Saturday, August 14, 2010

Brussels Sprouts vs. Lima Beans

Although I am fast friends with most foods, two have always been at the bottom of my list: brussels sprouts and lima beans. (We're talking common foods here, not chocolate-covered ants.)

(I make an exception for brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon in a cream sauce, which my sister-in-law and sister have made for me, because I was actually eating the bacon and cream sauce. The wee cabbages were incidental. I might even eat bacon-and-cream-sauce-covered ants.) (Probably not, though.)

However. I married a man who is enthusiastic about brussels sprouts. (One of the charming things you learn after the fact.) He is a man of odd enthusiasms, and I indulge him in them when I can. Nowadays, I don't love brussels sprouts but I have learned to like them. Sincerely.

I still don't like lima beans. Sorry, lima beans. It's not you, it's me. (It's really you.)

If given a choice between lima beans and brussels sprouts, I'd go with the wee cabbagey things. And I'd be pretty darn happy about it, too.

Analogy alert. It's a long path, though, so get a cup of coffee.

I have noticed recently that I enjoy forging ahead on the novel I've been dithering about and writing around. The dithering has been going on for a year, while I work steadily and conscientiously on many other projects (including fiction, not fictive, ones). I have done many things, some of them decent, many creative, while not-working on that novel.

But lately, after the necessities of life are finished, what do I choose to work on? The novel. Yes!

And why is that? It's partly because the book I must read for a meeting of a book club in September is Brave New World. I'm not intimidated by the book. Big Important Books like this one spawn tons of resources online. Also, my husband is the person responsible presenting this book at the book club, so I have my own in-house expert to consult, if I were to find myself mystified.

So nope, it's not intimidating. It's just darn depressing. Clinical. Alphas, betas, conditioning. Brrr. I'm on chapter 3.

It's lima beans.

Which makes my novel, which apparently has served as lima beans for a year, become yummy brussels sprouts. Writing with no apparent end in sight! Writing when you're not sure what the characters really really want! Writing when it's hard! Writing lots of words even if they're all some variation on "blah blah blah"! Yummy!! Let's go!

Yes, I will read Brave New World and assemble Some Thoughts about it in time for the meeting. But I suspect it will require the same technique with which I used to eat lima beans, when "encouraged" to as a child: hold my nose and shovel without chewing.

Meanwhile, I am nearly frolicking with this novel. Cavorting a draft into being.

Also, I'm hungry.