Disclaimer: Man, this writing-every-day-thing is difficult! You may have already deduced that since I have now officially neglected to write twice this month. I know there are a ton of writers who carve out time to write actual BOOKS around their families and full-time jobs. They are superheroes to me. I am a mere mortal, so I will continue to fight the good fight and blog each day.
Section 11 of Spilling Ink is about............wait for it............ wait for it..........suspense! You were on the edge of your seat just then, weren't you?
Probably not, because I didn't use any of the techniques that Ms. Potter mentions in Section 11. The strategies discussed include word choice, sentence fluency, and foreshadowing. My favorite hints: short sentences can make your readers think of the beating heart, and longer sentences can leave your readers breathless. If kids can understand that much, that would go a long way!
The "dare" for this chapter is to think of an ordinary event and create a situation in which this everyday even becomes suspenseful. Yikes! Here goes nothing:
The aroma is almost overwhelming. I try to busy myself with small tasks around the house. Straightening the living room, going through the mail, cleaning the counters. Every few minutes, though, my nose leads me back to the kitchen to check the timer. Fifteen more minutes. Wasn't there fifteen minutes left the last time I checked? Time, much like my teenage son these days, seemed to be standing still.
I had spent the last hour feeling like I was on a reality cooking show-- one like "Chopped", where the contestants have to make something beautiful and delicious out of items like octopus, star anise, and marshmallows. My ingredients weren't strange, but cooking them felt a little risky because I didn't have a recipe. During that hour, I had made dough, cooked chicken, chopped and sauteed veggies, and made a sauce from goat cheese, chicken broth, and fresh-from-the-garden-herbs. I had rolled out the dough and tucked all of the ingredients inside, calzone-style. I had brushed the dough with melted butter and garlic and slipped them in the oven. Twenty long minutes ago.
The table is set. The drinks are poured. Ten minutes left. Salads bowled. T.V. off. The rest of the family is finally lured into the kitchen, their stomachs growling and mouths watering. Five minutes left. Chit chat: "What's for dinner?" "Mmmmmmm... smells good...."
Finally, it is time. My glasses fog up as I pull the terra cotta baking stone out of the oven. Sliding them onto each plate and carrying each plate to the table, the excitement mounts. They are too hot to eat. We cut them in half and wait for them to cool.
That's all I've got in me this morning.... All this talk about food has made me hungry!