Soup of the Week: Chicken Pot

Bowl of soup with pencil, glasses and notebook nearby

So most every week I make a big pot of soup on Sunday or Monday that my hubby, C. and I can eat all week long. This week it was a basic chicken and veggie. I’d share a detailed recipe, but I don’t have one. I’ve been cooking long enough I just throw it together.

There are some good things about being 50-something.

This week I had some chicken breast, so I scrounged in my crisper drawer and came up with carrots, a butternut squash, a small head of broccoli, and a yellow and a red pepper. I had an onion and some garlic. I cooked the breast in water until it was tender while I chopped the veggies. I broke up the chicken, slid in the veggies, added a couple heaping tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon, tossed in spices and herbs: pepper, curry, sage, tarragon. (Usually I do parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme like the song, but I wanted to experiment.)

Finally, I chopped up some cilantro I found lurking in the back of my crisper and let the whole thing simmer until the veggies were done.

It was good.

Today’s Writing

Today’s writing was good, too. Or should I say, editing. I finally got the first chapter the way I wanted it. I did few things to chapters 2 & 3 and then skimmed through all the way to chapter 25!

I’ll get this thing off to Amy, my developmental editor, and wait to see what she says before messing around with any big structural things, but there is one big, final task ahead of me.

I want to change the ending.

I want to change the ending because a major literary writer read my first book and told me she loved it partly because I didn’t fall into the same old ending where the antagonist gets hauled off by the authorities, that I had written something more nuanced. Wow.

Unfortunately, my ending here is exactly that.

In fact, the entire book was written to include dead bodies because another mystery writer I admire said in my first book she kept expecting one to show up!

Am I too influenced by successful and talented authors?

I’m anxious to see how readers respond to this second Olivia Lively mystery, but I’m itching to start the third one. I know the next book’s story but not if there will be a murder or not. It’s more of an art heist/insurance fraud story. I’ve decided to just do my own thing next time. Trying to live up to “rules” might have dampened my creativity . . . or at least my writing pleasure.

I’d love to find a good essay or blog that further explores this idea of breaking genre convention “rules,” but I did something nasty to my wrist while writing today. Another writer hazard. I want to get off this machine.

Plus on a quick search, the essays I see try to give advice while really advertising the book they want to sell. Ugh.

I hope I’m not coming across like that. I’m really just riffing, writing in my journal, keeping a log of my progress. Maybe you’ll find this journey more interesting than my actual books.

A Glimpse Inside My Head

I had a dream last night that I was with a friend at a county fair in some rural town, and we were looking at piglets. Then we were walking through a foggy, near-winter woods toward a river, and I said, “We should turn back. This isn’t the way. We should go back the way we came.”

Then there were bad guys, gunfire, and a Hollywood award ceremony because, turns out, the whole thing was a movie.

I enjoyed this dream. It was like a weird film.

I was the star.


  1. RE: county fair
    All of a sudden, out of nowhere I felt a whoosh of memory back to the Farmington Fair. The smell of hay, animals and mud, the shelves of pickles and jam, etc. I was so grateful for having had the experience of tagging along with Nanny as she took pictures and notes for her articles. I’m glad I saw a bit of rural Maine and Ohio, 4H competition, country music played by families in matching outfits, and people wearing roach clip with feathers in their hair. Good times

    1. I was just missing Nanny the other day, and I think it may have prompted that dream. Haha the roach clips! Fun times. Miss those days once in awhile. Thanks for reading and commenting, sis!

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