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Monday, September 10, 2012


            Last Saturday we had a real Fall day here in Albuquerque. The sky was overcast for a welcome change from the relentless sunshine, yet it didn’t seem inclined to rain. The temperature was 65 in the morning, and never got over 75, so it felt pleasantly cool – actual sweater weather, which is rare here until winter. We do get four seasons here but all of them but summer are quite mild. The trees don’t turn in the city until November, but the mountains are golden earlier.
            Spring is supposed to be the season of renewal, but Fall always makes me want to start new things. I want to buy new clothes, fresh notebooks, new pens, and start a new writing project. I’m sure it’s a holdover from 17 years of school. Actually, 18 1/2, with graduate school, although I started that in the summer. It took 5 semesters, so there were two Falls. Kindergarten, grade school, junior high (today they call it middle school) and high school, then four years of college and 5 semesters of grad school. There was a 12 year gap between college and grad school, and it’s been over 20 years since I finished grad school. But every Fall I have the same urge, right after Labor Day, to buy new clothes and fresh writing supplies. Sometimes I even break down and buy crayons, just to smell them.

            The healing process from the cancer is as good as over but for the permanent side effects. I haven’t gained back any of the 40 pounds I lost – 2 months now without gaining anything, which is a record for me. Every time I’ve dieted I started gaining the minute I went off the diet. But, eating isn’t the pleasure it used to be. Without molars and with dry mouth, it’s a chore. Sometimes after a couple bites of something, I don’t want any more, even if I still feel hungry. My sense of taste is back, but my tongue is so sensitive! Strong mints burn. Even the mildest salsa or taco sauce makes me feel like I’ve set my mouth on fire. So my quest for the best tacos in Albuquerque will have to wait until I can build up my tolerance for spices.
            My neck is still stiff from the surgery, but I keep stretching it. I can now say my English Rs, though I can’t trill a Spanish one yet. I still have the lisp but keep working on that. I stretch my tongue and keep trying to pronounce things correctly. I had perfect diction before this, and I want to get as close to it as I can.

            For the first time in my life, I’m working on three novels at once. I have a lot of fragments and first chapters, but these three happened to be at similar levels of development at the same time, and all three are pushing to be written. The oldest is a contemporary romance, which I keep trying to write but don’t seem to be really good at. I seem to need a supernatural plot thread to stay interested. The second one is a Western historical romance. I’d had the basic idea for some time, but suddenly the first draft just poured out of me. I couldn’t stop it. This one will probably be done first. The third is a steampunk novel set in America in the 1880s. I started it for last year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) just when all three blows struck, and only got partway through it. The romance plot has been in my head for ages, and I’m still working the details of the adventure plot.
            No, I’m not going to go into more details or reveal titles. I am a very slow writer, and I don’t want someone taking the basic ideas and writing their own version before I can finish mine, because then it looks like I’m unoriginal.

            I’m still looking for a second part-time job. I really don't want to work full-time anymore, and really hope that my husband will pick up the slack as soon as his health is back. I have plans for when I again have extra money: first pay back Mom, then start saving for a new laptop and a down payment on a manufactured home. I’m too old for a mortgage, but I’d really like to own my own space. Finding somewhere to rent with five cats and without lying about them is really hard. Our current place is just too small, even though our landlord is a super person, and didn’t care about the cats. Half my stuff’s in storage, and we can’t have people over because they just plain won’t fit. No yard to garden or entertain in, either. Then there are a list of books I want. I’ve practically emptied my to-read shelf! Some of those books have been on there for years. Ah, and that new fall wardrobe.... Sigh.

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