whistling past the graveyard

Holy mackerel, how did it get to be June already?  I sort of hadn’t noticed because the weather has been unusually cool and rainy for California lately, but today all of a sudden it’s summer.  I realized this peeling off my sweat-drenched corduroys after walking home from downtown this afternoon.  Time for sundresses.  Also time for love for some type of finch.  The air is alive with tiny dancing birds.  One of their spiffiest moves is tucking their wings in and diving straight for the ground, then pulling up in a fast graceful U as low as possible. I am guessing this is the male display. They must get extra sexy points for doing it over concrete.

My cat just expertly skated the line between totally gross and kind of endearing when she stuck her whole head inside my sweaty sneaker after I took it off and huffed passionately. Yum! Fresh mommy juice.

So.  I finally wended my way past 20,000 words for In the Red, which is just about the place where this book collapsed spectacularly last time I was writing it.  So I printed the sucker out and scanned over it to see if it collapsed again.  It seems not, but I don’t quite trust myself.  I feel a bit like I’m whistling past the graveyard.

The 20K mark happened in the middle of a sex scene I was writing with a cat on my lap.  For a while I was even typing one-handed, not for the reason you might expect but because the cat had to hug my left wrist to rest her head on my arm and how could I take my left hand back when she was purring so blissfully?  Seriously, she totally took me hostage.  After I was done writing for the day, I really had to get up and start getting ready for my anniversary dinner (seven years married, a dozen together) but every time I tried to move the beast, she’d made the most piteous complaint imaginable. Then she’d purr when I petted her head, totally draining my heart of the will to get up.  I considered calling the jaws of life; she’d been on my lap so long I couldn’t feel my legs.

Eventually I managed to pick her up very gingerly with the flats of both hands, keeping her in the same curled up position she was in on my lap, then got up and gently placed her on the chair where I had just been sitting, in the warm spot from my butt. She gave me a bleary-eyed look and went back to sleep.  I put on a pretty dress and some nice underthings and went to the city with the husband for foie gras and boeuf bourguignon and chocolate mouse and macarons.  Aw yeah.

But now I am back at my desk once again wondering where the book is supposed to go next and looking at the maw of the abyss while reflecting that the year is half over but this book is nowhere near half over. Help!  Hold me.   Where is the cat?  I need a cuddly distraction.


4 responses to “whistling past the graveyard

  1. Oh, Elena, I know the feeling…I’m about 40,000 into my SECOND go at my WIP. Finished the old girl and then started all over. Now I’m not sure what to think–and though I’m infatuated with this new story, I feel that knee-jerk lack of trust. It’s a beast, no doubt. Macaroons would help.

    Congrats to you and your hubby. And chocolate mousse! Oh yeah, that’s an occasion right there. Yum, yum, and yum.

    • Yipes, good luck with your beast! I hope to get to 40K and beyond myself without the damn thing caving in.

      The only thing thing for us is courage. And chocolate. Mostly a lot of chocolate.

  2. Congradulations! And sympathy as you battle your way through that novel. On the plus side, it has a really cool title. 🙂

    Cats are adorable. But their cuteness can be a pain in the neck…or legs, whichever they happen to be sitting on.

    • Thank you! Titles are funny things. They either come to me straight away or NEVER. The title of my last book was a suggestion from my agent. Glad that at least *that* part of this whopper book was easy!

      And yes, cat cuteness can be a terrible impediment. But you never, ever get mad at that widdle face aaaaaaaaaaaaw…

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