Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing my way out of the doldrums

This morning I had the doldrums, maybe a hangover from my bad day yesterday. But my horoscope said if I wanted to accomplish things and live fully or whatever I had to get out of my comfort zone. So I put on my black velvet jogging suit (instead of jeans) with a deep pink turtleneck (always my best color) and a fuzzy pink/red scarf. Then instead of mailing my bank deposit at a drop-in box, I went to the office and put the letters in their secure mailbox--plus had a short visit with everyone. Then off to Central Market where I made sure I had enough food for the coming cold snap (probably only one day, and I could survive a month on what's in my pantry and freezer!).
Part of the reason I was in the doldrums was that I feel stalled on my chili project. I'm putting words on paper, getting the basics down, but so far it simply hasn't come alive. Like fiction, non-fiction should have a spark that makes it leap off the page at the reader. So far, my chili manuscript is, at best, pedestrian. I'm working on the theory that if I just get all the information down, then I can go back, revise rewrite, capture that spark. I usually can do it, but each time I write the first draft of nonfiction I think an idiot wrote it. (Jacob would tell me that's not a nice word, and he's right). I'm plugging away, but it is plugging, and I find myself looking for any distraction. Tonight I went through all my own recipe files for unusual chili recipes--vegetarian, lamb with lentils, white chili. Frank Tolbert is rolling in his grave.
When this book is finally done it will be great. I know it in my bones but I'm surely fighting to get there.
In a big departure from chili, Betty and I went to a new sushi place tonight--very modern, very slick, and we looked at each other and said we'd prefer the old neighborhood place where we usually go. Anyway, it was an adventure--even just finding it was an adventure.
In Fort Worth, eating out is going to be iffy for the next few weeks, and we'll all have to choose our destinations carefully--places that don't get stock show business, plus during Super Bowl week--who can predict where those people will eat? Everywhere!

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