Thursday, October 6, 2011

Marinating

The book group book
A Book Group
A friend and I are working our way through Naked, Drunk, and Writing by Adair Lara. I guess we can call ourselves a book group- I checked the definition of a group-  two or more- so we qualify. It's a Book Group with a writing focus. We are reading our homework aloud, discussing ideas, and making assignments for the next time. We are not sitting around naked, drunk, and writing, but it does sound more exciting than, "it was raining, we drank tea and talked a lot." My fried eggplant with ginger was pretty tasty though.

My takeaway from the book and the discussion: stories need to "marinate" on paper. According to About.com, "Marinate means to coat or immerse foods in an acidic-based liquid or dry rub, to tenderize and flavor before cooking. Food is marinated in a marinade." To apply this to writing, I will try letting the words sit on the page a bit longer to see if I can sculpt them into a more meaningful essay before I spring them upon my dear readers. To overcome my brain filling in words that are not on the page, I will try reading aloud. Perhaps I will soon dazzle you with a post without spelling errors, grammar bending, and excessive punctuation, but first I have to work into the habit. I might need a month or so.
Removing the living room fire place
Demolition Phase
Meanwhile, the demolition phase continues at our American abode. The living room fireplace is being removed. We are adding a room above which means changing the chimney and inserting pipes and wiring before putting the fireplace back together. The munsters are not quite sure that we are actually making the house better; it is amusing to show them photos and then listen to their questions: "Is it going to look like that?"  "Where is my room?" "Why does he have to wear a mask in our house?" My mother-in-law went by the site and took a tour. She marveled at the piles "neatly placed and waiting to go to Habitat for Humanity. Such neat demolition!" We are also fine tuning the layout design as they uncover floors and walls and pipes. This of course means you begin getting a realistic budget so I am marinating house plans too. There are layout papers all over my desk with various ideas for a pantry or no pantry, a counter or a bar, a larger opening or a door. Different options mean different budgets. It is good to focus at last on one house, a real house with certain built in limitations, but even then there are options. We'll see what we cook up!