It’s the dog days of summer and it’s hard to get enthusiastic about much!

Had a long talk with an editor on what’s working and not working with some sample chapters I sent her.

It was funny. As I’m talking to her and she’s confirming all of my worst fears about the piece, there’s part of me stepping back and watching the whole exchange with something like amusement, noticing in particular how much I’ve changed from those early days when I’d hang on to every editor’s words like I was dangling from a precipice and this editor held my salvation.

Oh brother!

In the end I thought she was quite right in most of her assessments, and so what? I’ve got my heart set on a bunch of other projects darn it, and I told her that the problem was that although I liked the project, I was very distracted.

I feel like I have to finish up the other pieces and then move back to this, which could be a really good story if I put all my attention on it!

So chalk that up to a bit of frustration.

But that’s about the only bad news.

I did receive the travel grant for India’s Bookaroo conference in November! And right now I’m jumping through the hoops and running the gauntlet that is the Indian visa application! And there’s a special red-tape ‘hell’ they’ve got designated for applicants of Pakistani origin.

It was funny. When I searched online for the Indian consulate there was a rating system in place, and out of ten possible stars they got 2 1/2!

I think people were being generous in even giving them that! And it’s not like I feel that way about all visa processes!

The Mexican consulate were absolutely wonderful! And the Canadian process for passport renewal is pretty easy too!

I think the funniest thing is this form I had to download and email to my publisher in India, my sponsor, where they had to state that they’d be keeping an ‘eye’ on me and making sure ‘I behave’. Honest! They used phrases just like that!

With all the stories of rape in the news, I’m feeling a bit of trepidation! Even though I’m a seasoned traveller and I’m careful. Hubby said to just stick around white people when I’m going to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, insha Allah, and I’ll be fine.

Once I’ve got all the proper paperwork, I’ll head down to the consulate and see what happens. Insha Allah, it’ll be okay, but it’s hanging over my head like an axe, causing me a bit of anxiety.

But yesterday I did get some good news!

KING FOR A DAY seems to be making a bit of a splash!

In addition to being chosen by the Junior Library Guild, which is akin to a sort of ‘award’ I’ve heard (Big Red Lollipop was also chosen by them! So that’s a very good sign!) KING FOR A DAY received a starred review from Kirkus.

Can’t quote it yet, the review will be live on the 31st of August or something.

But woohoo! Good sign!

Kirkus is tough!

So here’s to hoping for good things!