Earlier this week, over supper, I earnestly lectured a newly retired friend, reminding her she is now retired with all that implies and she should stop working so hard to build her free lance career. Spend more time doing what you want, I urged, as though I was the sage of retirement. Spend more time with your husband. She protested she was doing what she liked, and I said just too much of it.
Sometimes--frequently?--our words come back to bite us. Today I was feeling a bit better about the chili book but still struggling. I did make progress and could see it begin to take some shape But when I'm supposedly devoting my writing time to that project, I somehow got involved in not one but two new projects. A librarian friend sent me a piece soliciting articles about teaching women to write about their lives. A snap, I thought, and whisked off a proposal--it was accepted barring review and is due in 60 days. Aftr all I've done that class several times, thrice within the last year. Then someone asked me to present a paper on writing historical fiction for young adults at the annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Society in El Paso in early March--Alamo anniversary weekend. Getting to El Paso is beyond me for a lot of reasons, but since the programmers had a last-minute withdrawal and needed help I offered to write the paper and send it if someone else would read it. I expected "Thanks but no thanks." Instead the answer was "Great. I'll talk to Fran and get back to you." That one too should be a snap, but those things that you think are a snap never turn out to be so once you start on them. I'm not abandoning chili right away but when I get definitve word on these othr projects, I'll do just that. Maybe that will give me perspective.
Very cold in North Texas today--Scooby has been asleep in his bed all afternoon, and I can't get him to go out to eat his dinner. Yet he can't stay in all night without a potty trip outside--I'll work on that in a bit. Had a good lunch with Melinda at Nona Tata today--my favorite braseola with shaved grana cheese and a good vinaigrette and that spoonful of really good vinegar-style potato salad. Tonight was not, I decided, a night to settle for tuna salad and hummus, so I made chicken divan--turns out, since I'm eating small servings, I made two servings. But I simply roasted a half chicken breast, steamed some broccoli, and covered it with a white sauce--the requisite butter and flour paste, chicken broth, a touch of white wine, and a tiny tiny splash of whole cream. Then put Parmesan over it and baked it--delicious! I could have eaten the whole thing but I'm restraining myself.
Hmmm. Back to chili.