We're back! I was much relieved to have unburdened myself of the task of keeping up with The Buddha Diaries on the road. The trip was demanding enough as it was. We bit off a little more than we could comfortably chew, with relatively brief stops in London (or nearby, with my son and his family), Paris, Rome, Venice, and finally the Cotswolds, where we wound up our journey with a brief visit with my sister. I'm in the process of writing up a much briefer travel log than I usually do and, time allowing, may post it in a few days' time. Meanwhile, here's one of those stories that is more amusing in the telling than in the happening.
We had our little grandson Luka with us all day yesterday, despite the jet lag. We flew back into Los Angeles Monday evening, and have slept poorly since. Ellie spent the first two nights at home with virtually no sleep at all. So Luka was a challenge--but also, of course, a delight. His mom dropped him off after eight in the morning, and came to pick him up after work, a little after five. A short time later, a panicked telephone call: Luka had locked her out of her own house--with himself inside! She had taken him indoors and slipped out, perhaps to fetch something from the car, and he had slammed the door shut behind her. Not yet quite two years old (the big birthday is on the 4th), he was inside, alone; and she, out, with no way to break in. At least she had her cell phone!
At her request, I first tried calling a locksmith; then realized this was not the best way to go. I called her back and suggested calling 911 instead. She was initially unsure whether this situation would qualify as an emergency, but quickly realized that having a toddler alone in the house was not a great idea and promised to make the call.
She called back a half hour later. A huge fire truck had arrived, lights flashing. Police officers appeared. A fireman managed to climb through a window and open the door from inside. Luka was saved! Apparently, he was a little scared to find a stranger climbing into his house through the window, but was soon rewarded with great admiration from the assembled officers, and of course a personal tour of the fire truck--for a two-year old, a huge thrill! Sarah reports that the emergency crews were delightful, reassuring her that this was their favorite kind of call--the kind that has a happy ending.
So that's the news from The Buddha Diaries. I'm honestly not sure where I'm going with my writing these days. With the novel now in second draft form and ready, I hope, to find an agent, I'm feeling somewhat at sea--though in a good way. The Buddha Diaries has been going for nearly six years, for the better part of that time with a near-daily entry. It needs, though, to be something other that mere habit; and something more than simply a record of the mundanities of life. I plan to take things easy in the next couple of days, and to spend some time next week, in Laguna, giving thought to just where I want to go with my writing from here.