This afternoon I asked my neighbour’s 6-year-old to help me ice cupcakes. She filled the hollow in one with sprinkles – literally filled it – to the brim. She took a handful of baby marshmallows and commented that it was probably too much. Then she shrugged, said ‘oh well’ and proceeded to put them all on one cupcake. There were mini m&m’s flying everywhere (including in her mouth). No thought was given to pattern, structure or anything other than putting as much as possible onto each one. And they’re beautiful.
Too often we are guilty of restraint without cause. Sometimes it’s the ‘save it for another day’ mentality with food. A number of times I have been guilty of this. I have bought a watermelon in summer and, in order to make the deliciousness last, have eaten only some of it and ended up throwing part of it away because it went off before I could finish it. I think maybe watermelon is one of those things that should be scoffed.
It could be that we don’t want to appear too lavish, don’t want to overdo things. Most of us had parents or grandparents who would use the ‘kitchen’ plates for everyday dinner and keep the fancy plates for special occasions. Well, I say that being alive is a special occasion. Use the good china. And if it gets broken, does it really matter? Be extravagant with the people you love. They’re the ones who matter.
It’s like that with my novel. I think I’m afraid of giving too much description in case it comes across as me trying to show how beautifully I can describe something. Maybe I need to do that. In my second draft I am stepping back from the bare bones of the story line and fleshing out the ‘bits’. Icing the cake.
When my little neighbour left she said, ‘Any time you need help icing cakes, just call me.’ And you know what? I probably will!