June 29-July 9, 2012:

All good intentions washed away by the constant rain. According to the Met Office, this is Scotland’s rainiest summer since they started keeping accounts of it. Though I must say, it’s sunny out there right now though I am inside, once again felled by laryngitis.  But more of that anon.


Stuff in General:

I have been a very busy lady. Lots of visitors, and going places with friends. To the garden scheme at Balcaski House with friend Christine, for example. Even in the rain the garden  is gorgeous, elegant. An interesting house. A delightful young laird who came out and answered questions. Afterwards we went through the garden at Kelly Castle, my favorite. I bought flowers to plant at both places.

Later on the weekend, I had tea with friends Janie and Pam in the garden at Rufflets Country House. We were the only ones sitting outside because–yep–it was pouring rain. But we were under a great big garden umbrella and so had the place to ourselves.

The next morning a photographer came from Edinburgh to do in-depth photographs of the house for a book by Yale University Press on the Scottish Arts&Crafts movement. I thought it would be an hour at most,  but he was here for four hours and, since it was raining and he still needs a good outside photo or five, he will be back.

End of the week, Kathrine Langrish, a wonderful fantasy writer from Oxford, and her husband David, plus Lisa Tuttle (coming over from near Glasgow) arrived for a a couple of overnights. We walked into town for dinner. The next day was the third annual Wayside Luncheon for YA Fantasy Writers and, yes, it was bucketing down all day long. Debby and Bob Harris, Elizabeth Wein, Elizabeth Kerner, AnnMarie Allen were all in attendance. Two more who were supposed to come were both felled by illnesses–Caroline Clough and Alex Nye. By evening I had NO voice left from all the passionate gabbing. And now, a day and a half later, it is still full-blown laryngitis.


I finished draft (oh, I don’t know) 7 or 8 of an odd retelling of an urban Red Riding Hood. Probably a short story, possibly something else. And a Wizard of Oz story in which Dorothy, whirled away by the cyclone, joins a circus in Missouri, second full draft down and probably a couple of strong revisions to go.

Rebecca Dotlich and I finished an on-spec picture book called The Mouse Poet which we have sent on to our agent.

I went over 7 different updated versions of the Ekaterinoslav poems in book format. It looks lovely ith archival (and family) photographs. I kept finding things I wanted to change, driving my usually calm editor Jim Perlman quite mad.

Wrote a new poem for Thunder Underground, which I had thought entirely done. Editor loved it, but that necessitated about ten backs and forths as well.

I wrote a number of poems for Terri Windling’s blog on writing and the artist’s life. Here is one of them:

A Visit to the Inquisitor

Yes, he knows the questions,

but he does not know the answers.

His brain knocks, nudges, puzzles,

does not let him sleep at night.

Not knowing is a pebble in the shoe,

that never ceases to annoy

even when the sock is stripped away.

Whatever answers I give him

breathed out in a forced breath

are not enough. He does not trust them.

He is mad with the dark pathways

that I dance down so easily,

If he is cruel with me,

he is crueler with himself.

I forgive him in the end.

I know where I am going,

the answers in my pocket,

the fork ahead a treasure.

It is all about the road.

©2012 The Drawing Board


Tomorrow I return to Centaur Field and try to finish it by week’s end. Wish me luck, and kiss me, Hardy. Tis a far,, far better thing, etc.



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