Monday, May 3, 2010

Catnapping Kitty as Writer and Strawberry Brownie Shortcake


This catnapping kitty who, I was told, lives in the garden house at the Kauffman Garden where I saw her, must surely be a writer. She is engaged in one of a writer's most important activities -- dreaming.

A writer might dream literally or figuratively. Either way is important. Sometimes writers apologize to me saying, "I haven't been writing."

So far, I don't believe one writer has heard my response: "That's okay. Your brain is still working. Creating. Imagining. Joining old ideas to make new ideas. Gathering disparate information, responses, and emotions to create something unique."

But no -- the writer is not listening. She is still talking, still explaining how busy she has been.

Resist the urge to be busy, to be moving, to be doing. Instead spend time dreaming. Dream time is good. What else do we have but our ideas? Imagination is the writer's stock in trade. Value it. Cherish it. Nourish it.


Turn off your phone, iPod, and television. Sit quietly. Take a deep breath. Allow yourself to mindlessly stare out the window. Do this for ten minutes. Set your timer so you don't have to keep looking at the clock. Take another deep breath. Relax your shoulders. Stare mindlessly. Let your mind coast.

At the end of ten minutes, write. Maybe you had a memory. Maybe you have a list of dreams of things you want to do. Maybe you just noticed your neighbor's flowers. Write about it.


My Young Advisor sent me a link to a website about organic foods and healthy eating. I was especially surprised at the Dirty Dozen Foods to Avoid. Who would have thought about celery being the repository for frightening amounts of pesticides and herbicides? Yikes! I spent quite a bit of time surfing around the site's great information, but then -- oh no -- then, a pop-up ad for Duncan Hines brownie mix appeared. Of course, I clicked on that -- and here we have today's recipe: Strawberry Brownie Shortcake.

Strawberry Brownie Shortcake

1 pkg Duncan Hines Double Fudge Brownie Mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg vanilla (or chocolate) instant pudding and pie filling
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping
1 quart fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans.
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies; pour into prepared pans.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
Meanwhile, stir pudding mix and milk in medium bowl; mix well. Chill 5 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Chill.
To serve, place one 9-inch brownie layer on plate. Top with half each of pudding mixture and strawberries. Repeat.
Garnish as desired. (A photo shows strawberries on top and also suggests chocolate curls.)

For Writing Resources, more Writing Tips and Prompts and Life Story Writing Lessons, go to Watch the Calendar page for fall life story writing classes.

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