The day before yesterday I cooked up a big ol’ pot of that Colorado staple, green chili. Chopped up a pile of pork, chilies, tomatoes and garlic, then browned and seasoned and cooked for four hours. Slow food. Not to mention how much time it took to grow the tomatoes and chilies, roast them and process them for the freezer last fall. All this for what is, more or less, a sauce.
A really good sauce, mind you.
Yesterday three men came and spent two hours laying five thousand square feet of sod in the backyard. There had never been grass back there before. I’m not a lawn person, but my guy is, and I had to admit the weeds were getting old. At least we put in a super hardy fescue blend that will require half the water. For the last twenty-four hours I haven’t been able to pass by a window on that side of the house without stopping and admiring the expanse, dreaming of bocce ball and badminton and evenings spent with friends around the fire pit.
But a whole lawn in two hours? That is SO cheating! There’s a tiny part of me that’s actually offended by the notion. I know that’s a little nuts in this snappy, wi-fi, buy it now pay for it later, let’s just go through the drive-through on the way home world, but there you go.
Is that why the first thing I ever wrote, other than the required stuff in school or for work, was a full-length novel? Or why writing a series of homecrafting mysteries about the same character is so comfortable?
I’ve tried short stories. They always explode into long stories. I’d really like to craft delicate essays, precise poems, and meaningful shorts, but the idea of “and then what happened?” has always made me go further. At least so far.
Most people don’t work into their writing career that way. It’s not even advised. But the fact that I’ve gone about choosing my writing projects in a bass-ackwards way is not entirely surprising to those who know me.
How about you? Do you find the short form easier or harder to write? Are you good at both? Do you read both?
'Scuse me. I have to go start another flat of vegetable seeds now.