My other personality is the one that is a normal human being with relationships and a home and a dog and a real life to attend to. Most of the time, Real Life Dani trumps Writing Dani, but sometimes, like this morning, Writing Dani wins. I woke up today and even though I have a list of things to do on my calendar, I just had to sit down and re-write a chapter. I'm in the process of converting Safira's story from third to first person - a HUGE endeavor, especially since I don't have one but THREE first-person narrators. I got through most of my chapter this morning and had so much fun, but this is the first time in over a week that I've worked on my book. Here are some of the things I've been up to:
A few weeks ago was my birthday. My sister was in town at the time, which was really one of the best gifts I could have gotten. Also while she was here, we went to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands where my book takes place. I've been to Anacapa Island before and wrote about it here. Santa Cruz was so much better, though, because we actually got off the boat and roamed around the island for a few hours. You would not believe the views from there. Those islands will forever be one of my favorite places in the world, matched only by Monterey and Big Sur, which are just across the water on the coastline the islands face.
Derek gave me some coral charm peonies for my birthday - my favorites - plus he got me a really unique gift. You see, there are these parrots that live in Pasadena. They're the farthest thing from native. In fact, there isn't even consensus on where they came from. It is bizarre to be walking the dog and sometimes see bright green parrots flying and squawking overhead. The best theory is that the birds are a hybrid species created by a group of tropical birds that were released into the wild after a local zoo closed in the early 20th century. The point is, I love them. They're adorable and strange and I feel happy whenever I see them. So Derek found an artist on Etsy who makes needle-felted birds. Derek sent photos of the parrots to the artist - in England - and she custom made me a Pasadena parrot, which Derek gave me for my birthday.
On the housing front, I ripped out a crappy linen closet in the downstairs bathroom and then painted the whole thing a deep ocean blue. I'm also re-painting the handrails on our two staircases. The rails themselves were a dirty beige color and the bars supporting them were shiny black - ech! I painted the railings a crisp white enamel - so they won't chip and will clean up easily - and the bars a dark gray called Dragon's Breath. And finally, we got back a piece of art that we left at a local shop to get framed over a month ago. It's a letterpress map of the Channel Islands - you can at least pretend to be surprised - and it is glorious. The fireplace is now my proudest corner of our house.
And finally, last weekend my sister and I flew from opposite sides of the country home to Michigan to surprise our mother. My parents have been married for 35 years now and my dad decided not only to throw a huge party, but to make it a surprise for my mom. I panicked like crazy before surprising my mom, but I was actually calm during the party and had a lovely time.
*holds up mug of coffee*
A social life is good, but here's to a long summer in which Writing Dani wins most days.