As I’ve mentioned before, I love to cook.
As I’ve also mentioned, I’m lazy.
But since I’m a bit of a food snob, I’m seldom satisfied with a dinner of Pop Tarts and root beer.
Fortunately, my good friend Larie shares these same three admirable traits, which often leads to conversations like this:
Me: Want to do dinner?
Her: Sure, what do you have?
Me: Half-a-pound of leftover taco meat, four tomatoes, and a beet. You?
Her: Leftover roast chicken and some Gorgonzola not too far past the expiration date.
Her: Uh-huh. You have wine?
Me: Do fish fart bubbles?
Her: Be here at 6:30.
The two of us will spend a few minutes clicking away on our favorite recipe websites, and will soon formulate a plan for homemade gourmet pizzas (one barbecue chicken, one taco) with a nice side salad of fresh greens, beets, Gorgonzola, and candied pecans.
Much better than sitting home alone eating leftover taco meat, plus our husbands enjoy getting together to talk about cars and scratch themselves.
Writing is a lot like that.
I don’t mean the scratching (though I won’t judge if that’s part of your writing routine). I mean the idea of creating something fresh and new out of the hodgepodge in several people’s refrigerators.
I was stumbling the other day trying to get a handle on a couple of the characters in my new manuscript. Right away, critique partner Cynthia Reese threw me the names of several actors she thought might fit the bill, giving me a much better mental picture of who these guys are.
One of the wine industry professionals I met last week told me about holding tastings in a barn, and it gave me a nugget of an idea for this scene I’m working on. Hot Lips (my grandma) said something funny on the phone the other day, and it sparked a thought about another character I’m writing.
Does that mean I’m packing my novel with descriptions of Owen Wilson, the layout of Illahe’s winery, or the joke Hot Lips made?
Nope, not at all. When I’m done chewing on them, the characters, places, and phrases bear little resemblance to their original inspiration.
Kinda like the pizzas. In either case, devouring someone else’s leftovers can be remarkably satisfying.
Do you repurpose things from other people’s kitchens or lives and make them into something deliciously new? Do share!
I’ll be over here nibbling on leftover pizza. Hmm…wonder what this could be tomorrow?