I worry about driving off a mountain cliff and crashing into the ravine below.
I worry about working in the gardens and being attacked by one of the large predators that wander through our yard.
I worry about dying slow and painful instead of dying fast and easy.
I worry about not seeing my siblings when my mom is gone.
I worry about my boys never finding a girl who’ll make them happy or finding one that makes them unhappy.
I worry about my tender new plants getting hit by Jack Frost.
I worry about getting old, gaining weight, going gray, and losing my eyebrows.
I worry I may never finish THIS BOOK or any more after.
I worry about the icy winter roads and the people driving on them.
I worry about the farmers getting too much rain during their spring planting and then again, during their fall harvest.
I worry about the planes passing overhead crashing into my backyard.
I worry about the crickets and frogs in the pond finding their way into my house and <shudder> into my bed.
I worry about leaving behind my computer and iPad and iPhone, and not being connected to the world.
I worry endlessly, needlessly, about all things big and small.
Why am I not crazy yet or is that still to come? Or are writers naturally worrisome people?
What do you worry about and how do you keep the craziness at bay?
This weekend, we spent Easter at my mom’s. My youngest sister came out for the weekend and brought her two girls. My sister-in-law, after a wonderful vacation in Hawaii and despite three feet of snow still on the ground, showed up in flip flops and a tan. It was warm out, so she was celebrating spring.
I was in charge of the baking. I make peanut butter-butterscotch-marshmallow squares, which happens to be a family favourite. For the first time in years, the butterscotch chips melted on the very first try. I didn’t have to boil the heck out the recipe just to get them half melted. (Thank you, Hershey, for finally improving your Chipits mix!)
After my success with the squares, I was feeling pretty confident and so I moved on to the Angel Food cake. It came out of a box, not from scratch, so it was a no-brainer. As long as nobody thumped across the floor while it was in the oven, I was guaranteed success.
I only wish I’d taken pictures to show the mess I created …
I pulled out the bowl, the mixer, and my two cup measuring cup, dumped the contents from the cake mix into the bowl and proceeded to measure the water. The recipe called for one and a quarter cups of water, so I carefully measured the water, poured it into the bowl, and mixed it. Very quickly, the mixture threatened to flow over the edges of the bowl. I barely managed to keep it contained, then poured it into the Angel Food cake pan, and slid it into the oven.
While it cooked, I could smell something odd, almost like burned sugar. My oven had been cooking things quicker than normal, so I’d adjusted the time as I didn’t want to overcook the cake. Forty-minutes later, the buzzer went off and I opened the oven door.
My heart sank in my chest. The cake was half the size of the pan. I pulled it out of the oven, turned the pan upside down to let it cool, and the cake instantly belly flopped out of the pan onto the counter. What the heck?
My son and I stood there, staring at the mess on the counter. The top inch of the mix had cooked, but the rest of the cake was a mushy half-cooked mess. What had gone wrong? I had no time to figure it out because I had to head back to the store.
This time, I bought two mixes, just in case the cake flopped again. As I proceeded to begin the whole process over again, I lifted my two cup measuring cup and realized … I’d had one and a quarter cups on the brain, so had filled the entire two cups with water and counted it as one cup. Duh!
The second cake came out perfect (well, except for the part that exploded out of the pan and landed on the oven floor) and after our Easter dinner, we served it with strawberries and vanilla ice cream, the perfect end to a perfect dinner.
Will I ever make this mistake again? You bet. I’ve made the same mistake before, while my mind has been occupied with more important things, like plot holes and wonky character growth and non-existent settings. Hmmm, maybe it’s time to buy a one cup measuring cup.
Please tell me about your cooking disasters because I love to hear how other people make a mess in their kitchen.
I knew he was coming. In fact, for several weeks, I’d been mulling over what we were going to do during his visit. And then the morning after he arrived, just as the alarm went off and woke me from a deep, dreamless sleep, it hit me.
I’ve recorded the event at my site and hope you’ll pop over today. I promise to be back next time with an actual post written specifically for the Women’s Unplugged site. Until then, I hope you’ll enjoy:
Special Note: I’m so excited! We have two new members joining us at the Women Unplugged site. For now, let me welcome Kim Boykin and Janna Qualman to our site!!! Watch for Kim and Janna to introduce themselves soon.
These days, I’m meeting my writing goals, but it wasn’t always so. You see, I’m a procrastinator at heart and when the writing gets tough, I go do something else.
1. I loathe shopping for clothes and avoid it until my slippers are in tatters and my t-shirts are frayed at the edges. As long as I’m writing, who cares? But at the first sign of a stubborn scene, I head for the stores and Shop-Till-I-Drop.
To prevent this escape, put all debit cards, credit cards, and cash in a glass of water and stick it in the freezer. If you chose to shop instead of write, you’ll have to watch the ice melt before you can access your cards or soggy cash. This may take hours. In fact, if you use a big enough glass, it could take all day. Before the day is up, you’ll be bored by the melting ice and dying to get back to that stubborn scene.
2. Have you ever struggled with a messy first draft, found yourself mesmerized by the dust particles floating in the sunshine, and discovered it’s the perfect time to dust, vacuum, and wash everything in the house? You even have the energy to move all the furniture so you don’t leave a single speck of dust behind. And by the time you’re done, you’re delighted with your dust free house and too tired to resume work on your manuscript.
Except…the next morning, you sit down in front of the computer, glance out the window, and notice those dust particles are STILL floating in the air.
Next time you get the urge to banish the dust from your house, save yourself the back breaking work of moving furniture and keep your butt on your chair. If you must, stare at those dust particles. Watch how they dance in the sunshine streaming through your dirty window. Then ignore them because let’s face it. Dust particles win the housekeeping war every single time. In the long run, you’ll be further ahead if you tackle the messy first draft instead of the mess in your house.
Now, let me tell you about the ULTIMATE PROCRASTINATOR INHIBITOR, my new secret weapon to keep my butt on chair and my fingers moving across the keyboard.
I’ve started goal setting with my eldest son. It turns out the overwhelming guilt of motherhood helps me produce words because I know if I slack off, my poor example gives my son permission to slack, too. Simple, isn’t it?
So what are your favorite procrastination techniques? And how do you keep yourself from procrastinating in the first place?