we will start the week with patches of dew on our shoes

Despite planning a version of this business for most of my life, the best parts so far have been serendipity. I didn’t realise yesterday was Mother’s Day when I signed up for the first two markets of each month. I have yet to bake enough bread to satisfy demand. A lot of the success of these first two markets might just be people desperate to get outside, see other humans, and eat something they didn’t have to make themselves.

I never anticipated—when I settled my 2020 plan last autumn, when I applied to this market in January—that a pandemic would have so many people searching for sourdough. I knew it was a timeless idea. However, I thought the starter kit might be a harder sell. I thought more education would be necessary. I knew I had the weirdos like me; I didn’t know quarantine would make weirdos of us all.

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Today is the Monday after Market Day #2. I don’t have to bake again until the weekend of Market Day #3, June 7th. I’ll teach my regular classes tomorrow, but on Friday, our building might be closed for maintenance, and I might have the rest of the week off.

If this were any other time, I’d have my driver’s license by now (my last test was scheduled for March 30th). I’d borrow my parents’s second car (they chose not to renew the insurance to save money). I’d have six days off between classes to drive to Portland or catch a last minute flight to LA and visit my long-distance friends (except the Canada-US border is closed). If this were any other time.

But because I’m stuck at home, it’s a chance to flip the switch from baking + selling brain to writing + publishing brain.

At the beginning of the official lockdown orders, people talked about self-isolation and work-from-home like a chance for new projects, increased productivity, that long-awaited opportunity to finish one’s novel. That is until we realised how circumstances would mess with our brains. I’ve been struggling with writing recently. Though I sold zines last year, I didn’t write many new ones. And that middle-grade novel I wrote, which I thought might have potential, was rejected by every agent I queried. Even my blog and my notebook, my constants since 2001, languished.

So my plan for this next week is to be a writer again. I’m not supposed to sell zines (only food products allowed) at the market, but that’s why I have an online shop, right? (It’s alldaybreakfast.org, in case you didn’t know.) I could probably put together something new for Poor Quality. I have essays I want to write (do you know where I might send them?) There’s even another kid’s book idea I’ve been turning over.

And of course, I’ll write you another letter next week.

Jess


Hey there! 👋 I’m Jessica Driscoll, a baker, teacher, and writer, living on the unceded territory of the SEMYOME (Semiahmoo) Nation in a beach town outside Vancouver, BC. I’ve documented my creative experiments online since 2002, and I sell the products of those experiments at markets around the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter helps people keep track of my wandering attention span and follow along as I figure out what works. Currently, I bake on Instagram and sell at the White Rock Farmers Market, as well as online at All Day Breakfast.