Monday, July 21, 2008

Abducted by aliens?

Sorry for the lack of posting this summer. To qualm any rumors, I have not been squashed by a cement truck, joined a polygamist cult, or been abducted by aliens.

Here's what I have been doing:

1) Tea with the Lutherans in Waco. What a lovely group of women, who served up some of the best chicken salad this side of the Mississippi and bought books by the bushel. Talk about Southern hospitality.

2) Family Reunion in Wisconsin. Three words: fried cheese curds. We ate them at nearly every meal. Thank God they're not available in Texas or I'd have a heart attack by Christmas.

3) Vacation in Jamaica. A hurricane cut short our last trip to the island, but we're nothing if not tenacious about our pursuits in the art of doing nothing. We lounged on the beach from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and moved only to refresh cocktails or take a dip in the ocean. Possibly the Best Trip Ever.

4) Reading. Man, what a great summer. Some picks I'd recommend include Elie Wiesel's Night, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning, John Irving's Hotel New Hampshire, and Larry McMurtry's newest memoir (fragmented but worth the trip if you're a fan) on book collecting, appropriately titled Books. We saw Mr. McMurtry, along with Diana Ossana, last Thursday at the Nasher Museum in Dallas. The venue was gorgeous, the author cantankerous and interesting, and the seating crammed with readers. What could be better? Also, after a Chilean sea bass dinner at Javier's with tres leches cake for dessert, I couldn't have been in a better mood.

5) Writing. I'm halfway through my third draft of the WIP. So far, so good. I keep telling myself my only job is to do good work. The rest is out of my control. Also, I've renamed the thing. My last novel went through about five titles before we settled on Potter Springs, so I'm not panicked by this latest change.

As for My Town Monday, I've finished my pages for today, and plan on spending the afternoon knitting and reading by the pool. But not simultaneously because a lapful of yarn in 100+ degree isn't so relaxing. Best to keep needlework projects in air-conditioned environs.

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Blogger Renae said...

Welcome back! Sounds like a great summer!

Sounds like you have the pool thing down to a fine art. :-)

11:05 AM  
Blogger "Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

I was lurking on your blog yesterday for clues as to your disappearance. So glad none of them were true! Wish I could have been at the Nasher event; that sounds amazing!

11:08 AM  
Blogger Terrie Farley Moran said...

Welcome home, you globetrotter!


11:20 AM  
Blogger Travis Erwin said...

How was the Irving book? And I'm going to Jamaica next summer so we need to discuss.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Linda McLaughlin said...

Wow, what a great summer. Sounds like you've been having a blast.

I've never heard of fried cheese curds. Have to Google it. Glad your tea with the Lutheran ladies went so well.


3:09 PM  
Blogger debra said...

sounds like a delicious summer.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Lana Gramlich said...

Glad Jamaica was so enjoyable this year. :)

8:16 PM  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like a delightful time, and you got in some great reading. That goes a long way toward passing time pleasantly. Glad you had fun.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Kern said...

Hearty dittos on the Lutherans, chese curds, and Jamaica. Another favorite of mine in Wisconsin was the local brew, Leinenkugel, or 'Leinie' as they say in Northern Wisconsin. Speaking of Northern Wisconsin, one of my favorite reads this summer was "Truck" by Michael Perry.
Other great reads were: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, Bright Shiny Morning, and City of Thieves by David Benioff.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Mathilda said...

Cheese curds are the only reason I moved to Wisconsin.

That, and the amazing authors I get to meet at my bookstore: Salman Rushdi, Brad Thor, David Ebershoff, David Maraniss, Tana French, Lin Enger, Will Durst... and that's just this month!

7:19 PM  
Blogger Leigh Russell said...

Interesting that you rename your books. I do too. Do you change characters' names too? I do, all the time.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Thanks, Renae. And yes, I'm serious about my lounge time.

Bluebonnet, thanks for looking into my disappearance. It's nice to know I'd be missed! Yes, you would have loved the Nasher event. It was my first time to that museum, and I could have spent about a week straight just looking at the sculpture.

Thanks, Terrie. You know, as grand as globetrotting is, there's truly no place like home. It's no luxury hotel, but man, I missed my bed.

Travis, I liked Hotel New Hampshire, but it is crazyweird, which if you read Irving is something you expect anyway. I'd rank it after Owen Meany and Widow for One Year. I need to reread Garp (my last go-round was in my teen years and I don't think I caught most of it.) Yes, we'll have to chat Jamaica. So far I've visited Ocho Rios and Negril, and I've got to say the beach in Negril edged out OR.

Linda, be careful when encountering fried cheese curds. They're sneakily addictive.

Debra, it has been a delicious summer. Speaking of which, and has anyone else tried the new chicken biscuits at McDonald's? I ate one on the recent trip to Houston, and could have had about six more. Talk about Super Size Me.

Thanks, Lana. Anytime there's not an impending hurricane makes for an enjoyable trip to Jamaica.

I did get in some great reading, Charles. Next up is last year's Pulitzer-winner by Junot Diaz--The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Kern, now that I'm a Wisconsin fan, I'm going to have to read Truck. And have a Leinie while doing so.

Mathilda, I am way jealous of your accessibility to fried dairy products and great authors.

Leigh, I have a harder time renaming a character than I do a book. It seems I get to know them under one name, and switching it seems to altar their personality. At least with major characters. The minor ones tend to be more flexible for me.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Mathilda said...

My accessibility to those things is about to be severly lessened.

I am going to be moving to Colorado and teaching freshman composition courses and adult/returing students at Colorado Christian University.

God is great!

6:49 PM  
Blogger dee said...

so...wouldn't have known you'd surfaced but that you posted on my blog...thanks for noticing. BUT I have to say that balance is a great thing...and the fact that you've given Jamacia another go after the hurrican event says alot....there are things that we know and experience and those that escape know what I'm saying... wither way the present exists and we love it ...the past is history and the future is a maybe....this is very mysterious...dont' you think.... call me for an update and you'll get it....

7:37 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Wife said...

Welcome back. Cheese curds are yummy. It seems to be one of those very busy summers for me too. Must be something in the air.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Middle Ditch said...

Wow, it seems that you had an awfully good time. Food, food, food, delicious food. None of which you can get here.

Great to see you back.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Kern said...

DISTURBING NEWS: I just confirmed on their website that A&W restaurants (There's one on Western Center) serves fried cheese curds. They are 100% Wisconsin white cheddar curds. This could be trouble. Hopefully, they won't be the same, kinda like Red Stripe Beer. It just doesn't taste as good in Texas.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Bookfraud said...

at least you have reasonable excuses. i'm just frickin' lazy.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Leigh Russell said...

Glad the aliens didn't get you.

10:07 AM  
Blogger TJ Wilson said...

Glad you're back. We all needed a little Britta humor.
Also glad you're to the 3rd draft - fantastic.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Mathilda, congrats on the new job! And Colorado, how gorgeous is that? Keep us posted on your first day shenanigans.

Dee, you are always a woman of great mystery. I'll call you for the full scoop.

Thanks, Anti-Wife. Maybe the ozone?

Now, Middle Ditch, surely there's something tasty in your area. While it may not be of cheese curd quality, I bet you have some nosh-worthy candidates.

Kern, WHAT??? How is it that I have to find out about such things on my blog? Go start the car, we're headed to A&W.

Bookfraud, perhaps you're just more honest.

Thanks, Leigh. Although it would have made for an interesting "what I did on summer vacation" composition.

Hi, TJ. It's good to be back, and cranking through pages reminds me I love what I do.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

You read some good stuff this summer. "Night" is a great book. Sounds like a pretty relaxing time.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

It was, Charles. I also read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, which I'd recommend. I've recently started the classic Don Quixote by Cervantes, but it could be a while...

4:30 PM  

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