Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day Two with Author Janet Spaeth!


Italian-style Meatloafphoto © 2009 Ted more info (via: Wylio)Writing is like making a meatloaf. Let me tell you a story...

It's a cold day in early winter, a good day for meatloaf. The family likes meatloaf, and it'll warm their tummies as the snow falls outside.

I have the ingredients in the bowl: ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, grated onions, garlic, seasonings, bread crumbs, some V8 juice, and to top it off a raw egg.

It looks dreadful and smells worse.

My daughter, a tiny little thing at the time, comes in and peeks in the bowl - and gags at the sight and the smell.

"What's THAT?" she asks, holding her nose shut.

I don't answer at first. I'm busy washing my hands. Then I turned around and dip my hands in the cold, slimy, stinky mixture.

"MOM!" she cries, "What ARE you doing? What is that?"

"It's meatloaf, " I say.

She spins her heels and runs out of the room, proclaiming that she will never, ever, ever eat meatloaf again now that she knows how awful it was.

Pen to Paperphoto © 2007 Orin Zebest more info (via: Wylio)Writing a book is like making a meatloaf. The first draft usually doesn't look a lot like the finished manuscript. Yes, the first draft is soon covered with red-inked messages to myself and pages crossed off and new pages added with my cryptic numbering system (Page 138 B3) and arrows drawn with turquoise markers and sections highlighted in yellow and orange and heavy green question marks littering the paper landscape and sticky notes hither and yon. It's a lot like the meatloaf mixture.

Okay, it smells better except for the parts where I spilled my coffee on Chapter 3. And that section where I dropped some of my burrito and smeared salsa and frijoles through the second paragraph. And maybe there's some ranch dip on the current page...

You will probably notice that there is not a speck of meatloaf on those pages. Indeed. I never made meatloaf again.

Have you ever participated in something that just seemed like a "mess" while making it, but turned out even better than planned?


  1. This is a great comparison!

  2. My husband and I stepped in at the last moment and put together a week long vacation Bible school from scratch. Whew, it felt like a mess but ended up being really terrific fun!

  3. Thanks, Julie! I'm glad you liked it.

    Merry, what a wonderful gesture--with wonderful results! Better than a meatloaf any day!