Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vegetables and Writing

I don't have a lot of time to blog-- Helen finally just started moving today, instead of being totally the most stubborn manuscript on the face of the earth, so I am writing writing writing for as long as it lasts. I hate the idea of opening this chapter with a dream, but I suppose since it isn't the FIRST chapter of the book it isn't breaking any rules. (I totally broke that one already anyway. I know, I know. But at least I'm not PRETENDING it's NOT a dream in the scene! More on how rules should sometimes be broken over at Mia's blog, which apparently I am determined to promote of late!)

Also, I have the monstrous task of cooking up all the vegetables my mother sent us home with. I have a giant pile of Swiss chard, a second giant pile of beets with greens attached, a smaller pile of green beans and lots of tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh basil, garden garlic, and fresh parsley. This would be great eating for the rest of the week if my husband were actually going to be home for dinner ever. Unfortunately that isn't meant to be.

I'm going to use up the fresh parsley, and a portion of the garlic with some home made clam sauce, then cook up some shell pasta. It just happens to go super well with swiss chard, and if I'm really on my a-game, maybe I'll crack open the white wine and toss some of that in too (it's been sitting in my fridge for WAY too long). Either way I need to chop the greens off the beets and store them separately so they'll keep a bit longer, and get everything squared up that way. Plus dishwashing. Oh, dishwashing, you are, as ever, the most frustrating of kitchen chores. You are the boulder to my Sisyphus.

And you know, sometimes writing can feel that way too-- like we're Sisyphus, pushing that gosh darn boulder up the hill only to have it come crashing back down on us before we make it to the top. The job is never finished. The manuscript is never complete, never perfect, never up to par with whatever it is we're doing next. Like the dishes, when you think you're done, more stuff crops up that needs revision or rewriting or editing. Or maybe it's just the new book, and the same old challenge of making it sing. But remember, as long as we're writing, even if the "finished" manuscript doesn't sell, even if we have to roll that boulder back up the hill by writing a new book, it's still practice, and with every struggle to the top, we're honing our craft and becoming stronger writers for it.

Just like Sisyphus is going to have the most awesomely sculpted thighs and arms of any man who ever lived. If, uh, he ever gets to quit rolling his boulder and show them off...


  1. Poor Sisyphus- he must have the best biceps ever!

    Your list of veggies is making me drool- I've got fresh onions, spinach, basil, and cucumbers, but my tomatoes aren't ripe yet.

    I'm so glad Helen took off for you- Yahoo!

  2. My mom had SO many cucumbers-- She made a TON of pickles, sweet and dill AND relish, and still had more cucumbers than she could ever use. I don't know what I'm going to do with the ones I took. Maybe make a cucumber and tomato and basil salad, I guess...

  3. So... what time should I be over for dinner? ;-P

    Practice does indeed make perfect, but sometimes it's like doing the same exercise over and over. Past a point, Sisyphus would just plateau and not get anywhere. Varying the routine can help, especially when you feel like you're not getting anything accomplished. Just don't get frustrated; you can do it!

  4. That's true-- and I think that's where critting and stuff comes in, for other people, or taking writing classes once in a while to get a new perspective and a new idea of how to approach things. Or getting yourself a really good crit of your work by someone totally off the wall.

    If you're NOT moving forward and still creating some new muscle mass, then it is definitely time to change it up a bit.

  5. It's true, our manuscripts are never complete. Until they see print, that is. Then we have to let them go. That's why it's important, like Sisyphus, we continue to push. He may never reach the top of the hill, but if we continue to hone our skills and grow as writers, we will find publication and hopefully peace of mind.

    The veggies sound wonderful! I think I'd like to start with a tomato sandwich with just a touch of fresh basil and homemade mayo. :)

  6. VR: I'm a big fan of tomato with fresh mozzarella and basil and balsamic vinegar, just a bit of pepper and olive oil to round it out. Open faced on a baguette! My sister introduced me to it and I never looked back.

    As for the rest, God willing! I am both in a state of discouragement and determination. :)

  7. You make me laugh out loud in a way that no one else can. Just sayin'. I heart you:)

  8. The bunny in my neighborhood ate my precious green beans!!!!!!!!

  9. Sarah, that is a super sad story!! I'm sorry to hear that! Sounds like a fence might be in order for next year.

  10. I'm sorry to say that you are probably right. It's just so distressing! I mean, didn't the bunny realize that those beans were for me?


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