Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Small World


Her adorable little boy, sitting in
a cardboard box, happy as can be
I was vending at a farmer's market on Saturday - the usual upcycled goodies and a small display of books - and the vendor next to me sold flowers. We got to talking, as usually happens when you're beside someone at a market, and eventually she came over to look at my things and commented on the books. She's a big reader, when she has the time, she says. She bought Coming Apart and said she hopes we run into each other at another market so she can tell me how much she enjoyed it.

I'm really going to be interested in her thoughts, but I won't know them unless we cross paths again because she's Mennonite and doesn't deal much with technology.

But I want to know her thoughts, because: she's 34, with 6 children, ages 15-6 months. Her last baby, a boy, was born on Christmas day.

Ava, the main character in Coming Apart, is 32, with 6 children, ages 14-6 months. Her last baby, a boy, was born on Christmas day.

Sometimes coincidences are just coincidences, and sometimes they feel like a person's been thrown in front of you for a reason.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


It's been hot and I'm having trouble getting out of my own way lately. I've been writing off and on - trying to get the first draft of Coming Together done by mid-August - but much else. Cruising around town at low speed, doing errands and drinking a lot of water. Brushing Rufus because he sheds like a maniac and in sweaty weather, all it does is stick to me.

Rufus is being his usual slightly-standoffish but extremely handsome self. He makes up for his lack of cuddles by being extremely photogenic, and I've started sharing a #dailyrufus photo of him on Facebook (weekly ones on the writer page) because otherwise my phone is just full of cat photos with no purpose other than showing them to people and saying, "Isn't he cute?"

Of course he's cute. He's a cat. An orange cat. And he's very bendy.

And with that, since I have very little to say for myself this week, have a few stellar #dailyrufus pics.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

I'm still smiling

 A few weeks ago, I did a Night Market in my town - Lansdowne is very artsy / craftsy / creative  - and in addition to my sewn items, I took along a small stack of books. They didn't stay out long, because it started to rain and I didn't want them to get damaged, but they were out long enough for a woman to buy a copy of Coming Apart.

It sounded interesting, she said, though she'd never been much of a reader and she'd never read historical fiction before. She decided to give it a shot, and as she walked away, I wondered if she'd put it aside to get to someday or if she'd actually read it.

Well, this is the message I got the other day. Not only did she read it, but she LOVED it - in all caps - and we've made a plan to meet up soon so she can purchase the second book in the series. 

I'm hoping we can conduct the transaction at our local coffee shop, because I'd like to hear all the thoughts she referenced in her message.

Moral of the story: if you read a book and you love it, tell the author. You have no idea what it means to get a message like this. I'm still smiling.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Long weekend

I had so many things planned for the long weekend - getting together with friends, going out to dinner, a few house chores a lot of sewing, and equal amount of writing (book three is chugging along), and since the weather was supposed to be mostly clear, a few grubby hours in the garden.

What did we do this weekend? Well, the weekend technically started early. Mario works from home Wednesday through Friday, and while he does put in a full day, his hours are somewhat flexible. But in fact he had a half day Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, a half day Monday, and all day Tuesday.

I had So. Many. Plans.

And we accomplished almost none of them. On Friday, we got together with two friends to go to a new restaurant in town. We met at least ten other people there that we knew, which gives me hope the restaurant will succeed. It's a nice little place - mostly breakfast and lunch, but they serve dinner on Fridays - and they're ridiculously underpriced for the quality and quantity of the food they serve.

Saturday, we walked to the farmers market, but it was hot and sticky and our air quality was bad, due to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. We had coffee at the cafe and came home. I did a bunch of sewing, a little writing. A neighbor gave us an enormous package of baby spinach, so I sauteed that with backyard garlic and we had it for dinner.

Sunday, we slept in, walked slowly - heat and air again - to our favorite Mexican/Irish breakfast place. When we got home, I wrote and he hung out in his office inexplicable things on the computer.

I finally tackled a chunk of my to-do list on Monday. Laundry, cleaning, gardening, writing, so that I could have some down time with him on the holiday.

Our town no longer has official fireworks, because the organization in charge of them dissolved two years back, a combination of covid, several members retiring after decades of strong arming neighbors to chip in for the entertainment, and no new volunteers coming up. However, The unofficial fireworks have been happening from mid-afternoon until the middle of the night, every single day of long weekend.

Rufus likes fireworks about as much as as he likes the vacuum cleaner. I'm not a fan of the noise either, but it's acceptable behavior for him to go and hide in the basement until the noise is over, while I don't do that. I just grumble and swear.

Looking back, my long weekend was mostly about food. Which is never a bad thing, but on the other hand, I shouldn't be surprised when I look at the scale. A friend told me recently but the heavier you are, the harder you are to kidnap. I think she may be on to something.