Last night I went back to school.

I need inspiration outside of work. While I’m blessed to be able to write as a living, it sometimes leaves little room for my own personal pieces which, to me, is just blasphemy.

So last night I began an eight-week class at a local high school that meets every Tuesday, a creative writing workshop. I am most definitely the youngest there and the only one that doesn’t take writing as just a hobby. I’ve also already pegged everyone in only the way an extremely (internally) judgmental person can.

We’ve got the woman to the left of me (Judy? Ruth?) who writes incredibly descriptive things and at the end of class tells me she LOVES the column my editor writes.

There’s John, a weird guy who wanted to read a piece he wrote out loud which subsequently took up TWENTY FIVE MINUTES of the class and was an insanely descriptive sci-fi piece that used “Damn it!”, “interjected”, and “queried” way too many times.

There’s Ruth…at least I think she’s Ruth…so that must mean the other woman is Judy…who I’m going to pay a lot of attention to. She’s a mom from Ohio and she’s clever. She took our first writing prompt about split pea soup and turned it into feeding a poisoned meal to her cheating husband. I kind of love her.

There’s a woman whose name I cannot recall but who I can already tell is going to be Ms. Cynical and Weird, though helpful in her critiques. She’s clever, too, and seems to be a bit on the dorky side. She also watches Breaking Bad and is probably going to be the person I come to like as a surprise.

There’s Sharon and some other woman whose name escapes me (it was the first week, ok?) who are both moms and you can tell are bored with their time and just need something to do.

Then there’s Allie, which is how I envision she spells it anyway because she’s just that cute and adorable, who may only be a couple years older than me. She’s skinny and hippie looking and shy and this is her first writing class and I honestly have a big huge girl crush on her.

And then there’s my teacher Anne, who actually ends up knowing a member of my family and knew so much about me by my simply telling her my last name. She’s nice but not overly so. She told John that what he read was entirely too long and she was even critical of some pieces, which I love. I’ll take the bad with the good, you know?

So for our first prompt we each picked out a recipe and were told to write something about it – fiction, non-fiction, a poem, anything or, hell, nothing to do with the recipe at all and just something to write. I picked scalloped potatoes. My first thought when it comes to me and recipes is that I most often burn or ruin things.

While everyone else jotted nifty little stories or snippets of them I went out of my comfort zone and took the poem route. This is what I ended up with.

Burned.

The opposite of cheesy, a form of food I actually do know something about.

But cooking? No way.

My first kitchen, full of pots, pans, and chef-like instruments,

Passed down from my aunts –

And absolutely foreign objects to me.

Yet, how could I resist these simple instructions?

How much different is an electric stove from a gas?

Chop, mix, heat, pour, bake.

Easy enough, but not to an unwatchful eye.

Let out the dog, call my mom, text a co-worker.

Burned.

Not defeated yet,

But certainly on the receiving end of McDonald’s for the night.

Living alone as an only child is a learning experience.

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