Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to Work!

After 3 official weeks of vacation from blogging -- although I see we had quite a few overachievers in the interim -- The Otherworld Diner is now (re)opened for business. Some of the holiday decorations might still be up, but wouldn't you rather have fresh, hot coffee and sparkling clean tables instead of a view through the diner windows unencumbered by twinkling lights? We enjoy the way they look. Maybe we'll leave them up year round. Hey, at least we took down the mistletoe. We had no choice. The waitresses were tired of the suggestion that their "tips" be paid in kisses.

Beginning a new year for some folks -- let's say, for writers, since all of us write when we're not working at the diner or taking care of our families -- can be filled with possibilies. This is the year I'm going to... *fill in achievement blank*. Get published, hit the lists, outsmart the cats, lose weight, learn to fly, quit smoking, get abducted by aliens, access my inner shapeshifter, learn to whistle really loud, meet the man/woman of my dreams, or, barring that, write down my incredibly hot dreams about that man/woman and sell them for cold cash. As many of our overachieving members, writing in from vacation, have cautioned, just make sure your achievement blanks: (1) have things in them you personally can control; (2) but aren't completely empty.

A couple diner employees have book releases in 2008, and more have vowed to submit X number of things to agents or editors or complete X number of words on their manuscripts. I hear tell one of us has vowed to win the county pie baking contest this year no matter what that no-good Ernestine Hubbard cooks up, and another has her eye on inciting the diner and its sister restaurants to create one of those naughty calendars of nearly-naked men, calling each one of them the month's special recipe. This two-week period you'll get a chance to read about everyone's annual restart, about goal-setting and resolutions and other issues connected at least slightly to the topic.

For me, as I'm looking ahead at 2008, it's like the unblemished first snowfall of the year (in places that actually GET snow) before the dogs, birds, kids, cars, exhaust and sunshine get to it. Rolling hills of virginal white, sprinkled with some evergreens, a few split rail fences, and definitely some sort of red bird, calling from pine to pine.
I remember snows like that when I was a child, and I longed to be the first one to mar the carpet. I wanted a chance to see one single set of footprints wending through the drifts--mine. So I'd bundle up as fast as I could and roll out there, only to discover, upon closer inspection, my brother had gotten up before me. As had the dogs. And Mom. And there were little birdie tracks dusting across the surface. Sometimes little birdie poops. What had seemed unblemished and untouched from the safety of the window was, in fact, already speckled with life, liberty, large snow boots, and the pursuit of happiness.

But damn, it's cold out there. Why don't you come back into the diner for a cuppa and a slice of pie? It's a lot easier to tip-tap away on your laptop in the warmth of the diner than it is to be out there fighting frostbite. Which doesn't mean I recommend avoiding experience and just writing about it, it just means after the experience--after you find out it was different from what you expected, in both good and bad ways--you probably need some pie.

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing *


  1. Great Post, Jody! A calendar of hot dishes? Excellent! Whoever suggested that has my vote! (Sorry - just coming down off caucus fever).

  2. Excellent post. I'm glad we're back and open for business.