Archive for January, 2010

I had big plans

for my break from school. Really, I did. I was going to write five pages a day and clean my basement and get a proper sleep schedule and and and…

Yes, well.

Been watching way too much tv. 96/365
I can’t help myself.

I looooove watching food/cooking shows. P and I are Top Chef devotees, and now that it’s off the air we had to fill the time somehow. Food Network and BBC America stepped, ably, into the breach. I think I watched ten episodes of Chopped this weekend. I’m also smitten with one Gordon Ramsay and his nightmarish kitchen beat-downs. Imagine my delight when I realized that I could record the British version, too! How I’m entertained when I google a restaurant after it’s been on the show and see that it’s closed. How I’m reminded to cook at home when he sticks his hand into a box of rotten tomatoes and pulls them out, speared on his fingertips like olives. I love when he sneaks outside to bounce on his heels and predict that the restaurant will fall apart if the snotty executive chef doesn’t get his act together. Then, miraculously, everything turns out awesome. A restaurant in the American hinterlands has been taught the valuable lesson: people want to eat fresh food.

I like reality TV drama, maybe especially when it’s staged.

The thing is, though, I’d never eat ninety-five percent of what the contestants cooked. I have some food, shall we say… intolerances, true, but the heart of the matter is that I’m an incredibly picky eater. It’s easier to make a list of what I will eat than what I won’t. Last night, I ate the dinner of a four-year-old: chicken nuggets, cut-up bell pepper, slices of cava cava orange. I did this while watching people make dessert out of grits.

I have grits in my kitchen. They’re to kill fire ants.

P swears if a real chef ever cooked for him, he’d eat everything on his plate, and maybe that’s true. I wouldn’t know, because I’d be at home watching America’s Test Kitchen, eating a bowl of dry cereal. I don’t drink milk, either.

Posted on January 18th, 2010 by Eliza  |  No Comments »

Can you change your process?

Last semester, in my Censorship class, we were talking about process. We do that a lot, actually, in the Story Workshop program, but this time my teacher asked us what we could do to actively change our process.

It sounds silly, I know, but I was kind of dumbfounded. You mean, I can just… change it? I don’t have to stumble upon the one true way for me to write, which incidentally only works for me so no one can give me any advice? Beyond butt in chair, I mean, which from what I understand is the only thing we all have in common. I don’t have to flap about and angst about it anymore? I have agency?

My process and I have been getting along a lot better lately. I’ve decided on a daily page goal and I’m drafting again, which feels really good. Like Keenan, I’m (hopefully) going to be done with the Fiction Writing program soon and all of my lovely weekly deadlines will be out the window. I have to figure out now a way to be productive so that I don’t lose all this momentum.

So have you ever actively changed your process? Have you added or thrown something out? What makes you productive?

Posted on January 5th, 2010 by Eliza  |  No Comments »