Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keeping busy

I thought I'd have a lot of time to write this weekend, but I realize that I have friends coming Saturday night for a light supper--gazpacho and egg salad sandwiches with smoked salmon and tarragon--and the neighbors Sunday night for leg of lamb, which is a thank-you to Jay for taking Scooby for a grooming. It occurs to me that I invent all the things on my calendar that keep my busy. If I wanted to write every evening, I could do it--I'd just have to cut out entertaining, eating out with friends, occasional literary evenings, wine on the porch with the neighbors, and all the things I enjoy. At this stage of life, no thank you. I like the activities I create, and I've gotten good at not doing what I don't want to.
Wynona is back home from the vet with clean teeth. I am tempted to tell him what life without a cat is like if he bugs me again, because last night I had a taste of it. He wasn't sitting on my desk, stalking me until I fed him; he didn't demand food just before I went to bed. And this morning, the neatest thing of all--he didn't get me up at 6:15--Scooby and I slept luxuriously late until 6:45, and then I was so rushed I set off the alarm when I let him out. But again, no messing with Wywy's food and antibiotics. Still, I missed him. And tonight I feel sad for him--he hasn't quite got his back legs into action again after the anesthesia. He tried to jump up to where I usually keep his food, out of Scoob's reach, and he fell down backward. I picked him up and soothed him and let him eat, but then I moved the food down to the floor, at least until Scooby comes in for the night. Just now he jumped up on my desk but almost didn't make it--one back leg gave out on him visibly. I do not want to talk--or think--about what I've spent on animals in the last two weeks, between Wywy's health and Scooby's haircut and tooth brushing.
I'm working away on the mystery, and it's going well. The more I write, the more I think of what's going to happen next. I've thought about Robert Parker,who never goes back to rewrite, because I get to a certain point in chapter five and realize some thing that happened in chapter two is all wrong, and I have to go back and change it. A character that I had a straight, upright man in his fifties really needs to be a nervous, milk-toast man in his sixties, with a combover hairdo, and similar things. But still I'm pleased with the progress. A bit more on chapter five, and then I'm going to go back and study the first four chapters one more time--this is, maybe, the fifth time. My mentor and favorite crime novel authority has agreed to read them. When I realize what little luck some of the writers on the Guppies (going to be published) blog are having, I feel strangely optimistic--like the gods of publishing are going to smile on me. Maybe that's smug.
I spent a hot hour in the guest apartment today, undoing plastic bags of linens, seat cushions, books, etc., and then I did four loads of wash. I figure all those linens got dusty while stored in the garage, even if they were in plastic bags. Jeannie came over for a glass of wine and brought the rest of a jar of pickled herring I'd left at her house. After we had our wine and herring, she helped me put the dust ruffle on the bed. So tomorrow I'll get the main bed made and collect linen for the other beds. It's really beginning to look like a room.

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