Monday, June 20, 2011

Lurking at the Back

There is one in every house. Sometimes, there are two. Some are small, some are large. Some have drawers and some have orifices that spew ice and water.

The refrigerator. You were told it's a place to keep food fresh. They lied. It's a place where food goes to die.

You fill it every week with milk, cheese, salad ingredients and tubs of yogurt. There are jars of pickles and jam. But death lurks.

In the back.

If anything makes it to the back of the fridge, consider it useful as a lethal weapon. I had a jar of pickles (with one pickle floating ominously in the murky liquid) that stayed in the back formonths. Literally, months. It may have been longer, but I refuse to say. When I finally got rid of it, I'd swear it winked at me.

Then there are the mysterious containers; those opaque food-savers you bought thinking they'd be so useful. What evil creature lurks within? Beware. It is possible when you lift off the lid that slimy green hands will reach out and pull it back on. I tend to stay away from containers I can't see into. My logic is if I'm going to conduct scientific experiments, I may as well see what's going on.

Writers have refrigerators unique to them - it may be a desk drawer, or in your document list, or in a file cabinet, but it's that place where you've stashed that project that you'll get to later, or the one you got frustrated with.

At the bottom. You have to bend down (literally or figuratively) to get at it. Food makes you reach back, writing makes you reach down. Significant? Symbolic? Perhaps.

Gather your courage and reach down. Take it out. Open the lid. Yes, it might truly be a disaster - but you just might have invented penicillin.

You'll never know if you don't lift off that lid.


  1. I have a buried file. I actually use it when I start a new book, because I keep thinking eventually it will work. So far, it hasn't, but it DOES get me writing.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  2. ELspeth - I love that analogy! I think all of us have those story ideas (or even stories we've written) that are lurking in the back of our files. I know I do. I may even use some of those characters some day...

    Oh, and I always buy containers that are clear or at least translucent. Otherwise I have no idea what "delicacy" there may be in my refrigerator... ;-).

  3. Good point! I frequently cannibalize the stories/ideas/characters and use them in other spots. :)

  4. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a Fridge of Death. Great idea about looking in those old files. Since I'm in the planning stage of project, I'm going to check through some of those today!

  5. Oh yeah, I have my file. It's a mess of discarded stories, but I hang on to them, just in case.

  6. Terry; I'm confident you'll find gems in that file.

    Margot; Clear or not, once they crawl to the back of the fridge, they've morphed into something odd. However, in writing, odd is not always a bad thing...

    Elizabeth; Why am I not surprised that you use your leftovers in a wise way?

    Carol; Plunder those files! You never know...

    Jezri; Good ideas can be forgotten. Keep holding on to that file - just look at it from time to time.

  7. I was disgusted with a more current project and decided to check out an "old friend." What I found was by combining the two I had something very good. It's coming along very well.
    You never know what;s under your writing lid.
    In the refrigerator -- I'm not going to risk it :(

  8. Cameron; Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

    Giggles; I'm so glad you found some delightful surprises. As for the refrigerator, that's up to you.

  9. Caution: those mystery casseroles can cause some gnarly flashbacks! But who knows, when you awake you can have a marvelous story to tell.

  10. Stephen; Personally, I've never found vomit stories that marvelous, but to each his own. Maybe I haven't found the right angle.

  11. LOL, what a great post. You have been peeking in my refrigerator.


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!