It’s my turn to host book club tonight.
In less than 12 hours, my home will be packed with women guzzling wine, chattering about books, and possibly removing articles of clothing.
(You think I’m joking, but I’ve been with this group for 10 years and once watched our founder rip off her shirt in the throes of a hot flash and spend the rest of the meeting discussing literary symbolism wearing only her bra).
Though I can accuse Pythagoras of being the one to overdo things in almost every other aspect of our lives, book club hosting the one area where I freely admit I make things a lot more complicated than they need to be.
The other day he caught me poring over dessert recipes.
“What do you think?” I asked him. “The dark chocolate Grand Marnier soufflés or a red wine & raspberry sorbet with homemade fudge sauce?”
He stared at me for a few beats, then shook his head. “Can’t you just buy a cheesecake at Costco?”
This suggestion actually borders on helpful, since his real solution would likely involve passing around a box of Pop Tarts after the meal.
But no. I am making the soufflés, because they seem like the best dessert to follow the tilapia fillets broiled in dark cherry vinaigrette and the other carefully chosen side dishes I have planned.
I can mock myself for overcomplicating things, but the truth is, I enjoy it. I love cooking, and it’s not every day I get to feed a houseful of longtime girlfriends with voracious appetites for good food, good wine, and good books.
I also like the challenge.
Long before I started writing, I used to get annoyed when a band I liked would put out a new album that deviated wildly from whatever had made me fall in love with them in the first place. My inner spoiled child would stomp her feet and whine, “but I liked what you did before – why couldn’t you do that again?”
I get it now.
I love romantic comedy, don’t get me wrong – I don’t see myself getting tired of it ever, and I’m settling in for a nice long career writing it. But since there are only so many ways to tell the “boy meets girl” story, it’s fun to twist things up a bit and experiment.
I talked last week about some of the risks involved in writing LET IT BREATHE with a divorced heroine and a reformed bad boy hero recently out of rehab, but there’s another aspect of the story that adds an interesting dimension.
My hero and heroine already know each other, and there are some skeletons in that closet they both have to deal with. I’ve never written a story before where the two love interests are already acquainted, and I like the challenge of exploring that dynamic.
Maybe I’ll even find a way to use that homemade fudge sauce somewhere in the story.
How about you? Are there areas of your writing or everyday life where you overcomplicate things? Is it a good or a bad habit?
Discuss among yourselves. I have to go see if it's too late to have that stripper pole installed in the living room. If shirts are coming off again, I want to be ready.