Monday, February 3, 2014

Peas, Please (flash fiction) by Leanne Dyck

photos from one of my mom's favourite cookbooks

I think I was about eight or nine or maybe ten. A plate of ham and a bowl of potatoes sat in front of me, on the grey chrome oval table.

"Sit up straight," Mom told me. I'd been sitting on my knees--which wasn't allowed, not at the supper table. Then she passed a bowl to Dad. "More peas, dear?" She had a strange look on her face. Mom would have said that she looked like the cat that had just swallowed a canary. And I wondered why.

"Yes, I love your peas." Dad stretched 'love' out like it was a rubber band. That's when I knew something was funny.

"What's up?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" They looked at each other, then at me.

"Clearly there's an inside joke. Let me in."

Mom and Dad exchanged a look. "Well," Mom began. "Years ago, when we were newlyweds, I made Irish stew, for the first time--corn, carrots, peas. Your father ate every bite."

"And asked for seconds." Dad used his knife to catch a pea and speared it with his fork. "Your mother is a good cook. I enjoyed the meal."

All of this, the whole thing, I didn't need to be told. Mom was a good cook--everyone knew that. Duh. "So. Dad loves peas." Is what I said.

"That's what I thought." Mom took a sip of coffee. "But I discovered the truth the next day when I was hanging the wash on the line. When our neighbour, at that time, Mrs. Foster--"

"A childhood friend," Dad added.

"When Mrs. Foster stopped by to talk. 'Have you taught Jim to eat peas, yet?' she asked."

"Taught him to?" I looked first at Mom, then at Dad. "You mean you didn't like peas?"

"Not until I tasted your mother's." He grinned at me.

"I don't get it? What makes her peas so different?" 

"Her secret ingredient." Dad reached for Mom's hand. "Love."

It took me a few more years to appreciate that declaration.


***
Sharing my author journey...
What is social networking?
-Marketing to potential readers...
-Networking with your peers...
-Building community...
-Gaining support...

Last year I came rather hard in favour of blogging and Google +. Anything else I maintained was a time suck. This year... Well, this
year, I'm not so sure. 
Why?
Well, because of what happened last week.

Twitter: The beginning of last week, I blissfully unaware of a major event that was due to occur on this very blog. I was unaware until I looked at the stats. 194,999. 194,999? I was one hit away from 195,000 page views. 
It'll happen, I told myself. Relax. 
But I couldn't relax. I wanted it to happen now.
So what did I do?
I posted a simply request on Twitter. Then I travelled back to witness the results. But I was too late. By the time I arrived I was already at 195,003. Thank you!

And don't get me started on Facebook. It's so addictive. Who knew it would be so fun. 

But, I tell myself--often. Remember Twitter and Facebook are like cake and cookies. Fun to nibble but don't make a meal out of them.

That's me. You?

4 comments:

June Lorraine Roberts said...

Peas indeed - delightful!

Cake & Cookies - sometimes empty calories.

Since I began Murder in Common last September I have been counting much (much) smaller markers but keep at it because that's what writers do.

The encouragement of personal networks is great and a nod now and again from someone in the industry is very helpful. It keeps us moving through doubts and rewards us when we accomplish.

Congrats on turning over 195,000
it's so important to mark the milestones.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your kind words. And I was blown away today when that 195k became 197k. Some day I'll get over this number thing. But it probably won't be any time soon. : )

Laurie Buchanan said...

Leanne - I thoroughly enjoyed the story. And please don't ever "get over" the numbers thing. If it's important to literary agents (as part of your writer's platform), then it needs to remain important to you.

Leanne Dyck said...

Very good point. Thank you for sharing it, Laurie. : )