Hotel eggs and writing

The egg. Such a grand device. I can imagine that many writers have waxed every which way about the wondrous object. The idea of the egg’s simplicity nudged me again a few mornings ago when I had breakfast with Nancy Barry, who also taught the week-long session at the Iowa Summer Writers Festival (we were two of a dozen writers/teachers). Nancy and I looked at the menu, did the math, and decided on the breakfast buffet, where eggs were a choice. I had wanted an egg for a few weeks.

I lifted the silver roll-top and aimed for a portion of egg — that “hello, aren’t you happy-go-lucky to be alive enjoying another day?” yellow that even the most wan, over-produced egg can remind us about. I aimed the silver serving spoon for a section that had not been overlaid with suspicious zigzags of a “ha! my orange is brighter than your yellow any day” cheese, that orange that can always dominate yellow, but not in a battery-powered megaphone kind of way. I returned to my table and took bite number one. Pleasant, in the way hotel eggs can be: warm, cooked, functional, an egg-fix. Bite number two: lump. Buried in the eggs like needles in haystacks, which would be one of the meanest ever surprises for the unsuspecting lamb nuzzling its soft little mouth around for food, was a lump of ham. And, of course, they kept appearing.

Egg=protein and so much more. Prepared well, a simple and divine flavor. Adding more protein — two kinds — is the kind of excess that surrounds us. Since everything reminds me of writing, I have to add that early drafts can suffer from this kind of overload. TMITS [Too much information too soon.] We readers want to savor the flavors. Note for revising: recall the lowly, common, simple, ever-so-perfect egg. Readers may want to feast on its beauty, its eggness, before learning about the cheese, ham, pastry, yogurt, fruit, coffee, lunch, dinner, lightning, thunder, and the rest.

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About Carolyn

I live in Washington, D.C., write, teach, try to eat the requisite fruits and veggies daily, and avoid caffeine after 2 pm. I wonder about things a lot -- like why "pretty" means "pretty" and "not so much" and if I can ever perfect the single-portion, no-knead, daily baguette and how many people realize that Beau Brummel had a lot to do with our desire to bathe daily -- those of us who do in fact "take the daily."
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