Monday, October 8, 2012

Oktober Again... Oh So Promptly.

  Last year I began this blog as a way to prime my writing pump for November, with no intention of using it for other purposes. Since then I've come to enjoy the challenge and changing needs of a blog that takes up a new meaning each month, while remaining, at heart, a writer's space. I spent a month here writing daily poetry, a month with old and new songs, a month with true stories, and had a short month of fiction writing problems.

 This Oktober, I' ve decided to use a new writing prompt for each post. As always here, the work will be fresh, with little done in the way of editing (I can't avoid all editing). Expect about 3-5 posts per week only, as this will be an unusually busy Oktober for me. Join in if you get the urge, and share how the prompt worked for you. And we can all get ready for another NaNoWriMo!

 I'm excited about this year's NaNo project-- a character and setting that have been waiting their chance to be written, in a fiction novel that may crossover from mainstream to YA.

 And now, for today's prompt, taken from Poets & Writer's website:

Flash Nonfiction

Write a nonfiction piece of no more than 500 words. It could be anything from a single scene to a complete micro essay—either way, try to utilize the same techniques and structure that you would for a full-length piece. For inspiration, check out Brevity, an online journal dedicated to the art of flash nonfiction.


The Biscotti Murders

 You know you've found a good recipe when men still fear it three years later.

A few years ago, for our family Christmas dinner, I brought a nice, creamy pumpkin lasagna as a main dish for the vegetarians among us, (three & counting!) and a plate of gingerbread biscotti for dessert. Note: I warned everyone that the cookies were quite spicy, and not safe for kids.
 My BIL John, being a tender tongue, took several bites of a biscotto, and has never forgotten the burning in his mouth, nor the upset to his delicate inner organs, which apparently went on for days afterwards, as he tells. He reminds me of this incident pretty often, and makes a big show of being terrified of all my cookies. Why, he asks me, should cookies kill? They aren’t even supposed to hurt or maim, and they shouldn’t have the same ingredients as a high-grade explosive, blah, blah blah.

 He admits, though, that the bisk-hotti, as he calls them, were delicious, and if only they hadn't burned out his lungs, he'd love more.
 I take his terrified attitude towards my baking as high compliment. John isn’t a wuss; he’s strong, capable, handy, discreet— a man’s man. He watches the Sabres religiously, can build a porch, was a volunteer member of the Fire Department for years, and sired five children. He’s got another creative side, too, as an award winning painter of military war machine models. The incredibly accurate but innovative details he uses add an energy that makes those plastic war birds or aircraft carriers come alive.

 So his praise, when given, means a great deal to me, as does his opprobrium. To know that one of my own, personal foodie creations struck a fearful memory so deep into his heart that it has lasted through over a dozen other family holidays and celebrations since, is a wicked satisfaction and a positive source of pride. Not to mention, it’s a neat piece of leverage to use against him— come help me fix my shower tiles, or I’ll make biscotti! Can we borrow your best hammer for a week, John— better say yes, I’m in baking mood. How could any woman not enjoy that kind of power? It’s the perfect threat to heave around, because I win either way; I get what I want, or I get cookies, my wonderful homemade gingerbread biscotti recipe.

 Now, if I had just written the damn thing down.

By Mari Kozlowski, 10/8/2012


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