Thursday, March 11, 2010

Writing a Book

I spent the last month finishing a book project. Twelve hours a day, day after day. I loved it! My back ached from sitting; my wrist ached from typing. My nights were filled with thoughts about the book to the point that I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or thinking. I'd wake at 3am or 4am and wish that 5am would come so I could get up (at a reasonable hour) and get back to work. Thirty marvelous days of writing. What a gift; what a privilege. This was the end of the project, during which I completed the last 75 pages or so.

But the project actually started years before when I had lunch with my friend Julia. The idea for The Right Sisters was hers. She came up with the title and she did tons of research before I ever got invovled. At lunch that day, I absorbed her enthusiasm like a plant collecting energy from the sun. The photosynthesis took eight years before that energy was fully transformed into a book.

When I think about it, the book project really started years before that lunch date, back when Julia and I first met and I reveled in her smile, in her joy of life, in her swinging blond hair and willingness to jump when I was merely tiptoeing . Way back in 1977, we started the partnership that would make a book thirty-three years later. We were the right sisters!

Thanks Julia, for being a part of my life, for shining your light on my creative life.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Snowmobile Adventure

Cindy loves machines and she loves speed, so for her birthday this year, I scheduled a snowmobile adventure. We drove to Tahoe on her birthday eve and stayed at Harrahs. First, we celebrated a belated Valentine's Day by going to see the movie so named. There were only three couples in the theater for this sweet romantic comedy. We left the show in a geedy feel-good mood and went for a late dinner at the casino. Then I headed up to our room and Cindy enjoyed a few hours of gambling. We were nicely primed for our March 2, birthday adventure.

The next day at Zephyr Cove, we got suited up in snow pants, boots, gloves, and helmet and then climbed on a bus with 23 other people for the drive to the trailhead where we would be oriented to the machines. The first thing we learned was that we would be on the Cadillac of snowmobiles weighing in at 700 pounds. That's a lot of machine to maneuver with two riders even with an engine. Of course, the trail guide emphasized safety with a few scary admonitions about keeping your legs tucked so they didn't get broken should you roll the thing. Sufficiently worried--me about everything and Cindy about driving the thing--we took our position on a machine at the end of the line.

Cindy pushed the throttle and we lurched forward making two or three lunges as she gauged how to manage speed. Soon we were flying down the trail, shifting our butt cheeks and leaning into curves. It wasn't long before Cindy was wanting greater speed though thwarted by a much slower driver immediately in front of us. I, on the other hand, was glad for the pokey gal as it was taking me a while to get comfortable bouncing over the bumpy terrain. By the time we reached the first resting spot on the tour, my bladder was screaming from the pounding, and Cindy was asking the trail guide if we could go faster. To distance myself from both perspectives, I decided to take some pictures. After getting one great shot of Cindy's wind burned and delighted face, the camera froze, literally, for the temperature was dropping as a storm moved in.

When the ride resumed, we were indeed going faster, mostly downhill, and I was trying to figure out the best way to position my body for the jarring. If I wrapped my arms around Cindy's waist, we banged helmets repeatedly, and if I held on to the hand rails, my head flailed atop my neck. Cindy meanwhile was really getting into driving her machine, oblivious to our fishtailing rear and my fretful, fearful ride. Good thing the engine drowned out my grunts and moans and occasional plea to "Slow down!" She just wanted to go FAST!

Two hours later when we pulled into our parking spot at the trailhead, Cindy was grinning from ear-to-ear as I leaped from our snowmobile to tear across the snow to the porta-potty. We were soon leaning happily against one another on the bus ride back down the hill-- Cindy fed by speed and I relieved.