I am alive. Working on pacing in the last third of this novel. Working on pacing in my life, so at least I have that meme going for me. Working on not being distracted by the news from the publishing world which increasingly makes my goal of being in print seem fantastical and naive. Working on embracing the new brave world seeing its promise of self-determination as an advantage, rather than daunting.
Speaking of fantasy, though, I never did tell you about what I’ve been doing. Shall we begin with my trip to Phoenix?
The ToolMaster had to travel for work, and Grandma was kind enough to come stay with the kids, so P and I had a week together. It was lovely, peeps. Lovely. He’s a hard-working man and we aren’t as careful as we could be about taking date night. But date week? Amazing. Really nice to know that I’m still married to my best bud, even nicer when it comes with a housekeeping-free backdrop.
He’d work all day and while he did, I gave myself permission to read — I think I managed 9 novels; to write — I took care of interviewing business; to eat — which was my second most successful endeavour. (If you are American, let me just say I’m jealous of you and your Sweet Tomatoes restaurant with its 50-foot salad bar and amazing service. Every day I’d get up and walk from the hotel through the desert heat the mile or so to the nearest one. I would be drenched with sweat and righteously salted and still feel like I’d snagged a deal.)
I also became reasonably good at the always-dangerous, high-contact sport of pool-lounging, though had two close encounters with dangerous beasts: $12 cocktails.
This is another place I will betray my garage-sale-lovin’, thrift-store-savvy roots, because while those drinks were good, they amounted to a blenderized 7-11 Slurpee, 3 berries, and a shot of vodka. What’s up with that?
Anyway, here are a few shots of the city and hotel. None of the people in the pictures are the ToolMaster or I.
Now, I live in a forest-shadowed city in the midst of the prairies, so this landscape is exotic to me, never mind the deluxe accommodations. Truthfully, I’m more at home in the mountains and a tent. But I sure liked the change from the routine.
Also, my first novel, which I’ll be revising and hoping to shop when I’m done this one, was inspired by the Sonoran Desert and Phoenix. Reconnecting with that quite foreign landscape was wonderful for writing.
How has your summer been? Are you making time for your significant other? Have you been anywhere that’s pushed you out of your comfort zone? Have you been to Sweet Tomatoes, and if not, why not? If you appreciate simple, home-cooked food, their corn bread and chickpea soup is fantastic.
Now, if I can keep my momentum going, I’ll share pictures from New York soon, talking about leaving comfort zones…