Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rambling: Chicken Achieved


I keep starting this blog post with the fact that I got my chicken. (Yay!) And then the post has nowhere else to go. Chicken is apparently not an inspiring opening. And I delete the post. This time I'll just keep writing.

It really ought to be. Chicken, I mean. An inspiring opening, I mean. Chicken is a glorious thing. Except when I say that I consider the post where I realized that this blog was started with fried chicken and fried chicken ties back to Mom and then, ack! Run!

Anyway. Margaret Visser's Much Depends on Dinner has a whole chapter on chicken. I think. I just got up to check, and it's not on the shelf where it ought to be. I'll need to find it or get a new copy; it's one of my favorite books. Detailed discussion of chicken, butter, and salt, among other things; what more could I want?


I once again watched eat-pray-love-lady's--Elizabeth Gilbert, that's it--TED talk about creative genius, the one where she talks about the idea that your genius, or muse, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it, is something outside you that may or may not show up to help, but that either way she--Elizabeth Gilbert, that is--shows up for work. And am trying to use it as yet another motivation to write regularly. I'm also trying to avoid perfectionizing, as in, "Well, what's the point of blogging? Your goal is to write fiction!" Blog. Blog the bleeping blog, and then bump up the goals later.

I haven't actually read Eat Pray Love. I'm one of those contrary people who refuses to read anything that's terribly popular. But I really liked the woman in the TED talk, so I should read it. Or her next book. There was a next book, right? That uncertainty is somewhat on topic for the talk.

I search on Elizabeth Gilbert and, wow, she has a lot of books. There isn't just "a" next book. Well, there might be; the others could all be from before, but I doubt it.

I feel cranky now because I see that the book, of hers, that I want to read most, about creativity, isn't out yet. It won't be out until the 22nd. Not even a Kindle sample. Hmph.

I go all sour-grapesey about it and tell myself that it looks too fluffy and pastel and new-ageish anyway.  But I'll probably be buying a copy when it's out. Especially now that I'm listening to the TED talk again, because I really like it.

Buy it in paper or on Kindle? I drift to that question because, quite frankly, I'm just trying to keep myself writing. I feel guilty about buying Kindle books, because, well, Amazon, and because Not Independent Bookstore. But in theory the author still makes money, right? Or do they? Anyway, I try hard to order real live paper copies from my local bookstore, but I often give in to "Ooh! Want now!"

Tum te tum.

I've been planning to write up one of my four book ideas (three of them novels, one that nonfiction thing where I was worrying about how much expertise I would need) but I haven't gotten around to the actual writing, and so I'm not showing up for work. The one I'm aiming at is one of the novels, the only one where I have a beginning, an end, and at least a notion of the path in between. I still have dozens of major decisions to make about the plot, but that's really no excuse for failing to write, because I am confident that I am not someone who can plan and outline and write. For me, planning and outlining beyond a certain skeletal level is going to be stalling.

One of the four book ideas is, I strongly suspect, a short story. The story ending would be different from the novel ending. I keep thinking of Stephen King in On Writing discussing how Misery was going to end when he first wrote it as a short story. In a short story I could give it the cruel and ruthless ending that it really wants, but I'm not ready, yet, to whittle it down to the toothpick that it really wants to be--assuming, of course, that I could carve a sufficiently graceful toothpick.

That metaphor ran away, blowing raspberries back at me and cackling. I'm going to move on.



Yes. Don't criticize your metaphors; your brain will avenge them.

Orphan Black is on the TV, one of my favorite scenes with Helena, the one where that woman was mean to that little girl, and shortly regretted it. ("You touch her again and I will gut you like a fish.") That one. I love Helena. I always have trouble remembering that all of those characters are played by the same actress, but Helena is the hardest to remember. Well, Helena and Rachel. Come to think of it, have we ever seen Helena and Rachel interacting directly, rather than through the intermediary of a sniper rifle? Hmm.


I'm sure that Helena appreciates fried chicken. For a moment I imagine Helena and the Fifth Element girl in a scene together. My favorite scene in The Fifth Element is, of course, "Chicken...good!"

Maybe I should do a page of Great Chicken Moments In Film. I've threatened to do that before, right? The Fifth Element moment, the moment in My Cousin Vinnie where the guy in the pool hall strips a chicken leg in one bite like it's a... OK, I have no analogy.

Mm, chicken.

OK, that's full circle, so I think it's time to stop. That is all.


  1. I really should watch my copy of The Fifth Element, though not specifically for the chicken moment. I do think you would be well up to hewing, honing and whittling a graceful toothpick of a story.

  2. I enjoy The Fifth Element. A high-quality guilty pleasure, even though that sounds inconsistent.

    Thank you, re the toothpick. :)