June 17-June 30, 2011:

My heavy slogging writing days have continued fairly unabated, though I have had dinners with friends, gone to a medieval banquet, wandered to two gardens in the St Andrews garden scheme, had  couple of tea dates, a trip to what was going to be a full day at the East Neuk Studios but. . . more about that later! A trip into Edinburgh (ditto.) And today a surprise for an old friend I hadn’t seen in seven years, showing up in Anstruther where he was leading a tour group from America.

Now about the East Neuk studio tour. It began wonderfully enough, with a visit with my friend Christine to the house/studio of one of her friends. We spent a full hour there, enjoying ourselves, chatting with the artist and her husband and looking out her studio window at her wonderful view of the Firth of Forth. Left there and, as it was lunch time, Christine and I went to The Haven for something to eat. After the light lunch, I went off to the loo, tripped over a hidden door jamb (it was darkish) fell face first into the wall. Blood gushed from my nose and I went down as if poleaxed. A woman heard me cry out, sent her husband in, he was calm, got the manageress to get me a cold compress, and then some ice. I was calm as well, and then–once I knew my nose wasn’t actually broken–made jokes and entertained the troops. Since Christine can’t drive, once I’d gotten up and realized that I wasn’t in too bad shape,I drove her home (about five minutes) and then me home (about twenty minutes on twisty roads. Decided it was best to check in at the emergency room of the hospital where they tested me and felt certain the nose wasn’t broken, warned me about concussions, that someone should stay with me, and I wondered who to call. But when I got home my door was wide open and Debby–having been called by Christine–had come right over to wait for me and insisted on giving me tea, a backrub, and staying the night to be sure I wasn’t suffering a concussion coma. Do I have great friends, or what! The next day, to the astonishment of my daughter who calls me she-who-bruises-if-you-look-at-her-funny, I had only a very slight lavender discoloration under my right eye and a bit of whiplash from falling down. Oh, and a scab on the bridge of my nose. A week later, all that was gone.

The trip to Edinburgh on the train was with Bob Harris, my erstwhile writing partner and Debby’s husband, to meet with the editor of Floris Books , a publisher that specializes in Scottish books for children and teens. We had a lovely 20 minutes walk from the train station and then had a good conversation with her at the publishing house. We left her with (on my part) two picture books and a short novel, all set in Scotland, and (on Bob’s part) proposals for five novels all set in Scotland. So we hope for some good news down the line. But are prepared for bad news as well.

As to all that writing: I have been head down in The Girls’ Bible and got about ten books out of the St Andrews University’s Divinity School library on feminist interp of the Bible, and also on specific topics such as Ruth & Naomi, Esther, and Judges. In the last two weeks I finished the side notes for N&R and Esther, added stuff to Sarah and Eve, and started work on Deborah.  I also did a complete revision of the Sings the Walrus picture book for an editor without guarantee she will take the finished piece.

And at home in the States, the ARC of Things to Say to a Dead Man arrived, as did a French edition of  The Emperor & the Kite (oh, those French, only catching on 44 years after the book was published in English!), the author copies of How Do Dinosaurs Go Up and Down, and the author copies of Creepy Monster, Sleepy Monsters. Daughter Heidi sent pictures.

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