Clearly Written Fortune (Knock, Knock)

I had a Fortune Cookie Breakfast this morning after I clocked in at work.

This is how Mondays often roll around here, because my children are actually Recombinant DNA tree sloths and what with getting them awake(ish) and dressed and brushed and combed and braided and Show-and-Tell itemed and shod in matching shoes,* getting them fueled up is usually a them-or-me proposition, and no one is going to call Child Services if I don’t have a decent breakfast in the morning.**

Plus, fortune cookies are the only food(ish) item I usually have in my bag, since we eat at the Japanese Buffet so often they’re thinking of putting up a plaque near our usual table and my MIL never opens hers—which drives me not a little crazy for some reason I don’t care to explore—and I don’t see the point of just leaving behind a perfectly good prepackaged food(ish) item that could keep me from ingesting pencils and Post-it notes mid-Monday morning, since Diet Pepsi Breakfasts don’t work as well as they used to several birthdays ago and I had to stop with the Sugarless Gum Brunches because of jaw pain.

Of course, they do play hell with my sentence structures . . . But sometimes I get good advice.

So I cracked open this morning’s cookie and found this:

Good writing is clear thinking made visible.

Sheesh—even the fortune cookies are busting my chops now?  It must be Monday.

If I could think clearly, I would pack breakfast for myself when I do the kids’ lunches the night before.

Actually, if I could think clearly, I probably wouldn’t write at all, since writing is always how I’ve worked stuff out—lists, outlines, angst, rants . . . I have a deep-seated belief that if I get things down on paper, like a story problems, I’ll be able to find solutions.

This has worked pretty well for me, all things considered.  I’m hoping it works when the story problem itself is a 100,000-word story.  At the moment, I’m editing the parts where I’d become stuck on a character or McGuffin or plot point and wrote through it, hoping to find my way.

In general, I think I did—Pigeon Drop appears to be shaping up into a Real Novel (that noise you hear is me rapping on the side of my head for lack of a wooden table).  There’s work to do, but I believe it’s worth doing (knock, knock, knock).

And having written this post, I might even remember to eat a real breakfast tomorrow morning.  Or pack one tonight.

I hope so.  I’m all out of fortune cookies.


*And unmatched socks, which is a fashion trend I can totally get behind, because I am of the opinion that a significant percentage of teenage pregnancies could be prevented by having one day-long workshop in which the participants do nothing but pair together basketfuls of various-sized kid socks.

**I could eat when I get up, but seriously, eating at 5am isn’t going to happen.  Ever.  And then I get to typing, and, well . . .


15 thoughts on “Clearly Written Fortune (Knock, Knock)

  1. My last fortune cookie told me, “You desire to see the pyramids in Egypt.” At first I was all, “Wtf cookie, you don’t know how I feel!” But then I shrugged and decided it was probably right.

    I’m like you with having to think things through on paper (as I suspect we are all). I’m starting a new novel right now and explained to my husband how I’m having a hard time keeping it all in my head, which is why I have this huge notebook to write stuff down, and he said, “A notebook is the last thing I’d use for a project this book” (meaning a computer program/software). But I would not dignify that with a response, as he is not of the breed that must have everything written down on paper.

    • The cookie before this one said, “If you never ask for less than second best, than that is what you will receive.”

      I have no idea how to take that . . . I’d rather go to Egypt—want to trade?

      See, for the next project, I’m going to have a notebook from the beginning, instead of this small mountain of scrap paper, receipts, envelopes, bills (oops), and library index cards . . .

      I tried keeping my character list in Excel, but I never thought to look at it, which is why my Special Agent had seven names in the first draft. Or that’s my excuse, anyway—laziness is probably closer to the truth.

  2. The cookie was offering praise, Sarah. It was a worshipful cookie, a kind and generous cookie. A cookie with the best of intentions.

    A cookie that would like you to eat a piece of fruit for breakfast.

  3. Okay, the mismatched socks, can I tell you? I jumped for joy when my daughter started doing that and then the boys followed suit. I gained years back in my life. How much time have we already spent sorting? Years? Decades? And the comment about pregnancy? Brilliant. People without kids may think you’re being funny, but no, dead serious, it would work. Totally.
    Now, just so I’m clear about the “real novel” business…are you saying that eventually the SFD changes into a not so SFD and could potentially become something I don’t hate??

    In other words, I’m rooting for you and knocking wood all over the place. Keep up the momentum, girlie!

    • I still have a basket of single baby socks that as far as I can tell have no matches. Where the Sam Hill do they go?

      As for the metamorphosis of SFDs, dear [insert deity of choice for writers, dreamers, and fools] I hope so.

      I’m trying, Lyra—I pruned 652 words last night and the pile of drawing paper is growing . . .

  4. I buy multiple pairs of the same socks, so it doesn’t matter as much if I actually get them paired up, and if one of them wears a hole, I just chuck that one in the trash, but still have others to match the odd sock with. After all, there is never an even number of socks.

    My breakfast trick is to bake muffins (I have a couple of 8-hole loaf-shaped muffin tins) on the weekend, and freeze them individually. Then I pull one out in the morning to take with me. By the time I get to work, it’s thawed out, and I have breakfast.

    Glad to hear ‘Pigeon’ is coming along. I am increasingly anxious to read it.

    • I do that with my socks, too, Odie, but with kids, colorful socks just happen.

      Brilliant idea with the muffins! I’ll have to try that. I did pack a PB sandwich for myself last night, but muffins sound so much better.

      Guh—after all this, I hope Pigeon won’t disappoint, but I’m counting on you all to let me down easy . . .

      • I have a great banana muffin recipe that I change up every time, and I’ve been known to do blueberry or pumpkin/cranberry too.

        I finally caught up on your Sunday Six posts, and based on what I’ve seen from them, I’m sure there’s not going to be a long fall down with the new stuff.

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