Monday, April 11, 2011

Burnt Offerings

My early attempts at cooking gave new meaning to the term, "burnt offering." Kitchen disasters happened more often than I'd care to admit.

Let's see - there was the time I decided to make pork chops, but left them in the frying pan too long. They went in the trash. We figured it was cheaper than the dental work that would have followed any efforts to chew them.

My first turkey went off without a hitch. After it came out of the oven, all golden brown and dripping with delicious juices, my mother asked me the fateful question. "Did you remove the plastic bag from the turkey's throat area?" This time, we prayed and ate the meat. God was merciful, and none of us keeled over and died.

My writing life suffers its share of faux pas. Manuscript Number One sported enough head hopping to make the steadiest reader dizzy. A research error had the main character standing on line at the White House, which is a no-no today. One now has to obtain a ticket prior to touring our national treasure. Walking up to the door and knocking doesn't cut it.

I learned from my cooking mistakes and can now put a decent meal on the table. My family no longer draws straws to see who gets to try my latest masterpiece first.

Thanks to many writer friends, blogs, workshops, and craft books, my literary attempts garner a compliment here and there. Some have even dared publish my work.

We make plenty of mistakes, and each level presents its own set of challenges. Give yourself grace, master the skill, and move on. Someday all those tearful moments will morph into funny stories for interviews, speeches, and your memoir. Oh...and don't forget blog posts. :)

28 comments:

Linda O'Connell said...

Susan, you are absolutely correct. We all add our own flavor, but writing also follows a recipe. Nice post.

Jessica Nelson said...

We don't even want to talk about my cooking. LOL

Great post!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm really stacking up funny stories to tell someday! Love the turkey one. Sometimes it's tricky when the bags are in two places.
~ Wendy

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh those mistakes:)) too many to even think about but it's part of all this, isn't it?

Marja said...

Haha, I like that Susan, use our mistakes as food for thought... Good post, thanks a million!

Karen Lange said...

See, this is why we have all these interesting challenges and moments, so we can write about them! :)
Blessings,
Karen
P.S. If we ever get together for Thanksgiving, I'm making the turkey. :P

quietspirit said...

Susan:
We have these stories and share them because we must. I can identify with the turkey thing.

Becca Puglisi said...

'Give yourself grace'

Gah! So true! I took 3 years off of writing when my babies were little, and when I got back into it, I found that my skill level had really slipped. But I kept at it and just recently feel like all those old lessons are kicking in and my writing is jumping ahead. I shudder to think that I could have become discouraged and quit over the past months. 'Grace' should definitely be a big part of every writer's arsenal.

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda -

I once read a number of stories generated from a single writing prompt. Each one had the unique view of its writer. Amazing!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

You'd be surprised what you can do with a crockpot, a microwave, an electric frypan, a taster oven, and a George Forman grill. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy -

Whenever my honorary niece goes through a hair-raising experience, she'll declare that she's making a memory. Time has a way of softening those situations.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Remembering those times helps us to extend grace to the newbies. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

Glad I gave you a chuckle and something to "chew on."

Blessings,
Susan :)

Chatty Crone said...

How true is this - there is no way to get better at something - whatever it is - writing - cooking - raising kids - except for trying and trying and trying.

Put the past behind and look towards the future.

I am going to be your newest follower.

Love,
sandie

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Now it's my time to burst out laughing! I'll gladly pass the cooking duties to you.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

All of our life situations enrich our writing.

I think a lot of women have left the plastic bag in the turkey. These shared mishaps have a way of making us relatable. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Becca -

Thanks for popping by and sharing your story.

When my husband died, I wanted to pack up my writing tent. The Lord had other plans. Journaling and finishing the novel he encouraged me to write helped me through the grief process.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandie -

Thank you!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Good post, Susan. So true. None of us are flawless, and we're harder on ourselves than anyone else. Rats!

But I'm glad to know that we're not locked in to those mistakes or doomed to fail. We can improve and succeed! Fail forward, I guess. That's my goal.

Nancy said...

I think I left the bag in the throat of my turkey, too. (My one and only.) I did remember the other bag and thought I had it made.

Mistakes can be useful. As you pointed out, they can always be on call for a good story.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

Yes, we press on, learn, and grow. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

LOL! I did the same thing. It was the second bag that eluded me.

It's a good thing we pray before we eat. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Kristin Bridgman said...

Loved this!
I just became your 203 follower :)
Glad I found you.
Kris

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristen -

Woohoo! Welcome aboard! I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Also, several giveaways are scheduled over the next few weeks.

I'll pop by to see you soon. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Faith Imagined said...

I will have loads of funny stories for interviews! I love your positive outlook!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

I hope you're keeping them in a file. :)

Blessings,
Susan

The Proverbial Shopper said...

You have given me a ray of hope. I feel like my first book will NEVER be finished, and I will NEVER be a published author. I hope that someday I will laugh...In the meantime, yet will I praise Him.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Proverbial -

I'm thankful to the Lord that my post gave you hope. This writing journey is a marathon versus a sprint.

Blessings,
Susan :)