When A Writer Becomes a Chef de Partie

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Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

My life went from ordinary to whirlwind in moments. An application, an acceptance, and suddenly my simple life of get up, run the house, and write when I could, went to get up and be a prep chef in a brand new restaurant.

My days, and nights (the dreams oh the dreams!) are filled with working in a kitchen for the first time in my life. Writing has definitely taken a backseat, but like you know your kids are there, you still have to pay attention to them. I still write. Poems here and there, and a new story started on Sunday with a boom. A Hallmark-esqe thingy. I have three pages. Whoo-ee! I laugh because I’m notorious for starting things.

Being a prep chef is interesting. I’m learning a lot, I’m in charge of a walkin cooler, can you imagine? I make pizza dough by the pounds (40 yesterday) and I direct traffic. I yell at waitstaff, I find things, I’m a gopher. I have too many bosses and not enough time. I’m getting up early, I’m working late, I’m feeling exhausted all the time. And oh wow, where did some of those muscles come from? I have no idea, but my collegue and I compare bruises all the time. Or where we nicked ourselves with the very sharp knives.

I’ve cut up 20+ chickens and sous vide just as many. I’ve helped prepare for an 80+ person Christmas Party. I’ve joked with the chef, and the staff, and the bartender, and made myself the brunt of jokes. I’m blonde, what do you expect.

It’s been good, it’s been bad, and it’s been strange. But that’s what comes when you go from writing to cooking.

So if I’m a little lax on writing here on this blog, part of that is due to just being busy all the time and my life is cooking, not writing. But I have learned one thing, a kitchen is like a pirate ship. Now that’s a prompt I’m working on.

Kate

Things As Women We Should All Know – Day No. 27

We are four days from being done. I said D-O-N-E with this Write 31 Days.  Someone recently (and since I know you are probably reading this, you will know who I’m talking to…) told Mrs. B that I needed to suck it up and quit complaining about writing every day.  I’d like to see you write every day and come up with fresh content….. Now that I have that off my chest…. LOL.

12027540_977067112352002_6221272141493101965_nOkay, so earlier this year I came across this list of 13 Things No One Tells You About Being A Woman By Chrissy Stockton, after listening to the Joy the Baker podcast.  After listening to some of the highlights of the list, I headed over and read the whole thing.

Whoa. Right on.  This list is so true it’s scary.  First off, before you finish reading this post, head over to the list and read it first. Just click that link highlighted above. ……..

 

Okay, so now that you have read it…. I am not a feminist. I may have a few feminist ideals, but I think more that they are just common sense and equality in certain aspects. But on the whole, I tend to believe that men are the superior sex when it comes to strength, logical thinking (though sometimes I have to revise that when Mr. B is talking) and general fighting and political tactics.  I will honestly say I don’t have what it takes to think like a man. Nor do I want to.

And for the most part, I don’t feel oppressed by a male dominated world, though in all reality, it’s not half as dominated by men as it used to be 30 years ago. Women have made amazing strides with their lives, jobs, and etcetera.  So, again, not really a feminist, but still I felt this list was something that called to me.  Things I have dealt with in the past and still haven’t come to terms with.

Reading off the list in order….. I have had guys say I should do this, or I should do that. I should get rid of glasses, I should change the glasses, I should do this job or that job. Don’t wear this color, don’t have your hair that way. Women telling me I need to marry this boy or that boy or do this job or that job….. It can be kind of stressful fending off these comments.

I like doing things for guys. I want to be the homemaker (sometimes. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind if he would cook…. and clean a little).  I like the “wife/mom” roles in life. I 12107167_1040926229275315_7022155848237296182_nsaw it, grew up with it, my entire family, extended and all, had this as an example. It’s what I know and I like it.  But everyone wants me to have a career and why would I want to be, gasp, a homemaker?

Yep, I’m emotional. Damn right I am. But so what?! So freaking what? That doesn’t mean I can’t think. Sure, I might not think as well when I am emotional, but you telling me that I am this way does not help your case. At all. Mr. B has not figured this out .

While I can’t really say one way or the other if my relationships are deeper with a girlfriend vs boyfriend, I do know one thing, I can talk to my gals about some things that guys just don’t get, or don’t want to know about. We can commiserate together about those ‘times’ we are ’emotional’.

The biological clock thing irks me. Right at this time in my life, I don’t plan to have kids. That seems to really bother people. Go figure.

Number 6. About Moms…. I’ll just leave that one alone for now, but yeah, I agree with it.

Can’t say as I have been in the number 7 category, but I do get it, and I can get a little overboard sometimes.

I am terrible at asserting myself, but sometimes I really need to. And because I’m not good at doing it, it comes out wrong or people are offended because I do say “no.” Sigh.

Well number 9 is a given. If you aren’t sorry, why say it? And I have had to learn that sometimes when people say they are sorry, that doesn’t mean that all is forgiven because they said sorry.

Oh, I am forever feeling like I am pitted against other women. I compare myself to them. But it’s a nasty habit. I am me, and they are them…. We can’t all be alike.

I have been called crazy, but I still feel sane.

And lastly, sometimes I feel like I won’t survive without a specific guy’s approval. Boris in particular. But at the same time, good grief, half of what he tells me I don’t agree with. Why should I need his approval?  It’s something I do, feeling like I need everyone’s approval. I want people to like me, but honestly, that’s where asserting one’s self and not being a doormat comes in as well.

So those are just some of my opinions on the list. I’d love to hear what you have to say. And if you are a feminist, good for you. I have nothing against you personally. I may not agree, but that’s an opinion.  So, who likes this list? Who agrees or associates themselves with what’s on it? Tell me.

Only a few more days to enter the DaySpring Giveaway.  I urge you to enter with the link here  and  follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Do You Deal In Conflict?

Life is messy. People are warped and messed up and we are living in a backwards, far from utopian world. How you choose to move through life, though, determines a lot.  As Eve in Serendipity says: ” Life’s a mess, Sara. It’s… it’s chaos personified.”  Life is a mess and when you mix in people’s opinions, emotions and beliefs with relationships, chaos can be a big part of it.

And as we go along in life, how we interact with people says a lot, at least I think so. How you deal with an argument determines your level of maturity, or lack thereof. We all have our childish moments. We all through some sort of tantrum, even as adults. We want our way. We want to win the argument. We aren’t willing to say the other person might be right. It’s human nature.

And we make mistakes.

Right now I am in an argument, if you can call it an argument through emails only, with Boris.  What it’s about is unimportant. But it got me thinking about maturity levels and whether or not a person is willing to fight for a relationship, or just say “fine, I’m not winning so I’m going to walk away without trying to make this work.” There are two kinds of people; those that try to find a solution even by means of an argument, and those that just walk away.

Where do your characters in your novel fall into place? Do you even think about how your character will deal with conflict?

While I would rather not be in an argument, it is a life lesson, if not just for myself, but just to view a specific type of relationship.  I’m actually using it in some ways to write about my character, Phaedra. She is in a relationship with a country singer who is going to be on the road. There is going to be conflict. Something is going to happen where Phae has the choice to walk away, or to fight for what she wants.  Does she walk away from the singer? Or does she stand her ground and demand for her say; her rights?  Do you make your character a pushover? Or do you give them strength? And how much is enough.

This is where living life gives you that experience to write. As children, we can’t evaluate situations and really understand  or learn from them. But each interaction we have with people helps shape and mold our writing experience.  You have to be a part of the world and pay attention.

Now, having had this experience. I’m rethinking how much of a pushover I want Phae. See, I’m usually a bit of a cream puff. I will argue with my family, but in public, I don’t cause conflict. I’ve never been in an actual argument with past boyfriends. Either they backed down, or I did. We never went at it. I’m not saying going at it is healthy, but if you are a passionate person, shouldn’t your responses be passionate?  I think so.  So, Phae is a passionate person about her life. She’s a photographer that sees things that others don’t. She lives life to the fullest.  So, she’s not going to just back down in life. That doesn’t mean she’s going to go out swinging, but she might land a well placed kick here or there.

So, do your characters have conflict? How do they deal? And would you change them if you could?

Just something to think about this Sunday. Hey, it’s Sunday, you might have some time to work on your WIP and rethink your characters.

Kate

 

Not Writing, But Not Not Writing Either

fd1d578ef06d256d79cc4cab1edb6eb3I’m sitting here writing a book review….. Okay, I’m not doing so good since this is not a book review.  Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Just My Imagination” is playing over the new sound system… Which is just connecting the larger computer speakers to a longer cord in Mr. B’s laptop.

I really don’t want to write this review…. not because I didn’t like the book, but because I don’t want to have to think about the complexities of writing a review.  In all reality I cringe when I have to write one. That’s usually twice a month! And part of this is coming from the fact that my write hand (not a typo) is in a brace. I somehow re-injured something and the wrist is acting up. I just had to take it off (a no no) to type faster than a henpeck speed, but I’m going to be sorry. Typing does not help it one bit. Maybe if I tilt the keyboard up….  A little better

I met a man today who is a writer himself, and we were talking about sometimes not writing. You know, where you step back from say I can’t focus on my Work in Progress (WIP for those who do not know the acronym)  The none writing. The flash fiction moments.  I’m starting to get more of those. My focus has been horrible as of late. Maybe because I have sewing projects on my brain and Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and winter, and Boris….I always have Boris on my mind

I actually have this story I’m working that came from a dream. Vampires, Disneyland, castles, sexy vampire hunters… The Disneyland part will not be included. That was just my weird mind, but the rest is actually turning into something fun. If I get the first part fleshed out, I will post it soon.

So I am writing, just not blogging. That’s why the Bookshelf has been so spare. My Saturday Inspires and Sunday quotes are pretty much it.  I’m inspired to write, just not a whole lot of blogging.

Sometimes though, you can enjoy life in the non writing moments.  It is never bad to step back from writing. Experience life. Look at life a bit differently.  Listen to music that touches the heart.  Right now the music has shifted to the Cairo Time Suite. (if you have not heard it, AMAZING)

Think about real life.  I was thinking about what it would be like to write a piece from the perspective of the person that has to clean up the synagogue in Israel after the horrific murders of the rabbis. What would it be like to see the blood smeared and then have to be scrubbing it away. Because it’s not just paint. It’s not just blood. It was a human life. It was someone of importance.  You have the mop and you are trying to remove the red.  The harsh metallic smell of iron or bleach, burning out your sense of smell. But at the same time you don’t want to forget, but you can’t block it from your mind.

That part is so emotional. I was affected by the images of seeing the blood smears on the tile floors on the news the other day.  Sometimes you just have to look at the bad in life. Because it is life. That is what makes life. Yes, I can talk how I love the happy ending, but to get to the happy ending you have to have angst.

So, I am writing.  And there will be a review tonight because I want to get a new book. I think.

 

Signing off

Kate

Take Me To Your Mother

I am the girl mothers love.  I’ve yet to meet a mother who hasn’t wanted me to meet her son.  Whereas, the sons, run from me and don’t want to bring me home to meet mom.   Not because I’m not take-home-to-mom material.  Nope.  The reason why  guys don’t take me to meet their moms is because they are dating women that would fall into the ‘Wouldn’t take home to meet mom’ category.  It’s a Catch-22 situation.  Which means that you’ve got  a lot of men out there messing around.  They always say nice guys finish last.  But what about the nice girls?  In this day and age, are they finishing last because they have morals and won’t mess around?  It’s an interesting predicament.  And at what point are all these men finally growing up  and settling down?  Because it seems to me that there are a lot of men in their 30’s who are still playing around.  Don’t even get me started on the generation in their 20’s.  But it’s a waste of good male specimens.  They are in the prime of their life and they play. 

So in conclusion, moms are looking for the nice girl so their sons will settle down, while the sons are still out ‘playing’.

Is it me, or is something wrong with this picture?

Signing off

~Kate