This week has been a little nuts. I conditionally sold a house in my day job as a realtor, and have a new listing about to launch. I have taken up jogging again, and am really trying hard to find time to fit that in. And then, as always, there’s the book(s) and the various things needed to give The Beggar’s Opera a good launch. 

I did an an online interview today for the talented Jill Edmondson of the Sasha Jackson mystery series. I think she plans to post it in October.

She forced me to think about how I write (in a disorganized fashion — no plot outlines for me) and where I may take my characters next (Russia, I’m thinking. Or Serbia, which I have visited several times. Or maybe Kiev, which I love.) 

Probably the most interesting question she asked was what I’d like my next career to be. (As you may know, I’ve had a pretty varied career path. Lawyer, always, but also a negotiator, professor, antiques dealer, mediator, and consultant, and of course, now I sell real estate.) I was surprised by my own answer, which wasn’t author but artist.

Writing is something I do, but I wouldn’t say it’s fun. Edits are a pain. When you paint a picture, no one comes over to tell you to change a colour you chose, or to lose a tree in the landscape. I find writing to be hard work, whereas painting and drawing is effortless and something that transports me to another place.

As my friend Jay Kristoff says (if I can adapt his thoughts on copy edits), when I start painting, it’s as if I was abducted by aliens, because two hours later, I can’t remember anything about where I was. (In Jay’s version, it hurts also to sit down.)

Ah yes, back to my crazy day. I also sent some personal notes to several famous authors requesting blurbs. Of my email requests so far, one famous Swedish author said yes, if he likes it, which is terrific (I can’t tell you the happy dance I did; I’d have to show you. And then I’d have to kill you). The others on my A-list have been absolutely lovely, but so far, have declined. We’ll see whether a personal note on one of my art cards is more persuasive.  

And when I had a few minutes, apart from washing the car, doing the laundry, doing paperwork at the office and stickhandling about 200 emails — all while trying to master new Facebook changes —  I plugged away on Book Three.

I think it may turn into Book(s) Three, Four, and Five, actually, because it’s breaking away from me into two stories. And try as I might, I can’t make them merge. They are so disparate that it may well require a third story to resolve the plot lines and the mystery.

But sometimes my characters are like that: they have a mind of their own, and trying to direct them is like trying to make a toddler eat peas. Not going to happen.

P.S. By the way, if any of you are in the Ottawa area, Sue at Berry’s Pet Supplies in the Glebe (Second at Bank) is gathering towels and blankets for the 400 rescue pups that were taken into care by the SPCA this week. She’d be grateful, I’m sure, if you had some to add to the pile. Free parking in the back. That was another thing on my “to do” list today, but that’s why my real estate tag line is, “If you want it done right, ask a busy person!”

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