Archive Page 3

05
Jun
08

foodie, chapter 2

written by Kristen

The room filled with the shuffling of feet and muted chatter as students greeted one another, chose partners and made their way to the front of the class toward the kitchen stations. Malorie scanned the room, hoping to catch someone’s eye, but most of the students had already paired off. She seemed to be the only one who didn’t already know someone else.

The instructor, Professor Talbot, walked briskly to the front of the stations and began writing furiously on a dry erase board mounted to the wall. “We are trying something entirely new this semester. I need to see what you are each capable of right out of the gate. This classroom has been designed specifically for that purpose.”

Students stopped whatever they were doing and began opening notebooks and Malorie clutched the yellow legal pad she had remembered at the last second this morning. She rummaged through the side pocket of her large, black bag for a pen. She felt a paper clip, a frayed hair elastic, and an unwrapped piece of chewing gum. No pen. Oh, don’t tell me I didn’t bring one. I picked a crappy week to clean out my purse.

With his back still to the class, the professor held up his hand, punctuating the air with his marker. “You can all put your little books away, people. When you are famous chefs you can write your memoirs. First, you need to learn how to cook.” He turned on his heel, smiled tersely and tossed the marker onto the stainless steel counter in front of him. “Let’s keep it simple, shall we? You’ll find everything you need at your stations.” He pursed his lips and squinted at his wristwatch. “You have twenty minutes.”

Malorie approached an unoccupied station and blinked at the board as he stepped away. In red marker was scrawled: Poached Eggs with Duck Confit and Arugula, followed by a list of ingredients.

You have got to be kidding me. She peered around the room as the other students began conferring with their partners and sorting through their cooking utensils and containers of ingredients. She stared down at her own station, which included a small prep sink and gas range. The counter was lined with small bowls containing various fresh herbs, some of which she recognized, others she wasn’t so sure of. She spotted the eggs and what looked like the duck. Well at least I don’t have to make it from scratch.

She felt her head swim suddenly and she grabbed the edge of the counter. In an instant she was brought back to her first day of kindergarten. All of her old fears and anxiety welled up at once and she wanted nothing more than to disappear. It’s not too late to leave. Hell, I don’t even have a partner yet. I could just slip out the door, no one would even notice. She looked up and saw the couples all had some sort of prep already underway. She slipped the pad of paper into her bag, set it down on the floor and breathed deeply. Come on Mal, you’ve been doing this your whole life. This is nothing. If he goes all Gordon Ramsay and calls you a “stupid donkey” then you can leave. You can DO this. Well, you can poach the eggs at least.

Malorie raised her hand to ask professor Talbot if she should team up with another couple when the classroom door swung open. A tall, young man with dark hair clumsily burst into the room and leaned against the door for support. He recovered himself and nodded toward the professor, a flush growing up his cheeks. “Pardon me, sir. I couldn’t find a parking space.” He adjusted his backpack over his shoulder and stepped into the room, letting the door close behind him. The room was silent as everyone looked at the student, then shifted their focus expectantly toward the professor who was leaning against his desk, arms crossed.

“So nice of you to join us, Mr….?”

“Uh, Randall. Evan Randall.” He smiled crookedly. Malorie noted it was a nice smile. Full lips. She realized she still had her hand raised and pulled it down, smoothing a stray curl back into place as she did.

“Yes, well, Evan Randall, please do come in. I hope you have come prepared to cook.”

“Yes sir.” He nodded again, a bit self-consciously and looked down at his feet. “Where would you like me?”

Professor Talbot scanned the room and shook his head. “Well, unless someone still needs a…”

“Partner,” Malorie interrupted abruptly. Her voice seemed to ricochet across the room. A pot rattled on a counter and everyone turned to look at her, including Evan, who smiled gratefully, his dark eyes whispering “thank you”. She cleared her throat and added quietly, “Yes, sir. I still need someone.”

“Well there you go,” the professor said, gesturing toward Malorie. “I guess it’s your lucky day, Mr. Randall.”

03
Jun
08

Foodie, Chapter 1

“Oh no. Not traffic. Not this morning.” Malorie rubbed her hand across her face in frustration before she remembered she was actually wearing makeup. “Crap. Traffic this early on the beltway, I smudged my eyeliner.” She said only to herself “This is not turning out right at all.” As she sat still in the long line of cars she took a sip of her mocha and tried not to think about the day ahead of her.

What am I doing here? I shouldn’t be here. Of course I should. I have every right to do this. Oh. My. God. I can’t believe I quit my job. How am I supposed to pay for this?

Malorie glanced in the rear view mirror again and tried to clean up the liner above her right eye. Stupid makeup. Why am I even wearing it? No one is going to care what I look like. She gave up, and smudged the other side to match, not realizing the effect highlighted her green eyes even more.

As the traffic inched forward, Malorie clicked on the radio, only found talking heads, and turned it back off again. The she fiddled with the air conditioning, trying to push back the oppressive humidity steaming up from the road. Last night’s thunderstorms had blown through quickly leaving wet and hot instead of just hot. She pushed her hair back and hoped she had an elastic band in her pocket. She would need it to tame her curls when she got there.

The loan has to come through; the loan HAS to come through. What would Mom think about this? The thought made Malorie laugh out loud and mimic what she imagined what her mother would say “You quit a good job for that?! You’re going to pay them to teach you? It should be the other way around. You’re too good for them!” Not yet, mom, but I will be. Malorie had inherited her mother’s practicality and frugality, but this time she was going against that common sense and following her heart.

Everything she needed to know to get this far she’d learned at her parent’s knees, working hard for them, and learning every aspect of the business. When the diner had burned and her weary parents took the insurance money and retired, Malorie had gone and found her own way. She’d taken jobs in little cafés and big restaurants. She’d worked every position possible from dishwasher to line cook. Except for one. The one job she really wanted. Head Chef.

Malorie shifted uncomfortably in her seat and stretched her legs, as the cars around her finally began to speed up. How am I going to do this drive everyday? It’s going to kill my car and my back. God. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’m going to spend on gas every week. I have to find a new apartment. Something closer. Something where they’ll let me keep my cat.

“Something where I can avoid the beltway!” She jammed on the brakes and smacked her hand on the steering wheel as the car in front of her came to another full stop. “I can’t be late!” she yelled to no one. I’m gonna get kicked out on the first day of school. Well. I might anyway. If they think I can’t cook.

I can cook. I can cook. I just need a few new techniques and I can get a new job. So I can pay back the loan. If get the loan. I have to get the loan. I can’t tell my parents what I did with the money they gave me. The bank has to come through so I can pay them back before I tell them I’ve signed up for culinary school.

Traffic began to move faster now. She relaxed and took the curves as quickly as she could. Time was short now but she could make it. She saw her exit just ahead and her nerves cranked up. She felt around on the seat beside her and found the directions she’d printed out days ago. She’d studied them until they were burned in her brain, but she was still afraid of taking a wrong turn.

Malorie followed the instructions carefully and soon found her way to the front doors of the Culinary Institute. She walked into her classroom with scant minutes to spare. No time to meet anyone. She glanced about the room. Mostly men. Pretty much what I expected. Oh, another girl. Phew. She made her way to the back of the room and found a seat just as the instructor arrived, looked at the class severely, and said “Pair up, we’re going to cook some eggs. This is your first test, so don’t fail it.”

Malorie grinned to herself. Thank god for all those diners I worked in. If there’s one thing I can make, it’s a good egg.


01
Jun
08

almost there

Well, I guess I lied when I said the next post would be Chapter 1! I just wanted to update you all on what’s going on. The chapter is almost complete! It will be posted either tomorrow or Tuesday. Topic hint: FOOD!

I decided to put all the authors names in a hat and have picked the writing order that way. It seemed the fairest way to set it up. Of course, I will email each of you as your turn comes. In any case here is the order:

Kristen

Schmutzie

Gauze

Flutter

Erin

Shawn

Jennifer

Christy

Anyone who joins in after this will be added to the end of the list. I have decided that I will allow anyone who wants to do a second chapter can do so after everyone else has had a turn. Just let me know! Chapterbytes at gmail dot com. Don’t forget to follow ChapterBytes on twitter!

29
May
08

the genre, and more

Wow! I have been just amazed at the response to this website! So much positive energy! If you’re new here, welcome!

If you’re wondering, yes, we already have some authors lined up! If you know you are one, I’ll be in touch with you soon about the writing schedule. If you’re still just thinking about joining us, hopefully today’s post will help you make up your mind!

So after a little consultation with some of the other authors, I’ve picked a genre. It’s going to be Chick Lit! Oh stop! Do you know why? Here’s my thoughts on it: it’s fast, it’s easy to write, it’s FUN to write, it can be sexy, it can be a mystery, it can be anything it wants to be. The best thing about Chick Lit is that as a fairly new genre, there are no real rules, no format that we have to follow. It’s like us! Like us bloggers and writers and women, (and maybe some men will join us?) we all bring something different to this book! I think it’s the perfect choice for our first attempt! (Yes, our first, if this is successful, we will do this again!)

I spent some time thinking and writing (and dreaming! Yes, I write stories in my dreams, don’t you?) over the last couple of days, and I think I have the first 600 words down. I’m going to get someone to edit it and make sure it’s appealing to the masses (any volunteers?) before I actually publish it here. I also have the main character’s names chosen! I searched through my email spam folder for them! Then when I twittered about it, I some great suggestions too! (Thanks Cass!)

Now we have to talk about promotion. I know, I’m sorry. We do need more authors, so if you know anyone you think would like to write here please pass on the website! Of course we’re going to want readers (we’re narcissistic like that!) so I need you to help me spread the word however you can!

BTW, I’ve started a twitter account just for ChapterBytes updates so come follow! And tell all your friends to follow! If you don’t an account, get one, so you can follow!

Next time: Chapter One!

27
May
08

Welcome to ChapterBytes!

Welcome! You’ve come here because you like to write haven’t you? Well, you are in the right place.

Do you want to write a book? Have you tried but can’t get past the first few chapters? Guess what? ME TOO! As well as just about every other writer I know. So here’s the deal. This is where we all get to write a book together, but we each only have to write ONE chapter, more or less.

Intrigued? Email me at chapterbytes at gmail dot com.

I’m currently working out the book’s genre and a couple main characters. I’ll lay out the very basics in the next post, then we’ll get started. I will start scheduling the writers immediately so if you want to get in on it, let me know right away. Check the Rules page for complete details of how this will work!




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