cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Friday, August 15, 2014

Foamy Dough, Writing, and a Weird Confession

I'm lacking in the "pictures of dough" department, 
but it'll all make sense (ish) if you're not too afraid to keep reading.
And, yes, that is pizza dough with a marinara "T C" in a heart with an arrow 
through it. 

Us as newlyweds was adorably geeky.

There's something you should know about me. It's something I rarely stop to ponder, but this week it has confronted me with boldness. It is only because I believe in authenticity, and also believe you, dear readers, to be grace-filled, that I risk to share.

I've never passed along Amish friendship bread starter.

And while I'm at it, any "chain" in which I am required to be an active participant is doomed. Recipe chains? No clue. Postcard swaps? Forget it. Forwarding that chain e-mail we all got in 1993?* Deleted. The only "chain" I managed to pass along was the little country phone prayer chain from my childhood. And that was out of absolute fear that if I didn't man up and call the next person on the list, that some poor soul would be prematurely struck with death, and it would be all my fault for not notifying Jane and Peggy that so-and-so had twisted their ankle.

My hesitancy is two-pronged: A) I don't want to be the receiver, because of ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY. These things are typically time-sensitive, which means that awkwardly passing something along, say, five months later (all the while acting punctual and breezy about it) is lame. Causing the entire shebang to pile up is lame. And handing moldy starter dough to someone is...lame...and also kinda creepy. B) I don't want to pick out my victims recipients. I feel like they see me coming and just know. I survived a short stint as a direct sales consultant. I recognize the look that says, "Oh goody. Here comes Cynthia to schmooze her way into my pocketbook." It looks identical to the "Oh goody. Here comes Cynthia with bags of foamy dough goo."

I don't need that kind of pressure, man.

So, you can imagine my trepidation when a dear friend** approached me about participating in a blog hop. I didn't even know what it was, but I was humbled to be included, and also, I needed a jump start. Answering four simple questions seemed easy enough. And now I actually have to do it. Preferably before the starter dough turns rancid.

1) What am I working on/writing?

This blog post. Duh. (This is why I can't be trusted with this kind of thing)
Beyond this here post, I have been refining a children's book manuscript while my mom does the hard part: Illustrating. I've also begun working on a full-length historical fiction.***

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

I'm pretty sure it doesn't.
Is "sarcastic, Jesus-lovin', homeschooling, orphan crisis-addressing, slightly crunchy mama to a large family" even a genre? 'Cause if it is? NAILED IT!

3) Why do I write what I do?

Because it's cheaper than counseling and socially acceptable to partake in before 5 o'clock. 
I write the things that God emblazons upon my mind and ignites in my soul. I fail more often than I succeed, and my words are often inadequate and clumsy. BUT they are His words, for His glory and good purpose. If he can use con artists and hookers, then he can use the awkward words of a simple stay-at-home mom who's just trying to save a few bucks on therapy.

4) How does my writing process work?

And here's where ya'll skip straight over a counselor and sign me up for my very own comfy cell.
I talk through my writing concepts. Out loud. Not to someone. Just out loud. Oh, there are, of course, people around. They are mostly under four feet tall and some of them have banana smoosh in their hair. And sometimes when I'm especially deep in conversation (ahem), I seek solitude, which lasts until someone sticks their fingers under the bathroom door. I don't even know why these short people ask to whom I am speaking. Shouldn't they know how this works by now? Maybe a few counseling sessions wouldn't hurt...

Well whew! That wasn't so tough. There's only one problem: Big, Scary Phase Two. 

Imagine if we all gathered in a happy little room, and you spied me peeking around the door frame to verify that the coast is clear. Except you, ya' wily stinker, are watching me while pretending to read a text. You see me sneaking to a side table where I unload a box. I've even pre-taped a note to the front of the box. As soon as I beat a hasty retreat and try to act casual with a group of ladies, you saunter over to the box. Inside are bags of bubbly dough and the note reads:
Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Please take one to assuage my guilt. Or not. Whatever.
Ball Dropper
So here's the tricky part: I haven't chosen bloggers to whom to pass the baton. I. Just. Can't. And apparently there's no tag backs. So, here's my box of dough. Who's going to take some home? 

Eyeing My Blogging Friends,

*You know. The one where the guy had a vivid and terrifying dream that his friend was going to hell only to find out after waking up that his friend had tragically died in a car accident THAT VERY NIGHT. Don't wait to tell your friends about Jesus, ya'll.
**Seriously. Skip the rest of this blog post and go read her stuff. You won't regret it. She writes like me only she's actually good at it, she affirms the sacredness of coffee and chocolate, and is practically related to me. It's only a matter of time before our hunting and pecking around proves we're long lost sisters.
***Hint: My research for this book has led me to communication with the director of the Museum of Menstruation. Yes. That's a thing.