rainy, cold temps 11 Beautiful sunny day yesterday, today am hunkered down by the wood fire. Rainy and cold outside. but having such fun writing. Odd to describe something often difficult and scary as fun, but it is. I think what I so appreciate is the peace and quiet to do it. to take my time. Trying to make each scene not only purposeful, but beautiful. And multi-facetted. I'm under no illusions that I'm succeeding - but nice to have a goal! Sometime when I start a scene I think I know what it's about, only to find partway through that that's changed. First drafts are always tricky for me. I find them deeply intimidating. The balance in a first draft, once I get underway, is between seeing where inspiration takes me, and being driven way off course by a fuzzy idea...being, in essence, directionless. So my goal is to have direction, but to not dictate how we get there. Each scene has a goal, indeed, often many. Like university. There's a major - but also several minors. There's the chord and the harmonics. It's important for me to know the main purpose, but to be loose, allow for inspiration, about how best to communicate it, and the other elements. Hope I'm making sense.... Have finished for the day. Michael called a few times yesterday from Scotland but I missed the calls! then I called back and chatted with Vic but just as he passed the phone to Michael the line went dead. We weren't able to reconnect. A couple emails, though, but not the same as hearing his voice. But it sounds like they're having huge fun! Went to St Andrews Golf Course and Blair Castle. Michael took the photo from the top of the castle, which is between Perth and Inverness. They had Haggis for dinner last night - for the second time on the trip. I think he's getting a little tired of haggis. I hadn't the heart to tell him that Bob and Gill, our neighbours, brought over lobster last night - knowing I don't cook much. It was their kind way of having me for dinner, without my needing to actually socialize. And I'm so enjoying being home. Wonderful to be with Trudy. In fact, I must take her around the pond. When we left there was ice in the pond, now the fish are swimming around. Tulips are out and the house is filled with cut flowers from the cutting garden. My Assistant Lise (patent pending) came by yesterday afternoon and I signed some ARCs and did some other things. We also toured the gardens - My Assistant Lise is also Our Gardener Lise. We discussed the winter kill (some rose bushes) and where to put the sweet peas. And how to hide the hideous white propane tank. How peaceful it was, in the sunshine, to stroll with Lise and Trudy through the garden. Hope you're enjoying May so far!