August 30-September 4, 2011:

An interesting week this, which included some writing, some illness, some friend stuff, and a bizarre end to a story of loss.

Let’s start with writing:

Having done the big stuff (not terribly big) for the revision of 13th Fey, I began to tackle the smaller stuff, including going through the entire mss. with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. It always amazes me how much I have missed in a novel. But the editor wanted it by September 15th, and got it on September 4th. I love it when I can do that!

I wrote four new poems for the Ekaterinislav poetry book, and the editor cried “More! More!” though I am not sure there is any more to write.

Managed a bit more on the first book of the  Seelie Wars trilogy, and gave a good think to the next couple of chapters from my character’s pov.

Last Dragon was chosen by the Science Fiction Book Club, Pretty Princess Pig by the Scholastic Book Club, Creepy Monsters went into a fourth printing.

And I got dis-invited to a conference because I asked them to do what every other conference does–buy my plane tickets instead of me buying them and spending the next few months chasing them down for the repayment. I finally caved and said I would do it, and they cancelled me as being “too difficult”. I had already turned down several other conferences who’d offerred to pay twice what this small college was paying. (I did it to honor a dear friend who’s name is on the conference.) It has left a permanently sour taste in my mouth for three reasons:  1. I’d accepted this on the cheap as a favor for a friend  2. I know I am a great speaker and give more over that to any conference-goer  3. I am probably about the easiest person in the world to deal with–can sleep anywhere, bring my own tea, get up early and sometimes help set up, stay till the cows come home signing books, etc.  (Not to mention #4, I have now lost the amount of money they were to pay as well as the larger amount that two different conferences that wanted me were willing to pay.)

Personal Stuff:

Had tea with friend Marianna, lunch with Christine and our friend Alex, dinner with friend Elaine on the day that would have been David’s and my 49th anniversary, and ran a  birthday party for Christine, with presents and poems about each present. There were five of us at the Fairmont Clubhouse restaurant which has great views overlooking the North Sea. Problem with the last was I ended up eating something that disagreed with me mammothly and spent two days (including today) on crackers and tea.

Surprise:

I was a wee bit early for tea with Marianna and so thought I might just have a little look around for the car keys I’d lost two weeks earlier. I parked the car in the same spot, less than a hundred paces from her studio, and decided to check the verges of the lane even more carefully than the last time. And of course three paces along, on the right hand side, something shiny caught my eye. And there was my key. What I’d spotted was the keychain. Of course when I’d lost the key, it was high summer and in the rain;  the verge was much overgrown and bowed down with water. The day I found it, an early autumn had thinned out the foliage and the warm sun had lifted what leaves remained, Surprise!!!

This is the poem I wrote for the anniversary:

On the Edge

Our forty-ninth anniversary,

the fifth without you.

No cake for either one of us,

no sly memories, winks,

the hum of old songs,

a pinch of history

to season our time together,

only a basting of tears.

I will visit the garden stone

where your ashes are buried,

if the Scottish weather permits me,

listening to the cushet doos

coo in their own connubiality

while I remain regretful and alone.

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