Two Asses. Photo, Too

So, yah, I know. I haven’t written here since last Christmas. Thanks for wanting to know what’s up with me.

I’ve been writing, basically. Pulling prose and chaffering with myself. And avoiding the pull of writing here—which is infinitely easier. And a bleeding thief of time. But, look. It’s September, and after 130 new pages, here I am butt-deep in the final scenes of “Grace Notes.”

Don’t clap yet. I still have to start from the top, do continuity stuff, cut stuff, spackle stuff, love stuff and hate lots and lots of stuff.

Yah, but, sure, but yah, but what else have I been doing?

The NIH decided to discontinue funding my sweet little job helping to monitor research protocols for safety. I got shunted to an execrable job with two factional bosses of the same Christian first name. I’m still having horrific dreams about that job, boy. Got some character studies out of my time there, though, and I’ve soooo used them in the novel. Like this. Tee hee. Can you see the writer’s revenge dripping from my mouth?

The awful truth is that much of the writing I’d done during those double-stressed months had to be thrown out.

Fuh. Good to be gone from that. Good not to have to rush home and square myself in front of the blinking computer. Good to have time to fight snails and other leaf-cutting bugs in our little garden. Good to walk uphill to get dim sum. Good to have time to go dream by a cold ocean.

We also went to Greece and Istanbul for three weeks. The photos, of course, are languishing on my desktop. Another casualty of the book. But, c’mon, at least I’ve downloaded them from the camera? Here’s a tease:

[Click to Enlarge]

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Riding in Santorini

Also, in the months I haven’t written here, wonderful Grace Paley has died. She was 84. I studied briefly with her, and I’m so very grateful her life brushed mine. See my old comments about her here in the New York Times, if you’d like.