* Yesterday I had a manicure in a salon where little to no English was spoken. When the young Asian man ran the coarse nail buffer over my pinkie nail, he accidentally cut open skin beyond the cuticle. I pulled my hand away to show him what he did, and he wordlessly took out a small vial of blue liquid and applied a few drops. Antibiotic, I thought. How nice.
At first I felt nothing and then ... holy focaccia. It started to burn. I tried to tough it out, figuring I was just being a wimp. (My pain tolerance is notoriously low.) But the burn started to spread up my finger to my hand and arm. Finally I started to scream, I HAVE TO WASH THIS OFF! I HAVE TO WASH THIS OFF!
No one even knew what I was saying. They just stared, inscrutably, at this crazy American woman jumping around the salon.
Anyway, it still hurt when I went to bed last night, still hurts a bit now ... not like a cut but like a burn. I still have no idea what the hell this guy put on my hand. But my nails look fabulous.
* On page 205 of the work-in-progress. This morning I reread the last chapter I wrote and it needs a bit of work. Don't think I'll be able to move forward until I fix what's bugging me. Yeah, I'm that anal.
* My parents, AKA Morty and Helen Seinfeld of Del Boca Vista, are landing in LaGuardia this afternoon and will be staying with us for the week. (Note to self: buy more bran cereal.) Check back in soon for reports from the front.
* Late to the game, as usual, but I just finished reading Audrey Niffennegger's THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. It brought me to my knees. If you haven't read this powerful book, what are you waiting for?
* Speaking of late to the game, I just started reading Nelson DeMille's THE GOLD COAST. He wrote a new intro for this decade-old book, and I was struck by the attitude he had toward his own work. At first, I thought it was hubris, and then I realized I just wasn't accustomed to confidence in writers. We tend to be a pretty self-effacing bunch. Made me question my conviction that all good writers are insecure. (The reasoning is that confident people won't torture themselves over the quality of their writing to the point where they're willing to work like desperate animals to improve it.) Is DeMille, who's clearly an outstanding writer, the exception to the rule? Or is my assumption faulty?
* More book news: I bought eight copies of Saralee Rosenberg's DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD to give as teacher gifts this year. That should tell you something about my belief in this book. Just wanted to put a bee in your bonnet if you're thinking about holiday gifts. You'll note that Amazon, in its infinite wisdom, suggests that you pair your purchase of this book with both of mine. Who am I to argue with that? Anyway, I'll be running an interview with Saralee within the next few days, so check back in.
* Last Friday my 16-year-old wonderkid won the award for Best Music Video at his high school film festival. My pride filled the entire auditorium. Better yet? His pride. It was quite a moment. It's a film style called animutation, and it's pretty avant-garde. Take a look: