Right after my last post about my beloved New Orleans they had a terrible act of violence during their Mother’s Day Parade. My prayers and well wishes go out to those who were hurt and their family members. New Orleans has a special place in my heart and I go there as often as I can.
When I think about The Big Easy, a few things come to mind: The French Quarter, The New Orleans School of Cooking, The Famous Back Door, and… GUMBO. I make a mean pot of that spicy, yummy goodness. What does this have to do with writing, since my blog is about me being a writer? Gimme a minute. It’s coming.
So, back to me and my mean pot of Gumbo. I made a pot this past weekend the way I always do: I finely chop the trinity, slice the andouille, cook the chicken. I make sure everything is prepared and ready to go so when I need it, it’s all there waiting for me. My husband, wonderful man that he is, comes in to the kitchen while I’m waiting for the roux (browed gravy) to get to the right shake of dark brown. “Baby,” he says as he walks up behind me, “you should be using a cast iron skillet.”
In my sweetest voice I tell him, “I’ve got this, dear husband.”
“But baby, you’re going to burn it.”
My voice is a bit more firm. “Go see what baby girl is doing. I’ve got this.” I do most of the cooking in the house and I’m the only one in this house who makes Gumbo, Jambalaya, Peach Bread Pudding… You get me.
He walks away, circles the kitchen table, and comes back to look over my shoulder into the pot of browning gravy. “But baby, it’s going to taste like a burned pot.”
“Has it ever tasted like a burned pot?”
“No,” he says, noncooking man that he is. “But you’re going to do it this time.”
Now I’m a bit upset. “Seriously, dude? Leave me alone. The only reason you’re concerned about it now is because you’re watching me cook it. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.”
After I tell him to scram, he walks away mumbling under his breath as I add the trinity to stop the roux from browning. Needless to say, he’s eaten most of the Gumbo.
I’m going to link this to my writing. People, family members mostly, come to me quite often and tell me I should write about their lives because they are awesome. Though I don’t doubt the awesomeness of these people, and it always happens to be an uncle, I’m going to pass on telling their story, unless they give me some good material. Yes, you had a bar fight. Yes, you saved three humpback whales with your bare teeth. Yes, you worked as an actuary and you have stories up the you-know-what. But I’m going to pass. If you were attacked by a werewolf and a fairy last week, by all means, let me know. I’ll put that stuff on paper! I’m sorry but you running a marathon in jeans in 120 degree weather by no fault of your own does not a good book make. Please don’t tell me that you getting into a fight with your brother and falling down the stairs is better than a story about a vampire. An angel. A sin eater!
Erika Badu said it best, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my sh*t.” Don’t tell me how to make Gumbo. Not in my kitchen, darnit!
Don’t tell me to write about your life. Tell me about it. We can eat cookies and drink tea while you talk.
I’ll listen. I promise.
And by the by, you can download the first 45 pages of Hunted by Angels for free on Kindle May 15-16th. Check the link under my pic -------->