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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Friday, October 23, 2015

Magic in the Kitchen...and the Shower

By Linda Lovely
What’s magic if it’s not letting your imagination run free?

I tend to find hidden magic in two locations—the kitchen and the shower.

First, the kitchen. I choose to view cooking as a form of conjuring. How else would you describe the process of mixing flour, raw eggs, sugar, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla, some baking soda, nuts and chocolate chips, subjecting it to high heat, and poof! you have melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate chip cookies? Now if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is. Plus I have an almost supernatural power to make the cookies disappear. All it takes is a little incantation: “Tom, the cookies are out of the oven.”

Okay, I eat my share, too.

While I’m kidding, I do feel there’s a certain magic in cooking. My relatives know I haven’t met many recipes that I don’t feel just might be better if I tinker while I’m doing the “bubble, bubble, boil and…” routine. Those white chocolate chip cookies I mentioned. Though I started with a recipe I was given, I’ve since added an extra egg, substituted nuts, changed the white/brown sugar ratio, and changed the cooking temperature and time. Most of the time I’m happy with the changes. If not, what magician doesn’t have the occasional mishap? I can concoct new magic next time.

So what’s with the shower? I have no explanation for why my shower (though it’s a great one) has magical properties. But that is where I solve 80 percent of my plot problems. Often I’ve gone to bed perplexed about how to get my heroine into or out of a jam. Then, while standing in the shower the next morning, solutions seem as plentiful as the hot water. Problems go down the drain.

The shower is also where characters tend to speak to me. On a given day, my heroine might whisper that she’d really like to plan a nice surprise for the villain on a mountain trail or arrange trouble at a golf course. No, I don’t actually hear voices. But the messages get through. And that’s magic, too. Characters become real, have weight and dimension. This makes writing magical.

I can’t imagine ever getting tired of cooking or writing. I sure hope you find magic in both, too.



Ashantay said...

There is magic in reading, also. And eating what other people bake. (smiling) I enjoy the magic you cook up on your keyboard - hope you'll continue to mix up some good reads!

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks, Ashantay! Yes, there's definitely magic in reading. Do it every day. And I hope to keep cooking up magic at the keyboard. Aren't you glad I spared you a picture of me in the shower...

Sarah Raplee said...

I think there's something magical about cooking, too. Although I'm not particularly good at it. I have to stickk to the spell book (recipe) to get good results! My DH, however, can whip up his own concoctions!

There is a scientific esplanation for the shower thing. I have it, too. Can't remember the details, but essentially, the senses of touch and motion help our subconcious and concsious minds communicate. Any activity involving movement and/or touch may trigger this in some people. I guess we have magical brains!

Great post!

Judith Ashley said...

Fun post, Linda. I'm not much of a cook although I used to love to bake bread, pecan sticky buns and other yeasty treats. But I also love (present tense) to eat them. Not a good thing any more. The magic you're talking about comes to me in dreams. I can also find it when I'm out on a solitary walk.

What I love about reading is the stories I love take me to another place and time. I've always thought I'd like to live in the 1600 - 1800's except they don't have running water and flush toilets during those time periods. That means "living" there in my imagination while reading I get the best of both worlds.

Linda Lovely said...

Sarah, I'll be happy to believe we have magical brains, and Judith, I agree that it's much better to just imagine we live in another time through reading (and/or research) while clinging to our flush toilets.

Paty Jager said...

Baking is one of my biggest stress relievers. I love to bake and switch up the recipes like you do, Linda. I never get help on a book in the shower. I think my showers are too short to allow me to think about a book. I do get great ideas while walking, riding a horse, or driving a tractor. Good post!

Linda Lovely said...

Paty, walking helps me, too. I think it's any activity where you relax.

Maggie Lynch said...

I honestly believe that all good cooks and bakers are witches and warlocks. The minute I saw baking soda in your recipe I knew I'd be a gonner. Anytime I try baking soda it overpowers everything else. Like Sarah, I am married to a kitchen warlock. I don't know what he does in there because he never uses a recipe and it always turns out great. I do hear him mumbling, so I'm sure there are incantations going on.

As to shower magic, also not for me. However, both walking and our hot tub on the porch are miraculous for me. I'm sure DH has put a spell on the hot tub, as he uses it even more than I do. However, the walking is pure nature and the magic of nature will always be something I treasure.