Sparkly Hubby walked into the kitchen this morning and sniffed. “What are you doing?”

“Making soup,” I said.

He peered into the steaming pot, grabbed the spoon, stirred the carrots. Sampled the salted rice and onions. “You know, it’s going to be eighty today,” he said mid-taste, as though I couldn’t feel the humid air flowing in from the kitchen window.

“I know.”

“Having trouble with something?” he asked.

I nodded.  “Third to last chapter.”

“Still?”  He closed the lid with a tinny clang.  “That’s what I thought,” he answered.  “At least the soup’s good.”

He was right, the soup’s good. The writing? Not so much. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, the words don’t flow.  Taking a physical break works for many writers.  Me too.  There’s nothing like slathering a fresh coat of paint on a wall to dislodge the verbal logjam, but I can’t do that today: I have a Frankenfoot.  A walking cast, the result of a nicely *don’t ask* broken toe.

So today, instead of ladders and latex, a stainless pot would free my words.  Jerry Seinfeld would be proud, ’cause the guy, well he’s funny, uses lots of words, and he likes his soup.

Beef with brown rice on the menu. I chopped veggies and mixed broth, all the while plotting.  “Do I really kill off  X?” I wondered to myself, “or will a nice maiming do the trick.”  I continued my mental diatribe: “Will anyone notice if I switch point-of-view, because honestly, X’s ‘big scene’ would resound so much better in first person, not third.”  Important things, killing-off and point-of-view, at least to a writer; quandaries best solved over a glass of Cabernet, but not this early. It wasn’t quite wine-thirty anywhere in the midwest.  Maybe in Germany, where they sip lager with their Goetta and eggs, but around here, I’ve got a rep to maintain. At least around my kids: no wine before noon.  Just broth.

Around lunchtime, the rice cooked al dente, the buds still firm but plump and full, we gathered on the deck in swimsuits, and ladled up a steaming bowl of soul-warming, word-inspiring soup.

Served best today with a glass of icy cold tea, because after all, it was eighty degrees outside.

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