Trying to Keep Cool



Much better today. Whipped the first 100 pages into shape–like a ringmaster cracking it over the elephants’ backs at the circus. (ooh, bad metaphor.) But it was like, book, stay! Behave! Roll over!

I spent the weekend at my parents’ house in Pasadena because I accidentally broke the air conditioning unit in our condo, and it’s like, 900 degrees in L.A. right now. Okay, it’s only 95, but man, it’s hot! I accidentally pushed the switch from "cool" all the way to "heat" and the pipe burst. Mike tells me it’s because it’s an old unit, and it wasn’t really my fault (don’t I have a nice husband?) but I still feel guilty.

I loooove air-conditioning. Growing up in Manila, air-conditioning is like God. It’s so hot and humid in Manila, when you step out of your air-conditioned car or home, you IMMEDIATELY start sweating. It’s like New York in July, or Florida, but SO MUCH WORSE.

In seventh grade, the thing to do was to carry around an Evian spray bottle that we would spray our faces with, and also a little Chinese fan. When I was little one of my earliest memories is how I would climb up on the dresser and turn on that lovely air-conditioner in mine and my sister’s room.

Electricity was so expensive (even for the wealthy) that my parents had a rule that we could only turn on the A/C right before we went to bed, and we had to turn it off right when we woke up. None of the houses had central-air back then, so each room had its own air-conditoner. When the economy tanked, right before we moved to the States, my whole family slept in the master bedroom so that we only had to run one A/C.

So of course, having been brought up to loooove air-conditioning, the first thing I did when ours broke was to run home, where the A/C was working.

Except, on Friday night. It stopped. My parents have central air in the house, except for the new addition, which has its own unit. (Wow is this blog really boring? It’s all about our A/C problems!) And the central unit just stopped blowing cold air. My parents are away in Napa for a wedding, so they are going to be really upset when they come back. They love A/C as much as I do.

I have cursed all the air-conditioning units I have touched! Eeeek. So right now I’m writing in the addition, with the fan blowing.

The good thing about having been here for the last couple of days is that I am literally, just locked in with the book. There is nothing for me to do, but write.

(Although I did sneak in some reading. Scott Spencer’s A Ship Made of Paper and Michael Crichton’s Prey. Both were entertaining. Mike asks me why I read cheesy pretentious crap like "A Ship Made of Paper" –Oh, the humanity of it! The ship that will sink! Clutch chest, beat at heart, wail at the tragedy of it all! But I explained that I enjoy reading these novels because they are so different from my own, and so unlike anything that I will ever write, or attempt to write, that it is relaxing for me. Prey was good, riveting, but totally unrealistic at the end, which is not a surprise. Crichton always devolves into bad movie moments in his books, but the research and the ideas that propel the novel are always so interesting you kind of forgive him for the flaws of it later.)

But it was great to get some writing done. And writing is the only solution for yesterday’s problem. Banging head against the wall? Not so helpful.

So the immediate goal is to get this book done this week so I can start rewriting it next week so I can turn it in next Friday. And so I can go back to finishing BB2 which has been on the backburner while I get Angels into shape.

After I turn in Angels and BB2 I am going on vacation to Saint-Tropez, where my next book, SOCIAL LIFE is set. I’m soooo excited to start Social Life. It’s going to be so fun, fun, fun and scandalous and sexy and yummy.

I like writing BB2 and Angels, both of which are a little darker and moodier than what I’m used to writing, but writing books like SOCIAL LIFE is like coming home. Not to mention, I get to go to Saint-Tropez for "research". Hee!

Anyway, I should go since my parents will be back soon and will find out about the great A/C disaster that is awaiting them. Why, why do I still feel like I’m 14?? Because I gotta hide the keg in the living room! LOL.