Friday, September 18, 2009

That first sentence . . .

I've mentioned before--probably tiresome times--that a chapter I promised to contribute to the 40-year history of the Texas College of Osteopatic Medicine has been weighing on my conscience. The editors want it in October, which is now getting perilously close. As with many writing projects, if I can get the first sentence, I'm off and going. Today, thanks to a phone conversation with an old acquaintance, I got my first line--in fact about five lines. Now I'm itching to get back to it, because I know at least where the rough draft is going. For a week I'm giving up my work on the Google Book Settlement so I can write this chapter, although today I finally, with help, navigated the Google Book Settlement web page to get an updated list of TCU Press titles which have been scanned--a lot more than I originally thought. In fact, the total is 124. I'll have to dig in and see how many of those authors have responded to my query about having the press reprsent them or representing themselves. But I also did some acquisitions work today--felt so overburdened with Google and manuscripts piling up that I emailed those who submitted and told them it might be three months before I answered. But now, I feel a little silly, because I'm ready to answer two of the queries. Next week, I plan to keep my seat glued to my computer chair and clear up a lot of these projects.
Tonight it's too late to do any of those things. I have been to a lovely dinner party, something I don't often do because I'm not good at night driving and always a bit uncomfortable about going places alone, especially places that I don't know and might have stairs without railings or some other barrier for me. This time I was smart--drove by this morning and checked it out--easy access from the parking area by the garage and, since the house faces a really busy street, I emailed and asked where to park. The hostess, my friend Mary, said to park by the garage and came out to offer me an elbow but I didn't need it. Even left my stick in the car. Piece of cake.
Lovely evening--two other couples (three of the four people from the TCU English Dept.), and we had a lively discussion. In this household, Harry is the cook, though Mary does super-service at serving, clearing, etc. Harry made pork roast with tonnato sauce (tuna and capers) and asparagus. Then they blew my diet with ice cream, but it was good. And pirogues which I love and rarely eat. I was reluctant to break up the party but by 9:30, it was time for me to head home.
Harry has a tremendous collection of cookbooks--I always think I'm over-run by books but he has as many cookbooks as I do total books. He doesn't use them to check recipes as much as he simply reads them, like many people read a novel. I told him about the book I'm reading currently--Jam Today by Tod Davies, a sort of conversational memoir about cooking without recipes, but more about that later in a future blog. I'll go to Central Market tomorrow and probably run into Harry--we often meet there on Saturday mornings.

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