinks and by the time I get through the froth there's sometimes not much left in a cup. At least 1/2 a mug is more than half a cup.

weak = 1 shot of coffee not 2. Decaf is usually more bitter than normal coffee because it needs to be kept in the fridge and not every cafe does. My daughter has been a barista so I did find out about the "decaf not in the fridge = more bitter" thing from her. 1 shot means only half the bitterness and I don't have to put 2 sugars in it to cover the bitterness. So "weak" it is.

extra hot = nobody makes a hot cup of coffee anymore!!!!! it's always just warm wherever you go. The same person who decreed that the crema and froth was more important than the coffee also decreed that coffee should be a certain temperature i.e. not hot enough to enjoy. I don't care if somebody sued Macdonalds because they spilled their coffee in their lap - I never have and don't intend to, and if I did it would be my fault anyway, so please make my coffee HOT!!

I'd actually like skinny milk as well, but by the time I get through the 2 mins it takes me to say "flat white decaf in a mug, no froth, weak and extra hot" I figure if I say skinny as well, they'll go bananas.

Sometimes I say hot milk with 1 shot of decaf in it, but that doesn't seem to compute, so I say it the long way(sigh).

Lucy - getting off my soapbox, off now to read your book

Janellybelly said...

My favourite tea is Organic Earl Grey, the bergamont oil is addictive! I use a china mug & leave the teabag to steep for a long time, then add a dash of milk.
Janelle :)
PS Dee from The Cackle Club Queen - is also making the festive charm table runner!

Brenda said...

I don't drink tea or coffee either but I thought you might be interested in this post about coffee by Tommy.

rooruu said...

Thank you for such wonderful comments!!!!!!!

If you haven't left one yet, please do. It's fascinating how a simple thing generates such an intriguing range of choices and preferences. Lots of good ideas to burgle for the novel!