My husband and I are sitting at the dining table, in front of the big window, beyond which most of our trees have lost their recently golden leaves. I am working on the lush and lyrical novel I've been hired to edit, and he is back to geo-tagging fish specimens from his museum's collection, having completed his part of his department's annual report last week. Geological survey maps from countries across the world are displayed on his laptop, as he reconciles collectors' written descriptions of where specific specimens were found with actual geography. It's patient detective work, as many of these collections were gathered decades ago, and some descriptions don't match the topography on his screen. He has just finished tagging a collection from Guatemala. "Time to get some more tea," he announces cheerfully. "Now I'm in Mexico."
Meanwhile, I'm in Armenia, where the novel I'm working on opens. I'm enthralled by the characters, and hope to do this sprawling family saga justice. I pray that it will sell well, and secure the author's family and allow her to dedicate herself to writing full time. She's so gifted, an emotional soul, buffeted minute to minute by internal weather. She makes me look like a stoic, but this, I think, is why she writes the way she does, the story pouring out of her, unable to be contained. I hope and pray you will one day soon know her name.
I learned last night that my next project may happen after all. I thought the deal had fallen through, as I didn't want to accept one of the terms set by the subject's agent. But the subject has now said she wants to work with me, so our agents are renegotiating the terms. I had decided I was at peace with whatever happened, and that I would simply sink into this gorgeously written book I'm working on and when it was done, catch up on reading all the books that have piled up on my nightstand, and on my kindle, for years it seems. It was a delicious alternative to contemplate. But now, I shall have to push harder and be more schedule oriented in getting through the current manuscript—I won't give it short shrift of course, but no more meandering and sighing with pleasure. Another job awaits, and though it includes the always dreaded task of writing a proposal, I am grateful to have work.
I feel so lucky to be here, in this moment, with this man. He is excellent company, even on those days when I'm climbing the walls and have to get outside. I don't feel like that today. It's in the low thirties outside, crisp and cold, the sun casting lacy shadows through the trees. I look out from my apartment several floors up, and the world feels quiet somehow, gentle, even though I know that the cruel and corrupt president, in his last days, is doing his worst. We just have to hang on. There are two covid vaccines on the horizon, both reportedly 95 percent effective, and a president-elect who knows what he's doing is steadily getting up to speed.
My daughter took this picture on a recent trip to Maine. The way the light falls, a rainbow's end right at her feet, it looks to me like a portal to something good.