Today let me tell you about one of the loveliest writers I know.
I don’t really know her, I guess, as we have never met in person, and she probably seldom reads my writings, although I read hers. She inspires me through her simple, sweet tales of taming chickens and frosting cupcakes, weeding and traveling, speaking events, and her little deaf and blind pooch, Dixie.
The dog is a profound parable to me. She loves and provides for it although it could hardly fetch slippers or newspaper, or ever protect her from much, and probably is more needy than anything else. Being deaf and blind, it revels in her touch, probably the main way it can feel “all is well”. I can think of only one reason she bothers with this pet: She just wants to, perhaps out of mercy. It reminds me of me and the Lord.
To top it off, her name is Hope. How prophetic for everyone she reaches!
Hope recently wrote a great introduction to her weekly writers’ post. Although it makes a point about writing, at the same time it is an appealing description of everything we should be. My blog is not about writing but I am a writer and I recognize great communication when I see it. I absolutely love this rendering of my exact thoughts and I have received Hope’s permission to copy it here, with her contact information.
Visit her soon!
DO YOU WRITE FROM SCRATCH?
There’s something about a box cake mix that shouts short-cut to me. I was raised by Martha Stewart, Jr. Actually Mom is a few years older than Martha, but she had all the moves before Martha became a household word.
No box cakes in the house. Uh-uh. All from scratch. And if you didn’t have a family recipe, you relied upon a Southern Living Cookbook for no-fail recipes. But you did NOT open a box. And heaven forbid you tried canned frosting.
That kitchen work ethic has stuck in my head. Having grown up on homemade fixins, I can taste the difference. Guess that’s why I garden. If I can cook with the real ingredients instead of freeze-dried, frozen or canned, I just feel more accomplished…healthier…proper.
Writing is a scratch recipe. No excuses and no substitutions for the long haul in developing a good story. If you want it quick and easy, it doesn’t taste nearly as good – to you or to those you serve it to.
There’s something about carefully measuring ingredients to get it right, even if you have to repeat the recipe to make it rise, brown, or bake properly. Nothing beats the look on someone’s face when he tastes an original combination of items married into a perfect recipe. You have to admit, when you savor homemade then taste a box mix, the difference is striking. Simply, one is memorable; the other is not.
It’s like comparing Gordon Ramsey’s gourmet risotto to powdered macaroni-and-cheese.
There may be times where five-minute mac-n-cheese fills the bill. Maybe you throw a cake mix into cupcake molds for a second-grader’s birthday party where all they want is the icing and sprinkles anyway. But memorable? Don’t think so.
It takes time to create anything from scratch. The trial and error aspect of it is what makes the end result so superbly satisfying. The balance is better, the flavor sublime, and the experience is one remembered for a whole lot longer.
After all, who marvels over a mix? Every church bazaar baker understands that made-from-scratch miracles make other cooks jealous . . . leaving them with a craving to duplicate the success.
Thanks, Hope! I’m going to work on my kitchen work ethic . . .
And now, Friends, here is where you can read more of Hope’s writings. What a treasure house she is building!
C. Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters, www.fundsforwriters.com
Writer’s Digest 101 Best Web Sites for Writers – 2001-2010
A decade of recognized excellence
Blog – www.hopeclark.blogspot.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/hopeclark
Facebook – www.facebook.com/chopeclark