I am in Maine, have been here since Monday, will leave here Friday, and there has been—and will continue to be—baseball to watch in the evenings. Tonight my friend Lucia will join me for dinner and the first World Series game, and maybe my contractor and friend Dan will, as well.

But in the daytime I am working.

I have just typed page 11 of a new book. Is it astounding that it takes a person three days to write eleven pages...and at that, eleven pages that will ultimately be re-written again and again?

Of course today I also answered e-mail, and I went and got my hair cut, and I went to the PO to mail my granddaughter a birthday gift, and, and I did the NY Times crossword puzzle, and I am about to get out of this chair to go and make an apple pie because the apples are THERE and ripe and cry out for a pie to be made.

But each day, as I do such chores, I think over what I have just written...maybe 2 pages, or 3...and then, when I go back, it is to change and clarify and delete and expand and explain. So I have not written eleven pages. I've probably written, oh, I don't know, maybe 40 pages. Of which eleven remain.

In those eleven pages, I so far have introduced five characters: all of them important, one vital. Two others are sleeping, off stage, so we know of their existence but haven't met them yet. One other is in hiding but we know she is there.

Because this is to be a book that follows others, there is a tiny bit of back-story included. I hate that part, to be honest, and always try to write a new book without needing too much of it. When I was a kid, I always wanted to shout, "I KNOW Carson Drew is a lawyer! Don't tell me AGAIN in every book!" But of course there is always the reader who comes to it fresh, without knowledge. So I make the best of it and try to do the filing-in in an interesting way.

I'm eager to get back to the hiding woman, though. She's new. And intriguing, even to me.