Musings on Growing and Baking

I was devoid of story ideas, so I turned to my then-eight-year-old daughter on our short car ride from her school to our house in the fall of 2019, back when we would do such things.

She thought about it for a bit and then asked, “It has to be about cooking, right?”

Yes, all of my writing includes something about cooking or the enjoyment of good food, so that would be ideal.

“You should write about a cooking contest,” she said definitively, and in that moment, “Wink” was born.

I was excited to include her in the process, as she helped with naming the characters while I told her about the things that they would cook both at home and in the contest.  My daughter had been a fairly reluctant reader who was just then starting to blossom and develop a love of books during this time, while also beginning to write her own stories. Having some ownership in my story creation process went hand-in-hand with her most successful academic year, even with the shift to remote learning in March. Seeing her grow as a reader and writer – while also developing in my own craft – has been a gift that I couldn’t have anticipated during this tumultuous year but most certainly welcome.

When “Wink” was accepted by Litbreak, I couldn’t wait to tell her. Even after watching me go through the challenges and ups and downs of submissions for the past few years, she wasn’t surprised at all. “It was my idea,” she replied, with a satisfied smile on her face.

I am writing this from our annual week on Cape Cod, which mercifully still happened this year. We’ve had more rainy days than usual, which seems on-brand for 2020. The upside? Puzzles, misty beach walks, and episodes of “Sugar Rush.” We’re planning for some epic cupcake creations this fall as an antidote to whatever else life dishes up.