I've been so very virtuous this week. Not only have I been diligent about doing my writing-related work, but I've also gone for a walk every morning. It started Monday when I went to the library. Then Tuesday morning I was surprised by how pleasant it was outside when I got the newspaper so I decided to go for a walk after breakfast. It was starting to get hot and muggy then, so I thought I ought to walk before breakfast, but I generally need to eat at least something as soon as I get up, so I compromised the next morning. I had toast and some tea -- and got dressed while tea was steeping and toast was toasting -- and then was out walking shortly after 8. I walked for about an hour. Then I had some milk when I got home. Today I slept later, and for a moment I was tempted not to walk, but again it seemed nice when I got the paper, so I got dressed and headed out. I think I came close to an hour again, though I didn't plan to be out so long. It's so peaceful at that time. It's past the rush of people out jogging or walking dogs before work. There are a few other people walking, mostly older ladies in saris, but otherwise it's quiet. I can walk and listen to the birds and think. We're having a cooler-than-normal summer, but it's supposed to get hot next week, so I may not be able to keep this up. But then I can switch to the swimming pool -- one benefit of deciding not to sell right now.
And that appears to have been a good decision. They had a story on the news yesterday about how this is one of the areas where they're recommending renting rather than buying right now because house prices are so steeply inflated that there might be a bubble forming. There's much less inventory than demand, so there can be multiple offers on a house before the sign even goes in the yard. Realtors are joking about how staging used to involve getting everything perfect and adding nice touches like baking cookies. Now all it takes is making the beds and putting away the laundry. Speculators are getting involved and swooping in with cash offers. You have to leap at anything you even kind of like. Since my plan is to find my dream house that I'd like to stay in until I can't live alone anymore, I'd rather wait until things settle down and I'd have the chance to be choosy. And by then I should have saved even more money and have more equity in this house, so I can get something even nicer.
And these morning walks are giving me aspirations. I walked over to the levee yesterday to see how high the water got on the other side (it looked like there had been water in places where there usually isn't water, but it didn't come up the side of the levee), and I noticed the houses on the east side of the neighborhood. There's a small lake there (really a big pond), and there are some nice houses backing up to that lake. It's a non-recreational lake, so no boating, no swimming, there's not supposed to be fishing (but people do), so it's very quiet. The water is currently as high as I've ever seen it and it's nowhere near the back yards, and I couldn't spot any obvious high-water marks to show that it had been much higher. A house there would mean water views while still having privacy, unlike the homes on the canals where there are walking paths going past the back yards. It would be so nice to sit at the kitchen table or in the back yard and watch the sun rise over the lake, or sit at an office window (the office would have to overlook the lake) and watch it rain on the water. Of course, the houses there are larger and more expensive, so I guess I need to make this book a success.
Speaking of which, I've learned that I'm not quite getting the degree of publicity push I was expecting based on my previous experience (though they have been good about distributing advance copies), so I'm going to have to put on my PR hat and get back in gear. There won't be any booksignings other than at the conventions I've already scheduled, which isn't such a bad thing, as those can be painful unless you're famous enough to draw a big crowd. Fortunately, I've got a decent blog tour thanks to a blogger who got an advance copy and contacted me, but I'm open to doing more blog tours, interviews, etc. If you know a place you think might want to know about the upcoming steampunk book or if you have a book-related blog and would like an interview or guest post, let me know. And, of course, tell all your friends, spread the word, leave reviews once you've read the book, etc.
Meanwhile, I have a book to rewrite. I know what needs to be fixed and have made a good start on it.