So let me share what I’ve learned recently. For instance, I’ve learned that bananas release ethylene gas in order to speed ripening. Since overly-ripe bananas have no appeal for anyone in my household – brown bananas end up in my freezer, until I tire of pretending I’m going to make banana bread with them and throw them out – I was pleased to find a trick that theoretically slows their ripening. The next time you buy a bunch of bananas, separate one from the other, and wrap each of the stems in plastic wrap. Either this works, or I’ve just imagined it works, because my freezer is currently empty of bananas.
Here’s another life tip I’ve recently discovered: It takes a long time to paint a Santa gourd, especially when you’re attempting to complete a 30-day novel in only 60 days. I’ve painted fun little gourds before, adding a few Sculpey-based embellishments, but these have always been short three or four day projects. When a friend gave me a rather larger than ordinary gourd, I ignored it for months until, one day, I realized it should be a Santa gourd. You might think I'd have realized this during the Christmas holiday, but you'd be wrong. As the weeks went on, my project grew more detailed. I’ve finally finished it and you can see the results above.
I'm pleased with the results. Glynn likes it, too, probably more than me. The Good Witch thinks it’s a perfectly adequate Santa gourd, but she’s ready to read the The Third Brother and believes we’d be in mid-story by now if I hadn’t allowed myself to be distracted my side project. She’s wrong about this, according to Emily Wenstrom, who believes it's good to take the occasional writing break. Emily fails to say when people should take their break, but I imagine it's daily, between the hours of 4 and 5 PM, for however many weeks it takes to finish your side project. If you follow the link, you'll notice that Emily doesn't specifically address painting Santa gourds, either, but read between the lines, people. It couldn't be more obvious.
Finally, thanks to eater.com, I’ve learned that Circus Peanuts are not a cardboard-based food byproduct. They are actually a wizard’s blend of pork gelatin, sugar, more sugar (corn syrup), food coloring – mostly orange food coloring, in my experience, and lots of it – soy protein and artificial banana flavoring. You’re probably thinking, “Yummm!”, and wondering what you’d have to do to be able to start your day with a heaping helping of pork gelatin. You're not alone with that concern! Many years ago, some inventive soul chopped up his package of Circus Peanuts, added the spongy bits into his cereal, and soon realized he’d made a terrible, terrible mistake. Wait, no, he didn’t think that at all. He liked the mixture so much, he packaged the combination and introduced Lucky Charms to the world.
I'm not teasing. Yummm, pork gelatin!