Cooking Up a New Story
I think many cooks have a specialty they receive joy from selecting the ingredients, putting it all together, and then savoring the sharing of the results of their creation. I have felt that way myself many times when coking breakfast for my family, when a new story idea pops into my relaxed mind demanding to take over the kitchen for a while.
The gathering of story ingredients continues while I attempt to concentrate on the bacon and eggs to no avail; finally I grab pen and paper and jot a few notes on the countertop beside the sizzling frying pan until a whiff of scorch wafts from the electric range and then I hurry to turn the over-crisp strips and add some fresh ones to the mix, my mind still playing with the new story.
Then I am quickly back at the pen and paper adding new notes to those already there, and the conclusion comes to mind just as breakfast is ready, if a mite overdone.
But I feel good and now I have a new plot to flesh out and finish cooking up. Most of the time it works - there's something relaxing about cooking breakfast that gets my story juices flowing - but once I a while I have to toss the notes with the burned bacon and start over.
One example of a breakfast story that worked is my "Preserves," which was published May 1988 in the New York magazine Z Miscellaneous, Vol. 2, No. 3; I especially remember that one because I was cooking up blueberry muffins that morning but I got so engrossed in writing down the story that jumped into my mind the muffins became brown rocks and breakfast became cold cereal that morning.
April 10, 2012