where the writers are
The world at large & in miniscule
"...by far her most ambitious and impressive achievement to date." -- reader review
Beatrix Potter Boxed Set

The "at large" part of my world, I guess, would be "me" -- and all that it entails right now. Front & center on my plate is a trip to Paris in 4 months, wherein I will be giving a reading and a little Q &A (no, not T&A!!) in French. So I am back to studying French with a vengeance. You know, I'm finding that most of it is still there, thank god. I just need to give it my attention again. I haven't really studied it for real -- as in, really concentrating, and spending at least an hour on it each day -- since February. (But when I say that "most of it is still there" -- I'm referring to the level my grammar was at when I went to Paris in 2009.)

I'm also back at my beloved piano. It's funny how, once I start practicing those scales again, my fingers want to just keep going. It's as if my body craves it, the outlet of the piano. I am trying to make more time to really be present for that b/c my life is incredibly busy right now. I need to ensure that I'm setting aside parts of my days for things I really love. Keep the mind expanding, as it were. Otherwise, trust me; when I tell you that I go crazy it is in the fullest sense of that term.

I have a new book I'm working on. A nonfiction, "metaphysical memoir" type thing. (Notice how I always manage to come up with ideas for books that have no easily marketed labels? Potential publisher: "Oh, good! Another metaphysical memoir! That's a no-brainer. Barnes & Noble will scoop that right up and shelve it front & center in their huge Metaphysical Memoir section nationwide. We'll make our money back in a heartbeat!")

Unfortunately, as a writer in these days & times, gang, you have to think like this, on one hand. However, I am not really focusing right now on who will publish it or why. I'm just working on it b/c it is crying out in me to be written. And since most of my books have been written without wondering ahead of time how it would be shelved in Barnes & Noble, I am getting really used to the sensation -- meaning, publishers telling my agent, "You know, this is really well-written but we can't market this." (And "can't" in this instance always means "won't," gang, just in case you lacked clarity on that.)

Okay, so, yes!! This means I have 5 new books out, 2 of which seriously need to be PR'd until the cows come home. (If you speak English as your 2nd language, gang, sorry but I am not even going to try to attempt to explain what the hell I mean by that!) And, yes, I need to prepare for some public appearances going on in Paris & England in 4 months. And my psyche has decided that it is suddenly time to write a new book!!

The "world in miniscule," as it turns out, is much more delightful. And it involves all the little animals and flowers and fireflies in the green grass at nightfall. I have those wonderful orange-colored blossoms on the trumpet vines blooming now, so that means the hummingbirds are back like crazy. The little bunny feeds in my yard twice a day now, like clockwork. 6 AM and 6 PM. Isn't it amazing how animals have those internal clocks? I swear to you, I can look at the clock and if it is pointing at 6 in some significant way, I look out in the backyard and here comes the little bunny. And there are also squirrels and chipmunks and birds galore out there. The famed Mulberry Festival of 2011 seems to finally be seriously subsiding, thank god. The other night, I awoke to Bunny (the cat, not the little bunny that is actually a bunny) lunging at the bedroom window and pushing the screen off its hinges b/c a mother raccoon and her young (is it called a cub?) were right out there, gathering up the last of the mulberries.

I, of course, had a fit. The last thing I want to deal with is raccoons in the house. (And naturally, this all happened at 4 AM, lurching me from what was, until then, a peaceful sleep.) I wonder if the animals think of my yard as a Whole Foods Market or something?  It's kind of neat that so many various kinds of mothers bring their young around to feed here, but some of them I would seriously like to stay a little farther away from the house.

I don't know how many other writers have felt this way, but back when I was in the thick of those relentless heat waves during summers in Manhattan, with no convenient house in the Hamptons to ever escape to, I used to dream of how wonderful it must have been to be Beatrix Potter. Of how her love of being in nature and of preserving it, led her to write such incredibly best-selling books. It would be a really great reason to leave Manhattan and the relentless summers there.

Well, now I sort of have that equation going on -- all I need is the "incredibly best-selling books" part of it!!

However, in honor of loving Beatrix Potter and (still) wishing I could have been her, when I saw this boxed set (pictured here) on clearance the other day, I snatched it right up, gang!! I have always wanted to own this set and now I do! Yay!! (If you are reading this on my main blog, blog.marilynjayelewis.com, the extra-special-bonus photo today is of my frog bookends!! Yay!! I love them! You can even see my super-cool mathematician's dice, too. And just think of it: this is just a tiny section of my indescribably cool world.) (Trust me; some days, I have to try really, really hard to see it that way, folks. But onward!)

Okay, make it a great Monday wherever you are and whatever cool things you are doing!! Thanks for visiting, gang! See ya.