The Next Chapter

After twelve years, I decided I no longer want to be in the fruitcake business! I know how shocked you must be, but it just came upon me, as these things usually do. You’ll recall how I cancelled work appointments and lied to people just to get to the gym, and then one day I said I’m sick of it, and quit. And this after 14.5 years of three to four visits per week!

So I’m less surprised than you, I guess, given how I lack any impulse control. Because as soon as I decided, I ran to the computer and placed an ad for Big Bertha, that heroic old mixer, the steel work table, and the baking racks. I wanted them out so I wouldn’t be lured back into it.

Four days later a nice person from a preschool came with two young adults to pick up the mixer. That thing must weigh 200 pounds and getting it up the stairs was treacherous, but hoisting it into their van without dropping it was worse.

They took the racks, too, so now I use the work table for storing the bag of Cat Chow, bags of Temptations, and their cans of Fancy Feast. I find it handy, so I’m sure someone will call and buy it too.

And what will my next chapter be? It took a bit of meditating, chanting, eating really bad food, feeling kind of nervous and edgy, to finally find a bit of a direction. I’ve decided to use the hours and hours of time saved from shopping for ingredients, baking, packaging and mailing fruitcakes to do the following.

First of all, I’m researching sites that have writing contests so that I can perhaps get published, and have a website featuring my writing like my pal Gord Grisenthwaite, does. This would be the direction I’d take with my website, and then instead of fruitcakes, you’d read nutty things that I write, not bake.

So imagine clicking onto my revised site, and there you’ll be able to read various things I’ve written, and maybe I could compile my recipes and flog an e book. Who knows what that site will evolve into.

Secondly, I’m going to research trade publications, send query letters, and try to get into their stable of writers, or at least be able to submit articles now and again. I’ve been making a list of things I could write about, such as fruitcake, small business, dogs, gardening, bees, dieting, parenting, compulsions, etc.

This would then become my bread and butter, as many of them pay. I’ve found some really helpful sites on line for freelance writers, and I can see I have an awful lot of leg work ahead of me before I get my first $100 cheque in the mail.

The last thing I’m doing is signing up for a creative writing course at UBC through distance education. Working for several months, one completes an outline, draft and final novel with the guidance of Annabel Lyon and Nancy Lee, two well known writers. The course is non credit and called Write Your Novel.

Of course now I’m ga ga with anticipation about what’s going to happen with this new adventure. But whatever happens I have to say I feel completely energized, even if a bit scared, to give this long-time dream of being a writer a real try.