Monday, November 27, 2006
Man, aren’t holidays the best. Hangin’ out with family. Eating. Laughing. Eating. Resting. Eating. Not blogging. Eating.
I typed the last word of Crimson Eve at 11:30 Wednesday night. I was determined to finish before Thanksgiving so I could take the whole weekend off and just be with family—and dadgum, I did. Even if the thing did turn out 10,000 words longer than I expected. I think I wrote and edited about fifty pages those last three days. Wednesday I started around 6:30 a.m. and went until 11:30 p.m.
On Saturday I indulged in a one-hour deep tissue massage on my neck, arms and upper back at a local Coeur d’Alene spa. “Yup,” the masseuse said, “you’re tight all right.” No kidding. My neck felt like iron.
Today I am reading through the manuscript for a final time. It’s all really been edited, so this is the read-through to get the flow of the thing. Then off to the editor it goes. I’ll receive the editorial letter in about a month. Then the fun begins in easing out all the kinks in the story. The books are always so much better after rewrite. I’ve had a chance to get away from the manuscript, so I can see flaws in it by then. And the editor’s insights are invaluable.
So—the weekend. Friday night after Thanksgiving is my favorite night in Coeur d’Alene. It’s the annual holiday parade and light show. First a parade down Sherman Street, with entrants all decked out in Christmas lights. Where else are ya gonna see a lovely cart pulled by llamas with blankets covered in white Christmas lights on their backs? The Red Hot Mamas are doing their dance routine, much like the Fourth of July, but they’re wearing their holiday finery. Floats in lights, cars in lights, back-roading Jeeps in lights. Hey, it’s a cool parade. You just have to dress warmly.
Then it’s across the street to the huge front lawn of the Coeur d’Alene Resort for my favorite part—the holiday light show. The owners of the Resort have been sponsoring this show since 1996. Every year it gets a little bigger. First the crowd (and I do mean crowd—the town turns out) lights candles and listens to Christmas carols, ending in Silent Night. (Isn’t it nice with a town event includes actual Christmas carols.) Then the countdown from 10. When the crowd cries one, Christmas music with a beat blasts out of huge speakers, and fireworks burst into the air.
The fireworks are set off from barges just off the beach and behind the Hagadone building (corporate offices for owners of the resort). I love those fireworks and the music. I clap my hands and dance around and have a terrific time. Embarrass my teenage daughter no end. (You’d think she’d be used to me by now.) When the firework show is over, the 1.5 million lights of the Resort blink on for the first time. Lights on the trees, on the buildings. Scenic displays of lights strung down the lake, with large boats to take folks on cruises to view the displays. This year’s addition was a larger Christmas tree on top of the Hagadone building. Actually, let’s make that the largest living Christmas tree in the world—161 feet, with a 10-foot star on top. Yeehaw.
I’m always saddened when I walk away from that show. Thinking, “Drat. Three hundred sixty-five days before it comes ’round again.” We were right down front, as close to the fireworks as possible. It was great to turn around and see the huge crowd—all ages. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition for Coeur d’Alene.
Tomorrow—I suppose it's back to posts about writing. Sigh. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear about the Event-to-Remember of your holiday. Pet chihuahua fell into the soup, Mom burned the biscuits, the turkey up and flew away--lay it on me.