Last night I finished the really dark mystery I was reading with some relief, Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know. It haunted me during the night, even showing up in my dreams, and now I know why I want to write cozies. This one was grim--about two young sisters who had disappeared and one who surfaced twenty-some years later. I didn't enjoy it, but it was so well done I didn't want to put it down and read the end with mixed emotions--obviously I got caught up in the story, which is every author's dream for readers.. But then I moved on to In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma. I didn't get far into the book, because it was late, but his thesis is that so much of what we eat isn't food--it's synthetic. I'm probably less gulty than many in that category, but I'm still interested in reading his theories. I read somewhere recently that there are some vegetables that hold pesticides, etc., more than others and you should always buy organic--apples, pears, lettuce, and spinach were among the most common that I buy. So last week I bought organic lettuce--it's only thirty cents more a bunch. Think I'll keep doing that.
Ever since the holidays my desk at the office has been piled high--I never seem to catch up, and I know Susan and Melinda feel the same way. We need twice as many people. Tomorrow we have staff meeting and our three graduate students, doing directed studies, will attend the meeting as their introduction to the press. And we have a lot on our plate for the fall list, so they'll be busy--and a big help.
Meantime I've sent off Skeleton in a Dead Space to the publisher I'd been correspnding with and put it out of my mind as much as possible. The submission instructions were very explicit about getting permission for places you mention, etc., so this morning when I had breakfast at the Olde Neighborhood Grill I asked Peter if I had his permission to mention the Grill, and he signed his name in the air. I told him I'd be back for a signature on paper if they accept the manuscript. And tonight I started reading the sequel, which is about half finished. I made notes about what I thought was wrong with it as it is and am digging in. Figure once I'm in Kelly Jones' world (the protagonist) I might best stay there.
On the other hand, I'm distracted. I had a harebrained idea today. Our fall list has been shrinking--two books dropped out, one of them a small book that just won't be ready that soon and the other a reprint where the author hasn't yet gotten the rights back. I decided we should have a holiday book for our small book series, and then I got to thinking about how to do 15,000 words quickly. I am leaning toward ethnic Christmas celebrations in Texas, with recipes--we would include British and Celtic, Hispanic, Greek, Eastern European, and Scandinavian, if I can find enough about them. But then maybe we should do holiday celebrations, including Channukah and Kwanza (about which I know nothing but would like to learn)--and there was one other I saw somewhere, maybe on a Christmas card. I'll bring it up at staff meeting tomorrow.
Jacob was supposed to come for the evening tonight while his parents went to a meeting, but his school rejected him about 3 p.m. He had a 102 temp and what they called RSV--some kind of a respiratory virus (I can't spell what the S stands for). Jordan called while on her way to pick him up, and since I was at my computer I googled it. It's most dangerous to infants under one year and the elderly (is that really me?). She called tonight to say the doctor wanted to see him immediately, and she had taken him in. In my day, we would have said he has a cold, fed him fluids and a soft diet, and waited it out. Now they have all these complicated syndromes and diseases--I'm not sure if that's an advancement or not. Of course, when I was a child, if I'd had these symptoms--fever, cough, etc.--as the daughter of an osteopathic physician, I'd have been given an osteopathic treatment (no, not chiropractic)--not a bad thing at all.
Jordan said Jacob came home saying, "Mama's bed, Dada's bed, millk" and she told him he had to drink water befor ehe could have milk. When I talked to her, I said to tell him Juju loves him, and he said, "No Juju now." He wanted Mama and bed.