I kinda liked Liz’s idea of a mid-year report, not just as catch-up, but also as a chance to see how good my life is. It’s important to take stock and remember that always.
Like Liz, I wrote “The End” on a story a couple of weeks ago, which felt grand, I have to tell you. It’s with my editor now, and I’m certain I’m actually nowhere near the end, but finishing that first draft is huge. It’s Sarah’s story—book 4 in the Women of Willow Bay series. Husband and I celebrated with a glass (okay, maybe two) of the really good wine—the Armida Maple Zin that Son sent us for Christmas, not one of our usual bummin' around wines. It’s lovely to have a kid living in California, where all the really terrific wine (in our opinion) comes from.
I’m struggling with what I want to do about my writing career—there are so many indies out there and bless them one and all, but I never really wanted to go indie. I had an agent who sent my stuff out all over New York and everywhere else and always got back the same reply, “Great writing, characters are too old.” As I’ve said here and everywhere else, I’m not going to write young twenty-something characters. I have no idea how to do that. So, the agent and I parted ways and I took the Women of Willow Bay indie and have had a modicum of success with them. Royalty payments show up every month—sometimes they’ll buy me a cup of coffee, other times, maybe a couch, and what that depends on, I have no idea. But I’m submitting again, on my own, no agent. We’ll see, eh? If I don’t generate any interest in four completed novels, then Sarah gets released indie style, which is okay by me. I’ll keep you posted.
I’ve got a total count of 31 books on my reading challenge list—some were fun, some were awful, some were meh . . . but reading has been a wonderful escape from the ugly realities of life and for that, I am grateful. Right now, I’m in the middle of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (on Liz’s rec) and I am loving it! I want to go to Guernsey! I confess to including the books I work on for clients in my count. I figure that’s not cheating because I do have to read them word-for-word. I am only counting each project as one read even though I go back over them at least two more times after the original read. Oh, and speaking of work, it’s good—not too much, not too little—just what I need and that’s nice.
The newest WIP is well underway, although I’m still sorta in discovery on it because as I talked out the bones of the story with Husband, he was wondering where the conflict was. Ummmm . . . excellent question because on rethink, there is actually nothing keeping Hallie and Tim apart. Damn. So, I’m considering the story, while at the same time wondering how wise it is to discuss the mysteries of writing with an engineer.
The lake is glorious this summer—I’ve already been swimming three times, which is a lot for June, when the water is still pretty darn cold. My pal Moe and I spend about an hour to an hour and half swimming, treading, or just plain moving, in the water each time we get in, so it’s great exercise. Haven’t swum off the boat yet, but I’m sure that’s coming along soon. Our kids will be here in late July and there will be lots of water play with Son, DIL, and Grandboy. We’ve seen an abundance of turtles this year and Grandboy is anxious to come to "Nanny-Poppy's-Lake-House" (be sure to say that really fast in one breath) and catch one for himself.
I’m still grieving the loss of my BFF Dee, who passed on June 5. She fought a wicked cancer for five long years and I tried to be with her as much as I could during that battle. It was arduous and exhausting and sad and horrible, but the end came as a relief to her and perhaps also to all of us who loved her and saw her suffering. I miss her every single day, but to quote Lorelai Gilmore, “I'm fine. I mean, not that I'm over it, but little by little, it's getting easier to pretend it's easier, which means easier must be right around the corner.”
Meanwhile, life goes on and actually, it’s pretty darn sweet. The lake cottage is delightful in summer, and my city house is warm and cozy in winter. I have dear friends who love me, a charming kid and grandkid, and Husband and I celebrate 44 years of marriage on Friday. I’d say those are some pretty significant blessings. I'd love to hear about yours.