Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cooking up a good story

I love to cook. Give me a couple hours free on a Saturday, and I'm quite content in my kitchen. I put on some tunes and dance and sing while (I hope) no one is listening. I might try a new recipe or a familiar favorite for dinner, make a pot of soup for my weekday lunches or a loaf of banana bread to share with a friend. In any case, I lose track of time as I chop and saute and mix until my house smells glorious and my appetite is whet.
There's a great deal of pleasure to be had in both the process and the product when I cook - the process is a creative experience for me, multi-sensory and totally enjoyable. And most times, the end product, a scented home and delicious foods made from scratch, is quite satisfying. Even if I do have to do it all over again the next day.

I love to write.Give me a couple hours free on a Sunday, or any day for that matter, and I'm quite content in front of my computer. I sit in the silence of my basement with the company of my own thoughts. After assembling my ingredients, the ideas I've entered in my voice recorder over the last few day, heaps of research materials, my plot notes, and character sketches, I get started. I chop the scene I'm writing apart, verify some historical details, and mix them with the 'what-if' scenarios my recorder and my imagination hand me. I lose track of time and often re-emerge from the depths well after dark, having forgotten to switch out the wash or eat dinner.
The process of writing is a creative experience, one that completely overtakes me. I find myself lost in my fictional world wondering how my protagonist will ever get out of the mess I've made for her. The end product for the day, a few more finished pages, satisfies me. And it leaves me itching to get up the next day and immerse myself again.

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