Merry Christmas From Ann and Andy
We’ve been on the road now for five months. A little panic is setting in that we’re almost half way through the year. Life didn’t slow down as much as I had hoped leaving town. A day is still just a snap of the finger.
A surprising piece of news is that I finished the novel the day before Thanksgiving. On the trip I had been working on it during stays in places of more than a few days. I would write in the morning and Julya would edit in the evenings, and then of course we would argue about her changes. She almost always got her way. The way it was going I predicted it would take the month of December to finish, so we rented a place in St. Petersburg for a month.
The writing pace began picking up during our two-week stay in New Smyrna Beach in mid November. I was writing up to 5 or 6 pages a day, twice my normal output, and one day I realized I was closing in on the end. The day before Thanksgiving, I wrote the last word. I won’t try to discuss the array of feelings I experienced at that moment, other than to say one of them was mild depression. Julya decided it was it post-partum blues. The manuscript is now in New York with my agent, who is waiting until January 1 to send it out. I won’t try to describe the novel, except to say that my agent has decided to peddle it as a “literary thriller.” Slightly pretentious, I admit, but whatever works.
I was in Office Depot the other day wandering about as Julya shopped when I got a funny feeling that some piece of my life was missing. Then I saw the display of calendars. I should have bought one three or four months ago to start setting hearings and travel arrangements for 2014. Now, of course, I have no hearings or dental appointments or luncheons or anything else to put in a calendar. We only have a general idea where we’re going from one week to the next, and no one is counting on us to be anywhere. I kind of miss it, really.
Julya and I and the kids really like St. Petersburg. The old people who used to populate it have moved down the coast to Sarasota and Fort Meyers. The city is vibrant with people of all ages, and has one of the most beautiful waterfronts I’ve seen in my travels. There is water everywhere here, and the temperature hasn’t dropped below 75 in the week we’ve been here.
By the way, around 50% of the novel was written in various Starbucks in Denver and up and down the east coast. Yes, we are both addicts. When we first show up in a town, we google to find the nearest Starbucks. My favorite one is in the Mayfair area of Denver, run by my good friend Scott.