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Posts Tagged ‘cookie cutters’

Some of you might ask what I would have written about if I didn’t get into cookie making this year.  Well, I will have you know, I would have paralleled the writing experience with some other creative form.  But for now, you will have to be amazed (as I am) with the similarities of creating a novel and baking up a batch of goodies.  Both delicious!

Today it’s about cookie cutters.  The irony is that in writing, “cookie cutter” is probably not the term you want to hear when someone is describing your work.  You want ground-breaking, original, mind-blowing…Uh, you want Hunger Games.  But even the awesomeness of Hunger Games can be compared to other works, which brings me back to the cutters.

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle is this fantastic cookie site.  I mean, the stuff that woman can create on a cookie is out of this world.  Recently she touched on the fact that sometimes it’s the least expectant cookie cutter which makes the best shape.  Instead of confining the metal cutter to one image such as a Santa Claus, she shows a little imagination to pipe it into a Chewbacca.  She doesn’t look at what it’s supposed to do, she looks for what it can do.  She steps back, takes inventory, and creates something surprising.

What a great reminder as I sit on my hands for a few weeks while my current work in progress cures.  Yes, I literally have to sit on my hands to keep from going back to tinker with it.  What’s the harm? you might ask.  Getting a jump on the revisions sounds like a great idea to getting to a finished product faster.  That’s what I used to think to before I applied it to my previous novels.  What I found was I edited little pieces to death, maybe making a Santa Claus cutter into a Mrs. Clause or even a snow man, but it wasn’t anything too far off from what I started with.  In the end, my story had some tweaks to it, but it wasn’t the best it could have been.

I’m sure Sugarbelle faced the same thing.  She didn’t buy jolly old St. Nick and imagine Chewbacca right off the bat.  She had to use it as Santa, wait a while with it sitting in the Christmas cutters pile, think of other shapes which share the pattern and even tinker around with piping some failed cookies.  (Maybe a tragic looking Mark Hamill was eaten without regret.)  But once she did see the possibilities, it opened a whole new world.  It wasn’t only Chewbacca, she saw a Yoda in a spider, a storm trooper out of a skull, and those Princess Leia buns from a peppermint candy.

My hope is I will have the same inspiration after giving it some time.  There have been many lessons learned over this year to improve my overall craft.  Most authors agree you need time away from your project to see it any differently than you originally meant.  In the excitement of wanting to finish, there is the urge to rush.  Sugarbelle’s cookies are a great reminder that with time many more ideas have a chance to bounce around your head.  The failed can be left behind (or consumed) without sadness because what will be left is a masterpiece.

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