Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blow Torch Pizza

So we had pizza tonight.  A very good pizza I might add.  Pretty much on par with the best pizza I've had to date in a little restaurant in Minneapolis.  But I'm betting this pizza didn't get cooked quite like that one.

I'm not the cook in the family.  Apparently, I'm not creative enough because I never would have thought of this! 

It wasn't barbequing a pizza that I wouldn't have thought of.  Although, I have to admit, that as a method of cooking  I would have chosen the oven.  Still, a barbeque is reasonable enough - it was the blow torch that really got my attention.  Apparently the bottom was cooking much faster than the top and voila, a little blow torch cooking solved the problem!

It was rather a surreal moment when I looked outside and saw the look of concentration as with blow torch in one hand and spatula in the other, supper was being prepared.  I may even have taken a step back.

However, if that blow torch was responsible for any of that flavor, then I'm all for sticking the for sale sign on that stove and going for the gusto.

I may be a pinch-hitting cook but as I've said before there's as much creativity in cooking as in writing, just a different kind.  Today, while I wasn't hauling out tools from the garage I was attacking a problem story from a different angle. 

There was a bit of a block in the current story, things weren't flowing as they should.  I was frustrated.  I'd been frustrated for days and using every diversion possible.  I vaguely, in a moment of complete story-induced insanity, considered my mother's newly acquired beautifully cased obsolete typewriter which she graciously offered.  While I love the idea of the sturdy feel of a typewriter and completely loved the retro blue colour, the reality?  I think that typewriter would not only up my frustration level but cause me to unleash my frustration on more mayhem than my characters were prepared for.  My options seemed to shrink into a creative noose.  Outlining my characters meal schedule for the next three weeks in detail didn't seem a solution either.

So what was the problem?  The first chapter was great, any number of people said so.  And those that didn't say so - hey, I wasn't listening to them.

The problem was the beginning - I knew that.  I'd always known that.  I just didn't know how to get the momentum back.  The first chapter had been pruned into a too neat final draft and the chapters that followed, not so much.  In fact some of them, not at all.  And I was stuck in the mire of what remained unable to start weaving it all back together again.

I whined.  I ground my teeth and I dodged the issue. 

That's when I discovered the problem, not only was I acting like a victim, I was allowing my characters to as well.  This story had taken me over the proverbial barrel because it had seen no resistance.  It was time to haul this sucker back.

I mentioned weaving before and that's exactly where I went, right back to the beginning to weave the rough with the good and haul a character or two out of a slough.  It was a new way of looking at a story but this story has been different from the start.  I shouldn't expect it to change now.  Kind of like cooking that pizza, I just had to change course and come up with a new way to lead my characters safely to an ending we'll all love.  The solution isn't as dramatic as the blow torch but in the end it will work just as well.

And as far as cooking, I shouldn't leave the complete impression that I'm only a pinch-hitter.  I cook - just not that frequently.  Breakfast for one although, the family cook has again proven that he can blow my scrambled eggs out of the water.  However, I must say that I still hold the record for most inventive dog food recipes and best dog biscuits.  And if the dog would quit begging for that last piece of blow torch pizza I might even get him to back me up.

Any creative solutions in your day? 



Lisa McManus Lange said...

WOW! Will have to try the blow torch method for sure! Glad you got the writing back on track! Gotta go backwards before you can go forwards....

Happy cooking - and writing!

Lisa McManus Lange

Ryshia Kennie said...

Backwards before you can go forwards - I like that. Happy writing to you too!

Eng said...

Nice stuff! I'm enjoying reading your blog here!

Ryshia Kennie said...

Thanks Eng. Good to hear!

Anonymous said...

I saw on he news that someone got really bad burns doing just this. It's very dangerous.

Ryshia Kennie said...

Anonymous. Like any thing - in the right hands depends on the safety. But maybe I should have added a disclaimer - not to be tried at home by just anyone.