Sunday, January 8, 2023

a manuscript out in the world

Not much better, but not worse. It's the lungs. I do wonder if I had or have something besides Covid, though it's not bad enough to go to the doctor. Still, short of breath, coughing, wheezing. The lungs hurt.

My cat and I are watching sparrows and juncos in the garden, busy not just at the feeder but in the bushes, pecking, chattering. It's like an early spring day, as it has been all week - gloomy but mild, not like winter at all. Sun was promised for today and is eagerly awaited, but so far, elusive.

The excitement is that I spent all yesterday finishing a draft of the essay book and sent it to four beta readers, all my longterm home class students so fierce critics and wonderful writers themselves. It's thrilling to anticipate that kind of expert feedback. So far no one except my excellent editor Ellie has seen the ms., so I've no idea if it works. Tenterhooks.

What are tenterhooks?

I've been very lucky with Tiggy Stardust. She's a lap cat, so much so that the minute I sit in my favourite chair and pull on the blanket, she's there, keeping me warm. My last cats were neither of them lap cats, although the whole POINT of a cat is to sit in your lap. Tiggy knows that. She's a delight, the perfect companion. So glad we found each other.

My friend Margaret posted this lovely image on FB: 'Breakfast of the Birds', 1934, by Gabriele M√ľnter. It feels like here, except for the absence of cat.


  1. Congratulations on finishing your essay collection, Beth. A wonderful winter achievement. Fingers crossed for the next step...

    1. Thank you, Theresa. Just following you and your beautiful "Blue Portugal." Hooray for essays!