Late Night Coping Mechanisms
There’s been a long silence on this blog, not because I haven’t been eating and reading books, but because I’m almost done writing my second novel. I say this with some trepidation because to be honest, I’ve been claiming I’m “almost done” for a while. And all the time, my book keeps getting longer and longer and longer.
The good news is that I’m very excited about it, as I think it’s a strange and interesting tale. The bad news is, of course, I also thought the same thing about my ill-fated elephant novel, which featured a first person pachyderm detective.
“Why aren’t you done yet?” said my sister the other day. “How much longer is this book going to be?!”
“Um… I just need to kill off a few more people.” I said.
It’s terrible to announce one’s progress to friends in terms of a literary body count, but as they pile up, I feel a certain freedom. Like a dog eagerly sticking its head out of the car window, I can smell it coming – hooray, the end of the book is nigh! Though of course I’m very sad to say goodbye to all these fictional people, and maybe, just maybe I can squeeze in an extra plot twist. This is when one must give one’s inner dog a sharp tap on the nose.
Chastised, I then recall telling my lovely and long-suffering agent that I’d send her something to read in August…of 2014. Now it’s November 2015 and my giant book is far too large to send to anyone without a good chopping. At least 60,000 words must go before I can show it to people without having them run away screaming in horror, so a few days ago I sat down and contemplated my manuscript. Hmm.
Then I got up and went to the fridge to find some “inspiration”.
Back again. Yes, I can do this! If I make “I am” and “He had” into things like “I’m” and “He’d” then I can get rid of lots of words. Ha ha!
Gloom as I realize that there aren’t enough contractions to save me.
More walking back to the fridge, dejectedly, to discover that all the dark chocolate inspiration has been eaten by my inner dog.
Needless to say, I’ve bounced between encouragement, excitement and also the pit of despair as I embark on the endgame to this novel. In fact late one night, I decided to make lots of quail egg bunnies (see above picture) to take my mind off the process. Note: the more elaborate my kids’ lunches, the more procrastinating I’ve done.
The good news is that the quail egg bunnies were cute and all the children loved them. The bad news is that they were too cute and they didn’t want to eat them. Which, I suppose, is sort of the same way I’m feeling about my novel. So I’ve told myself that now is the time to murder my darlings. Or at least, eat the darned things.
How to make quail egg bunnies:
- Boil as many quail eggs as you want plus some extra. You can never have too many bunnies. Quail eggs cook fast so don’t overcook them. About 5 minutes should do it.
- Peel them.
- Cut a thin slice off the long side of the egg to make a flat bottom so your bunny won’t tip over.
- Take the slice you cut off and cut a small V shaped bit off. This will be the bunny’s ears.
- Cut a slit about 1/3 of the way along the egg from the pointy end (where you think the bunny’s head should be) and insert the ear piece. You’ll be surprised at how nicely it sticks up.
- Add 2 small eyes made of black sesame seeds.
- Present on a dish and watch as small children refuse to eat them.
What are your late night coping mechanisms?