Right, so it’s my turn to cook dinner. Not a problem. Except that one of my stories is also at boiling point. And if I don’t work on it right now, it may go off the boil. I need to work on it while it’s hot.
I’ve got a time-honoured recipe for creative crises like these. I perch my notebook on the book stand by the cooker, where normal people put their cookbooks, so I can cook and create at the same time. How hard can it be, to cook a meal and a masterpiece at the same time? It’s only stir fry. What can go wrong?
Preparation is the key. If I can pin down the details of this character before I start, the whole story will become clear. I consider chopping the vegetables one-handed, but I decide that I don’t want to lose valuable writing fingers. Better concentrate on the job in hand. I mutter as I chop. His name is Maurice Murgatroyd. Chop. He makes statues out of his own earwax. Chop.
Next it’s on to the stir bit. That should be easier to manage with one hand. I throw the veg, meat and noodles into the pan and run a desultory spoon through them, then write a couple of sentence. I get into the groove, scribble, stir, scribble, stir…oh no, it’s boiling over. I knew it was too good to be true.
Husband comes home. Dinner is ruined. But the masterpiece is intact, apart from a few splodges of oil. I’m happy to do my penance, scrubbing hardened noodles off the hob. Scrub, scribble, scrub, scribble.
Disclaimer: I don’t have a book stand by the cooker. I’d never be that organised.