Friday, October 7, 2016


I'm hanging out at the Baltimore airport. I got here very early this morning, because I didn't know how far I really was from the airport, or what Baltimore morning traffic is like, or how well this Uber thing was going to work out (splendidly; we live in an age of marvels) and I'd been warned that BWI airport security could be awful, and it wasn't, but all that just means I had a nice chance to sit with coffee and the paper, and now to get out my iPad and write this, and it occurs to me, I'm really happy.

I'm on my way to Raleigh, where I'll spend the weekend with good friends and be able to be with my husband and both my lovely children. I spent yesterday talking to interesting, engaged schoolchildren and then having dinner with a fellow writer and new friend, and then I went to bed really early, because extroverting wears me out, and I slept well.

I'm wearing my favorite hand-knit socks and my new favorite sweatshirt. I'm even comfortable, for heaven's sake.

Last night my new friend, who's name I'm not going to give because I don't know her well enough yet to know if she'd like that, described the process of writing one of her books as "pulling wet Kleenex through a coin slot," and that's one of the best descriptions of painful writing I've ever heard. I'll remember it forever.

Also we went to a French bistro and shared a perfectly roast chicken, and that was just the most amazing food. And the night before I had a fabulous crab cake the size of a softball, and I love crab cakes. From a culinary standpoint Baltimore is the bomb.

Also I'm feeling completely wildly happy with the new book I'm working on . The Egypt book. Yes, I know, I've discussed it forever. I've written a dozen pages half a dozen times. But it wasn't coming out right, and, worse, it was actually coming out wrong. And now I've had time enough to think it through, and it's going to be good. It's going to be a ton of work and it'll probably take a long time, and it'll be a hot mess at several points, but it's going to be good.

I am actually entirely happy right now.