Thursday, July 17, 2014


Today, by sheer chance, I discovered a problem with the manuscript of the writing book. Someone has made a decision with which I vehemently disagree, and now the question is: have the books already been printed? Because I won't allow them to be distributed as is. There are times in a writer's life when you think, "They don't #@$# pay me enough for this." But that's always the case; they never do. I am doing another proofread and waiting to hear from the publisher about how to solve this problem.

I am drinking wine and saying to myself, "It's just a book. It's just a book." And it is. But it's MY book.

In the meantime, the weather in Toronto is unexpectedly sublime - just fresh enough yet warm enough to feel like the perfect summer. The tight little heads of my black-eyed Susans are about to unfurl, and the sky above, what I can see from my inner city yard, is blue blue blue. I am smelling jasmine, gardenia, rosemary, lavender, phlox. One small geranium is so full of fuschia-coloured blooms, it's embarrassing. What a show off.

And there's joy - Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are back after a long break. Two nights ago, Jon Stewart had an extraordinary interview with Hilary Clinton, giving her a job aptitude test: Do you prefer to work in offices with corners or offices WITHOUT CORNERS? She laughed and was more human and relaxed than I've ever seen her. Last night, Colbert interviewed one of my favourite men on earth, Bill de Blasio, the fantabulous mayor of NYC, who talked about income inequality and extending free JK to every child in the city. It is to dream.

And yet - insanity in most other places, in the Middle East, in Ukraine, all over. I am grateful that I made a mistake - last week I called the Star to cancel my paper during our trip, but I must have given them the wrong dates. They continued to deliver last week but are not delivering this. So in the morning, with my coffee, I gaze not at the latest atrocities on our little globe, but at the garden. Mind you, the garden has its issues too - way too much zucchini, toppling hydrangea, failing basil, and slugs, the hated slugs.

The current New Yorker lists an event on July 20 called a Seeger Fest - a celebration of Pete and his wife, organized by their grandson, with Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow and many others. If I weren't teaching that day, my impulse would be to jump in a plane and go celebrate two giant humane beautiful souls. Jesus God, we need them.

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