Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Working

I titled my blog with those simple words because that's what I've been doing! The sequel to The Saddlemaker's Wife is my next book and I'm this close to finishing. It was originally due January 1st (what was I thinking when I signed that contract?) and it was obvious a few months ago I wouldn't make that deadline. I asked my publisher for a month's extension, so now it's due February 1st. So, between getting ready for Christmas and just the general hassle of day-t0-day life, I've been working on this book. I will make my deadline, but barely. The end is in sight, kind of like the Rocky Mountains when you are driving across the eastern Colorado prairie!

There's no title yet so I call it "The Sequel." I was using The Cattle Singer, but my publisher didn't like the title so, after a few other suggestions that we couldn't agree on, we mutually decided to wait until the manuscript was finished before settling on a title. It's weird to be working on an untitled book. That never happens with Benni Harper books, of course. That's one of the beauties of naming your books after quilts--easy titles! No idea when "The Sequel" is coming out, but likely in 2012. As soon as I find out, I'll announce it on the website, on Facebook and send another blog entry. I am having fun with Facebook. I'm on it for five or ten minutes a day, so it's not as time-consuming as I'd anticipated. If you haven't made the "jump" yet, don't be afraid. You can control the time (and amount of information) you put on it. And I've met some great people on my author page. I ask a lot of silly questions (like who is your celebrity crush--mine is Harry Connick Jr.). It's fun to see how people answer.

Not much else is going on here. Life is pretty day-to-day. Daddy is doing great physically though mentally he loses a little more every day. The unpredictability of dementia is often heartbreaking, but also interesting (the writer in me, I guess). He hasn't known my and my older sister's names for a while (though we see him every week), but he does know Mary Edith as "his daughter" and I'm "her sister." (As in, "Is your sister going to visit me this week?") You can see him struggle to figure things out and I think that is exhausting. Christmas is hard for him. All the strange, new things (like decorations) and people. He likes things to stay exactly the same. That's what makes him feel safe. We're doing our best to achieve that for him.

Allen and Boo are doing great. We're having a quiet Christmas since my sister's kids (and their little ones) are all elsewhere. Only adults this year for Christmas dinner. Just isn't the same without hyper-excited kids running around, but better for Daddy. Mary Edith is making my mom's potato salad (to go with honeybaked ham) and I'm making a carrot cake--her and Allen's favorite. I bought her and her husband a cross made of driftwood for their new pool area (under construction), but don't tell her!

Today is Hanukkah, so I wish all my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah. And may God bless you with a peaceful Christmas and a healthy, safe New Year. I pray that 2012 is a year filled with wisdom, friendship and hope for you all.

With my love and gratitude, Earlene