Joy Fielding

Letter from Joy

May 13, 2019

Hi, everyone,
Well, we’re back in Toronto, after a somewhat gruelling three-day drive from Palm Beach, Florida. Not that the drive itself was awful - the weather was perfect and there were no major traffic delays. Even the border crossing was easy and quick! - but three eight-hour days in a car is just one day too many. I don’t think we’re going to keep doing this, especially since my husband insists on doing all the driving - something about me having a lead foot - and I get tired of hearing the same songs on the radio all day, every day (although I prefer the radio to the dirge-like mixed tape he put together and loves to listen to. Some of the songs are great, but I can no longer tolerate Van Morrison’s constipated wailing and five versions of “Hallelujah” (as much as I love the song) are three too many. (I do love both k d lang’s and Rufus Wainwright’s versions). And while I am a huge fan of both Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, listening to their drone-like voices for more than a song or two makes me want to hurl myself out of the moving car. So I’m glad we’re home. We made it back for Mother’s Day, which was great. Had a lovely brunch with my family. Hope all you mothers out there had a good time too.

We had a very enjoyable few weeks in Florida. The weather was good, although there were some pretty violent storms every afternoon. But these usually happened later in the day and didn’t disrupt anything. I golfed - very badly - and swam and read and did puzzles. I’m absolutely addicted to Variety Puzzles Tanglewords (also known as Letterboxes) and can do them for hours on end. (I know I’ve done too many when I start to dream about them!) My sister was with us, and it was great having her there. We went to the beach and the outlet mall and Worth Avenue. She also came with me when I spoke at the Palm Isle Country Club in Boynton Beach. It was a lovely event, attended by about 150 people (all but two of them were women!) I’m currently reading WOMEN WHO PUNCH, a juicy tell-all about the various hosts of The View, and the holocaust novel WUNDERLAND by Jennifer Cody Epstein. After that, I’m going to read THE CARTEL, the prequel to THE BORDER, by Don Winslow. I found THE BORDER absolutely fascinating, even though I didn’t always understand what was happening, and I hear THE CARTEL is equally good.

Now that I’m back, I have a million doctors’ appointments scheduled, just as I did before we left. I joke with my husband that I’m starting to feel like his parents, who always seemed to be going to the doctor. Thankfully, nothing is seriously wrong, just a bunch of little annoying things, mostly age-related. Of course, you see one doctor, who then refers you to a specialist, and then they do some tests, and you have to go back to discuss the results, and on and on. So today I had a follow-up appointment with a sports medicine doctor about some torn cartilage in my left wrist - nothing they can do really since cartilage doesn’t repair itself. So now I wear a brace to bed, which seems to be helping. I’ve opted not to have a shot of cortisone, since the pain isn’t that bad, and I might as well save that option for if and when it gets more painful. Later this afternoon I have follow-up appointment with an arthritis specialist about some X-rays and ultrasounds I had last month. Again, I suspect nothing much can be done, and aside from the fact that my index fingers look as if they’re pointed in two directions at once, it’s more of an annoyance than anything else. Tomorrow I have an ultrasound scheduled on my thyroid, which is prone to little lumps. I already take medication for it, and since this has been going on for almost forty years, I’m not concerned. Then I have an appointment with a mole specialist to make sure my various moles aren’t anything to be concerned about. Again, this is just a routine examination that I have every few years. And soon I have to schedule my yearly mammogram, etc. etc. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, “And so it goes…”

As for what I’m watching these days, as far as movies go, the answer is… nothing! There is just nothing out there I’m remotely interested in seeing. I have zero interest in superheroes or the Marvel universe, and there doesn’t seem to be anything else out there. I’m mildly interested in the new Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron movie, so I’ll probably see that, although it’s only in the movies that women who look like Charlize - one of the most stunning women on the planet - would have anything to do with someone who looks like Seth Rogen, no matter how funny or charming he might be. So, it’s the TV for me. Of course, I’m watching Game of Thrones, as I have been since the very beginning. I’ll be very sorry to see it end. The same goes for Veep, which often makes me laugh out loud. I’ve tried watching Barry, but find many of the characters too annoying and self-conscious, especially Barry's girlfriend, whose voice and mannerisms drive me crazy. The other shows I’ve been watching and enjoying are Real Time with Bill Mahar, Billions,The Fix, and FosseVerdon, all excellent. I’m disappointed in this season’s Killing Eve, which seems to have lost its way. Just not remotely believable anymore. Not that it ever really was, but at least it was true to its own logic and parameters. Not so this season, although Jodie Comer is still fantastic. You just can’t take your eyes off her. While Sandra Oh has received the lion’s share of acclaim, and is wonderful in her role, it’s Jodie who steals the show and makes it worth watching. Also really disappointing this season is The Good Fight, which has gotten way too political for its own good. I love the cast and a few of the episodes have been excellent, but most have been painfully preachy and unwatchable, even for someone who agrees with its politics. Also getting a bit tiresome is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Are the rich women in L.A. really this petty? Not sure what it says about me that I continue to watch. Also, the new season of The Bachelorette is starting, and I’ll be tuning in. Not sure how long I’ll last this time around, as I’m not a huge fan of the new Bachelorette, but we’ll see.

As for my writing, All The Wrong Places continues to do well and remains high on the Canadian bestseller lists. I have a new idea for a novel and am waiting for the go-ahead from my various publishers. And I have a five speaking engagements this month at events in and around Toronto. The events are part of the LivingWell Lecture series, presented by Delmanor Retirement Living Communities. I spoke at one of these events last year and the reception was fantastic. So I’m looking forward to those.

And that’s about it for now. Until next month, stay well, be happy, and above all, be kind.