Sunday, March 25, 2007

I’m Cooking

I’m cooking – both literally and figuratively.

First, let’s take figurative.

We’ve been back in our still-not-quite-finished house for over a month now. I’ve finished a big -- no -- HUGE project at work. I also had the toughest part of the job's annual review, so now I’m just waiting on my new contract. I have a meeting from hell this week, but things are falling into place for it. I can take deep breaths without suffocating, finally. In relief mode (and still not over stress mode), my body shut down this past week. I think it knew it was that or get sick, which would have pissed me off. So, I caught up on sleep – getting 7, 8, even 9 hours of sleep per night – a feat I haven’t managed in a long time.

Yesterday, my frustration at being 30 pages behind on my goal of 35 for the week had me ready to kick and throw the computer. But, really, it wasn’t its fault, so I sat back, looked my three main characters square in the eye, and asked them (metaphorically speaking) what the hell they wanted and if they’d tell me their story. Just f&*$#ng tell me!!!!

And, they did.

My villain was pissed at first, but he’s a pissy kind of guy. He was mad that I’d changed him simply based on comments from an early reading by a friend. He said to go back to his story, beef him up. He told me who he was, which wasn’t at all who I’d thought. But, damn, if it doesn’t work. So, ok. Ray (villain), I’m sorry. I get you now.

Kat (my heroine) told me some more – things about which I had no idea. Oh, my! I hope she finds love, and comfort, and trust, and a shoulder that will provide honesty and hope. (Cris. Are you listening? She’s really a wounded soul that needs lots of care.)

And then there’s Cris. He’s the most true to my original vision. He’s wounded, but he’ll get more so during the story before he’s healed. (Kat. You listen, too. He’s not so different from you. He took a different path to get where you are, but he’ll end up there during the story – so far from love, comfort, trust, honesty, and hope. It will be your job to recognize that for what it is – for where you also are – and help him. Grow. You’ll have to.)

After putting away the MIP and opening a new document and letting their stories flow out, I have a better grasp on my own. I really think it works now. Finally. Before, it was okay, but it felt forced. Now – ah.

Of course, I’m back to the plot board again, but only for little snippets – one short sentence or two about each scene with room to play. Burdens be gone. I think the muses are cooking up a feast for a big party!


There’s the other type of cooking. Literal cooking.

First, I’m not a baker. I hate to bake. I’ll do it because I have to. Today, I have to make cookies for something. Can anyone say “slice and bake?”

What I like is cooking. I have 5 burners on my new cook top. I have a new convection oven. I have some new pots and pans and cool little cooking utensils. It’s fun. It’s creative. And the muses like when I make new dishes, so we’re all happy.

I have new cooking toys – a la Pampered Chef. (Yes, I broke down and had one of “those” parties. Not really my cup of tea, but I had it to help out my sister-in-law’s friend, whose family has had a hard time of it lately. I told my friends not to feel obligated, but to just help me christen my kitchen. The guys played Texas Hold’em and ate all the food. The girls brushed off my whispers that they didn’t have to buy anything, saying they wanted to. My sister-in-law’s friend sold more stuff at my party than ever before. And, did you know, I got free stuff? What a cool perk! All my friends are asking when I’m going to do it again. Go figure.)

Anyway, cool new cooking toys. Cool new ideas – and back to a lot of the original ones for my MIP. Rested.

Oh, yeah, I’m cooking.