It’s November 4th. Now, I know y’all knew that already, but I just felt like saying it. I’m a little over 5,000 words, which, considering that I haven’t yet written a jot today, isn’t bad. Thing is, I’m already fast approaching the climax of the first half of my story. It’s Day 4, people! At this rate, I’ll run out of story before the tenth, and have to write the longest epilogue in history for the remaining 20 days. I’m also starting to wonder why I chose to write about a police officer. Every other paragraph, it seems I run into jurisdiction, procedure, and just life-on-the-job problems. It turns out I really have no idea what a day in the life of a police officer is like.

Right now, you’re probably glancing back up at the title of this post, just be sure you didn’t hallucinate the cooking part. No, you didn’t. Here’s the connection:

For lunch today, I decided to make cornbread. It was disastrous. I mean, like, it was gross. It was dry and crumbly and tasteless. You have to understand, my family’s from the South. The whole soul food thing is our bread and butter. Even now (especially now, after that cornbread), the mere thought of fried chicken, greens, hot water cornbread, and sweet potato pie makes me drool. And I’m not too bad at cooking the stuff, myself. I can fry up a mess of fish and hush puppies, and my grandmother long ago turned the cooking of the holiday pies over to me.

So I thought the cornbread thing shouldn’t be all that difficult. We didn’t have any mix, but okay, I can swing that. But here’s where I tripped, stumbled, and fell.

I didn’t follow a recipe.

It can’t be that hard, I thought. I mean, I’ve made this a million times, both from scratch and from mix. I should be able to do this. (Besides, to get a recipe, I would have to actually boot up my computer and wait for it to load. Clearly, that would expend too much energy.)

And I overestimated myself. That whole pride goeth before a fall thing? Yup, I’ve got the bump to prove it.

So how does this all tie together? I think for NaNoWriMo this year, I didn’t look at the recipe. I thought, Yeah, I’ve done this before, how hard could it be?

Well, I’m pretty sure my police officer is shaking his head at me right now. The amount of story I worked out is just about enough for a short story, not 50,000 words. So it’s back to the drawing board to write up a recipe.

So yeah, it’ll take a little more time, time I should have spent before November. But hey! You live and learn, right? As my sister quoted at me after taking a bite of my cornbread, “From failure, you learn to do better. From success? Not so much.” (at least, I’m pretty sure she didn’t make that up. But who knows? Maybe she did.)

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2 responses »

  1. Sarah says:

    Okay, I just saw this and it made me chuckle because I do much the same things, except when I scrupulously follow the recipe odd things still happen (like the time I substituted powdered milk for evaporated milk in my birthday cake frosting. Yeah, that didn’t work too great.) And I almost broke our grain mill this weekend when I was home baking bread. I kind of muddle through the whole cooking thing. 🙂

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