Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More on Writing

Dear Mom,

I write two food blogs—one for dinner (Lynn, What’s for Dinner?) and one for dessert (Lynn, What’s for Dessert?). Every time I cook or bake something, the camera follows—unless I have one of those menopausal moments, then I probably shouldn’t even be in the kitchen. Cooking and baking takes more time to stop for pictures, but I really love it.

Husband Willis has a sweet tooth. Okay, so do I, but I mostly bake the goodies for him or guests. This menopausal beast who never worried or had issues with weight, sees her belly expand. And expand. Some days I am a good disciplinarian and can resist anything put in front of me. Other days, I act as if it’s my last day on earth and I’ll never savor another sweet again—only to wake up, still here, with a few extra pounds. There seems to be no middle road, just my larger middle. I struggle with this daily.

And so I bake. Can't beat 'em, join 'em. Since ripened bananas sat on the counter, I tried a different kind of Banana Bread, that you can read about that fiasco on the dessert blog.

When Willis bit into the bread, I asked, “So whaddya think?”

“It’s chewy.”

I tore off a small piece and it nearly flung back and hit me in the face. I didn’t want to believe it was that chewy and stuffed it into my mouth. “Yeah, it is.” I love chewy anything, but this really didn’t seem right.

Willis gave his critique and I felt insulted and said to him, “You better be careful if you want me to continue baking for you.” I thought I’d get him where it hurts.

“Do you want me to be honest or lie?”

“Honest.” I sulked. “But you could have had a little more tact.”

“Just telling it like it is.”

I mulled this over for a while. Okay, longer than a while. It takes time for me to process things.

I’ve decided that baking and cooking—like writing—have a lot in common for me. I put forth effort—lots of effort—into creating something that I want people to gobble up. But I also want honest feedback so the next time I can make, bake or write it better.

My cooking and writing are like my babies. I give them attention and care. I want them to be perfect. When someone says, “It’s chewy” or “You need to show, not tell” my heart winces a bit. The ole critic steps in, “Bad cook. Bad writer.”

I regroup and realize I don’t want to be one of those cooks or writers who goes along thinking that her creations are yummy and juicy, interesting and intriguing while in reality people ditch the remainder of the food into the garbage or after they’ve read your piece, they have a crinkled smile, “Yeah, that’s good.” And inside their eyes are rolling around in their head or they want to explode into a nice belly laugh.

I have to have heart for both—pour in the love and do the best I can. But I have to have courage to accept that there’s room for improvement, all the time. When I will master either is anyone’s guess, but I have to keep on trying no matter what.

PS I may take a hiatus on the food blogs as the next few months are going to be extremely busy. I’m heading into the zone for my story and don’t want to be distracted, so… one blog will be enough for now.


  1. Oh, I've had many kitchen disasters while baking and cooking. Nobody's died from it, so I figure I'm still ahead.

    I saw your name the other day, you won a book (can't remember what site) - congrats!

  2. I love this post, Lynn. I really enjoy reading about you and Willis.

    As far as the meno-weight goes, it will tame back down. I've been watching. I'm like you, never had to worry about my weight, but going through the change messes up hormones and I gained a lot for me. Now it has settled back down. Just eat sensibly as you always have and do sit ups. I just haven't been doing the sit ups and my belly looks like it is sitting on a shelf. Weird.

    Have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by to see me yesterday.

    Kathy M.

  3. Oy. The middle. *sigh* I don't even recognize my body anymore. I used to be able to eat anything at all. I recall a few months after my youngest was born (I was 34) going shopping in the ladies section for jeans. The sales lady laughed and directed me to the junior department because I was too tiny to shop in ladies. Boy, are those days over. LOL

  4. No middle of the road, just my larger middle...ha ha I can so relate. I've made a few dishes that have come back to haunt me.
    Don't stop writing or cooking, but good luck with that novel.

  5. My husband says cooking is an art, and baking is a science...I think writing is a combination of the two.

    Your wondering about when you'll master writing made me chuckle a bit. From my perspective, only a few writers are "masters." The rest of us poor schmucks get glimmers now and then.

    Sioux @ http://siouxspage.blogspot.com

  6. You really hit the nail on the head, Lynn. Our creations are precious to us. We want people to love them as much as we do. Yet honest feedback is what it takes to improve. Sigh...


  7. Had never thought about the similarities between cooking and writing before. Glad you're in the writing zone!


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