Saturday, 3 October 2009

Nagging, with a side order of peas

partly cloudy, windy, smattering of rain, temps 5

So far no snow...but it sure felt like sleet while walking Trudy around the pond. She took off after a deer in the field, but I know all I need do is break a cookie in half and she's back. And she could never catch the deer - thank heaven.

Michael continues to improve. Every hour he puts a cold compress on his face. At first it was ice cubes, but then I switched that to a bag of frozen peas. Not sure it helps but it looks funny - so it helps me. Might give him a leg of lamb tomorrow. But honestly, he's doing brilliantly. He's very disciplined about the drops too...nothing cavalier, which is a relief. I don't have to keep nagging him.

Though, as I point out ad nauseum, at least he has a wife who loves him enough to care. Who wants him well. I read somewhere that the healthier men have wives who nag. Physically healthiest...not so sure about mentally.

Nag, of course, is an insult...and belittles women and their right to a voice. I use it to mock myself, but it's not a perception I actually buy in to. I figure his health effects both of us, so I have a right to a say. Just as he has a right to a voice in my health.

Except for that colonoscopy he's been nagging me to get.

Had a lovely message from a reader, Erin Casey, who wrote about yesterday's blog:

I was particularly pleased that you mentioned the donation of tissue in your blog. Canada is not a leader when it comes to donations of organs and tissue. The problem is education, as I am sure your husband, a physician, is intimately aware.

Somewhere out there is a family who may read your blog or hear of it.Though they may never know if it was their loved one who gave the gift, they will see the joy it has brought yourselves and know their loved one made that difference.

If you have any further thoughts on tissue or organ donation, I hope you shall share them with your readers. We live, we love, we share and we grow.

that's what Erin wrote.

Well, for what it's worth, I'm an organ donor - though between us I'm hoping they'll be all worn out by the time donation is an issue. And if any of you are offered my liver? Say no.

But clearly Michael and I have been given what Erin, in a later email, called a wonderous gift. Michael's sight has been saved because some poor one died, and a family in the midst of their grief allowed his or her organs to be donated.

The least we can do is pass ours on. And how wonderful to think we might live on, through someone else.

On another front - I finished the QuickReads novella today. I'd done the first draft a few weeks ago, then let it rest while I worked on something else. Then, this week, got to do the editing.

Have decided the story is actually quite good. Feels VERY different from the regular Gamache books. Shorter, of course, so less depth of character and fewer characters. And, because its target audience is adults in literacy programmes - emerging readers - the sentences and words are very simple. It's written at a 3.6 grade level.

But I'm hoping that, like poetry, there is great beauty and truth in simplicity. As I wrote and edited I thought a lot about Josephine Tey and Georges Simenon and Hemingway. And the wonderful Alice Munro. We'll see if I even come close, and clearly if I've failed it wasn't for lack of great writers as inspiration.

But, you know, I actually am very pleased with it. We'll see. Perhaps you'll see. The novella will be published in a year and will be available around the world. It's a fundraiser for literacy projects.

Tomorrow is the official launch of THE BRUTAL TELLING! Very exciting. There's a brunch at the Lakeview Inn in Knowlton at 11am. I'll be giving a short talk and reading. And signing. It's also a fundraiser for literacy.

Another bit of great news is that we made this week's USA Today bestseller list of top 150 books. THE BRUTAL TELLING is just clinging on at #146, and is preparing for the big tumble right off the list. Still, we've never been on it, and this is particularly great because their top 150 includes not just fiction, but non-fiction, hardcovers, paperbacks, childrens, science fiction, TV tie-ins and even vampires!

So, to say I'm thrilled is an understatement. I might go and put frozen peas on my face, just to calm down.

Be well. Thanks for keeping me company.


Lesa said...

Congratulations on the official launch of The Brutal Telling, Louise! And, that's terrific that you're hanging in on the USA Today list with the vampires. (grin)

Best of all, you're a caring wife. (And, Michael is right. You should get that colonscopy. I had it, and it's not bad at all.)

Bev Stephans said...

Dear Louise,

Did you know that The Brutal Telling was #19 on The New York Times bestseller list this week. It is dated October 2, 2009.


P.S. Let us know what you did with the defrosted bag of peas.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Lesa,

Yes, damned vampires. And new Gamache needs to watch out for zombie too. Poor guy. Challenging times.

Yes - I think I will have the colonoscopy...glad to hear you had it. Michael says it's fun, but I think he's lying.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Bev,

YES!!!! Number 19 - can you believe it????! hahahaha...I feel maniacal.

And about the peas - fortunately Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend, so I plan to serve them then. Might even defrost the turkey on his face - depending on if he calls me a nag again.

Shelagh Davis said...

Dear Louise, Finished "The Brutal Telling" last night - wow! I'm with others who say this is your best! Problem now is "what to read"; half-kidding - I have a P.D. James and a Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (have you read her Inspector Bill Slider series - she also has a sense of humor) that I put aside to read BT, and which are due back to the Library in a week. Didn't want to do anything else but read anyway! Hope the signing went well today. Thinking of you both and wishing Michael good thoughts in getting better very soon. Shelagh D.

bgpringle said...

I have 35 pages left in The Brutal Telling and don't want it to end. It's definitely your best - to date. Glad Michael is doing so well - keep up the nagging and have the colonoscopy - not fun but necessary. Don sends his best to Michael.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Shelagh,

I'm SO glad you liked it!!! Frankly, it means a lot to me to hear that - so thank you!

And I will try Cynthia's series...thanks!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi B and D,

L and M here. Really glad you're enjoying the book so far!!! have you finished yet?

Thanks for the good wishes about Michael and he says hi back.

Cece said...

Congratulations on more well-deserved kudos. And don't worry-during daylight hours those vampires have to go back into their boxes, and the list rearranges itself.
The upside of a colonoscopy, re: my best friend, who just had hers....the weight loss and the blessed oblivion. For one day you feel fashion-model skinny (and faint, just like they do) and all your worries disappear when you are "under" for a while- like at a spa. Hold that spa thought.