The state of the state
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.
I just spent a week with one of my favorite girls–Ginger, the strawberry blond Aussie Cattle Dog. “Now that’s a proper cattle dog,” as my Dear Friend Margie would say. Ginger and I spent quite a bit of time walking around some of Portland’s grand old neighborhoods–Alameda, Grant Park, Irvington–near where I lived once upon a time.
It was a long time ago. The neighborhoods were beautiful then, and remain so, with elegant, tidy homes stewarded now by a new generation that prizes them as much as we did. Homes that were designed with care and detail, built by solid, caring craftsmen. I felt a stab in the gut when I remembered how full of energy and aspirations we were then, and how young.
At these times, one can only wonder how one could have done things better, with more grace and foresight, and prudence. And one wishes there could have been softer landings. Of course, there are no solutions to such musings. And such is autumn.
The state of the novel
Blackthorn (copyright 2018 Judy Nedry) has ended up right around 85,000 words–the perfect length. I’m still fiddling with the ending before I send out the last batch of pages to my Faithful Early Readers.
The plan now is to release the book after the first of the year. There still is much to be done. I wish I could say more, but for now my lips must remain sealed. (It’s driving me crazy!)
Play season opened with a vengeance in early September, and since that time I’ve attended and reviewed nine plays. It does cut into my other writing. But it would be difficult to live in a vacuum with such wonderful theatre available in the greater Portland area. Plays are so much more than entertainment. They offer a broader picture of the world, teach us things we didn’t know, make us laugh out loud at our own foibles, increase our awareness. At their best, they fulfill their mandate to teach and delight. (To check out some of my recent reviews, click HERE.)
One of the gifts of modern technology is the ability to download books from the library onto a mobile phone and listen to them while in the car, cooking, relaxing, whatever. Normally while driving I listen to news, but it has been too dreadful. Better to spend an hour with the PBS Newshour at night, and otherwise shut out the rest with a good audiobook.
The most pleasant recent audio escape was A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, an extraordinary novel that has much to teach us about Russia between 1920 and the early 1950s, and can help us deal with life and change in our own times. We read Tara Westover’s Educated for this month’s book group, and it is a truly hair-raising tale. I plan to spend the rest of the evening immersed in Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), whose mysteries grow better with each book in this wonderful series.