July 26-August 9, 2011:

The last fortnight–with the exception of two gorgeous sunny days–has been bucketing rain alternating with light rain, occasional showers, gales, and cold. One of the rainiest summers on record here in Scotland. And yet for me that is much better than living in heat over the 90-100 degree range. So all in all, pleasant to be here.

What hasn’t happened: the new garden room. Though finally the last couple of days, the old floor has been removed, concrete poured, framed for the glass wall and doors put up. But as rain moved in again, the workmen have moved out. Sigh.

What hasn’t happened: the novel revision sent out (Thirteenth Fey) hasn’t been read by the editor and won’t be–she tells me–till after the beginning of September. The two revised collections of poetry (Grumbles from the Town, Thunder Underground) haven’t been read yet,  but I expect that editor to be a bit faster. I haven’t heard from Barbara Diamond Goldin about what I have done for Girls’ Bible. Son Adam has been dragging his feet on the first book of our trilogy, but then we don’t have the contract yet. No new picture books sold after the three reported below (but I can’t be greedy now, can I? Yes, I can!) and the contracts for the fantasy trilogy and the new Holocaust novel aren’t here yet so I don’t want to sell another novel till those are written. I’d like to sell some of the stuff already written, actually.

What has happened: Finally paid for the latest DINO books (Christmas, Hannukah) long overdue since they were accepted last year. Got the second round of contracts for How Do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies, since the first signed ones were lost in the mail. Mike Cavalarro is almost finished with the pictures for Curses! Foiled Again , just 31 pages to go, and they are terrific! I was surprised by a new picture book based on my friend Tara Chang’s artwork, and she is busy working away at a book dummy and a sample art piece. It is called The Trouble with Taking Trolls To Tea.Lots of poetry written and some ideas for new ones. The poem a day project is still going strong.

And along the way, I have had tea at Marianna’s studio (and lost my car keys, another long story), dinner with friend Claire at the Byre Theater, visited Balcaskie House with friend Christine and wandered the gardens, had several meals with Debby and Bob at their house where we solved the troubles of the world (wine helps!), tea with Nora at the North Point, went to the opening of the Pittenweem Arts Festival with Christine, and had friend Marianna staying over two nights at Wayside.

A quiet, but lovely few days actually, despite the weather. Read a mystery, a book of short stories, a lot of poetry.

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