There are two screens open on my computer right now, this one I’m writing to you on, and just under it, Word, with seventy-one pages of my new book, a very rough draft, written. Voila! If you had x-ray vision you could read it. You KNOW I love to write my blog, but right now I’m addicted, addicted I tell you, to the writing of this book. I love going back in time to search for magic. Actually there are three screens open, there’s THIS.
On my art table, oh what an assortment, two of my old diaries are face down and open because I’m reminding myself of inspirations from my youth and my days and thoughts from long ago. I just found a list I made called “The Secrets of Life.” I’ve made so many lists with names like “What I Want” or “How to be Happy” and they almost all say the same things.
Between the scribbled pages there are ticket stubs, valentines, polaroid pictures, things cut out from newspapers, notes friends left on my door when I wasn’t home, shopping lists, old letters from my grandma (Every one of them starts “Sue Darling” causing eyes to water and lower lip to protrude) and my mom, and from Diana when I first moved to the island. The recipe for my mom’s Circus Cake (it’s going into book) is peeking out from under them. One of my Junior Classics Stories of Wonder and Magic is open to a fairytale I found while looking for the scary Hobia story my dad used to terrify us with. It’s called the Brownie and the Cook and it’s written by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik and I think I need to read it. I just found the part in my diary where I came to the island for the first time. I’m on the boat, it’s cold outside, the ferry is rocking, I’m drinking hot chocolate and thinking everyone on the boat looks like a Kennedy. I can see the island coming towards us through ocean-splashed windows. Who would’a thunk it all these years ago that these diaries would come in so handy one day? For organization and storytelling. They are like my own little memory catalogs. I can see the snow falling out my window from my bed in 1984, get my first kitty in 1976, burn up my first stove in 1974. It’s all there! Plenty of cringing going on too. Ah youth. I will try to spare you the gory details. Here’s a pretty piece of MUSICA so you don’t have to think about it.
In reality, I’m home here on the island and firmly attached to the 21st century; one of my grandma’s knitted nap blankets is over my lap and legs, the light on my desk shines out to the street making a square of yellow on the ground, I have a big cup of lavender and roses tea with honey and cream. Girl Kitty is on her pillow on my art table and Jack is in the kitchen staring at the floor next to the door. I don’t know why. Apparently something is there, but I can’t see it. He’s been at this spot off and on for several days now. All’s quiet on the eastern front. Heater is humming, damp towels are moistening the air, it’s still dark outside, and fingers are clicking away. Blessings • blessings • blessings. ♥
I’m waking up these mornings with words jumping out of my head. I can’t get downstairs quite fast enough to get my thoughts down. This book seems to be writing itself. I carry paper and pencil everywhere with me. They’re in the pockets of my jacket when we walk out the dirt road in the morning, and on the table next to the bed so if I wake up with a memory or an astute and brilliant thought (like that happens), I can get it down before it disappears in a dream puff or gets crowded out by the next one coming to the top. Diana’s voice rises up distinct and clear in my head, “Why don’t you go ask him to dance?” I burst into laughter, and run for paper and pen. This book is flowing out of me like a river after a big snow. Joe is my editor, he reads my pages as we go along, fixes sentences, gives me suggestions. He’s scanning old photos and getting them ready to put in the book and working hard not to get his tea bag caught on his glasses.
Only one other thing takes my attention almost as much and that’s another book ~ the one I’m reading written by Donna Tartt called Goldfinch. I take it upstairs to my exercise bike and as I ride and read my thoughts turn completely away from the book I’m writing and go into an entirely NEW and all encompassing world. I’m somewhere around page 150, and it sits up there waiting for me like a little jewel. I’ve been loving the characters and the way the story is going, but suddenly there’s this new character and I don’t like him and I want to scream to the boy, and to all the people supposedly taking care of him, “Don’t go with this guy!!!!!!!” But I have no power and it looks like we are moving to Las Vegas.
The weather is definitely changing although I’m kind of impervious to it right now. I notice when we go for our walk there’s definitely more light. The sun was breaking over our faces out there yesterday, I had to take off my hat. Also, how about that, daylight saving time? AGAIN. It’s giving me a slight case of jet lag. (I just looked at the clock in here and thought, “Oh, that’s wrong, it’s almost 6:00 ~ need to fix that.) Another season is slipping into the past. Have any of you started Christmas shopping yet? I almost feel like I should begin thinking about it! I’m going to wake up and it’ll be here! Fa-la-la-la-la! Help!
I’m trying hard to be healthy which is much more difficult when my mind is elsewhere as it is these days. I eat apples in the morning, I’m addicted to apples for some reason now, and I have cut-up carrots and celery in the fridge for those moments when I crave SOMETHING and must grab it NOW. I keep a HUGE bowl of my favorite crunchy juicy coleslaw in my fridge at all times, with sliced almonds, golden raisins, chopped apple, thinly sliced cabbage, shredded carrot and dressed with mayonnaise thinned with fresh lime juice. I eat on that practically all day. I’ll have a baked sweet potato for dinner, or maybe a piece of fresh fish and some broccoli, and there we are. Not counting the M and M’s in my desk drawer. Am I losing weight? No. That is not a thing that happens. But I feel good. It’s the only way to get through book writing and still be alive at the end of it. Exercise and eating right. Not quite as easy as it sounds, is it girls? However . . . we keep on keepin’ on, because . . .
N o w e a r e n o t.
Hope all is well with you guys. OH! I just lifted my eyes, guess what? It’s snowing! Pretty• pretty• pretty. Never a dull moment around here. Well, must go now. One guess where I’m going? Yup, just the other side of this screen. Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day! XOXO, your friend, Anna Susana Branchburger the Third. Yes, that is me in alternate ego and in full girlfriend mode. ♥