Click here for information about Charlotte's novel, Place Last Seen
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
Fools Crow by James Welch
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
Body and Soul
The Julie/Julia Project
Struggle in a Bungalow Kitchen
Real Live Preacher
Blog of a Bookslut
Over the weekend I renovated my office .. it is now a deep, bright, wonderful raspberry pink. The trim and the ceiling are bright white, as is the new desk, and the shelving (although I painted the cardboard backings for the shelving units the same pink as the walls). There's a sort of spiffy-looking track light that gives me these dramatic pinspots and the whole thing looks like something out of a magazine. It makes me inordinately happy to be in here, which, since I work at home and spend most of my time in this room, is a good thing.
The other wonder of this office is that there is now enough space for my various writing tasks -- that is, there's shelf space and I can see what I'm working on. Before, this office pretty much "belonged" to my Cisco work, and I was wandering around with my novel and various book review projects in little baskets, working in the kitchen (which I like) or in the backyard, or in my tiny pantry/library. Now it feels like I can put Cisco away when I'm done for the day, and get to my real work. I'm very happy with it -- although I can't say how much I hate painting, but at least it's done now.
The only other thing going on here is a lot of vegetable processing. This morning, while it was cool, I roasted a huge jelly-roll pan of quartered zucchini, drizzled with olive oil I'd whizzed up in the Cuisinart with basil, oregano, parsley, mint and garlic from the garden. I'm going to freeze them for later ... also roasted up some eggplants, which I'll probably just eat for dinner, but it's still getting hot here in the afternoons so if I can avoid using the oven, I will. Later today, I have to do another big batch of chard ... it's getting very tall out there. And yesterday I went down the block to the boarded-up house with the eight cherry trees in front and poached a big batch of sour cherries -- they're fabulous. I may have to go back for another bunch this afternoon ... I made a clafouti (inspired by Julie at The Julie/Julia Project and I think I didn't take the altitude into account and didn't quite cook it long enough ... it was a tiny bit sludgy. But the cherries tasted great ... that wonderful red taste ... in the best possible way, the cherries tasted like a Hostess Cherry Pie. Yum. We ate it while watching Queer Eye For the Straight Guy with our friend Maryanne last night.
I have to say, I pulled up my writing log yesterday and was appalled to see that I've only worked two days this month. This is horrifying. Between the garden and the house repairs and the manic summer social life here, I'm getting nothing done. Which is worrying because I had planned to have a draft of this book by year's end, and unless I stop sleeping for the next few months, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Oh, and the forest fires are sort of under control. At least the wind has shifted direction, so the smoke isn't so bad today. But the whole damn state is on fire.