So. I'm going to open with the good news.
I just got word. THE ETERNAL ROSE, the 3rd book in my One Rose trilogy, won the 2008 Prism Award for Best Fantasy. (THE BARBED ROSE (book 2) won the Prism in 2007, fyi.) Needless to say, I am totally chuffed. It was fabulous news to come in the wake of all the hurricane disruption.
The dead refrigerator is gone from our front curb. So are the branches off the "pine" in the back yard and the other branches. We didn't have much in the way of trash, compared to so many folks. There are two huge, huge vacant lots--one off Broadway near the "entrance" to the island, and one off Seawall somewhere. (I drive by the one on Broadway on the way to work. Haven't been by the one on Seawall.) Anyway, both of these lots are used as a collection spot for the trash and debris picked up by the city, before it's taken off the island by two contractors. The trash is piled 10-15 feet high and covers almost the entire lot that I've seen. The other one is in similar state. They're removing trash from the lots as fast as they can fill up the trucks and drive them off, but more keeps coming. And it doesn't seem as if they've made a dent in the trash and debris piled outside the houses I drive past every day.
On the other hand, MY life is pretty much back to normal. Dolly the granddog is home. We finally have all our services back, including internet. The computer is doing strange things (like spontaneously shutting down/restarting every 10 to 20 minutes or so), and may have to go in to the shop, but we have hot showers! And drinkable water! And cable television. All the amenities.
I only had to drive across the causeway to work in the Texas City newspaper office for three days once I went back to work this week. The newsroom moved back to the island on Thursday. Now we only have to make the trip over the causeway to pick up mail. They're delivering first class mail to houses on the island now, (which means no magazines, etc.) but the post offices, including the P.O. Boxes, won't open ... well, the downtown post office, where our box was, is "closed indefinitely." However, picking up box mail at the temporary place is a lot easier than picking up residence mail. So we'll probably keep doing that for a while, till they start delivering ALL the mail to houses.
The grocery stores are open. Target is open. The junior college and schools are back in session. I feel so utterly grateful that we came through this with so little damage and disruption. Especially when I see all around me people who are dealing with the loss of everything they own. Still, as so many of my friends have said, "It's just stuff. Stuff can be replaced."
And I still have a book to write. I have been slogging along this week. Four pages most days, though today, I only wrote one. I got my page proofs yesterday. These are the first proofs I've ever gotten that actually look like book pages. (Harlequin sends these really funky looking things...) So I wrote one page, and got to work on the proofs.
Because of the disruption on the island, the proofs got returned to Tor the first time they sent them, so my original deadline's been extended, but I think I ought to be able to get them in the mail by that date, if not back to them. And I still want to write at least a half-page every day before I start working on the proofs. They're pretty clean, so it shouldn't be too tough.
Now, I just need to get back into an exercise routine. The beach is pretty much gone, near my house, and they're trying to keep people on the island side of the seawall, anyway. The rocks are still littering the sidewalk, so it's not really fit for bicycle riding. I'll just have to head over and walk. The weather's starting to cool down a little, so the walking will be pleasant. I've been a real slug while I've been evacuated...