Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Three Good Things: Love, Writing, and More Chicken

A Great Good Thing: My dearest friend Ms. Kathryne Beebe, known to many of you around here as Katy or KTBB, was engaged on Sunday to Mr. Joshua Hatton, formerly of Ohio and Texas, currently her fellow student at Oxford. They plan to be married next Christmastime. Hurrah, Katy and Josh!


An Inspiring Good Thing: One of the many pleasures of working with David Levithan is that he likes to make mix CDs for his friends. His Happy Pop Mix '05 contained a song by Natasha Bedingfield called "Unwritten," and maybe I'm just in SCBWI mode, but I found the chorus wonderfully inspiring for writers. It reminded me of my favorite quotation from Martha Graham:

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”


A Spicy Good Thing: Thanks to all of you for your chicken-cooking suggestions! My soup turned out very well indeed, and it was so simple to make I thought you might enjoy it too. Recipe courtesy of my mother, courtesy of Patty Jackson (my sister's fiance's mother):

Easy Spicy Chicken Soup

2 pounds chicken breast in bite-sized pieces
3 quarts water
12 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups of salsa (I recommend a chunky garden-style; vary the heat of the salsa to vary the spice of the soup)
1 eight-ounce box Rice-a-Roni, Spanish rice flavor

Put everything in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with (or poured over) tortilla chips and grated cheese.

Yes, that's really it. This makes enough for about ten people. I only figured out while I was cooking that I could probably have thrown the cut-up chicken pieces in raw and let them cook in the soup . . . but we'll chalk that up to my Blonde Moment for the month of February. Mom says canned chicken in water is also an option.

May more Good Things come to all of you this week.


  1. Make sure you use chicken 'flavored' bouillon cubes or you'll be sure to vomit.

  2. Hey! I'm the only one who's supposed to be anal around here! :-)

    Thanks for the correction.

  3. Cheryl! Hello! Thanks for the Martha Graham quote. It was exactly what I needed to read this morning.

    Being creative, whether it is writing or drawing, dancing or singing is gratifying… but also achingly scary, making me want to hide behind the door like Boo Radley. "What if I make something and it really sucks?"

    But this quote gives me a new picture for being creative in my head, dancing barefoot on a big soundstage, hopefully with a couple of those big wind fans making my hair blow about. La, la, la… not afraid to take up space, if you know what I mean.

    Hope the conference was all good weather and interesting people.

    Best thoughts,


  4. Yes, Cheryl, how did your talk turn out?

  5. thanks for the recipie, I am making it tonight, it sounds like a good cure for Mardi Gras hangover!