I had almost given up trying to make pie-crust from scratch.
Every Thanksgiving I gave it a go, attempting different recipes and various methods. I debated the value of shortening vs. butter, using a food processer vs. mixing by spoon, what temperature to bake the pie with and whether or not to cover the edges.
I dreaded having to face it every year.
But, a couple of months ago, a dear friend of mine showed me how to make crust from scratch. I stood next to her in her kitchen and followed her every step. I memorized her method and listened to her small hints. All the while, the saying, "Teach a man to fish..." resonated in my head.
That night, she and I made a perfect pie.
After much trepidation, I decided that today would be the day to test myself. I jumped in both feet, wondering if history could repeat itself and if I could, by myself, recreate the crust I so wanted to make for my pie-loving husband. Gosh, it was so silly, but I was nervous.
And guess what?
It turned out perfectly. Not exactly pretty, but it was buttery, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Firsts are always tough aren't they? For me, facing the unknown is almost as bad as dealing with the worst case scenario. I've been known to walk myself through plans A, B , C, and X, even if A will most likely be sufficient.
Some call it fear, others call it neurosis. I call it preparation and anticipation (much nicer, no?). In my opinion, so long as I can stare the challenge down long enough to attempt the unknown, does it matter what it is?
The effort is progress in itself, and with a guide, even more bountiful.
As November comes to a close, so does National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). To "win" the challenge, one muse achieve writing 50,000 words towards their work in progress. I "won" the last two years, and wrote two complete manuscripts which I revised and polished: STITCHES OF TRUTH, which I queried and shelved, and ONE ON ONE, which I am querying at the moment.
I have to admit that attempting NaNoWriMo this year was probably a crazy endeavor. This phase of my life-- my Army spouse life, my mother-of-four life--seems to created projects and activities that have contributed to an over-full plate. All of which I love, and none of which I can seem to say no to. Jumping into a new manuscript, writing new words, attempting the first draft and getting to know new characters just seemed...daunting.
But just as I looked to my friend to guide me through pie-making, I sought out support from my critique partners and from my writing friends. I drew energy from my early morning writing group, and bottled their positive writing vibes to take with me all through the day.
Today, I achieved 36K. I'm not sure if I'll technically *win* NaNoWriMo this year, and my words may not be pretty, but I am hopefully that many thousands of words closer to my dream.
This year, I'm thankful for Firsts, Friends and Family, and to those who have taught me to fish. Know you have fed me for a lifetime.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends.