Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Natalie Told Me To Do It.

If you've read any of my other blog (yeah, it's pretty dusty right now), you know that I love Natalie Goldberg. She's an author and writing guru...and she has taught me a lot. (OK, so maybe not PERSONALLY...but her books have taught me a lot.)

It's times like these when I really rely on her help to pull me out of the bottom of the barrel. You see, sometimes, I'm itching on the inside. I want to write. I feel like I NEED to write. (And, this month, I need to publish.) However, you don't always have the words. Natalie (yeah, I'm on a first name basis with her... in my mind) told me that I can write about anything. If I can't figure it out, start THERE.

But, sometimes, starting "there" would lead me somewhere I don't have the time or energy to go, if you know what I mean. So, sometimes, she tells me to start with JELL-O.

I love JELL-O.

Can you believe that FireDaddy and my girlies DO NOT LIKE JELL-O???

As a child, my brothers and I would be thrilled when Mama would make us JELL-O and serve it for dessert after dinner. I remember her brown glass dish she always made it in. The little, tiny bubbles that congealed around the edges of the bowl. The fun wiggle and shimmer on the surface as we watched her take it out of the fridge, waiting hopefully as she poked it lightly to see if it was really ready.

She served our JELL-O in cute little clear glass Pyrex souffle bowls with fluted edges. We cut out bites with our spoons and swished it between our teeth, turning it into a thick, bubbly liquid. It was a simple pleasure. So sweet and good.

Mama also made us JELL-O when we were sick. She tenderly asked us what color we preferred, red or green, before she boiled the water and stirred, stirred, stirred, dissolving the powder. It made for a nice change of pace from the Saltines, Sprite, Gatorade and beef bouillon (which, I must say, I also love).

The speed set method was a great improvement. Now, instead of waiting hours and hours for our sweet treat, it only required AN hour or so. Jigglers, though, never did anything for me.

Now, my refrigerator is almost always stocked with JELL-O cups. I'd love to say I buy them for my girls, but THEY DON'T LIKE IT. So, I buy it for myself and pack them as a guilt-free lunchtime dessert. Red and green, with the occasional orange. I've experimented with those newfangled flavors on the shelves at Publix these days, but they just aren't for me. I'll stick to my tried and true, red or green, please.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my tummy is growling and I hear some JELL-O calling my name.


  1. Love, love, love Natalie Goldberg. Found her thanks to my freshman comp teacher, and over 10 years later (ouch!) I still go back to Writing Down the Bones. Love your Jell-o story. :) What are you intending to publish this month? Personal? Professional? Do tell!

  2. PS. Do you follow Marla Beck on Twitter? She has some great tips in terms of writing goals. http://marla.typepad.com/the_relaxed_writer/


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