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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