So Bob and I took December off from HWSWA. I was reading and sleeping all month and he was trying to convince his wife they should buy an abandoned mine with heavy equipment in the Arizona desert. Now it’s 2021 and we’re regrouping: I’m still in bed but I’m working (a lot of writers work in bed, do not judge me) and he’s given up on the mine and is heading into the hills with one of his dogs to do whatever it is he does in the hills. Mountains. Whatever. We touched base briefly, trying to figure out if we wanted to do anything online this year. He’s halfway through one book, needing to start another in his ongoing series, and I am still in bed reading, so it would have to be something easy. Like answering questions. As in you all ask a question and we go to Slack and argue about it. Like Questionables only two people answering.
(He never told me what kind of mine (I asked) but it was in Mayer, Arizona, so it did seem sort of fated. Those of you who’ve been on Argh for a long time man remember when, fed up with the male half of the population, Lani, Krissie, and I decided to buy an abandoned nuclear missile site in the Pacific Northwest and move there; Lani said we would call it Clitoris because that way, no man would ever find it. Good times.)
So do you have a burning question you desperately need an answer to? Or, you know, just something you’ve wondered about? Anything you want two answers to, really. Put it in the comments below. Please remember that half of the team answering this question suggested I eat my left arm to survive a snowstorm in New Jersey.
So the wonderful Andrea Martucci has an equally wonderful podcast called Shelf Love, which you are all probably already aware of. One of first podcasts was on Bet Me, and during that one she asked a question and, when I found the podcast a year later, I e-mailed her and answered it. And she asked me to do a podcast and I said sure. And it’s up today.. Andrea asks great questions, and it was so much fun talking to her that I babbled for what seemed like days (very easy to talk to, Andrea is) and the podcast ended up an hour and a half, so bring snacks if you decide to listen.
And thank you very much, Andrea, I had a wonderful time.
I do not do resolutions, my family inflicted enough guilt to last me forever, I don’t need to outsource it, but I’m heavily into hope and optimism, so I am CERTAIN that 2021 is going to be exciting and different and GOOD.
Welp, this is the last day of this did-you-get-the-number-of-that-truck-that-hit-us-and-then-backed-up-and-ran-over-us-again-several-times-freaking year. As Dave Barry said, I used to think some of my years were the nadir (my major-relationship collapse/abortion/diagnosis of stage 3 cancer summer springs to mind) but now I have a baseline for all eternity. Of course that’s what I thought about the summer of ’83, too, so please god, let this be the low point in years. One of the redeeming factors: books. Lots and lots of very good books.
This week it was My Girls, Todd Fisher’s memoir of his life with Debbie and Carrie, a re-read of Loretta Chase’s Last Night’s Scandal, and the fantastic Antiquarian Sticker Book. But if I look back at the whole year, I think the best book memories are the new writers I discovered, the ones I can re-read over and over and be enthralled each time: Mhairi MacFarlane (If I’d Never Met You), Casey McQuiston (Red, White, and Royal Blue), Sarina Bowen (The Year We Fell Down), Alexis Hall(Boyfriend Material), Naomi Novik (A Deadly Education), and ohmygod Martha Wells (I will buy Murderbot books as soon as they’re published forever). I know a lot of those are not new authors, but they were new to me and made me very happy.
So what good book did you read this week? What were your faves this year (this no-good, horrible, very bad year)?
Oh, and Happy New Year! (Just read until it’s 2021. And drink, but mostly read.)
It’s New Year’s Eve Eve and I’m thinking about rearranging my entire house. That’s my work for this week, reconfiguring a small cottage. At first I thought, “That’s insane,” but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a brilliant idea. Last year was such a mess that I really don’t think tidying up the place is the answer. Burn it down may be going to far, but rip it all up and look at it in new way seems like a tangible metaphor for the rest of my life. That’s my plan anyway.
So here we are in the last three days of the year that was so bad it killed 300,000 (and still counting) people in America alone. I’m not sure what I’m expecting to happen three days from now aside from a huge psychological sigh of relief. It’s January 20 I’m really aiming for, when the Secret Service dumps Donald Trump outside the gates of the White House and let’s the real world have at him. Fake news, my ass, here comes the Southern District of New York, Donald, and they have some questions.
Every spring, I kick myself for not starting a journal at the beginning of January, and then I remember I’ve been doing this blog for fourteen (?) years and that’s kind of like journaling, although I don’t publish the dark side of my life because who needs that? and besides I’m trying to project an air of competence and calm here, not scream into the night in despair and longing.
Where was I? Oh, right, happiness.
So I decided this week that since 2020 was such a cesspit, I’m throwing all of it out. Well, not the stuff I was writing, but the baggage that comes with it, the growing certainty that I’m a shallow mediocre writer, and the even stronger certainty that this cottage that I love is going to fall in on my head and kill me. Story of my life: Love gone wrong.
Suspended for a hunch gone wrong, CIA language analyst Phoebe Renfrew is desperate to get her job back. But when she uncovers a terrorist plot at a Las Vegas start-up owned by famed ex-quarterback Chase Bonaventure, no one will listen. Can Phoebe get Chase on her side—and thwart international disaster—before the All-Elvis Revue sings “Jailhouse Rock”?