Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, December 6, 2007


And I'm spent.

The past couple days, plus today, we baked eight types of cookies and made two types of fudge. Every year I forget how much work this whole thing is - especially the fudge. If you've never made fudge, you have to stir the sugar mixture continuously for five minutes while it's at a rolling boil (with hot sugar bubbles exploding at you) and then when you take it off the heat, you have to stir in all the chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff before the concoction cools. If you stir too slow, the whole thing sets and you've got a big block of partially made chocolate-marshmallow goo. And if you're unfamiliar with fluff, it's extremely sticky and hard to get off the spoon. My daughter still has fluff in her hair.

Once it's finished, though, it's a tasty set of accomplishments. Right now every available space is filled with containers of cookies, so I can look around at everything we've done. Tomorrow most of it will be gone as I make my gift baskets and distribute them to all the good boys and girls in my life (and in my general geographic area).

Now, I bet you're asking yourself what any of this has to do with writing. Well, I could say that not everything I blog about has to do with writing, but that wouldn't be true. The whole story is a wonderful analogy for writing a book.

When you're writing a book, it's a lot of hard work, but the end result is an accomplishment you can be proud of. It's also something you've put your effort into that you want to share with other people. You want people to taste your creation, to savor it as much as you do, and to shower you with the praise you've earned for your work.

This year, we had a batch of cookies that didn't turn out as planned. For some reason, the first two sheets burned, and the ones that didn't burn were bland. Sometimes we start out writing what we think is going to be awesome, only to find out somewhere along the way, something went horribly wrong. The bad batch of cookies was the first one, and I could've chucked the whole idea of the cookie baskets this year. It was a blow to my baker's ego, after all. I've made the recipe before, and they always turned out great. Instead of giving in, though, I threw the whole damn batch out and started over on a different recipe.

See the analogy?

Okay. Enough with me and my analogies. How are your holiday plans shaping up this year? Do you have any writing analogies for me?


Kristen Painter said...

I always say that writing a book is like baking a cake.

Mixing the batter is like brainstorming - different ingredients come together to make one great story.

Baking the layers is like writing the first draft. Then you put the layers together (edits) and the cake starts to take shape.

Frosting is the final polish. It makes the cake pretty and the story reading to go!

And if you need somewhere to store some of those cookies and fudge, just let me know and I'll send you my address. *wink, wink*

B.E. Sanderson said...

Good one, Kristen! =o)

LOL I'll keep you in mind for goodie storage.