I know it’s been about a year since I posted that I was taking a year off, so I just wanted to check in.
It has actually been quite lovely, with some interesting consequences. I started getting a full night’s sleep. I didn’t have to stress as much, but I still do. (This might just be a feature of my personality.) I lost 25 pounds. (Not from a diet. It was weird. I think it was due to sleeping properly, less stress, and being able to take more time to make proper meals and not try to sugar-nibble myself through the day instead. You know I am a fan of chocolate, but there’s a difference between a good dessert and chasing a sugar high to keep going, as we all know.)
I am slowly starting to work again, but on Antoine’s book (La Vie en Roses) rather than Elias and the jewel thief’s (Paris Nights), which I had originally intended to be next. It is very hard going still, though–Antoine’s story has SO MUCH STUFF going on at once that I can’t weave it together right. So I may need to try playing with something else for a while–we will see. The other problem is that I don’t want to have to get up at four a.m. anymore! And that was when I always wrote–four to six every morning, before my daughter got up and I shifted to family care and then headed off to campus. So I’m still trying to figure out how to carve out other spaces.
I think I do better fairly removed from social media, though, so I must say that I don’t plan to be very present on it, and I’m sorry. I think I am a hermit writer and might have been better suited to an era when hermit writers were so much a given that it seemed redundant to put those two words together. It’s just very, very distracting to me, and contributes to that feeling I mentioned before, about having my soul covered in Post-It notes. I think more deeply and make better stories when I make a bit bigger of a space for those, and you know how the internet and social media just kind of nag at you all the time, trying to pull your thoughts and attention their way.
I do have some lovely photos from France and Spain to share, for those interested. (It depends on how much you enjoy seeing other people’s travel photos.) So I may try to put some of those up, but please don’t feel the need to be distracted by them, if social media is distracting for you, too!
Here’s me very happy and relaxed in the trunk of a mammoth in Barcelona last month. Barcelona is a very fun city, for those who haven’t been. My recommendation: Rent ebikes or e-scooters to get around and make sure to reserve tickets for Sagrada Familia in advance. It is absolutely worth seeing, the light is incredible, but the crowds are crazy-making even when you do have tickets in advance, so bear it in mind.
I hope you all are winding up wonderful summers and that you have been enjoying many new good authors! I have not been reading romance, but if you are open to some other genres, a few recent books I can heartily recommend: AJ Pearce’s Dear Mrs. Bird (lovely!), Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, and T Kingfisher’s Clockwork Boys duology. The last two are fantasies, with a touch of romance, although the touch is quite tiny in Spinning Silver. All have great strong female leads.
What about you? What have you been doing, and reading? Any good books you would recommend? Any lovely photos of you relaxed and happy that you would like to share?