How Writing is like Cabbage

Sometimes writing is like cabbage. Yes, cabbage. I’m about to explain the odd connection, and how two seemingly unrelated things can be so alike.

how writing is like cabbage

1) Some people love cabbage. Some people don’t. Maybe they want to like it because of the health benefits, but will eat cabbage only if they are super hungry. When they do try it, they sorta like it, but cabbage will never be their go-to dish. Even my cabbage, the dish I know is delicious, is just not their thing. They prefer something completely different. Same goes for my writing. Everyone will not like my writing every day. And that’s okay.

2.) Some days I don’t even like cabbage. Some days it stinks up the whole house. No matter how much time I spend or how much care I take adding the right combination of spices and flavors, the dish simply doesn’t taste right even to me, a lover of vegetables, a lover of cabbage. This typically happens on a recipe I felt certain would be primo. These dishes keep me honest and grounded and serve as a reminder that sometimes my cooking isn’t all that good. Failure happens. Sometimes my writing isn’t all that good either. Writing takes practice, just like cooking, like anything worth doing. Writing and cooking are both unpredictable endeavors.

3.) Other days I quickly chop the head of cabbage, toss it in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and it turns out perfectly, invoking the smells of Momma’s kitchen and a simpler time. The cabbage sings. Everyone clamors for it, even though it was an afterthought. When this happens with a piece of writing, people relate, feel what I feel, engage with me. 

Certain stories hit the mark. I can’t predict or plot or  write to the occasion. My best plan is keeping it simple and being myself.

See this cabbage picture?

how cabbage is like writing and my favorite cabbage recipe

 

This picture surprisingly hit the mark when I posted it on my Grace Grits and Gardening Facebook page less twelve days ago. As of today, the photo has reached an audience of 40,400 people and received 2.2K likes, comments and shares. Who would have thunk it?

Apparently people relate to cabbage? And sometimes, when I’m really lucky, my writing.

Roasted Cabbage Steak Recipe

Thinly slice a head of cabbage.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle cayenne, sea salt and pepper.

Roast @400 degrees for 15 minutes of so.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

MIke and Molly

Instead of a musical pairing, here’s an excerpt from the sitcom Mike & Molly. If you don’t watch this show, you are missing hilarious, old-fashioned entertainment. In Season 4, Molly decides to leave her thirty year teaching job to write a book…(I can relate.)

What Molly Hath Wrought

(Late at night, Molly sits at the kitchen table reviewing her manuscript.)

Molly: Oh, God. (Sighs) Oh, God, why did I think I could write a book? Ooh! This is bad. Ooh, this is really bad. Oh. Ooh, that sucks. (Turning page of manuscript.) That sucks. (Turning next page.) Oh it still sucks. (Next page.) Still sucks! You know what? (Marking out sections with great fanfare.) I’ll do that and that. Yeah! Yeah!
Mike: What are you doing up so late?
Molly: I’m working on my book. (She sets it on fire.)
Mike: Okay. I take it you’re not happy with it.
Molly: Is that why you’re a cop? ‘Cause nothing fools you. Ooh.
Mike: Can’t be that bad.
Molly: It’s horrible, and I did everything, exactly what the guy told me to do in the How to Write Your Book book.

 

Ebola in my suitcase?

Yes, I moved to Fayetteville from Dallas. No, I did not bring Ebola with me. Stop with the widespread panic.

A few days ago I read a post on Facebook that went something like this…Omg! I saw a car in front of me with Texas tags and wanted to scream ‘keep that Ebola in Texas’!

Really?

Of course this was Facebook, and since the rant was posted on a group site, I didn’t know the person. Although I couldn’t assess her level of seriousness—no tone of voice, no body language (one of the biggest problems with written rants/jokes/etc.), based on the many responses that followed, everyone seemed upset and concerned as though Ebola could be transported inside a Samsonite bag.

ebola in my suitcase?

I’m not making light of Ebola. It is a horrifying disease, but thankfully it isn’t spread like the flu or common cold. Ebola can only be contracted from bodily fluids of a symptomatic Ebola victim. What constitutes a bodily fluid? Spit, blood, poop, urine, semen, breast milk, sweat, snot and tears. The risk of exposure is very very very slim. This is science.

Lack of education about the facts is scary too, and folks who spread panic do more harm than good.

Yesterday I attended a writer class. When I began coughing, the woman seated next to me whipped out a mask and wore it for the remainder of our two hour class. Of course I don’t know her situation. Maybe she has a low immune system or health problems? She never accused me of having Ebola or anything else, (and in her defense my cough did sound horrible), but when the instructor asked, “Are you okay?” the masked lady replied, “Yes, but I don’t know what’s wrong with HER!”(me).

I wanted to crawl underneath my desk.

I know I don’t have Ebola, but I decided I should go to the doctor and get something for my cough.

And I will be getting Arkansas car tags soon.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Widespread Panic, Up All Night

Adios Texas.

In 1981, I packed up my sparse belongings and headed to Texas with no real vision of life beyond high school. I only knew I was ready to leave. Ready to get on with college. You know the saying, the world was my oyster.

Yesterday as I crossed the Red River into Oklahoma, I said, “Adios,” to Texas.  Although I’ll return occasionally, things will be different. I will be a visitor.

For weeks and weeks, we’ve been purging and packing and decluttering. Moving is hard work. Multiple trips to Goodwill. A yard sale. Monday things got real as we said goodbye to our Dallas home on Worth Street.

Adios Texas

Walking through for the last time, her rooms sat empty yet overflowed with memories.

I thought back on our first night in the house when the kids were young and the house was new to us. Her creaky floors and old beams felt strange yet comforting, welcoming. We had no way to know what Worth Street would hold for us.

All those Thanksgiving leftovers enjoyed. Slumber parties when the entire house was overrun with wide-eyed, giggling girls. How many books were read underneath this roof? Movies watched, decisions made, walls painted and re-painted, spelling words studied, plants planted, loads and loads and loads of laundry washed and folded, homecoming and prom pictures taken from the front porch swing, tears cried and wiped away, debates argued, suppers eaten, prayers prayed?

prom pics on the porch

Tate (red vest) with his friends. Prom 2010.

 

We built a rich life together on Worth Street. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was real.

It was ours.

There are things I will dearly miss.

The slant of the early morning sun through the upstairs porch.

The summer dragonflies and how they flit and dip into the pool water.

Our secret garden beyond the iron gate.

Her stately columns.

adios texas

The history of the area and being part of something bigger.

Our friends.

Since the moment we decided to leave Texas, I’ve been writing this blog post in my head, trying to imagine different neighbors, a different way of life. There is no neighborhood like Munger Place, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have lived there.

A piece of my heart will always be in Texas, but I hope you’ll follow my adventures in Arkansas.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing:

Already Gone, Sugarland