Writing is like grilling: do it every day and you'll get better! But writing is also like grilling in another way. If you don't pay attention, you'll ruin everything.
Eight in the morning on her day off, and there was already a knock at her door. Danielle figured she shouldn't have expected anything else, not after the week she'd been having. For a brief, quiet, happy moment, she wondered if she could just put a pillow over her head and go back to sleep.
That was when the knock started coming from the other direction. On her balcony.
"Phil! Are you insane? How did you even get out here?"
"I jumped! Kinda scary, I admit. But that's the kind of risk an artist has to take if he wants to reach the level I'm at. An artist has to LIVE!" Phil pushed past Danielle and threw his notebook on the table. "You're off today, right? Because I really need some help on my novel. I gotta get three thousand words today to get back on track."
"I could yell "Get Out!" fifteen hundred times, if that helps."
Phil laughed. "See, that's the sort of thing I need! Little gags! That'll be perfect for my big scene where Bill grills Toni a nice steak with his George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill."
Danielle sat on the couch and covered her face. "Phil, no. I'm not writing your stupid novel."
"It won't be stupid, Danielle, it'll be great! Here, check out the notes I've got so far,"
Danielle took the notebook and read aloud: Bill turned on the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill and looked deeply into Toni's eyes. "You make me desperate," he whispered, "I want to cook you a whole chicken under this large dome cover." Dani batted her eyelashes and ran her fingers across the cool grilling surface, wondering how hot things could get.
"Hang on, her name's Toni."
"You wrote Dani. Right here."
Phil leaned in and gasped, openly gasped. "Did I? Wow, stupid typo. See, that's why I need you, Danielle, to get this ready for publication. I figure by December I'll be sitting on a nice little book contract, and then we can-"
Danielle held up a finger and began to read again. "Your eyes, Dani," said Bill. "They shine like this temperature light indicator. In control ... yet hinting at a savage heat no removable grill plate could ever fully contain."
Phil said nothing.
"And that's gonna get you a book contract?"
Phil shrugged. "What can I say? I write what I know."
Danielle threw the notebook down on the table. "Well, good luck, I guess."
"Thank you! Hey, want to come up and eat lunch with me? I've got my George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill out, I had it in the kitchen, you know, to research my novel, but it's so easy to use outdoors as well-"
Danielle crossed her arms and glared. Phil decided to see himself out. At least now he had a good idea for the dramatic climax of today's segment.