Hurrah for Julie and Julia
August 8th, 2009
Two years ago, I read Julie Powell’s wonderful debut memoir, “Julie & Julia.” Her story of spending 365 days cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was electrifying and compelling.
I couldn’t decide what was more inspiring – Julie Powell’s innocent ambition and subsequent bravado or the between-the-lines story of the power of blogging as a voice for authors.
Either way, I ended up buying 5 copies of Powell’s book for my favorite writer girlfriends. I told them: You must read this book. It will open up your eyes to the potential of blogging.
At the time, I had just bit the bullet and decided to really try serial blogging. My best intentions prior to the fall of 2007 hadn’t gotten me very far. I originally “started” this blog in March 2007, when I foolishly thought Shedstyle.com would be a book-in-progress blog while Bill Wright and I created “Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways.” Constant travel, photo shoots, intense deadlines and a generally crazy schedule conspired to keep that from occurring (I think I wrote 2 posts between March and October 2007).
In September 2007, I moderated a “Garden Blogging” panel at the annual Garden Writers Association symposium with blogger-friends Kathy Purdy, Mary Ann Newcomer and David Perry (you will find each of them and their blogs the LINKS section of my home page). I felt like a fraud. Sure, I created the panel and served as its moderator. But I was a pretender “talking” about blogging, not actually doing it.
I came home from Oklahoma City and, wholly inspired, I just started writing. I am eternally grateful to Mary Ann, David and Kathy for their honest and heartfelt support as fellow bloggers.
Like many tough things, repetition and frequency make it easier to learn new skills and habits. In less than 2 years I have written nearly 200 posts and met many awesome fellow bloggers, readers, friends.
Back to Julie and Julia.
That book really did change my life, thanks to the courageous Julie Powell and the inimitable Julia Child. I came home tonight from watching the movie “Julie & Julia” equally inspired.
As director and screenwriter, Norah Ephron is amazing. What a talent. Her screenplay is delightful. Her cast – Meryl Streep and Amy Adams – are delicious. Totally delicious in their roles as Julia Child and Julie Powell.
A woman seated near me (friend of a friend) told me a great story after the movie. As you may know, Julia Child lived in Santa Barbara in her retirement. The woman remembered working as a waitress in Santa Barbara in 1989. She waited on Julia and her husband Paul, who by then was in a wheelchair.
“Julia ordered a grilled-cheese sandwich and a banana for lunch,” this former waitress recalled. Hmm. I love hearing that our culinary icon, Julia Child, liked basic comfort food. It puts a smile on my face.
Not sure where this post is going, except to say that the writer in me LOVED the book and the film. I felt like I was watching all of our stories, our efforts, our hopes and dreams, up there on the screen. When the film portrayed Julia Child’s manuscript finally getting published after 8 years of work, I felt so victorious for her. When Julia Powell was interviewed for a story in the New York Times food section, I felt the excitement at hearing her answering machine buzz (well, that hasn’t exactly happened to me, but I can kind of relate).
Anyway, if you’re into food you should see “Julie & Julia.” If you’re a writer, you’ll definitely want to.
This post is dedicated to Nan, Paula, Mary Ann and Lorene, my friends who received copies of Julie & Julie from me in 2007.