"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Sunday, November 2, 2008

time well spent

This is how Gullible spent an hour or so yesterday. Seven degrees above zero, a new chain on the Stihl chainsaw, and lots of hard work. I bought some logs from the sawmill up the road and they were all stacked in a pile. All I had to do was cut them into rounds and load them on the trailer. Easy duty. My feet got cold about the same time my lower back said "UNCLE" so I didn't get quite a cord.

This is how Gullible spent a little over an hour today. There was a little fooling around getting things ready, gassing up the hydraulic wood splitter, and so on, but then it was just physical work. That left the Muse free to come up with a plan to get back inside. She snivels a lot, I've noticed, in adverse conditions. What a wimp. It was eight above.

She hatched a plot. No, I mean, she really hatched a new plot for this mystery writing course I'm taking online. I've been trying to adapt a complex short story I'd written a month ago, but it wasn't working out too well because of its complexity. It is still possible it might turn into a novel someday, but about the same time that my feet started getting cold, the muse had an epiphany. Or, maybe she laid an epiphany on me... I'm not too sure how that works.

I got to thinking about my junior high school Home Ec teacher, Mrs. Allen, and the Goldenrod Eggs (gag, gag, gag) she had us make as a way of teaching us how to a) boil water, b) hard boil eggs, c) scoop out and grate the yolks without adding vast amounts of human flesh, d) toast bread, e) make a simple white sauce, f) combine all the above into what was supposed to be an attractive, edible substance. You couldn't prove it by me because I wasn't going to eat that mess.

Meanwhile, the boys got to learn really neat stuff like how to cook wild game and fish and wild ducks and make biscuits without Bisquick. Important stuff! Stuff all of us girls would need to know some day. But do you think they'd teach us that? No, we had to make Goldenrod Eggs and I'll bet you not a darn one of us ever made them again.

Anyway, in thinking about how Mrs. Allen was teaching us basic cooking techniques, I realized that she was keeping it very elementary. First you boil water, then you add eggs, then.... and so on. That's when a bolt of epiphany arrived from left field to keep my cold feet from occupying center stage in my mind.

A new plot!!! The second one two years. Oh, in case you didn't know, Gullible's muse is severely plot-challenged when it comes to fiction. So, two plots in two years is miraculous. Am I on a roll, or what?

And why all the hullaballoo about a new plot? Well, I've been wanting to write fiction for a long time. Real fiction, not just the lies I tell sometimes when the muse is in full swing. Okay, not lies--exaggerations, editorial license, that kind of stuff. (Lies.)

So, this new plot takes place in the Klondike gold rush era. I don't have all the details worked out yet, and am waiting for my instructor's permission to jump ship on one and sail with another in mid-class. But it did get the muse back inside out of the cold, and up in the warm loft where the computer is. I'm pretty excited about this new plot. I did tons of research last winter that I can use, and even started a story based onthat research. But, I dropped it because I had no idea where to take the story. Now I do.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. One of my wife's family's Christmas traditions is what they call White Christmas Pie and for breakfast, you guessed it, GoldenRod Eggs. I agree with you, what a waste of good eggs. The pie is good though.

    I'm glad the muse is on a roll. I can't wait to read the progress.