Thought I'd check in one last time before the year turns.
I've been in Vancouver for almost two weeks now, house-sitting and cat-sitting for my friends Dave and Alison. My first self-assigned task was to finish the manuscript of Dead Cars in Managua. And, as of an hour ago, that task is complete, and the book is delivered to my editor.
The next task is to make some major headway on my second novel. I'll dig into that tomorrow, the first day of 2008.
While here, I also wrote my new Hunkamooga column for sub-Terrain. I was perusing Dave's and Alison's books, and I came across half a dozen or so novels that I'd made Dave read when we were teenagers. They were really important books to me. So that's my column: a sort of buried-treasure survey of the books that hurled me into this idiotic career choice.
Some nice catching-up with poet friends while I've been here. Clint Burnham, his partner Julie Sawatsky, and their son, Devon; Mark Laba (my oldest friend: 44 years and counting!), his wife, Karen, and their children too numerous to name; Brian Dedora and his dog, Spot. And today, Lance La Rocque, who happens to be visiting Vancouver from Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
I like this city a lot, though I still can't wrap my brain around its geography. And my mood has been too swinging to actually absorb the beauty of the mountains. The fact that they're invisible on most of these rainy days doesn't help. But this city sure has a lot of character. And a lot of food for vegetarians.
So I've been writing and reading, and going for long walks. Playing piano, fumblingly, for the first time in many years. And I'm here for nearly another two weeks.
Here's to a 2008 crammed with serenity.
Over and out.