It is, indeed, that time of year again for me; my annual Hemingway Weekend! This year marks the fifth anniversary of a tradition that has proved most useful to me as a writer. Named for a person whose works I always admired but never really "got into" it may seem strange to honor a legacy I've been most uninspired by for my weekend of inspiring muses. But, to me, it makes the most sense. The weekend is about a process, a passion and overcoming even the most debilitating excuses to generate, pure and simply, art.
Five years ago this weekend, tired of the book I'd been working on, and desperate to finish it soon, I took a Memorial Day weekend challenge on myself to, in three days, finish up the 7 chapters I needed to call it a closed chapter on my life (if you will pardon the pun). In the time leading up to that first weekend, I had read or heard something about Ernest Hemingway that I found intriguing. Every morning, Papa would get up and write until noon and then drink the rest of the day (because mornings in Key West/Havana weren't too hot to work yet). Most are familiar with Hemingway's tragic alcoholism and I recall in one of my college classes the discussion of how much more he'd have been able to do if he hadn't be so. I countered, to much criticism and ultimate defeat, that notion. Hemingway created what he did because of who he was, disease and all. And I like that, I like that a lot.
That isn't to say I'm in support of alcoholism, not at all. But we all have choices and consequences, and he lived within his until he didn't. And I will say no more of it. It isn't for me to cast my judgment one way or another.
It had been my hope to finish my second book by December of last year, but because of my own challenges, I didn't get there. With renewed vision and health, I will this year. Of that, I am certain. It is taking a shape I hadn't expected, but with each chapter a writer puts to paper, or each canvas a painter colors or spice a cook adds to the pot, we learn something about ourselves. And so, to all my fellow artists... salud and happy exploration!
5 cups chopped fruit (pears, peaches, grapes, mangoes, oranges, pineapple, etc)
1 cup juice of choice (I prefer pear)
1.5 - 2 cups rum (I use half of each Don Q Cristal and Passion Fruit)
1 bottle of wine of coice
12 ounces Sobe LifeWater or Fuze
1 bottle orange flavored seltzer
plenty of ice
strawberries to garnish
One week prior to desired date of consumption, add mixed fruit, rum and juice to a glass container and refrigerate.
On the day of consumption, add bottled beverage of choice and wine, stir well.
Add ice to a glass and ladle the sangria, including some of the yummy rum-soaked fruit (note, my friend has recommended pureeing the fruit and enjoying that way as well. I haven't tried that, but is sure sounds like a good idea). Top with seltzer and garnish with a strawberry.
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