I’m at the beach (wonderful!), which slows by nature—but the Net connection is painfully slow here, so I’m going to blame my absence on that. It’s certainly part of it.

I have been working, although in a lazy way: Q&A for the P.S. section of the Canadian hardcover, another Q&A for the French film-maker, emails from my agent, my LA editor.

This morning I started the next draft of the plot, but was flummoxed by software. Grrr! Word 2008 is missing some critical features that it used to have: the capacity to print out comments, for example. Then suddenly—something I did, no doubt—caused the formatting toolbar to disappear. I could no longer even increase the size of the type. I spent way too much time trying to figure it out. Then I tried Mac’s iWork Pages programme. This software has a lovely feel, and seemed easy to master—but for one thing: how to split the screen?!

It seemed to me that both these programmes had loads of bells and whistles, but were lacking in some basic word processing tools. I ended up going back to Word 2004: I’m so glad I kept the old programme.

With all this, I actually did manage to get some plotting work done.

But now … back to the beach! (May my friends and family in the North forgive me.)