So This is Mercury Retrograde. Oy.

For those who care, Mercury officially went retrograde yesterday. As it’s a great time to review and revise, I had The Frenchman read “Cold Hands, Cold Heart.” He gave me some great feedback — mostly confirming things I already suspected, which is always a plus. Last night and today, I reworked the story accordingly. I also went back to “In Her Mirrors, Dimly” and reworked that according to the other feedback I’d gotten. (I had shared it with The Frenchman, and he concurred. His Ph.D. is in literature, so I take his input seriously.) I have some firm ideas of where to send it next. Otherwise, communications have been painfully stalled already on some important matters. The next three weeks promise to be difficult ones.

That afternoon, we went on a staggeringly beautiful hike in Le Tholonet. The foliage was so breathtaking I had to create classifications of Green. For example, Vermont is Damned Green. Parts of California are, at best, Pretty Damned Green. Southern Ireland, that Emerald Isle, was Astonishly Green. But in Le Tholonet, the hillsides are awash with upswept brushstrokes of what can only be called Ridiculously Green, which is the highest grade of Green I could think of. Seriously. I nearly wept because I didn’t have a camera to convey the Ridiculous Greenishness of the mountainsides. The trunks were steeped in somber olive shadows that surged upwards with strokes of sage for the bare under branches, then outward with vibrant bristles of pine and until the crowns glowed chartreuse.

No wonder so many celebrated painters are connected with this place. Today, after another hike, we drove past the castle where Picasso is buried, not too far from where we were yesterday.

Now I’m pooped. Time to drink wine and play games. (What kind of games, I won’t say, but I’m sure it’ll be fun!)

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