Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Rain, writing, and food, always food

Weathermen (and women) will tell us this is not the wettest spring in Fort Worth, and of course I believe them. But it seems the threat of rain hangs over us all the time. Today it was sunny and lovely—until occasional clouds came. But no rain. Still we are to expect it tomorrow. Sure puts a crimp in Jacob’s fishing plans.

I got busy about my new project today and wrote—whoohoo!—a big 443 words. No, folks, that’s not a good show for a writer for a day’s work. I usually aim for a minimum of a thousand words. But these were the first words on paper (except for the prologue, and that’s another story) and they came slowly, with hard work, and are still not right. It’s like I have to find the rhythm of the book before I can really get into it, and I haven’t gotten that yet. So I have books spread out on my desk and internet sites open, and I’m struggling. It will come, and I am not yet panicky. It is, as my mentor says, early days.

I did admit defeat. I spent yesterday trying to clean up the formatting problem embedded in a manuscript by the conversion form PDF to Word. I could do most but not all of it. At the end of a very long day, I had semi-cleaned up three chapters and still had spots I would have to ask the professional formatter to fix. I simply decided it was not worth my frustration, and by the time I finished I would still not have a perfect product. So I sent that entire reprint to my favorite formatter and started on a new project—and it went slowly.

Otherwise, no excitement in my day. Friend and neighbor, Mary, came for happy hour. I always enjoy exchanging news with her and, particularly, cooking news and ideas. She is a devotee of InstaPot and air fryer, while I am a resistant Luddite. We discussed a recipe I love which involves boiling two chickens. She said it can be done in the InstaPot in an hour or something. Skeptically I asked if it made broth, and she assured me it did. I remain convinced that I will boil an old hen to make my chicken loaf, a recipe I was given a long time ago. I am trying not to cook so much, because I have writing projects to concentrate on. But I don’t think that will be a successful resolve for long.

Tonight I had leftover steak and potato salad—the County Line Barbecue recipe. Look it up on the internet. It’s delicious. I halved the recipe Sunday, and it still made a ton. Next, I want to try some recipes with cabbage, and tonight with my Imperfect Produce I got a large head of cabbage. Ready to experiment.

As always, the international news fascinates me. I am appalled by the number of deaths among climber of climbers on Mount Everest, and the reports of climbers who said they had to step over bodies. Pictures show them waiting in line as though they were in a grocery store. Does that not give them pause? Not being an adventuresome soul myself, I can’t imagine why anyone would continue the climb in the face of these tragedies.

And then there are the deaths in Fiji and the Caribbean. Food poisoning? Why are these happening so close together? I think I read tonight of three in the Caribbean and a couple on Fiji. I’ve been to the Caribbean—when your son works there, you go—but I am thankful that he is back stateside, and I have no need to go again. I am, I fear, not a traveler. Home is so comfortable for me.

And, of course, our traveling squatting president is all over the news today. Poor guy—I don’t think he could do a thing right to please the media if he tried—which he doesn’t. He brings all his grief upon himself, from minor gaffes with royal protocol (did he really haul his entire family and staff over there at our expense?) to big things like his attacks on the mayor of London. I would say we should keep him at home, but then he issues all those disastrous executive orders. What’s a country to do? I know—impeach. But it won’t work.

Happy times. In 2020, we’ll be singing “Happy Days are Here Again!” Just hang on. And vote.

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