I know. I haven’t written a blog post here in months. Over the holidays I was busy doing revisions on the Three Blonde Mice manuscript and am now waiting for my editor at Diversion to weigh in. The novel is still scheduled for publication in August and I’m so stoked! Lots more to come about that, but in the meantime Diversion is re-releasing eleven of my older novels in both ebook and print editions in March and April. The books will have new covers, a marketing plan and, with any luck, new readers. Exciting!
In mid-January, Michael and I flew back to what feels like our second home in Santa Barbara for a two-month winter break. So far, it’s been a blast. We’ve been seeing old friends, frequenting old haunts and enjoying quiet time at the condo we rented at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Sounds very swanky, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s quite laid back since it’s not polo season. We look out onto the green fields with a peak of the ocean and are enjoying the (mostly) warm weather and sunshine.
In addition to writing the next novel in the “Three Blonde Mice” series and tinkering with another novel with entirely different characters, as well as pursuing television and movie projects in LA, I’ve been doing a ton of reading. Novels on my Kindle recently are The Past by Tessa Hadley, Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford, My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, The Clasp by Sloane Crosley, After You by Jojo Moyes and The Stager by Susan Coll. I just started Maureen Sherry’s zeitgeist-y novel Opening Belle, which is being billed as Bridget Jones goes to Goldman Sachs but isn’t nearly as funny. I’ll stick with it and see if it gets any more interesting.
By far, the best thing I’ve done since I came back to Santa Barbara was pick up a tennis racket after nearly 20 years. I adored tennis. As a kid we lived next door to public courts and I used to spend hours there banging the ball against the backboard. I played on my college varsity team, belonged to tennis clubs and basically was obsessed with the sport. Then I tore both rotator cuffs, endured torturous months of rehab and figured I’d never play again. But there I was taking a walk my second week here and found myself hanging around the tennis club. I was so envious of the people playing that I walked inside and said, “I haven’t played in years and I don’t know if my arms will fall off if I even try, but is there a pro who would give me a lesson?” The next day I was on the court with Lance Kronberg, who has coached at the college level and is one of the nicest, most patient people around. He forced me to start slowly, talked me out of thinking I should be able to get out there and hit the ball perfectly every time, reminded me that not only had my body changed but I was bound to be rusty.
Rusty? It was like starting from scratch! I whiffed my first few balls – couldn’t even make contact – and I felt like such a spazz. But I kept at it, silenced my inner critic and just reveled in the sheer joy of reconnecting with the game I’d loved for so long.
I’m no Chris Evert, but you have to start somewhere, right? I had another lesson yesterday and I was much better. I actually moved my feet and ran back and forth. Was I winded? You bet, but my arms didn’t fall off and that’s a blessing.
I’ve also been watching the award shows (boring) leading up to the Oscars at the end of February. And I was invited to attend the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica the day before the Oscars. Looking forward to that.
And what great TV there’s been! Between all the political debates, which I can’t seem to get enough of, there was a terrific American Masters documentary about director Mike Nichols on PBS. There’s the new Showtime series “Billions,” which is soapy fun. And the OJ miniseries on FX started last night and I couldn’t resist. Of course, I’m counting down to my big TV love, “House of Cards,” in March.
That’s it for now. More news about Three Blonde Mice as soon as I have some.