Steal This Cookie, but Skip This Post

I am the person who puts a little water in the bottoms of ketchup bottles and shampoo bottles to get that last, tiny bit out. That’s me. Before liquid soap was so popular, I tried squeezing all my decrepit soap slabs together into one big, massively compressed bar of soap (didn’t work, they flaked apart). When my daughter collects enough broken crayons, we melt them in the summer sun and shape them into crayon bars and balls. That one is actually really fun.

I don't actually use Crisco, but this almost makes it look appetizing, doesn't it?

So, when I have extra-ripe bananas, I make banana bread. That particular recipe says two bananas and some applesauce, but most of the time I just use three bananas and no applesauce. It’s flexible. Greek yoghurt also works in place of a banana or applesauce. I have made so many loaves over the years that I can do it with my eyes closed, and so yesterday, when faced with superfluous bananas I didn’t feel like banana bread AGAIN. I made cookies. And here is where I should probably admit that I’ve never actually had Bananas Foster— but I do own enough cookbooks to know that it involves bananas and rum, and so here you go.

Bananas Foster Cookies

1 stick salted butter

1 mashed and very ripe banana

Mixmixmix.

1 scant cup brown sugar

1 capful vanilla extract

1 egg

Mixmixmix.

2 cups all-purpose white flour

1 tsp baking powder

Mixmixmix.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Make basic frosting, but replace some of the milk with dark rum.

In other news, I’ve reached an awkward spot in my writing, but I’m going to push through and revise later. Revise! Later! That’s my mantra. That, and this scene from Finding Nemo. I’ve spent so much time leading up to why things are happening that I’ve lost the narrative thread. I need to push my characters forward– I’ve been preoccupied with troubling them up and getting them into a real fix, and I am now realizing that I halted the movement of the plot to do that. C.r.a.p.o.l.a. And here is where I repeat to myself: Revise! Later!

It sure doesn’t help that I seem to be in a personal downward spiral. It makes every page torturous, because I have to squelch down the inner critic, who is absolutely screaming at me. This is nothing new. If you are creative or depressive, or both, you’ve encountered this dual-personality before, I’m sure. Maybe even if you’re not? I wouldn’t know. Anyway, when I’m in this state, I try to encourage the duality in order to have some kind of dialogue with myself, and a loving dialogue doesn’t work, I’m sorry to say. Tough love does. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and are imagining some Three Faces of Eve stuff, that’s not what I’m trying to say at all.

Everybody has an inner critic. When you were trying to write your essay in English 1 or 125 or whatever, and you kept getting stuck, and told yourself, “This is crap!” and deleted a bunch of stuff, you were letting your inner critic rule the roost. When you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and subsequently replayed every negative thing they had ever said about you and believed it true, you were letting your inner critic slap you around.

It gets ugly, fast. When that inner critic becomes the prevailing voice, there’s a problem. When the inner critic never shuts up and is perhaps reinforced by outside sources, life gets pretty dark. I know it’s nothing special, and other people have it worse, but Jesus H. Christ, it’s really difficult to eke out a decent plot when every thought is counteracted by a negative thought. But you know what? I have to write on anyway, and push forward, or too much time will pass and that inner critic will have won.

What do you do? I listen to music, over and over, and I stare out of a window. Then I go and bake something, or play with my daughter. When you have a kid, wallowing in the Spanish definition of Nothingness is not a full-time option.

You know how when you have a foot cramp, and the fastest way to get rid of it is to close your eyes and stand up and use that muscle, no matter how much it hurts? Right now, that is how it feels to put pen to paper. And I’ll do it, because that is just what you do.

I’m listening to this:

And I’m hoping I will turn into this:

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