All Over the Map

Edith/Maddie here, luxuriating in full summer north of Boston.

My July has been all over the map, virtually and literally, and it ain’t over yet. The month started out quiet enough. Working on Murder in the Rusty Anchor revisions every morning. Walking, tending my tomato plants, seeing friends, eating salads, and grilling dinners.

The usual early July things. No beach, but around here the biting greenhead flies come out in July and I never go to the beach until the end of the month.

Then the map shifted to coastal Maine, where we rented a cottage in Owl’s Head near Rockland for a week. We did all the Maine things!

Lighthouses, lobster rolls, a boat ride to see puffins, the Wyeth museum, blueberry pie, and more, including reading Barb’s Hidden Beneath on our little patio.

It was a lovely getaway, and I didn’t do a lick of writing.

We got home and life traveled to hell in a handbasket. My back went seriously out. An odd upper-GI thing flared. The impinged nerve in my wrist made itself known, big time. One day I was flat on the couch, worried my writing career was over.

I’m happy to report that with some rest and ibuprofen and a visit to the chiropractor a short walk away, my back is back to normal. The GI thing is clearing. The wrist hurts, but I know how to take care of it. Whew.

Meanwhile the book is STILL due August first and it’s still too short. Gah. I keep massaging it, but I really need a couple new scenes and I can’t figure out which area needs clarifying and deepening and how to work that in. So my work is all over the map, too. And, gentle reader, time is getting short.

But yesterday I got the biggest boost. Some of you might have seen this on Facebook, but here’s what happened. I was volunteering at a local charity yard sale, to which I had donated some of my own books. A shopper asked how much one of my books was. I told her, then I said I wrote it. She was completely, utterly gobsmacked. She kept asking me if I was serious. She said how much she loves my books and cozy mysteries and could we do a photo so she could share it to Instagram and and with the cozy You Tube community. (Of course!) We took a picture, Jeannie bought nine books, and I signed them all. It was such a fun encounter for both of us.

So I’ll keep picking blueberries (yay, more delicious summer things!) from my own bushes, keep eating sweet corn from the local farm, and keep working on the book until it’s due, but with a lift from that chance encounter.

My longtime picking bucket was a pail of my sister’s Quebec honey long ago, and the ribbon lets me pick two-handed.

And the book will either get longer or it won’t. My editor will either ask for changes – or he won’t. I might even get to the beach at the end of the week.

Oh, and if you’re in New England, please head over to the Ashland, MA public library Saturday for a cozy mystery afternoon with Barb, LeslieMeier, Barbara Tanner Wallace, and me!

Readers: What has lifted your spirits recently?

29 Thoughts

  1. I’m glad you had a positive encounter. What lifted my spirits is getting help from the crime fiction family in my time of need.

  2. I’m getting excited about going to see George Strait in Tampa in less than 2 weeks now. I booked a room on the Bay for the night and plan to spend it out on the beach until it’s time to check out. Find some place fabulous to have lunch then head back home. This is my Christmas present I had to wait 8 months for but I’ve heard from others online that it’s well worth the wait. Even a mini vaca lifts my spirits.

  3. Whew! Glad you’re healing and getting better! What picked me up this week was blueberry picking and making reservations for my daughter and granddaughters visit in August. Did you do the Rockland Breakwater walk? I love that!!

    1. Thanks, Kathy. We did! That’s the lighthouse in the photo. We had to be careful where we put our feet – the entire thing is a big tripping hazard – but we made it out and back and loved it.

  4. It was very uplifting, when after my cancer surgery and the reconstruction surgery (on a Wednesday) on my face to have both Christian men call be to check up on me (one on Wednesday night and the other on Thursday). One even gave me his personal cell phone number in case I had an problems or questions. Then one called me again on Friday to make sure I know his cell number was for 24/7 including weekends. Sure went a LONG way to making me not only know I had selected the proper doctors, but also made me feel very cared for and special. Their work was fabulous and the instructions for what I was to do were not only easy to follow, but very beneficial since 8 days later the stitches came out and except at night when I use special healing medicine to prevent scaring, I don’t have to wear a bandage any more.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. I’m so happy you’re feeling better, Edith! I just returned from a writing retreat. That’s always uplifting. Enjoy the blueberries!

  6. Oh Edith, so glad you are feeling better! Sunshine and lower humidity have lifted my spirits lately. Spring and early summer have been unusually rainy so the recent weather change has been welcome.

  7. Last week, I finally made it to Maine though it was just a for an afternoon trip. My dad was born in Maine and I’ve always wanted to visit. I’m now planning a big trip next summer (the 20th anniversary of his passing) to his hometown of Van Buren, Maine and to visit the rest of Maine. It was lovely there!

  8. I’m sorry to hear about all of your problems and glad you had such a lovely boost. Spending time with long-time military friends yesterday was a great boost.

  9. I think you have had your Christmas in July. All the good things along with the bad. December can be a very stressful month with joy at the end. You just transferred it to July.

    I love when the Wickeds post a little of their private lives. It gives a depth to your books in a way that nothing else can. Thank you for including us in your lives.

    Maine, as always, is beautiful and you show your joy in being there with your pictures. I am so sorry about all the pain you have suffered. Three things at once is just not fair, but you pushed through, valiantly.

    My big lift this year has been being able to work in my yard. I sure notice I”m not as able to do as much or as easily in the past, but I’m out there! And the cared for yard greets me every day and makes me smile

  10. Sounds like it’s been quite the July. Here’s hoping you find the words you need for your book. Glad your health is getting better.

  11. Life sure is full of startling events and unfortunate issues. I am glad to hear you are getting through them and I am sure you will manage the book. I hope you have a great time for the rest of this hot summer and get to enjoy it! Yum for the blueberries, Maine or otherwise! And there is something soothing about picking them. Now I am talking myself into blueberry pancakes in the morning.

  12. That sounds like a lovely vacation, Edith, and an encouraging encounter with a fan. Super congrats on both! As for me, the breaking the humidity in my area has felt so uplifting. It has made spending time in the screen house writing and enjoying the soft breezes with my dog, Sam, a daily delight!

  13. Within the last ten days, we have had three kittens come to stay in our yard. They are adorable. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  14. I have not been to Maine, and I want to go. Those salads look fabulous, especially the one on the right. I just like getting up every day and doing well. I like reading your books as well as many others and working jigsaw puzzles. I like being with Hubby Dearest and my pup. My knees are an issue, but compared to others above, I am doing well. God bless everyone and God bless America.

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