2017 Is a Fire Rooster Year
My post for the calendar New Year was about “animalizing” your writing (that post is here). As most of you know, the Chinese zodiac is a cycle of 12 animal signs. Each year is represented by an animal. So I thought it would be fun to mention the Chinese New Year as a follow-on for my Is Your Writing Beastly? post.
If 2016 monkeyed around with your life, remember what mischievous animal embodied that year. However, it is advised that we embrace opportunities and navigate challenges in 2017. That doesn’t sound like much of a reprieve to me. Already I’m navigating way too many challenges… Okay — I will try to be positive.
(Yes, I know that’s a fish in the picture, but it’s a fiery color.) I had to investigate why this year’s rooster was called a Fire Rooster. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac year is also associated with one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth. So to include both the animal cycle and the element cycle, a Fire Rooster, for example, comes once every 60-years. The last Fire Rooster year was 1957. Before that, I believe it was 1897.
So in theory, 2017 and persons born in a Fire Rooster year would have characteristics decided by their birth year’s zodiac sign and element. Anyway, now we have a fire rooster ready to pick up where the monkey left off.
Three Fire Rooster Things
Most of you are familiar with my three things writing exercise. It led to me writing four serial stories here at this blog, and “book-izing” the first one as a novella, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story. (All about that here.)
So now I challenge you — put your fingers on your keyboard and just write anything, as if you were writing an article or a story. Write until you’ve mentioned the three things I’m about to give you. Then leave it in a comment here, or a link to your own blog. Ready? Here’s your things:
Fire, Rooster, Calendar
Okay, okay… I hear you. I know it’s not fair unless I play too. So here goes… Off the top of my head, here’s something from the “Pip universe.”
Pip’s a Chicken
“Bock, bock-bock. Bock! Baaawk!”
Of all the nerve! My mouth dropped open. I was speechless. Granny Phanny bocked at me like a chicken. She bocked. She put her fists under her armpits and flapped her boney elbows — and she bocked at me!
Then, to make matters worse, she laughed.
Why that banty old woman. Of all the self-important, cockalorem…
“Oh Pip, if you could see the look on your face,” she said, still chuckling. “It’s not like you to chicken out. Now tie on your apron and we’ll look at this recipe together.”
Granny hung an apron around my neck, and then put her hands on my shoulders to forcibly turn me around. She tied a bow in back that I knew without looking was perfectly symmetrical.
“But Granny, I nearly set the kitchen on fire last time,” I complained, sincerely afraid of what damage I might cause.
“Hush that nonsense right now, Sweetpea. We’ll not be having any fires. Just because your fried chicken turned out as tough as an old rooster doesn’t mean you can quit.”
“An old rooster?” I exclaimed, mortified.
I looked at the recipe card. “Chicken Fricassee…” I read aloud. “Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture; coat well. Oh Granny, this sounds pos-i-lutely like a repeat of the fried chicken disaster. Granny?”
Phanny Ilene Peabody was gone. Her purse was missing from the corner table. I called out again and she hollered from the living room.
My eyes fell on the calendar that hung on the wall. Wong’s Chinese Restaurant made one annually for Chinese New Year. Granny was going to an early dinner with friends. No wonder she wasn’t worried about me ruining dinner again.
“Granny!” I yelled, really miffed.
“I’ll be back this evening, Pip. Just keep the stove set to low while you fry that chicken, and follow the instructions for the fricassee,” she called from the living room to the sound of the front door creaking open.
I blew a raspberry as the front door closed with a thud. My hand plopped down on the plump poultry with a smacking sound.
“Old rooster, huh? I’ll show her,” I muttered and went back to the recipe card.
Special thanks to Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen for suggesting chicken fricassee as Pip’s cooking assignment.
As a little bonus treat, here’s more on chicken fricassee. This one has a Cajun slant. Happy Chinese New Year!
Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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