Writing a novel is slow and tedious, delightful and fulfilling. It takes years and draft after draft. Ron Carlson recommends that you write until you can’t stand it anymore, then stay 20 minutes. Do that. Then, go mix yourself one of these to celebrate…

The California Distraction

Rosemary simple syrup
(Boil ½ cup sugar, ½ cup water, and 1 small bunch of rosemary. Let cool.)

3 ounces gin
2 ounces fresh blood orange juice
Champagne or prosecco

Combine gin, juice, and 1 tablespoon rosemary simple syrup. Top off with champagne and a sprig of rosemary to garnish.

Sit in the sun for 15 minutes. Now take the rest of that cocktail and get back to work.


Ramona Ausubel is the author of the novels Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One Is Here Except All of Us, and the short story collection A Guide to Being Born.