Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Other Opportunities

I'm hanging out at my house in the mountains this week.

We bought this place 11 years ago. It's pretty high up one of the western North Carolina mountains, high enough that there usually aren't mosquitoes, and it's usually about 10 degrees cooler than it is in Bristol, only a 75-minute drive away. (It's about 20 degrees cooler than Charlotte, on average, which is why this community exists in the first place. It's been a resort area since well before the advent of air conditioning.) My allergies aren't as bad up here and between that and the coolness we leave windows open, which I never ever ever do at home. I love it.

The last few years we've not been able to spend nearly as much time here as we wanted. Some of that was just life and some of it was over-scheduling. We're working on changing what we can; yesterday evening, as we enjoyed a glass of wine on our back porch, surrounded by trees, a puppy sleeping in my lap, my husband said, "I want to be here more and I want to travel more. I'll just have to work less."

Meanwhile there are still some very hard things happening here. Still not my story, so I won't say more, but it feels dishonest to write an everything's-lovely post. Some things are lovely. Some things will always be lovely. Other things will always be devastating. Nothing can change that. Not ever.

Meanwhile my editor is supposed to call me TODAY to discuss the current iteration of what I'm still calling The Egypt Book (eventually it will have a title). I woke up thinking about the call, and the joy of knowing What Comes Next (answer: lots of work.). When Jess tells me she hopes to call me today, I think she means that she'll probably wake me up with her phone call because she was so eager to discuss my budding genius that she kissed her babies good-bye at 5 am and took the first subway into Manhattan so we could chat before anyone else in the building arrived. She means she'll try to get to the call today but it'll probably happen tomorrow, or Thursday, because I am not her only author and any book that won't be published by Fall 2019 at the earliest is way down on her priority chart than stuff that has to happen before lunch. Also while she loves me she's not getting up early for me.

Meanwhile a book I didn't anticipate as my next book is shoving itself to the forefront of my mind. I always have a mental queue of things I might write next. I would have said I had three or four other books in front of this one. But no. The storyline is spinning out, the characters are taking shape, even though I've not even remotely begun the research.

I did bring four or five books on the topic with me this week. I won't read them all--we'll have company all week, starting tonight, and we have lots of activities planned--but I'll make a dent. And then, as soon as I hear from Jess (in the next half hour, I hope) I'll be back in Egypt, with Howard Carter, King Tut, and Hussein.

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