Our pickup truck, affectionately known as the ‘Blue Beast’, is turning 13 this year, and its age is showing badly. It has served us well and we’ve driven it down to Florida and back more than a few times over the years. Sadly, the engine is sounding rough, the exhaust even rougher and rust is sprouting its red stains. I suspect that if we brought it to the auto mechanic, we’d be facing a few thousand dollars in repairs to keep it going for another year, and at some point, you have to cut your losses.   We’d already been planning on replacing it, and had been putting aside some cash to do so, but hadn’t quite decided on timing. Saturday, we bit the bullet and headed to the dealership to buy the next ‘Blue Beast’. Even though we had make, model, options and everything figured out ahead of time, it was an exhausting three hours, only thirty minutes of which were spent on the test drive, by the time I signed our savings away. Considering how little I got as trade-in value for the old ‘Blue Beast’, it was clearly at the end of its road. I’m waiting for the call to tell me when I can exchange old for new, seeing as how they didn’t have the exact pickup I wanted on the lot and had to get one shipped in. Hopefully, the next truck will serve us just as well and just as long as the old one – longer even. That pretty much took care of Saturday, so I didn’t get anything author-related done. I did serve up a pretty good veal Oscar for supper though.

Sunday, on the other hand, was pretty productive. I got another four thousand words down on Cold Comfort, and could have written even more since I’ve pretty much got all of Act Two mapped out, but chores won’t be left undone. More importantly, I got the first batch of comments back from my editor on The Path of Duty. In speaking with her, she’s happy with the storyline and figures I’ve pretty much nailed what I wanted to nail. She also raised a few points that I knew were questionable when I sent her the manuscript, but happily she has suggestions to sort those out. It’s always great when your editor can confirm that yes, the feeling you had about a particular passage being iffy was correct. All in all, she liked the story, and said the final editing, once I’ve incorporated her comments, should be fairly easy. Now I need to embark on the second re-write, so progress on Cold Comfort will be slow. I still hope to have the second Dunmoore ready for publication in early July, but that means I have to put in the hours after work and on weekends, which is getting harder with the good weather having finally arrived.