I’m so woozy from jet lag that I feel like I downed a pitcher of Singapore Slings. Singapore is a very long way from London, but I’m so glad I went. Number 2 Son’s concert was incredible. A string orchestra of about 100 teenagers played a variety of music from Grieg’s “Holberg Suite” to a newly commissioned piece called “Lion City” by Soon Hee Newbold which evoked the different musical traditions of the various ethnicities that make up the city’s diverse population. It was an amazing experience for the kids and for the parents. The level of musicianship was beyond belief, and the stage was filled with kids from Mexico City to Sydney. It really was thrilling. Singapore itself is not one of my favourites, though. It’s clean, efficient and very modern, but despite it’s tropical climate it feels very Western and I, for one, love Asia enough not to have missed that feeling of really being there.

I knew that there wasn’t going to be too much sightseeing to do, nor did I feel like turning this into a big sightseeing trip, so I planned to spend at least one day lounging by the pool and “working.” And I really did accomplish a lot. I took a hard copy of the first draft of my new novel and spent a few hours reading through several of the chapters. One of the first bits of advice I ever received about writing was to read your work in a different environment for a new perspective. It is so true. Spending time with the novel outside of my little office upstairs in my house helped me see what was working and what wasn’t. Not only could I see what was missing, but I also realized that one entire chapter was much worse than another, much “thinner” (if you know what I mean). I now plan to go back and try to figure out where I was in my life and what I was doing that caused me not to click with what I was writing about. It became so clear to me that during the time I was writing one particular chapter neither my ear nor my heart were really in the task. It’s not so much that the sentences didn’t flow, but that they didn’t have any weight or substance to them. If I could figure out why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, that would be huge. But maybe that’s the mystery we all face, time and time again. Now I know have my work cut out for me. It’s scary, but maybe that’s good. But I’ll say one thing — I’m no longer worried about coming up with the additional 10,000 words I thought would be missing. There’s so much more in this book that I haven’t yet said.
And look at what I came home to…a Superior Scribbler Award from my blogging friend Absolute Vanilla. This is just the shot in the arm I need! Thanks!!