When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Banana Bread

Photo by Sue Bradford Edwards, 2009.

In honor of the Big Inauguration and Obama’s Can-Do, Help Yourself attitude, a post about being positive.

Last week, the St. Louis weather turned wicked cold.  Wind chills in the predawn hours were about -15°F.  Before long, the hand wringing started.  “If it gets any colder, we’ll have to _________ (fill in semi-panicked plans).” 

True.  -15°F is really cold.  How to make bitter cold (lemons) into something positively toasty (banana bread).

Instant deep freeze. 

We hung my son’s ice cream cake (for winning a spelling bee) on the patio.  What if it warmed up?   Answer:  Eat the cake.  What if something got to it?  You mean like our possum?  Answer:  Hang it up.  The thing you see behind it is a wind chime.   It left the cake alone. 

What does this have to do with writing?  Plenty.

More publishers are announcing lay offs.  Magazines are going exclusively electronic.  Other publications are having troubles paying. 

If your regular writing gig has dried up, now is a good time to try something new.  A new type of writing.  A new market.  Look back at what you’ve written and sold in the past.  Is it something you’d want to write again?   

My lemon:  Test writing used to pay my bills.  I haven’t done any for months.   Maybe a year.  The new publisher I just finished a job for doesn’t have anything else for me to do. 

My banana bread:  I’ve been networking.  I sent out Christmas cards and inviting old friends to lunch.  I got a call from a friend at the university where I used to work.  A professor needed someone to create a map.  Guess how I put myself through college?  Archaeological illustration.  

An old passion and profession revisited.  

Banana bread out of lemons.

What’s your lemon?  What kind of banana bread can you make?