Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Joyeux Fete

sunny, cloudy, drizzle, temps 20

Happy St Jean Baptiste! The patron saint of Quebec. This is the major holiday here. Fireworks, bonfires, concerts. The streets of Sutton are festooned with Fleurs de Lys flags (flag of Quebec). This is the unofficial start of holidays. And, actually - the week between St Jean Baptiste (the major French celebration) and Canada Day (July 1st - the major anglo celebration) is the timing for the fourth book in the series. THE MURDER STONE/A RULE AGAINST MURDER is set in that week.

Thunderstorm out now. too bad - always feel sorry for the organizors of all the events. Still, it will probably pass soon.

We don't really celebrate it - we do have a celebration on Canada Day, though. We have my brother Doug and four kids (ages 9-11) arriving on Friday. We bought (besides aspirin) a bunch of sparklers for the kids, and Michael. Used to be such fun writing our names (what else?) in light.

We have Monopoly and Checkers, Backgammon and I plan to buy Mad Magazine and a whole lot of comic books. I used to love all that as a kid. These kids might prefer the DVD's though. Oh well. We figure coming here is like visiting Grandpa and Grandma...lots of treats. And we go to bed early.

Edited two more chapters of book 5 today. My critics cap is firmly on and I have no idea anymore if it's crap or brilliant or anywhere in between - though I have my suspicions.

Had a very nice exchange of emails with another author at St Martin's Minotaur, Chris Grabenstein. He's not only a lovely man, he's a wonderful writer. His latest book is called Hell Hole and it's coming out this summer. He's won the Anthony and is extremely talented. As you know, I don't recommend all that many authors, but he's one. I haven't read his latest, but the whole series of Ceepak books are worth checking out.

We have chicken ready for the barbecue. Our trick (given to us by a friend) is to cook them in the oven first, then put on the sauce and barbecue them for the last 5-10 minutes, just for flavour. Otherwise, if we try to BBQ them from raw they come out carbonized on the outside and raw on the inside. Pretty good way to committ murder, actually.

Had a terrific book club talk with Lynn Kaczmarek and 16 others - by phone. I really wished I could have been there in person, and hope to be one day. They're about 4 hours outside Chicago, so who knows.

Made plane reservations back to England, for September. This time it's on Michael's business - he's been invited back to Cambridge (he's a grad of Christs College) for the inaugural meeting of a society of medical grads. It's a 'secret' society (as I kid him) so I'm not invited, but I am invited to tea in the Fellow's Garden and dinner in the Great Hall. Can you imagine how much fun that'll be?

And I have to say, Michael has spent 3 years schlepping all over the place with me and my books - it's so much fun to once again be the 'accompanied' for him.

We're at 131,000 words and dropping in the book 5 edit! It might be crap, but it's at least a small pile.


London Kate said...

On the subject of editing and crapness - a quote from Anne Enright, Irish writer who won the Booker Prize in 2007:

"A successful writer did not write the book you open in the shop. The successful writer wrote about sixteen crap books, and kept working them, and rearranging them until one less crap book was born. Never look at your work and despair - this is hard, it takes nerves of steel - look at your work and then work at it."

Best wishes and belated congrats for the Agatha!
Kate x

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Kate,

What a fantastic quote! thank you. That's exactly how I feel. How kind you are to think of me and send it.