While walking in Saint Henri this morning, I saw a father pushing his daughter in a wheelbarrow. He smiled at me; she was holding a handful of flowers.

My family and best friend have come and gone and enjoyed Montreal to the fullest; my cousin has been married in the most beautiful rural spot in Quebec imaginable, and the sun came out to smile on us all.

My girlfriend arrives August 16.

***

And now I must do something I’ve never done before… erase some past entries. The story I’d started on, “The Man Who Talked to Cats” did eventually get completed, but I don’t like it. It was premature to post it here. I think that a story needs a gestation time that is proportionate to its length. A story of 4,000 words needs a month of pondering before release. As for a novel of, say, 80,000 words — I think 6 months would be the very least you’d want to sit on it before showing it to anyone.

Those are just some rules for myself. Other people are different. In this month’s The Believer, Zadie Smith explains that she takes so long making a first draft, revising it constantly, that by the time it’s done, it’s basically ready to be reviewed. I can’t work so painstakingly like that. I work more by trial and error. More error than anything at the moment.

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