I have always loved meeting new people. I was extremely passionate about my character development in my first book because I began noticing at that time in my life how unique every single person is/was. Nobody has the same story and everyone can experience the same exact thing but have a totally different perspective and ‘take away’ from it. Or just have totally different experiences that another would never even dream of. This idea intrigued me in such a way that I knew then I had to be a writer. I would never say it out loud because I always felt like telling someone that I wanted to be a writer would make them not take me seriously. As if it was a hobby and not something you DO as a career. Maybe it is. I’m definitely not making money off of it, yet at least. But I guess a perk of being a stay at home mother, allows me the opportunity to follow that passion without the burden of it having monetary value to my family.
Last night I was reminded about how much I just love ‘story’.
Four of us girls set out to celebrate some birthdays while simultaneously enjoying the idea that we got to leave the kids behind on St. Patrick’s Day and drink all the green drinks and eat all the good food and talk about everything that sprang to our buzzed little minds. We piled into the uber driver’s truck, totally not expecting what came out of his mouth.
Three of us women are from, or live in Louisiana. This guy apparently is from a really small town not far from where we all live(d). He goes on to tell us how he attended the same college as a couple of us so they began asking where he liked to go out. You know, making conversation. People like to find common ground with strangers in order to supplement the small talk until they go their separate ways. Well, he admits he never did ‘go out’. He was the son of a Baptist preacher and was driven to class by his parents! He now lives in Houston to escape and have a little freedom, only to have his parents follow him there and then move TWO miles from where he lives. As the 4 of us sat in awe of this story as we reached our destination. We couldn’t help but wonder if he was telling a tall tale, or if this was truly how he grew up.
He wasn’t wearing a ring and he had a very nice vehicle, very well spoken and didn’t seem like a person who had bodies in his basement, so I want to believe (as depressing as it was) that his story was true. But being a storyteller myself, I kind of don’t care if it’s true or not, that’s a pretty freakin interesting life… or intensely maddening…
The green drinks moved us on to other topics over the evening and as completely different as each of us are: new mother, mother’s of two, no babies, married, newly married, unmarried, well traveled, untraveled… a melting pot of women you can say, and we had such wonderful conversation. It was a beautiful thing to me to be able to sit and talk about just learn about each other and find our differences and just accept each other and love the person across from us without feeling the need to convince the other to ‘be like me’.
From beginning to end, I feel like this night was meant to be. I have been struggling with my new book. My first came to me so easily, and I wrote it in a specific style so that too much wasn’t revealed too soon. I wanted my characters (and still do, but in a different way) to be complex and flawed but lovable. It’s also set in a completely different time, which almost made it easier than the one I am writing now. But I really wanted to push myself to not write the same thing just with different characters, so I forced myself to write this one in present day. With different struggles and my character and story development is vastly unalike. I want my writing to be valued and respected so I am taking my time to make sure I love this novel as much as my last. Like when you have children. You love them both despite, or maybe because they are not the same. They have different personalities, quirks, interests. So last night just, in a special way, helped me to understand my journey even more. Encouraged me to continue on and validated my intentions with the process.
I also adored getting to talk with my sweet friend (also a writer) and felt a connection with her about the passion we share. I don’t know many other writers personally and sometimes I feel really alone in my little world of words and don’t know if I am ‘doing it right’ per se. But when I heard her talk about her process and struggles I felt a weight lifting that I didn’t know was there. So it’s that difficult for you too?! A few words of a song struck an entire chapter for you too?! You have all the ideas in your mind but when you go to write them, your brain turns to mush?! AHHHHH I’m not alone afterall!
I started blogging to help with the “voices in my head” and to allow me an outlet to share the fun and not-so-fun moments of trying to write/get published while raising children. Which has been proving (comically so) to be more difficult than I ever thought possible. But I still find great pleasure in it, which makes me happy nonetheless.
Turkey Meatball Pasta
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/3 cup panko crumbs
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (I use the no salt added market pantry or Hunt’s)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt/pepper
- Preheat oven to 350. Combine turkey with seasoning and panko crumbs and form into 12-14 balls. Line on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
- Heat sauce in medium sized saucepan and stir in seasonings. Cook your choice of pasta (I use penne or spaghetti noodles – the barilla protein plus) and once meatball are done, toss in the sauce and pour over the noodles. Sprinkle with parmesan.