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It was full steam ahead until about four this afternoon. I worked on two chapters, went for a long walk, did overdue arm strength training, and stripped the paint off the bedroom door…amongst other things.

Then I sat down to watch the final stage of the Tour de France…always beautiful as they do multiple loops through Paris…and ended up falling asleep with my head propped against the side of the wingback chair. Naps sound good in theory, but they usually leave me feeling more groggy and lethargic than rested. So here I am close to bedtime drinking Nescafe and dragging my fingers across this keyboard. The only steam left is the steam coming off the fancy cup I bought at Buckingham Palace on a very special trip to England and France with Mom.

Buckingham Palace

And with regards to the subject of England, I have the following to report… As fall approaches I am filled with the urge to do the following…watch the Lord of the Rings movies…and apply to Oxford. I did it the last two falls…so as the fall months approach again, it feels like that’s what I’m supposed to do again this year. The first time it was a flat rejection, the second time I got an interview. And I have to say, after everything I’ve learned during these two experiences, I’m more than confident that if I applied a third time I’d get accepted. But here’s the realization I had this weekend: I’m happy doing what I’m doing now…working on my mystery, my stories, spending precious time with my husband or family & friends or just relaxing. Being accepted into Oxford University would be a dream come true, but it would also be a lot of energy and time and money. And when it comes down to it, what do I want from Oxford right this moment? To use the library and be there amidst it’s history and buildings. I can do that for a lot less time, energy, and money just by booking a trip. So today I proclaimed to my wonderful husband who has encouraged me to apply and chase my Oxford dreams, that all I really want is a writer’s retreat every year…to Oxford, to that cottage on the coast of Scotland, to the Northeast in the fall. Of course, I also reserved the right to change my mind about applying to Oxford at any time. Disclaimers are important…