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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring Cleaning



In the middle of a crisis in faith in regard to writing, I was offered an article from a local magazine I contribute to whenever they ask.  The topic of this piece was signature seafood dishes from area restaurants.  I never say no, even when the deadline is tight, and this one was.  I still said yes a few days later when the editor emailed to tell me she had to move things up a week.  Woo wee.  Time to get cracking.

The thing is, I’ve been in pondering mode for so long now with regard to the current novel in progress, writing the article felt like someone had opened a door to my brain and allowed the clean scent of spring to waft through.  Suddenly, the writer in me felt fresh and alive again.  A thousand-words I didn’t have to agonize over?  Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.  The topic involved eight restaurants, three that were new to me.  What can I say? To write knowledgeably, of course I had to sample…

So, it was research when I spent Friday night with my husband in a street-front grille, slurping Nova Scotia oysters and enjoying a yummy fried-oyster slider.  Saturday, we worked in the yard all day. Then, since a nursery was offering a deal on a product we needed, and it happened to be located close to one of the other eateries I had yet to experience, after we finished our errand, we stopped in. More research meant a few more oysters for me and a deconstructed scallop and bacon appetizer we split that hands down, featured the best scallops I have ever eaten. 
 
Monday was a holiday in Massachusetts, and I still had one restaurant to investigate.  Discovering my dilemma, my husband's 83-year-old mother said, "Let’s go out to lunch."  Folks, lets just say I’m a nothing but a dutiful daughter-in-law. 
  
Licking my lips in memory, I finished up the article with days to spare.  The only bad news?   No expense budget came with this gig.  Such is a poor writer’s life. Tasty as it was, all that “research” sure munched into my profit.

10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You would've eaten something anyway, whether at home or out.
Funny how a short piece like that can be so refreshing.
If I ever travel to Maine, I'll want restaurant recommendations from you.

Jan Morrison said...

I so get you! Yes, I'm stuck deep in query letter land and it feels trickier than applying contact-paper in kitchen cupboards (that's the trickiest thing I can think of right now). The A to Zed have been a refreshing breeze for me. (not looking forward to X though)
Can you provide a link to the article once it is printed? Love restaurant reviews.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

This - "The thing is, I’ve been in pondering mode for so long now with regard to the current novel in progress, writing the article felt like someone had opened a door to my brain and allowed the clean scent of spring to waft through. Suddenly, the writer in me felt fresh and alive again." My writerly brain could use a good dose of spring cleaning right about now. Sigh.

Em-Musing said...

I so love deadlines...because I sure can waste time when I want to. Did you eat anything out of the ordinary?

Bish Denham said...

Nothing like tasty research! I'm not big on oysters (I don't dislike them, they're just not high on my list of seafood items to eat) but the scallops... yum.

I hope the research and article writing help dust away novel writing cobwebs.

Connie said...

Well, at least you enjoyed all of the meals you researched. :) It would have been worse if you paid money for the food and then didn't like it. I know what you mean about needing to work on something else once in a while to let in some fresh air to the writing brain.

Joanne said...

tough research! sounds like fun and the spark you needed to crank out some writing, get some good food, spend time with family.etc. All good!!!

mshatch said...

At least the research was enjoyable :)

Robin said...

If it aired out your mental rafters it was well worth the price.

I've been stuck for a long time on my WiP, too. I've been reading again in hopes of a breakthrough. I think I'm getting somewhere. Some of my character flaws are becoming more clear... woohoo.

You never know what it will take to grease those mental wheels!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

That sounds like a good, but expensive gig. It is all about the experience though, and I hope it was all delicious.