My favourite beginning, ever, for any story is: “Once Upon a Time.” When I read that, I know - I just know - that I am in for a fine old yarn.
This short,almost deeply philosophical statement, is my way of introducing a post that is in large part an apology – or maybe simply an explanation – of my rather short and obviously rushed blog stories over the last few months. You see, “Once Upon a Time”, I used to have these little stories planned and outlined - if not in first draft mode - for at least a few days - if not a few weeks - in advance. Back in this fairy-tale era, I had time to tweak and edit and polish and embellish them, the better to amuse (and perhaps even enlighten) you.
It must be possible for even the least discerning reader to observe that over the last few months this ideal creative scenario has fallen by the wayside, so that I am sometimes cyber-scribbling my little stories in the evening, after a lovely meal out at a restaurant with friends – as I am right now - so that first draft and final draft are one and the same thing. This dreadful scenario is the result of a number of things happening almost synchronously – computer meltdown, lovely English visitors, too many deadlines elsewhere, and a long-overdue holiday included. Or perhaps my stars are not in alignment.
I am not sure why I feel compelled to keep up this Monday to Friday thing, but think it has something to do with the uncertainty of what might happen if I stop. Heavens Above! The punishment I am threatened with from some of you, dear readers, when all I state I am to do, is to cease giving the Quotation For The Day!
I hope soon to be more organised, or for my stars to get properly in line, or conjuncted, or whatever else it is that stars do.When this happens, I will be able to build up my supply of emergency stories. Every writer needs an emergency supply of stories, just as surely as every cook or mother needs an emergency supply of cheesecake. Wait a Moment! I have a recipe for just that, and here it is:
To ¼ lb. of butter and ½ lb. of sifted loaf sugar, the yolks of 6 eggs, the rinds of 2 lemons, and juice of 3, add a little grated biscuit. Put it into a pan, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, and it thickens like honey. Bake it in a tart dish with the paste around, or in patty pans. A most useful reserve for emergency, as when well made and placed in a close jar it will keep for some months.
Household Hints to Young Housewives, by Mary Careful (pseudonym) (London 1852)
Quotation for the Day.
Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake.