Mainly sunny, finally! temps 17
A wonderful day - finally. It has rained steadily - and anyone in England can tell you exactly the day the deluge started....the day after the government declared an official drought.
Now, just to be contrary, apparently, despite an epic and historic amount of rain (it was the coldest, rainiest April since the Romans invaded, and frankly had they met this, they'd have turned around and left) there is still, officially, a drought.
Wiser heads than mine work these things out...I suspect it takes a long time to create a drought and a long time to climb out of it.
Happily, the UK has so much going for it, that we really don't care about the rain. Although, having said that, when the sun finally comes out, what a difference that makes. Michael and I head out and walk and walk. Yesterday we walked over to one of our favorite little areas of London...Chelsea Green. Had fish and chips at Tom's Kitchen, signed books at Waterstone's, and walked home. Via - Laduree. Picked up two of the most decadent pastries we could find. Yum!
I can't believe that five weeks have gone by, and it's time to head home. I'm catching a flight tomorrow evening back to Montreal. Michael and his son Victor are heading for Scotland, for a tour. While there they'll be meeting the remarkable Linda Lyall, who designed and manages my website, and the newsletter. We've never met! Email almost every day, since before Still Life was published in 2005...7 years. And have never even spoken on the phone.
But we exchange gifts and photos....we know her children almost as though they were our own grandchildren...Christopher and Jennifer. I so wish I could meet them too. They whole Lyall family is going out for lunch to a traditional Scottish restaurant with Michael and Vic.
It has been a really enchanting time. Busy without being hectic....and yet, there are still so many things we didn't get to do.
My professional goal - besides meetings with my agent and publishers and booksellers - was to keep up the writing of the next book. I thought I'd just take it easy, but I discovered something I didn't know about myself and my writing rhythm. It is harder for me to slow down than it is to just go at the regular pace. I love writing every morning.
Our routine here in London has been very simple. Every morning Michael goes across to the coffee shop, across the street. I prepare bowls of fruit. He reads the paper and has breakfast in the living room. I write, and have breakfast in the kitchen.
Bliss for me is to have days when there is nothing scheduled....I can write as long as I want - (almost never beyond 1pm) then Michael and I head into the city. have lunch out. Walk. Just enjoy ourselves. And then we do the same thing the next day.
My goal when we arrived in the UK at the end of March was to hit 40,000 words in the new manuscript. But this morning I did a word count and it's at 52,000. About half way through the first draft. Of course, there will be a second and third and fourth draft, but I always breath a sigh of relief when the first draft is nailed.
Another couple of months....but getting there. And I do enjoy the company of Gamache and clara et al.
We also had a great visit down to Kent, to have sunday lunch with a woman we met in Jamaica. One of the funny sorts of things where we didn't expect or want to make any friends...really, we just wanted to be left on our own, in peace. But the people were so warm, such good company....over the course of two weeks we just slowly were drawn together. I imagine that's happened to you too.
As I say, home tomorrow. I'll miss Michael terribly...hate to be apart, actually. But I know he's having a great time with his son. And this allows me time to totally focus on the writing.
Oh, congratulations to Margaret Maron - who has won the Agatha for Best Novel for Three Day Town.
And, in other news, May is Crime Writing month in Canada, and the CBC is celebrating it with a special edition of Canada Writes click here visit the website. All this month is dedicated to crime fiction - and giving tips and 'workshops' for those of you who'd like to write your own book. Join us!
Must go do the online check in to my flight. I'll talk to from Montreal later in the week. Hope you've enjoyed the visit to London. (I think we might need an exercise class, or stretchy clothing...)