Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The trouble with dusting

Dusting is no bad thing. Let me say that up front.

Dusting blinds is, if not entertaining, at least mindless and usually (but not always) there is a view to behold behind the dust cloth.

Dusting pictures is trickier because you pick them up and look at them -- and then you remember where you were when that happened, and how young your youngest looked then (Was he only twelve? And sitting at a bar on a Caribbean out island! Good heavens). And you do that, say, times twenty odd pictures and you've frittered away a whole afternoon.

You have some very good reminiscences, but it is
  • a. not getting the book written
  • b. not getting the room ready for George the school teacher turned painter
  • c. making you want to go to the Caribbean again. Also to Barcelona and Vienna and Scunthorpe and St Erth and Fermoy and all the other places in those photographs.
Worse, there is dusting bookshelves.

It wouldn't be bad if you could just dust the shelves, but you have to take out the books and open them. Not to dust them, of course, but to see if that scene you remember in Jill Mansell's Perfect Timing is as good as you remember it being.

And it is, and so you stand there reading it. And then you go sit down and read it because it's swept you right up in the story again and you can't not read it.

Until finally you need to go put the dogs out. And call George and tell him maybe next week the room will be ready to paint.

And then you have to go back to dusting because there are several more shelves on that particular bookcase and unfortunately they are all "keepers" or you wouldn't have kept them, would you?

But maybe you could get rid of a few of them. Of course you have to read them first to be sure you were ready to part with them.

Which is why I hate dusting.

What about you?

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12 Comments:

Blogger Patricia said...

Anne,

I have to say that dusting is taboo. I live in a rural community next to a grain elevator. Need I say more. The dusting never stops. This is why I flee to my basement office and dream about Italians, Spanish, and Greek heroes.

25 March, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Patricia,
I'm perhaps not quite as intimately acquainted with grain elevators as you are. But there have been some in my life -- and there are often some on my horizon.

You're welcome to them -- and to your own Italian, Spanish and Greek heroes. My Greek-American hero is creating a mess at the moment (in his boat, not in my manuscript), but at least he's moving. Maybe ignoring him to dust (and read!) this afternoon did the trick!

25 March, 2008  
Blogger Patricia said...

Anne,

Well, I can do without them (grain elevators) and dusting.

I love reading about all of your unpredicable heroes. Flynn just caught my eye and held it for 180 pages. My Greek hero Alexandros Christou aka Marios Lekkas (famous greek model) is gracing my desktop and my late nights. He's Reclaiming His Wayward Wife in my latest story, which is my 7th manuscript. He's one of those husbands we love to hate!

25 March, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I'll have to check out Marios Lekkas. I seem to remember one Lekkas guy from some article I read a while back. Marios doesn't ring a bell, though. Hmmm. Something to procrastinate checking on! Thanks, Patricia!

I love your title, Reclaiming His Wayward Wife. It sounds VERY Presentsy. Is that what you're aiming for?

I'm glad you enjoyed Flynn. He was unpredictable. I, for one, never knew what he was going to do next. And it seems some of his unpredictability has rubbed off on Seb because he's just turned up with this violin out of nowhere. Well, actually he is telling me where it came from, but honestly, who knew???

25 March, 2008  
Blogger Madeline said...

Anne, I laughed at this blog. Since I'm allergic to dust, the dusting never ends here. I hate dusting. Bookcases are always the hardest to dust because, I get distracted by a book that I haven't read in awhile, and like you, I start reading it again. Hours later, the dusting finally gets done.

Seb and a violin? Wow! I can't wait for his story. I hope he keeps cooperating with you. It sounds like a story worth waiting for.

Good luck with your dusting.
Mads:)

26 March, 2008  
Blogger Patricia said...

Anne,

Presents is my dream but published is my goal. I know what you mean about Seb. The hero in my last story sat down and played a baby grand piano, who knew? He was very good at it and my heroine loved it too.

26 March, 2008  
Blogger Kate Walker said...

Patricia -

Thank you for mentioning Marios Lekkas. As a result of Googling him, I found a great site with lots of Greek models - wonderful inspiration for the next time I need a Greek hero. I'll let you have Marios though, and I'd probably choose one of the others. I love that title too.
Good luck with your quest for publication. I wish you every success

Kate

PS Anne - want to come and dust my house when you've finished with yours?

26 March, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne,
How are you! Google Alert just brought me here to see the nice things you've been saying about my books! I wish I could write a brilliant blog like you, but I just can't. I'm off to Aus next week and will hopefully meet up with Anne Gerries - is she a friend of yours?
Have to take son to boxing now...
Love
Jill Mansell

26 March, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies - I mean Anne Gracie!!!!
Love
Jill

26 March, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Patricia,
Kate has shared her googling efforts and the Greek models you've found for us! Bless you. Keep me posted on your publishing endeavor. It sounds as if you've got a good book going.

Jill, great to hear from you, too! I am in the midst of An Offer You Can't Refuse. Loving it. Admiring how you managed to get a hero called Dougie to actually seem heroic. There is no end to your talent!

Yes, Anne G is a dear dear friend. She was just in London and in NY now and will be home in time for the television program on romance. Is that what you are going to be there for or do you have 'research' plans as well?

I'm envious of your trip and getting to see Anne. It's been 4 years since we last met up.

Boxing? Good. It sounds like a useful sort of thing for a son to do -- and one you can use in a book.

Mads, I am not, thankfully, allergic to dust. If I were, I'd be dead by now! Put on a mask and sit down and read your book!

26 March, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear, is Dougie a wimpish name in the US? We pronounce it Duggy here and it's fine. (Eurgh, just realised that dug means nipple - how horrid!)
No, I don't think I'm doing a TV thing - it's just promoting the book in Aus, NZ and Singapore. First time there, so it's exciting and a bit scary - mainly wondering how the family will cope without me here! And I definitely don't dust!
Love
Jill

27 March, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Jill,

Names are funny things in the way that they take on different associations in different places. We pronounce Dougie the same way you do, unlike some words which we definitely differ on. I think it could be that in general we don't do 'diminutives' for heroes -- unless they're NASCAR drivers (it's a Southern thing then and it's "accepted"). He's still a great fun hero. And Lola is certainly driving him crazy.

I spoke with Anne last night. She's looking forward to meeting you! I hope you have a fantastic time. Too bad the family isn't going along, so you could worry about them instead of about how you're going to cope.

Have fun!

27 March, 2008  

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