I have never preferred sunsets over other types of natural phenomena. To watch a sinking sun, as it elegantly widens and smoothly dips into the ocean, while flame colored clouds unfurl around it is beautiful, but not an activity I especially like to see. I am too attached to even the sun which must go through a daily cycle of seeing death and rebirth. Better for me sunrise, which offers softer colors, the scope of possibilities, the beginning of all things.
Today I went to the ocean just before sunset to see the water and sun and sand; to collect round stones; to thank the universe for giving me a chance to make my way to another coast, to meet a rare woman who became a soul sister, mentor, and trusted friend. Her life has enhanced my life in countless ways, sharpened my intellect, my sense of humor, and my stories. She has made me braver, bolder, and more humane. She leaves behind a world of family and friends touched by her innate humanity, kindness, and wicked humor. My heart swells, overflows.
I am housing the Garment District Family: Mother Velvet and her kittens named Lace, Denim, Chenille, and Mink. Velvet was abandoned at a veterinarian’s office fully pregnant, and the animal shelter I volunteer at took the family in shortly after the births. I have been fostering them for a month, with another month to go before they can be adopted. Those are the facts, but my Garment District Family, like any family are full of much more substance. If their tragedy was unique, their happiness is the same as other kitten families, with lots of scampering, mock fighting, eating and sleeping. They are fully living their lives, each with personalities that differ sharply from one another, but personalities which might be shed as they grow into young adulthood.
Minke is the runt, and I add the “e” because I live in a town whose waters are visited by whales, and Lace is the eldest, the beauty. Chenille watches me type and tries out some keys, managing to find an umlat, and Denim of the silvery fur is bathing. Ma, as all mothers, is asleep, exhausted.
We are falling into a pattern. We are dreaming similar dreams. We are living together success-hey, no biting–fully.
The first Tuesday in November my last two novels come out in paperback in Vintage. I am beyond thrilled, especially as I did not expect Inheritance to have a third rebirth. Beacon Press brought out my first novel as a trade book a decade after it first appeared, in 1990, in hardcover from Knopf, and they brought out Inheritance in trade as well. Now, thirteen years later, Inheritance will be back in a new paper edition. It is a young novel, in some ways younger in spirit than The Journey, not only because ita protagonist is a fifteen-year-old heroine. It features her relationship with a man twice her age, but the love story is really between herself and her mother.
I am over the moon that As sweet As Honey gets a second chance in print. I am partial to softcovers, the pocket-sized books you can slip in a purse, that can bend with ease, and swat a mosquito if necessary. I can dog-ear the pages, jot down a phone number. Books are living things after all.