Stephanie Burgis
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last words, shoes, and chocolate
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Hooray! I've finally found my way back into the novel. After feeling grumpy and stuck on it all day yesterday, something in my brain finally clicked last night, and I ended up writing way more than usual last night and this morning and finishing a new chapter. Whew! No more time off until the end. I am not putting myself through that again!

(And of course, as soon as I typed that, I felt the ominous cloud of dramatic doom appear above me with the booming message: Famous last words! But that is utter superstition, and I will not give into it by erasing my first paragraph!)

The doorbell rang about 5 minutes after I finished the chapter, and this month's first Amazon package arrived: Noel Streatfeild's Theater Shoes and Kelley Armstrong's Haunted. Perfect! I read all of Noel Streatfeild's "Shoes" books when I was a kid and really loved them, but had forgotten about them for about 20 years, until Lisa Mantchev mentioned them in an email last week. After reading her email, I spent all of my Borders trips last weekend reading straight through Ballet Shoes, and I absolutely fell in love with it - I didn't just want to read about those Fossil girls, I wanted to be all of them, squabbling with each other (but still defending each other against all outsiders), attending that fantastic school, and being in those plays! What a perfect fairy-tale story (complete with an utterly perfect, bittersweet ending, which I wasn't expecting at all, but which felt just right). I'm now determined to read all of those books again. It's such a joy to re-read something you loved as a child and then find out it really is every bit as good as you thought the first time around.

And I had a wonderful discovery this week: at Easter, Patrick had given me three giant Lindt chocolate bars (all dark chocolate, but all from different origins: Cuba, Madagascar, and Ecuador), and I'd actually forgotten that I had them! I found them stored, still untouched and perfectly sealed, in a cupboard where they must have been stashed right after Easter when I was in too much of a chocolate daze to even want them. I started the Cuban bar this week, and mmmmm, it is good. I'm limiting myself to one square a day, eaten with a cup of Earl Grey tea, and it feels like the most luxuriant decadence.

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