Thursday, November 8, 2007

Astro and Jazz

Key West -- I got an offer I couldn't refuse to fly down with some friends and their dogs last Saturday. I like dogs but I'm allergic to some of them. I get giant hives wherever they lick me. And once, when I was a senior at high school I rolled around on the floor with a standard poodle at the home of our family doctor. By the time I got home my face had swelled, my eyes were nearly shut, and I was wheezing. The doctor told my father, who was a dentist, to give me a shot of adrenaline. No one knew then that I have mitral valve prolapse, a benign condition that can make getting adrenaline dangerous -- and if not dangerous, frightening. My heart pounded, I shook all over, and I was scared out of my mind.

So the idea of spending three hours in a small cabin with Astro and Jazz was of some concern. But I'm happy to report the dogs weren't allergic to me and I had no trouble with them. They were excellent travel companions.

I'm so glad I decided to go for it. If I'm going to be locked up working for two weeks this is where I want to be. I love New York but I no longer like working there. When I look out the window I want to be outside. I feel as if I have to have some kind of mission every day to get me out of the apartment. In Key West I work at a desk facing a garden. When I slide open the big glass doors I feel as if I'm outside in the garden.

Did I say I was able to send my editor 4 stories from the third book in the Pain&Great One series (Going, Going, Gone!) before I left? That means I have to finish two more stories plus some words of wisdom from Fluzzy the Cat. I'm giving myself a week for each story.

The problem is, the first story seems to have turned into two. I'm not sure I want it to be two. So I'm letting it rest for a couple of days while I get going on the next story. In this one the family is visiting an eccentric grandpa who lives near the Everglades.

George once took me on a canoe trip through the Everglades. We camped out for a week. Never saw another human. But saw plenty of incredible birds and even a group of 3 alligators. I'd read a book about poisonous snakes in the Everglades the night before our trip began. Not smart! I had leather dress boots with me (low heeled I'm happy to say) and never took them off, not for 7 days and nights, not even to portage through thigh high gray muck because my book said snakes and alligators (I think it said alligators) can't bite through leather. So while the Pain&the Great One won't be on a week long trip through the Everglades, Grandpa Pete will surely take them out in his canoe to see the birds never know what might happen. Stay tuned...