I am sitting with Elena. This is our first official session in our writing “group,” meaning the two of us. That’s just fine. I enjoy our time together. We both might feel resentful if another person joined us. We might look at them and think, “No, that’s not how we spend our time here. It’s time for you to go.”

I have been very busy with college and law school personal statements. This is good since I have lots of students; not so good in that I end up working long hours. However, I know this is short-lived. There is only one time of year when I work like this and it is now. So, I am glad to have the students. I might feel a bit disappointed if I looked up and I wasn’t booked around this time.

This weekend, Ray and I are going to Ojai to our orange grove and camp with two friends of ours, Chanel and Jeff Friesen. They are good friends and we’re going to be there Friday and Saturday nights, returning to LA on Sunday afternoon. Ray and I will head out mid-day tomorrow to Ojai. I am so looking forward to this time away from work with the intent of doing absolutely NOTHING but relax and have some fun. There is a street fare on Ojai on Saturday and this will be a perfect way to spend the afternoon there. We can just poke around the different booths and eat lunch there in town as well, then head back to the orange grove when we are so inclined. Ah…I am breathing deeper just thinking about it. It’s been a while since I have a do-nothing weekend planned. Yes, I am definitely breathing deeper just imagining how the time will elongate when we’re there with no electricity and only the fire and candlelight at night. I am sooooo happy we’ve planned this. I am in sore need of the respite.

Daughter Elizabeth has a brand new car and is so thrilled. Apparently, this one has some extra bells and whistles on it and she is enjoying the improvements. Her old car has gone the way of the crusher by now, I expect. She loved that Ford Focus, but this one with wire wheels and built-in Blue Tooth is even better. She and Ray ended up getting a great price at Galpin Ford. No funny stuff at all. Just “Here’s the price,” and “Okay, you don’t want all the extras, that’s just fine.” A shock beyond belief after visiting the other car dealerships with all their hard sales techniques. So, happiness is running rampant in reference to this car. Hooray.

I am working with Rachael and another of my students on their personal statements for law school. I’ve been reading sample statements of “the best of the best” and it’s a challenge to come up with topics that compete with people who have are applying with outrageous qualifications like starting their own charity or interning for several years at the office of a senator. Dear Lord. Normal people want to go to law school, too, after all. I realize these are the exceptional essays, but I think a few more examples of people who are only 23 and have mainly worked and gone to school would be appreciated at least by me! I helped Liz with her essay and she got into law school so it may be that these examples are for Harvard and Yale. Well, yes, they are for Harvard and Yale. Perhaps I’ll see if I can’t find a few examples for UCLA or USC. That might be more helpful.

Elena and I are going to explore the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell today. I have heard lots about this book and heard it quoted over and over so I am curious to see what it’s about. I’ve read Mastery, which I enjoyed and Elena tried to read The Power of Habit, which she said she did not enjoy. I own two copies of The Power of Habit and haven’t read either one of them. What does that say?

We are finished with our quick write. Time to read. I am eager to see what Elena has been writing so furiously across the table from me.


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