Blog posts about the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mysteries and their author Rabbi Ilene Schneider

I had the day off today, as I do most Wednesdays. The up-side of working part-time is that I can flex my time. The down-side of working part-time is that, well, it’s part-time. The only things on my schedule today were:

1. to take my 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid in for its 40,000 mile maintenance check. I’m heading to Arlington, VA, for Malice Domestic on Friday and didn’t feel like taking the trip with the annoying “maintenance required” (or “main req”) notice flashing at me.

2. to call a JCC in the LA area (okay, an hour away) to arrange a book presentation. Easy to do.

3. to be “on call” in case I would be shuttling my son to his community Jewish high school class tonight.

Should be no problem at all to knock off at least a few of the approximately 37,000 words left until I can type “The End” on the manuscript of Unleavened Dead, right? Yeah, right.

The car was going to take about 2 hours. Again, no problem. I had the laptop and the customer lounge had free wifi. I turned on the laptop, spent about 20 minutes figuring out how to access the wifi (some servers come up automatically; some don’t; this one didn’t), & discovered the “h” key is sticking. (Still is, but usually does work. Do you have any idea how many times the letter “h” is used?)

At some point in the late night, or, more likely, early morning, I realized I had given the sexual predator dead guy in my book too common a name. I spent a lot of time googling names (including “Aviva Cohen” – found a doctor and an artist and a few others, but no rabbis), and “John Cummings, Ph.D.” (I found several listed, including some therapists, which my character is. Was.) morphed into “John Quincy Moorhouse, Ph.D,” of whom there were none (even without the Ph.D.). I opened my “first draft” and “character” files and did a find-and-replace. What did we do before computers? I remember having to write papers by chiseling each letter into a rock. Boy, was that a pain to edit.

I was expecting some important emails, so I had to check my 3 yahoo accounts (and the Library Friends account, too, as long as I was already in yahoo) and, of course, facebook. Then I had to reply to all the messages.

Finally, I was ready to start writing, but first I had to reread what I had last written. I realized there were some things to add (and delete, but the number count didn’t change much). I was going to start writing the next chapter, when the mechanic came to tell me the car was fine. Yes, they did have to change the accelerator pedal and floor mat “as a precaution,” even though the hybrid was not on the official recall list.

Had lunch with my husband at our favorite Japanese restaurant. (The server already knows what we’re going to order.) Had to make some phone calls, had to check work emails and voice mail, had to reply to some of both. (Classic definition of part-time work: full-time work for part-time pay.) Decided to go to the library to pick up a book on hold that was going to be given to the next in line tomorrow. Went back to the car to call LA (no reception in the library, and rude to use cell phones there anyway). Decided to get the thingy (I can never remember what it’s called) that holds the drill bit onto the drill. Too many choices, decided to return to the hardware store with the drill. In the meantime, texting and calling both of my sons and my husband.

I’m off duty tonight – my husband is doing the driving – so it’s off to Borders to write. Which I am doing. This posting, not the book. Well, still 2 1/2 hours till closing time.

Wonder if anything new has shown up on facebook in the past 15 minutes?

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