Recipe alongside Morning Work

Last night I had a dream that I was teaching my first Literature and Law class and I was woefully, unthinkably, fictionally unprepared to do so. You know those dreams where you dash around, feeling like the planned you is just a hair’s breadth ahead of yourself, with your real self frantically trying to catch up? I had that, and more (an observer, a whiteboard meme, a Kafka sing-along), last night. And all things considered, I was actually pleased with the grit of my dream-self for managing the situation, if only marginally well.

I’m telling you this because this is my current state of writing is uncannily similar to this dreamtime three-ring circus. I’m only a shadow ahead of myself at any given moment; spectral advisors are beginning to haunt the fringes of my room; and yes, there are even moments of delirium where the writerly equivalent of a Kafka sing-along seems like a really good organizing principle. So there’s that.

Mornings like this I unapologetically need sugar and caffeine. But in order to match the mood, they can’t be perfect specimens of their kind. No gorgeous latté or golden croissant for me — no, that would raise the bar a bit too high, make me feel like I somehow need to match it. Instead, give me a nice, homely, going-stale doughnut to remind me of my limits, and a weak glass of green tea to keep me moving to refill it. Yes, that ought to be the ticket.

Recipe alongside Morning Work


  1. One slightly stale cider doughnut from Atkins Farm
  2. One cup of homemade green tea with soy milk
  3. One (or two, or three) bites of leftover peach crisp
  4. Fifteen minutes for reading the news and food blogs.


Open your computer. Drink the green tea down. Refill. Eat the cider doughnut with alacrity and then, in the final bites, regret. Drink more tea. Read the news, get depressed; read some food blogs, get angry at them for turning into marriage plots. Eat a few bites of last night’s peach crisp to mollify your senses.

Consider eating more but refrain. Pat yourself on the back for a decision well made. (This bodes well for your day! May you continue to make such wise choices!)

Open the shower of documents on your desktop; feel that you’re starting to accomplish something. Finish second cup of tea, feel the sugar rush begin — and take it, finally, as a sign to start your day.


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