I had dinner last with my friend Victoria at Cedar Creek Inn in San Juan Capistrano. We had tuna and then squid and then shrimp, it was quite a bit of seafood happening. Then Victoria started telling me about how her grandmother in the South used to make coconut cake for her and her brother when she was growing up and how her grandmother shredded the coconut carefully by hand. Victoria misses her brother. We had some wine and caught up on our lives. Then she ordered coconut cake. I thought I was full until I tasted the cake. It was crazy great. Victoria has changed her life and is designing clothes, but she still keeps going with her skiing. I’m glad to see her life moving forward. She seems to think it’s a bit messy, but messy is a good stage to go through.
I’ve been doing a lot of the cooking this year to give Mark a break. I’m developing some skills. Slowly.
This week is a bit busy. Tomorrow night I am meeting my friend Teresa at Mussos and Thursday we are going to Houston’s Pasadena with friends and Friday night we are having dinner with an agent friend of ours in Encinitas. This weekend we have a board meeting.
And on February 7th, I am going to Winter Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s the American Bookseller Association’s convention for book sellers.
I like having days to work from home. Going out for a run, then getting some work done while making dinner, cleaning the house and doing the wash. I like having time to just be a human being. I like just being able to breathe and not rushing all the time.
Writing, thoughts and big ideas happen when you have time to think. If you’re always rushing around you don’t have time to be the kind of person who would think.
While you’re thinking, here’s something to think about:
Tried farming but was terrible at it.
Wrote a couple short autobiographical works.
Fought in the Crimean War.
Went to Paris and gambled away his money. Read Les Miserables and decided to write a great book.
Wrote War and Peace which made him a literary star.
Decided to follow it up with a romantic book. Wrote Anna Karenina which was also a success.
Decided to kill himself.
Tried becoming religious but then noticed the church was corrupt. (Really? What a surprise!)
Wrote a few more works that were not popular.
Wrote the Death of Ivan Ilyich which received great acclaim. Decided to live after all.
During this time, he had thirteen children who all became counts and countesses.
He decided to give away all his money and not accept royalties. His wife stepped in and said she would accept the royalties. And she did.
Disappointed with mainstream religion, the Russian Orthodox Church, he started his own religion, Tolstoyism and collected many followers.
He decided to go on a grand pilgrimage with his daughter but admitted to being too tired to leave Russia.
Tolstoy’s non violence was a profound inspiration to Gandhi.