I was taking in the laundry when I spotted a young person scraping the neighbour's balcony. "Hello," I said, "who are you?" (If you don't know me, I should explain that I am unusually friendly.) Imagine my surprise when the person looked up -- and he was one of my students from last semester. He was even more surprised than me. "Miss Polak," he sputtered. Gee, no one has called me Miss Polak for several months now!!
So, because it was hot and humid out, I offered him some of my homemade lemonade and also some zucchini bread (made by a different neighbour). About ten minutes later, it started to thunder -- then there was lightning and heavy rain. So, because the neighbours whose deck he was scraping (so that he can paint it afterwards) are out of town, I told him he might as well take refuge in my livingroom while I worked upstairs on my new new manuscript (I'm only on page two). I offered him this week's Maclean's Magazine, but he asked about my book that's coming out this fall... and since I happened to have the galley copy in the living room, he started reading that. AND GUESS WHAT? HE LIKED IT. In fact, he stayed quite long reading it -- even after the rain had stopped. I took this as a very good sign. And because I am working on chapter one of a brand new book and there is a male character, guess what job I gave him? Why, a student painter, of course!