I bought cheap coffee at the grocery store last week. 

This is not an effective cost-cutting measure. 

I should do the math — I saved probably a total of $6, which earned me deep crankiness three mornings in a row and, if I keep drinking it, will earn me deep crankiness probably another 40 or 50 mornings in a row. Mornings shouldn’t begin with the thought, “This is bad coffee,” followed by, “This really tastes terrible,” followed by, “What is wrong with this, was there soap in my water?” Followed by a slew of other thoughts, all of them same ilk, all leading to a general sense of deep dissatisfaction as I head into my day. 

So my $6 saved is a very, very expensive $6 earned. Coffee = small pleasure = worth investing a few extra pennies in. Although the coffee shop $5 latte has definitely became a rare treat in my life, because that’s too expensive. An extra fifteen cents a cup, definitely worth it. An extra $4 a cup, definitely not. Except during gingerbread latte season, which is coming up soon, yay!

In actual news, I’m still house-sitting in Maine, still loving it, still doing absolutely nothing except writing and reading and taking Z for the occasional walk. I think, “Freeport, fish store, lobsters, botanical gardens, hiking trails, kayaking…” on a regular basis and then I think “maybe tomorrow,” and turn my attention back to my computer. “Maybe when Fen is done,” is probably the real answer. I do have to try to get to the grocery store today, though, because my food supply is down to rice, quinoa, salad greens and sauerkraut. Oh, and some leftover lemon-garlic mussels over rice noodles, which I will probably have for lunch. And an apple. I always have an emergency apple available. 

I did go kayaking one morning this week. It was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist. This is how beautiful it is: that’s the view from the end of the driveway. The entry point to the water is right by that white chair. 

river view with autumn trees

I’m surprised I’m not in that kayak every single day, but I try to hit my word count first and then it’s low tide and muddy and then it’s going on toward evening. So it goes — three kayak outings in three weeks is still a lot more than my usual average. 

Speaking of word count, though, I should get back to those words. But here’s a snippet, spoiler-free… 

What could she do with a little, a very little, pure magic? 

She opened her fingers again and gazed at it. A key to a door? A tiny bird, like the invitation she’d received in Syl Var, that they could use to send a message to Kaio and Gaelith? Healing energy to repair the damage if Luke burned himself? 

No, none of those. 

“Be a knife,” she said to the magic, picturing a blade of energy, like a miniature light saber. The blue rose from her palm, uncoiling, and shaped itself into a thin straight line, much more stiletto than saber, perfectly balanced on her palm. It quivered and she held very still. 

The blade she’d imagined was a lethal wire of light. She would much prefer not to lose any fingers to it.