once upon a time, i was in the kitchen and i learned some valuable lessons about writing.
this time, *I* was involved in the baking of the cookies and somewhere admist the frosting, dipping, decorating, and rolling, i learned even more about the craft of writing.
first, you start with the raw ingredients: the story, the laptop, and/or the characters OR in the case of the baking, the frosting!
second, you begin writing OR decorating. the first attempts will be slightly disasterous, AS THEY SHOULD BE.
third, you read through the draft, fleshing out the areas you skimmed over in the hurry to get the story down onto the paper OR you try out some newfangled methods of embellishing the plain old frosting.
fourth, you read through everything again and fix plot holes and character motivations and dialogue and you make it RAZZLE DAZZLE for all those people who will be reading your story (you hope) OR you take out the piping instrument and add extra dollops and twirls and swirls to RAZZLE DAZZLE the guests who will be eating these cookies with us, as is evidenced by sister E’s cookie below.
fifth, sometimes there’s a bit too much in the story and it’s best to cut out your darlings OR good effort, bro-in-law, T.
sixth, after yet another round of edits, things are starting to stablize and normalize and a complete story takes shape OR the simplest icing can sometimes be the prettiest.
seventh, you look at the big picture make sure all the moving pieces and parts and characters and storylines fit together OR wow, that was a lot of hard work and that’s only 1/4 of the total number of cookies we decorated.
eighth, the story is complete with just the right amount frosting and sprinkles, wait, that’s the cookie. look at it. okay, my mom frosted that one. can’t you tell by the perfection? and the even amount of icing everywhere? and the same colored sprinkles that make it sparkle in a way that’s just different enough to be pleasing. she’s got a jillions years of experience, but still, look at that angelic cookie (literally). it’s goregous. basically, if i could write stories like she ices cookies, i’d be in business! the JK Rowling style of business.
epilogue: and then there are the pecan balls (the BEST mumford cookie recipe we’ve got going) and since they’re brother G’s most favorite cookie and since he and his family live on the west coast and since pecan balls don’t fare well in the mail, he had to learn how to make these in his kitchen. he sent us this photo: “93 pecan balls. All mine. Because I licked each one.”
“This is what kids look like after finding out their dad licked 93 pecan balls.”
moral of that story: you have to be creative in the way you tell the story or claim the cookies because with ALL the other writers and family members out there, you’ve got to make sure you get your piece of the pie (figuratively and literally.)