When I was a kid, I had this cousin... no, wait, I still have the cousin, even if I haven't seen him in more than 20 years. Let's try again:
When my cousin was a kid, actually, when he was a baby, his mother (that makes her my aunt) had trouble getting him to eat his baby food. He would do that baby tongue thing and just push it all out of his mouth. It didn't matter what flavor it was, he just wouldn't eat the baby food. Somewhere in trying to get him to eat, they discovered that he liked ketchup, so my aunt took to mixing it in his baby food to get him to eat it. Growing up, my cousin thought ketchup went on everything.
I mean that. When we'd all be down at my grandparents for the holidays, say, Thanksgiving, he'd get his plate of food and pour ketchup over everything on the plate. On the turkey and the ham. On the mashed potatoes and green beans. On the dressing (also known as stuffing for those of you that don't know what dressing is, except they're not really the same thing) and the sweet potatoes. The only thing that didn't get ketchup was the pie. This was just how he ate, and everyone was (mostly) used to it.
Until one Saturday morning when he and I and another of our cousins were down at my great-grandmother's house. One of the few things that didn't get ketchup (other than pie) was cereal. Except, on that particular Saturday morning, he decided he was going to put ketchup on his cereal. Yes, my other cousin and I were entirely grossed out by this idea, and my other cousin tried to pull rank because she was the oldest of us (and could also beat him up at need) and threatened him all the way to Sunday (which was only the next day, so I guess it wasn't that big a deal) about the ketchup, but he wouldn't be dissuaded.
Finally, the bargain was struck that if he put ketchup on the cereal that he would eat it no matter what, that he would not under any circumstances leave the table until the bowl of cereal was consumed. She was going to sit there and not let him up until he ate every last bite. He had no doubt that he would eat the cereal, so he made the deal readily enough.
I wish I could remember what kind of cereal it was, but I don't, but that's only secondary to what happened next. See, the ketchup went on, and the milk started turning pink. And so did the cereal. In fact, it turned into a bowl of pink mush. My cousin wouldn't eat it. He did manage to try it, but it was as gross as it looked, like a lumpy bowl of Pepto-Bismol.
We sat at that table for a long time. A very long time. It was one of the few times in my life that I remember being bored. But my female cousin wouldn't let my male cousin up from the table. We all just sat there being completely miserable. And, then, we sat some more. My cousin, the ketchup eater, outlasted the enforcer. That was probably somewhat due to me and the fact that I kept saying, "Let's go..." I told you, I was bored. Finally, FINALLY, we, the girl and I, left. We left Mr. Ketchup sitting there with his bowl of... whatever it was with strict instructions that he was not to leave the table until he's eaten every single bit of that cereal.
He hid the bowl, joined us just a few minutes later, and convinced my cousin that he'd eaten the cereal. He his the bowl really well, too, because she went back to check; she even looked under the table, and she ended up being convinced. The ironic thing there is that the bowl was under the table, just not on the floor. Later, Ketchup Lad and I sneaked back in and retrieved the bowl of cereal and dumped it for the dogs. These were farm dogs used to eating just about any kind of leftover you can imagine.
They didn't eat that cereal.
Welcome to my first post for Indie Life. Just click the link to find out more.
As I was working on my second book, Shadow Spinner, I came across an article that stated in no uncertain terms that serialized works are dead and that no one should attempt it. I wondered why. Many of our greatest author published many of their greatest works in serial form, and, with our growing fascination with things that are short, serialization seemed to me like it might be something to experiment with. I decided that I would start releasing Shadow Spinner a chapter at a time to see what would happen. The experiment isn't over, yet, but I think it's going well. Actually, I know it is.
And! AND! After I started releasing Spinner serially, Amazon started up its own serial arm of its publishing business. Amazon believes that serializations may be the wave of the future as far as book publishing goes. I was too late to with Spinner to get into that without removing everything I'd already released and starting over, which I didn't want to do, but I do have another idea for a different serial when I finish with this one, and I will try out their serial branch when I get to that one. Only without the ketchup.
The point is... the point is don't be scared to try new things, especially if you're just starting out. Sure, they might not all work, but you'll know what not to do next time, right? And you might just discover the next big thing, like peanut butter and peppermint. Okay, so that's still not big, but my kids swear to me that it's going to be.