Oh do you like dogs in costumes? You do? Here’s some more.
I’ve been going to parades, tiny ones and doggy ones, sometimes with grownups, and sometimes with the lovely and funny little girl next door. I’ve been carousing some. I saw a Zydeco show one night, and all the dancers were dreamy. I ate some pretty great barbecue. I learned some interesting personal histories, some heartbreaking. I found a sublet for March a few blocks away from where I am living now. Yoga, reading, drinking, eating. I ran into an adorable waiter from the Rabbit Hole in Williamsburg – one of my favorite morning coffee spots – who comes down every year for all of Mardi Gras to play the trumpet with a band here. He had the same smile on his face that I did.
And I bought my first King Cake and brought it to my landlord’s house and we sat there on a Sunday morning and had it with coffee and it was delicious.
Also I finished the first draft of my book! It needs so much work. But I am excited and proud that I executed it in the way that I did, even if I will have to throw some of it away. I’ve got all of March to intensely work on it here, and maybe April too, before it’s back to business on the east coast. I didn’t cry when it was over. There was no momentous exhalation of air. Only I was happy that I had accomplished the thing I set out to do.
Now, of course, the real work begins. It’s so rare when a book is pretty close to right on the first round. (The Middlesteins was my one exception – that book came out very close to fully realized.) But I move quickly, and if I can keep the bullshit to a minimum here (there is bullshit everywhere, I am sorry to report), I think I can have a solid second draft by the time I leave.
Focus, discipline, head down. Reading this stack of books in front of me. Long walks in the morning. Spending time with kind, interesting people. The quiet calm that comes from sincere contemplation. I embrace all of it. I welcome it. I am as open-hearted here as I can possibly be. The writing requires it. I won’t give that up.
But first: Mardi Gras. I’ve got a good parade schedule this weekend and next. Kerri’s coming to town, too. I will clap my hands and jump up and down and hoot and holler and save the sleep for another day. I can always catch up on sleep.