Saturday, November 8, 2014
I am back at the computer, my lovely MacBook Pro, to write a few thousand more words. I look at my photos for inspiration. I had dinner with Arles Lucy last night and we reminisced about our 2006 trip. I have a field of sunflowers on my desktop for inspiration.
Now, I am looking for the notes, journals and letters that I kept and sent back from 2007. That's the next chapter. I get very frustrated with myself for not being able to put my hands on what I want-- immediately. There are so many things I have forgotten and I want to bring all those memories back and hold them to my chest. This is a very emotional journey for me. I have the anguish of the separation, divorce and the semi-loss of my motherhood status, the joy of making new friends in both the U.S. and in France, the discovery of new sights, sounds, smells and tastes, the heartbreak of losing longstanding friendships and the newfound independence and self-confidence of doing things I never thought possible. Just the guilt alone of whether or not my children would ever be the same happy boys is, at times, paralyzing for me. But this journey is cathartic. A much needed bit of closure on the past ten years of my life.
I am not writing a novel. I am writing a memoir. The story of a normal woman who had some extraordinary experiences.
Back to work.
Enough egg salad, tuna and peanut butter sandwiches...
Writer's Chicken and Bean Soup
1 onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 whole roasted chicken (I love the ones from Harris Teeter; they are even on sale on Sundays), chopped or shredded
4 c. of chicken broth
2 c. water
4 15-oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed-- I used Great Northern; you could use cannellini, navy, any kind, really
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
Herbes de Provence, if you wish
In a large pot, sauté the onions and celery in the olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat, just until they soften. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, herbs, if using, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken and beans. If necessary, add water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.
Serve hot. Send husband to the refrigerator for leftovers when he gets hungry and you are still typing away. Maybe he will even offer you a bowl.
Bon appétit, my friends, mentors and muse!