This morning I was perusing my collection of recipes clipped in the past for use someday. Someday is tonight.
I spotted a recipe card for Banana Curried Cauliflower that I have had in my possession for more than ten years, yet never used. For the average American, this dish sounds exotic. It certainly isn’t meat and potatoes. Mention to a friend in casual conversation that dinner includes Banana Curried Cauliflower and watch for the dumbfounded look on the friend’s face.
The point is an author needs to serve up the literary equivalent of Banana Curried Cauliflower once in a while. It shakes up writing rituals and creative habits one has acquired. Further, it pushes an author’s limits outside the comfort zone.
This is what I have been doing with my sudden fiction stories (using the song prompts) on this blog. I am trying out new characters, topics, voices, and writing styles. I want to see if any of it fits me as an author.
Tonight, after eating my interpretation of the cauliflower recipe, I may chuck the recipe card in the trash, or I will write personal remarks on the card before placing it into the permanent recipe file. An author will act similarly with a newly concocted exotic-for-him work.
By venturing beyond the commonplace, both diner and author expand personal experience upon which to call in the future.