Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dreaming’

Cooking is like writing. Just ask anyone who has watched me create bruschetta. It is long, repetitive work as I chop the basil, the garlic, and the tomatoes. Out of memory and with frequent tasting, I mix in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese as, nearby, the bread toasts in olive oil or butter. From all this we can gain several lessons applicable to writing…

Lesson #1: Don’t give up before the end!

It would be fairly easy in the midst of Michael Buble’s serenading of my tomato slicing to stop. About a half an hour in it seems the task will never be completed. Excuses like, “Company will be here soon,” slip to the tip of my tongue. Yet, if I surrender to the fatigue, it would all be for naught. Writing is much the same. Many would-be authors never finish. Their tales are consumed by the daunting work they fear they could not complete. Just remember: without an ending, your story is only a bunch of chopped tomatoes.

Lesson #2: Revise.

Mere chopped tomatoes no longer, the bruschetta now has all its ingredients. Yet it does not taste quite right. I recoil as I put it to my lips and add a bit more of an ingredient. This is the time for tweaks, fixes, and revisions. This phase takes a pile of bruschetta that could never be served to company and turns it into the masterpiece guests will be talking about for weeks. In writing, revisions are the necessary tweaks that fill the novel with aroma, spice, and color. It is a common mistake to think the first draft is publishable. Chances are, it isn’t.

Lesson #3: At some point, stop second-guessing.

All this revising is well and good. Until, that is, I begin to fix parts of the recipe that were never broken. A chef is his/her own greatest critic. Eventually, well-enough has to be just that. It is time to add the bruschetta topping to the French bread. This is a magical moment, when criticism fades and taste buds rule. When writing, it is perfectly just to spend a long time fixing, reshaping, and editing a story. Nevertheless, an end to the perpetual changes must come. Know when to be satisfied with your work. Consciously choose to experience the thrill of a finished story, instead of always second-guessing yourself.

Keep writing and dreaming, friends,

Jessie Mae

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

After that hurried post of a Friday afternoon life got slower and sweeter. I returned to my roots of Maine Bible Quizzing, to be hugged to death by loving teens and smiled at until the world beamed as a happy place. My high school mentor lit up when I told her about the possible trip overseas, adding to the courage my mom and friend Amy had been instilling all day. It was Sister Kate who finally pushed my brain from ‘oh-my-goodness-I-can’t-do-this’ to ‘oh-my-goodness-I’m-going-to-Paris!’ So I spent the weekend dreaming. Dreaming of taking a train from Paris to Venice or landing in Tel Aviv instead of my original destination. Of scuba diving and visiting Jerusalem and taking a ride on a hot air balloon. Of course, the trip will probably end up a simple version of what it started out to be, but the dreaming has been fun.

Hopefully the next time I talk to Sister Julie about this trip I won’t accidentally hang up on her. Or hit the ‘Pandora’ button on my phone so that Michael Buble starts serenading me with Christmas carols. Maybe, I’ll be daring and step far outside my comfort zone and into the Middle East. Maybe, we will buy the tickets. Maybe.

See, I don’t want to look back on my life and find that I am the kind of person who said no to opportunity. I want to say yes. Even to big, scary opportunity.

Read Full Post »