The aroma of imagination can sometimes smell like Hawaiian sweet bread and cranberry stuffing, Thanksgiving turkey, and homemade apple pie. Today was a blissful day as I prepped my recipes for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. It wasn’t just blissful because I was avoiding the papers stacked up by my desk that needed to be graded, but it was blissful because I’m pondering a new book. What better way to brood and mull than while thinly slicing and layering apples into a perfect Thanksgiving pie?
Creation is a process that can feel so wonderful. Today, I watched my recipes move from idea to plan to finished, and I could tell by the way my husband’s head kept turning toward the kitchen that my final products were successful. Why can’t writing be like that?
A hunger pushes us to begin, but a recipe card for the novel you want to write just doesn’t exist. It’s a bit unfair really. Or maybe it’s not unfair. Maybe it’s so gloriously adventurous, so wild, so emancipating, so bohemian… Or maybe that’s just me hyperbolizing to make myself feel better.
This journey that we take to write and to publish is not an easy one. I occasionally have the passing notion to give it up, to wonder about my own sanity to attempt such travails. The self-doubt always passes though. The craving for words always starts once again.
So as I sit waiting on literary agents to profess my brilliance or give me a chance, the new novel brews and bubbles. My summer’s adventures of wading through knee-high grasses to reach ancient castles; of Hungarian restaurant owners feeding us “house specials” of lamb, chicken, and pork with a side of whiskey at 10 a.m.; of bolting at full speed through train stations surrounded by every language but our own; of torrential thunderstorms that didn’t hold us back – we, the ever-determined tourists… Our misadventures all discover their purpose now.
Either way, I wish my computer would occasionally emit majestic fragrances of apple pie and Thanksgiving turkey. That way, I’d know that this next idea or that project I’ve been working on for years has the hope of being absolutely delicious.