I'm back to two thngs I love--writing and cooking.
It takes, so an agent tells me, about 75,000 words to make an adequate mystery. I have about 50,000 so I'm two-thirds through. But I'm afraid I'm more than two-thirds through my plot. I know how it's going to work out and I can see several really good scenes in my mind's eye (at least I think they're good), but I'm afraid of untangling it too quickly and ending up with a 60,000-word manuscript. Not good. But then, just when I think, nothing else can happen, a middle-of-the-night idea comes to me. So I keep writing. I had only shown the first chapter to a couple of people but now I've sent all eleven chapters to my "mentor," the man who years ago (I don't want to think about how many!) shepherded me through graduate school and continues to be a source of wisdom, advice,and counsel. He liked the first two chapters but said it was too early to comment. He does happen to be someone who knows a lot about mysteries and has taught a university mystery course.
Meantime I have other projects--including a 5,000-word essay on how Texas impacts my writing. That's really hard, and I decided it's hard because it's writing about something intangible. Makes me realize that I don't envy ministers who preach weekly sermons on such intangibles as faith. I'm afraid of coming up short on my 5,000 words, in fact probablywill, but I have a great title, "Notes from an Outsider."
But today is the day to give thanks--I am surrounded by family, and I'm cooking--I've made cranberry, the roll dough is rising, the pumpkin tiramisu (an experiment!) is in the fridge, cheeseball is done. Colin is busily making an apple pie, though he kept me busy as first assist until seven-year-old Maddie took over the job. And I've still got to make the pesto/cream cheese appetizer and the pistachio salad that Jamie remembers from his childhood. Some of the others are turning their noses up at it, and I'm afraid this may be like the time Jamie waxed so eloquent about how much he liked gefilte fish that I got him some one Passover/Easter seaon not too many years ago. One bite, he looked at me and said, "It doesn't taste like it did when I was a kid."
Meantime, I wish for everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, surrounded by family and filled with whatever good food you particularly love. For us, always traditional, it will be turkey and green bean casserole.