Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dr Blackanddecker

mainly sunny, growing warmer, temps 20

Today started early and cold. Very cold. And very early. Alarm sounded at 5:30 - I rolled over. Michael got up then I dragged myself out of bed, dressed etc - and was in the car before 6. Waving goodbye to Michael and Trudy.

I had a 9am dental appointment in Montreal. A 3 hour appointment.

As soon as I sat down he said to his assistant, 'Get the hammer ready, just in case.'

I started to laugh, thinking he was kidding. he wasn't. Now, there's a sentence you never want to hear from your dentist...or doctor, actually. or accountant.

Happily, the hammer wasn't necessary. Nor was the chain saw or jaws of life. and three hours later i left.

Normally three hour dentist appointment, that involved a 3 hour drive, isn't top of my fun list. But, I happen to adore my dentist and his assistant, and his receptionist and have been going there for about 90 years - since a 1/2 hour in the chair is about a year in normal time. But mostly this was terrific because I REALLY needed the quiet time to think.

Yesterday I worked on the book from 9:30 - as soon as we returned from breakfast (french toast and coffee) to 9 last night. I wrote about a thousand words then decided I needed to map out the remainder of the book. In doing that I realized I'd created a couple of huge structural problems. I was appalled. And felt a little stressed and sick.

How to solve the problems??

How fortunate, then, to have three hours in the car alone, with my music - and my thoughts. And sure enough, a few ideas came. Not sure if they're enough - but a start.

I actually vascillated between really, really wanting not to go, but to get down to writing - to actively solving the problem...throwing myself against the book, over and over, until it shifts.

But I know this was for the best. And now I can hardly wait to get at it, with this new plan. Part of it involved actually writing the final scene...then working backwards and forwards...and meeting someplace I hope.

However, I plan to have the hammer ready, just in case.

Had a lovely interview with the Ottawa Citizen yesterday. A man named James...felt more like a fun conversation...hope I didn't say anything too claiming to have been nominated for an Anthony Award this year.


That actually happened!!! Had the official announcement yesterday morning! THE CRUELEST MONTH has been nominated for an Anthony in the US for Best Novel!!! This, I have to say, is hugely prestigous and exciting.

The other nominees are:

Best Novel
Trigger City by Sean Chercover [William Morrow]
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly [Little, Brown and Company]
Red Knife by William Kent Krueger [Atria]
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson [Knopf]
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris [Minotaur]
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer [Doubleday]
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson [Knopf]
Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet [Midnight Ink]
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith [Grand Central]

The awards will be given out at Bouchercon in mid-October in Indianapolis.

This is thrilling - especially given the company! Congratulations to all.

Between replying to congratulatory messages and interviews we were dealing with sewage - well, septic systems anyway. The universe has a way of balancing things out! Our friend Dwayne came by and he, Tony and Michael tried to decode the hole in the guest cottage lawn.

Seems that wasn't the actual septic tank (didn't smell-as a clue)- more likely part of the weeping field (great name, no? - we have a weeping field). But they dug til they found the tank and discover it was also caving in (it did smell). So now we have two holes (one of which smells). Not certain we're going in the right direction here. And we have a series of summer tenents arriving early June. Some of whom read this blog. So - if you're coming to the cottage I want you to know this:

Everything's F.I.N.E. And I say that sincerely. Now, a few new suggestions - you might want to cut back on fibre and fruits, and consider having a good old fashioned festival du fromage.

Oh, I hear Michael on the phone with Dwayne arranging for a backhoe. More holes.



Jo B. said...

I love how calm and cool you are with "a backhoe in the yard" and a nomination for an Anthony! What a difference in happenings!!

lil Gluckstern said...

I studied a psychological tradition that reveres "w-holes," the great round, the greatest tree casts a a great shadow. Shoot, I'm sure you know this. So enjoy your Anthony nomination and the sheer power of the backhoe, and hopefully, your flowers will drown out out the smells. I am sure you would like a quiet uneventful day, or maybe not. It's all grist for the mill. I am a little under the weather, so I am babbling-good luck.


hilary said...

Sorry about your holes...
Congratulations on the Anthony...
Life has its ups and downs....



Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Jo,

It is a full life...and we all now know what it's full of.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Lil,

sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. Hope you recover soon and it isn't serious.

Now, have to confess - you lost me. W-holes? Is that a euphamism? I've heard of A-holes (worked with a few) - but not W. But I lead a sheltered (though smelly) existence.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hilary,

crack me

Susan D said...

Louise, you must be the only writer in the world who would mention the If-I-Had-a-Hammer Dental Appt first and the Anthony nomination as an afterthought.

Congratulations on both.