Hello again.

The most exciting news from my little world at the moment is that I have myself a new printer, which does a couple of things my old printer did not do, the most of important of which is that it prints things out for me.

I know! How novel.

So that means I've been writing more things, on account of how I can print them out. Now I have no excuse for not getting to that next phase and redrafting everything within an inch of its life. I have also been reading the book that I purchased in order to avoid reading Crime and Punishment , which means I now have to read Crime and Punishment , which I am sure will be excellent, but there's something about reading classic literature that makes me kind of dread the experience (having said that, I have enjoyed almost every "classic" work of literature I've read, pretty much without exception, so what all of this says about me I'm not sure. Possibly that I'm an idiot).

By the way, I would like to congratulate the second sentence in that last paragraph for its recent nomination in the Longest Sentence of the Year Awards. Richly deserved.

The book I've just finished, Blue Water , by A. Manette Ansay, was so different from Read This and Tell Me What It Says (her short story collection), and Vinegar Hill (the only other novel of hers that I've read) that I almost wondered if she was a different A. Manette Ansay from the one who came to our Boston College writing class and spoke gruffly about what made her a writer. I had thought then that she was a hero for the writer who just writes because she always wanted to. She didn't seem to be trying to match her work to a structural formula, and was quite happy to write about the tiny details and skip the big themes of life and death and love and whether or not forgiveness is possible in a small town (all of which are covered in this recent book). In fact, I think I had transformed Ansay - in my head - into a casually misanthropic, accidentally cutting-edge "fringe" writer. But, since being selected for Oprah's Book Club (having her print circulation multiply many tens of times over), she could hardly match that description and still be selling as many books as she is.

It's funny how an author can be mistaken for a genre. You read one book and you expect them all to be the same. I often find this confusing myself, when I write. I write something quite unlike something I've written before (which is necessary for my own sanity) and I find myself missing the "old" writing - trying to crowbar some of it in between the cracks of the new stuff. 'Tis a merry dance, this writing caper. I don't know why everyone isn't doing it.

Also, isn't behooved an excellent word?

Definition according to dictionary.com: to be necessary or proper for. eg: "It behooves you at least to try".

I think that last sentence alone - "it behooves you at least to try" - could form the sturdy basis for a character. Probably a British one.

Geraldine: But Boris, it just isn't possible. I mean, I've -

Boris: Oh for heavens sakes Geraldine. It behooves you at least to try.

(Boris storms out, in the direction of the Parlour room. Geraldine looks bereft and stares blankly through the bay windows).