Breaking radio silence here to report that we're on vacation. It's a "staycation" - we're not leaving the state. In fact we're driving no farther than 200 miles from our home. Tonight we're in Seaside, CA, a suburb of Monterey, staying at a hotel plopped on the Monterey State Beach. It's a travesty of 70s development but it's also a great deal and you can't imagine how nice it is to sit in the lobby looking at the sea through the plate glass. The weather is chilly here! Earlier we walked at Carmel River State Beach and looked at the ocean, then drove around to Carmel's main town beach and lay about in the shelter of a sand dune.
Yes, the picture above was taken today, June 26, in Carmel, and yes we were indeed wearing our winter parkas and glad of it. The tourists shivered in their shorts, and the stoic Northern Californians walked around in hoodies and capri pants, but I have to stay warm so I was all bundled up. The temperature was around 60 Fahrenheit but the wind blew stiff off the ocean.
We ate at the Ol’ Factory Cafe in Seaside - sustainable food, fair trade coffee, organic french fries & deep fried artichoke hearts. They served chilled tap water in recycled European beer bottles with stopper-caps. Nice touch.
I have indeed been working on my novel. Some of my readers have caught me commenting at other blog sites and told me to get back to work. Busted! 275 pages and I'm ahead of my "schedule" - the list of tasks to do on the book to get it to a decent draft. Last night my writing group (minus several beloveds - hi Caro, Sara, Jinky & Allison) patted me on the back and listened to me while I kvetched a little about the book. They think I ought to be proud of writing 275 pages, even though it's a big mess. All novels are a big mess at this stage.
"People say it sounds like Kite Runner. Maybe it is like Kite Runner, and that book is so ...." I said. (dismissive comment deleted). Somehow if my book were like Kite Runner but Lebanese, that wouldn't be okay with me. But I'm in a tired and fussy mood about reading, and everything I pick up seems not good enough, except maybe Chekhov.
"I really liked Kite Runner" Scott said. He has fabulous taste so I ought to listen to him and quit ragging on myself.
If you are interested in the genre, my friend Mahmud Rahman wrote an essay on the return novel that mostly looks like the form of my book, with some differences. Current working title: The American Cousin.
Back to the vacation. Tomorrow we drive to Cambria, planning to visit Hearst Castle on Saturday, then return to Oakland by Sunday. I *hope* to do a little writing while on the road. Since I'm five days ahead of my schedule, I have some leeway.
Enjoy your summer!