Sunday, May 31, 2009

NY's Hotel Pierre, talking animals--and retirement

Today in the Cleo Coyle novel I'm reading I came across a description of the Hotel Pierre. I never knew it was so lavish and ritzy. My dad didn't go to NYC often, but when he did, he stayed at the Pierre. Dad was a Scotsman through and through, so I always thought it was a lesser hotel, even though he traveled on an expense account. Apparently not so. I wish he were here so I could ask him about it.
I've discovered a new dislike: novels with talking animals. I've ordered two recently and decided I couldn't read them. One wonderful thing about Kindle is that you can order the first chapter of a novel free; if you don't like it, just erase it. Want to buy it, which is of course what they hope. Go to one-click Kindle shopping. I ordered a sample of one but dumbly ordered and paid for the full text of the other because I'd read good reviews Reviews or not, I couldn't get into it. Never did read Watership Down. I've decided I must use that function of Kindle all the time. I'm notorious (to myself) for buying books I've already read. At Barnes & Noble, they were good about returning them, but there's no such option on Kindle. I thought I'd read all of Cleo Coyle's coffee house mysteries but Latte Trouble didn't sound familiar. I ordered the first chapter and found I hadn't read it, so I've had my nose in it much of the weekend.
Jacob slept till 8:30 this morning and then I had to wake him up singing "Where's Jacob, Where's Jacob?" He woke up with a big grin. I was afraid Jordan would be unhappy if he slept all morning. Tonight Jacob and his parents and I went to Uncle Julio's--Colin worked there forever (I was afraid he was going to be a bartender all his life) and Jordan worked there three years, so it's sort of a sentimental Mexican placer for us. Two glasses of wine and I had to come home and take a nap!
I guess I can make my big announcement now--well, it's big to me--I'm submitting my letter of retirement tomorrow, effective July 15. The powers-that-be have known this for a long time but asked me to hold off. It's been a hard decision to keep quiet because it effects so much of my thinking and planning. No, I don't know who will succeed me--there will be an interim director while they do a national search, but they haven't settled on an interim and the turmoil surrounding that has me in a constant state.
I sat the other night and made a list of my goals for retirement: the first is to conquer my anxiety by slowly widening the circle of things I will do alone. I've had to do that before, and I know it can be done, but it's tough. I don't think I'll have the peace of mind to do it until I'm out of the office. I can start practicing now, because I know I've really drawn that circle more tightly around me. My other goals have to do with seeing more of my other grandchildren--have to find a way to get to Houston and get over the anxiety enough to ride the train to Austin and Dallas. And to do more serious writing--as readers of this blog know, I keep putting off my current work in progress, blaming it partly on not having heard from the publisher who's had the first mystery for almost six months. But I can query them and their answer may give me a hint about which direction to go. I hope to continue my occasional column for the Dallas Morning News and turn my blog into more of a review blog. And maybe do some other free lancing.
After retirement, I will continue to do acquisitions for the press and participate in some event planning, so I won't lose touch comletely. It's a big wrench--I went to work there in the summer of 1982 and became director in 1987. The press is pretty much my baby (aside from my own babies and their children), and many people have said kind things about what I've built it into. Yes, I'm nervous abut leaving it in other hands. But my good friends Jeannie and Jean have convinced me that I have to look after myself first, not the press. And they're right. I've been anxious for months, and when they both said they were worried about me and that every time I talked about the office I tensed up, I decided it was time to listen. My boss keeps asking if I've changed my mind, which is a nice compliment. But been there, done that, and this time I'm not turning back.

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