Monday, October 14, 2013


The bliss of a day when everything is closed, and it's impossible to do much except read, write, and eat. Just had the best lunch, a plate piled high with leftovers, always much better than the actual meal on the night, when you're too fraught to taste it. There's enough in the fridge for an army. A tall 29-year old will come over at some point to begin ploughing through, and Wayson is scheduled for a meal on Wednesday. My daughter is cooking her own 22 pound turkey today for Eli's father's family. I can't face another feast, another family fest.

So today, in the silence - work. I have cut 6000 words from the manuscript and am aiming for more. There's huge pleasure in this kind of paring, I must remind my students - once it's all there, once you've poured everything you can into the story, then your job is to shape it, and then, last, to chop out every single word that does not advance the narrative. It's hard to be ruthless about this task, o those dear precious words, but it's vital. I feel as if the true story is emerging, lean and renewed, from the underbrush.

Too bad that last publisher saw the fatter version; this one is better. Where to send it next?

It's a beautiful day again; yesterday was rainy and cold, but today, hot and bright, 19 degrees. The potted plants are still out on the deck, but will come in for the winter on Thursday. After that, it gets cold.

Tonight, a great treat on PBS - "56 Up," the next in the "7 Up" series. I've seen almost all of them and can't wait for this one. One of the characters who vanished early on is coming back. I feel like I know them and cherish this panorama of being human and alive, growing up, growing old. They're all grandparents now. Funny thing. Just like me.

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