I have not much to say except this: 

You know when you cook a really fancy meal, like you HAND GRATE FRESH GINGER and things like that and you have fifty thousand million dishes and you are sweating and you can’t believe how awesome you are and then when you all sit down to dinner and you have grand dreams of everyone fawning all over you and your food and then they say this: WHAT IS THIS? And they have the most disgusted look on their face.

And you say, it’s good. Try it.

No. It looks gross.

One bite.

Please no. No. I’ve tasted it before and I don’t like it.

You’ve never tasted it before. 

I have. I promise. 

And on and on and on and then they finally take a bite and they start gagging. Like literally gagging because what I have just fed them is going to make them throw up all over the dinner table and I am torturing them and I’m a horrible person. 

You know when that happens? 

What about the Olympics. I think we should have writing Olympics.

We don’t have TV here at the Ellis household and it’s very very sad because i love the Olympics, Cam loves the Olympics and it turns out the boys love Olympics so every night we try to watch any clip we can find that includes Olympians. Some of them are from 2012, some from 2008, some from 1988. What’s the difference? I realized, as we were watching some Korean women do archery in 199 something, that we could actually have the olympics all year long thanks to modern technology and my children’s limited worldview. 

They were screaming for USA in the swim meet that took place twelve years ago. They were throwing pillows when a guy fell when he was trying to land a vault four years ago, etc. etc. At first it was kind of funny and then it turned out to be just plain amazing. 

Kids love things with a passion. They give their whole heart and soul to the moment. The right now. 

THey also hate things with a passion. Like throwing up all over the place if I have to EAT ONE BITE OF THIS DISGUSTING FOOD you spent HOURS MAKING. They live life so hard and so full force all the time. 

I think that’s the beauty of childhood. The wonder and the excitement and the surprise. I want to feel that again. I want to get excited like that and upset like that and passionate like that. I want the characters in my books to feel this way too. To have life changing things happen even if it’s just watching something on TV. Or being forced to eat something they don’t want to. I want it to be visceral and real and funny and hopeful and dire.

Here’s a writing exercise: Write about the last time you felt something with a passion. Excitement. Real joy. Utter sadness. Disgust. Surprise. Heart racing, heart pounding, heart stopping. Write it fast and hard and with tons of grammatical mistakes. Just write. Write as many as you can. 




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3 responses to “olympics

  1. That cooking thing has happened way too many times for me to count! Aren’t the Olympics just awesome? It’s been an amazing writing-related week for me and I’ve been feeling that excitement and joy with a passion.

  2. I have also had that exact same experience when cooking for my family. I had a very wise friend tell me to cook for myself, not my family. So I do. I sweat and mess up dishes, lots of them, and say, over and over as I’m the only one eating, “Isn’t this amazing? Don’t you think I should open my own restaurant?” And then I feel better and my kids have yogurt. So my advice: cook for yourself.

    Last night we were out sitting by the garden, watching the kids play and I said, “Shouldn’t we be watching the Olympics right now?” And we just sat there cause it was so nice outside and the Olympics were inside. We made up for it later when we watched the beach volleyball. Those women are fierce!

    • “and say, over and over as I’m the only one eating, “Isn’t this amazing? Don’t you think I should open my own restaurant?” And then I feel better and my kids have yogurt.”

      LOVE this! i am totally doing this next time my kids refuse my awesome meal. which will probably be tonight. they’re predictable like that.



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