August 25-29, 2010:

I have been overwhelmed lately with invitations. All my Scottish friends realize I am leaving in two weeks, and suddenly the invites are coming in thick and fast. So think of me wining and dining my way across Fife. Or perhaps it’s whining and dining as I obsess about the bustle of my return, not to mention the dreaded flights.

Why in this four days alone I have had: tea with Marianna and Pete at my house, a visit from Vanessa and kids to report on their first day of school (and more tea and biscuits, a BBQ at Ron and Ann’s with old friends and a food hangover afterwards, Afternoon Tea at Rufflets with Janie Douglas, and a long natter about the novel with Debby as well as discussing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and Catriona.

So, you ask, what about the important stuff? What about writing?

Well, that, too: finished and sent off Snow in Summer, reworked the two first chapters of Girls’ Bible, hacked my way into (but only half done) for a proposal for Wing Beats, a new bird book collaboration with Jason, reworked a poem I’d sent over a year ago to Terri Windling into a picture book called Oh, My Bunny Girls, finished the two speeches for the Irish SCBWI conference, fiddled on several spreads of Last Dragon because of stuff the artist has done which necessitated some changes, reworked Daddy’s Hug (a companion to Mama’s Kiss) and sent it off, received two more rejections, and worked on a couple of poems. See–I am not letting all the invitations to get in the way. Much.

But as usual two weeks from going back across the Pond, I have been dreaming about the States, getting a bit tense about the return trip and all I have to do once I land: book stuff, money stuff, speaking stuff, workshops, and a house full of paperwork to be tended to. Honestly, I like the quieter pace of Scotland and the days I have to read and to write and to think. Thinking about writing is not overrated. At least not to me.

But the nights draw in here, and the pull of a New England autumn is strong. I miss my kids and grandlings. Miss my writers’ group. Miss having dinners with Bob Marstall and others. Miss getting to go into New York and seeing my marvelous agent Elizabeth and the editors. I am truly of two souls. Montaigne spoke about “Two souls in a single breast,” and that’s me. But aren’t I lucky to have both worlds.

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