Thursday, June 7, 2012

Balance Is All In How You Make Chicken Soup

It's Thursday!
And I'm hungry.
If you aren't now, you will be soon.
Here's Diane Schochet!

How do I manage writing and other stuff like washing and cooking and straightening up?
Not well. I wear underwear once but outer wear for days.  I make an easy chicken soup.  Here’s the recipe.  Boil chicken in a pot of water.  Strain off the slime. Add carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks, a hot green pepper, and celery.  Bring to a boil. Then turn to simmer. Then write for 45 minutes.  Check soup. Add parsley or bay leaf. Check to see if the chicken is done.  If done, put the soup in the refrigerator.  Leave it there until the next day.  Defat it.  Take out what you won’t eat with the soup.  In my case this includes the chicken.  My husband prefers beef in his chicken soup.  His name is Leo.  
I don’t have straightening up down but I can be fast if company is coming over.
Which brings up how I deal with the people in my life and still write.
My children are grown and out of the house.  My husband works out of the house.  So you would think that I would have hours to write.  If I didn’t procrastinate and waste time, I would.  If people didn’t call, I would. I have a writer friend who says nobody can call her until after three.  But, I haven’t been able to manage that rule.  Maybe somebody will have an emergency, I think.  So my rule is I don’t call you.  You have to call me.  Unless I haven’t heard from you for a long time.  Then I call you.
Even so, despite disorganization, people, and bad habits, I always write  at least one page a day. 
Author's Bio: 
I'm from California.  Went to UCLA.  Majored in theater. Taught school.  Directed plays. Married Leo one thousand years ago. Have two sons.
One daughter-in-law.  And absolutely shiny granddaughters.  Here's the skinny on them.  They are gorgeous geniuses who are kind. And I'm telling it like it is.  Not bragging.
My novel, COG STONE DREAMS is a mystical, magical, humorous love story with a murder, 9000 years of history, Jewish themes and estuarial wetlands thrown in. Cog Stone Dreams is set at the Westbruk Wetlands.
The Westbruk Wetlands are based on the Bolsa Chica Wetlands.I live in Huntington Beach, California and have lived on the east and north side of the Bolsa Chica where I’m a history docent.
Every year I take classes.  I’ve taken anthropology classes where I learned about Cog Stones and other ruins on the wetlands.  I have taken bird classes, fish classes, native plant classes, niche classes and classes given by the indigenous people to the area.  When I first moved to Huntington Beach, I heard the Wetlands would be built upon and there would be houses, restaurants and a marina.  And I said, “Yea! How wonderful!”  I didn’t realize the harm that would ensue.  I didn’t realize that all most all the wetlands in California had been degraded.  
On September 14, 1947, when Dessa, the main character, was ten, her father’s Dodge broke down on a Southern California coast road between the Westbruk Wetlands and Cardboard Beach.  That day Dessa explored the beach, witnessed what may or not have been a bow and arrow murder and bought a dream inducing cog stone from a homeless boy named Leo.  That night she had her first cog stone induced dream. All her dreams took place at the Westbruk Wetlands and Card Board Beach. Leo, the homeless boy who sold her the cog stone, is in every dream.  Like Dessa he gets older.
It is now 1957.  Dessa is twenty and engaged to a Mister Perfect named Micah.  How perfect? Micah is kind, smart, handsome and rich. He adores Dessa.  They are at a sorority dance.  Micah has excused himself to go to the restroom.  Dessa is sitting on a metal folding chair. Here’s an excerpt:
My right foot fell asleep. I stretched it to stamp out the tingles and kicked a white sock inside of a large brown, scuffed, loafer. “I’m sorry,” I said to the sock and shoe, then looked up to the face the shoe and sock belonged to and jumped.  I was looking at Leo, the boy I had met on Cardboard Beach when I was ten.  The Leo who’d sold me my dream inducing cog stone. The Leo I dreamt about.  “Leo?”  I said.
“Do I know you?”  He smiled the same crooked teeth smile. 
“We met when we were ten,” I said.  “I was ten.  I don’t know how old you were.  How old are you now?”
“I was ten and you were eleven,” I said.
“Vas it in the orphanage or the school?” He seemed to have an accent or speech impairment. 
“It was on the beach,” I said. 
“When I was eleven I never went to the beach,” he said.
“You’re a liar,” I said.
Instead of arguing the point, he asked me to dance.  A Strauss waltz was playing on the record player and I walked into the arms of a man who knew how to waltz.  He had on cologne or after-shave lotion, I’m not sure which, and his breath smelled minty. 
            At the end of the dance, people clapped for us, we bowed---.
Both in paperback and on ebook Cog Stone Dreams is published by Red Phoenix Books and can be found at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. puts books about estuarial wetlands in their lakes and ponds category.  Today Cog Stone Dreams is number 18 in best-selling and number 2 best rated in the Kindle lakes and ponds category.

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