Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Roller-Coaster Ride

Life was a roller-coaster ride in November - a joyful November 6 when Obama won the election - a devastating November 17 when Jimmie lost the NASCAR championship. Rather like meeting a wonderful new man and believing it is love sweet love, then a couple of weeks later, he walks out of your life, leaving you broken-hearted. Well, Obama is still the president - cling to that. And Jimmie can always come back and win the championship next year - cling to that.

In the meantime, there's Thanksgiving and Christmas and the kids coming home to visit. There are the everyday worries of Mom's continuing mental deterioration and my home repair guy informing me that I need a new water heater and a notice from Chevrolet that there is a recall on my car and I should make an appointment to have it corrected.

We are having gorgeous weather for mid-November - high 50's and sunny. Back in the day, we'd just have accepted this gratefully as a gift from Mother Nature but in 2012, you worry that it is just more evidence of global warming, more retribution than reward.

I'll forego the political shows and the NASCAR blogs for a while. I'm temporarily sick of hearing about Fetal Heartbeat laws and fiscal cliffs and "oh-my-God Benghazi! and hearing that other guy, who won the NASCAR championship (Brad Keselowski), extolled to the moon when Jimmie would have pulled off a phenomenal comeback but for want of a single lugnut and a pin-sized hole in an oil line (maybe).

I tend to disappear into fiction this time of year. I have a stack of books from favorite authors I've been saving for just this time: John Sandiford and Lee Childs and Andrew Vachss and Iain Banks and I've been hoarding the last volume of the Outlander series for when I need to escape from real life. Amazon.com notified me that the latest Stephanie Plum has shipped. Ole Stef has been refusing to choose between  her two hot men, Morelli and Ranger, through 19 books now. I wonder how long she can pull off that balancing act? And I have some new e-books that have been recommended to me. I'm trying to support more new e-authors now that I am one myself.

I'm at a creative place in my own latest novel - the 7th in the Rafe Vincennes series. The plot is flowing so that every time I bring up the on-going manuscript, I feel an anticipatory thrill about what is going to happen next, which not being an organized writer, is always a total mystery to me until it happens.

There are always household projects to keep me occupied....not that I'm very excited about the prospect of those. It's probably a good thing my son and daughter-in-law are coming home for Christmas. That will force me into deep cleaning mode. It will be extremely satisfying to have the house in perfect shape....once it's all done.

There are good things to consider. For instance, my Pekinese puppy, Channie (or as I call her DB, for Dumb Blonde) seems finally have gotten it through her head about going potty outside (knock on wood). And I hardened my heart this year and let the Ugly Plant (a 20-plus-year-old Schefflera) expire. Mom got it at my grandmother's funeral and insisted it had sentimental value so I had to drag it in and out every spring and fall. Over the decades, it got taller and heavier and scragglier and balder. When I lugged it in before winter, it promptly lost what few leaves it had and stood, like a concentration camp survivor, taking up one whole corner of the dining room. I felt a little guilty but I left it out on the porch until we had a hard frost. There was a huge sense of relief when I saw that the damn thing had passed into plant heaven at last. (Mom having forgotten all about it by now).

So give me a little break and I'll be ready to plunge back into politics and stock car racing.  What will happen during my brief sabbatical? Will the entire Middle East be at war? Will John McCain (who is living proof that even being a genuine hero doesn't give you lifetime license to be a fool) have succeeded in having Susan Rice burned at the stake? Will the Republicans steadfastly stand by their single remaining Principle, that being that taxes CANNOT be raised on the rich? Will Texas (or any other state) have seceded? Will Obama have accomplished his secret Muslim mission of removing every gun from every American household? Will any American Christian be the victim of an angry mob of securlarists for making the unforgivable error of saying "Christmas"? Will Obama be facing impeachment for the high crime and misdemeanor of pissing the Republicans off by winning an election (as happened with Bill Clinton)? Will any Republican politician or pundit pay a price for being so spectacularly wrong about the outcome (so far it appears they are, shamelessly, still making the rounds of the Sunday talk shows just as if they'd known what they were talking about)?

And NASCAR? What will happen there? Sprint Cup will be using a brand new car which is bound to shake up the series. What teams will adapt to it the quickest and come out of the box strong and fast at Daytona?

Ah, it is all so delicious to contemplate, isn't it?