Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sometimes Dishes and Inspiration Go Hand in Hand

By Christine Thackeray

Last weekend I went to the Northwest Writer's Retreat and came home on fire, ready to pound out brilliant prose and finally finish my WIP. The first chapter whizzed by without a hitch and the second chapter wasn't bad but fell a little flat. The third chapter just plain stunk. I knew what I wanted the final scene to look like but the build to get there was not coming. I couldn't imagine having my MC merely run in circles until the final show down be an effective stategy.

Finally I slammed down the computer lid and faced my kitchen. Now I don't know if your house is like mine but when I'm writing we often only cover the "have to" and let the details go. In the kitchen that means pots and pans. The dishes get washed all right, but cake pans filled with soapy water may linger in the corners days after the macaroni casserole has been consumed. So this morning I decide to get every corner clean. I started at 7 am and just kept scrubbing, drying and putting away as the counter slowly reemerged from its hidden condition.

As I sloshed in the bubbles, ideas popped in my head. Humor- the brother says my wife Miriam never liked Rheba and Ananel replies "A two week old opinion doesn't count." (Okay, it was funny when I thought of it.) Action- There's a secret passage in the villa. His ex-betrothed leads him to it and the evil priest Kohen Yacob directs him back in a circle for the final showdown. Ananel thinks he's being lead to freedom and he promises the vindictive rabbi that he will not return. Kohen Yacob laughs "No, you shall not" as he opens the door and delivers him to a sword drawn Simeon.

I finished and was ready to write, pulled out my computer and then remembered I was supposed to blog today. So I'm going to add all of it and keep writing. Meanwhile my kids came up to get breakfast and have taken out eggs, tortillas, cereal, milk, the frying pan, bowls, grated cheese and spices. They've eaten as I've typed and just walked out the kitchen door, leaving it much the same as when I entered this morning. My plan is to type for an hour or so and then I'll roll up my sleeves and attack. Maybe I'll get more inspiration before lunch.


Michael Offutt said...

Your kids just left a mess for you to clean up? horrible. I would nip that stuff in the bud were I a parent. My dad did that with me and I learned very quickly that I put away everything that I got out or I got the belt. But I was raised in a different age. Back then it was okay to beat your kids. And believe worked. I was terrified of my father growing up.

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I get a lot of ideas when I'm doing chores too. One of my role models is Minerva Teichert, who always kept a painting in her living room. Supposedly, she'd do a few paint strokes in between her chores.