I've had what probably is the most significant break I've taken from writing since I started back to it four years ago--at least a month. Just kids and summer and life have interfered. I've worked on a screen play I'm writing for someone, I've puttered around Sentinel and Hinterland, but mostly I've just traveled and messed around my house--cleaning, of all things. My kitchen sparkles. My mountains of laundry have been reduced to foothills. My wood floors are as clean as wood floors that need to be refinished can get. Next are the baseboards. Even my son got into it--mopping two bathroom floors for me, the little prince!

However, today I had a little while to just sit and think, and thunk I did. I found a way to clarify some motivation for my characters in Sentinel. It's becoming what I wanted more and more: the tension lies between the reader knowing most of the whole story and the characters knowing only their small slice. It looks like a minor rewrite-just a few scenes and it will be there. I've worked on Sentinel for FOUR years and Hinterland for two, and these flashes of insight proves to me that distance pays.

I have a rather significant birthday coming up next month--August 16, if anyone wants to put me on you calendar, send me flowers, throw me a surprise party... Well, it's significant to some folks; I had my midlife crisis at 36. However, while the husband is busy shopping tiffany.com , I decided the best present I can give myself is to drop a few pounds. I've lost a couple so far, and I'm going for 7 more. I weigh rather a lot for my height because of my lifting, but I've also slacked off for awhile so it's a chance for me to get leaner, which is tough to do when I'm in full swing with lifting. I may go back tonight, though.

Anyway, travelling was grand, but I'm glad to be home, even though I've got several rounds of company coming between now and when school starts.

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