"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snowy Drop

Let the record show the earliest ever open to gardening season.

As the snow cover receded from my front garden in recent days, I suspected that bulbs might be sprouting beneath the insulating blanket of leaves. Just now I stepped outside to investigate, to pull away the autumn leavings. When I did, I exposed the snowdrops, always the first of the flowers to come--but never, ever this early!

Nearby I found more green tips rising from the ground--probably hyacinths, possibly early daffodils.

I ought to be thrilled. But it's disconcerting, unsettling--alarming, even--to see bulbs in February. In New Hampshire.

As if to comfort me, snowflakes are lightly falling. I don't think we'll get more than a couple of inches at the Lodge, if that, and it will almost certainly melt away very quickly. Once more revealing the peculiarities of this on-again, mostly off winter.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Day After Shrove Tuesday

It's Ash Wednesday, of course. I'm not eating meat today. In fact, I'm barely eating anything.

This was my dinner on Fat Tuesday: a puffy, sugary, chocolate-drizzled European pancake.

It's another quiet week here at the Lodge, after a busy weekend. Another busy one coming up. I received a small "weekender" type rolling suitcase for Christmas. It's getting a lot of use.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Week

It's a very quiet time for me. I've officially started a new fiction project while simultaneously outlining a nonfiction project. No meetings on the calendar!

Our Valentine's Day featured cards and gifts. Most of mine came in the beverage category: a new hard cider variety (6 pack) and a new raspberry beer variety (single bottle) to try.

This is what the dogs gave us:

Purely by coincidence--but I'll call it a Valentine's Gift--I got a Nook Tablet. It's wonderfully portable, has many functions (email, web browsing, apps) in addition to serving as an e-reader. I have absolutely no plans to switch from reading traditionally published books to e-books. But it will be useful when I get round to converting my own books to digital editions. I did download a couple of public domain (free) books last night. Including Pride & Prejudice. What on earth would Jane Austen make of our 21st century reading technology, I wonder?

For the past 2 nights we enjoyed the annual spectacle known as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. As usual, there was a tie for the Best on Couch trophy: both Jewel and Ruth performed equally outstandingly. Ruth watched the dog show occasionally. Jewel slept through it. Those of us who paid attention were rooting for Ian, the Dalmation. We were very disappointed by the outcome.

I'm glad to have so much at-home time right now. My travel schedule for 2012 is insane!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

My Former Career

Usually I write books. But sometimes I turn up in books written by other people.

A director with whom I worked for several years on a variety productions has published a memoir. And he illustrated it with photos in which I appear.

I'm the one stretched out on the floor, in Moliere's Tartuffe. (I'm all right, it's a comedy!)

I'm the only girl onstage, as Irina in Chekhov's The Three Sisters. Not quite a comedy, though it had some laughs, and this scene was fun.

This World War I-era character was not only suffering from tuberculosis, but her husband had left her and taken their little boy. My little sister is trying to cheer me up.

And in Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death, I played Nadine, a woman--one of numerous people--suspected of murdering her hateful mother-in-law. Because, you know, that's the way Christie does it.

Reading the book in which these images appear was a real trip down memory-lane. And it was flattering to be name-checked as an actress--not to mention these photos--after so many years off the stage.