Calm Down, Mama – Chef Fiction

This last week led to a new guy in the kitchen learning the ropes. But one little irksome thing kept happening to the point where I let it slide then, but won’t now. I do not need a guy telling me to quit yelling when I am just showing him the basics and my voice is normal level. Trust me, he was not doing it to the guys in back. And it started pissing me off. If it happens again this week, well, I’m going to pull a Hela on him.   Pardon the F-word in here a couple times. It’s the only way to express it. 

“Here, like this,” Hela said, showing the new guy how she wanted the pasta coated in sauce. “Then add a dab of butter, a bit of salt and pepper, and finish with the chili flake.”

“Okay, mama, no need to yell. I got this,” Sean soothed as if trying to calm down a child.

Immediately Hela slammed the saute pan down on the burner. Dima, who was watching Hela teach, glanced down at the smaller man and arched a brow. All around, the other stations got deathly quiet, everyone staring, while Gerrit eyed the situation from the other side of the pass. A ticket printed on a machine, but no one reached to grab it.

Hela pulled herself up to her full five feet three inches and stared coldly at Sean. “I highly suggest you refrain from telling me to not yell when I am talking to you calmly. I let it slide last week cause you were the new guy, but I can bet that you have not said the same thing to any of the guys. Do not do it again.” Her voice had dropped lower with each word till even Dima was backing away, shaking his head sadly at the new guy. Hela loud was one thing, but Hela quiet was a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

Sean put up his hands and backed up on step. “Okay, mama, calm down, I was just kidding.”

Hela’s eyes went wide and Dina flinched behind Sean. Oh, the little man didn’t stand a chance.

“Get off my line,” she growled. He didn’t move. Hela stepped into his face, his height and hers identical. “Get off my fucking line!”

When the man still didn’t move, like a wind up toy, everyone moved into action. Dima stepped around Sean and slid between him and Hela. Dina gave Sean a nudge backwards and there was Marcus, clapping his hand over the man’s shoulder to drag him off the line. Gerrit jerked a finger at Marcus and like a firing squad, the three men marched back to the Chef’s office.

Dina reached down and dinged the bell in Carlos’ code before glancing a Hela. She was practically vibrating, the anger dripping off of her in waves of heat. Her face had gone brick red and he could see her eyes were going glossy with unshed tears.

Carlos banged in through the swinging doors his mouth open to ask what.

“I need a Hela bitters and soda and a separate orange juice now,” he ordered, then seeing as Hela started to crumble, pulled her into his long frame and he felt her sigh. Carlos was out the door in a flash, banging them as he slammed through. “Boys, watch the line, do not fuck it up. I’ll be back in a second.”

Dina turned Hela towards the walk-in and marched her inside. They could hear muffled yelling coming from the office that faded as the door closed behind them. Hela stood there willing the tears to fade.

“Hela, breathe,” Dina ordered softly. She took a shuddering breath in. “And again.” She did as was told and he saw the semi relief hit her, along with the cold air. Her flushed cheeks faded a bit. “Stay here, I have to go finish that ticket.” He looked at her sternly and she nodded.

Dina slipped out the door and glanced back at the office to see Sean slamming out and ripping off his apron. The apron was wadded and tossed into the dirty towels bag before he slammed out of the door into the late afternoon sunlight. Marcus and Gerrit followed at a more sedate pace.

“Another one bites the dust,” Dina noted and hurried toward the line calling over his shoulder, “she’s in the walk-in. Carlos is getting orange juice for her.”

Marcus headed towards the doors and caught the drinks just as Carlos stepped back through with the two glasses. “I got her,” he said calmly. “You get the line,” he said to Gerrit.

“You sure?” Gerrit, while having figured Hela out, was still a little unsure how to handle her like this. This was the first time he’d even seen her yell.

“I am. You can talk to her later.” Marcus opened the walk-in and saw Hela organizing. “Come on babe, outside.” He handed her the orange juice first and let her proceed him out the door into the sun. She downed the juice and he handed her the second glass. She sipped it through the straw.

“Better?”

She nodded. “Thank you, Marcus.”

“Anytime. Are you going to be able to finish the line?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Finish your soda, and head back in. I’ll take over till you come back.”

Hela nodded again.

“Oh and the new guy,” Marcus said poking his head back out the door, “he’s gone.” He made a finished sign with his hand and slipped back inside.

 

One can dream the idiots are swiftly removed from the mix. Miss Holly, do not go repeating this. I’ll deal with said idiot this week. As Toni says(one of our ladies), “girl, you’re evil”….. I’ll deal with the little boys, the idiot men of my life. As Twin Bear used to say, “I am a strong, independent woman, who don’t need no help from any guy.” Damn straight.

Kate

 

Jazz and A Mood

Jazz plays on my phone as I sit here and type on a quiet Tuesday night. Today is my parent’s 41st anniversary, though nothing of note happened today. Laundry spins around in the dryer, the rest neatly folded, albeit, not put away. Tomorrow marks the fifty percent opening the restaurant is going into after almost 3 months of closure, though we have managed with take out services.

Life is in a melancholy phase. Work has been…. challenging. Why is it jazz fits every mood? If you are feeling melancholic, jazz is somber. If you are feeling upbeat, it seems like all the high notes are champagne bubbles popping on your tongue. Romantic? The slippery slide of a trumpet’s not gliding down your back like a lover’s finger.

Jazz, currently Miles Davis’ “‘Round Midnight” slinks out of my speaker is hitting the somber notes. The gray mood I am in. The early work week blues.

I’ve been as uninspired as any writer with writer’s block. My dad asks if writers really get writers block. Oh darling, yes, every writer hits a block. Maybe the ideas are there, but they just don’t come out. I have ideas. So many ideas. I scribbled down several poetry prompts weeks ago. So many things to write about. Redacted words in a post…. you know all those black lines? Like a form of blackout poetry, only about the actual aspect of blocking out the bits I don’t want to talk about.

There’s something about an untidy relationship, untidy thoughts… I’m not sure what that was in reference to, other than I …. Oh, now I remember, something about my grandmother and the fact that my mother and her had an untidy relationship.

A cup with three houses and snow falling on it.

Dishes being stacked and the sun ticking its way quickly westward.

And then so many thoughts about work. Lines I’ve scribbled down here and there. Work. I’m in that phase of where I could just shove my workplace off a cliff. Actually more the people I work with besides Miss Holly and Golden Oldie. Everyone else could take a swan dive off a short pier and I would be completely, one hundred percent happy. Give me a perfectly good dessert menu that I came up with. Me, so it’s all on me if it makes a go. I should be ecstatic. Yeah, well, I’m not. Tomorrow begins the work week and I am just not ready. I should have taken a few days off this last month when it was more quiet. Now that opportunity has passed me by.

I think I’m more annoyed that I’m blocked again with what to write. I can’t seem to even force myself to sit down and write in my journal. Piffle.

Side note of nothing related to any of this, but my family has taken to watching Miss Scarlet and the Duke, All Creatures Great and Small, Grantchester, Home Fires, and for my mom, sister and I, Downton Abbey (which I’ve gone through most seasons but the last. Total introduction of that drama for them) We are in a British, all things Masterpiece frame. It’s rather delightful. I’m in love that Sidney Chambers of Grantchester loves jazz.

So I end on that not. Jazz, what’s not to love about it? Play to me, Count Basie, play…

Kate

A Quick End of Year Recap

It has been ages since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. I honestly can’t remember the last time I wrote a blog post. Can I blame Rona?  Lol, everyone is blaming Covid for something. I really can’t blame that on anything other than getting a little bit of time off from work right around Thanksgiving. Long story that is not worth repeating.

I’ve actually stayed incredibly healthy this year, much to my surprise and delight. I was fighting a mini something the last couple weeks, but healthy vitamin dosing, fresh fruits and vegetables, clove and orange tea…. and plenty of water, I think have kept whatever it is at complete bay. Whew.

I’ve spent the fall writing emotional poems, things all my friends say I need to publish. I agree, and over the start of December I started looking at some places. Which now that I think about it, have January deadlines! Yikes! I will say one thing, I hate the submitting process. Not the actual sharing my work, but all the little intricate issues of submitting. A different format for each submission, a different guideline, or in my case, different poems go to different places. Not every poem is perfect for every publisher. Some of my “New Yorker” poems I wouldn’t dream of submitting to the little no name place. Or vice versa. I have some little poems that I just don’t think would catch “New Yorker” status. They are fun, they are even good, in my opinion, but they are not great.

I’m in a writing slump as of the last two weeks. Even my journal has been slightly empty. Ironically I received 6 new notebooks/journals for Christmas. Ha! Of course I would be in a writing slump.

Work has consumed me. In my sleep, in my life, and this is with reduced hours. Then to top it off, Mixologist Man has left our fine establishment for love. Damn love! He had to go get engaged and move back east to be with his guy. I don’t harbor any ill feelings to his fiance, but I do. You took my best guy away from all of us. How dare you….

I kid. I really do. While Mixologist Man will be sorely missed from my nightly work life, I wish him all the love. I joke at the ‘damn love’ because what have I spent my December watching? Every Hallmark Christmas movie I can get my hands on. To the point where I am now almost disgustingly sick of Hallmark Christmas movies. Not quite, but there are still two days left of December. I mean, I can watch a few more, right? I mean tonight I watched one of the best Christmas pen pals movies. Oh my gosh. I want a Christmas pen pals thing in my town. I NEED it to happen. (it was a lifetime movie, but close enough to Hallmark) It was brilliant.

Can you tell I am still in a love, Christmas, and all things ooey gooey? What can I say, the Mantovani Orchestra is playing Hark The Herald Angels right now and the Christmas tree is still glowing in all its glory, and will be for the next month. I am still floating holiday poems in my head and reading holiday books.

Life is weird, and glorious, and sad, and happy, and all so strange. But I am glad I have my family, and the holiday season, and everything else.

I hope all you lovely readers had a decent, joyous, or even excellent Christmas. I hope you get to enjoy your New Years…. I was suckered into working the late shift. My first time in the three years I have been with my job. Jersey Boy was way too good at slipping me up in a conversation on whether I like mornings or nights.  There might have been some serious, albeit good humored, swearing involved.

Belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and lets home 2021 is a little more hopeful…

Kate

Notebook Keepsakes Amid Disaster

California and Oregon are currently in fire zones. Just about every place is being severely affected by the burning or smoke. Towns completely destroyed by fire, people displaced. Having a fire go bag ready is almost essential if you live anywhere in the west.

But how to take it all with you? Obviously you can’t. And this is where I’m actively contemplating how to deal all my notebooks and journals if I had to leave. I can’t take them all with me. Currently I think I would have 10+ that would ‘need’ to go, but that is too much. So, do I start transcribing them to my laptop? Which is a #1 essential for all the documents on it and pictures. Or do I just take the most important and let it all stay here and hope for the best. The thought of transcribing is horrifying. Do you know how much I have written in ten years? Gad, it’s nauseating to think about. It’s like right now I’m trying to get a collection of the original poetry off the shelf podcasts and the amount of time to download all of that is nauseating.

I remember I read about this one writer/artist who had all of her journals and notebooks in a closet that happened to have a leak in it. Over time, the water dripped and dropped, splattering and moulding the journals till they were practically illegible but for brief bits. Can you imagine? That is heartbreaking. I can’t even fathom the heart wrenching feeling of lost words. But she took it as another form of expression and created art with it, or showcased pages with the running ink and few words still there.

But my notebooks contain novels yet to be finished. Do I know the bulk of them? Sure-ish. I just realized there is some I can’t remember. So much has been written down. Poems I’ve never transcribed, stories, flash fiction, writing group stories.

But I don’t have time to transcribe. So what do you pick? Who do you choose as most important? I have whole journals devoted to Boris (the lying cheating bastard…. 5 years of him lying to me and now he’s dead and I can never confront him with it) okay, maybe those could go. >insert rolling eyes< But then there is other things. I can say honestly my last two journals are where I have had a lot of growth and change. Poetry and work and life changes that were massive. So two is easy. Notebooks though. That is not simple at all.

What would you do? If you had to have a go bag of essential things, and I’m not talking clothes, necessities, etc. I’m talking the mementos. The writerly things. What would you take?

Kate

Where Does The Time Go

Summer is more than half over and my writing life took a sharp turn south to non existent. At least here. It’s not like I’m not writing, but I haven’t pulled out my laptop to type but for some poetry a couple weeks ago. My journal is almost full after another year and a half. (my journals always take a year and a half to fill) and I have been writing this and that. Noting about life other than random observations. I feel like life is so heavy that I can’t write about life. Notes to become poems, or thoughts, but rarely anything deep.

Can we do over 2020? Not like actually all the crap that has gone on, but can’t we just chalk this up to a no go year? That being said, I feel like I have gotten places in my writing I might not have gone before. Nathan and I were texting the other day and he commented that one of my poems wasn’t my usual norm. Ha ha, he hasn’t seen my notebooks. But he is right. I sometimes spew off this super long poem with no stopping and no breaks and no punctuation and it’s like I just let a balloon spew out its air, whizzing around the room. Like I couldn’t contain it and I had to just throw it all out in a rush.

I bottle up my thoughts, opinions and emotions a lot, but when I let them out, usually it’s in a rush, a dumptruck of thoughts poured out on the ground. No organization to them. Sometimes cluttered and rarely making sense. Sometimes poems get like that. I can’t contain the box they are in. Personally, I’m rather fond of those kinds. At least of my own. I usually make the point I want without censoring myself. I’m rather proud of some of those poems.

Now what do I do with them. Again, Nathan asked if I was going to get any in print. I want to, but where? It’s all I can do to write the poems. I don’t have the oomph to hunt for journals to submit. Does anyone want to be an assistant and do the research for me? Pretty please? Darlings, I’d pay you in endless gratitude and the option to have me bake you a goody if you happened to be in northern CA and stopped in at the restaurant.

And that ^  is why I can’t get writing done. Work. I am swamped at all points. My day is so busy from the minute I walk in till I leave. I have a boss on my station in the morning who doesn’t believe he needs to do the prep and leaves most if not all of it for me to do, along with, yes, I am still full force making all the desserts. And I have had an entree added to my station that is adding in time. I fire ribeye steaks in my oven and I have gotten pretty decent at it. But for an already taxed station to adding that in. Well, let’s just say my life is one constant busy.

Even on my days off I’m thinking work. Or pestered by work. I want a weekend where I don’t have to think about work. It would be different if I was the chef in charge. But since I’m not, nor am I being paid to be, I want to not think about work.

And now dishes and lunch are calling me. Forget writing again.

Kate

 

Writing For Yourself

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I’m actually writing a non cooking thing right now. Sound the horns. No, but seriously, I was thinking about this earlier last week when I found myself writing something I’ll probably never show anyone. When do you write for yourself?

As a writer, everything is for myself, to some degree, however, I do consider who the reader might be. I am a poet, so I think poetically. I’m an essayist, so I consider the form. I write fiction for who might read it within the genre that it fits. At some point, everything is written for the reader. But what about writing just for yourself? Something that will only be for you to look back on. Be it essay, poetry, fiction, flash fiction, even non fiction.

I had a very vivid dream the other night that was one of those ones where you sit going, damn I wish I didn’t wake up. It was that good. So I am turning it into something just for me to enjoy and read again. There is no prerogative other than just writing down an event. But I feel kind of guilty that it’s only for me. I’m sure I could turn it into something for fiction, but I don’t plan to. But can you just write just for yourself?

I’m sure all my writer friends would say yes, but tell me honestly, do you ever just sit down and write for just your eyes only? Or do you have a prerogative of some point?

I kind of wonder if this is why I have that writer’s block problem, which currently I do. I’m worried so much about who the finished product is for, that I’ve stopped writing for myself. The irony on this post comes after picking up Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  I need to stop coming to the page with this plan to write something specific. I need to just write. I wanted to write a poem about the snow falling today, but I didn’t want to write a poem about snow falling, because it wasn’t working. Then I thought, why not just write down the words that fit what I was thinking

snow     needles     sun globe     marshmallow      shadow      lemon fuzz      reflection       gray     blue     ice      water       glitter      mist     metal    cold      Shakespeare      Dante     Nathan     Chicago      friends      lonely     walking     family     Colorado     western

I am sure I could file all of those words and thoughts crashing through my head as I walked with my mom into a poem. Something that might not mean much, but turns out into something for just me, or maybe eventually someone else. But who cares if it is for someone?  That was why I wrote the character sketch that was the previous post. It was just something that I could get out for fun.

Is anyone else getting stuck writing lately? I spend more time writing in my head. As I sift flour for cakes, toss a round of pizza dough up, stoke a fire, look out a restaurant window, lying in bed at night, listening to a Billie Eilish song…. (Bad Guy is playing right now). My writing is stuck in my head. How do you get it out?  I wish our writing ideas were like the stuff in Harry Potter where the memories are pulled out to view. Only onto the page. Ha! Wouldn’t that be fun?

Kate

Winter Yule Musings

Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

The wind gusts in bursts of force, chickens ruffling feathers and flouncing off in a cackle of panic. The roar of wind in the pines and rattling metal. Lead gray skies and scudding clouds. Winter faded grasses bend down nearly sideways, undulating in static waves from brittle stems. Brown seed heads stiffly shake and vibrate.

A  sign blows maniacally, flopping irreverent in the wind that cyclones down main street, whipping the stars and stripes to sailboat sail loudness. A snow-covered peak plays hide and seek with the snow laden clouds, heavy, damp, icy. In out, in out, till grizzled grey-back bison mountains are snow-dusted, and conifer fur-back travels like rippling hide, up to mist that hangs at nose blowing , muzzle puffing height. A white fog and smoke forming, swirling in the late twilight air. Hovering at steeple tall, the white spire straight and sharp, piercing the sky.

And distant peaks could also be gilded in the goldest light, shiny as a new coin, glimmering and glinting for a brief moment before the watery lemon ice sun slides quickly down, as if cold itself needing to scurry off to stick its toes in the warm sands and tropical waters.

Clear day, so bright the sky is finally an icy robin blue and a ice cold wind blows down from the mountains, bringing the metallic scent of snow, ice, and pine tree needle freshness. Florescent lichen full of damp fungi spore scent, musty, sweet, sharp, full of the woods. The woods calling. Their dormant loveliness silent, but for a burst of raven calling, or the chitter chatter of stellar’s jays and robins, the catcall of a towhee, the blackbirds and grosbeaks chatter whistling in the trees. The streams burbling over rocks and boulders and ice pockets.

Photo by Rodolfo Marques on Unsplash

Winter solstice is here, come, gone, and just one day now and the day has grown minute moments longer. Yule and holiday is in the air in just its own way. The earth is laughing its way towards springtime, but paused right now for a moment of reflection. Lit candles, pull down the mistletoe, the pine boughs are sharply scenting the air. Tuck in bows and all colors of red and green. Fling out bells and brightly colored lights. The sweetest tastes are in all forms, in sight, sound, and smell.  Starlight and winter light and all the moments to gather one’s thoughts together. Just a pause.

 

I have three days off for the holiday, which I am trying to savor without falling apart. I am at a crossroads of frustration again and it’s all happening too often. I’m trying to take moments when I can to observe and mentally document what I see. I have missed being able to get stories out, my head too full of work and life. I sit down to write and get discouraged. I can’t seem to get the ideas out. I want to work on my Christmas stories, but they seem stuck.

I hope that all you lovely readers have a beautiful Christmas. If I think about writing again, well you’ll hear from me then, but if not, Merry Christmas, dearies.

Love,

Kate

Bobby Pins, Typewriters, and Morels… Or, Just Another Spring Week

The funniest things catch and hold my fancy. For days and days a thought can bounce back into my brain. Current thoughts are: I keep finding bobby pins in random spots and it’s so exciting because I need all of them. Listening to dough and how it works because it’s a living breathing thing, though it might seem to be inanimate. The Lumineers and the Pandora station. Ada Limon poetry. Spring thunderstorms. Spring flowers. Using older things for writing, I.E. typewriters, journals, notebooks, fountain pens, etc. the 1930s…. Oh, lastly, morels. It’s morel season.

All random thoughts. All unique and almost all applying to writing. Except for the bobby pins. That applies to just my life. I got so excited when I reached down into the pocket of my slacks last night and pulled out three bobby pins and a barrette. I need all of those. I had wondered where all my bobby pins were disappearing to. Now I know. Thank gosh because I used 20 the other day to keep my hair back in place. I thought I was using a lot before. Nope. I have it down to a lot more now. I wrote a Facebook update that was, “Found more bobby pins in my slacks pocket last night. I love this!” A friend thought that made for a marvelous prompt. From a man’s perspective. I think so too.

I was mentally writing about listening to dough, after reading Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book. Dough, you think of as inanimate, but in all actuality, because of the yeast, it is alive. It may be an organism, but it’s alive nonetheless. So you have to listen to the dough when you work with it. You can’t just force it to mold to your will. Ok, you can, but it might not be that happy. And in turn, neither will you. So the dough I have been working with has been kind of warm and lazy. It just stretches just so, like a person in the morning that yawns and stretches their arms above their head then falls back into the pillows all soft and sleepy…… Then there is the dough that my coworker made. It’s cold, lumpy, and very very grumpy. It’s like Walter from Jeff Dunham. Arms crossed, uncompromising…. a pain in the ass. You nearly have to beat the stuff into submission. Or in my case, I let it be alone for a while to sit and pout. It warmed up enough to be flexible so I could roll it into a ball, in which case, it got all grumpy again and was stubborn. Making into a pizza crust was a challenge later. It kept tearing and not stretching. Gads, it was a pain.

I have been stressed and mental lately. I have been thinking about Wilson Tennu and his issues. Spring storms seem to be so him. I think I had a dream about him recently and I was just a little bit more in love with this broken person. It’s terrible. He’s been in my head, choosing to listen to serious music. Not jazz, per se, though he does love it, but things like the Lumineers and folk music. Or indie music. Young the Giant is one of his new favorite bands. (Me, myself, I’m enthralled with the lead singer of that band. Yum) But he’s been so moody. I pulled out Ada Limon, Kim Addonizio, and Anne Sexton to try and alleviate some of his issues. But I think I need to read some Seamus Heany and Galway Kinnell. They are a nice balance of both of us. Him and I. We are both moody people. Gee, I wonder why. Insert sarcasm.

My father recently had his Remington typewriter fixed and made all shiny and pretty and smooth typing. I now need to have my Royal fixed up so I don’t feel like I’m clumping along with it as it sticks on key b, or bounces out a double space so I have to back up and use white out. Or a red X. But it’s going to be a bit before I can get to that. I have Wilson wanting to type and I have been kind of shoving him off and not letting him. See, I’m too connected to this person. I really should tell him to get a hold of himself, but I also don’t want him to leave. He lets me look at things from a different perspective.

Morel mushroom KLB

He’d have luck morel hunting. Not me. No, I flopped with finding only 6. Phooey!

Now that it’s nearly the end of my “Saturday”, I should go take a look at the three large books that came in for me at the library, and maybe let Wilson write a little.

Kate

It’s A Sign Of Behind The Times

I’m actually having trouble naming blog posts these days. I was thinking in the terms of song lyrics. “It’s a sign of the times….”, it’s a Harry Styles song… bear with me.

Today I finished Paradise Lost by Milton…. Caveat being that I didn’t read chapters 1-11; only chapter 12. I was a little late to the game with the local ‘Salon’ one of the ladies from the writing group hosts. It was rather lovely to be in a literary setting which has been far from my realm for months. My writing group has gone to the wayside because my Friday nights are so late that I can’t force myself to get up at 9am to write. Bleh.

Or Nathan Englander. Look at that hair. He has to be tall, right?

But I am still writing. Not as frequently as I would like, because while inspiration is there, and pops into my head all the time, it’s rather hard to write while pulling pizzas from a 700 degree oven in the middle of a rush. Whew!

Farley Granger. Good, American stock.

I wrote two poems back in 2017 that were from the standpoint of this heteronym Wilson Philips Tennu, a writer living in New Orleans. Tall, thin, similar to Farley Granger (or Nathan Englander), but more floppy hair, he’s in this physical relationship with a Mrs. Robinson-esque woman, although I don’t see her as quite as old, nor is she married. Just she has this way about her. He’s fed up with her, so off to France he goes, which is in poem number two.  Well, these two poems lead to a three month writing spree of various points where he’s trying to find himself, he’s left France, gone to the west coast, lives in a small, rural area, in this mountain cabin that’s very, um, rustic.  For those not knowing what a heteronym is : via Wikipedia 

The literary concept of the heteronym refers to one or more imaginary character(s) created by a writer to write in different styles. Heteronyms differ from pen names (or pseudonyms, from the Greek words for “false” and “name”) in that the latter are just false names, while the former are characters that have their own supposed physiques, biographies, and writing styles.

Wilson writes very long poems with no breaks. Semi rambling on…. Okay, I’m a little like that, but not quite as bad…. making conditions, because like, yeah, I am the one actually writing it… gads that’s confusing.

Anyways, here he is, in the west, and I am working on his journal and poetry. The poor man is rather lost, confused, disgusted with himself. He needs a change. He’s decided to get a job in a restaurant as a dishwasher….. irony……. working the night shift, and he smokes cigarettes like a fiend, courtesy of the Mrs. R. He drives a 1973 sky blue Capri, has two typewriters, one is a travel one, an Olivetti Lettera 22, light blue….  “but I still took my typewriter with me,
the travel one, sky blue, sleek, like a convertible
with its top down, zippy, light on its keys”   (I always say this in my head like Linguini from Ratatouille when he’s explaining about Anton Ego, the critic, coming to dinner)

Olivettie Lettera 22

I’d actually rather like to meet this guy. He’s so not my type, but well, any guy that likes his typewriters and is a bit edgy, sounds interesting at least. Writing from his standpoint is interesting. Sometimes I get lost as to whom is writing, and then I start getting really depressed and wanting a cigarette…. I don’t smoke. Sometimes Wilson can be a bit of a bad influence on me. He stays up late, having dark circles under his eyes. He probably drinks a bit too much, obviously smokes too much. Sometimes I want to shake him for being so dramatic at times. Everything is always so over the top with him. A real drama queen….

So bits of my life make for a perfect inspiration for his life. I kind of feel sorry he’s a dishwasher, but since he’s a writer that sends off work as his bread and butter, I’m okay with him having a lower tier job.  The dishwashing is his jam, though he would much rather have the writing be bread, butter, and JAM.  Fickle man.  Someone should give him a good ‘Snap out of it!’ slap, a la Moonstruck.

Just the other day, the swoop and curls are even better as I work on them, this was only day two of testing.

I realized I hadn’t blogged in quite a while, but then a new spring menu dropped at the restaurant, I was sick again, and just this week finished a 6 day work week with a couple of extra overtime days. Days where I didn’t clock off till well after midnight.  I am seriously tired and two days off isn’t enough. I need one extra at least, but such is life. I am excited about the new menu and one of my ideas made it to dessert menu. Pots de creme. I had done spiced ones a month ago that were not super popular, but these new ones are plain, rich chocolate.  I am excited about a few new dessert ideas I have playing around in my head. I have been killing it on being lead pizza chef. I mean, I am rocking it, even with a Rosie the Riveter look. I have the headband and have been swooping my hair a la 1940s.

That doesn’t mean work has been easy. I love my job but there are aspects that make me want to slam my head into a wall… Or more like coworkers heads, but that’s way too psychopathic, which I am not…. insert evil grin, like the Grinch….. I jest. Really, I do. I joke that I always have my knives with me, but if I actually stab someone it will be because I forgot to walk with the point down and I went around a corner. Yes, I can hear Chef in my head…. ‘Point down!’

Yes, Chef.

I’m not sure how to end this post, other than to say, I need to now read Paradise Lost, especially chapters/books 7 and 9 per Mads suggestion. I am actually going to read the whole thing as I rather like blank verse. Enjoy this Harry Styles song, because I rather like it, and need to listen to it again.

Kate

Sail Away, Sail Away, Float Away – Musings

Dona and I were catching up the other day since I never get to catch up in person what with living in a restaurant most of the time. Plus she has a busy life as well, and as writing groups and such are not in the forecast for me to get to, well an instant message or two is our only chance at communication.

So she is busy; I am busy. She said she wanted to win the lottery so she could stop. Me being the progressive daydreamer I am, or ‘zoning out’ as Walter Mitty does, I couldn’t just let it rest at winning the lottery. In a flip second I had spun this grand exciting idea that was given a thumbs up and an “I like that’ vibe.

So first you win the lottery. It has to be someone from my writing group, as that is the only way for this whole scenario to work. Lottery won, then what we all need is to use that money to purchase a writer’s retreat. Which is another way of saying a grand estate with a large enough house to have rooms for all of us writers, with plenty of extra rooms to wander around writing. Because as writers, it’s a must that you can’t just sit in one spot. It has to be accessible to a garden, or gardens might be more apt. Considering we are almost always Jane Austen fans, a place to walk amongst the country might be good. A pond, or lake. Personally, I would like a folly or two… So it needs to be plenty of acreage to take long walks. Of course I am thinking of the English countryside… with the rainy afternoons and the chance you might run into that handsome farmer just down the road, or maybe he is a gentleman of the peers and you can run off and marry… I’m digressing. Pardon non Jane Austen fans.

Then of course the house must have a large enough library to house all of our book collections. Two level if possible. The size of Belle’s library might be a bit much, but it doesn’t hurt to consider it.

Then there must be a second estate purchased that is for the winter months. Living in the colder climates and the snow and cold, I start dreaming of tropical places to visit right after Christmas. The Christmas Tree might still be up, but ooh do I want to be where there is warm beach sand and the thought of a fruity drink with an umbrella as I sit under an umbrella contemplating sunbathing or swimming.

Now, due to my current work/job, of course I would be the inhouse pastry chef. I would hire someone to help me with the rest of the cooking, because as a writer as well, I would need time to write! But I could play around with marvelous pastries and desserts. Of course we would all take tea in the afternoon. I would have made delectable treats for that. As we all sit around a lovely tea service and talk about what we wrote that day. And what we were going to work on into the evening, provided we were not watching that next marvelous Hallmark movie, or Downton Abbey, or something British and utterly delightful.

Of course, there would be late night snacks, as writers are notorious night owls. If we all went off to bed, within a decent time range, there would be low lights on throughout the house for those sleepless nights one of us got up to write in the middle of the night. Which can’t be done in bed. I mean, it can, but if one can’t, then we must be able to get down to the kitchen without stubbing a toe.

This is much more detailed than what I wrote off to Dona, but I thought, what a marvelous dream. And the thought of a community of close writer friends is rather lovely. I can picture this a little too well. I could actually go on and on about it, but well, you all probably have your own little ideas of what would make a great writer’s retreat/estate for your group of writers. I like the idea of being able to have the two ‘home bases’, but then being able to visit mountain cabins and lakes, the ocean, the prairie, France, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and maybe Maine or New York and the Hamptons, throughout the year. One must keep the adventure active to write.

Again, clearly, I’m dreaming. And when I dream, I go big. I go so so very big.
So, readers and writers alike. What would your perfect writing life be?
Kate