Starting late, not much time in which to write. Woke up at 9am, was at the beach by 10, and only left around 1pm in order to rush to my mother’s hair salon and get a haircut. A haircut? Dude, I am converted. I am changed. I am a believer. Take my money, take it all, just give me another neck rub with peppermint oil. Give me a scalp massage, slow and luxurious, fingers flowing across my scalp. Wrap a hot, steamed towel across my face as you wash my hair for an unnecessarily long period of time. Shampoo, rinse. Then conditioner. Then rinse. Ah, bliss.

It helped that the lady doing all this was incredibly nice, friendly, good looking, and only just a little older than me. Ah!

And then a light lunch. My mother’s discovered this place that has a lamb lunch special for $12. Did I wolf it down, smacking my lips and monkey clapping my feet all the while? Oh did I.

Then – packing. Man oh man. I had to cancel my tennis game so as to work on packing my books. We’re moving in a week, and everything needs to be boxed by then. So a few hours of sticking my books in boxes and it doesn’t look like I’ve begun to make inroads on my shelving. Meanwhile, a wall of boxes groaning with graphic novels, hard backs, mass markets and more leans precariously against the wall. It’s easy to forget how many books you have when they’re double stacked. And I’m being picky, culling the Crichtons and Clancy’s and such from the collection, only taking what I want. And still the boxes mount, and the books on the shelves seem undiminished.

And now – writing? I feel like I need a break. It’s hard work getting scalp rubs and lying on golden sands in the sun all day. Plus I only have three hours left before heading out for drinks. Going to Piola’s, an Italian joint that’s just opened down the street and serves incredibly good caipirinhas. Trouble? You betcha. But it’s a Thursday. What else is one supposed to do?

So I need to write, like, NOW. Yesterday I got to 8,000, so today I can deduct the difference. Which means I need only hammer out… wait for it… erm… 5,000 words? Dammit, that’s still a ton. Ah well! Here we go. Fingers crossed, music on, surrounded by tottering towers of books and with dust thick in the air.

1, 2, 3, 4. Get your booty on the dance floor. Work it out, shake it little mama, let me see you do the Jane Fonda.


4,500 words written! Which, when added to the overflow of 1,875 from yesterday, comes out to… hold on. Let me grab a calculator. 6,300 or so! Which means I’m still on track! Ha, yeah yeah yeah, boyee! Total word count? 69,973! Yeah yeah yeah!

Silence. And then, from the midst of the crowd, somebody began to beat their sword across their shield. The sound echoed across the glade, and then was joined by a second, and a third. A few moments later, and the sound grew, cries and yells and bellows filling the air. Kevin lifted both hands, basking in the sound, and then everybody was yelling, hands cupped about their mouths, roaring and shrieking and singing and laughing. Just as the sound seemed unable to get any louder, the Griffin reared back onto its two hind legs and let out a deafening screech, blasting the air with its cry, which then rumbled down into a furious roar. Sita laughed, clapped her hands, and turned to stare at Guillaume.

Who had stepped next to her, hands on his hips. He met her eyes, his face hard, expressionless, and then he let a small smile slip. “Well done,” he said. “Well done indeed.”