Writing a Short Story and/or Brewing Beer:

Books-BeerWriting and brewing beer are two of my favorite activities. I’d like to share these with you, but I simply do now have time to write two whole how-to guides. Therefore, I’ve decided to condense them into one simple list.

  1. Take some time to gather the various components. If you want your final product to be rich and complex, then this is the stage where you’re going to need to do some extra legwork. Research! Seriously, crack a book or two. Use the internet machine. There’s lots of fascinating stuff out there that others have used very successfully. There might even be some unique elements that nobody else has tried. Mix and match, but don’t go too crazy, okay? Take some time to think about what you’re doing and for God’s sake take notes.
  2. The next step is where everyone thinks the magic happens. It doesn’t. This is just the part where you mix it all together. Block off an afternoon, crack open a beverage, and get it done. Throw all those ingredients into the pot and boil them. Here’s the kicker. You gotta get them in there in the right order and in the correct proportions. This is when you get all that flavor, all that character, all that aroma in. When you’re done it’s going to be a gross, vile sludge that stinks like the bitter dregs of something gone horribly wrong. That’s ok. We call this either wort or a first draft, depending on what you’re hoping to get for a final product.
  3. Put that thing in a bucket. For a week. With yeast. Unless it’s a short story. Then yeast is optional.
  4. It’s had time to think about what it’s become. Now pick it up, get it into a new form, leaving behind the most vile non-poop substance you have ever witnessed. Never think of that stuff again. Just get it out of the final product. Don’t spend a ton of time here. Just get the nasty out and get the good stuff ready to sit.
  5. Let it sit. Magic. Like real magic, this can only happen in complete darkness. Don’t touch it. Don’t look at it. Try not to even think about it. I’m serious. This can take three to six weeks. I said don’t think about it.
  6. It’s time to look again and oh dear lord can it possibly be as bad as you remember? Likely not. You’ve probably got something good, but there’s more nastiness in there than you’d care to think about. Take only what is good and get it into a final format. A presentable format. Bottles, keg, standard manuscript format. You know, whatever’s appropriate.
  7. Drink heavily.

Congratulations. You’ve produced a beer and/or short story. Remember not to use either in conjunction with heavy machinery or motor vehicles.

Now do it again.

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