Friday, June 15, 2012
"It was a dark and stormy night..."
Snoopy's great novel always begins with that sentence. The first sentence is important and he is well aware of this. It's the hook. I wish I knew what mine is going to be and that I could sit on top of my dog house and work on my novel all day. Just like Snoopy.
He has long been my favorite cartoon character. He just has that certain je ne sais quoi. A definite joie de vivre. He sits in little cafés in France and quaffs root beer after shooting at the Red Baron. He has an amazing art collection down in that dog house. He is the very essence of cool when he slips on his shades. He dances whenever he feels like it. I used to practice drawing him in the margins of my school notebooks...
Back to Snoopy and writing novels. I have actually written a beginning, two of them, as a matter of fact. And a rough outline of the chapters. I just need to channel my inner Snoopy, find his fearlessness, and get to work. Right, Snoopy? But of course, madame. What are you waiting for?
"So what on earth possesses an almost 50 year old woman to pack her bags and leave home for six months? To give up the apartment that has been home for three years, store all of her worldly goods in a friend's garage, and find herself sitting in a bar in the Toronto airport sipping a glass of overpriced wine waiting for the flight that will eventually take her to the Marignane airport in Marseille, France?"
"It all began innocently enough in the fall of 1973. I was fifteen years old. I had no idea this relationship would become my lifelong obsession instead of just a casual passing flirtation. What did I know about exotic? I was naïve, born and raised in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by a large extended family and others just like us, Baptist, white, and blue collar. There was nothing different or strange or exotic in this town. Of course, looking back, I can see that this very trait is what attracted me most. It was a blind date-type of relationship for the first few years. The 1970's equivalent of internet dating, I suppose."
Actually, instead of sitting on top of a dog house writing my novel, I'd rather be sitting in a Parisian café slathering butter and jam on a baguette, sipping café au lait, putting my thoughts on paper (on this computer screen, actually, but it doesn't sound as romantic, does it?), but that, and my pain aux raisins, will just have to wait for a couple more weeks...
I will now make my healthy breakfast from Eat To Live and get ready for work. The middle school director has asked if he can take me to lunch today. That will get me through a morning of filing report cards.
Blue Apple-Nut Oatmeal
1 2/3 c. water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp. dried currants
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 banana, sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped or grated
2 Tbsp. walnuts
In a saucepan, combine the water, cinnamon, oats, and currants. Simmer until the oatmeal is creamy (about 5 minutes). Add the blueberries and banana. Cook for 5 minutes, or until hot, stirring constantly. Mix in the apples and nuts.
Bon appétit, Snoopy and all writers out there! Bon courage!