I’m a pretty good cook. I don’t pretend to be fancy but I get by all right in the kitchen.
Except every now and then I hit a speedbump like this morning.
I got up out of bed. I had a bag of mushrooms and a package of bratwurst smoked sausage.
For starters I scissored open that package of sausage just a little too close to that nifty little plastic ziplock – turning what was originally a technological wonder – that is, a package of sausages that can reseal themselves, into a bag with a hole in it and a half a dozen sausages.
So I swore a little, quietly, but I cut myself some slack. What the heck. It was early in the morning. Besides, there were no witnesses. Even the cat was still asleep.
So I sliced the sausages and the mushrooms – managing not to slice any fingers – which in hindsight was a wonderful achievement.
I chopped an onion as well. Then I reached into the cupboard for that long skinny bottle of olive oil and I poured it into the fry pan. Funny thing was that olive oil smelled just like balsamic vinegar – which ALSO comes in a long skinny bottle.
I cursed a little bit more again – but hey, no witnesses, no shame in two goof-ups.
So I wiped the pan and reached into the cupboard and grabbed that long skinny bottle of olive oil and poured it into the freshly-wiped pan – only this time the olive oil smelled like cider vinegar.
Never mind the cursing.
This time I just swore loudly.
My sinuses were awfully clear by then – what with all of those vinegar fumes and maybe it was those clear sinuses that allowed me to successfully grab the long skinny bottle of olive oil.
Hey, third time is the charm.
So then I fried up the whole mess and buttered me a cheese roll and scarfed down half a pan full of sausage and mushroom and onion. I had peppers in the fridge and in hindsight I decided I should sliced a pepper as well – but you know what they say about hindsight – about the only thing it’s good for is aiming your farts.
Afterwards I took the remainder and dumped it onto a big old tortilla and made me a wrap – which I left on the counter before I headed to work.
By the time I got home from work that delicious sausage wrap was smelling awfully funny.
It didn’t help that I also forgot my dental bridge which meant I worked all day with a grin that looked a little like the wrong end of a body check crossed with a picket fence that had more than a half a dozen pickets kicked out along the way.
I’m not saying it was pretty.
But I will say this.
Sometimes stupid just gets in your eyes.
A similar circumstance occurred this Saturday at my Bayers Lake signing. It turned out the bookstore was putting on a big Mothers Day promotion. The deal was they would hand out coupons that you would take to the cash register and – if you had bought a greeting card along with your books and such – they would then scan that coupon and determine how much of a discount you got. The discount ran from 5% to 100% off of your purchase – so it could turn out to be a pretty good deal – and they did sell one heck of a lot of greeting cards that day.
Now I wasn’t mad about that. I understand that retailers have to create those sort of promotions in order to stay in business – just the same way as I often offer promotions on my e-books.
(and no, I am not going to stoop to advertising my latest promotion)
However it was a little distressing that while I was sitting there at my table about ten feet from the entrance to the bookstore two or three clerks were standing about six feet from the door handing out Mother’s Day coupons. Which meant that I was – to all intents and purposes – wearing an H.G. Wells cloak of invisibility.
I could have been sitting back home in my easy chair and I might have sold more books.
That sort of thing happens in any sort of a gig. There is always going to be that certain element of unpredictability. You set out to head to Pismo Beach (and all the clams you can eat) and you miss one single stupid left turn at Albequerque and before you know it you’re sitting at work without a sausage wrap or your proper grin.
The same thing happens in indie publishing. You write yourself a book and you put it out there and you wait to see those numbers climb and the sales to hit a world-shaking velocity – and there’s nothing but tumbleweeds blowing on down the heart of your author’s page and maybe a few lonely crickets squeaking out their bitter dreams of getting their cricket-funk on with a lovely lady cricket and all you can do is sit there and do your very best to grin.
Don’t let that Albuquerque detour set you too far back.
Sooner or later all of us get hit with a bad case of hockey mouth.
(hey – I didn’t say there wasn’t going to be a commercial, now did I?)
yours in storytelling