Sometimes, as I’m writing, I’m reminded of a scene in “Adaptation.,” (the good movie adapted from the really good The Orchid Thief written by Susan Orlean)–where the meta-character, Charlie Kaufman struggling to write his screenplay negotiates when he can have his next snack (a brownie? first i’ll write this THEN i get to have the brownie…).

It’s been that way for me the last few days, only with “fragrant pears,” something that looks like a cross between a quince and a green pear and tastes like a cross between an asian pear and a western pear. And somehow, like a supermodel with a Ph.D. and a darling personality, this particular pear inherited the best traits of all of the above: the crisp texture of the asian pear, the flavor and fragrance of the western pear, the fresh green of an anjou pear, the intriguing bumpy texture of quince (which is not a pear).

I write a little, I get a fragrant pear. Write some more, and a fragrant pear. I had to go back to Ranch 99 to get more fragrant pears. Fragrant pears are SO NOT “eating local” (they come from China), but that’s what makes them my guilty pleasure. They’re my fruit obsession of the late winter season, replacing my prior late Autumn persimmon obsession.

While at Ranch 99, I noticed a “free fish frying” sign and bought a mackerel that immediately went into the fryer (yummm). I had the fried mackerel yesterday for lunch and today. Yesterday it was heaven. Today–well, it’s been giving me “mackerel burps” (not as bad as my one and only one-time “durian burps”). And eventually the mackerel made me sick.

I’ve been tuning in to Twitter as usual–but this week, I’m getting real-time updates on the AWP Conference! Last year, when I was at AWP in NYC, twitter wasn’t so prevalent–wouldn’t it have been cool to tweet from the conference? I’d have, at moments, been a lot less lonely but a lot more distracted. I’m sad about not being able to go to AWP this year but I feel a bit more connected because of twitter. Or maybe I feel more left out because I can’t ignore the news!

The rain is streaming down. Sometimes the clouds part and the rain falls down and it looks like diamonds falling from heaven. Sometimes the sky darkens and the rain falls. I’m watching it all from my window in front of my writing desk. The window has a big bird poop on it. So I’m watching the world through shit-stained windows. Will the rain wash it off? I know I won’t, because I’m too much of a lazy ass to lean out the window and clean it.

Making headway on the novel. I’m forging a part of the storyline that I haven’t faced before–it’s tough going at times, but then when the breakthroughs come I feel like well, “the King of the world.” And I go eat a fragrant pear to celebrate.

Headache. Nausea. Thank you mackerel.

p.s. Oh! I also got ANOTHER “almost” rejection from Hayden’s Ferry Review (the second one with a personal note scribbled on the slip in 3 months):




Filed under Life, Writing

3 responses to “Fragrant

  1. heather

    YAY! way to go with the handwritten note!

  2. I really like HFR — the editor, Beth Staples, is just a very, very nice woman. And they do interesting things in that journal.

  3. anonwupfan

    Your pear analogy reminds me of this waitress at my former watering hole. She was six feet tall, model face, swimsuit-model body, witty, graceful, kind and always genuinely interested in what you had to say (I know what you’re thinking, but she knew she wasn’t getting much of a tip from a jamoke like me)– this was an inherently irresistible woman.

    One day she says “It’s my last day–I’m moving to NYC for school.” So, I’m thinking with my pickled little Cro-Magnon brain: school for fashion design, dance, theatre, something else in the typical orbit of the young and gorgeous? –nope, going to Columbia for a PhD in Cellular Biology!

    Nature is not fair, but often hilarious. I often think of those poor bench jockeys in her lab, tripping over their tongues all day. Ah, somewhere in NYC…

    JP you’ve got to love to hate those close calls–soldier on, my friend. Bummer about missing AWP, I’m missing it too (because I’m a shut-in) even though it’s in my backyard 😦

    …but hey, at least I’m shut-in behind clean windows 😉

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