Baking up a batch of dreams…

Whisk together one part hope and one part determination over a long space of desire.

Mix until fluffy and light.

Marinade mixture in an aromatic infusion of creativity, whimsy, and delight.

At this point, the concoction hints of essence of characters and plot, yet may need a bit more combining to create a strong story flavor.

In the meantime, thoroughly sift time and energy into a spacious rhythm of consistent presence. (Aim to keep this spacious rather than frantic as you go forward.)

Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into a skillet of determination oil. It will sizzle.

If it doesn’t, get the determination oil hotter by adding a hearty heaping of work oil. If the mixture seems sloshy with little-to-no substance to it, use a colander of discipline to drain off distractions.

Add a daily gallon of saying no to other things and at least a bushel of sitting in one spot for longer than thought possible.

Discard the frivolous but keep a handy stash of playfulness nearby.

Continue to stir the plot until a recognizable story emerges, alongside characters as authentic as the headache they are causing.

At this point, the mixture looks lumpy and feels heavy. It won’t look appealing or delectable, or, for that matter, like anything you had hoped it might.

The tendency is to simply slop it all in the disposal.

Do not do so.

Immediately call your most encouraging creatively-minded friend. In case of dire emergency, call in more than one.

Let them cheer you on when you are jeering at these impossible characters who seem to have developed lives of their own. If you have wise creative types in your midst, they will remind you of your original romantically-minded ideals.

Kindly, yet bluntly, they will egg you on. Just get on with it. It’s up to you to gain some mastery over this mayhem, they’ll insist.

It seemed easier when you were full of vim and vigor.

Don’t despair.

The truest seasonings come now, as you firm up the edges of these plots, and their errant runners, the subplots.

The scarcity of good story concoctions occurs because characters are flatter than the proverbial pancake and full of lumps too large to swallow.

It is now that the slotted editoral-spoon is best used. This allows all unnecessary additives to be swiftly sifted out as purer truer ingredients added back in.

Though you are long past the pleasure of creating, you are almost done. (If I told you how far you still had to go, you’d quit for sure.)

All that remains is to brand yourself, land yourself the honorable agent and noble publisher, and market yourself by creating a stunning platform for a tribe to stand on who will eagerly nibble at every word you’ve created.

The platform, by the way, stands geographically Social Media Village (Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, oh my!)

At this point, it is vital that you do one of the following as soon as possible:

1. adopt a twenty-something year old who easily speaks geek-ese

2. grow some serious IT abilities of your own

3. plan on spending your yet-to-be-seen profit on investing in a virtual assistant or some other flavor of technological wizard.

Additionally, if your knees knock together at the thought of talking about how you created this delicacy, you might as well hire a speaking and presentation coach, who will undoubtedly suggest that you also invest in a professional photographer for headshots that make you look far better than even your closest friends knew possible.

What you long for right now is to go sit on some distant beach, large frothy goodness cooling in your hands, while waves whisk away your weariness.

Let that dream go, at least for now.

It’s time to offer your delicious fiction fritters as appetizers, in bite-size pieces, to the audience you’re aiming to entice. Yes, it’s time to offer it to your beta readers.

You open the book to blog/tweet/instagram your way along.

You turn page after page, amazed at the coherence and colorfulness within.

You shut the book, look again at the author’s photograph and name on the cover, and shake your head in utter relief and delight.

A soft breeze floats by. You drift off to that island you’ve not made it to yet. The scent of a new flavor wafts in your head.

Slowly, you whisk together one part hope and one part dream, heading off again to make fiction fritters.


Of historic note: Fiction can be traced back through generations through the genealogy of Story.

Amid chaos, creativity sparkled, then was declared mighty good.

To tell a story, written or oral, requires an imaginative suspension of time and space dimensions in order to enter fully into the unexpected moments brought on by the ingredients of surprise and delight.

In order to create the best story, or any other creative endeavor for that matter, use the generous gifts given and the gritty gifts developed, seasoning it all well with deep, raw, real flavors of your life.


Lane M. Arnold

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