As we all know, one of the dreaded questions we receive as writers is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
I usually smile and mumble something about loving to eavesdrop, which seems to satisfy just about everyone.
Another one I dread is, “Where did you go to college?” Followed quickly by, “What did you study?”
My answer: I didn’t go to college. Well, I went for thirty days and then I dropped out because I was only seventeen and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life except read Jane Austen and play my guitar. Oh, and then a year later I married my high school history teacher and I never thought about being a writer until I was thirty, with three kids, living on the side of a mountain. Next question?”
The question I wait for, yearn for, is “How did you become a writer?”
That’s right. How did I become a writer. Great question, thank you.
And then I get to talk about crock pots.
Or “slow cookers”, as they are called now.
I don’t know how anyone lives without one. Or two. I own seven.
And I will preach about the merits of crock pots/slow cookers with the gusto of a television evangelist.
You want to be a writer? Get up very, very early. Before the children, before the husband, before going to work, before the sun. Put in your time. Later, while dealing with your little ones, put dinner in the crock pot. While the children are napping you can write again and, because dinner is cooking all day, you can sneak in more writing time when the kids are watching Sesame Street.
You want to be a writer? As soon as the children are on the school bus, put dinner in the crock pot. Then you have the whole day to write. And in the afternoons, when you are driving to dance lessons and football practices and soccer games, you know dinner will be ready when you get all those sweaty kids home.
You want to be a writer and still have friends? You need to entertain despite deadlines and bouts of hysteria, self-pity and isolation?
You want to be a writer and your husband is actually home all day and you need to write and he needs a low-cholesterol diet and you can’t stand his cooking?
Crock pot. I call it a preemptive move, having an actually edible lentil stew cooking at nine a.m.
Vegetarian? Even easier. The ingredients can be dumped into the crock pot the night before (whoever invented bags of frozen chopped onions, thank you), along with beans or whatever you’re into, and refrigerated in the crock pot container until morning. Then it can be plopped into its base and turned on, with stew ready for lunchtime.
I don’t know how busy people live without using a slow cooker. My bachelor son loves his. My daughter-in-law is beginning to see its merits. My older son used his once and threw it out, but he did not inherit his mother’s patience or love of cooking, and I suspect he had a defective crock pot and didn’t know it.
I’ve heard there are slow cookers that are programmed to be operated with an I-phone app. There are large ones and small ones and little ones to take to work to guarantee a hot lunch. There are programmable ones and ones made for travelling, with clasps to hold the lid on tight.
I have a fish chowder in my 7-quart crock pot right now, because I have a story to finish by Friday and company staying with me at the lake, plus neighbors coming to dinner in about four hours.
Next time I may blog about my Keurig, another beloved appliance...
Until then, how did you become a writer?