Quiet Sunday morning. The birds are holding their conversation over the hum of air conditioners and traffic noise on East 94 Street. I’ve got the windows open. It’s a little cooler this morning, or maybe it’s just a little cooler in the mornings. Last weekend when temps were in the 100′s, it was never a little cooler. I don’t like to keep my air conditioner running all the time. It’s nice to hear the sounds from outside and feel the real air. The cats like it. They sit on the window sills, as they love to do, and look down to the street. I’m still amazed by how well they’ve adjusted to city life. Sally is happier than she’s ever been. Right now, she’s playing with Doe’s orange tennis ball, kicking it away, then pulling it back to her and biting it.
I’ve been working on my story every day. I wake up around 6:00, take Doe for her walk, come back and feed everybody. Make coffee and get started. Today I delay my usual start time of 7:00 a.m. to write this. Not that I’m so rigid about it, that’s just the way it’s been going. I’m a slow writer. I’ve been working for how long now? 2 months? No, not quite. Maybe 6 weeks. I’ve got just 50 pages, but it’s going well. I unravel a lot of what I write when I come back to it. My file of what’s been cut has another 40 pages. I’ve got a good premise, and a story that unfolds as it goes. I know some people use an outline to write, and there are lots of other methods as well. For me, the only tricks are: Don’t show it to anyone and keep working no matter what.
Actually, I did send it to one reader, the first 20 pages (Hi A.). I chose her carefully. I knew she would like it and would make her comments from a place that would only help and not hinder. A few weeks ago, I read a bit to my mother, and her comments threw me off for two days. I need to follow my own thread, emotionally and intellectually. I know workshops work well for some people, but I don’t find random criticism, or a general consensus, helpful. No one can know where it should go. Though I’m not sure either, I trust my writing enough to do my best every day, and hope it will add up to something, make better sense of itself than I could do consciously. Or perhaps, deliberately is a better word than “consciously.”
Meryl was in town yesterday. It was good to see her, and fun to show her the new apartment and neighborhood. We did a little thrift store shopping, and got some Indian food at my favorite neighborhood restaurant, Baluchi’s on 2nd Avenue. Coming back, there were a slew of fire trucks and ambulances on 91 Street. A ladder was extended from one truck up to the roof of a five or six story building. I wonder if there will be anything in the paper about it today. They had a square block closed off to traffic and Meryl said she saw a Con Ed truck, which would suggest a gas leak. There must have been twenty emergency vehicles on Lexington when I walked Meryl to her car an hour later.
Doe has climbed up into my lap and rests her head in the crook of my right arm, which makes writing difficult. It will be another quiet day in a life of quiet days. I’ll take a yoga class at noon. I’ve joined a yoga studio. They have a variety of classes all day and evening. It’s wonderful to have the freedom to choose when I want to go, and how hard I want the class to be. You pay a membership fee, like a gym membership, and can go as much as you want. It’s been financed by Equinox, and they’ve made it as beautiful as a hotel spa. The place is called Pure. The other day I got a text from my friend Karen who also belongs to Pure. It just said “I love Pure!” For a minute, I thought she had been listening to the Golden Palominos.