This is a healthy place,…

This is a healthy place, Ragdale. I wasn't sure what an artists' residency would be like; I thought perhaps there would be a lot of carousing. Gluttony, endless liquor, maybe even wild sex parties. I am quite sure I've read about such things among artists in the past. But if any of those have been happening here, I've missed them entirely, I'm afraid. These artists, on the whole, seem almost alarmingly healthy. They're careful about what they eat. They bike to the beach for sunrise yoga, take endless walks on the prairie, go to the gym when it's too hot for walking. If I stayed here long-term, I wonder if any of these healthy habits would be catching?

I did go to the beach today. I worked first -- about three hours solid work on chapter three, getting the revision into shape, with some new material, and sending it out. I'm less certain about this than the earlier chapters -- it's got some shape, but I'm a little worried that it may feel choppy. Usually, if i'm worried about something, I'm right to be worried, unfortunately, so odds are, I'm going to have to work on chapter three some more. Ah well. On the plus side, one of my new readers send the following comment on the first two chapters: "This was Fabulous....From a readability standpoint, it's great. I read it at 2 in the morning and couldn't put it down." Now that's what a writer likes to hear. :-)

After revising, I walked into town (about fifteen minutes), relieved to find that the weather here seems to have broken. It was still warm, but not too much so, and there was a stiff breeze blowing that made it positively lovely out, as long as you stayed in the shade. In town, I picked up groceries for tonight's dinner -- Saturday is the one night they don't feed you. Linda, our wonderful chef, is allowed a night off. I've been craving spicy food, and I wanted a proper meal. And, of course, I am incapable of not feeding people, it seems. So I picked up enough groceries to feed half a dozen people, and happily, a half a dozen of the artists joined me later for dinner, which was lovely. (They also chopped and stirred and washed up after and chipped in for groceries. Awesome.)

When I came back from the store, there was an expedition ready to go to the beach. It's about two miles from here, so a nice walk if you're feeling up to it. We all piled into a car, though, with our Ragdale beach pass. Required, because Lake Forest is a very posh community, with a truly lovely beach, and they don't let just any riff-raff in. Apparently artistic riff-raff are tolerated, though.

The hour on the beach was awesome. The water was chilly, but not too much so, and the wind gave us actual waves, great big ones that knocked me off my feet, which is pretty much my favorite thing about waves. Is that weird?

And then we came back, and I revised the beach scene in the book (see, it was research!), and drank some tea, and started cooking. I cooked for a few hours, and in between, various artists wandered in and chatted and helped and wandered out again, and once, when I had a break while something simmered, I did a bit more revision. We ended up with beef curry, tamarind shrimp (which I thought came out awesome, and I am resisting the urge to go have more because I am full, dammit), cauliflower fry, lemon-masala mushrooms, chili eggs, raita, and rice. Yum. I really get kind of discombobulated if go more than a week without rice and curry. Do other people feel this way about their own home food?

Now I am back in my room, in bed, trying to decide if I have the brain to write a little more. I think not; my eyes keep wanting to close. I think fighting the lake waves may have tired me out more than I realized at the time. So good night, my darlings. More writing in the morning.

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