I met Michelle in a memoir writing class. With gorgeous, blond hair and shy eyes, she was the only person close to my age. She said she was intimidated by the credentials of the classmates and then proceeded to knock us out of the park with her reading. She told the most amazing, heart-wrenching stories with an honest, vulnerable voice. My first impression—wise and humble. Of course she intimidated me. Her writing was the most mesmerizing of the class.
I ran into her again at a writing conference. What a small world. A writing conference is much more interesting when you have someone to whisper with and pass notes to.
Months later, I heard through the grapevine Michelle’s bookstore was closing. I thought, “I haven’t even had a chance to go yet.” The store had been opened 5 months. I’d had plenty of chances. Lesson learned: you don’t tell someone you’ll stop by his or her shop, and then not do it.
I took a pot of daisies and we talked for hours, occasionally interrupted by a curious customer. Both of us fairly new to the area, we’d spent most of the year friendless and lonely. I kicked myself. Why had I not stopped by the shop earlier?A steady stream of coffee flowed and Michelle suggested we chapter swap to help push us to finish our memoirs. We’ve met every week since that day.
It’s my favorite day of the week.
When I found out no one had ever showed Michelle how to cook in a crock-pot, I was convinced to convert her. I bought a crock-pot for $12 at the thrift store, took it home, cleaned it up and showed up at her door the next week, ingredients in hand.
While we critiqued each others chapters, our crock-pot meals bubbled and steamed. By the end of the afternoon, we had knocked out another two chapters with dinner to boot! Michelle asked, “Why don’t we write about this?”
And Cook Me A Story was born.