July 21-26, 2010:

A very busy six days, both personally and book-wise.


I was mostly head down in the novel–Snow in Summer–and went from the 22,000 words of the last report here to 32,000 and heading toward the ending which will probably be about 5-10,000 more words. Along the way, I have twice upped the age of the main character and may need to do it again. That turns out to mean  quite a lot of juggling but I see that I cannot (for the plot’s sake) let my main character remain with the miners for two years as the villain will have already killed her father if that happens, which spoils the happy ending of the book. So it has to be days, not years before the wicked Stepmama makes her move.

I also received 7 (count ’em) rejections on one day as editors were cleaning out their in-boxes. To be fair, that was only two editors, both of whom had a number of manuscripts and these were long-shots anyway. But I am truly tired of people saying how well I write.  implying that the market doesn’t support well-written books any more.

Some grand reviews of books. And also the producers who wanted to make a musical of Hippolyta paid up with real money, so maybe it will happen. (I never believe these things until they’re actually on stage!)


George the gull’s health and happiness have been consuming much of my emotional time. I have fed him, been driven away from him by his watchful mum, and after seeing a baby gull killed by a driver on Market Street by the mercat cross in St Andrews, I have been taking rather good care of him. I know the residents of the seacoast villages consider all gulls flying vermin, but they are a protected species now. George is beginning to fly a bit and soon he will leave (like all teens) but I will be glad he is okay on his own.

An old friend’s wife has died after a long and lingering and terrible illness. And when I heard, I wrote a poem for him because that was the only thing I could do. I know all too well he has a long and awful road ahead.

A Friend’s Late Wife

She looks out of the photo,

past her husband, past the viewer,

as if her eyes, those lovely eyes,

are set on a farther shore.

She is not late but early,

the first to go,

all left behind forgotten:

bags, houses, clothes, books,

dog, children,  grandchildren,


In her eagerness to  leave,

she has left love as well,

not needing it where she is going,

though you need it most of all.

On the 22nd, I walked a part of the Fife Coastal Path with my friends Janie Douglas and Pam Robertson, a six mile round trip up and over a long hill. It was a gorgeous day and the coastal views were phenomenal. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, though I could feel it in my shins for two days after.

I went to see Toy Story 3 with Nora which was delightful, and the next evening met Claire G at the Byre Theater for a quick dinner and then to see the play “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which was an interesting one-man play about Oscar Wilde. And of course had at least one dinner at Debby and Bob’s.

Read another Anita Shreve novel and now am deep into the Philippa Gregory novel  The White Queen (about the Lancaster/York wars.)


P.S. If you want me to do some Interstitial Moments question-answering, you need to send me questions I can expand on. Thanks!

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