Joy Fielding

Letter from Joy

November 24, 2020

Hi, everyone,
Well, another month has come and gone, and it’s mostly same-old, same-old. These letters are going to start sounding pretty interchangeable if this mess goes on much longer. At least we have some good news in that it appears a vaccine is on the way. Hopefully 2021 will prove to be a much better year than this last one has been. We’ve pretty much returned to a lockdown here in Toronto, as Covid cases started to soar just in time for the Christmas season. All restaurants and small businesses, as well as most retail stores and salons, are closed for the next four weeks, as is the border with the U.S. It’s a real shame, as it doesn’t appear as if a lot of these small businesses will survive. The book business is also suffering, as in Canada, almost 90% of all books sold are sold in the six weeks leading up to Christmas. So, not a happy turn of events, although there doesn't seem to be much that can be done. Until a vaccine is readily available, we have to do whatever it takes to stay healthy and keep ourselves and those around us safe from this terrible virus. It can’t be said often enough: WEAR A MASK! It’s the least we can do.

As usual, my moods vary, depending on the news of the day, the weather, and how much sleep I’ve had. A good night’s sleep and I’m relatively sane and optimistic; a bad one, and I’m depressed and irritable. Regardless, I find I’m on the verge of anger all the time. Everything irritates me: bicyclers on the sidewalk, joggers whizzing past me when I walk, a phone call at an inconvenient time. You name it; chances are, I’m irritated by it. Hopefully this will change when, and if, things return to normal, unless this turns out to be the way I really am! Not the cheeriest of prospects.

So, what have I been doing to make things more palatable? Well, I dyed my hair pink! Not the whole thing, just lots of streaks, and frankly, I don’t think it’s my best look. It makes my complexion appear kind of bruised. (If you’re interested, you can check it out on my Instagram: @fieldingjoy.) I’ve been told that pink fades quickly, so it should be better after a couple of washings, more cotton candy, less bruised and battered. And before the stores closed, I did a bit of shopping, although who knows when and where I’m going to wear any of my new purchases. I did manage to get most of my Christmas shopping done, although I have almost nothing for my husband, and I’m not great at shopping on line. I like to see things in person, and I get extremely tense and irritated if there’s the slightest snag, so not sure what I’m going to do. And I’m continuing to exercise and go one long walks with my sister most days.

Still watching way too much TV, and am grateful that there have been some interesting shows to look at, mainly the Nicole Kidman/Hugh Grant limited series, The Undoing, and the great new series Big Sky. Also watching The Voice, The Sounds, The Bachelorette, and am binging the entire seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy. I was late to that series, so started over at the beginning, and it’s been very interesting to watch everything evolve. Especially nice watching Charlie Hunnam. And something exciting appens in every episode, not just a lot of filler.

As for reading, I’m almost finished Barbara Amiel’s juicy tell-all, Friends and Enemies. It’s some 600 pages long, and every page is interesting. I used to think that I was fairly indiscreet, but I have nothing on Barbara. As soon as I'm finished, I’m on to Mariah Carey’s memoir. (I find it easier to read non-fiction at times like this, as non-fiction requires less of the reader. Less concentration, less suspension of disbelief. And you can pick such books up and put them down whenever you like without losing valuable threads.

The only movies I’ve seen have been on TV. I was very disappointed in the much ballyhooed Sophia Loren movie on Netflix. It was flat and never really went anywhere, plus the performances were quite wooden. The Trial of the Chicago Seven, on the other hand, was a marvellous film, and I highly recommend it. I tried watching what I thought was the new Russell Crowe movie, Unhinged. But the film turned out to be an absolutely dreadful little horror movie with the same title. When after more than half an hour, Russell Crowe had still failed to put in an appearance, I messaged my daughter, who told me I was watching the wrong film! Oh, well…

And that’s about it for this month. I still don’t have an exact date for the publication of my new novel, Cul-De-Sac, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do. In the meantime, stay healthy and keep safe. Get vaccinated for the flu shot and for Covid, when it becomes available, and in the meantime, WEAR A MASK!