Letter from Joy
January 19, 2021
Hi, everyone. Almost impossible to believe, but it’s already the second half of January. I wish I could say a lot has changed, but as you all know, this is sadly not the case. Covid continues to wreak havoc and spread fear; anxiety rules; the promised vaccines remain just that: a promise; the seemingly endless lockdown continues. There’s little to do and yet it takes all day to do it. It’s hard to stay optimistic, though our choice is either that or sinking into self-pity and gloom. So I continue to exercise about twenty minutes each morning, read my two morning papers - I should say scan them, as I can’t bear reading another word about either the virus or the craziness going on south of the border, which accounts for the bulk of the news these days. Selfishly, I long for a murder or juicy celebrity scandal to break the monotony of the headlines. I concentrate on the puzzles and the Life and Entertainment sections, such as they are. I go for long walks, usually with my sister, occasionally with a friend, always socially distant, always wearing masks. I go to the grocery store, prepare dinners - I hate cooking - and read or watch TV, often simultaneously. After concentrating on celebrity memoirs - Barbara Ariel, Mariah Carey, Trevor Noah - I finally immersed myself in a novel, THE PUSH, by fellow Toronto author, Ashley Audrain, which I greedily devoured in two days. A well-written page-turner with echoes of both The Bad Seed and We Need To Talk About Kevin. While I didn’t always enjoy it, I couldn’t put it down.
As for my own writing, I finally have some news to report. My new novel, CUL-DE-SAC, will be published on August 10. I’m very happy about this date, as I’m crossing my fingers that Covid will be pretty much over by then and bookstores will have reopened. And Pocketbooks, a division of Simon&Schuster (my former publishers), will be reissuing one of my earlier novels, WHISPERS AND LIES, this June. So that’s pretty exciting. Perhaps most exciting - at least for me - is that my mind is starting to fill with new ideas, and I’m hoping to figure out what exactly to do with them, which is the hardest part of writing a book. God knows there’s plenty of time to write.
As for what I’m watching on TV, the answer is pretty much anything that’s on. As one of the few remaining people in the world who doesn’t subscribe to Netflix or any of the other streaming services except for Crave (which carries HBO), my choices are somewhat limited. I’ve been watching "Your Honor”, which is pretty good, although too self-conscious for my taste, and I loved the documentaries on The Bee Gees and Tiger Woods. The Bachelor this season has been a disappointment, downright cringe-worthy at times. (If you saw the recent episode where the women had to write a short erotic story and read it aloud, you know what I’m talking about.) I’m halfway through the sixth season of Sons of Anarchy, and the characters are becoming increasingly awful and unlikeable. The body count each week is astounding. I’m shocked there are any residents left in the small, fictional town of Charming. One more season to go, then I think I’ll start on The Americans, which I understand is excellent. I’ve also been enjoying the game show, Twenty-five Words or Less, although I wish they’d give Meredith Vierra some new lines. She’s forced to repeat the same thing every day and it gets awfully tiresome. But the show is clever and fun and the celebrities, while far from household names, are endearing and funny.
My family is healthy and doing well, which is a real blessing. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my cousins in New York for their sweet posts on Facebook and Instagram. And to all my loyal readers who follow me on both. Your support is so appreciated.
And that’s it for now. As always, stay safe and healthy. Please wear a mask. The fact that there have been almost no colds or flu this season show they work. Most important, be kind to one another. Until next month...Warmly,