Coco Van. That’s like French Food, right?

Feb 10 2014

by Christine Warren

Since my book released six whole days ago I feel like I am just starting to catch my breath after a rigorous autumn filled with near-unattainable deadlines careening toward me in what felt like an unceasing, suffocating pattern.

Don’t listen to a word I say, I love this writer’s life!

I am starting to realize how much I missed a few elemental activities and how excited I am to let them return to my weekly, if not daily, life. Things like sleep, exercise, reading, movies, and cooking meals so intricate and delicious they qualify me as a supermom. (Perhaps that far-fetched idealism sounds like the type of banter you’d hear from a doe-eyed young mom of a first-born elementary school age child. The type of mom who still does Elf-on-the Shelf. Not a slacker realistic 40-something mom of a teenager. But hey, being in the world of small press publishing requires a gargantuan dose of unrealistic optimism. I suppose it seeps over.) Let’s break these down in no particular order, shall we?

SLEEP. I don’t get a lot of it. Those of you who know me well, have probably received a slew of manic emails from me at very unseemly hours. The Professor and Little Chick beg me routinely, “Please don’t send people emails at 2:36am. It’s embarrassing. It makes you look weird.” Can I help it if my to-do list looks like the Manhattan Yellow Pages and the rest of the slacker world is actually sleeping til sunrise?

Well, maybe I could stand to do some changing in this department. Since the book launched last Tuesday, I have actually been sleeping past 4am! Practically unmedicated on two of those nights. This morning I slept all the way until my alarm went off at 5:15 am. It was alarming! That hasn’t happened since July of last year.

EXERCISE. I was understandably pissed that I had set my alarm for 5:15 since I was actually sleeping so soundly. But a return to exercise is crucial at this point since I have spent months and months and months sitting at a computer with no other break but a mindless pass through the kitchen pantry. After a relatively short amount of time walking leisurely on the treadmill, I shook my Shake Weight for a few minutes with a motion that looked more like I was throwing the dice at a roulette table in Vegas. Or maybe doing the fake airhorn thing common on car trips to get a trucker to honk.

Okay, so I didn’t exactly set the world on fire with my re-entry workout this morning, it was one of those more, shall we say, symbolic workouts.

READING. I am very excited to get back to reading! I can’t really read while I am writing and editing my own project. First of all I don’t have time. Second of all, my eyes are worn out. And finally, I am so paranoid by the episode of Murphy Brown where the dingy blond was falsely sued for plagiarism. The easiest way to avoid any wonderful phrases or lines slipping in is to not read anything but necessary research until the project is in the bag.

But I am back! I am a lifelong binge reader and just knocked out An Invisible Thread in one evening. It was okay. Great premise, simple writing. Again, re-entry is more about just getting started than sending it screaming out of the park, right?

MOVIES. I watch a lot of movies. I love movies. Can’t get enough of TCM and Robert Osborne whom I hope to meet one day at the TCM Film Festival. But I have been exceedingly indulgent, even for me, with the movie watching in the past week. Here are just a few of the flicks I’ve watched in six days: Remains of the Day, Passage to India, It’s Complicated, The Constant Nymph, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Stalwag 17, About Time, The Debt, Million Dollar Baby.

WHO forgot to tell me what an unexpected gut-wrencher Million Dollar Baby was!!?? How did the world avoid spoiling that ending for me all these years?

In a very rare move, The Professor and I actually ventured out to a cinema last night and saw Monuments Men on the big screen. It was a treat of a date night despite the family in the row behind us who brought their infant to the 7:30 pm movie. After fourteen announcements about silencing cell phones and not talking, it never occurred to them to walk the crying baby out into the hall?

COOKING. In my on-going scheme for world domination and to secure the title of Mom and Wife of the Year, I decided to actually cook something for my family tonight. A proper recipe. All by myself without leaning on the Professor to grill even one item. I went to a favorite, a Whole Foods recipe for slow cooker Coq Au Vin. Except they actually have “Simple” in their title which takes a little wind out of my sail. And it all goes in a Crock-Pot. So I’m not sure this dump-and-dine fare qualifies as elite French cuisine.

I suppose my re-entry to normalcy has been tempered with reality. I’m only sleeping until 5:15 after all. And I’ve only read one book that I managed to knock out in one sitting. And my French recipe is currently cooking unattended on low for 6-7 hours in the same device that heats chili cheese dogs at dive bars. So re-entry is a process. A journey. I’m not exactly speeding down the re-entry road in the luxury and grace of a Rolls Royce. More like a Coco Van.

coco van fly fish chick


Anybody read anything great lately? Seen any fantastic movies? Kicked off an exercise program you’re excited about? Found a cure for insomnia? Let us hear about it! As always, please feel free to leave a comment.

To those who have already ordered ‘Honky Tonk Debutante’, I’d like to offer my sincerest THANK YOU!

And to others who might be interested in buying a signed copy, rest assured that operators are standing by to take your order. And by operators, I mean me.


(Copyright 2014 Christine Warren)


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