I went to a book talk a few weeks ago. It was, in fact, the best kind of book talk which is, of course, the kind where you get ice cream samples. The handing out of these samples was pretty apropos since the book was a book of ice cream recipes, and the event was really half talk/half demonstration.
The writer/pastry chef in question was Dana Cree, and the book was Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.* Dana is a wizard who can both speak and cook at the same time, as well as handle some rather perplexing audience questions with admirable aplomb. It was an all around delightful event (and the samples have me and my husband wanting to go to Publican, where Cree works, and just have a full meal’s worth of dessert) but there was one particular thing that stood out to me in particular. That thing was Cree’s repeated insistence that the most important thing was not that you follow her recipes exactly, or that you use only the finest ingredients, or the best equipment, but that the most important thing was that you make ice cream.
I liked that. I liked that a lot. Because I get overly fussy sometimes. About food, about writing, about many, many things. I get in this mindset where I think that everything has to be perfect for it to be worthwhile, that I can only perform under ideal conditions—only write when I have complete silence, a nice amount of sunshine coming in through my window, a beautifully clear desk, am in a good mood and have a nice cup of tea, and maybe a good slab of high quality chocolate, beside me. Instead, perhaps the most important thing is that I get something down on the page, and trust that no matter the flaws in the work, the flaws in the setup, that it is much better than nothing.
Or perhaps that was the wrong take away. Perhaps I just need to eat more ice cream. I’m fine with that too.
Writing: I am trying to get back into the daily writing habit. What I’m working on right now is really all over the place, and I’m hoping that, in time, it will start to come together.
Reading: I gave up on a book, two thirds of the way through. I feel so bad. I may come back to it later, because I really feel like it was me, not it, but I may not. But in the meantime, I’ve allowed myself to start reading one of my purchases from Independent Bookstore Day, Still Life with Tornados, and I’m really enjoying it—despite (because?) of the incredible underlying sadness.
* I love this title so much. I want to squeeze it in my arms and pet it like a pony.