Writing Down the Milk-Bones

Jul 5, 2016

WilmaInHerKitchen (1)Wilma, my boxer-mix canine companion, has had her breakfast and is ready for work. It’s too hot outside to harry the squirrels, so this morning she’s helping in the office, seated on the floor at my feet.

“What are we making?” she asks. She’s very articulate.

“Kat Ward is doing us a favor by publishing an article in Hometown Pasadena about the Story Kitchen, so we’re writing that today.”

“Oh no,” says Wilma, shaking her collar with more than her usual oomph. “I don’t trust this one bit. Cats don’t do favors.”

“This Kat is a human. She writes and edits Hometown Pasadena.”

“Huh. Well, at least the article’s about a kitchen. I like the food room.”

“This one’s the Story Kitchen, Wilma. That’s what we call the workshop I lead at the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, where writers focus on the structure of their work. The bones, so to speak—” I realize my mistake too late.

Wilma leaps to her feet. “Bones! Cow?  Pig? Lizard?”

“What I mean is that just like a body, a story is held up by a structure, like a skeleton. In class, we learn methods for getting our ideas out of our heads and onto the page in the right order, so they hold each other up. Meat and sinew and fat are all good, but a story needs a skeleton in order to stand.”

“Sounds like my kind of class.” Wilma licks her chops.

“We won’t have real bones in the Story Kitchen,” I pat her shoulder, “though there’s food and drink at the Coffeehouse.”

“Smells, too, I bet,” she says.

“Yep. That lovely, ‘new book smell’ of the Flintridge Bookstore.”

Wilma wags her tail. I return to typing.

Patience is one of Wilma’s virtues, though today she’s not patient for long. She stands beside me, waiting. Finally, she asks, “Is there a salivary involved?”

“A salivary?”

“You know, payment.”

“You mean a salary, Wilma.”


“It’s a good question. Let’s list the particulars at the end of our article.”

“Okay.” Wilma yawns and does a doggie stretch before lying on her office bed. “Will Kat be at the Story Kitchen?”

“I don’t think so, Wilma.”

“Poop,” she says, and falls deeply asleep.


The Story Kitchen Story Structure Workshop
Wednesday evenings, July 13th, 20th, 27th, and August 3rd and 10th
Time: 6:30-8:45 p.m.
Flintridge Bookstore, 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge 91011
Cost: $249 for 5 weeks.

Payments are made to the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, either in person
Or call 1.818.790.0717
Payment in full is required by end of business on July 10th; refunds are pro-rated

Store contact: Gail Mishkin,
Class contact: Petrea Burchard,

Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse

For more conversations with Wilma, search #Wilmadialogs on Facebook.






1 Response for “Writing Down the Milk-Bones”

  1. […] Earlier this week, Wilma and I had a calm discussion at Hometown Pasadena about the Story Kitchen writing workshop, which starts next week. Join us! Check out our conversation here. […]



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