Tuesday, 30 November 2010

And don't call me Shirley

Overcast, rain in forecast, temps 4

But we haven't been outside all day and don't intend to go. Who would when you can curl up in front of the fireplace here at Hovey manor.

Heard the sad news that leslie Nielson had died. What a fun man, and terrific actor. And a Canadian! In an obit of him I read someone say that most comedy comes from a dark and painful place. But that Nielson's came from a place of great joy. He was a happy man. What a beautiful epitaph.

We're at Hovey manor. Here's a photo of us at breakfast this morning. (Don't tell Michael)

And this is one of me I just took. In our room (I suppose that's obvious). What you can't see if that I'm wearing mis-matched socks. I plan to let myself go completely to seed.

What a very strange feeling...to relax. I realize I've spent 8 months on edge. First writing the next book - called A TRICK OF THE LIGHT (out next September in Canada and US). Then two months touring. Always aware. Switched on. Paying attention. to the weather. To the clock. To people. To flights and announcements and timing and schedules. Always having to go somewhere. Do something. Always something lovely. But still, something.

It is now taking a bit of time to switch off. To exhale. And what joy - I can feel it in my heart...really, genuinely feel it there - this relief. I don't have to pay attention any more. I can shut down. Nowhere to go - no schedule except one Michael and I decide on.

I need to do the edits for A TRICK OF THE LIGHT...the notes sent by the UK and US editors. But they're not difficult. A quite interesting issue but I think that will be solved by adding a small scene early on. And the rest are more or less details. Nothing stressful. And loads to time to do it.

Enough to keep me occupied when we return home - but not enough to stress about. A lovely balance.

Let me tell you about dinner last night....as the starter Michael had squash soup with celeriac and bacon. I had scallops. Then Michael had venison and I had pheasant. then for dessert, Michael had apple donut and apple ice cream. I had grilled pears.

For the breakfast you see, we had the chef's inspiration of french toast, berry compote, whipped cream cheese - and he had sausages (perhaps not as many as he expected) and I had bacon.

Thank God we're back in Pina's exercise class. Will take a month to work this off...but every bite is worth it.

Well - back to doing nothing.

'Surely you're not serious!'

'I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.'


Muriel said...

Well deserved down time! Though I don't know how I will last until next September!! Enjoy the rest, the season, and wearing mis-matched socks and whatever else you feel so inclined to do!

VTSlajer said...

Oh, Louise, when your latest blog entry loaded on my screen and I noticed the pictures, I was scared for a moment. Was Michael being kidnapped? Than I realized that it was you. Well, kidnapped at Manoir Hovey by own wife - that could be a detective story with its own merits. I started to read and soon knew that all was quite well and there was well deserved peace in the valley on the lake.

Thanks for sharing with us the title of your next book. It is time to start memorizing it - A TRICK OF THE LIGHT, book #7 already! I am just about to start reading book #3 The Cruellest Month. I have to hold myself back and read them rather slowly because there would not be anything left. What would I do then? Perhaps eat more?

Louise, how do you do it to stay slender, slim and trim? That's what I saw when we recently met at the Montreal Salon du livre. My eyes do not lie, I have 2 pairs. And please, do not recommend me another exercise class. You have even documented for posterity all those calories, cholesterol, fat and sugar consumed - and, yet, it does not do anything to your figure. Do successful mystery novel writers hold another secret from us, the unwashed?

Linda said...

Hi Louise,
What a great photo of the two of you at breakfast! You really know how to unwind; Hovey Manoir looks like a place I may have to investigate up close.
September seems such a long way off...
Enjoy your down time; you've earned it!
Peace. Linda

Marcia said...

I absolutely love the photo of the peaceful tootsies. Going to seed...what a marvelous idea. As much as I enjoy your exploits, it does tire me a bit reading about them. And I can only imagine how it tires you, along with invigorating you.

I have to admit that I have been searching for the name of your new book—just today, in fact! I wondered if I had missed it somewhere along the blog path. Since it's done, basically, and you have a name, do you have a blurb we could read about it? I need to know what particular chaos is coming, old son...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the title! I thought you'd appreciate my story about your current one: I'm presently going to a lot of different medical offices for - well, I have cancer - and I can't stand to be idle so I usually take a book with me. As soon as "Bury Your Dead" came out, I bought my copy and promised myself it would be my treat (I do so enjoy your writing). Well, I noticed people were looking at my book and me a little funny sometimes in the waiting rooms, but we'd get to talking and I'd praise your writing and dear Chief Inspector Gamache - I'm sure your sales are going up! I look forward to your next book, too! You have brought me much relief and comfort. I thank you.
- Daisy in Arizona

lil Gluckstern said...

Savor every moment, your pictures are wonderful, and you've earned every incredible meal, and all the quiet. Next September, it starts again. A different pleasure.

Donna K Wisconsin said...

You are one fortunate woman-writing skills, ability to be happy and savor the finer things of life no matter how small, Michael , and you're very statuesque..very jealous of the last one..I started off tall..how cruel is that!!?

I had no idea you had written another book already.. I thought you were touring and eating..
I'm obviously judging your level of ambition by my own!!

Anyway, very excited for the September book..

Have fun at Pina's...a small price to pay for the delectable foray's-forages? Better stop while I'm ahead. Sarcasm is coming out! ha
It's probably hidden envy... the statuesque thing..Take care. Donna K

Alix said...

I love your blog. It's well written (duh) and let's me live (vicariously) your exciting life. But even more, I love the comments of fellow readers. I believe that you have a first class following. The comments are always entertaining, on point, pithy, and unexpected. My enjoyment of reading them is perhaps even equal to your blog. I am proud to be part of such a wonderful group.

Star Susan said...

If I were to call you Shirley...I'd need to see argyle mis-matched socks...as in "The Trouble With Harry"~Shirley McClain's first (Hitchcock) film. “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself” Zen proverb Have fun!

Kaye Barley said...

Louise - what a terrific piece this is! LOVE the photo of an obviously very relaxed soul in front of the fire, and the picture of two very happy people enjoying one another (and breakfast!).

Hovey Manor looks dreamy and I'm in love with your new title! Yay!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hello all -

thank you for your comments. I couldn't agree more with Alix...you are a wonderful group! And I too am proud to be a part of it.

And Daisy - I LOVE your story. Can just see the quizzical looks. And I'm sending all good thoughts your way for a speedy treatment and all clear! I'm glad Clara, peter, Armand and Reine-marie can keep you company.

Thank you all!

Anonymous said...

Just started listening to The Brutal Telling and was thinking I do not want to finish, because the only one left will be Bury Your Dead. OH MY...I am thrilled to hear "A Trick" is in the works. I am so grateful to have found your books. Ralph Cosham brings Three Pines to life...I hope this never changes. I listen while resting, and must admit the stories sometimes lull me to sleep. I'm long time living with cancer, and sometimes it takes a lot to get my mind to rest. Your Three Pines series do it best for me. Last night while falling asleep I heard Ralph describe Gamache's dog's ears as part Shepherd and part satellite dish -- I burst out laughing! Wishing you continued success, and many book awards. You deserve them.

Anna Martin
Kennett Square, PA