Friday, August 28, 2009

Ginger Snaps

My signature cookie is ginger snaps, made from a recipe given to me on a little recipe card from a philosophy graduate student when I was in my first year of teaching at CU. They are so soft and comforting, with just the right amount of ginger and cinnamon and molasses.

I baked a double batch last night, enough to take to a church bake sale AND to have for us to eat at home – and they didn’t turn out! Inexplicably, the first batch burned; the second spread and oozed all over the pan; the third batch was tolerable, but all in all the evening was a terrible disappointment.

It’s awful when the universe lets us down FOR NO REASON AT ALL. Same recipe, same oven, same baking pans, same cook, same timer – different (and disastrous) results. I know, some of you are going to say that there has to be some explanation having to do with the laws of chemistry or physics, but last night was proof that those laws do have exceptions.

The same is true for me with my writing. I write all my books with the same process: same pad of white-lined, narrow-ruled paper; same Pilot Razor Point fine-tipped black marker pen; same quality of critique from the same writers in the same writing group; same desire on my part to make the book the best that I possibly can. Yet some books turn out worse than others; luckily, some turn out better. Some get bad reviews, others get starred reviews; some don’t sell through their advance, others sell thousands of copies year after year.

Maybe next time I make ginger snaps the laws of chemistry will decide to work in my favor.

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