Why is it that every time I’ve ever broken glass I’ve been barefoot? (No, it’s not because I write naked.) Friday night I made chicken parmigiana, pasta, a big salad and I baked sweet wheat bread: Braided rolls, clover rolls and a big baguette.
Everything was just about ready. The timing was perfect; I had just vacuumed and showered. It’s just like when you’re ready to write. You’ve got your desk next to the window, the creek whispering by, birds peering back at you (okay, this is my writing environment, but perhaps you find comfort in sirens and urban sounds or the chaotic opus of a coffee shop), and you’re all set to let the words flow. You know exactly where the story is going…
I used a glass casserole dish lined with tin foil to bake some of the bread. When I placed it on the granite counter it immediately exploded into big and teeny tiny pieces. Y’know, the whole hot-and-cold, expansion-contraction thang.
My first thought was: The animals! Living with three hungry dogs and an even hungrier cat, they’re always waiting for goodies to fall from the kitchen counters. The dogs are used to getting ice as treats and the glass looked exactly like ice!
My fury must translate well to the animal kingdom. The cat, who never listens to me, went straight into the mudroom with two of the dogs and the other dog went to relax in the living room. Of course, in my urgent herding of the critters I wasn’t thinking about where I was stepping–many of the pieces looked like sand!–and a few small shards got stuck in my feet. (Don’t read too much drama into this–it was totally minor, didn’t even require a Band-Aid!)
This would be the point when you’re writing and your space bar gets stuck. Or you open your manuscript to find the genius revisions you made last time didn’t save. If you’re writing longhand, it’s when your pen runs out of ink and you get a paper cut.
It’s at this same moment, the Love Doctor–who I had been making the dinner for–arrived and removed the teeny tiny glass. (I don’t know what Cinderella was thinking walking around in glass slippers–one wrong move and ouch!)
Now this would be the epiphany point where you realize your story was going in the wrong direction. The universe was putting you on pause, forcing you to stop and look around, put your pocked feet up and let new words bleed down the page.