Inspiration, Desperation, Suspiration, Broccoli…

Posted by M. K. Waller

© David Davis, Alien Resort. Used with permission.

Want to know how I think up topics for blog posts?

Of course you do.

I use several techniques:

  1. A topic comes to me about 9:00 p.m. and I write fast and then stay up all night fixing it (and hoping readers can tell it’s been fixed), finding pictures, and making pictures stay where I want them.
  2. Sometimes I forget I have a post due on Writing Wranglers and Warriors until 9:00 p.m. the night before, and I stay up all night doing the tasks listed in #1.
  3. Sometimes a topic comes to me at 9:00 p.m., and I write about it and then see what I’ve written is so horrid that I trash it and write about something else. Often the something else is a topic I’ve meandered into while writing the horrid part.
  4. Sometimes a topic comes to me while I’m driving. By 9:00 o’clock, I’ve usually forgotten it and have to think of something else.
  5. Sometimes a topic comes to me while I’m working–cooking, washing dishes, moving the refrigerator and scrubbing the floor under it. We have a dishwasher, and since my diagnosis, David has done most of the cooking and cleaning up, so those pathways have lain untrodden for a while. Letting David cook is called “Taking Advantage of a Good Husband.” I should have been cooking every night for a long time. But until recently I’ve made it through only half the preparation before wearing out, so he might as well do the whole thing. I move refrigerators at 3:00 a.m. and so usually lose those topics, too.
  6. Furthermore, David serves a lot of pizza and frozen entrees (TV dinners for the baby boomer generation), so I don’t have to eat the broccoli I’m supposed to eat. I’m happy. I was tired of broccoli before chemo, and now I find it almost intolerable. Don’t even mention lettuce in my presence. [This paragraph should follow #5 and not be numbered at all, but current formatting doesn’t allow it, and I don’t care. I could paste the list into MS Word, take out the formatting, and paste it back here; that might work. But, as I said, I don’t care.]

[The next paragraph began as part of paragraph #7, but when I changed my mind and spaced down, instead of becoming #8 or #9, the text flew clear back to the margin and didn’t number itself. Go figure.]

I repeat, I don’t care. I’ve been cooking, and I’m too tired to care.

I’m also too tired to proceed with the topic I planned to write about, which came to me while I was cooking: How to and How Not to Cook a Casserole for a 6:00 p.m. Dinner If You’re Still Doing Something Else at 5:10.

Putative Casserole. With broccoli.

And last week I promised myself I’d stop writing 1,000-word posts. The ideal is 300 to 500 words. This post will make the cut. If I stop now.

It’s only 6:40, but I have to find some pictures and properly attribute them and make them stay put, so I’ll probably be up all night.

*

522 words, not counting this line. Close.

***

M. K. Waller used to write as Kathy Waller. Then she discovered Kathy Waller is the name of the CFO of the Coca-Cola Corporation, and every Google search hit on Kathy the CFO a dozen times before it got to Kathy the writer. So the writer switched to M. K. There aren’t so many of those.

Her personal blog is M. K. Waller–Telling the Truth, Mainly. She also blogs at Austin Mystery Writers and edits HOTSHOTS!, the newsletter/blog of the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter.

Her stories appear in the anthologies listed below. You can read her flash story, “And Justice for All,” in Mysterical-E.

 

  Lone Star Lawless (Wildside, 2017)

 Day of the Dark (Wildside, 2017)

 Murder on Wheels (Wildside, 2017)

 

19 thoughts on “Inspiration, Desperation, Suspiration, Broccoli…

  1. I am very familiar with this style of writing a blog post. I’ve done it a few times. And you know what the hardest aspect is? Getting the photos to go where they’re suppose to go in the post. The first time they always end up at the top of the story. I have to delete them, place the cursor at the beginning of the correct paragraph and try again. Usually it works.

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    1. The photographs can add a lot of time to the process. Lately when I insert one at the beginning of the paragraph, it appears with the first line beside the bottom and the rest of the para below. If I set it in the middle of the para, it does the same thing. I finally figured out that if I set it at the beginning, then move it to the right, and then move it back to the left, it falls into place. That’s something new. I used to grumble at the computer but decided there are better, or worse, things to grumble about. I still grind my teeth, though. What I’d really like to know is how Facebook decides with picture to display.

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    1. Craving a food you couldn’t eat before–that is weird. While taking the evil drug, I ate mostly Rice Krispies, because that’s all I wanted. (Eat a lot of meat, they said.–No.) And I poured (not spooned) sugar on everything. I worried about the sugar, but afterward the nutritionist said it was the best thing I could have done. It’s hard to stop eating the sugar, however. I wish I craved vegetables.

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  2. Fun blog! During chemo I turned into a vegetarian. All I wanted were vegetables (except broccoli… I’ve always hated it.). I remained a vegetarian for 3 years until I craved prime rib. That ended my vegetarian stint.

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    1. Thank you. I’m glad it was good reading. I wish I’d turned into a vegetarian. I apologized to the oncologist every visit for eating sugar and asked about my glucose reading. He’d say, “Glucose is fine; look, it’s just three points high, and you weren’t fasting.” Yes, I was. He didn’t care. I used to like broccoli, but I’ve dieted so much for so long that it’s just not appetizing. I mashed some spinach with cream cheese once, but I don’t think that’s what the nutritionist had in mind Meat hasn’t been appealing either, but since you mentioned prime rib… Maybe I was a vegetarian.

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    1. Thank you, Abbie, for those kind words. I have to admit, however, that I feel much better than I did for a while, and that except for doing things that require physical exertion, I’m back to normal. I would be okay across the board if I got more exercise than spinning around in my miniscule kitchen trying to think what to do next. I’ve been procrastinating about going to the gym for months. I think they would be too busy on Saturdays and Mondays. So far I haven’t thought of an excuse for the rest of the week.

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  3. You are very entertaining! And I can relate to the 9 pm ideas, happens often to me! The night before. Like tonight. I couldn’t get my last blog to schedule either, it just went live. Interesting to hear about your differing tastes. And I like your positive spirit, you’ve had a rough year. You’re an inspiration.

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    1. Thank you. The only thing I’ve ever been competent at is school work, but at least the rest of my life provides something to write about. I stayed up last night long enough to watch the pre-scheduler just sit there doing nothing. An email to WP is in order (as I’ve said for several months). If I’m positive, it’s because I have the examples of my mother and a friend who went through much harder times than I’ve had, and for much longer. And because I know I have to be positive. And because I read Bernie Siegel’s books twenty years ago. And because I cultivate an attitude of denial. It doesn’t work all the time, but it’s enough.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. This sounds like me. I know what time Hubby gets home from work, I know what I need to get done before that, then suddenly he will be home in 20 minutes, nothing is done and I don’t have a clue what dinner will be. My issue is I get distracted. I will have a great idea I have to write down real quick. As I write the idea blossoms. I see a critter outside and I plan to take a quick photo and the next thing I know it is 30 minutes later. As for broccoli and other veggies. I eat them like crazy during the summer when I can go out to the garden and pick them. During the winter I have force myself to eat veggies from the store.

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