Today is the first day of the rest of my life, or of the rest of this year and the next, anyway, whichever comes first. I have a grant to go and live in a writer's retreat for the month of October, to hunker down and write a new book. You don't do it just like that, although it depends what kind of book, I guess. Anyway, this one will take, has taken, preparation, and time, time, especially; it's about age and that takes time. Aging is all about time. I have been keeping a file for at least five years comprising clippings and ideas and comments, notes to myself, references to resources, lists - oh, my - lists! Now, before I go and start writing, I must read through the file, absorbing and culling and sorting and arranging. I can't take the whole thing with me as it's far too heavy and unwieldy, and I have to thin it. Not simple. More than that, I must sort it out, break it down into folders - chapters, I guess. I need an outline, an agenda, a map, and the equivalent of recipe file cards on my computer. For other books, I have used the floor as a horizontal filing cabinet, with chapters and notes spread out across it so that, eventually, walking across the floor was like tiptoeing through a maze. This time I have to move the maze into my Little Mac so I can carry it with me. So, you see, today really is the next day of a very large chunk of time. Maybe I'll lose weight.