So, I have been “most things All About My Book most of the time” and it’s because that is where my head is. Can’t help it. Am watching for reviews, sales, etc. because this book was a long time writing and a long time coming, and now because I am in that wonderful point of having people ask–no, demand to know–I am writing the next book. [I can’t begin to explain how blissful that makes me, to have people demanding to know What Happens Next and Why Aren’t You Writing and How Dare You Be on Facebook or Twitter, rinse, repeat. Yes, I imagine it can get old. But it’s certainly not old yet! I wrote This Crumbling Pageant in a vacuum except for a very small handful of friends and one amazing beta reader and cheerleader who read every word, twice–or was it three times?–before it had even even been edited. I am still pondering how to get an Orthodox Jew nominated for Sainthood. Fortunately I am an Episcopalian, and if any church would find a way to wink and nod and make it so, my church would. So Mara, prepare for your canonization!]
Beyond that, though, there are other things and I think you might find some of them interesting. For one, I made a new friend yesterday:
Bo is a white boxer. Boxers are the most amazing family dogs if you have very tall fences [they jump and climb and will go over a fence if they get bored] and a yard [they are very active dogs, full of energy]. But Bo was very well-behaved on this city street with strangers all around, and much more interested in scouting out a few crumbs on the ground than paying much attention to admirers.
Boxers raised my sons. I can’t heap enough praise on them. They are sweet, tolerant dogs and put up with anything. [No, we didn’t let our kids abuse or terrorize the dogs, Yes, the kids managed to toddler-ize the dogs anyway, which the dogs dismissed because, puppies. What are you gonna do with them? Sigh. Lick. Hover. Protect.]
I saw a wonderful film at the Magnolia, one of my two favorite theaters in Dallas. The other is the Angelika, Dallas, not Plano, if you’re wondering. This picture reminds me that I have never been to the Magnolia at night. Instead, it’s where I tend to go on long, lazy days with friends, where we’ll either walk to a nearby restaurant to eat or drive across the river or down the road to one of our other favorite haunts. It’s very pretty at night, isn’t it? I am thinking the Resident Storm Chaser and I need to have a date night there.
Oh, and the wonderful film? Belle. History and romance and intelligent script combined with stellar performances. It’s simply a lovely movie and I caught myself by surprise by realizing I was quite choked up at the end. In a very good way.
I spent a wonderful afternoon with friends, one of our typical “movies and lunch with the girls” days. Talking about house renovations, about health, about the husbands we love, kids we love, friends we love. And absolutely fabulous burgers at Maple & Motor. Which reminds me of something.
I am an arrogant Dallas girl. I was born in Dallas, raised in Dallas. I teach in Collin County, north of Dallas, an area that has exploded in the past couple of decades and I daresay does not have a very large proportion of “Dallas girls” living there. More likely to be people who moved here from elsewhere. [Not that there is anything wrong with that.] I was surprised to find out how few of them ever venture into Dallas. Surprised to find out how many people who live north of Dallas think that Dallas is old, scary, run down, I don’t know… inferior somehow. That disdain has spread to the first perimeter of suburbs, those towns that existed off on their own for many decades before Dallas grew to bump up against their borders. Suburbs with their own old downtowns and neighborhoods.
And here is where my arrogance pops up. I have learned to appreciate the communities and towns and small cities springing up on an ever-spreading perimeter of Dallas. But those places will never be my Dallas, and while the people who live there may be grateful for that fact, I say it’s their loss.
I love that Dallas and its first ring of old suburbs is a hodge-podge of good and bad, of “culture” and its opposite, of yesterday and today, and is continuing to evolve. I love that the downtown and uptown and various other areas are turning into true city living with loft apartments and shopping within walking distance–things that didn’t exist until relatively recently when people who loved city living moved here. I love that outsiders are bringing a new energy to Dallas. I love that the old and the new are blending in exciting ways with a new mix of ethnicity and an old mix of history, and I love days that end up with me in a car with friends, enjoying my home town.
And I hope that you feel the same way about your home, wherever it is. Even if–especially if–it’s one of those communities north of Dallas. 😉
I have more to say about my book, but that’s for a different day.
Where is your home town? Do you live in a place that feels like home? I hope so.
This Crumbling Pageant, Volume One in The Fury Triad, is available at these online book stores.