Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe . . .

I began writing a novel last Sunday. I have known for awhile that I wanted to write southern fiction, but I had not yet decided upon a plot or characters, two slightly important details to consider when writing a novel. Micah woke me early Sunday morning (even though that is quite late for him), but my brain wasn't the fog it usually is at 6:00 am. The creative neurons were in overdrive, much like Micah's suction. And there, as I nursed my apparently ravenous son, I was given my idea like rain to a seed. I began writing that morning,but I knew my idea would require a good bit of work in the way of interviews, so I began scheduling them as quickly as I could. I have four lined up for this week!

Yesterday during interview number one, I discovered something that could be described at once as interesting, disturbing, problematic, money-savvy, and extremely confusing. I have my choice of not two, but three burial sites, bought and paid for. That's right. Three different people have located and purchased a place for me to be laid to rest. Until yesterday, I have considered my death only as hypothetical and honestly, in tandem with my husband's. For example, if Brandon and I were to bite the dust, who should raise our child? Yesterday, I was forced to face the fact that even if I were to live to be one hundred years old, 25% of life has passed me by. At best, my life represents my 3/4 measuring cup, and that visual is not so encouraging. Furthermore, to assume one as puny as I will live to be 100 is humorously presumptuous. I mean, it's quite possible that I will happen upon a doughnut-throwing contest, open-mouthed, and meet a glutenous doom well before my time. In that case, what should I do about these three probably costly burial plots which come with all but a tombstone with my name on it? Do you see my dilemma?

Anyway, I'm thinking I should probably start deciding. I could "meet" my prospective neighbors, get a feel for the atmosphere and observe lawn care and maintenance. Maybe dad will take me. He's the only person I can think of who enjoys touring cemeteries in the sweltering summer heat.

I have my work cut out for me between taking care of Micah, keeping house, teaching music lessons, writing a novel and deciding where I should decay.


Joel said...

First of all, how did you sneak up on me and start a blog?

Anywho, it's awfully nice here and I plan on hanging out from time to time. As to your impending question of burial plot choice, I'd go with whatever shadiest. I find that I've spent much more time at the graveside of my loved one's buried under a large (preferably live oak) tree than those buried in an open expanse of the cemetery. This may have very little to do with their actual burial location and more to do with the fact that these people were closer to me in life, but I am not one for overlooking coincidences.

But maybe that's just me.

MelissaKeaster said...

I'm sorry, Joel. I really should have told you personally especially since I plan on asking you to read my novel when it's done. (That's as much asking as I'm willing to do. I really WILL want your opinion.) I'm glad you will stop by from time to time, and thank you so much for the advice. Shade under a live oak sounds nice. Since I don't have to pay for my resting place, I should order my tombstone to dispense sweet tea or lemonade.

Amber said...

I'm on my, not double-, but triple-take... WHAT?!?!?!

I'm speechless... Astounded... How?!? Who?!? I can't finish a sentence... Or question...


Stephanie Robertson said...

Hi Melissa,

I didn't know where else to respond to your question on my blog, so I figured I'd do it here. Yay! Another blog to follow :-)

I did make my rice cereal from scratch, and I finally figured out how to do it correctly. I was trying to puree the rice after it was cooked, but just did not turn out well at all. What you have to do is put raw rice through the food processor until it's a fine powder. I usually have to grind it for about two minutes and then seive (sieve?) the powder from the bigger chunks, and put the bigger chunks back into the food processor and continue that cycle until I have enough rice powder to last a while. Then it's super easy, the ratio of rice to water is 4:1. So that would be a quarter cup of rice powder to 1 cup of water (that makes about three servings). Boil your water, whisk in your rice powder, turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. It will already look done when you combine the rice and the water, so if it's "watery," you'll want to add more rice until it's the consistency you want.

The rice was hard to get down to a powder (especially because grinding it was so loud I didn't want Levi in the same room when I did it), so as soon as he was old enough we graduated to oatmeal. The rice tastes so much better though!

If you have any more questions about it you can email me at

Stephanie Robertson said...

I don't want to cloud your blog with boring rice cereal instructions, do you have an email address I could send it to? Mine is