Letter from Joy
April 18, 2017
A bit of a slow news month, so this letter might be shorter than usual (which my daughter, Shannon, assures me is a good thing.)
When last I wrote, we were still in Florida, enjoying the fabulous weather and, surprisingly, the golf. After a handful of lessons, brought about by my even-more-than-usual inconsistent playing, I actually started to get my swing moving in the right direction and began playing reasonably well: breaking a hundred most of the time and even shooting some scores in the low 90s! (very good for me. I've actually broken 90 three or four times, just not lately.) I was also hitting the ball farther than ever and putting pretty well. How long any of this lasts is anybody's guess, but I'm hoping it continues. At least now I have an inkling of what I should be doing - thank you, Sean Costello! - so that when things start to go awry, as they undoubtedly will, I can figure out what I'm doing wrong - this is not as easy as one would think - and get everything under control again. We're returning to Florida at the end of the month for a week or so, so I'll know better then.
The day before we left Florida, I spoke at the Lantana Public Library. We had a nice crowd for a Monday afternoon - over ninety people. I talked about my life and my writing, with particular emphasis on my last book, SHE'S NOT THERE. The audience was most receptive and it was a very positive experience for me - and I hope for them. We flew home the next day, after an over-three-hour delay at the airport. Apparently there were mechanical problems with the plane before it left Toronto, where our plane originated, so after arriving at the airport before eleven that morning, we sat for five hours in the crowded waiting area. I spent the time reading and doing puzzles, and the hours actually passed quite quickly, although it would have been nicer to have spent the day outside.
It was pretty grey when we returned to Toronto, although very mild. Despite predictions for a particularly nasty winter, Toronto actually experienced a very mild one. We had almost no snow, and aside from a few bitter cold days here and there, it was quite spring-like. Since coming home, it's been hard to get into any sort of writing routine, especially since we'll be traveling again so soon, first to Vancouver, then back to Florida. But I have managed to do an outline for what I hope will be my next project. Way too early to talk about it yet, but if I get the go-ahead, I'll start working on it in earnest soon. The novel I recently completed is in its final editing stages now and I'll have more to report on it - including its title - in my next letter. Hopefully, I'll also know its publication date and can pass that information along to you as well.
So we're leaving soon for Vancouver where my husband has some business meetings and I'll be meeting up with the wonderful woman who does such a fabulous job designing, running and maintaining my website. Vancouver is a beautiful city, and I always enjoy going, despite my husband's horrendous accident there five years ago. (A reminder: He slipped on some water in the bathroom of his hotel room and went flying, breaking six ribs, puncturing his lung, dislodging a small stone in his gall bladder that then blocked his bile duct, causing massive infection and septicemia, which almost killed him, and necessitating the removal of his gall bladder six weeks later. The result was that we spent two months living in a hotel room - when he wasn't in the hospital - and it was a nightmare for all concerned. He also developed an air bubble in his lung that meant we couldn't fly for quite some time, and we had to take the four-night train ride home - not particularly pleasant when one is nursing broken ribs. (And despite the beauty of the Rockies, four days of scenery is still four days of scenery!) Luckily he's all better now.
We no sooner get back from Vancouver than we fly back to Palm Beach, along with my sister. We'll stay around a week, then drive our car back to Toronto, and that's it for another year. As usual, I can't believe how fast the time has gone, although this season seemed to go by even faster than usual. In between flights, we celebrate my daughter, Shannon's birthday! Happy birthday to a wonderful, beautiful girl. She recently signed with a new talent agent, so if there are any directors, choreographers, music producers, etc. etc. out there looking for a gorgeous, talented young woman, please check out her website at shannonmicol.com.
My other beautiful, talented daughter, Annie, is getting over a miserable cold, and my grandchildren are, as always, the best. I had the pleasure of their company all day yesterday and it was great. They're so much fun to be with. We went to the museum and saw the terrific new blue whale exhibit. We also finished reading CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, a book I'd started reading to them in Florida. (I really recommend reading to your children or grandchildren every night, even if they're old enough to read for themselves. It's important to foster a love of reading early, and it's an easy and fun thing to do together.) Now I have to get the remaining books in the series so we can continue this tradition. As for what I've been reading, while in Florida, I read Ann Patchett's wonderful new novel, COMMONWEALTH, which I adored. I also finished THE GERMAN GIRL, but I wasn't crazy about it. Currently I'm reading Toronto writer Elan Mastai's terribly-titled novel ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS. I say terribly-titled because I can never remember what it is, which is never a good thing. The novel itself is quite engaging, very different, and definitely worth a look.
As for movies, I haven't been to anything in quite a while - although my grandchildren tell me that the Smurf movie is terrific. I really wish that there was something out there that I wanted to see, but there's really nothing. I tried watching "The Suicide Squad" on TV the other night and gave up after ten excruciating minutes. What were these people thinking? As usual, the only things worth watching these days are on TV. Hurray for the return of "Veep" and "Better Call Saul," although I do wish they'd speed things up a bit on the latter. I absolutely loved "Big Little Lies" and thought that this season of "Girls" was fantastic.
And that's about it. Remember that I now have an Instagram account - @fieldingjoy - so you can follow me there, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. I always love hearing from you. Stay well and buy lots of books.