Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rewrite: Fail/Success

When tragedy strikes, I mentally take a step back and consider how I want the story to enfold and how I want my story told, which gives me perspective and an illusion of control. Allowing myself time and multiple drafts to mold my story, creates a narrative that I can treasure and remember with emotions and colors. Writing is an art form of depth and beauty. Stories emerge from words draped across a page; however, the first draping often leaves a frame that needs tweaking.

After reading through Dennis G. Jerz’s post Short Stories: 10 tips for Creative Writers, thought I could retell my Cranberry story with more flair.


“Frozen cranberries, frozen cranberries, frozen cranberries,” I muttered hastily, scanning the frozen fruit section at the deserted Giant. “Strawberries. Blueberries. Pineapple. Please tell me they have cranberries,” my thoughts raced as I considered other options I could bring for Sunday dinner tomorrow evening. Knowing Mr. Chappell and pizza were waiting, the tension in my body released as I spied the bag of cranberries on the bottom shelf. Success.

“Frozen cherries!” Fail. Knowing that I had disappointed all cranberry relish lovers, I reexamined the label on the package I had just removed from my freezer. In clear blue letters the bag certainly indicated: Dark Sweet Cherries. My lips pursed and my eyebrows furrowed.

Shaking my head and chuckling, I acknowledged that I, once again, have fuel for another ridiculous story. My grandmother makes cherry sauce for ham: I’m certain cherry sauce will be delectable on turkey. Right?

Carrying my warm concoction, trepidation fills my heart. Mr. Chappell knocks. The door opens and we are welcomed into a home I’m sure I’ve seen on Pinterest. Small talk ensues. I hold my sauce. I smile. I thank. I comment on the decor. My grip tightens on my sauce.

“I had a problem,” the words explode from my mouth as all eyes turn toward me in shock. “Not a big problem, just a mistake,” I back pedal in reaction to the chorus of oh nos. As a school girl confessing her error to her teacher, “I accidently bought…um…cherries instead of cranberries, so we’re having cherry sauce instead of cranberry relish.” Trying to be humorous, I add a coy grin and a short shoulder shrug.

Turns out, 98.6% of the dinner guests do not like cranberries, but they do like cherries. Success!

Dark Sweet Cherries

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