Many people ask me about my writing process
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Many people ask me about my writing process

How I come up with ideas, when I write them, how long it takes me… The truth is that I have no one answer. But the one thing that I will admit to being consistent about is that when I do think of an idea, I write it down on my phone. The problem is, the ideas will come to me at random times and places. Sometimes I am driving, and have to type something quickly at a red light. Or I will start writing it down and the phone will ring or I will get a text. Or, sometimes, I am afraid to admit, I start writing it down and then I stop, so the thought isn’t finished, and then I forget what it was altogether.

Ah, senior moments. Another thing about getting old that I truly love.

When I was thinking about this week’s column, I was still fasting, so I was quite hungry. I wanted to write about the dangers of going food shopping with only two hours of the fast to go. You end up coming home with a variety of products that you usually never eat or need. Son #1 warned me of this before I left for the store, but I did not listen to him. (I figured, if he doesn’t listen to me, why shouldn’t I reciprocate?) So off I went. With no shopping list in sight. All I said I needed were some vegetables to break the fast on. (I thought that sounded plausible.)

What happens to your brain in a supermarket when you are fasting? I came home with a loaf of rye bread, two kinds of breadsticks, three kinds of cheese crackers, frozen breaded cauliflower, frozen onion rings, and a bottle of chocolate milk. Really? What was I thinking? Was my body seeking nutrients found in that combination of foods? If you break it down nutritionally, cauliflower and onions are vegetables. Cheese and chocolate milk are calcium, and the breadsticks were garlic flavored, so I guess that garlic is a vegetable as well. So we will just go with that. I really did go to the market to buy vegetables.

When I realized that I couldn’t get a whole column out of things not to do on a fast day, I decided to go to the list that I keep on my phone. Well, that list is not as helpful as I thought it would be — or as detailed as I hoped it would be. We have, “People who look like their dogs.” This came from all the walking I do at Votee Park. Over time, I have come to notice that sometimes, the dogs resemble their owners. Older folks have slower dogs. Disheveled, sad-looking folks have dogs that also look like they need a good brushing and a Prozac. Young folks have yippie dogs with lots of energy — you get the point. That was all I had on that topic. And then the next suggested topic, which read, “Anorexic chickens.”

For the life of me, I cannot remember where or why I had written this down. I even asked son #1 if he remembered, because I did remember that I was with him when I wrote it down. Anorexic chickens. Did you ever go to the supermarket to buy chicken and you go through them to find the least expensive one, even if it is only a few cents less than the others? OK, maybe that is just something that I do, but, perhaps, those less expensive chickens are the anorexic ones? Is that where I got that from? Was I on a farm recently and noticed that while a whole group of chickens was eating lunch, there were two or three chickens that were just kicking around a few grains of corn on their plates? Someone please tell me what anorexic chickens means!!!!

I guess that is all I have on that topic. So let’s just go back to the fast day.

You aren’t supposed to say hello to anyone after reading Eicha (Lamentations, the megillah we read on Tisha B’Av). I was wondering what you say to someone when you pass them if you can’t say hello. But then I realized that most people don’t say hello anyway, so it is the perfect holiday! Sorry, I didn’t mean to make light of it. I should have stuck with my trip to the supermarket. But maybe, if we are all a little friendlier, kinder, and more understanding, we won’t have to fast next year.

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is looking forward to having two of her monkeys come home next week. And she is even more excited about doing their laundry!

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